* Posts by tom

55 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2007


Hybrid Jaguar XJ en-route?


Leccy... augh!

I can't take it any more! "Lappy" was cute but toothless, "Mobe" uglier but still relatively easy to dodge, but "Leccy"... It's like being shived, every time. I'd gladly trade it for one of the banned abbreviations...

Microsoft promises IE web-standards love

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"Working with standards bodies..."

Does "working with standards bodies" mean a) dominating the standards committee (why do I think of W3C?) to force thier ideas through so that the standards will be too complex for small companies and free software projects to implement, and then b) implementing most of that standard, but doing it in a way that makes it slightly incompatible with the standard? Because if so, they've been doing this for years. Mission accomplished!

Gears of War grind to halt

Black Helicopters

Is/is not DRM?

Is this an example of a Digital Rights Management system making life difficult for the consumer? Let's see... it's a problem with the supervisory system that manages whether you have the right to run the code, and ... hmm ... and of course it's running in a digital computer. Let' me think; this means that there's a problem with the Computational Permissions Supervion, that's a CPS, not a DRM. So, no. DRM conspiracy theorists can relax.

Microsoft Songsmith ad trumps Seinfeld shocker


Can I buy a lot of vowels?

My reaction to this video does not require consonants:

Aaaaaaa! Oooooooh! Aaaaaaaa! (and so on)

Also, when somebody has a moment, please kill me. Thanks.

Microsoft sued in China for black screen of death


Black Background is Bad?

But, I always use a black background, because I like the way it looks. Great, now people will think I'm a pirate.

German man arrested after UK gamer's murder


not to nitpick, but...

it's "Advance Wars".

Excellent series of games, esp the earlier ones.

VMware renders multitasking OSes redundant


This sounds familiar...

Wait, so all we need is a simple app loader, where the single-threaded app talks directly to the "hardware"? You're talking about DOS, aren't you? The future is DOS?

I'm sure I have Turbo C++ around here somewhere....

OpenSocial, OpenID, and Google Gears: Three technologies for history's dustbin


Two out of three ain't bad

Actually, OpenID is pretty nice.

I guess I get the point though. So, you could say that I agree about 67 percent.

Did the width move for you, darling?


Large Fonts Edition

Fonts too small to read on your monitor? Let me fix that for you.


You'll need greasemonkey. Links and such at the root url http://tekhedd.com/greasemonkey/. Fixed-point-size fonts are one of those things that just keep popping up. :)

Pirate, because it's a script to hack el reg, well, sort of. Actually it's kinda blah, as piracy goes.

OMFG, what have you done?


Pixel-sized fonts?

I understand the pixel-sizing logic, but it sure is hard to read on this laptop. :( Hello, greasemonkey.

Segway shock army to invade Department of Transport


Let 'em play in traffic, for all I care.

Just keep 'em out of the bike lane, or I'll be breaking out the old U lock.

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling


Here, I'll modernize that for U

Wells will declare: "TXT messigin email N inturnet chat rooms R showin us teh way forward 4 english lets giv peeple greatur freedom 2 spel laik they hear stuf its tiem 2 git rid uv the fet-ish that sez speling things write is a principul part uv bein ejucated srsly lol"

Finally, Wells intends to sound the death knell for the bothersome apostrophe, suggesting: "insted of N (apostroffe?) single quot thing we kin just leave it out its could becom its or leave a space so we'll wud become we ll hav we rly nothin better 2 do wit our livs then fret about teh single quot??/?!?11"

Jeery Jerry loves Vista, y'know


They're paying HOW MUCH?

One word: desperate.

Reg server and chip hack molested by Gray Lady



*wave* We'll miss you, and good luck.

Hadoop: When grownups do open source


Inevitable that people will focus on the language, but...

the language works. What else would you expect when you're halfway between a rant and an opinion piece? It's like if you crossed a Rolling Stone back issue with, well, a normal Reg article. All it needs is a huge cigarette ad.

Web 2.0 might be fish in a barrel, but IMO Rails needs to be laughed at more often. Rails even *rhymes* with fails.

Icahn Yahoo! writes! a! letter!


Bullet Points

Well... it's hard to knock those bullet points. Selling out is good for the owners, when the offer's right, but it's not always good for the company, and when the buyer is Microsoft it never seems to be good for the end users. (Well, that's my opinion, yours may vary.)

"Microsoft can’t decide what is and isn’t strategically important..."

You could probably stop right there, it seems to me. MS has enough power and money to "choose poorly" and still get away with it, many many times. Just give away the product, "integrate" it with Win/Office, and/or buy out the competition. When you have these options, strategy is sort of irrelevant. But I'd hate to depend on Microsoft for my internet searches, or as my primary web portal, or as my only secure login provider, or... nightmare scenarios all.

Depressing just to think about it.

Mono man accuses Mac Gtk+ fans of jeopardizing Linux desktop

Paris Hilton

Breaking compatibiliy is Mac-centric at a developer level.

I've had the chance to work on a few Mac-based applications over the years, mostly dropping in to do light maintenance on a control panel or something. And, this whole "let's break things every 5 years" thing stinks of Apple, so I'm not really surprised. Apparently, the developers at Apple like to say "No, this is the *new* *right* way to do it" and come up with an entirely different approach to the GUI every, oh, 5 years or so. So, you hack together version 1 of your control panel, it works OK, and then 5 years later good ole Tom is called in to work in an unfamiliar environment with strange tools and every API call throughout the interface is done in two different ways (to support both the old and the new way for existing installations) and the "new" way is deprecated for an even newer one.

OK, too much information. All I'm saying is that my experience down in the code seems to support the criticism. All I'm saying. I'm going to get a beer, anybody else want one? And where's the beer icon? (Paris, because there's no drugs or rock'n'roll. One out of three is only 33%, you know.)

Congress accuses American Phorm of 'beating consumers'


Oh, a one-way hash. Well, I guess that's all right then...

Wait, if you can take the IP address or cookie, run it through a one-way hash, and locate all of the user's unique identifying information... couldn't you do that again any time you want? Or just set up a trigger waiting for someone's incoming request to trigger this profile again, or...

Wait! I just described two ways of getting around the foolproof anonymizer system, making me guilty of spreading hacking-enabling information. Me pirate hacker. *sigh*

Microsoft pledges to fight Vista 'myths'


"No wonder the world hates thier IT departments"

No wonder IT professionals hate end users.

I have more to say on this subject, but I'm too busy downloading porn to the drive that's supposed to be backing up Mark's data.

Becta schools deal stuns British open-istas


Gods Of Powerpoint

Who knows, maybe they just made a very, very impressive presentation.

US imposes 72 hour pre-reg for Visa waiver travellers


No clue? Hah.

"...there’s also no clue as to what will happen to non-US citizen’s data once..."

For the clueless, here's a prediction based on past performance.

Homeland Security will simultaneously deny that data is being retained, refuse to say whether or not it is being retained (because it is a matter of national security), and insist that the option of retaining this data is essential to our continued safety against terrorism, is perfectly legal, and is authorized by the president. Also, that there is no way that the data could be misused; and that there are procedures and policies in place to prevent the misuse of retained data, should there be any.

Anyone else? Yes you, the plant with the prepared question...

The battle of Lesbos: Exclusive combat pic


I had something clever to say...

My clever comment is really better expressed thusly: you guys worry me.

(Keep up the good work!)

BT and Phorm secretly tracked 18,000 customers in 2006


wtf! Srsly!

Please clarify. This *isn't* an April Fools joke?

No icon, because I don't know whether to laugh or... well laugh, but ironically.

OOXML approved as international standard?


We all pay for microsoft's sins

"When will Microshite learn that it cant bully people into voluntarily adopting a standard."

Most likely never. Apparently they *can* bully people into voluntarily adopting standards.

Canadians go out clubbing


Oh plz. Srsly.

"inevitably have serious consequences for the future of the harp seal population"

Of course it will. It will reduce the population. That's why it's called "culling".

What are they supposed to do instead, encourage "abstinence education" or something?

Red Hat criticizes 'lousy' open source participation

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Don't feed the trolls

Based on the summary in this article, the entire presentation sounds like a presentation-length equivalent of a forum troll ranting about nothing.

Three reasons nobody cares about the overall average level of enterprise involvement in FLOSS pro or con 1) there's nothing you can do about it, 2) the level of involvement *must* vary on a per-project basis, because involvement in a project is mostly driven by the developer's needs, and 3) Free Software does not exist solely for the purpose of creating a new world exactly as RedHat envisions it.

"I'm not in the business of seeing whatever pleases you." --Master Shake

Gates calls on Feds to plug tech investment gap


Software sweatshops, the american dream

It continues to amaze me how the US has this endless, huge deficit of qualified tech professionals. I guess we're all uneducated and lazy or something. Or maybe, wait, maybe it's that local labor actually wants to get paid?

Phorm launches data pimping fight back


Anonymizer: still the issue

I have to give these guys props for talking to El Reg and talking on the skeptics directly.

They state plainly that they are not storing personal information. They also imply that it can not be easily associated with a particular individual. This is almost certainly deception through omission. It's more or less trivial to associate it with a user at a later date, if this is what you want.

Their intentions seem good. What if their intentions change, or are changed for them?

RIM out to patent BlackBerry slider


I guess just about anything is patentable.

This is patentable? I guess if they can patent the qwerty keyboard, they can patent anything.

How Phorm plans to tap your internet connection

Black Helicopters

Anonymizer Shmanonimizer

Seriously, this whole "anonymizer" thing is the weak point. Even if it's legit, it doesn't have to stay that way. In just the last year, how many anonymizing services have been "officially" compromised by some form of local law enforcement, without telling the community of users until some time later? I can recall at least two. They started out completely anonymous, and then later became un-anonymous.

This system is worse than that, because it collects a profile of your surfing habits. Sure, it starts out anonymous, but who says it's going to stay that way?

a) Law enforcement can step in at any time, demainding "add this identifying information". Or, they can simply add a separate identifying database. Trivial. If you're paranoid, assume this demand comes with a gag order of some sort.

b) But even if they don't want to do that, what's to stop somebody (anybody, not just the law, who really I'm not that worried about) from fishing thorugh the profiles, and then locating the identifying information after the fact. The *next time* you use your browser, you're identified.

c) Yes, I said *you*. Now don't you regret that google search for "hacking tutorial"?

Feds bat for Boeing in rendition lawsuit


What, me? Uncomfortable?

"The extensive recent coverage of American torture outsourcing has made many Americans uncomfortable..."

One of the reasons I love reading El Reg is this amazing gift for understatement displayed by so many of the writers. I've been self-censoring my criticism of my own government's actions for several years now, especially on the web where it can be automatically scraped and cataloged. Waterboarding? I'll pass, thanks.

Dallas man accidentally shoots self in head


Stupid americans and stupid gun laws

Oh well. At least we can give him credit for not pointing a weapon (loaded or unloaded) at somebody else. So, like, half credit. Still a failing grade, then.

One idiot offs himself (IMO without much creativity), and that whole "serf" mentality kicks in. "Ordinary people aren't smart enough to have weapons, only the lord's army should have weapons." Heh. Only so many people fit in that castle on the hill, you know.

RIPA could be challenged on human rights


If innocent people have nothing to hide...

Why doesn't the government want anyone to know that you were "forcibly requested" to give up your encryption key?

Critics split over DDoS attacks on Scientology


church, cult, whatever.

a) Church? Cult? In the case of Scient*l*gy, it's moot. Pretty much no government will recognize them as a religion of any kind.

b) Obviously, it would be the Church of the Cult of Scientology. Duh.

c) Because all the world's ills are caused by alien ghosts, it is appropriate to use the alien icon in any comment related to CoCoS.

Heathrow PC security probe launched


Our First Breach

"it would be the first such breach we have suffered in seven years"

Right. We haven't heard of a single security breach, therefore there haven't been any. Where have I heard this logic before? (And why do you have that banana in your ear?)

Hackers go after Excel


Excel hacking? How quaint!

They've found a way to exploit Excel? What a shock!

I can't be the only one that thinks this headline is recycled from 10 years ago...

Microsoft takes a shine to Logitech?


Can they do that?

If you go looking for, say, a force feedback gaming peripheral, your options are basically Microsoft and Logitech. Now I'm depressed. Thanks.

Emacs diet for Visual Studio?


Emacs + (insert tool here)

So, they're going to come up with something as good as XEmacs + csharp-mode + Makefile? Fat chance!

Open Office standards row heats up


This sort of thing...is getting old.

Is anybody fooled by Microsoft's transparent ploys to force bloated, poorly "designed" "standards" on the rest of the world? Does anybody *not* think that their only goal is to ensure that nothing works properly with the standard except Microsoft tools? If you raised your hand, you're a dirty liar, and you're going to hell.

Microsoft accuses kids of bullying Santa into sex chat


Microsoft's "Pride"

"Would it really have hurt Microsoft's pride so much to admit the cockup?"

Ahem. "Pride?" Microsoft? I very nearly spit hot tea on my screen there.

Facebook CEO capitulates (again) on Beacon


opt-in = "you must opt out for each site"?

I hate to be nit-picky (well, technically, that's a lie), but wouldn't that be an opt-out system?

Dell punts $4450 World of Warcraft notebook


Because WoW is so, you know, cutting-edge...not.

Since WoW runs fine on simply ancient computers, one can only assume all that graphics hardware is there to support Vista.

Google officially quashes PageRank passing


Is one positive comment allowed?

Wow, look at the whiny comments! Their actions seem quite reasonable to me.

If you want to put crap links on your page, and you don't want to disassociate your page from them in some way, it should reflect on your site. What was the problem, again?

Scientists unearth 'missing link' jawbone


Why bother...

I was going to post an attempt at humor, something along the lines of "how dare you post this so-called research when it's obvious that the earth is about 150 years old"... But, I guess there's no point. These barely-contained rants lovingly hand-crafted by genuine creationists are the real deal. I could never top that.

Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby.

Cops expose cross-dressing Catholic school principal


Let he who is without leather women's clothing cast the first stone.

People are so quick to judge. Why is it that every time a man is found wearing women's leather clothing, fishnets, and fake breasts in a bad neighborhood, people assume that he's there for some sort of mysterious sexual purpose?

Northern ocean filling up with CO2


Political Rot!

I hate when liberals politicize the issues, making blatant inflammatory statements like "if this continues, we think maybe this could cause problems in the future, possibly".

Fire service may charge for shifting fat people


I can't quite work out how...

The phrase "carry your own weight", I think, makes my entire argument in support of the decision to charge.

Suicide website creator arrested for murder


I found the IT angle! Do I get a prize?

Remember, killing yourself is stealing from the state, and very illegal!

Also, I'm noticing a disturbing trend: this week it's getting very difficult to dig out the IT angle from the suicide, autoerotic asphyxiation, gun nut type articles. These are "the defendant ran a web site", "no excuse needed", and "he used email to express his opinion", respectively...not always immediately obvious. El Reg should IMO be better about ensuring that its stupider readers can locate said angle.)

Student suspended in gun rights email row


Giving gun nuts a bad name... again. :(

While I strongly agree with his opinion on the concealed carry ban (I hardly see how creation of isolated victim-rich zones in the middle of a sea of gun owners is going to help), Troy sure is an asshat.

3,000 chickens paralyse central Scotland

IT Angle

IT angle? Who cares?

Some news is too important to be arbitrarily pigeonholed! (And, obviously the IT angle is the warning not to use mobiles while driving. Duh!)