* Posts by Eddie

109 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Aug 2007


Firefox 3.5: In, out, shake it all about


Re Awful Bar

Or, alternatively, use oldbar addon.

Either way, it's no biggy

Research: Airliners can be more eco-friendly than trains


It's just research..

For every report that produces this conclusion, you'll be able to dig up another paper that utterly contradicts it's findings. Pick the one that suits your ideology, and go find a soap box, sorry, academic journal, and start pontificating.

That seems to be the usual methodology.

They could all easily be summarised as "travel takes a lot of energy, regardless of how you do it"

Boffins: Ordinary lightbulbs can be made efficient, cheaply


The boffins...

Please, please, let them be right... I don't want to live under the feeble, wan glow of energy saving bulbs

Toshiba Qosmio X300



That's very impressive.

So tell me, what's the maximum refresh rate of the screen?

Fanbois squeal over Mac OS X upgrade


Joining the throng

With any operating system there is a small chance of an upgrade doing unpredictable things - it could be Windows, MacOS, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, TOS, whatever, these things happen.

What matters is whether the company concerned acknowledges any errors, posts fixes, workarounds or if they just turtle and let "the community" sort things for the hapless users.

Cops collar Russian punting dog dressed as lamb


Gets ready for a grilling...

"This hideous practice"??

Erm, what makes this more hideous than raising sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, llamas, buffalo, alligators, ostriches etc?

I've eaten horse in France - I suppose that makes me some sub-human monster?

People get all dewy eyed about the gambolling wee fluffy lambykins in the fields in spring, but later on they're perfectly happy to reach for the mint sauce.

I'm not saying that I'm totally sanguine about the practice, but as long as the husbandry procedures are not more unpleasant than practices for the rearing of the meat we think that we think that it's okay to eat, then I don't think that we should be overly censorious because it's a wee puppy.

All the best

Playboy to take on World of Warcraft with Bunny-themed MMORG


How do you...

...register with only one hand?

All the best,

Apple spooked by white powder


Brings back memories

When I worked in a financial services company here in Edinburgh, a member of the support team told me a of an incident involving a sticking keyboard belonging to one of the Traders.

The keyboard was subsequently found to have quantities of "a soluble white powder" gumming up the keys. Suspicions abounded, the traders were known to live on caffeine, and so, sure as 2+2=5 theories about someone moving up to something stronger were bandied about.

The tea lady solved the mystery - the trader concerned was indeed addicted, but not to coke or whizz, instead to sugared doughnuts, and refused to use a plate.

Virgin Media pilots 200Mbit service


I've said it repeatedly...

get the rest of the fucking service sorted out before you start trying for stupid headline numbers.

Windows 7’s XP Mode — Virtually worth the effort


@I hope...

Virtual desktops have been available for Windows since the first powertoys for Win95 came out

ISPs eye role in Jacqui's mass surveillance system


Bloody hypocrites

Virgin Media said: "As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media understands the needs of law enforcement groups, however any policy changes must not sacrifice customers' privacy."

Unless we phorm the policy changes ourselves.

Swine flu apocalypse: Batten down the hatches


There's only one solution

Bacon butties all round.

No pigs, no pig flu.

Pass the Branston please, and put the kettle on....

US declares 'public health emergency' over swine flu


Oh bloody hell

Yet another thing after SARS, Bird Flu, H5N1, foot and mouth, anthrax, mythical terrorists, global warming, peak oil, water wars, dirty bombs, and god knows what else that the government and media team up for to scare the crap out of the public.

In the story, the boy who cried wolf got eaten 'cos no-one believed him - in this version we keep swallowing the hysterical shit.

Of course, given my usual level of success in commenting on these things, this one is going to actually go somewhere.

MPs to probe ISP snooping and throttling


An idea to get this issue looked at seriously

Point out how easy it would be for an ISP to inspect traffic going to, say, www.labour.org.uk and insert adverts or redirects to www.conservatives.com.

Imagine the fun you could have with a bidding war during an election.

All the best,

BT does Italian Job on London traffic lights


Title is wrong surely?

The title seems to imply that it was BT's gaffe that caused the problem, but in fact it was an unnamed contractor who bored through their, hitherto working just tickety-boo, kit.

Now, I like to give BT a kicking as much as anyone, but wouldn't "Olympic contractors shaft BT up back passage" be more accurate? Or is my monday comprehension at an all time low.

All the best,

Google to fund 'video Street View' for Central London


What's the date?

One of these articles has to be a fool, and this one seems the most likely...

,...unless it's me, of course.

Google inspires behavioral ad-zapping Firefox add-on


How about...


Since they submit all your searches for you, your history won't even enter into the equation.

It's been my default for a long time now. Adblock, scriptblock, flashblock, and all the other toys help too.

Police law-interpretation: What next?


What to say...

To be honest, I'd like to say a lot. Because of the sweeping powers that the police have taken on themselves, I'm not actually going to say anything.

I used to carry a camera at all times, because I'm a keen photographer and you never know what you might see - now I don't, because I'm afraid of the police reaction if I take a photograph in my home city.

I know that if my car is vandalised, broken into, or similar, phoning the police is going to get me no-where, and I can't get access to the ubiquitious CCTV cameras, because the police won't let me.

In all honesty, I now fear the police, not because of anything I have done, but because of what I may be construed to have done.

Bloodhound supercar is 'recession beater', says promoter


@when did i miss THAT meeting??

One of my chemistry teachers at school got his doctorate researching the stabilty of d9-tetrahydracannabinol* - he had a license to grow up to 32oz per year (this was in the 60s, when weights were real) - which, as he phrased it "wasn't bad, since we only needed 50g (2oz) for our research"

Alas though, as source of grow tips he was less useful than my biology teacher who showed us which of the constituents of budgie seed** were cannabis seeds.

*(no delta symbol on my keyboard, and I'm not sure of the spelling...)

** Which may go some ways to explain James Hunt's hobby

UK kids presenter gets online support



"Kids get scared" - what a load of bollocks - kids don't get scared of anything until they are taught to fear it by their parents and/or teachers and/'or peers - try putting a fluffy spider or snake in front of infant - they won't be bothered, there is nothing "instinctive" about such phobias. This is a bunch of parents scared by anything not normal. Thanks for pointing to the facebook group, I'll put my mouldering facebook account to good use for once by joining it. Best of luck to Cerrie Burnell

Virgin Media boosts bottom tier broadband


re... Price Hike

I'm confused too...

Is this a mandatory upgrade, including price hike, to all those on 2Mbps, or will those of us on the 10Mbps service have a price cut to the 2Mbps cost, or will we be paying extra for the same service that others are receiving more cheaply?

I think that they had to do this, regardless of them having the bandwidth to accomodate the upgrade, because a 2Mbps service is risible these days. It might be why they are experimenting with an even more restrictive throttling service in the northwest - upgrade everyone to a new headline figure, then shape them to something that their rather aged network can support.

And to those that thing that the shaped speed of 2.5 Mbps is faster than they now get... wait till it happens. The way the shaping is implemented by Virgin gives you an absolutely terrible time...

Spy boss damns government's culture of fear


F***ing hilarious

A government spook, of all people, thinks we have a surveillance society. If that doesn't give everyone pause for thought, then I suggest we have the two-way telescreens installed in our houses, now, and get ready for the Two-Minute Hate...

This would be doubleplusgood in my opinion, big bro...

Jacqui Smith ecstatically ignores more scientific advice



Is actually a very sensible organisation - go search for a wonderful document called "Making a hash of it" - their wonderful, and occasionally delightfully satirical, report on the whole issue of drug classification.

It's a hoot.

Jobs market bleak for grads as banking weakens

Thumb Up

Careful with that Blanket UK statement


Graduate opportunities are rising in Scotland....

You did what? The trials of supporting remote users


One more from the archive...

I used to (1994-6) work for a charity giving computer training to special needs groups. I was meant to be a tutor-befriender, but having arrived and found a pile of not working machines, I redesignated myself as a technician. We had some students who were on Outreach - we supplied a computer, a modem, training manuals, and support. One day one of the outreach students rang in and said that her floppy drive wasn't working, and she couldn't save her work, and so she couldn't send it in. We were a little short staffed so I couldn't get out to her, and so I asked our driver to collect it and bring it to me. I opened it up, and detached the floppy drive. Lifting it out, I noticed it was somewhat heavier than it should be, and it rattled. Very loudly. Opening up the drive I found it was filled with pennies and tuppences (two pences). Her toddler son had been given a money box, and had since gone round filling any slot like orifice with his pocket money. I replaced the drive, and phoned the lass, she had sounded very distressed, and they were a lovely bunch to support, always very grateful for your efforts, but I couldn't resist saying as she answered the call "I've had a look at your machine, but I'm afraid that there's no change yet....."

Mine's the one with the screwdrivers in the pocket....

California to get 'space age' three-wheel EV


Erm, not so much Sir Clive

It reminds me more of the Old Messcherschmidt (sp?), Heinkels and Isettas from the 50s.

Also, more people probably know about them than the C5 (incidentally which was a delta trike, not a tadpole...)

Mines the padded flying jacket with goggles in the pocket...

Tally ho!

Immortal Dr Who jellyfish poised to rule Earth


Oh dear...

The levels of erudition being displayed are depressingly predictable - blobby things from the sea = Dr Who. Surely this is a time to dig out the Lovecraft, because without doubt, this loathsome, leprous jelly is the first wave sent by the dread Lord Cthulhu, and soon we will all be either dead, or insane...or, if you're an MP, both.

Cthulhu fhtagn, just in case...

DEC 'hacker' questions McKinnon political bandwagon


Possibly because...

He wasn't under threat of extradition to a foreign country?

Mayor Boris backs McKinnon in extradition fight


You gotta hand it to Boris

He does a rant better than just about other pundit. Being right is also a help.

More attention should be drawn to the hideous one-sided extradition deal that our lords and masters (Blair and Brown) have agreed to with the US - we didn't even get a kiss after they screwed us over - we have to extradite our people, the US don't

This is not a treaty. It's the first step to subjugation.


Dell shuts Limerick factory and scraps 1,900 jobs


Oh dear...

GIven the invocation of Knut, did the Irish delegation travel to visit Mr Dell in the full knowledge that they would fail, and they could prove to the Irish populace that they are no match for the glory that is Dell corporation?

Beeb names new Doctor Who


Dr Who the fetus...

...coming soon.

They've cancelled Grange Hill, so I suppose they've got a lot of spare talent in that age bracket that they're looking to re-house.

The Drs are getting progressively younger, as my older brother commented when Tom Baker took over...plus ca change, etc

I'm not really in a position to comment - I haven't watched Dr Who since Peter Davidson took over, which was round about the time that I found out that the peculiar chaps with lumps on their chests were a bit more fun to hang round with on Saturday teatimes than Cybermen (who, in spite of being sexless androids probably got more action than most Who-freaks, certainly it was the case back then).

But what the hell - it's a youf-oriented world now, and my opinions (and a few/most others here) are no longer relevant to the BBC mandarins who decide how we shall be entertained.

And to the bright chap up thataway...Peter Cushing, ftw....

City of Heroes fingered in MMO patent lawsuit


I'm off to the USofA

to register a patent on a round object that rotates on a central spindle.

There should be a few pennies in that one.

Human rights court rules UK DNA grab illegal


I'm very surprised

By the vehemence of the statements of the European court - ' "failed to strike a fair balance between the competing public and private interests," and that the UK government "had overstepped any acceptable margin of appreciation in this regard" '(copied from news.bbc.co.uk).

With this level of feeling from the Euro court, and given that it was HMG that was defending against this action, so they should have presented all their evidence, I think - and I hope - that our beloved leaders will have their work cut out getting an appeal to go through, but they will no doubt use the years of time that will be created by loathsome lawyers arguing about anything they can to justify millions in expenses, to ensure that the database is vastly bigger than it is now.

As was pointed out on the Radio 4 news today, the proportion of crimes solved by the DNA evidence is dropping fast - down 12% and 16% in consecutive years.

This next sentence is going to stick in my throat - I hope that the Tories get into power next time, they at least have the guts to stand up the specious crap that the Police use to justify their increasing abuse of powers (although with the shenanigans that went on with Mr Green, I think there are a large number of MPs starting to question whether they have become too big for their boots...you never know, leopards may change their spots)

Of course, even if they say that they have deleted the records of the innocent people from the database, how will they prove it? And will we believe them?

A sex show of truly Olympian proportions?



Where's the snaps to make it deserving of the NSFW tag and the tagline?

I was hoping for a minor thrill of perusing unclad bodies whilst sitting at my workstation, and all I got was some dreary text.

Try harder next time guys, this is not what I expect from El Reg...

Google! aborts! Yahoo! deal!


Google's achilles heel?

They don't seem to want to attract the attention of the regulators, preferring to drop a lucrative deal rather than argue it out.

Hmm, I wonder why - could they perchance not want folk asking questions about data retention, privacy, advertising rates, placement, etc, particularly legal folk, with a fairly large legal toolbox, and a lot of case law to ask Google to open their dirty laundry.

Hey-ho, knowledge is power, and knowing what scares google is always useful

Virgin Media accused of shafting customers on upload rates


What a surprise...

The company that has said that online speedtests can't reliably/accurately measure their mighty bit-pipes, that has the most restrictive speed caps of all providers, but still advertises themselves as unlimited, advertises prices that are in fact only available to new customers for a limited period, isn't reflecting accurately the real conditions on it's network on it's public facing pages.

I always hoped the internet would be an egalitarian medium so that companies with practices as customer-unfriendly as VM could be named and shamed and changed. Naming and shaming works, but corporations have very thick skins and nothing changes.

That said, I use VM for my telly, telephone and internet. Because, when you come down to it, they're all the same, and you get roughly the same service, and the same prevarications with all of them.

Sucks a bit, when you think about it.

MEPs warn on 'virtual strip searches'



This could open a huge can of worms if certain religious groups get on the bandwagon

Prof: 'Taser-proof vests put cops in danger'


I'm okay....

My tatty old, but extremely heavy, leather bike jacket has a layer of aluminized film as an insulator - an insulator against cold, that is.

It conducts electricity extremely well though...but I'm not going to take the heads off parking meters until the cops tase me as a test...

Mine's the 8.6kilo, aluminium lined, heavily padded one....

Toshiba tools up for movie download future


Exactly as I predicted

Not wanting to blow my trumpet too much, but this is exactly what I said would happen when Toshiba bowed out of the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD race.


Burned by Chrome - Fire put out


Nothing too new here, just the mechanism

This is google, what did you expect?

They are trying to out-Microsoft Microsoft, in terms of extracting every bit of juice out of their "clients".

A while back, I looked at what I got from google, and what they got from me. The equation didn't look too good, so I switched to alternatives to all of their services - e.g. Scroogle, Mapquest/Streetmap, that copy of Photoshop light I got with my scanner, and so on. We do have a choice, so you know, work out what you want to do. I can't stop the government patternising me, but I can take measures to avoid worse folk, like google (at least the government can have a stab at justification for storing all the data on me on slightly better grounds than filling Sergey's wallet)

I avoid them like the plague, personally...

Concrete-jet 'printers' to build houses, Moonbases in hours


@Support it's own weight..

You can build domes the Inuit way - a contracting spiral of material that sets as it is created.

Password pants-off at Lloyds Bank


Not just banking

I don't think anyone is very serious about security, to be honest, maybe banks should know better, but surely ISPs, technical companies who employ seasoned network professionals to design and secure their systems should know about security and the need for it?

In the mists of time (about 7 years ago) before VirginMedia and Blueyonder, Telewest technicians had all their customers passwords and details in clear text on screen for each service call - my introduction to this went as follows:-

"Hi, I think I've forgotten my password"

"What do you think it is"



"What do you think is your password"

"What you mean read it out?"

"Oh yes, I've got your screen up, and it's here"


"You're kidding"


"That can't be right, I'm not giving you my password"

"No, you can't - I've already got it and you haven't"

"blah blah blah"

"Yes, that's correct - do you need your password for your webspace cos I've got that here too.."

Basically they had your account screen and it contained your username, password, webspace password, email aliases, the lot, all in plain text. What fun a bored tech could have had with that...

I made a tad of a complaint about that, and I think it's been changed.

Since then though, I've made a point of not using my teleyondermedia account for anything other than surfing, and all important material is routed through my work accounts.

Electoral officers oppose edited register


Not just for marketing

In Edinburgh, when they had a local referendum on the introduction of road pricing, the forms were only sent out to those who were on the edited register - "we are legally unable to use the full electoral register for referendums, only for elections" was their reason when I asked about this, whether this is specious or not, I have no idea.

So by opting out, which I do, I also have to opt out of (some of) the local decision making apparatus, which I really, really, really object to.

Euro guidelines will allow Bluetooth spam



Leave your phone on - and then when folk in the movie complain, point out that it's the cinema flooding you with messages and if they don't want the beeping, complain to the manager and get the public to stop them...

Only a small thing, but it may be a start.

Alas though, the cinema will just ask you to leave, they'll have your money by this time.

Card fraud-fearing Brit tourists carry cash


@Lyndon Hills

I'm more concerned with sterilising the Euros /before/ I stuff them in my boxers - an absorbent fiber matrix must be a wonderful breeding ground for bugs, and they're handled by dozens of people - who knows where they've been before you get them...

Most paper money tests positive for E-coli and other nasty bugs, and in Rome, apparently most tests positive for cocaine - so that E50 note has probably be stuffed up someone's nasal cavities... lovely...

So in brief - not worried at all (especially since it was a joke. I actually put it all in a suppository and...)


The banks don't help

I've had my cards stopped by my bank for using it the mainland - even when I've told them I'm going on holiday to exotic places, e.g. Zeebrugge.

Add in bizzare charges for currency conversions or using ATMs in other countries, it really doesn't make it convenient for travelling

I've gone back to the wad of Euros gaffa taped to my bollocks for security when I go travelling, it's harder for my bank to screw me up.

Microsoft's Photosynth falls out of cloud



I was going to post that it was working fine - but then it crashed my machine....

Ah well, the bit I saw looked good.


UK.gov to spend hundreds of millions on snooping silo


Okay, back to Colditz...

We need tunnels...

A nice VPN tunnel to say, the Seychelles, and route all your IP traffic - whether IM, Websurfing, P2P, VoIP, whatever...

...other than pretty soon Plod or Spooky Plod would find an excuse (e.g. taking photos on the street, Reg passim) to visit you and inspect your machine

Russell Crowe to play Bill Hicks?


no, no, and thrice no

Great actor, but totally wrong for this.

Intel adds 22nm octo-core 'Haswell' to CPU design roadmap

Paris Hilton

@More Logical

Or a 2x2x2 cube?