* Posts by Stephen

41 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jul 2007

Dell dives as Western Europe PC market stagnates


Recession or price Hike?

Last year dell put their prices up by 20% followed by another 10% later in the year. No wonder they struggle.

Pirate Bay loses trial: defendants face prison time, hefty fines


They brought it on themselves

When pigs become hogs they get slaughtered.

TPB got too big for their boots and were far too arrogant from the off. I am still amazed that they thought they could hide behind the "we are just a search engine", yet their site name and brand is all about being a haven for Pirates!!

Yes they got singled out, but maybe they should have called themselves "TorrentBay" or something where they could then claim to be just a search engine and not have their defense laughed at.

Bacon sarnies cure hangovers: Official


Bacon the Veggie buster!

The smell of cooking Bacon when my sister came around one day was what finally broke her from being a veggie as well.

Bacon is the veggie buster!

Profs: Sex with oldies or youngsters will give you the clap



The risk is you never know what a person's sexual history is regardless of age. Pants come off protection goes on, simple as that. I don't think the age of the people involved will minimise the risks much when your already taking such a massive gamble without protection anyway.

As for age gaps, I have seen plenty of them around these days.

Get my coat the one with the condoms in the pocket.

MPs battle to save great British pub


Cheap Booze

Damn right the problem is cheap booze flooding in from the supermarket. The other day I managed to get a bottle of wine for cheaper than a pint, just goes to illustrate what the problem is here.

The Supermarkets have long been killing off the small businesses such as your local butchers for years, pubs have been next in line for ages being undercut and are unable to compete against the supermarkets with their sick profits.

What sort of society will we live in without pubs? Everyone buys their booze and drinks at home? probably alone as well right? yep that's a good social life right there, far be it for you to actually go to a place where you can talk to someone while you drink.

Stop drinking cheap supermarket alcohol at home guys!

I'll get my coat, the one with change remaining in it for a pint down my local.

NEC gives up on global PC sales


Oh well.

NEC are not the best company to do business with in Europe I must admit. We found their notebooks to be unreliable (all of them ended up being prone to HD faults) and their Warranty Support was the worst I had ever seen.

When replacing a laptop hard drive that was on "Next Business Day" Warranty, it took them 4 weeks to get the replacement drive and finally get it to us. ("subject to part availability" being their get-out clause for any delay, they probably sourced the parts from Japan for all we know)

Needless to say we preferred doing business with Dell, Toshiba and Acer after that. Dell's support is good enough, Toshiba and Acer? Never had to ring theirs for a laptop fault.

Germans announce: Revenge is inefficient


Depends on the form of revenge.

"Anyone can become angry -- that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way -- this is not easy." - Aristotle

Joker must retire, insist Heath Ledger fans


I disagree, imagine that.

What these people need to understand is not everyone may agree with them. Personally I was disappointed watching Heath as all I could think about was comparing him to Jack Nicholson's character, so my opinion is it wasn't as good as they say.

But to say "This is the line that cannot be crossed" is silly, just as we have had good and bad actors playing batman, james bond and loads of other popular reoccurring characters over the years doesn't ever mean we should just stop because one of them was good and passed away young.

A successor may be better or worse as proven by different James Bond's but its always up for audiences to decide after enjoying the film.

Woz goes Strictly dancing


Good on him

As a fellow IT guy who dances Salsa I think its great he's doing it. Sure he may well be the next John Sergeant, we will have to wait and see on that. What matters most is the whole experience of having the balls to go out there and do something different and take a learning detour once in a while.

I'll get my coat, if you need me I'll be practising my steps in the server room while waiting for the blue bar to reach 100%.

Wrong kind of winter brings England to a halt


London breakaway?

I have to agree with Sarah here.

London should breakaway imagine the benefits.

1) London shrinks in size and importance as nobody can get in from outside to work there.

2) Public money actually would get spent elsewhere in the UK.

3) The rest of us might actually be able to buy local homes without Londoners buying them up first.

Maybe we should make Scotland the new capital of the UK at least they could teach us all how to deal with snow. Grabbing my coat, mine's the one that looks like its for an Arctic expedition.

Red Dwarf finally returns to Earth

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Nice one Dave

Good to see the boys from the Dwarf back for a special.

They never really wrapped up the series with season 8's ending, but I have to agree with the commentors above it wasn't the same since they introduced Kochanski in 7 to replace Rimmer. (bringing back the crew from the dead in 8 was the kiss of death to the show)

My hope is that for the specials they go back to basics of what the show was about.

Retired army generals: Spend Trident money on the army

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Cold War is over, time to move on.

These guys are right on track if you ask me. Trident is a massive waste of money that is not needed in today's world.

Yes I know some may argue that if your attacked then you should be able to respond, but lets face facts if the UK was attacked then as a NATO member the remaining members would have to come to assist in such an eventuality.

Its amazing that we preach disarmament to others yet still retain these weapons ourselves (at great financial cost), I too would rather the armed forces got what they truly needed rather than my tax money being wasted on Nukes that everyone knows SHOULD NOT ever be used.

As a deterrent their value is worthless because everyone knows that nobody wants to push the button and bring about nuclear annihilation.

Kirk's Khan nemesis beams up at 88


Another good actor passes on

In the original series Khan appeared as a one time villian, but the transformation onto the big screen by Ricardo was enough to produce one of the most memorable film villains ever seen.

One day a friend of mine who came around while I was midway though watching the film (he admits he doesn't typically like Star trek) he got drawn in after seeing the "ear scene" in Khan's bunker and watched it to the end after that.

He delivered lines so well, from the famous "Revenge is a dish best served cold" that has spread far beyond Trek circles, to his final "From Hells heart I stab at thee... for hates sake I spit my last breath at thee!" as he lies in a bloodied mess with the bomb ticking away.

Ricardo you shall be missed.

WoW accused of turning man's mind into 'living video game'

Paris Hilton

Its all Blizzard's fault

OMG Blizzard turned me into a zombie, call in the lawyers! Ahh wait that event was cancelled days ago. (where was the coverage there El Reg? I would have loved to see a big fat article with added ....braaaaiiinsss...)

Paris because well she has more brains than the man in the lawsuit and the lawyers backing him.

Mozilla slots pr0n safe mode into Firefox 3.1


Re: As if there was another reason..

Yep managing your own network and enforcing your Internet policies is now going to be a nightmare.

Unless Firefox finally comes with the capability to lock it down in GPO I will have no choice but to remove it from our network. Given we still have Windows 2000 machines in some places still I wouldn't exactly fall head over heels with those people using IE6 again. (The Horror, the horror).

At this rate it would be safer to ban the Internet at work and bring us back to the old days.

Research firm emails 20,000 addresses in the clear



"As do I but that doesn't mean you can or even should force private citizens to follow your beliefs.

Companies (data processors) are one thing. Personal mailing lists are another.

I don't want the incompetence of oranisations as that above dictating how i might use my own email services and clients thank you very much!"

True but the average end user is clueless when it comes to these data protection issues and that giving out an email address of someone without their permission is a data protection act breach. Given most people use their personal email accounts this way at home they bring those same bad habits into the workplace and we get stories of this type crop up.

I see this sort of thing all the time running through our mail server, eternal companies sending out a tender document and then including the email addresses of contact people of multiple businesses (many of which we have no dealings with) in the TO: and CC: field. People are always doing it.

End of the day end users are the biggest risk in any business and safeguards on company systems to prevent employee abuse of company accounts is a good thing, the problem is they just don't exist within email clients where email is being composed.


RE: Is "BCC" available everywhere?

"Are there some email agents around which actually don't permit use of BCC?"

As I understand it the FTgate mail server does not allow excessive numbers in the BCC field (erroring with a 560), but thats only because it was written in the UK and was based around our privacy laws.

Of ocurse with Microsoft Exchange still dominating the market, and every desktop email client out there still being designed around TO: and CC: with BCC: as a more hidden option I cannot see it being used heavily.

As for privacy I see it all t he time with people forwarding their junk joke emails to me including the emails of half the Internet for my leisure. You can't trust users to be private until you make BCC: the default and remove support for multiple addresses in TO: and CC: in mail clients and servers.

Microsoft Mojave 'outs' secret Vista lovers

Gates Horns

RE: Christian Berger

"Nobody buys Microsoft products because they are good. What counts is how well they run legacy software. Nobody cares about advanced features.

Microsoft could be successfull by providing a small barebones operating system with optional modules to meet dependencies certain applications have."

Unfortunately that would not work well for them imo. Microsoft Makes its money from OEM's, I mean really how many of you would WANT to buy Windows if it didn't automatically come as part of the machine?

As a user above has said Microsoft is increasing the bloat to force us to upgrade our hardware, and upgrading our hardware feeds them more money in the form of a new OEM.

people are sick of upgrading, with the carbon cult focusing on energy efficiency, AV Joe public doesn't want a hungrier machine with a new bigger processor, he wants something efficient.

San Francisco's 'rogue' sysadmin still being paid while in jail



"though it says they will convene a meeting on whether Childs should be place on “unpaid leave”, possibly as early as this Thursday."

So let me get this straight, you ask someone to leave their post for insubordination, they lock you out of the system causing a huge cost to fix it, he goes to jail, you continue to PAY him, then you go to "Convene a meeting" to stop paying him...

"Nothing dramatic has changed in terms of our ability to govern the city," Damn right, you couldn't manage a piss up in a brewery.

Mine's the one with the master password in the coat pocket.

Grand Theft Auto reportedly inspires teen rampage


GTA inspired...

Those guys should have remembered that to get rid of a wanted level you needed a vehicle and a Pay'n Spray, One of those in every city according to the game.

Stamping on the spam or wading through it?



To fix backscatter you really need to properly implement SPF checking on inbound traffic and have a SPF record against your domain's DNS.

Most mail hosts are checking using SPF these days and its a great tool for cutting down the backscatter.

Google tips hat to St George - finally



"There has been cancellations of st. george's day parades because it might offend none-english"

From the same source who said the Red Arrows were barred from the 2012 games for being "Too British"?

But hey we love to make fun of the political correctness gone mad in this country. Oh and Welsh and Scottish MPs barred for voting on English laws thanks.



Well from my perspective St Patrick's day seems to always get all the attention (with Irish Americans, Guinness and what have you) and the other patron saints do get forgotten.

I do also agree that its only fair that the Scots and Welsh get their mentions as well.

Also on the subject of St George's day, its not just about England you know... Other countries have St George as their patron saint including Georgia (hmm lets think on that name for a while shall we?) So lets get some recognition for St George, St Andrew and the others please.

BOFH: The London Underground vending machine conspiracy

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No IT Department should be without one

That's right we need a pinch, just what the Department needs to leverage a pay rise and nuke the company back to the dark ages for a little while.

CIA demands UK halts interrogation tactics

Paris Hilton

Whats the date?

Cheers El Reg, good April fools

Paris because, well she appreciates being interrogated.

Mozilla plugs 10 security holes in Firefox

Gates Horns

RE:Multiple browsers

To be perfectly honest I really do not like the way IE works with tabbed browsing it seems more klunky than FF. Also Firefox enables me to re-open my existing tabs from my old session, something IE falls short of along with In-line spell checking.

Still if your complaining about the number of updates from Mozilla you have obviously never installed the NoScript addon into Firefox. The makers of that plugin seem to update it every week practically!

Even if FF has had more updates of late than IE that would not prove much. Microsoft can easily wait and stick in plenty of fixes into a single windows update patch, or better yet keep vulnerabilities secret so they can point the finger at the Mozilla lot who are fixing their bugs. Fortunately that's the difference with Open Source you can see what has been reported and what is being fixed, Microsoft only seems to act swiftly when some security expert finds a massive exploit and loudly shouts it.

For all the flag waving about IE7 you would never have got it had Firefox not been around to show what a god awful and insecure browser IE6 truly was, suddenly having an alternative proved that the IE6 monopoly was bad and it showed. Remember Microsoft originally planned IE7 for Vista only but ended up having to make it available for XP users to try to regain lost ground with Mozilla.

Anti-trust committee checks out Windows 7

Gates Horns

@ "You fools just keep paying for it..."

"You fools just keep paying for it whether it works or not. I doubt they care much about how well it works because they continue to make a truck load regardless. Fools.

Stop using it and send a message that they have to start making software (OS) that actually works well and earn their cash for a change."

So tell me did your PC have a Windows code sticker on it when purchased?

You are aware that its practically impossible to buy a complete system without a Windows OEM Pre-installed and part of the cost these days right?

Seriously every PC outlet sells all complete systems with OEM Windows to Joe Public, If you buy a whole system you will pay M$ its that simple. The only way to avoid this is to either build your own system buy the Linux one from Dell's extremely well hidden Linux system's web page.

Face it if your PC has a Windows code stuck on it, you paid already. There is simply no option NOT TO for the relatively IT clueless Joe Public, which is the problem.

Terminator Salvation is go for May 2009 release



My own opinion is that ever since seeing the future scenes in T1 that there was a big interest always in the back of my mind to see the Future War side of the story. Certainly my original opinion hearing about T2 was "It should have been set in the future", thankfully it did well enough to pass my expectations and I did enjoy it.

Now T3 was way too much, the gags were not funny (Arnie waking into a bar on ladies night, wearing the gay glasses, a 0Silberman gag again?, oh please) and the action was pretty much contained to driving a crane down a street and wrecking everything.

T3 should have been set it in that "possible future" showing that side of the story without even needing to explain away or reference the ending of T2... Would have been a much better way to handle it. But no Hollywood had to milk it for two movies instead of one and place in a series...

Filesharers petition Downing Street on 'three strikes'

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E-Petitions are a waste of time anyway, all you will get for your trouble is a "We are right and your wrong" email sent out to everyone who signed, its not even worth it.

Gilligan's bomb: Is it time to panic yet?

Black Helicopters

fear game is old

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Too true.

Humans are easily manipulated by fear, the reality throughout history is that the leadership of the time in any nation or empire would choose an enemy and use the fear of that enemy to gain power and/or wealth.

The Cold War kept the fear going with the old "Duck and cover" drills on children in schools when the reality is a Nuclear bomb would kill anyone who tried to take cover, either instantly or from radiation sickness...

In an age when the "Evil commies, bent on world domination" are no more we are left with the Jihadis no matter how incompetent they may be. (and given how few attacks actually succeeded since 9/11 on western targets, if this super organisation Al Qaeda does in fact exist it must be seriously incompetent)

In the meantime new legislation gets passed revoking more rights and liberties... Oh well off to my bunker, nasty little terrorists can't catch me there.

Facebook loses a few bitches


I'll get my coat.

Well I can honestly say that when having a profile on those sites starts effecting your real life prospects (such as recruiters checking your on-line profile when you apply for a job, etc) Friends Reunited had similar horror stories about marriage breakups, employers seeing what someone had written and sacking them over it, etc. Facebook is no different in this regard.

People are now either getting clued up to the risks or just plain getting bored with social networking. Web 2.0 bubble has burst, and the sweetest part of this now is that Microsoft is going to lose money over it as the realisation creeps in that Facebook was vastly overvalued.

Popcorn anyone?

Comcast: Our BitTorrent busting is 'best in class'



"I think ISP's are fully of crap. If you advertise a 5mb/s connection, the consumer ought to be able to max out 5mb/s all day without affecting anyone else."

This is the problem of offering a contended service. All these products work by having contention on the bandwidth because the assumption is made that not everyone is going to be using their downloads at the same time. (Much like how they don't expect everyone in the UK to be on the roads with their cars at the exact same time)

Of course this doesn't work in the real world. We all know the roads will clog up at a certain time in the morning and later on in the evening due to everyone going to work or coming home at similar times of the day. The same is true of broadband, everyone is on-line from 5pm to midnight.

The remaining problem is the nature of the technology, ADSL is an always on "Anytime" connection you give someone that facility and of course they will use it as much as they can. BitTorrent and other P2P apps just so happen to make use of this always on nature of the service by sitting there and always using the bandwidth regardless if anyone is on the computer or not and taking up space on the contended service.

Personally I do not think the problem is with P2P but its the massive oversight of providing an always-on service with contention and a subsequent "up to" speed without a minimum speed we can expect at peak times.

At the end of the day Throttling is a cheap quick fix to the problem of overselling your contended capacity and lack of investment, it involves punishing your customers for making the best out of their connections rather than investing in better equipment.

Tiscali bandwidth throttling flub fix flops

Gates Horns


I was a customer of Pipex for 3 years and experienced nothing but good service until Tiscali took them over. Pipex upgraded my line speed earlier in the year following a phone conversation with their employees (seems they wanted to update me from the old Solo 1mbit service I enjoyed for so long)

Bandwidth throttling went crazy on their network in November, WoW was unplayable (among other things) and after being extremely hacked off dealing with issues with Pipex support (who were now operating from a more expensive phone line with their "we value your call" on hold automated services) I got my MAC.

Pipex retaliated by taking £151 out of my account when I requested the MAC saying I was in contract following the line speed upgrade. I didn't consider myself to be and I sent them a letter with printed proof of all email correspondence regarding the upgrade, no mention of a contract and demanded the money be re-paid and warning that I had already spoken to OFCOM and if they didn't repay I would take it to arbitration.

They backed down and repaid my money.

If anyone is still with Tiscali and Pipex, please do yourselves a favour and get your MAC code and do not be afraid to kick up a stink.

UK shamed in world privacy league

Black Helicopters

Darn China beat us to it.

Finally the UK is doing well at something, if we get even worse we will finally be able to beat those pesky Chinese to the top of the bad countries table!

In the meantime I am off to my mountain bunker to try to hide.

Antarctic Xmas punch-up airlift cost £45k


"You know who your mates are... Belong"

Would make a better TV AD IMO.

Still £45k for airlifting a couple of drunken brawlers away, better off keeping them there and letting Darwinism take over.

Antarctic base staff in drunken Xmas punch-up


Just like that Carling add...

Everyone stranded out in the freezing cold, "Its Christmas lets go outside", *WHACK* "You know who your friends are..."


Gene Simmons blames college kids for ruining music biz



This is a good example of another washed up has-been who is no longer relevant opening their mouth about how bad it is he couldn't make that sort of scamming money today.

Personally my own view of the record industry is that there is a big problem with quality on albums. I used to buy an album from a band I liked the sound of and rarely got disappointed with the tracks on it, sure you may get the odd one bad track but that was the minority.

I remember buying an album after hearing a couple of songs I liked the sound of on the radio, then when I actually listened to it I found out those two or so songs were the only good ones on the whole CD and the rest of the album was awful. (Think it was Kaiser chiefs, someone tell those guys "na-na-na-na-na" is not a song)

Yeah I felt robbed , songs designed to be singles used to front the album and the rest of it being totally rubbish. Seems to be a growing trend these days. I now resort to downloads, I will only pay now for an album I deem is worth the price after checking its contents first.

Bring on the Radiohead / Reznor pricing model, unbundle the albums and give us freedom of choice.

Californian sues Comcast over BitTorrent throttling

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Good, ISPs need to be held to account.

Glad to hear that Comcast is being sued over this.

While I don't care one way or the other about file sharing itself what does bother me is the false advertising put out by Internet Service Providers.

Usage of misleading terms like "Unlimited", when the reality is the service can be Throttled at any time by the ISP if they decide your usage is a tad high.

Don't get me started on the "Up to" speeds nonsense. If a car manufacturer sold you a car that could go "Up to 100mph" and the reality was you only got half that speed, people sure as hell would not stand for it.

If ISPs cannot provide the services they advertise then they should be forced to not make such exaggerated claims.

Dell's Linux sleight of hand


Yes we are doing Linux...

But we will put it on a separate site out of the way so that nobody can find it. Then later on we can always say "well we tried but didn't make enough money" and pull the plug.

Ubuntu should be an Option on ANY Dell machine currently available and sitting there alongside XP, Fista and the rest, not on some half-hearted out of the way site that only sells one type of PC or Laptop with Ubuntu.

A PR move so they can say "We do support Linux" and yet not be serious about it.

Windows Genuine Advantage cries wolf (again)


if you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to hide.

Well James that is the sort of junk I am sure the Nazis said as well when their secret police were rounding people up for interrogation...

Amazing how many people happily hand over their privacy and freedoms to those who do not deserve it citing those words.

At the end of the day if you have paid your money and bought the software, you certainly should not need to justify that and be forced to keep justifying it.

Guilty until proven innocent, that seems to be the way the world works these days...

Jordan names sprog 'Princess Tiaamii'



I can see these parents were thinking "what shall we call our child so they don't get beaten up in school?"