* Posts by Cody

90 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Aug 2007


BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date


Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

You should pay the tax for the same reason that you pay other similar taxes.

The BBC is one supplier of TV services among many, but it is one that the government has chosen to make everyone pay for whether they want to or not.

In the same way, you cannot buy the Guardian without paying the newspaper tax, the proceeds of which fund the public service newspaper, the Daily Telegraph.

You cannot shop at Tesco without paying the supermarket access fee, and having a license ready to display if challenged, and of course the proceeds of this go to the public service supermarket Waitrose.

It is universal in British life that there is one service provider among many, and that to use any of the services, you have to have a license for which you pay a fee, and this fee goes to one of the providers.

Take cars, for instance. You pay a road tax, you have to, in order to be permitted to drive. Well, the proceeds go to the public service car manufacturer, Rover, or rather, nowadays, to its successor and purchaser BMW.

Why do you think broadcasting should be any different? Its the same in all other areas of life. You cannot even buy an adult men's magazine without paying a tax to have the right to read magazines, and the fees are paid to the public service men's magazine, I forget its title now, not being an aficionado of these publications....

Now people sometimes object. They say, why should I pay Waitrose for the privilege of being allowed to shop at Tesco?

Let me explain to you all once again. Waitrose is a public service supermarket. its just like the roads or the national health service or defence or the police. And its excellent value too. Just the Waitrose olive oil alone is worth the supermarket license fee. And competition from a public service supermarket makes Tesco so much better. Let me tell you, without it, you would not want to shop at Tesco who would be free to supply nothing but mouldy and past sell date goods.

You wouldn't want that, would you?

I hope this makes it all clear. it is very basic, so basic that people sometimes forget and think that there is something special about the way we fund the BBC. Well, let me tell you, there is not. it is absolutely normal and standard and permitted by the EU, so it must be all right.

Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens


Re: Perens has two shots at winning.

Whether he has testified as expert witness makes no difference. He has still carefully stated it as his opinion, and qualified that to say that its his opinion as a customer. If an attorney were asked by a journalist whether he thought Perens was right on the law, and he explained that his view of the law was the same as Perens', do you think he would be open to a defamation suit? Of course he would not be!

There is no obligation on us to be right. There is an obligation on us to be responsible in our public statements. One sign of that is that you give the grounds for your opinions, which he has done.


Statement of opinion

This has no chance of succeeding, whether he is right or wrong. He is careful to say that it is his opinion, and to give the grounds for it. He has carefully avoided simply asserting it as fact. Given that, its a non-starter and will probably never end up in court. The plaintiffs will lose expensively.

In the US also to win defamation suits you have to prove 'actual malice', which is very hard. You have to be making assertions which you know or could readily have ascertained were false, and you have to be doing it with intention to harm. The UK test does something very similar. This is a non starter.

That is my own opinion, anyway!

Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate


Theoretically you may not need a license just to have a TV set, but in practice you will not get away with just showing a connected device and claiming you never use it for live TV. Will not fly.

Iplayer may be a much more complicates story, being that any computer is instantly capable of accessing it. In the end this will require proper authentication.

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook


I wonder about £600. For about £100 you can get a win 10 tablet, 8 inch or 10 inch. Then you can pair it with a bluetooth folding keyboard. Yes, not as elegant or as self contained. But a lot more ergonomic. Admittedly it is hard to put Linux on these machines, owing to the 32bit/64bit boot issue. But if you want something which is very easy to carry in a briefcase or shoulder bag, and a lot easier to type on... For one sixth of the price? For that matter you can also put it in a keyboard case combination. I have a Linx 8 inch which I did that with, and it works very well.

PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi


Re: Mac can be pawned too.

Do you mean add to resolvconf? If so, what three lines?

Standing out from the crowd with an Android phone? You and 90 per cent of the market


This is Windows all over again.

Apple will stabilize at single digit market share, basically becoming an irrelevancy. A sort of Louis Vuitton of phones, as it is of computing.

Same thing all over again - initial lead, keep it to your own hardware, other guys OS catches up, lose share.... get irrelevant.

Fans then argue share doesn't matter....

iPhone: Apple's Mac battle with Windows rebooted


In the war with Windows, Apple followed the self defeating tactic of refusing to allow anyone else to make the hardware the OS ran on, and also refusing to contract out manufacturing. The result was that supply was limited. This did allow prices to be kept high, but since lots of people, mainly companies, had decided they needed PCs come what may, it drove them to Windows.

The Windows PCs meanwhile, because there were multiple competing suppliers, fell in price. As this happened, Apple market share fell, and funding for Windows rose, until finally Apple became something like the Louis Vuitton of computing, a tiny, expensive niche provider in a huge market.

At least this time they have not made the mistake of restricting supply and have not tried to keep manufacture in-house. They have also achieved Jobs aim of controlling what software runs on their machines.

However, in the end the dynamic is the same. They are not going to be able to keep a functionality gap. Android is basically free. In the end, you can get a £50 phone in Tesco that may not be as good as the several hundred pound iPhone. But for most people it will do the job, and so they will buy, and Apple in phones will deteriorate into the Louis Vuitton of phones. Tiny market share, very elegant, but not a player in luggage.

You can't have it all ways. Market share matters. And this is a way to lose it. If you want to see the future, look at the Mac. Old hardware, nothing remarkable about the software, and high prices

Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom


Buying for growth

The fatal sign is that Cook thinks they can get growth by acquisition. This means two things.

First that they are at a loss for ideas, and have become passive spectators of markets and trends.

Second, they have no idea that the skills required to make a success of acquisitions are completely different from those required to run their current business. The idea is totally out of touch with reality.

Its been a good ride, but we have now gone over the top, and the next way is down. The bigger the acquisition, the more hope they put into it, the steeper the path down.

Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)


My previous comment seems to have gone astray someplace.

The penalties proposed are for publishing. That is, making available in breach of copyright, whether for profit or not.

As far as I know, and please correct if wrong, there is no proposal to penalise getting a copy by a ten year sentence.

Much of the furious reaction here appears to be because people are assuming that to download, or obtain a copy in breach, is going to attract a ten year sentence. I don't think it is.

You may think that the sentence possible for publication is excessive, and that could be. However, it is for publication, dissemination. Its not for receiving.

If we want to have a publishing industry at all, there has to be a penalty which deters from the act of copying and publishing at will. The question of what penalties are required, if any, for the act of downloading or receiving is a quite different matter.

It would help with the discussion if people felt able to say how they expect the industry to look after their proposed solution to this issue is implemented. Does anyone, for instance, want to allow unlimited publication by anyone? If not, what do they want done to discourage it?

Do you want to penalise publication, but to make downloading legal for anyone anytime? That would be rather odd, and would be a perverse incentive for concealment of publication.

How do you want it to work, then?

The pachyderm punch: El Reg takes just-over-a-ton Elephone P8000 to tusk


And where exactly do you buy it for this price? On Amazon? Look it up, it seems to be £200-400.

Apple's iPad Pro: We're making a Surface Pro WITH A STYLUS over Steve Jobs' DEAD BODY


The new Nokia, running on empty

It has been a good run, but its coming to an end, as this event shows. Their only new product is the watch, and this is not going to replace the margin that is being lost from the phones.

The prices on the new iPad - if ever there was a niche product, this is it. Anytime anyone wants to they can bring in a similar Android or Windows based machine for less than half the price. A lot less.

In tech there is an inevitable movement of the market towards equivalent features of an innovator at lower and lower prices, and since there are pretty much no entry barriers, this squeezes margin. For a long time Apple had a user experience lead with iOS in smartphones, but no more.

This is exactly how it went with Nokia. They were over the top and the collapse was imminent, yet no-one could see it. The signs are there - its like cracks in the foundation - but the people in the building can't see anything.

The ipod has gone over the top well and truly. The desktops are pretty much flat. The tablets are just going over the top as we speak. The phones will be next. And the only idea they have managed to come up with is a watch which has to be recharged every 24 hours?

Buy long put options. Its over, its just that no-one can see it yet.

Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast



What's the pricing?

Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly


The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

The simplest solution if you want to retain the license fee is to stop making revenue from it a BBC monopoly, and make it available to non-profit trust structured broadcasters.

The argument against license fee is that its a breach of human rights - people should be able to watch the most common source of information and entertainment without being obliged to pay for one particular broadcaster they may not be interested in. Or where they would rather watch ITV and eat better. Or get shoes for their kids.

If you stick with a license fee this would continue to be the great injustice of it. You would still be taxing access to information and entertainment, and it would still be regressive. But at least if you share the revenue, you could give people some voice in how its spent, so that would be one small step better and fairer than the present situation.

People always get furious about these kinds of proposals because as they end up saying in roundabout ways, they like the BBC and think its a bargain at 12.00 a month.

So do I. What is wrong is that it only costs that little because those who don't want it are also paying for it.

Dead device walking: Apple iPod Touch 6th generation


use an iflash

Surely you buy the cheapest and then get a 64G i-flash for storage? Since these are fairly cheap now, buy two or three and put all the media you want on them. Wouldn't that be very effective alternative to the Cowon series? Maybe this is why Apple doesn't have a card slot - no real need for one any more.

Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays


want a large screen android e-reader

There must be a lot of people who want this too - 10 inch would be fine, bigger OK, and it should run android and not like the Sony large one be restricted to pdf. And a reasonable price too of course. Under £200.

Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook


use the sd card for the os...

How easy is it to replace the SSD with something of a sensible size? If you replaced chrome with linux it would be a great machine if it had a sensible sized drive.

Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50


Still not understanding the target market

Still not understanding the target market. Seems to require an iPhone - but when you have one of these, why exactly do you need this on your wrist?

The effort in smart watches seems to be to make them into one inch tablets. People are not making them into phones for the obvious reason you would have to take it off to hold it to your ear and use it comfortably. But the more successful they are at making them into usable tablets, the more the limitations of the way you are supposed to carry them, and their consequent tiny screen size, become apparent.

I really don't get it. My own light powered watch cost around £50 a few years ago. It does one thing and it does it perfectly, it tells the time, and it seems like it will go on doing that forever with no maintenance of any kind. Its small enough and comfortable enough that you can forget you are wearing it.

I can see fitness bands. They are a distinct wearable niche, they don't try to fit the time-watch segment, they too do one main thing and do it very well. But when you think about this use, go out for a run or a ride and you take your phone, surely? Guarantee you do if you are a woman, and most likely nowadays if a man - its a security issue. And you notice there are little holders you strap to your upper arm to carry phones in when doing this. Your upper arm, not your wrist! Or on your belt, not your wrist!

I can even see a niche for small tablets - smaller than the current minimum which seems to be four or five inches. The thing I am not seeing is why anyone would want to strap one of those to a WRIST! Carry it almost anywhere else and it would be better.

Well, we will see. Before the announcement it was merely puzzling. After it, it looks increasingly like large inventory write-offs coming later this year.

An e-reader you HAVEN'T heard of: Cybook Ocean 8"



The comparison would be with the PocketBook Inkpad 8 inch, which seems to do far far better in direct comparison reviews. Higher res and faster. But about £150 and only available from Europe at the moment (Conrad UK used to have it but seems to be out).

There are two 10 inch readers which seem to have their different merits, the M96, a pure Android reader, but lacking a high res screen, or the Hanvon WISEreader E920, which has high res screen but does not seem to be plain android. These are around £400 on Amazon.

There is also the sony, but while its huge and has a high res display it is pdf only and very very expensive.

What we need is a high res 10 inch screen, plain android, with a fast processor. Or maybe, with the new Intel stick computer, we would be OK with an e-ink monitor and run it off one of those?

The problem with current ebook readers is not so much epub or mobi - the Kobo Aura HD seems to do fine with them. Its PDFs. Lots of stuff is only available in that form, and the Kobo 7 inch screen though very nice is just too small, and it simply will not display scanned PDFs properly at all. Well, if you are trying to carry around quite a few technical articles and manuals, this reduces you a conventional tablet. Which is fine, but its tiring to read and has short battery life, and its another thing to load down the travel bag.

Maybe it is too small a market. Would have thought not. Large numbers of technical, legal and financial people need this.

ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak


noble and peculiar!

"Mont Blanc Outlet helps you enjoy the most exquisite design, elegance, nobleness and peculiarity on Mont Blanc."

I've no desire for a real Mont Blanc, still less a fake one, but out of curiousity went to one of the sites mentioned. The above is a quote, yes, you too can enjoy nobleness and peculiarity. Oh dear.

Third patch brings more admin Shellshock for the battered and Bashed


Re: replace with ksh? or zsh?

Also, looking at zsh, that's a monster, just configuring it is a major challenge. Desktop Debian with the latest bash updates seems OK tested against the exploits so far.


replace with ksh? or zsh?

Is that possible or advisable? Just uninstall bash and install one of these?

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume


Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

The problem is, its useless as a watch, but it is basically a watch.

I am currently wearing a watch that never needs a battery and keeps perfect time. I don't want a WATCH that has to be charged every night. A phone, or a tablet, or a combination of the two, yes.

The reply is, its not a watch. And then you hear people explain that it does so much more and so many different things, none of which my perpetual and accurate watch can do. This is true. All my watch can do is tell the time, perfectly and trouble free for decades on end. And rather cheap by the way - about one tenth of what the iWatch costs - and quite good looking.

As the argument continues you see that the iWatch really isn't a watch at all, its a form of wearable miniature tablet. At this point you have to start comparing it with the nexus 7 and ask why do I want to pay three times as much for something that is far less functional? Just so I can wear it on my wrist? Or three times as much as the nexus 5 if I really find the tablet too large...

People will buy this, because many in the West will at the moment buy anything Apple puts out. But the problem will come in a month or two when they find they are simply not using it, don't want to put it on, and it will start appearing on Ebay, and not too long after that in charity shops.

And in the next financial report we will see an item: inventory write downs.

5.5in iPhone 6, iWatch hypegasm: What will Apple reveal - BE the rumour


Inventory writedowns

Future inventory writedowns is what they will reveal. On a grand scale.

Larger iPad could target big biz, save Apple from low-end scrum


When the market moves, you have to move with it

Most Apple fans will repeat the same mantra: do not compete on price, stay in the high price, high margin segments. The problem is that the market is evolving so that that niche is shrinking. Apple's problem has been years in the making, but it is becoming clearer and clearer, and it the exact same problem they faced with computers in the last century. Its the same problem the British motorcycle industry had when Honda and Suzuki showed up with their ridiculous little 50cc mopeds.

Of course you cannot compete on price at that sort of level. What you can do is carry on making Bonnevilles, give up the low end segment which is just commodities, and you will be fine. Pretty soon they are offering not 50cc mopeds but 250cc fast two strokes, and then 500cc twins that are reliable and last for ever.

Not too long after that you are a specialist niche selling a few hundred a year to nostalgic enthusiasts and asking for government handouts.

This is what all the Apple mavens who decry the race to the bottom and commoditisation and want Apple to stay out of that do not see. We are seeing the PC market and the triumph of Windows all over again, in phones and tablets. The market is moving to one in which their culture will not allow them to compete. So they will either come up with a new market segment, which is going to be very tough, or they will shrink, possibly dramatically, to the accompaniment of inventory write downs never previously seen in history.

The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal


I cannot imagine why anyone would want to watch it

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to watch it, and we should feel sympathy for those who are compelled by the requirements of their profession to study this stuff. It must take a terrible toll and one hopes they are rotated responsibly. I know there is a free speech and free information argument, but not about this stuff. I am very freedom of speech oriented but have no problem with it being made illegal to watch this kind of thing.

So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL


Re: Oh no

You're missing the point. It is that the low and the high end are not fixed. What is happening to Apple is that its high end premium features are moving down into cheap stuff, so there is basically no difference but the brand. What they should do is license the OS at the right time, as they should have done before. But they will not, and the result will first be falling share, and then falling volumes.

Mosquitoes, Comets and Vampires: The de Havilland Museum


Not the whole story about DH

Its not the whole story. DH was a brilliant engineering company in many ways and had many great successes. But its arrogance led to some catastrophic design decisions. It was a DH aircraft that broke up over an air show. The Sea Vixen broke up in the air over Farnborough killing more than 50 people and needed extensive redesign. The Comet disaster, where sloppy design led to a series of in air breakups of passenger aircraft, had a large part in the collapse of the British aircraft industry. Yes, the Mosquito was brilliant. But the problem with DH in the later years as design became more critical and there was less room for error was that they could not be trusted. They got critical details catastrophically wrong.

There is a book by the daughter of a pilot killed flying one of the carrier versions of the Venom or Vixen. Another design flaw - they were very very dangerous to land on deck. No, they deserved to go out of business. And of course the ultimate personal tragedy of this kind of thing was the death of the son, flying some prototype that had not been properly thought through.

Don't glamorize them.

Seven all-in-ones that aren't the Apple iMac - and one that is


Don't really see the need

Really do not see the need for this stuff any more. What you do is get a Silverstone or similar ITX case, stick the new generation i5 Desktop in it, fill it out with the most memory it will take, and add a monitor. What's the problem? It will be pretty much silent, easy to upgrade, take minimal desk or floor space. Enough slots for a couple of drives, SSD if you really want. And a lot cheaper than any of these things. Plus, you get to replace components one at a time if they go. With these things all you can do is throw it all out and start over.

If you want to get even smaller than ITX there is probably nothing to beat the Mac Mini, though you do have to put a decent operating system on it, but that is not hard. Then you have a pretty decent coat pocket or briefcase machine, and if you want to move between locations you just put identical monitors and keybaord in each one and away you go.

The all in ones are doing exactly the wrong thing - moving the works into the monitor. To save space what you need to do is downsize the works, not put them into the monitor.

A thoroughly bad idea.

Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC


Get an Apple Mini and....

Get an Apple Mini, get rid of that silly OS and put in something sensible, and you have a much better buy. Better processor, no cooling problems, plenty of storage. This is too much of a niche and the tradeoffs are not sensible. But, they are not stupid, they must have some reason for it. Don't really get it.

The new Mac mini eviscerated with ease


Re: Have to say it...

You need to jump through some hoops to put Linux or BSD on it. Have to get Bootcamp off. But it can be done.


Re: Have to say it...

"After 10 minutes of searching, I can't find anything comparable with such a small and attractive form factor."

Yes, agreed. You can put something very nice together using a silverstone small itx case, maybe gigabyte board, but its going to be huge by comparison with a large fan in front. And its not going to be a lot cheaper by the time you get it loaded up with memory and hard drive. The only problem with the mini is OSX, but given a bit of trouble you can jailbreak it. If they would just sell the thing with a barebones discount it would be very attractive. Its really nice that you can still open it up. They are probably right to take out the optical drive from it, having a dedicated one makes less and less sense nowadays when you can have one portable usb powered one for when you really need it.

Buy one now, before Apple realises what good value it is!


Mini and ASRock

In fact the interesting thing about the Mini is what good value it is. If you check out ASRock offerings on Amazon - which one poster suggests as an alternative - you find they are more expensive for similar features. If you try assembling one yourself, you will save minimal amounts if any, and you will have trouble getting an i5 into that small a space with adequate cooling.

Few may actually want an i5 based machine which they can carry around in a coat pocket. If you do want an i5, this is not the cheapest way to get one, so there is a real premium to be paid for the form factor. But it really does very strangely seem that if this is what you want, Apple is the cheapest place to get it.

Interesting. Of course, they make you jump through hoops to get the idiotic software it comes with off it, and get something sensible like Fedora on to it. But there you go, from a point of view of value for hardware, its surprisingly good.

How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?


the amazing thing is...

The amazing thing, reading these stories, is that I never ever come on the 'dark side of the internet' when reading and browsing and following up my ordinary interests. The Internet looks a lot like TV from here, occasionally sexual content of a perfectly ordinary sort, well, you would not expect it to be a totally sex-free zone, any more than the average thriller or murder mystery or newspaper is, but basically innocuous. Am I living in a fools paradise?

Brussels: Water cannot be sold as remedy for dehydration


In fact 2 litres is bad for you.

The most common cause of death in marathons is not people getting dehydrated. They do not in fact get dehydrated because the body largely stops excreting water under stress.

The most common cause of death is people drinking too much water without the proper balance of salts. Now that is really dangerous.

The idea that we should all make ourselves drink two litres of water in addition to whatever else we drink is absolutely insane. What we should do is sleep when tired, eat when hungry and drink when thirsty.

Look up Hyponatremia. Very nasty, hysteria about how much we should all drink can actually kill you.

The Sandy Bridge Hackintosh


Convinced this is perfectly legal

I'm not legally qualified, but am convinced this is perfectly lawful. You have bought a piece of software. Whatever anyone says, the transaction is a sale just as much as the purchase of a book or chisel or CD is a sale. The seller wants to restrict what you do with it after you have bought it. I don't believe any UK court is going to uphold this.

In the first place its going to fall foul of consumer protection legislation which restricts what conditions you can impose in cases where the balance of power between consumer and supplier is heavily in favour of the company - which in this case it is.

Second, you have not consented to the restrictions, nor had them made clear to you, before purchase of the product.

Third, post-sale restrictions on use which do not originate from public interest concerns are not generally enforceable. If its a matter of forbidding any but the supplier to refill a certain kind of fuel tank, and there is a genuine health and safety issue, it will probably be enforceable. If its just XYZ saying you shall not play this CD on players made by ABC, no way.

Basically, they have sold you a copy. What you do with it is up to you. They have not sold you 'the software' any more than a bookseller has sold you 'the book'. What they have sold you is one copy. If you want to read this copy in the bath, that's up to you.

FTC and DoJ toss-up on Apple subs plan 'probe'


This is just Apple haters persecuting a great company

Yes, this is just Apple haters and denialists persecuting a great company, the greatest company in the world, fully within its rights, I mean, you use their equipment, well play by their rules, no-one is forcing you to use it. I use nothing but Apple kit because it makes me so much more productive and it is so well designed and easy to use. These Apple haters should just give it a rest and go buy Dells, you remember what that fool Dell said about giving back the money to the shareholders, those Dell fools with their cheap beige boxes, what do they know?

Apple is the greatest company the world has ever seen and it just makes me so proud to be associated with them in any way, and Steve is the greatest leader the world has ever seen, and I just love my iPad and my iPhone and my iStore, I go to sleep at night with a warm glow thinking about them all, the only thing that bothers me, and its only a little, is these losers who probably shop at Argos and Lidl and that other catalogue store whose name I have fortunately forgotten, and probably live in places like Tyneside, does anyone really live there, drinking Newcastle Brown.

So more power to Apple, and if it wants to charge people % for being allowed to put their stuff on Apple machines that is fine with me, in fact I will be out there demonstrating with placards unless these horrible Argos people leave this great company alone. I think we should make it a law that all schools have to use nothing but this great equipment, the students would be so much more productive.....

Royal Society opens inquiry into why kids hate tech


the teachers have no clue

Listen, if you were seriously interested in English or European Literature, and you took a class in it, and you discovered that your teacher thought English Literature was about Harold Robbins, or Ken Follet, and had never heard of, let alone read, Keats or Dr Johnson, what would you do? You would stop taking courses in English Literature. You would decide that while these books that fascinated you might be very interesting, they had nothing to do with what was being taught under that name in school.

That is what is happening. You have a generation of kids who are genuinely interested in technical matters, being taught by people who are functionally illiterate, according to a syllabus drawn up by illiterates. Its not surprising that they drop out, you would too.

It is like being taught French by someone who cannot speak, write or read it, so they make up some garbage which has nothing to do with French, and call it a French course.

This will not change. And the consequence will be that the coming generation of programmers will be self taught drop outs. And the teachers and education department officials, in blissful ignorance of the fact that there is such a thing as programming, will continue to compose syllabuses which consist of learning to use Google and write stuff in Powerpoint.

And think they are literate, and teaching IT skills!

Turkish groom accidentally sprays wedding guests with bullets


Health and Safety in the EU

This is one of many cultural and religious practices that the EU Health and Safety organizations, not to mention the Human Rights organizations, might have a little trouble with. Do we all get to shoot automatic weapons into the air at our small celebrations? Or do none of us? Do we all get to carry weapons? Or none of us? And what about the question of honour? Do we all get to kill our female relatives if they engage in unseemly and immodest behaviour? Or do none of us? Shall we see stoning for adultery in English town squares on a Saturday afternoon? Or is the practice going to be banned throughout Turkey?

The curious are looking forward eagerly to Turkey's entrance into the EU, because we really want to see how its going to go.

The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro


Bad, ill informed advice

This is very bad advice.

First, the problem with Ubuntu is stability. It is remixed every six months from Debian Experimental, so the laments and howls every six months when a new version comes out are due to the fact that you cannot get from Experimental to Stable in six months. Ubuntu cannot, neither can Debian.

If you want an apt based system, get Debian. Do not go to Testing versions unless whatever name it is has been in Testing for at least a year. Otherwise, take the Stable version.

Second, what are the other alternatives? It is not true that Damn Small Linux is a sensible alternative - its been out of active maintenance for years now, and it never was viable for end users. Puppy is a decent recommendation.

Gentoo looks no different from anything else, and does not belong here, neither does Arch. Neither one is suitable for the audience this article is directed at.

Mandriva is not at all bad, very worth considering, end users get along with it just fine, the main asset is the control center, which they really like a lot. The control center is shared with PCLinuxOS, and that is certainly worth considering. If you give someone Mandriva, the one to get is Mandriva One, Gnome Edition.

Suse is fine.

Debian is an interesting one. I would say the difference between Debian and Mandriva or Suse is who is going to set it up. If you are going to set it up, do the install and customize the desktop, give them Debian. If they are going to do it, either Mandriva or Suse. Or, if its an old machine, Puppy is a possible.

The sleepers that should be mentioned but have been omitted, and should be there in place of Arch or Gentoo or Sabayon, are the various Slackware based distros. Vector is very nice, very fast. ZenWalk is also excellent. Slackware is a bit bare metal, not recommended for non-computer people, but the derivatives are just fine.

So, bottom line: If you will install it, Debian. If they will, Mandriva One or Suse or PCLinuxOS. If its an old slow machine, Puppy, Vector or Zenwalk. If they want a live CD to try out, Slax rather than Knoppix.

Apple to sell unlocked iPhone 4


Its not really 'unlocked'

It only means that Apple is gracious enough to allow you to pick your own network. That is a remarkably generous and humbling concession, one to astonish and delight all Apple fans. What great guys they are in Cupertino!

But you still cannot pick your own apps. Its either the app store or buy a different phone.

But then, you never wanted any apps that were not in the app store, did you? That is what freedom of choice means, surely, it must mean freedom to buy from the store Apple has set up for you, any of the apps they want to make available to you.


Mozilla sidesteps iPhone code ban with Firefox Home


Now ask yourself....

Now ask yourself, why exactly is it that Apple does not want people who have bought iPhones or iPads to use Firefox? What exactly would be so awful about that?

Apple should merge with Microsoft. It would make a lot of sense. It would be a bit like the Hitler - Stalin pact, which also made a lot of sense, two mad totalitarians getting together. Go for it guys!

Two years later, Apple Safari still open to 'carpet-bombing'


can't have this

You can't have this. Caching is one thing, and it can be the basis of prosecutions, but at least the accused will almost certainly have visited the cached site.

This is simple push of any material at all to a hard drive's normal folders.

You cannot allow this on your machine, its insane to allow it.

Oracle punts first VirtualBox x64 hypervisor


you can do headless

You can do headless. Its in the user guide. Command line only.

Nokia 7230


Well my dear young chap....

Well my dear young chap, this was very funny and in a lot of ways very helpful. But what we use here on Planet OAP is a couple of PAYG nokias, which we bought for a tenner each or so. The buttons are a bit small, the ringing is not excessive but loud enough. You have to consider what we use it for. We almost never make calls on it, we never send texts on it. No-one except each other ever calls us on them.

So why do we want them at all? Because we go off on walks or biking in isolated areas, and we need to be able to call for help. Or we are wandering, separately, around a city centre, and we'd like to be able to call up and say where are you.

See, its not a necessity, its a small convenience. As long as its cheap, and usable, its fine. The thing you are finding hard to grasp is that mobiles are such a tiny part of our lives. They are not something we are going to spend lots of money on. A tenner is about right.

And we are professional, technical, people. We'd have no problem using iPhones, we just can't be bothered with them. We don't want facebook, because we value privacy. We actually do not want people calling us on our mobiles. The only people we want calling us is each other. We never give out the numbers, except to people who might need emergency access to us.

its a different world. I think this is what you are having trouble grasping. But thanks, it was an interesting survey, and who knows, our parents, even older than us, may find one of them interesting. I am interested in the alarm feature. That might be worth having for one of us.

So I am not knocking the review. It was a nice and in parts funny read. Just urging you to make more of an effort of imagination. After all, you will be here too. Sooner than you think....

'Gossips' say Apple will acquire ARM


I speak for all fellow apple enthusiasts!

I speak for all Apple enthusiasts, when I say, this is just great news. We will finally have our own processor again, and we can stop anyone else from getting it. That will be great. Then all the phones in the world will be iPhones.

But what is even greater, we will then be able to force everyone to develop for all the phones in the world using objective-c. I cannot tell you how insanely great that will be. We will set entrance examinations for developers to qualify. You don't pass, you don't develop. There will be healthy license fees to participate.

We will totally ban porn, or what strikes us as porn, or indeed anything offensive, from all the phones in the world! Wow!

Meanwhile, we will have our own office suite. This has always been a problem, MS makes the office suite we use now. We want our own! That is what iWork is going to be. We will then stop MS Office running on our machines, to general rejoicing.

Finally, it will be the turn of those counter revolutionary deviationists at Adobe. We will have our own photo editing suite also, and we will exile those clowns, just as we exiled their awful flash stuff.

Oh, we can't wait. its going to be insanely great! We are going to be free at last!

Mammoth patent troll holder snags smartphone threat


Lets hope they win!

Well, whatever happens, this seems like bad news for Apple, which is great. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so any enemy of that most deplorable of companies is to be welcomed.

Regards, Cody