* Posts by The Baron

105 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Feb 2012


Fanboi droves use iPads to buy more iPads on Black Friday

The Baron

Social Networks

social networks such as [...] YouTube

Has YouTube turned into a social network? I thought it was some sort of video hosting site. Mind you, I haven't visited it for a while.

NSW Information Commissioner sends email to wrong list

The Baron


...as I now see Yoinkster has already pointed out. Sorry.

The Baron


Damn it, I read this as the NSFW Information Commissioner, whose e-mail would have been a lot more interesting.

Oprah Winfrey too late to save Microsoft's Windows 8

The Baron

Re: Windows 8

...or iTunes.

World Bank says world likely to warm by four degrees

The Baron


anthropomorphically-induced temperature rise

The temperature rise was induced by ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human?

Maybe "anthropogenic temperature rise"?

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 3

The Baron

Quite so - pints for them all round!

The Baron
Thumb Up

Well done Tony Smith and many thanks for this excellent and enjoyable little series! Proper journalism at work.

New Microsoft Windows chief 'shocked' by Sinofsky defenestration

The Baron

Re: And so it begins

The fact that the Germans have a word for it speaks volumes about them as a whole. As does The Kaiser, Hitler, Hans Reiser and lots of other notorious Germans.

Firstly, having a word for something in your language doesn't really say anything about your nation. Virtually all languages have words for concepts both good and bad. In fact, it would significantly reduce a language's usefulness if it couldn't address such concepts.

Secondly, even if the first sentence made any sense - which it doesn't - how is that in any way connected to your second sentence?

Thirdly, Hitler was an Austrian, Hans Reiser is an American, and Kaiser Wilhelm II was a Hohenzollern - who can hardly be regarded as a family of pure German ancestry.

Skyfall makers 3D printed Bond's DB5

The Baron

Glass houses

This often illicits the reply

I'm sorry, it often "not legally permitted or authorised"s the reply, does it? I'm curious to see what sort of response that elicits.

Sorry - couldn't resist!

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 1

The Baron


A very interesting and well-researched article which told me a lot of things I didn't know in a way that I could easily understand - thanks very much.

Looking forward to part II.

N00bs vs Windows 8: We lock six people in a room with new OS

The Baron
Black Helicopters

Re: Now I hate Win 8 as much as the next man

Ah, I remember back in the day when keyboard manufacturers hadn't been forced to incorporate an additional OS-specific function key into their keyboards for no good reason. Happier times, and the operating systems still seemed to work basically ok.

iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: inch makes all the difference, says Apple CEO

The Baron

Re: WTF?

Well, you can always get one:



Facebook's stock rally may be shortlived: Small advertisers enraged

The Baron

Re: @chrislaughlin

Just a small point but if these angry users leave because FB are trying to monetize them how can Google cash in if they (google) don't?

You could argue that they'd be happy to take the hit if it caused FB to fail. FB's success is probably the biggest competition that Google faces... covering free posts in order to assist with the degradation or demise of a major competitor would be good business sense. Google has lots more strings to its bow beyond its social media platform; FB just has FB.

The Baron

It all just goes to show that one should generally be cautious about investing in a business whose chief exec is accountable solely to himself.

No GPS in the iPad Mini Wi-Fi: People are right to criticise

The Baron

He did, however, omit the requisite full stops from his own post.

Sky staffer plundered database to benefit naughty false firms

The Baron

Re: Judge was a little on the cold side

It is the purpose of a judgment to illustrate as concisely as possible a judge's decision and the rationale behind it, not to express his personal feelings, whatever they may be.

Furthermore, a closer reading shows that the judge is merely pointing out that Mr Waters had attempted to use an irrelevant and non-terminal medical condition as an excuse to withdraw his previous witness statement and change his story.

In particular, I would suggest that a reading of paragraphs 91-94 will give readers a very clear indication of Mr Waters' active and deliberate intent to deceive the court by lying about his medical condition.

Facebook won't pull unmarked police plates page

The Baron

In a democracy you have free speech. Well in Australia we don't, but we're not really a democracy, we're a parlimentary monarchy.

A democracy does not necessarily imply a right to full and total freedom of speech, and nor does a monarchy necessarily imply the absence of that right.

A parliamentary monarchy where the monarch's powers are so subscribed by the constitution as to be effectively zero, and where the monarch could easily be removed as head of state if the people voted for it, is essentially a democracy.

If naming a narc is not political speech what is?

Perhaps creating and putting forward an argument that undercover police represent a threat to the people rather than a benefit would be considered better political speech. One might argue that the law allowing for undercover police is created by an elected body and that the undercover police are operating within the law - and hence at least nominally with the consent of the people - in order to better identify others who are breaking the law.

If we were Libyans figthing the Gaddaffi regime (or what's left of it) this would be a victory for social media.

One might argue that the police in democracies are typically more interested in upholding justice, and that police in dictatorships are typically more interested in upholding the dictatorship. I accept that not everybody subscribes to this theory. Ultimately it comes down to whether one considers the police to be acting in the best interests of the general society or not.

Are social networks to be used to create open societies- yes and de-frocking narcs is part of the open society .

Again, only if you assume that undercover police are acting against the interests of the people rather than for them. I infer that you do make that assumption, but given that they are undertaking a function ascribed to them by the representatives of the people, one might suggest that directly reducing the effectiveness of that function is going against the will of the people and could thus potentially - and perhaps somewhat ironically - be considered anti-democratic.

Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

The Baron

Re: Performance

Hmm. A well-maintained E-type will still hit sixty in under seven seconds and go on to 150mph, pretty-much identical to a current-generation Focus ST. OK, race them round a twisty course in the wet and there'll be no contest, but give it a dry drag race and there'll be a lot less dust eaten than you might expect. Pretty sweet given the damn thing's probably 45 years old.

As you say, though, in terms of price, fuel economy, carrying capacity, general running costs, safety, recycle-ability...

Does make you think, though... your typical passenger car in 2050 will no doubt have the performance of a Veyron and the fuel economy of a bicycle.

The Baron

> Bond a gentleman? That's a strange word for a priapic mass murderer.

Perhaps he could be described as "an assassin required to play the part of a gentleman"? In any case, yes, the Mustang is a faux pas.

Game over for legendary 1980s games designer Mike Singleton

The Baron


A man who brought real innovation to gaming and opened our eyes to what was possible.

Night has fallen and the foul are abroad.

'Mapsgate' fails to dislocate iPhone 5 demand

The Baron

Re: @The Baron

>>"I know lawyers are expensive, but given that Apple has accumulated a cash pile of over $75 billion, it seems unlikely."

>Recent newsflow indicates that last year they did spend more on lawyers than they did on innovation. Pardon me for suggesting it, but that's a bit of a tipping point, when you've not actually invented much in the first place.

I didn't say they had spent their money on innovation, only that they hadn't spent all their money on lawyers, which was the original comment to which I replied.

Apple's R&D spend is generally around 2% of their revenue, which is not very much... as a percentage, it's less than HP spends, around half of what HTC spends, and around 1/3 of what IBM spends.

The Baron

> Or more likely, there is no money left for innovation, because it has all been spent on lawyers.

I know lawyers are expensive, but given that Apple has accumulated a cash pile of over $75 billion, it seems unlikely.

Hands on with BB10: Strokey dokey

The Baron


> What they could tell us is that BB10 is for "successful" people.

> "It's for people who want to get on and be successful. "

Technically, wanting to be successful is not necessarily the same as being successful. I mean, I want to be in the pub, yet regrettably I am actually at work...

What do you mean, say something on topic? Oh, ok, the work/personal split is nice, but there are so many mobile device management tools for other OSs now that it'll be hard for them to get their "BB=security" crown back.

Samsung says 'yes' to iPhone 5-sized Galaxy S III

The Baron

Re: Just stupid.

> I've measured my hand and 4.37" is the best size of phone. Why, oh why, oh why won't manufacturers realise this?

As mass-produced smartphones move from being status symbols to mere commodities, and as British politicians bemoan the lack of high-tech innovation in this country, surely the time has come for Savile Row to branch out from bespoke tailoring and begin producing bespoke mobiles specifically crafted to the shape and size of individual customers' hands?

"4.37 inch visual aperture, sir? Centre charging vent? Notched stereophonic acoustic interface? Volume rocker dressed to the right? Oooh, suit you, sir!"

Admittedly the fabrication costs might be a little high, but hey...

PGP founder's mobile privacy app goes live

The Baron

Can't tell you - it's secret. Ahahaha, ha, ha. Ha.

Nah, it's not really, try https://www.silentcircle.com/

HTC outs Jelly Bean running One X revamp

The Baron

Re: Does this mean...

I'm sorry to hear about your poor experience, but just to prove that one anecdote doesn't make a dataset, I have to say that my HTC One X is by far the best handset I've ever owned. It consistently finds and maintains a strong network signal, and has only needed to be rebooted once in four months; it connects instantly to my home wifi, from further away than my previous Desire HD or other folks' iPhones manage; and it has given me no SIM-related grief whatsoever. The only problem I thought it had was short battery life, but I eventually traced that to a desperately overenthusiastic weather app, so everything now works superbly.

My advice: Get one. Or get an SIII, or an iPhone, or whatever you prefer really; they all seem quite decent in their own ways.

Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll

The Baron

Re: Not for me yet.

> As for the startup/shutdown speed, I hibernate W7 at the end of each day anyway, so first thing in the morning I'm up and running again within about a minute anyway.

Exactly. I was surprised to see fast booting as the most popular feature. I've been using Sleep on my Windows desktop for a couple of years now, and other than the occasional patch requiring a reboot, I don't see any need to do a full boot cycle. I even thought W7's default "shut down" behaviour was hibernate, but I might have imagined that.

Are most people on Vista, W7, or W8 doing a full start-up and shut-down cycle every day?

Memo to openSUSE 12.2: More polish, less angst

The Baron


Was the author paid for each use of this word?

a slick choice; a very slick start-up screen; the very slick KDE desktop theme; the slick one-click web-based package installation process; a very slick desktop

If not, thesaurus.com offers plenty of synonyms, so could we perchance see it rewritten thus:

a greasy choice; a very lubricious start-up screen; the oleaginous KDE desktop theme; the slithery one-click web-based package installation process; a very soapy desktop

There is life after the death of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Start button

The Baron

Re: Grouping application tiles

I wasn't going to do that, but only because the idea hadn't crossed my mind. Many thanks, sir.

The Baron

Re: @Nigel 11

> ... vastly fewer cars on the road ...

Seeing other cars on the road reminds you which side of the road you're now supposed to be on. In the absence of other cars, it's easy to forget and drift over the side you're used to. That's what I find when I drive hire cars out of foreign airports at silly o'clock, anyway, although jet lag and my own incompetence may of course be contributing factors.

Google skids car insurance comparison engine onto rivals' lawn

The Baron

For any occasion on which you need to provide an e-mail address in order to receive a one-off communication:


The Baron

Re: Have used...

Surely the strategy is to use an aggregator to narrow your search down to a top five or so, and then go to those ones directly?

I still shudder in memory of the pre-internet days of phoning round one insurance company after another, having to repeat the exact same details time after time after time, sometimes more than once on the same call, and often only to receive some ludicrously-high quote. Yipes.

Home Sec to decide Gary McKinnon's fate by 16 October

The Baron

Splendid callback, sir. Splendid.

LinkedIn adds nagging notifications to social-network-for-suits

The Baron

LinkedIn is magnificent. In our company, at least, it's by far the best place to find out who has what job, since nobody can be bothered to maintain the global directory. It's like we've accidentally outsourced it to the cloud...

Google to rent Chromebooks for $30 per month

The Baron

Re: £30 a month?

> That's £360 a year of over £1000 over three years so where is the benefit in that?

Two benefits:

1. You're not committed to a three year deal. You want it for a month, you use it for a month, you pay for a month, you give it back.

2. You don't need to invest $900 up-front, which is handy if you don't have much cash, especially if you're, say, a small business taking on a few temporary employees during a busy season.

The Baron

Re: Nope, still don't want one

No no, they're now trying to lease a terrible idea.

Intel's 'Mobile Etiquette' survey uncovers global peevishness

The Baron

Poor driving, like poor conversational skills, poor dress sense, and poor hygiene, is something that we recognise much more easily in others than in ourselves.

Shove off Prince Harry, now Norway's teen royal in fresh photo uproar

The Baron

Re: Anders Breivik

Rune, thanks for this information - that could certainly be a factor. I understand that speeding in Norway can also carry a fine of up to 10% of your annual income...

The Baron

Re: Anders Breivik

No - I very much doubt that Breivik can, will, or should be rehabilitated. To be clear, I was responding to a post about why conditions are as they are in typical lower-security Norwegian prisons, not making a specific point about Breivik.

Sacking the police because they didn't break the law seems... well... I'm not sure you've necessarily thought through the consequences.

The Baron
Black Helicopters

Re: Anders Breivik

The justice system in Norway is generally aimed more at rehabilitation than punishment for punishment's sake, as I understand it. Interestingly enough, the reoffending rate in Norway is around 20%, compared to around 50% in the UK or around 60% in the USA. Now I'm not suggesting that there is a direct correlation between having nice prisons and not reoffending - there are many other factors involved - but still, makes you think.

'United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks'

The Baron

Lady Rimmington

If I may be excused for making a totally irrelevant aside, "Dame Stella" would be the correct form of address.

Rimington (one "m") holds the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath, and as a female member of a knightly order other than the Garter or the Thistle, she's correctly addressed as "Dame Stella" - just as her male counterparts are known as "Sir" followed by their forename.

Since you're no doubt now wondering, female members of the Garter or the Thistle are addressed as "Lady" followed by their forename.

Only if she were married to a knight, but not a member of a chivalric order in her own right, would she be addressed as "Lady Rimington".

There are even more confusing rules for peers, but covering the gentry is probably enough for one day. Now you know :-)

MoD to become even more top-heavy as a result of personnel cuts

The Baron

Re: uninformed


EA kills Medal of Honour arms deal

The Baron

Re: Off topic observation

The observation was that playing a shooting game makes some people better shots with a real gun, not that being a good shot with a real gun makes people any better at shooting games, or indeed that being bad at shooting games makes you a bad shot with a real gun. So (a) it wasn't a rule, and (b) even if it was, you're not an exception to it.

Gonna stop being cheeky now since you're a good shot with a rifle :-)

Work for the military? Don't be evil, says ethicist

The Baron

Dear Mr Baggaley

I suspect that Dr. Sparrow is offering an opinion and making suggestions, not attempting to impose his own morality and ethics on others. I may be wrong, of course.

Incidentally, the number of people dying every year on our roads - at least in civilized countries - has dropped significantly over time, suggesting that a significant number of people do, in fact, care enough about it to do something useful. For example, in Great Britain, the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents per year was around 50,000 in 1994 and fell to around 25,000 in 2011, this despite a ~25% rise in traffic in the same period (1).

There were 1850 people killed on British roads in 2010 (2), and 103 British servicepeople killed in Afghanistan in the same period (3). The latter is a smaller number, certainly, but it does represent 5% of the total, which I would suggest is high enough "to register", if I might borrow your terminology.

Incidentally I have no particular philosophical axe to swing here, one way or the other... just providing some context.




(1) http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/road-accidents-and-safety-quarterly-estimates-q1-2012/

(2) http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/road-accidents-and-safety-annual-report-2010/

(3) http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/sep/17/afghanistan-casualties-dead-wounded-british-data

Facebook shares hit all-time low

The Baron

Re: Yep.

There may be Apple shills, there may be MS shills, there may be all manner of fanbois within and beyond both ends of the visual spectrum, but one thing I've never noticed on the Reg is a FB shill.

I thought that any given Reg reader's view of FB sat somewhere on a continuum between grudging toleration and downright hatred. I've never seen any FB advocacy, but life is full of surprises, I guess...

Apple pounces on Samsung doc as proof of 'slavish copy' claims

The Baron

Re: What I don't get

The jury is made up of Normal People, not patent experts. Normal people struggle with the intricacies of patent law, but can easily understand arguments of the form "X is (or isn't) a copy of Y".

So far so what, but then you find yourself a clever lawyer who can seed the idea in the jury's heads that:

IF X is (or isn't) a copy of Y THEN you must find that the patent has (or hasn't) been infringed.

You are then onto a winner. Conversely, if your lawyer has to rely on tedious and incomprehensible patent arguments, then the outcome is much less certain.

It's a kind of appeal to emotion combined with a variant of the Chewbacca Defence.

Rivals routed by Apple, Google smartphone onslaught

The Baron

Re: Futurology

I assumed this post was just harmless fun; I don't understand why it has accrued a downvote. Here, have an upvote to balance things out.

Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

The Baron

I'd pay

> Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

I would like to move to Linux for all my computing needs but am "stuck" on Windows due to my game-playing proclivity.

If a decent number of quality games were available on Linux, I would happily make the move tomorrow, and I would happily pay the same price that I currently pay for my Windows games - i.e. £25-30 each. I would be even happier to do so, in fact, in the knowledge that none of the damn things would force me to use the excremental obscenity known as Games For Windows Live.

I suspect and hope that there are many other people in the same situation, although I don't have any strong evidence either proving or disproving it.

Facebook: 83 million IMPOSTERS stalk our network

The Baron

Re: I don't care

<-- should fulfil your requirement.

The Baron

Re: Most fake accounts are made by Facebook itself for Companies paying for those...

To be fair, it's optional to use Facebook; it's not a necessary public service or a mandatory registration system. So if FB want to have stupid rules, then they can, and the remedy to those who don't like it is simply not to use it... which I wish a lot more people would do, thus hastening FB's demise.

Although admittedly I would then have to find another way of ascertaining what time my friends awake and what form of meteorological activity they are experiencing.