* Posts by Rob Mossop

16 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Jun 2007

Judge Dredd smartshell shotguns to hit Iraq in '09

Rob Mossop

re: I'm all for it

"governments would consider it too expensive to declare war on abstract concepts"

Personally, I can't wait for the first declaration of war against Heidegger's notion of fundamental ontology.

Mine's the one embroidered with existential angst...

Intel: future iPhone to be Atom powered

Rob Mossop

Intel have already pointed out that this isn't what he meant...

There's already a denial by Intel that the exec meant it was going to power the next iPhone:


If the article's quote here is correct then I don't really see how he said that the next iPhone would be Atom-powered anyway, the Reg article states:

"Sachwderer also promised a raft of Atom-based devices in the next 12 months, all of them "a bit bigger than the iPhone"."

How is something that is described as "a bit bigger than the iPhone" the same as "the next iPhone"? That could mean a whole range of potential products all of which are seen as 'bigger' (i.e. better) than the iPhone, or it could just mean (and yes, I'm being slightly facetious here) a range of devices that are literally just a bit bigger than the iPhone in terms of physical dimensions. Neither of those implies that these devices would be an Apple iPhone.

If the quote in the Reg article is accurate then it's a huge leap to claim that the exec was genuinely claiming that Intel had signed a deal with Apple such that Atom chips are powering the next iPhone.

Obviously if there's more to the original ZDnet article then fair enough, but from what the Reg has printed there is no way the article headline makes sense to me.

SMS costs more than using Hubble Space Telescope

Rob Mossop

The Home Office missed a trick then...

Surely in the wake of the 'lost CDs' debacle they should have claimed that they were simply attempting to send data more cheaply than it would've been had they texted all of the individual records to their destination.

Putting CDs/DVDs in the post has to be even more cost efficient in terms of £-per-MB than using the HST to send the information to a third party and, as a 'double bonus' it even allowed them to send a whole lot of additional un-requested, yet highly sensitive, data bundled in for free; you wouldn't have got that with SMS or the HST!

If only this research had been available at the time, we would all have been praising the Home Office and commiserating them on their bad luck... Wouldn't we?

Mine's the one with sarcasm written all over it.

Microsoft offers $300m for web-washing ad campaign

Rob Mossop

How about...

"We're shit and we know you know that we know we are but how about you buy stuff anyway?"

Seems to have worked out pretty well for them so far...

Novell vs SCO will go to court after all

Rob Mossop

Two pints?


Surely that overvalues the current share value significantly - are you attempting to seed some kind of market overinflation for your shares so that you can by a pint yourself later on?

Outrageous market manipulation like this should not be seen on the El Reg comment area!


Jack Thompson sets about Halo 3

Rob Mossop

@ Hayden Clark

There is a legally enforced ratings system for games as well. Has been for a very long time.

Hence Jack Thompson's complaint against Best Buy for not asking his son for ID when Halo 3 carries a rating... In the UK, for example, it falls under the BBFC '15' rating as evidenced by the big graphic on the front, side and back of the box.

Those claiming to be completely normal despite having played age-restricted games whilst well below that age are making an entirely different point, whether they acknowledge it or not.

Consumers confused by HD

Rob Mossop

The H debate

Well I've always understood it to be relevant to how the spoken word is formed in combination with the indefinite article rather than anything to do with they way you write things down. Basically the new wave revival guy is half way there, it's not a function of how it's spelled, but how it's spoken though. If you sound the word after the indefinite article with a vowel sound, then it (the indefinite article) should be 'an', otherwise it should be 'a'

In other words if you say 'an istory' (an history) then you should write it as 'an history'. However, if like the rest of the world you say 'a history', then that is exactly what you should write. Most people would find saying 'a HD-DVD' difficult unless they pronounce their h's as 'haitch'. Most people use a 'vowel sounding' pronunciation of h, 'aitch', and therefore say 'an HD-DVD' and so should write 'an HD-DVD'. Essentially it's more about convenience of pronunciation in regular speech than it is about the way the word is actually written down.

Anyway, enough from me, if it bothers you that much then go and shout at the experts:


Besides which it's Friday and we're in a country with 24hr drinking - why aren't we having this discussion at a pub?

At the Toyshop of Doom

Rob Mossop

Some observations

To all of you attempting to go down the 'it's a tool' or 'without context everything is neutral' line of argument. Seriously, you just shot yourselves in the foot (pun intended). Whereas with the other 'examples' you give (syringe, wheel, hunting implements, etc.) there are clear uses that are not related to killing, maiming or otherwise harming human beings, guns and equipment of the type on display at this 'show' clearly have no such alternate use. The whole basis for the show's existence is the enabling, through sale of arms, of the destruction of other human beings. The idea that, somehow, cluster bombs, automatic weapons and missiles have a non-lethal use that might otherswise justify their existence is laughable at best and delusional at worst. Besides which, if you want a 'context' just look at the show itself, that gives them context and that context is clear: buy this equipment to kill people (or enable you to kill them more efficiently, etc.).

Don't try to conflate this with arguments about gun control either. This is not about domestic control of firearms, it's about the proliferation and sale of arms to those who wish to meet out destruction on a national, or international, scale. Whatever your views on an individual's right to bear arms, it is not even close to a position on one country's 'right' to attack its own, or other countries', citizens.

The problem I have with The Register writing articles like this is not necessarily the equipment itself, but the show that they are giving advertising to.

I can see why The Register might see it as a 'cool' idea to cover this show. It often runs articles on tech-related military stories and this might seem like a natural extension of this. It is not. The only reason this show exists is to explicitly encourage the sale and use of these pieces of 'tech' where the only aim is to oppress or otherwise harm human beings. By having a presence and reporting on the contents of the show The Register implicitly condones the sale and use of those weapons and equipment. Trying to pretend otherwise is self-delusion, you're mentioning the show, you're giving it free advertising, you're condoning it.

Note I'm not jumping up and down screaming about feeling sick or attempting to impune the intellect or personality of those posting here (or The Register for that matter). I just hope that The Register has thought long and hard about the nature of the beast it has just implicitly condoned and that it has a reasoned line of argument it can report here about why it feels it is not participating (albeit implicitly) in the promotion of the international arms trade.

Google avoids AdWords jury trial as opponent backs down

Rob Mossop

@Andy S

You're also assuming that the internet existed when these company names were thought up, American Airlines was formed in 1934 and Amercian Blinds is more than 50 years old. But yes, companies with 'country + service description' names are consistently going to feel (unjustifiably) put out by this interweb thingnumy and the way that search engines operate.

Interestingly if you google American Blinds, you get a Google AdWords for American Airlines, conspiracy? I think so ;)

BOFH: Chilling the bearings

Rob Mossop

Episode 29

Ta da (it's at the bottom of the front page as well, just the archive page that hasn't been updated)


Peterborough bloke warned over 'offensive' t-shirt

Rob Mossop

So, presumably

They'll ban all of the FCUK t-shirts as someone might be offended by them as well? What about the Star Wars Lego t-shirts? Surely some fixated fan could find it extremely offensive to see a scene, formerly portrayed by their favourite actors, now portrayed by blocky lego characters instead?

The Public Order act has much to answer for, including why people with no genuine training whatsoever (Street Wardens) are sent out to be cut-price coppers with nothing but an over-inflated sense of self-importance guiding their actions.

To call it farcical is to master the art of understatement.

There... I *think* that just about covers all the necessary elements to make it eligible for a Daily Mail editorial... Oh no, hang on, I've failed; I've made two basic errors: firstly I haven't mentioned the phrase "It's political correctness gone mad!" and secondly (and more importantly) I have managed to blame it on asylum seekers/imigrant workers/fundamentalist terrorists. Damn and I was doing so well!

Get your Ultra Wide Band from Monday

Rob Mossop


How long will it be before the first 'electrosensitives' start crying about UWB devices giving them headaches/cancer/cravings for marmite on toast?

Three, maybe four minutes? Despite the fact that none are on the market yet?

Fist-sized monkey flies from Florida to New York

Rob Mossop

Oh come on...

Surely the man gets sent to prison and his monkey gets spanked?

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week!

Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC

Rob Mossop

The 'duty of care' line of argument will not succeed

Surely all of the people who cite the BBC's 'duty of care' to ensure that all license fee payers can access their content are missing the point (see for ex: "No taxation without iPlayer representation" ?).

The BBC has *already* met that duty of care, they broadcast (as everybody knows) television over the air such that anyone with a set-top box (for digital) or standard analogue receiver (until 2010, or whenever it is) can receive it. There, duty of care accommodated. The point that this "is about those who pay for programmes being able to watch them" is all well and good, but it seems to forget that, actually, as long as they have a TV and are within range of a broadcasting point, they already can! Harping on about license fee reductions is irrelevant so long as you can obtain the content under the terms that the 'duty of care' brigade keep citing (and you can, it's called a TV remember?), those who can't receive BBC TV in this way aren't in the habit of paying a license fee I wouldn't have thought, it's pretty much a self-selecting audience!

The iPlayer service is an additional service above and beyond this requirement to make their content available to all license-fee payers (in fact one could say they exceed this requirement as I don't even have to have a license to watch TV, I just face a fine if I get caught, I wonder what agreement the BBC has to accommodate rights-holders in this respect? Ah but I sense waters becoming muddied, back to my original point...). Now, if they were planning to deliver all of their content through the iPlayer at some point then the detractors above might very well have a point (if the BBC hadn't already committed to a non-windows version of the iPlayer, which it has), but they aren't (at least as far as I am aware).

In the mean time the basic point still stands: this is not the sole or primary mode of delivery for this content therefore it is illegitimate to cite their 'duty of care' as grounds for attack. If it were the only means of attaining such content then you might have a point, but as things stand this is not the only way to view this content. We pay our license fee and are then legitimately allowed to view and decode (via our clever TV boxes) the data transmitted over the air. Requirement to make content accessible to all license fee payers met. Unless and until the iPlayer becomes a way of accessing content not distributed in other more widely accessible forms this line of argument will always fail.

Of course now the BBC will probably devalue my comment by advertising 'exclusive content for iPlayer viewers' within the next 10 seconds, but hey ho, I gave it a shot.

Second Life will dwarf the web in ten years

Rob Mossop

Headline Shocker: People with vested interests push vested interests!

Surely not?

Microsoft shill blogs steal Reg commercial strategy c.2001

Rob Mossop

As opposed to ideas thought up by oxidised daisies?

"Federated's sponsorship boutique built a lovely bespoke website on Microsoft's behalf to contain the quotes and disseminate the idea, which was thought of by a person."

Eh? Is this because Redmond has some giant idea producing wonder-machine running "Windows Vista A.I. edition" and we need it pointed out to us that it wasn't thought up by this but by 'a person'? If it is we should be told, at once, without delay, I.... oh... the pills are kicking in again... lovely.