* Posts by Ian Halstead

83 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Aug 2007


For sale: One 236-bed nuclear bunker

Ian Halstead

Welding equipment... check.

If the balloon had gone up in the 80s, I made sure I knew where the local bunker was, and where I could get hold of heavy duty welding equipment and lengths of railway track at very short notice.

Bunker... tomb... two words easily confused.

Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo

Ian Halstead


This problem will never be solved until cyclists are physically separated from motor traffic. Time we have a government able to forward plan infrastructure beyond the next six months. Or at all.

Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Ian Halstead

Tubular steel

I think the rear section of fuselage behind the cockpit was constructed with tubular steel lengths with duraluminium cross members, and then covered with fabric. Tough and easy to repair.

Rap chap tapped for $3 BEELLION: Apple buys Dr Dre's Beats

Ian Halstead

Now do it properly...

Sell the Dr Dre Beats headphones section — might be worth talking to Alan Sugar or Gerald Ratner — and buy Grado, a headphone manufacturer that builds quality headphones capable of reproducing music, and give them the investment. Then leave them alone to get on with it.

Super-fast super-massive black hole spins at nearly light-speed

Ian Halstead

NGC 1365? Pah! – rename it

I suggest Campbell or Mandelson as alternatives.

Bill Gates: iPad is OK, but what Apple really needs is a SURFACE

Ian Halstead


Surface - that thing you slowly sink beneath when your barnacle encrusted vessel becomes unseaworthy.

Apple makes Cocoa with Porridge

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up

And in the former 'classic Mac OS'

Was buried the phrase...

Help, help we are being held prisoner in a system software factory.

Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

Ian Halstead

Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

Not sure of the speed, but he was accelerating at 9.8 m/s².

Hacktivist 'Hardcore Charlie' claims China military hack

Ian Halstead

Lukk- I kan spel funny tou.

Pity he didn't hack into the offices of the Oxford English dictionary.

UK lags US in online content spending

Ian Halstead

Now what's that phrase...

... oh yes, 'rip-off Britain'.

STUNNING NEW APPLE DEVICES that will follow the iPad 3 HD!

Ian Halstead

Re: Satire

Indeed. Never have the possibilities been so cruelly dispatched by the actuality, since Michael McIntyre.

Proview parks IPAD battle tanks on Apple's US lawn

Ian Halstead

That money pit...

...is no doubt lined with polished meteorite.

***Shock horror - apple user (me) almost has sense of humour***

Record numbers of readers flock to The Register

Ian Halstead

Just wondering....

.... how techeye.net is doing?

Pay-by-wave: At least it's better than being mugged

Ian Halstead

"It will come....

.... whether the public wants it or not."

Like everything the banks and large retailers do then to 'enhance our experience'. A little enhancement on the number of bank counter staff and on till check-outs would be preferable, but hey they'd have to employ people wouldn't they?

I have not voted for this. You are infringing my freedoms.. etc etc...

Would you let your car insurer snoop on you for a better deal?

Ian Halstead

Young drivers eh? Also include this...

....a device that disables the sound system whilst any windows are open.

Google tells Iranians: Change your Gmail password

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up

Only one rule to remember

You wear a real Rolex?

You are a fake human being.

Battery deal points to thinner, lighter iPad 3

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up

On the subject of battery technology - continuous extrusion

Interesting piece on Radio 4 recently about Leeds Uni having developed continuous extrusion lithium polymer gel batteries that are safer than typical lithium batteries using liquid electrolytes, and extrusion means a continuous manufacturing process and just chop to length. This could slash manufacturing costs.

I don't suppose for a minute that there's a UK based manufacturer who's licensed this....... is there? Be nice if there was.

Bury council defends iPads for binmen

Ian Halstead

All a bit bi-polar really

It's when you come down afterwards on using a Windows box – that's when the illness really bites.

Scientists devise 260GB CD-size glass disc storage tech

Ian Halstead

Didn't HAL....

.... have transparent memory banks in 2001?

**Runs off to find if it was first described in the original book or just in the film**

Gotta love those ale containing memory modules.

Martian water slides caught on camera (maybe)

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up


Will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of Mars?


Mega-colossal space raincloud found at moist black hole

Ian Halstead

Anyone got a bag of large nails to hand?

That looks like one very big mountain bike tyre heading this way.

Facebook promises 'awesome' launch next week

Ian Halstead


That'll be the 'awwwww' sound we make when something dies.

Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye

Ian Halstead


For a minute there I thought you were going to be posing with a fretless bass. Good luck all the same. Your successor has a tough act to follow.

Twittering NASA 'naut's Moon snap honoured

Ian Halstead

Sue him now.

Rip off of your 'Paris - Graphic Revelations' box ad image. That is your logo projected onto the moon isn't it?

Ten... over-ear headphones

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up

Grado - the unsung headphone heros

I have to agree about the Grados - prices range from £90 to £1,600 (yes, really) but they are all imbued with a degree of effortlessness and clarity without an artificially boosted and lumpy bass end found in so many other designs. Bass is solid and extended, and the degree of clarity throughout the sound spectrum range puts others to shame. Highly recommended.

Steve Jobs chucks Apple server biz from pram

Ian Halstead

Deserve everything we get?

An extraordinarily easy to use and implement server that doesn't require a techie to get it up and running. For small shops like us it's been utterly cost effective - we run Mac OS X Server on a 6 year old old bog standard G5 Power Mac, rather than a dedicated X-Serve machine. For corporates buying X-serves by the dozen however, then yes, you may have a point. In that situation it would have made sense to go with the mainstream unless you had some very niche requirements.

Sanity also involves checking alternatives with an open mind.

Legendary steampunk computer 'should be built' - programmer

Ian Halstead

But will the design allow for...

a doubling of boiler and furnace capacity every 18 months?

Virgin cables up Pot Noodle place via power poles

Ian Halstead
Black Helicopters

Crumlin? Pot Noodle factory?

Wasn't the Pot Noodle developed at Porton Down? Does Hans Blix know about this? He needs to be sent to Wales to investigate.

Microsoft swings axe at 'hundreds' of jobs globally

Ian Halstead
Gates Horns

Is it....

... some sort of IQ measurement?

SpaceX Falcon 9 achieves orbit on maiden flight

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up

That capsule...

Looks like a cgi of a Playmobile scene to me.

Queuing for an iPad? Why?

Ian Halstead

PowerPoint? Eh?

You wouldn't run it even if you could - would you? Keynote shows up PowerPoint for the hopelessly unintuitive mess that it really is.

Nice to see all these people who have actually tried an iPad for a reasonable period of time making valid comments that are not just based on guesswork or preconceptions.

Welsh police come down hard on Octopussy porn

Ian Halstead

A clear case of...

...being up before the beak then.

'Phantasmal' bioweapon drug-sweat microfrogs bred in UK

Ian Halstead
Paris Hilton


Michael Palin called and wants to know if they are crunchy, and can you cross the Andes on one?

Paris? Frogs - Paris, Paris - frogs... oh never mind....

Jesus descends to Google Earth

Ian Halstead
Jobs Halo

Did Leonardo da Vinci ever visit Hungary?

Has elements of his style about it, and he was known for the odd practical joke. Where's Brian Sewell when you need him?

Steve? When are we going to move on to likenesses of Steve Jobs I wonder?

Microsoft's 'record' quarter can't match Apple

Ian Halstead

OK, where do we start on this one?

Firstly, colours nailed to the mast. I buy and use Apple gear at home and work, and personally think I'm better off for it, and would probably endlessly gripe at having to use Windows (for a few days anyway) ... BUT...

... we really don't need Apple supporters like this. I could understand the reaction if you'd just published an unquestionable paper bringing down the whole edifice of sub-atomic physics or something and people were attacking you personally, but THIS unreserved gloat; all over a choice of computer?

Please don't live your life judging YOUR worth solely by how others on whom you pin your faith are doing. It demeans humanity for a start. And yes, Windows users are included. Some of my very best friends use Windows, and we get along fine. Life's too short.

Bill? To show that an Apple fan can put that icon on their post and not suffer any detrimental..... hang on... why's my skin shrivelling up and going green.... I can only see images of Ballmer through my three eyes... must resist...

US X-37B robot minishuttle: 'Secret space warplane'?

Ian Halstead

Hmmmm... disabling a satellite the fun way.

Two or three thrust reversers fitted over carefully chosen nozzles should do it. Just a little nudge before you leave would be all that's required.

Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

Ian Halstead

When my beer...

... starts paying for itself, I might think again about ID cards. Not until.

PS there's an avenue for a bribe there if anyone's listening. (And they probably are).

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history

Ian Halstead
Thumb Down

Thankyou. Damned by your own gob.

I won't be voting Conservative.

A few choice words and phrases that did it for me:

"Leveraged" What's wrong with 'used'?

"Cloud computing". Cloud thinking. Means nothing without explicit context.

"empowering" You mean giving the illusion of power.

"...government datasets to be manipulated and presented by others..." Manipulated is the operative word, Governments are the experts. I can see the excitement of lunatic fringe groups with all the grasp of statistical analysis of a typical slug. "Hello I'm from the Wool Safety Council and want to know how many died in horrific knitting accidents last month. None you say? Same as all the months before?"

Headline: Horrific knitting deaths still at record levels.

I think I know what he means but it's the way it comes over... A simple "We'll release all government data that's safe to be in the public domain" would be a start. At least we might get a debate about the word 'safe'.

Oh well, at least no-one said "going forward".

Is there a party with someone who knows of what they speak, when forming and explaining IT policy?


Ian Halstead
Black Helicopters

This 2m blue door...

My Great Uncle lost a 2m peacock blue circular door when serving on USS Eldridge in 1943. I'm putting a claim in.

'Switch to Century Gothic to save the planet'

Ian Halstead
Gates Horns

Good point

Good point, although the larger x-height of the lower case characters means that the point size can be dropped without affecting legibility. This should more than make up for increased line lengths.


Arial has been described as Helvetica without the style. Ouch. (Hence Bill, as MS helped to popularise it)

Intel Labs unveils PC power plans

Ian Halstead

Just for a second there...

... I thought the headline read:

Intel Labs unveils PowerPC plans.

I might need to go to the pub to calm down.

For sale: One des res nuclear bunker

Ian Halstead

In the 80s...

... I'd planned, on surviving any conflagration, to get hold of some oxyacetylene welding gear and do a good job of welding up the doors of any bunkers I came across. I knew where most of the the local ones were.

Imaging the faces if you will, after the two weeks of self-imposed isolation is up.

"At last we can get out of this hell-hole and build a future, a bright future worthy of our position and importance. I declare this bunker now open..... What do you mean the door's stuck Carruthers? God damn it man, let me have a go.... OK chaps, anyone know how much food and water we have left?"

MS uses court order to take out Waledac botnet

Ian Halstead
Black Helicopters

Were you...

...in Dubai recently by any chance?

Ian Halstead

Apple - root, admin and user

Apple include a root account in Mac OS X, but this is effectively an invisible account to both administrators and users, requiring it to be activated as it doesn't run by default.

An admin account can install software, create/delete users and effectively manage a Mac day to day without impediment, but can't get down to system level stuff that requires root access. A password is required to install software or make changes that affect other users.

A user account requires an Admin user name and password to install software, and to make changes that affect other users.

Microsoft loses appeal on Word injunction

Ian Halstead

Call the lawyers.

"... it really ticks me off when I have to confirm what I want to do twice or more on things."

Oh oh.... looks like the Reg has infringed a Windows patent.

Swindon twins with Walt Disney World

Ian Halstead

The last time I visited Swindon...

... was to see my g/f from nearby Wroughton. While I was there Elvis died. Do you suppose if I went again, Ant and Dec might cop it?

Microsoft and EU close on browser settlement?

Ian Halstead

Ah, the 'socialist' word

Let's assume you are from the US. The US has an army. Run by the government. From taxes. It isn't private is it? No. It's a socialist organisation that benefits the state by being able to defend that state. It's for the greater good. Socialist in nature. OK, it sometimes needlessly attacks other states as a by product, but there you go.

Well in Europe we've taken this idea to declare a war on health and education, and have armies for that too. Paid for by taxes in most countries of the EU, just like you pay for your army. Not that different really are we? You see all you are frightened of is a silly word.

Stanford prof pops lid on paint-on battery tech

Ian Halstead
Thumb Up


Another decisive blow for the Reg Sub-Heads writing team. You make the Sun look decidedly amateur guys.

Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy

Ian Halstead

Dear Eric...

Knowledge is power. Power to obfuscate. Power to target. Power to subvert. And all of it to my data. This power means a loss of control on our part Eric. You should only give control to those you trust. Why are you bent on destroying any last vestiges of that trust?

Imagine wearing a special headset Eric. One that targets, obfuscates and subverts every conversation you have.

One that boost the audio level of certain target words, leaving others inaudible.

One that leaves out some entire phrases, whilst boosting others.

One that substitutes some words for others.

One that talks to others' headsets and mutually alters their behaviour further.

One that does this without the wearer really knowing how or why.

Are we getting there yet Eric? Has the penny dropped? Or just your guard?

Icon design for dummies fanbois

Ian Halstead

Keep it simple

Like all design, icon design looks easy. It isn't. The best icons are understood in an instant, accentuate the function and are not separate from it.

By all means get the function of your application working perfectly - this should be done as a matter of course anyway, but making a great application is all about attention to detail, and this includes the icons. They are not design 'fluff' to be added as an afterthought.

Pint? Form and function excellently combined.