* Posts by Dai Kiwi

35 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Feb 2007

Asus Eee keyboard opens CES

Dai Kiwi

@ The Mole - Re: Keypad

That did occur to me. The screen is the right size and with the comment about it being able to be configured for specific uses as well as a standard display it probably is one of the options. But I'm not sure how long it'd last with regular use like that, even with a palm/ipaq-type screen protector on it. Still, just a minor quibble - if I really wanted to use a keypad on a regular basis with it I could just buy a plug-in, as some people do already with laptops.

Regarding the keyboard, I see the report linked-to refers to the keys being individually mounted - so not a 'flexible'-type pad. They remind me of some other piece of 80s kit with low-profile plastic (not rubberised) keys - without the backlighting, obviously - but I can't think of which one offhand.

Dai Kiwi

"And everything old shall be new again..."

I'm sure there are comments in the queue already which will allude to an era of personal computing in the 1980s that those of us of a certain age remember - VIC-20, C64, BBC and a bunch of other machines which were computers inside a keyboard. With full-HD screens plugging this in to the TV to use is even viable. Shame there's no keypad though. It'll be interesting to see what the final specs on this machine are. I could see computers in this format having a certain attraction again in home or small business use.

Last Xmas for CDs, please, researcher tells music biz

Dai Kiwi

They're sort of right

Three years ago I bought six people CDs and one person a DVD. The rest got other stuff.

This year I bought three people DVDs, two people CDs and the others got something else.

Combined CD/DVD spend - about the same each time. Only the ratio has changed

Bet the same is true for a lot of people.

Group Test: electronic book readers

Dai Kiwi


That should have read TomeReader. Doh!

Dai Kiwi

Smartphones & PDAs

In anticipation of the next article, I will say that the two most frequently used pieces of software on my trusty ipaq rz1710 are μ-book & Tomeraider. The former for reading books & the latter for using the 1.1GB offline version of wikipedia. μ-book is shareware now, but the older 0.8 free version which I've been using for several years is still floating about. A nice feature of the program is that it will read txt/rtf/htm/doc/jpg/bmp files from inside a zip file. Quite handy. Foxit's pdf reader for Windows Mobile works well too.

Wal-Mart punts industrial strength feminine deodorant

Dai Kiwi

Re: Not actually a site listing problem

I like this. Randomly changing the IDs gives some ... interesting ... combinations. Entertaining. Shame its not friday.

Next Windows name unveiled: Windows 7

Dai Kiwi

Error In Addition?

"Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore 'Windows 7' just makes sense," Nash said.

Windows 1, 2, 3, 3.11 for workgroups, NT3.5, NT4, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Server2003, Vista, Server 2008

That makes fourteen. Ok, so, disregard 1 and combine 3/3.11/3.5... Still leaves eleven. For argument's sake maybe call 2003 & 2008 rebadged versions of XP & Vista... Nope, still got nine.

I know the reality - that W2K through to Server2003 are all labeled 5-point-something-or-other and Vista is 6-point-blah, but still, do Microsoft really expect us to buy this? (figuratively AND literally). Still, better than admitting the real reason - "Everyone's calling it 'Windows 7' already. If we call it something else we'll have to spend a ton of money on advertising it, and people will still call it Windows 7. Give in to the masses."

Reg readers rage at comment icon outrage

Dai Kiwi

Text too small

Not particularly fussed about fixed width, since I rarely have my browser maximised but on this 1600x1200 monitor the text is its too bloody small to read at 100% size.

Please bring back the dead vulture.

Please revert to the old versions of the thumbs and flame.

Less pastel in the smileys would be good too.

As for new suggestions, I support the following:

Don't Panic

Good & Evil Tux - we need to round out the trinity, after all

Terminator head - for RotM etc

Shark with laser - just because

Handle of beer - for cheers, agreed, good point, it's friday, I'd never type this if sober, etc

Big Brother/1984 - because there's more than one conspiracy

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

Dai Kiwi

Taking the bait - or is that Tykin tha byt?

Since it was the Spelling Society's centennial dinner the flameworthy subject was probably a foregone conclusion, so my only additions to the comments are:

1. Which accent should we standardise spelling to outside the UK/US

2. Which accent should they standardise spelling to inside the UK & US

3. Some accents will require more use of an apostrophe if written phonetically - eg the glottal stop in London or Pacific Island speech

Anti-Kremlin website owner shot dead in police custody

Dai Kiwi
Black Helicopters

Accidents happen?

"Yes, sir - I fired a carefully aimed, accidental, warning shot three inches below the top of the victim's head."

Reg server and chip hack molested by Gray Lady

Dai Kiwi

"[H]e's leaving home..."

"Can't get into our relationship here, but we're closer than sisters."

To borrow a phrase from the old days of usenet: GIF! GIF! GIF!

Or maybe not. Anyway, good luck with the new gig.

Final Arthur C Clarke novel on the way

Dai Kiwi

@ Pete Wood

Not necessarily going to disagree with you. I rarely re-read much written after 'Moon Is A Harsh Mistress'.

The unfinished work was originally intended to be one of the 'juveniles' he did for Scribners in the 1950s, so before the indulgences of his later works.

Robinson however...

I'd've rather seen Sheffield, Steele, Scalzi or any number of others finish the job.

Dai Kiwi

Interesting collaboration

Two grand-masters working together, and Clarke apparently saw the final version of the work? Unlike the previous 'collaborations' of his I'll be looking forward to this one.

And if people want to mention abominations other than to Frank Herbert's legacy, what about the Spider Robinson hash of an unfinished Heinlein work? Dire!

Microsoft struggles to rid US shores of pesky pirates

Dai Kiwi

@ Stuart Castle

I downloaded Radiohead's album by bittorrent and therefore paid what I thought it was worth.

Gather what ye may from that.

Bell Canada chokes P2P and privacy?

Dai Kiwi

@ heystoopid

So, you obviously didn't read the bit about report by Ipoque linked to on that page, which was actually the subject of the update. Or you did, but are being selective in your interpretations.


Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot

Dai Kiwi
Thumb Up

All fine here

Just adding it as a datapoint.

AMD 64x2 4200+ in a homebuilt randomly upgraded machine. Based on the reports I didn't expect to have any problem, and it seems to be fine. Boot time is about the same.

Vista security credentials tarnished in malware survey

Dai Kiwi

Where's a link? We need more info

A quick search turned up the original (?) article on InformationWeek. Can't find anything in PC Tools' press releases.

I agree with some other's comments here - while the report is interesting there is more information wanted, and a better breakdown of threats/OS. I see the correct figure for Windows 2003 is 478:1000.

I also see that Threatfire is 32 bit only, which will definitely skew the figures for Win2003, & possibly Vista too. I'd like to know if there was a noticeable difference between XP Home & XP Pro? And likewise, do the report rates vary across the different flavours of Vista? My first instinct is to say that the home systems would have significantly higher rates than business ones. This would support the infection through ignorance thesis. If the levels are substantially the same that would put things in the favour of the 'Vista is pants' camp.

Maybe one of the Reg writers could see if they can turn up that information for us as a follow up?

MPAA copyright punch up knocks out TorrentSpy

Dai Kiwi

Theft of Copyright

I think Steen Hive is mistaken.

"Theft of copyright" has both colloquial and legal meanings. The legal definition, in various countries, IS a type of fraud, as per the examples.

Colloquially the phrase is being used to equate any type of infringement of copyright with the act of theivery.

Making a copy of something without the permission of the owner is not the same as depriving the owner of the thing itself. However, what is subsequently done with the copy may effect what civil or criminal charges could be bought against the copier.

Wikileaks exposes Scientology's zeal to 'clean up rotten spots of society'

Dai Kiwi

Russell Miller's "Bare-Faced Messiah"

Although this unauthorised but extensively researched bio of Hubbard is out of print and commanding silly prices on Amazon, it can be freely and legally downloaded from http://www.clambake.org/archive/books/bfm/bfmconte.htm

(gzip version available someway down the page)

Interesting reading.

As for CoS vs PRQ? My money is on the pirates.

Ten years old: the world's first MP3 player

Dai Kiwi

No mention of the CD MP3 players?

I honestly don't remember the first generation of mp3 players, though I do remember minidiscs being flogged at the time. My first portable mp3 memory is the discmans that could play mp3 cds. Get 8 or 10 albums on one single cd? WOW! Now that was cool.Great battery life off 2xAA cells too. The one I've currently got I bought in 2004 for NZ$50 and still use every day - since work uses thin clients not real PCs.

Now I'm just looking out for a *really* cheap portable DVD player that plays mp3 DVDs. Gotta keep up after all.

Has your shifty foreign neighbour got 16 mobes?

Dai Kiwi

We have seen the enemy and he is us

Others have as much said it : Orwell underestimated it. The war against terror is over - "They" won.

I am so glad that I left the UK.

Elonex punts £99 Linux laptop

Dai Kiwi

Could be a good book reader

A review of what seems to be a differently badged version is at www.ocworkbench.com/2007/aware/A-Book-AW-300/g1.htm

At GBP99 I'd definately be interested in using one w/out the keyboard as a book reader - its the same size as a thin trade-paperback. With a 7" screen even textbooks should be readable in a non-painful way. No mention on the battery life, I'll bet it's not be brilliant unfortunately. Guess we'll heve to wait and see if there's any difference in the specifications for Elonex's version.

Polish IT worker calculates exact speed of snail mail

Dai Kiwi

RFC standard for pigeon-post


Dai Kiwi

What's the inverse of light-speed?

Average speed from NZ to Aussie approaches infinity since you can't expect any given non-letter package to actually arrive

Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records

Dai Kiwi

@ My best guest & Vulpes Vulpes

Thanks to that Anonymous Vulture for injecting a little common sense background information.

It pretty much matches my experience from 20 years in various government, quasi-govt & formerly-govt-but-now-privatised organisations. Even within the last couple of years what he says about mail limits is true. The only other way around it would be trying to organise an ftp transfer, and there are too many layers, people & policies required to liase with to get 1.5 gig or so transferred. It would also normally be vetoed at several levels for being 'insecure'. The systems and organizations are just not set up to deal with ad hoc data transfers of that nature. The old internal mail aka 'private bag' system as run via the post office was probably just as secure.

Also, from a Head Office point of view a 'junior official' usually equates to 'policy advisor' level - those people working in the front line offices or IT aren't 'officials' until they're above middle management level.

And thanks to Vulpes for giving it an entirely appropriate Vulture spin.

Reg Standards Soviet defines temperature and force

Dai Kiwi

@ Ed Decker

The specific gravity of silicone implants is approx 0.85 to 0.95.

The maths may be done accordingly.

Sheet music site forced offline

Dai Kiwi

Bullying behaviour

I haven't heard about anyone trying the same trick with Project Gutenberg Australia who are in the same situation (50 year copyright vs longer in europe/US). Sounds like its a case of hitting the small guy because you can. Wonder what the EFF's opinion of the cease and desist letter would have been? Maybe it's not to late for Feldmahler to see.

Power corrupts, says workplace bullying survey

Dai Kiwi

Lord Acton proven right... again

Having worked in several countries for organizations large & small, public & private, as a pleb & as lower management the one thing I consistantly urge peole to do is this: If there is a Union that covers your workplace then join it. Think of it as a form of insurance. You might not need it, but if things go titsup for you it could make the difference.

Microsoft, Feds, and Chinese authorities seize $2bn in pirated software

Dai Kiwi

To clarify the numbers...

The FBI's press release - http://losangeles.fbi.gov/pressrel/2007/la072307.htm - says a total of 290,000 discs & certificates worth $500 million were seized in a number of operations. At one of the locations 47,000 M$ discs were found.

It looks like all the usual major firms were represented. That looks a bit more reasonable:

- $500 million / 290k = ~$1,725.

Microsoft's $2 billion figure is the estimated worth of the software produced by the counterfeiters over the life of their operation - 2+ years. M$ actually examined 55,000 discs over the course of the investigation.

Their press release is at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/jul07/07-24CounterfeitingSyndicatePR.mspx

Of course, as others have pointed out, full retail cost has no bearing on the amount the discs were actually sold for. It is also impossible to say what proportion of the sales represent genuine 'lost sales' to the genuine manufacturers. I wish there was some research into that last bit - both for software & for music/TV/movies.

So what's in a URL? The Reg URL?

Dai Kiwi

mmmmmmm ... puppies

Re: By Steve ".co.uk or the puppy gets it."

Posted Friday 8th June 2007 10:07 GMT

Are the puppies in a nice black-bean sauce?

Its late, dinner's on my mind...

For the rest, my opinion was best put by the person who wrote -

"The Register is a British publication that just happens to have a global readership."

Dai Kiwi

mmmmmmm ... puppies

Re: By Steve ".co.uk or the puppy gets it."

Posted Friday 8th June 2007 10:07 GMT

Are the puppies in a nice black-bean sauce?

Its late, dinner's on my mind...

For the rest, my opinion was best put by the person who wrote -

"The Register is a British publication that just happens to have a global readership."

Dai Kiwi


I'm another Kiwi who found the Reg after a search for the BOFH - probably 5 years ago or more. Quickly discovered the .co.uk vs .com url, and have used it since.

I reckon its integral to your identity.

Regardless of the truth of it, muppets@world+dog immediately associate .com with the US. Just stick a redirect from .com to the 'real' site. They'll work it out... eventually.

Paris Hilton dragged back into court

Dai Kiwi

One Rule For All

If Paris hadn't been the celeb and had done what she did, nobody would have thought twice about the sentence. In fact most of us would have called it pretty lenient.

It is not unreasonable. Any questions about her mental stability in relation to serving the sentence only highlight her state of mind generally - i.e. f*cked up as we all know.

Dell offers XP again amidst Vista complaints

Dai Kiwi

Not just the US

Dell is still offering XP as an option on those systems in Australasia - Aussie & NZ at least.

Shocking news on lunar surface

Dai Kiwi

Magnetic shielding

There's an interesting article in the Jan/Feb issue of Analog SF magazine ['Shielding a Polar Lunar Base' by Franklin Cocks] about using high temperature superconducting wire to create a magnetic shield to protect against solar charged particles.

The author reckons a 20km diameter loop would provide a 100m wide protected zone around the circumference, requiring 10kJ & 300 amps of energy.