* Posts by Duncan Hothersall

329 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jul 2007


Newsnight presenter pwned by snarky hack

Duncan Hothersall

Been like that for ages. The Twitter storm was just cos someone noticed and thought it was funny.

Sun rises over .xxx smut domain

Duncan Hothersall

I fervently hope

that Prince Edward is at this moment reserving www.esse.xxx for his Earldom domain name. And some enterprising candlemaker must be considering www.aaa.xxx?

Sony prices up PlayStation telly for UK

Duncan Hothersall


Having read all that I was expecting a price tag somewhere north of £1k for this beastie. I'm not in the market for such a thing, but £500 does seem, well, pretty good value for this. And this is a Sony product. Quite a thing.

Ashley Highfield quits Microsoft, becomes Scotsman boss

Duncan Hothersall


Johnston Press has been haemorrhaging cash and stock price recently, on dwindling newspaper revenues. By November the number of share options required to reach the heady heights of £500,000 might exceed those available in the scheme!

Developer fury as Google makes Android apps vanish

Duncan Hothersall


This must be why having read your review of Historypin and decided to download it, I couldn't find it in the market when I typed in its exact name.

Roll on Amazon's market launching in the UK.


Duncan Hothersall

Doesn't show up in Android Market for me

Maybe a phone version thing. Shame, cos it sounds ace and I have some Edinburgh photos I could add.

Renault readies sub-£7000 e-car for Blighty

Duncan Hothersall

2 seats?

Are those pictures of a different vehicule then?

Dell flings Froyo tablet at Brits

Duncan Hothersall

Actually I want 3G on a tablet

which is why I said it. I use my phone for calls and texts, and have it on a cheap tariff for them from Orange. I use my tablet for internet stuff and have it on a cheap tariff for that from 3. I save money and have two devices which can function independently. And my phone's battery doesn't get hit with constant wireless comms.

I understand the argument but for me, the killer tablet feature is 3G.

Duncan Hothersall

No 3G, no good

3G is the killer feature for tablets. If you can't access the internet wherever you are, most of the apps and features on a tablet are pointless. 3G is the game changer.

Halifax cuts investment accounts off from the web until April 2012

Duncan Hothersall

Two points

1. BoS calls a significant part of their range of savings accounts "investment accounts", so it IS ordinary savings accounts that are being cut off for a year.

2. While not covered in the story, this same migration is affecting ALL accounts including current accounts, with features like historical statements being removed.

So all BoS customers are affected, in fact, not just some perceived elite.

Wannabe baby-kisser lies on political honesty phone-in

Duncan Hothersall

No, no deceit here, move along now

I was driving through the Kings Cross area when I stopped to offer a lift to a young constituent, etc.

Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

Duncan Hothersall


You keep missing my point. I'm not making a comparison between this incident and the earthquake and tsunami which caused it. You are, but I am not. My question over the term "minor incident" is not comparative between those two. Okay? So please stop telling me that the earthquake was a major incident and that that therefore somehow proves that the reactor problems were a minor one. It doesn't follow at all.

I'm not caught up in any melodrama. I'm saying that when I look at what happened at Fukushima, I don't call it a minor incident. I'm also saying that the reason that description was there is that El Reg got carried away with the narrative it has been pushing on this story since it happened. I'm all for rational, calm and expert views on this. Calling this a minor incident is not rational. It's gone far too far the other way. And I believe it was done for shock value to prove the size of Mr Page's journalistic cojones, because he loves being the Bringer Of Truth and the Slayer of Hysteria.

I think he got it wrong. So do a lot of other people. That's not an over-dramatisation, it's just my opinion.

Duncan Hothersall


I think it's well established that the extent of the media attention garnered was not warranted. I'm delighted to agree that many people understood the science and ignored the doom-mongers. And of course the assessment of whether anything is major or minor is subjective, so on one level this all just hot air.

I guess my feeling is this: over 100,000 people were evacuated; emergency action resulted in permanent shutdown of at least three reactors; estimates say it will cost at least $5 billion to recover; and the loss of generating capacity has caused blackouts in one of the most densely populated areas of the country. If that's a minor incident, what in the name of fuck is a major one?

Duncan Hothersall

@Ammaross Danan

Thanks for the clarity on the cooling systems; my shorthand wasn't intended to be misleading. And thanks for the further information/speculation on other incidents. I have one question: given your description would you seriously call this a "minor" incident? That is my sole point.

Duncan Hothersall

Oh James...

A backslash in a closing tag? Really? Dear me.

Duncan Hothersall


Here's the thing. I don't disagree that it took the media's attention away from the real tragedy. I'm perfectly capable of recognising that some of the reporting around this has been alarmist and unhelpful. I haven't made any claims about my expertise, nor based any of my stated view on what anyone told me in the pub. And I'm not James Delingpole.

None of that takes away from the fact that this was not a minor incident. These 6 reactors were hit by a 9.0 earthquake followed by a major tsunami, and three failover cooling systems failed in succession leading to helicopter drops of seawater, radiation leaks and sizeable explosions.

It may be an incident with far less significance than some have claimed; it certainly should not have been the biggest story emanating from Japan. But it's not a minor incident and calling it that was an exercise in journalistic willy-waving.

Duncan Hothersall

Oh fuck off Lewis.

It was not a minor incident. I know it gives you a military hardon to be the guy who puts us morons in our place about the realities of nuclear power, but calling this a minor incident doesn't make you look clever, it makes you look really fucking stupid.

Moving to Windows 7: Is it worth it?

Duncan Hothersall
Thumb Down


"We are also beginning to see significant applications that do not work on XP, like Microsoft’s forthcoming Internet Explorer 9. Support is another issue, with Microsoft set to end extended support in April 2014."

Surely this merely represents Microsoft deliberately forcing users to upgrade, as it always has? There are no reasonable reasons why IE9 shouldn't be engineered to work on XP, and Microsoft ending extended support is also a marketing decision.

Oracle kills Sun.com after starvation diet

Duncan Hothersall

The network is no longer the computer


Apple to Microsoft: 'App Store name is not generic'

Duncan Hothersall
Gates Horns

A plague on both their houses

For the owners of a trademark for the generic term "windows" to argue that "app store" is too generic to be trademarked is just ludicrous.

Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists during live interview

Duncan Hothersall

The "wider Westboro Baptist Church"?

You mean her dad and her brothers and sisters? It ain't that wide.

Virgin tempts Brits with fee-free TiVo

Duncan Hothersall
Thumb Up

Ah, thanks

I've not had any major probs with mine, but don't use it that extensively. Perhaps I am a televisual luddite. Anyhoo, now I know I don't need to get excited about this special invitation which arrived on my doormat yesterday.

Duncan Hothersall

What's the difference

between this and the V+ box I already have, anyone please?

Texting teenager plunges to his death

Duncan Hothersall

I believe this is what they call

an accident. Regrettable, tragic for those involved, but not indicative of any need to further regulate, control or amend. As long as there are tall buildings, people will accidentally fall off them. It's sad, but it's not possible or sensible to try to legislate against it.

Kindle update to add 'proper' page numbers

Duncan Hothersall


Actually it is, if you read the release notes. Amazon are adding the metadata to a subset of the books that they themselves have produced on behalf of other publishers. The VAST majority of Kindle books will not have this feature.

Duncan Hothersall

The majority of page numbers on Sony readers

are automatically generated on the basis that a new page is assumed every 1024 characters. Only where the publisher has done additional work to map in page numbers do they correspond to the printed book - and that is rare.

Duncan Hothersall
Thumb Down


It is the people who produce the books who will have to add such metadata to their eBooks. And it is a royal pain in the arse to do. Sounds like Amazon is announcing a feature *enabling* congruent page numbering but deliberately not mentioning that it won't universally *deliver* congruent page numbering.

Man stabbed to death by chicken

Duncan Hothersall
IT Angle


is why bootnotes is the best bit of El Reg.

Apple iPad vs... the rest

Duncan Hothersall

Thickness & weight

I use a Galaxy Tab day to day but recently had it and an iPad together for a few days on a trip, and while the unfamiliarity of the iPad meant I only used it for the presentations I had to do, so I can't honestly compare usability, your comment about the weight and thickness really surprised me. I would have sworn blind that the iPad was thinner and lighter than the Tab. Just goes to show how effective the design of the iPad is.

I've grown very fond of the Tab though, and wouldn't swap it. 7in is the right size for me.

Samsung dangles £200 lure at iPad-eyeing punters

Duncan Hothersall

Web design fail

Rather splendidly the non-HTML registration form doesn't work in the Galaxy Tab browser. Had to do it on my desktop.

Much of recent global warming actually caused by Sun

Duncan Hothersall
Dead Vulture


has El Reg become an outlet for climate change denial? Did you just stop editing the fucking site, or are you just giving up all pretensions of passing on honest information in favour of whipping up clicks with garbage science?

Lewis should stick to writing stories on military toys, which he knows about, and stop indulging his anti-climate-change paranoia.

ToryDems nearly swallow Labour blueprint of equality for all

Duncan Hothersall

It's always entertaining

to read corporate responses to equality legislation. In this instance, the terms "flexibility and freedom" actually refer to the flexibility and freedom to discriminate. Tigra 07 is bang on. Treating people fairly costs very little.

iPhone fanbois run off road in CoolBrand race

Duncan Hothersall
Paris Hilton


"has withstood the test of time - whether that's for five or 50 years"

*Nods vigorously, presses emergency button under desk*

Intel snaps up McAfee in $7.68bn deal

Duncan Hothersall

I think it's nothing more than a VC gobble

Intel has more than $25 billion in cash/equivalents on its balance sheet, most of it built up fairly recently. Perhaps it was just another investment in a company for which they see big profits in the future, and they took the opportunity to gobble the whole thing up and talk up the synergy. However shit the products might be, AV is going to continue to be big business.

People have no bloody idea about saving energy

Duncan Hothersall

This really is a pisspoor rant of an article

Ludicrous comparisons to enable bitter points-scoring and absurd generalisations.

Why the fuck does it matter that people don't know how much energy is saved by line drying in comparison to how much energy is saved by turning the temperature down on a washing machine? And how about giving us some DATA is that bald accusation? Because I can prove that line drying compared to tumble drying saves more energy than turning down the temperature on my washing machine by 1 degree.

Lazy, angry, self-indulgent journalism. If I wanted that I could go to the Daily Mail.

Ellison wrestles Google to strangle 'unofficial' Java

Duncan Hothersall

bush, not Bush

It was a plant before it was a president.

Apple iPhone 4

Duncan Hothersall
Thumb Up

It is largely a function of how much of a sweaty fat fuck you are.

Thank you. I have seen allusions to this elsewhere, but you are the first to express it in clear language that I can understand. Since I am a very sweaty fat fuck, I shall avoid buying this product.

Much obliged.

Apple revamps Mac Mini as skinny HDMI box

Duncan Hothersall

My thoughts exactly

My original Mini recently died and I saw this and thought it might be very well timed - but £650 is just ridiculous, especially considering its price in the US.

Twitter topples over

Duncan Hothersall
Thumb Up

Releasing is the new testing

That's what all the cool developers say.

Penguin chief: Linux must 'out fabulous' Apple's iPhone

Duncan Hothersall


I was actually reacting more to the notion that this guy sees Linux devices as elbowing out MS, when as far as I can see MS is hardly on the radar. Apple's OS, Android, Symbian and the Blackberry OS are all in the game, but Windows for Phones or whatever it's called? Nah.

Duncan Hothersall

Did anyone think Windows was the prime competitor?

Symbian is a better contender.

NetSecure SmartSwipe credit card reader

Duncan Hothersall
Thumb Up


Good stuff thanks. That answers a lot of questions that the review didn't even ask and in my opinion should have done. It deals with all but two of my original misgivings, those that remain being:

1. Using the product requires placing implicit trust in your company, essentially an unknown third party. I guess this could be ameliorated by various verification schemes which you may already have in place. Something which embeds itself in the CSP obviously already has been verified by MS but many people wouldn't view that as enough reassurance.

2. The banner "You are now safe to shop online" is still presumptive - surely there are plenty of other dangers, not least at the merchant end. Even a product which offers good security should be wary of claiming it is offering more than it does.

Kudos for coming back and setting me and others straight.

Duncan Hothersall

But it should be down to you

to point out that such peace of mind would be entirely unjustified. This device will do nothing to improve online shopping security, potentially a great deal to undermine it, and so people who are intimidated by this internet malarkey would simply be taken for a ride with this SmartSwipe malarkey.

Duncan Hothersall

My irony meter has exploded

This is a joke review, right? I mean, even if the product is real, which I'm having difficulty believing, there's no way El Reg would run a review of it without pointing out the glaring ironies that:

. a product which claims to make shopping secure forces you to use the least secure browser on the least secure operating system to do so;

. the claim that "you are now safe to shop online" is based purely on the idea that all danger to online purchasing comes from potential keyloggers active during your first registration with a site, which is so woefully untrue as to be practically fraud in itself;

. to use the product you have to actively place your trust in an unknown company and a downloaded piece of software which connects to the internet for updates so could easily connect to log your card details too;

. literally all it does is input card numbers into a box, and uses a script to interfere with a secure website in order to "hide" the number on-screen, laying open the possibility that such a script could literally be doing anything else it wants with the data it has captured.

65%? Seriously? I'd give this 0% and a "stay away at all costs" rating.

Humanity evolved to cope with 30°C+ heat, says prof

Duncan Hothersall


Adam and Steve were created by the FSM and His Noodley Appendage.

Mail my printer - I'm busy!

Duncan Hothersall

Can't you already do this?

I'm pretty sure various network printer drivers have been supporting this sort of thing for yonks, though perhaps this is the first time it's been built into the printer itself. Nonetheless, I am unmoved. Unless there is a button which tells the printer to go to my shelf and load a single sheet of photo paper first.

Terence Conran slams 'appalling' Olympic mascots

Duncan Hothersall


Every time a Conran or a Bayley spouts forth on anything it tends to make me more fond of the item being criticised, what with them both being world-class wankers.

Labour manifesto: More ID cards, less NHS IT

Duncan Hothersall


"Labour’s view is that crime is down".

Yes. That's because crime is down. According to every credible study.

Anyone who tells you crime in general is increasing is lying. Some types of crime may have gone up, but the overall crime rate has dropped considerably.

iPad apps flood Apple's App Store

Duncan Hothersall

You've clearly never come across

the Lakeland Omelette Maker

Facebook prepares for another privacy row with its users

Duncan Hothersall


"However, we've definitely identified some interesting opportunities to improve the way you share and connect with the people and things in your life."

How entirely selfless of you. I really am flattered that you continue to go to such trouble without any urging and without a thought for the expense and challenges you burden yourselves with. My only hope is that somehow, some day, you find a way to recoup the never-ending investment you are making into my wellbeing.