* Posts by Dave

65 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Aug 2007


MS beefs up WinXP Pro's anti-piracy nagware


Can you get a bigger picture of the nagware screen please?

It's just that I swapped to Ubuntu a couple of months back and would like it as my wallpaper.

Just as good as Windows, except faster, more powerful and less flashing districations. Not missed Windows at all.

Royal Navy plans world's first running-jump jet


@Lewis Page

Hi Lewis, I'm writing to inform you that your El-Reg byline has been hacked, and someone is putting out articles under your name.

Us long-term readers can immediately tell this, since there were no Page-ean turns of phrase (Buckets of Sunshine, extra-mural early afternoon meals etc.)

Enjoyed the article though.

Anthrax 'rogue scientist' also Wikipedia cult member

Black Helicopters

@AC - FBI Letters

Just had a look at those letters in your link. The Second and Third Letters look to be identical writing - In fact they look to be the same letter. Spacings are same, Funny letter E in Israel, Rewritten A in Allah, Heavy A in DeAth to America. I'm guessing that letter 3 is a blow-up of letter 2, as the text is identical, that or Anthrax guy traced the writing from another source for both letters. (Here, little Jimmy, write me a letter and I'll give you five bucks.)

The only problem (with the theory of the FBI publishing the same letter twice) is the rip on the left side of letter 3 (although it is following a fold that can be seen clearly in letters 2 & 3), and what I presume to be the background on the right hand side, implying different sized writing or paper. Colour differences could also be explained by re-photographing letter 2 for a better picture (Under a light bulb [brown tint in #2] or under a fluorescent light [green tint on envelope to Sen. Leahy])

It's a simple mix-up of the pictures. No doubt there was an extra pic on the camera of the real letter 3.

Convicted spammer goes AWOL from federal prison

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I got a warm and fuzzy

Warm and Fuzzy just thinking about this guy in an Orange jumpsuit with, a dozen armed men with dogs on his tail. Drinking water in an old riverbed, as Officer Obie takes aim from the top of the bluff.

Let me indulge myself.

BT updates Home Hub Wi-Fi box with 802.11n


Just Cancelled with BT

Just Cancelled with BT because after 4 months we still haven't had our old style Home Hub delivered. They wouldn't let us have a shiny new HH because we were existing customers.

@Elmer. Try putting the transformer for the HH onto a UPS based powersupply. A less than clean power supply may be causing the HH problems.

Govt moots game developer tax-break rethink


Pre-cognitive Powers Enabled

Someone, either one of our "Ban these Evil Games" MPs, or the Daily Mail will object to Government subsidies for evil murder simulators, and point the fingers in a Rockstar North-y sort of direction, rather than a David Braben / Frontier or Peter Molyneux / Lionhead sort of direction.

Also we want subsidies, grants and tax-breaks on the Playstation programming Masters degrees, specifically aimed at balding 30/40 year old Yorkshire people. For example.

NASA firms up space shuttle launch manifest


@Anon Deflowered - Shuttle Launches

The Shuttle can be seen from Kissimmee / Orlando / Disney, as a trail of smoke. It still gets a few people looking at it. You'll be able to get trips to Kennedy Space Centre from that area. IIRC KSC closes during launches, but then the trips become trips to Titusville / Indian River for a launch (These are just outside the Cape Canaveral area.about 10 -15 miles from the launch pad. Astronauts families are 8 miles from the pads, Launch control is about 12 miles from the pads). If you have your own car out there you can take your chances with the other 900000000000000000000 cars all desperate for a look. The coach trips have the advantage of being trips to bars, with nice observation areas, big tellies, pretty scenery, and 6 pint pitchers of alcohol flavoured wee, umm I mean beer.

"My" Launch got cancelled at T minus 10 minutes, and was held at T- 20 for 3 or 4 hours. But I saw a shuttle on the pad with all the trimmings. Take a good pair of binoculars: You don't want to be looking at Pad 39A when the launch is from 39B, or vice versa :-)

It's a fantastic atmosphere.

Who will be the next Doctor?



What has been established, but not resolved so far?

The Hand : Obviously key to the regeneration - I like the Blue Suit & Brown Suit Doctor theory.

Jenny, the Doctors daughter is out there, showing us partial regens. She's also allegedly dating Mr Tennant. IIRC DT's last Dr Who related girlfriend (Sophia Myles - Girl in the Fireplace) they split when she started shagging Vampires in "Moonlight", filmed in LA. Hire them (DT & GM)both, so they can be together. Perfect.

Donna Noble is a temp: (Lady, Lord, Time) She's a time Lord! She can create parallel universes, and do things that only the doctor can do.

What else do we know?

The Doctors most faithful companion will die. Dogs are faithful. The rights to K9 have been sold. K9 is guarding a black hole. Let the tin dog along with Mickey and the Daleks get sucked into a singularity.

Sylvester McCoy appeared to be in costume for the Confidential. Why?

Kylie Minnow's character, Astrid, died and went into spooky regeneration smoke. Astrid is a nice anagram.

I love the Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward - Romana connection. That would be great.

The Threefold Man angle is puzzling, but 2 Doctors and a Master who transferred his life force into the Doctor could explain that.

And what's the Osterhagen Key? Oster = Easter = Resurrection?

But really, I'll be overjoyed to see Bernard Cribbins take down a Dalek with Rose's BFG. That moment alone would justify the Licence Fee.

Bus-spotting paedo terror bust: Shock CCTV image

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@Michael O'Malley

>I know that Gordo means "fat" in Spanish. Who is this fathead, and why would people be asked to vote for him?

I know my sarcasm detector has been playing up lately, but nobody was asked to vote for that Fathead, which is a minor contributing factor to why we Brits "love" our Dear Leader so much.

And my life has got so much better for you pointing out that Gordo means Fat. That is just so... awesomely perfect.

Phoenix spies probable Martian water ice


What sort of a scale is that?

On the pics, a little tiny bar is labelled 2/3" . I'm guessing that this is the scale of the photograph and it means that the line is two-thirds of an inch long.

What sort of damn fool scale is that? Not 1 inch, not 12 inches, not 1 cm, not 30cm, not 100cm, but two-thirds of an inch? Yeah, I can understand some advanced cultures wishing to show off their advancedness by having Base12, Base16 and Base8 weights and measurement.

But two-thirds of BaseX number is just the intellectual equivalent of going up to any nearby Marvin's and amanFrom's and begging for an earth-shattering Kaboom.

Post Office aims to collect ID card fingerprints?


Another Me too post

I work in the centre of Leeds, and live in a little village about 15 miles away.

What are these Post Offices of which you speak?

Croydon devil dog execution: Exclusive photo

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The background.

Surely the background should have been ripped off from from Oblivion a la Limbo of the Lost. I just think it would have been funnier than an actual photo of Croydon, like you used.

Other than that: Please keep up the good work.

DARPA pilot-ware unflappable in wing-fling damage test


@AC re amanfromMars

Thats amanfromMars, that is. He is from Mars and merely a visitor to this beautiful blue planet.

You'll find his posts become an acquired taste. Some of them are a bit more conventional than others, some seem like someone forgot to run the spelling/abbreviation/word replacer on them (The one that replaces the "ex"- prefix to words with "XXXX", replaces *it* with *IT*), some of them appear gibberish and some generate some really "witty" words, contractions and phrases.

You're better off humouring him, he may (or may not) have friends called Marvin.

Drugs, hookers and cranked customers: Ex-Broadcom boss indicted

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And we have a winner!

Surely El-Regs Playmobil department could provide photographic evidence of these activities. Especially the drugs, and the airplane?

T5 Transformers t-shirt bust: Shock snap

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Thank Playmobil it's Friday, um Tuesday

Another Photographic Masterpiece. Not sure if it makes up for the lack of a weekly Friday Playmobil section, but it's nice to have.

World's first Blu-ray record pressing


Sony developed Blu-Ray, right?

Hmmm Blu-Ray Audio. Does this mean that Sony can put bigger and better rootkits on their music now?

The New Order: When reading is a crime

Black Helicopters

@ Mei Lewis

The US DOJ website *is* where the student downloaded his copy from. IIRC it was the given location for the manual in the reading list.

Just makes it scarier IMHO. And I'm trying hard not to think that this is for the purposes of entrapment.

Jihadis: We turned hacked killbots against US troops

Paris Hilton

Black Turbans

Black Turbans worn by Moslems are almost exclusively descendents of Muhammad. The Danish Cartoons generally depicted a Black Turban wearers thus adding to the fun.

Not wishing to see Paris in a Burka, at all.

The music biz's digital flops - a short history

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Cake is not a dual-use food stuff

On Monday 26th May 2008 a new phrase was added to my lexicon.

Cake is not a dual-use food stuff ranks up there along with "Bucket of Sunshine" to describe Hiroshima.

Gief Moar Brillyness!!!

The Moderatrix: Exclusive boudoir snap


It's Playmobil Friday!!!

Can anyone link me last weeks Playmobil story please? I couldn't find it Did we really not have one? Bad El-Reg!!! Is that who the (un) lucky moderatrixee is?

IM represents 'new linguistic renaissance'



Paul, your definiteley onto something with the older people using more abbreviations. I get a lot more "r u goin "'s from the older crowd. I wonder if it's because they tend to have older phones without predictive texting and the dictionaries.

My outgoing messages tend to be correctly spelteded, but terse. Maybe because I don't know how to switch the correction features off.

Texts I get from the younger crowd have "u r"'s, but also a lot of missspellted words. I know they come from modern phones, but it looks like they've read the manual and are using a combination of "three letters to a key" and predictive texting, possibly depending on whether they actually know how to spell a word, or whether it's too long or has a txt synonym eg (Awake / Cycle)

Why Microhoo! is like, so, totally dead

Paris Hilton

Ah! Gotcha!

Having read the original article (linked above) , yes, this is a great parody of Ina Fried. Although IMHO it looks like Ina is a parody - (Still working on anagrams of that name).

Nia, you seem to have the eye and the writing talent, so next week, rather than doing a perfect parody of something that we've never read, do your own take on the news. Your persona of an Oh-so-kewl Meeja trendy blogger is a great idea (A kind of Shelley the Republican for us jaded IT cynics) and I look forward to you coming up with your own spin on the weeks news.

And if it's a parody of something specific, give us a link to the original, that would have helped a lot of the earlier posters.

You get the Paris icon, that's how you know that I liked it.

Lancashire plodcopters in laser dazzle outrage outbreak

Black Helicopters

Here's a theory

Most of us seem to be "doubtful" of the ability to hit a moving aircraft, let alone through the windows, which don't face downwards anyway, let alone into the pilots eyes, but...

Are we aware of that very neat lighting effect where a light it shone onto the edge of a piece of perspex / plexiglass, creates a dull glow that's used in Fire Exit signs.

I'm guessing that aircraft windshields are made of multiple thin sheets bonded together for extra strength. Maybe the beams are hitting the windows, and the internal reflections / refractions are creating some kind of Fire Exit / Lens Flare / "Red wall" glow that effectively renders the windows opaque or hard to see through.

Not quite the same as blinding (meaning unable to physically see anything), but I'd be hard pushed to think of a better word to describe being unable to see through a window.

Perhaps a pilot amongst El-Reg's readers could try shining a laser at a grounded airplane with a friend inside and see if this could generate the effect described.

Black Helicopter flying straight down, for obvious reasons.

Washington cops may be compelled to use gun-cams


Ummm - Back up weapons, anyone?

A documentary that I saw not so long ago, "Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas", had some bent coppers killing people using other peoples guns. It's good to know that 17 years after the events of that documentary, it's now impossible to do such a thing.

The battle of Lesbos: Exclusive combat pic


Apologies to Rugby Clubs everywhere

(To the tune of "Good Ship Venus")

'Twas on the good ship Navratilova,

Where blokes have no leg over,

A Crew of Dykes that really likes,

to come like a supernova.

Playmobil on Friday

Playmobil on Friday

Playmobil on Friday

From the Vulture Central Crew.

The Captain's name was Lettice,

By Christ she had a fetish,

For Friday Fun with everyone

who likes their toys coquettish

The First mates' name was Charlotte,

She was a dirty harlot

Ms Sarah Bee was there you see

for an article in "Scarlet"

The Second mate was Haines

They had her clapped in chains,

'cos her funny pic of a sailing ship

didn't mention Seamen Staines.

The third mate was Lewis Page,

She worked for minimum wage

Rub her erogenous zone with a Predator Drone

and pray she's of legal age.

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Playmobil Friday

Thank Playmobil It's Friday!

30 years of Spam - and we ain't finished yet

Paris Hilton

Ah Ha!

So 11% of people who answer surveys admit to having bought stuff that was spam advertised. Or maybe, since they are survey answering folks (BTW This is coming from me, a guy who bins paper surveys, ignores online surveys, barges past people with clipboards, and lies when forced to answer) , they think all emails threatening to sell stuff are spam.

I did, however, fork out a fiver(?) for Jacaranda Jim back in the day and still consider it to be money well spent. Many Thanks for that, Mr Cluley.

Paris would have known what to do in the Toilet.

The terror dam of doom that looms over Boise, Idaho


@ Hugh & John: Official Reg Units

An acre-foot is defined by the volume of one acre of surface area to a depth of one foot. Since the area of one acre is defined as a chain by a furlong (66 by 660 feet ) then the volume of an acre-foot is exactly 43,560 cubic feet. Alternatively, this is approximately 325,851.4 U.S. gallons or 1,233.5 kL (or m³).

An Olympic size swimming pool is 50m * 25m * 2m (2m is minimum depth). A volume of 2500000 l or 2,500m3. It is left as an exercise to our Usian friends to convert that into proper gallons and usian gallons.

So it can be seen that an olympic swimming pool is a little more than 2 acre-feet. (2500m3 v 2467m3). 2467m3 / 2 acre-feet now being defined as a “Quite Big Swimming Pool”

The dam in question being 300000 acre-feet is 150000 Quite Big Swimming pools, or 148020 olympic pools.

Mines the long furry coat with the arm hole at the back and the two sticks on the sleeves so that Jim Henson* can operate me, ‘cos I’m a muppet.

* Yes I know he’s dead, it’s just that despite having a funnier name. “Frank Oz” doesn’t work in context.

Miserly marks get smart to UK phishing fraudsters


If it comes by email

and it's urgent, a legal demand, or from your bank. It's fake. Nothing important comes from a financial institution by email. Ever. And it's their fault if they DO decide to send important stuff.

If it contains bad spelling and grammar, it's fake.

If it comes frum a nown badd speler n itz beutyfully ritten, it's fake.

If it's all in capitals, it's fake.

If it's all in lower case, it's fake.

Any doubt - it's fake.

If it comes from Third Avenue, 7th Floor, New York NY 10012 it's fake.

If the address then comes up when you hover your mouse pointer over a link is different from the one in the link, it's fake.

That's all you need to know.

Local council uses snooping laws to spy on three-year-old


All point at Poole

I encourage everyone to point at Poole Borough Council and say "Aha!". This is the sort of quasi-legitimate use of massive powers that we are afraid of. These laws were designed to legislate "for using methods of surveillance and information gathering to help the prevention of crime, including terrorism. "

And none of this "In such circumstances, we have considered it appropriate to treat the matter as a potential criminal matter." malarky when discussing an application to a primary school. Is it criminal to lie on a School Application? It shouldn't be.

This incident is the clear warning of how these powers can be used arbitrarily by an non-elected offical declaring a crime by fiat. He can't do that. And he can't use Anti-Terrorism Laws to legitimise his actions.

Let the petty officals receive a rephormation from El-Reg.

Microhoo! deal roadmap goes round in circles


Hang on, isn't this the Rise of the Anti-Christ?

Newscorp, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL - MySpace, Yahoo, MSN, AOL. Surely this is attempt at gathering up all that is Evil and Lame on the internet and concentrating them together in one uber-evil-frankenstein hybrid site where it literally rains adverts. All they need to do is to get Phorm on board and Gondor will phall.

HP launches Linux-loaded Eee PC rival

Paris Hilton

Just one Question

Where's the Bird On The Beach angle?

Paris, because.

Wicker Man sequel goes up in smoke


A Film Sequel that I'm interested in?

This Article does not make sense. It seems to contain hints that an interesting story may have formed the backbone of a sequel to a much loved 35 year old film.

How can this be? All sequels (Copolla / Cameron not withstanding) must lose any semblance of originality, and consist solely of inferior performances and general disregard for source material.

This may have been the "other" film that I'd visit the cinema for. The first ummm, being the latest sequel to a 30 year old action adventure film. Okay, ignore what I said.

BT and Phorm secretly tracked 18,000 customers in 2006

Paris Hilton

Why didn't they come up with an excuse?

BT also refused to reveal where in the national broadband network the thousands of guinea pigs were sourced from.

Surely they could have claimed that they would have loved to reveal where the mugs came from, but they don't hold sufficient information to be able to identify the source?

Ohio man cuffed for shagging picnic table


Won't someone think of the children?

FTFA: Some neighbours are reportedly worried that Price's three school-age kids might take some stick if their school friends get wind of the scandal.

Hmmm, so is telling a TV reporter that Art Price Jr. has 3 children at the school down the road really the best way of preventing the school friends from finding out?

Poisoned websites staying contaminated longer

Paris Hilton

Talking in Flamebaitingly Obvious Stereotypes here, but...

In thee Olden Daye's of yore, websites were run by guys in Kaftans with beards and sandals. Now they are more likely to be run by "Creative Types" with their Macbooks, their Flashes and their wonderfully complex suites of designy "stuff".

More of an emphasis on Style than Substance.

Geeks = Stability, Simple Content, a lack of Visual Slickness, Technical Knowledge.

Creatives = Webhorrea2.0, Complex Displays, Visual Slickness, Lack of Technical Knowledge.

People without the knowledge of malware, it's symptoms and solutions are now responsible for the vast majority of sites. Why bother taking your site down to fix a security hole that doesn't affect you? You can't see anything wrong, and who'd want to attack your little site anyway?

Paris, as she demonstrates a lot of the skills required nowadays...

HD DVD promo body dissolves itself

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I used to want a film collection I could browse, A collection I could show to my friends, a collection I could hold.

I had shelves and shelves of films. Regular Editions, Box Sets, Dodgy pirated tosh. Complete runs of series. Humphrey Bogart films taped off the telly and loving preserved.

Then came laserdisc. 1 Needed 2 types of shelves. It was worth it, because the laserdiscs often had all the special features that are now common on DVDs.

Then came DVD. And a house move. Now I have a collection (easily a dozen) of big cardboard boxes full of videos that will never be watched again. I have laserdiscs that are kept for novelty.

I'm loathed to part with my collections of X-files, Star Trek and Babylon 5 that I lovingly collected, but I'll never watch them again.

I came so close to buying either BR or HDDVD this Christmas. Luckily I chose not to choose, preferring to ignore all the modern toah, but wait until something I wanted to see came out.

Now, I want to have access to everything that I already have AND my spare room full of videos back. I've been burnt twice in the Format Wars, and I'm not going to do it again unless I can everything running over the house network. The cases and original media are just something that can occupies space and can be destroyed.

Downloads and Files for me please. I like the box sets, but ultimately they just take up space. As mainstream cinema becomes more of a disposable product to hang merchandising on to, I'd prefer to treat it as something disposable. I'll pay for what I can get on screen, and all the special features, but if you want me to go and buy more shelves, you're out of luck.

Arthur C. Clarke dead at 90


I Cried.

'nuff said by better wordsmiths. RIP

Exploding turnip threat menaces Indiana town


Blackadder / Baldrick Quotefest

- What's so funny Baldrick?

We only had the one turnip, my lord, and it was exactly the same shape as a thingie. But the Ironic thing is, is that my thingie is exactly the same shape as a Turnip.

Scotland Yard criminologist: DNA-print troublemaker kids

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What's the point of profiling the kids?

Police Work is not an easy job. I do NOT speak from experience.

It seems to me that this is just a way to make the job easier for the plods. Wait for a crime, find the DNA, lock up the criminal.

It's one step further on from: Wait for a Crime, look at the pictures, lock up the criminal when someone identifies them.

I'd prefer: Stop the crimes from happening by having a couple of the UKs finest Boys and Girls in Blue walking the streets looking for trouble and gently persuading any troublemakers to bugger off.

If the punishments fitted the crime, or rather, if the punishments fitted the fear that the crime creates, then yes, by some quirk of Doublethink, I could possibly, conceivably be persuaded that maybe simplifing the identification of the criminals may not be an absolutely evil thing, but they don't. Fines don't make a positive difference when you're stealing money for food, drink, drugs or whatever in the first place.

Help, please, I'm turning into my Dad.

BT admits misleading customers over Phorm experiments

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And what about the advertisers / websites ?

As I understand it, Phorm will be running their own webvertising network. (I shuddered as I typed "webvertising" - Self Flamage) This will set itself up as competion for (say) GoogleAds.

Which foolish businesses will advertise on this network? Which foolish websites will be looking to carry these adverts? As far as I can see anyone signing up for Phorm's services will be throwing their money away as soon as we get proper opt-in.

Cassini survives 'in your face' Enceladus flypast


That kind of proves the point

Enceladus must have life. Why else would the probe fail at the crucial point? Remember it was built by the guys that still haven't found life on the home world of one of El Reg's most cherished posters.

@amanfromMars: Can't you just put a sign up or something, so they know where to look?

Indian gov says no plan to squeeze out BlackBerrys

Black Helicopters

Hang on, just a second...

So does that mean that all the data coming in and out of Indian Call-centres is unencrypted? My Bank Details, Credit Card Details, Health Records, Phone Records. The Full Monty. And it's done that way so that a foreign government can intercept easily? MY Government needs (allegedly) a warrant to do this, but a country that is in direct competition for our jobs gets it on a plate?

Any further comment is redundant. Just like we will be...

Syria orders cybercafe owners to ID customers


@Peter Hawkins

I hate to disagree with someone who apparently is sittling on the same side of the "Big Gordon Is Watching You" as me. But there's no way the UK government can get their act together well enough to have a working ID card system in a mere 5 years. Not with the Usual Suspect consulting firms talking to the myriad of Little Brothers.

Make it 10 years, and I'll agree.

Eurosecurocrat plans EU-wide stop'n'scan plodnet

Paris Hilton

Return the immigrants to where they were first fingerprinted?

From the bold bit in the Pagemeisters article:

If EURODAC shows that the fingerprints have already been recorded, the asylum seeker can be sent back to the country where his/her fingerprints were originally taken...

Soooooo..... If you (as a EU Country) find an illegal immigrant, fingerprint them and deport them, then the next time they try to reenter Europe and get fingerprinted, they get sent back to you.

Here in the Peoples Democratic Judean Republic Land of Dave, we'd just round them up and deport them, without letting the rest of Europe know about the fingerprints ("We posted the CD with the fingerprint data to you guys. Definitely did. Damn, it must have been stolen! My Bad, I shall instigate an urgent review immediately."). This way, as Supreme Leader Dave of the PDJRLD, we'd shuffle the burden of looking after them to our friends in Europe, one of whom would be the first to fingerprint the illegals, and get to keep them everytime they try again.

Paris, because this is a loophole that even she could (drunk) drive a car through.

Afghan networks start nightly shutdown


@ aManfrommars

I must say, I really enjoy your new commenting style, in the last few weeks. You're still keeping the same multilayered puns / (eso|exo)teric wisdom that you always had, but the message content is a lot more relevant.

Have you dropped the obvious Markov chaining, and are just relying on a bit more post-processing? Have you given up the crack-cocaine? Or are you just assimilating in to terrestrial brainwaves better?

@Everyone Else: Yes I think I know who/what I'm talking to. It just seems to have improved. Or I've taken up crack too...

@El Reg Hacks: Any chance of an anonymised interview / weekly column with our non-terrestrial friend, or at least the guys who feed the Martian Internet into our Earthly one?

Oh, we're talking about the Taliban? Interesting, but not sure of their motives and / or rationalisation behind this. Carry on.

Top security firm: Phorm is adware


@ Mycho - Well, not really, just agreeing

Part of my interest in Phorm is that we switched to BT from Pipex, following the Tiscali move. We went live THE DAY BEFORE Vulture Central broke the news.

We were happy with Pipex, we were happy to be paying more for a good quality connection with Tech Support based in the UK. (Insert tales of woe about telling non-native english speakers "We know it's not the Microfilters - It's at your end, probably the [frobinator]" here )

Then we saw Tiscali's prices for new customers, then we saw the line drops, the speed drops and ultimately the customer drops.

So to all the ISP's: Just sell us a good quality connection at a price that will make you some profit. If it costs you more for UK based tech support, then pass the cost on to us. We Will Pay. Cheerfully. We will gladly recommend you to our friends.

Just don't pimp our data or cut corners when we need help.

Virgin lags in scumjumbo race, bins airliner drag-start plans

Paris Hilton

@ AC - Lewis, Lewis, Lewis

AC Sez

>> Those of us who don't fly out to Prague for a romantic weekend every few weeks are not dying of stress and still maintain perfectly healthy sex lives.

A Sex Life? Pics, or it never happened.

Just like Paris really...

Police raid CeBIT stands


ElReg Hacks - Your readers need you

We need a quick summary on who owns what; What the patents involved are; who is claiming what;

I count between 5 and 9 companies involved on the MP3 patent ownership side. Some may be divisions of others.

Texas MP3 - Patent Troll that bought a patent in February

Alcatel - Sueing somebody, or maybe not.

Lucent - Possibly the same company as Alcatel

Sisvel - The guys who called in the cops to CeBIT. Patent Arm of Phillips (?)

Phillips - The guys that co-developed MP3 with Thomson. Owners of Sisvel (?)

Thomson - The other guys that co-developed MP3 with Phillips.

Fraunhofer - Parent of Thomson(?)

SigmaTel - Guys who sold MP3 patent (Maybe to Texas MP3, maybe not)

A. N. Other - May not exist, but if they did they'd have bought the MP3 patent from SigmaTel and sold it to Texas MP3.

Can we have a cut out and keep guide to all of this, a bit like the league tables that the Sun and Shoot! (the footie mag) used to give away at the beginning of a season. That way your loyal readers will be able to track the patents without getting confused.

The Conspiracy Theorist in me says that "The Man" has decided that since he can't stop file sharing, he'll make it impossible to find a device that will play said files.

Home Secretary in ID card gaffe


So, how's it going to work?

I'm happy (uh, not unhappy) that the Database will be on a private network. That makes sense. It's different to "not online", which to me means "There is a database, but it's not attached to a server." If it's not online, it's offline, therefore it's not working.

But how do we get these "benefits" of a known, good set of ID data?

Students can use it as proof of ID for getting a flat, or opening a bank account. How can anyone check that the card-bearer is the same person as recorded by the card without comparing the biometrics?

Doesn't this mean that Banks will have to have all the fingerprint scanners / DNA Sequencers / Iris scanners required? Why can we trust the banks with our new, one size fits all data, when we can't trust them to shred confidential papers? [see News passim]

And what about Landlords and Estate Agents. Without going in to all the anecdotal "evidence" that All Estate Agents Are Scum, and The Single Biggest Waste Of Time & Money When Trying To Buy A House, I can just about envisage a situation whereby the big chains have ID card readers, but not the individual Landlords who let privately. Are we going to have to have a new set of laws criminalising Renting without ID checks, or is this a completely bogus claim?

And why would one card, which could be stolen, and can't be verified without a secure network connection, be more secure than a Driving Licence / Passport, 2 Utility Bills, or a signed letter from the college?

With regards to workers in Airports, Docks and the like. These guys already have ID. Are the current ID / Security standards that bad that all the current security precautions in our airports and docks can be bypassed by Osama Al-Qleaner simply putting on a blue pinny, and pushing a cart load of noxious chemicals and a toilet brush?

Just Asking, that's all.

Mines the blue one that wiffs vaguely of bleach.