* Posts by Ryan Barrett

60 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Aug 2007


Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

Ryan Barrett


I'm all for people to learning to write – I wrote a piece arguing we should teach it in prisons earlier this year – but I think we need to be aware of its limitations. Writing is a niche, mechanical skill, a bit like plumbing or car repair.

Google unleashes (another) Facebook knock-off

Ryan Barrett

Can I have a dislike button?

..because then we'll be able to put expertsexchange to the knife :)

Google open sources MapReduce compression

Ryan Barrett


...for the engineers and scientists who've designed and implemented these algorithms.

Totally understandable for a company like google: keep the talent happy by letting them give away their old toys when they've got something shiny new and much better to play with.

D-Link Boxee Box DSM-380 media streamer

Ryan Barrett


UK and European users can use a VPN to access US content (and Europeans to access UK content). It costs money, but not much ($5/month).

For the record, the box can play anything you throw at it. Which is more than can be said of the other options (notably the Xbox/PS3). It also handles subs properly, which is an issue with cheaper devices.

For the price, it should really include either significant flash storage (16-32gb) or a small hard drive (500gb-1tb).

Amazon: 'iPad LCD tablets no threat to Kindle'

Ryan Barrett
Thumb Up

Kindle 3gen is as good as a book

Title says it all. You can read it anywhere you can read a book, and you don't get eyestrain.

After spending 10 hours behind a PC/laptop a day I find it nice to look at something which isn't burning your eyes :-)

Mobile operators handed content billing blueprint

Ryan Barrett


I'm waiting for the day that The Register start complaining about people with cancer being subsidised by the healthy...

Analyst cuts PC sales forecast, blames iPad

Ryan Barrett

Not sure I agree with them..

It wouldn't be because there isn't a compelling reason to upgrade a 3-4 year old PC anymore, because most things work 'just fine'?

Netbooks sold like crazy a couple of years ago, and they're *REAL* slow compared to my 3 year old mid-low end PC.

Ten... sub-£50 budget MP3 players

Ryan Barrett


There's a reason why the EU has limits on mp3 player output. It's because using *bad* headphones and putting the volume up really high to compensate for background noise is really bad for your hearing.

So why are you recommending players on basis of 'high volume'? When you should be recommending people invest 25 EUR on a decent pair of earbuds? Or a little more on a set of noise-cancelling cans?

Really, this is what I expect from a Murdoch publication. From somewhere so geeky as theregister I expect at the very least informed advise...

iPad to lead netbook and Kindle market munch

Ryan Barrett

£109 for the Kindle...

..it's no contest. Plus the battery lasts forever.

Flaming work laptop toasts cottage

Ryan Barrett

Did the helpdesk monkey tell her to leave it unattended?

Because that would seem pretty pivotal to the case.

Let me guess - she left it on the sofa, blocking the fans. Then left it over there, unattended. Because nothing could ever go wrong, right?

Have they set the bar for oftstead inspectors that low?

VW to eliminate worst road hazard: drivers

Ryan Barrett

Electronics in Volkswagens..

Now I've owned a number of Volkswagens in the past, and the very first (and usually only) thing to fail in them is - you guessed it - the electronics.

So this "blind bend" example. You'd be speeding towards a blind bend. Someone has broken down in their VW on the bend. Because it's a VW, it means that the wireless system's probably not working. Electronics and all that.

So you plough into the back of him.

How extreme is your pr0n? Depends on your lawyer

Ryan Barrett

Sued for goatse?

What's the world coming too?

..and goatse. sexual? Thems are pretty twisted police officers if they find that sexual....

Microsoft's dynamic languages on forced diet

Ryan Barrett
Thumb Up

Not surprising

It was a really dumb idea afterall. Why put the effort into learning Ruby if you've got no Rails?

They've been adding dynamic-style features to C# for the last few years, and it's obvious that they're going to focus on improving this side of the language. Add features to the language that their development community know and love in order to allow it to compete with Python (and to a lesser extent Ruby).

Though to be honest I personally believe that the biggest benefit of most of these 'dynamic' languages is that they're interpreted. That, combined with a TDD-style of development allow you to work very efficiently. Which, I should add, should be possible to implement in C# (or a subset thereof).

As for scripting languages - MS have Powershell, which is very very powerful, though the target group is different (system admins not developers).

Pirate Bay owners fined by Dutch court

Ryan Barrett

Sadly the Netherlands isn't so great now

That asshat Harry Potter lookalike and his buddies did a good job of messing everything up over the last few years.

'Eternal' sun-plane still aloft after 7 days, aiming for 14

Ryan Barrett

and the Russians...

..just use a helium filled balloon.


Ryan Barrett

Clones are $15

Delivered from certain well known chinese websites.

You'd be a fool to drop 80GBP on it.

Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels

Ryan Barrett


It was a joke back in 1997 when I was 'taught' it.

Java is the absolute minimum, but C# would be better (3.5+). It's a beautiful language (much more productive than Java for me).

They should allow Javascript as a dynamic language. Has more value than VB6 / Pascal.

HTC Desire

Ryan Barrett

iTunes sold me on Android

The fact that iTunes is a prereq for the iPhone is the reason I've not bought one. Unless you use a single PC and have the patience of a saint and don't see the need for backups then iTunes is a horribly broken mess.

Hate to think how much it fails when you try and use two devices (iPod/iPhone) on the same PC.

So yeah, not being forced to use iTunes is a big selling point for Android :)

Is iFlorist the greatest website in the universe, ever?

Ryan Barrett


I sea a oppitunity four paying indeans too make money riting revews for moneh.

Or maybe someone's employing English teenagers to astroturf? Though to be honest the level of English is far too high for that to be the case ;)

NZ internet filter goes live - gov forgets to tell public

Ryan Barrett

SSL gets past it

Was on holiday there last month, and must say I noticed something was wrong. Lots of stuff only works via SSH tunnels back to UK (or via US).

Wikipedia bans Volvo's IT over racist rants

Ryan Barrett

Someone's going to get the sack..

Worked for Volvo for six years so I know that they take a dim of racism (and contributing to wikipedia in general, I think). Someone's getting the sack.

What is odd though is that just before I left they instituted a new network filtering system, which blocked pretty much any useful website. IIRC that included wikipedia. Which would have made it hard to fiddle with the wiki.

Any current Volvo-ers know if that's still the case?

Mozilla plots Firefox interface overhaul

Ryan Barrett


Really like the Firefox 4.0 design. Chic.

Microsoft adds higher price to SQL Server's new features

Ryan Barrett

Oracle gives you more for your money..

..which is probably why it's more expensive.

Oracle's still miles ahead of SQL server, but it is in my experience far more complex. Still, for a lot of users SQL Server does everything they'd ever need to do, and does it with less effort.

For the record I work at the moment almost excusively with SQL server, but I'm man enough to see (and admit) its weaknesses.

HTC says no to Android HD2 to aid Windows Mobile

Ryan Barrett

MS'll kill it..

They're not stupid. They have to be working on a true replacement for WinMobile, and when it's ready they'll quickly kill WinMobile.

I hope.

They're easily the best with developer support so it'd be nice for them to be there in a competative sense.

Female fruitbat fellatio frenzy: 70% give head

Ryan Barrett

Guinea pigs do cunnilingus..

Male ones to female at least.

..and dogs are always licking each other's todgers.

Punters 'confuse' netbooks with notebooks

Ryan Barrett

Portability and excellent battery time..

...is why netbooks are *better* than notebooks. They're giving consumers what they want: something which is easy to take with them, and doesn't require an wall socket to work for any amount of time.

That's why we're seeing 12inch models costing more than far faster notebooks from the likes of Dell and HP.

Microsoft: 18-month Windows 7 downgrade rights

Ryan Barrett
Dead Vulture


Seriously, guys. On an modern machine Vista is simply better than XP. At least once it's correctly configured. Windows 7 is even better.

Yet on most of the big IT sites we're still seeing loads of 'IT professionals' moaning because they want to keep using XP.

Heck, move to KDE4/gnome if you really don't like Microsoft. They're both better than XP.

But it's nothing to do with Vista/Windows 7, is it? It's just the crusy-mafia out to stop them young 'uns 'changing things again'. Ain't it?

Bloody luddites.

MySpace cuts 30% of staff

Ryan Barrett

Cool? Nah, just not blind..

MySpace is Geocities 2.0 for goodness sake. Home to some of the most terrible sites ever designed.

That Digital Britain report in full

Ryan Barrett

Format shifting

How, exactly, are the copyright cartel 'loosing out' to format shifting? They've already made the sale.

Selling the same thing again wouldn't be at all fair, it's rewarding the artists (well, the record companies and other parasites mainly) for doing nothing.

Next-gen Atom to launch in October, say moles

Ryan Barrett

Power draw from the whole system?

With an integrated graphics and io controller I assume that the power draw of the entire system will drop a fair bit?

IIRC the current generation of netbooks draw around 25-30w, mainly thanks to the chipset. If this eliminates the need for the big drinkers in the chipset, could this lead to an entire-system figure closer to 15-20w?

Webhost hack wipes out data for 100,000 sites

Ryan Barrett


"Even if the service is unmanaged do they not run backups as standard incase of hardware failure ?? I would be a bit miffed if I was a customer there."

If they offer an specific package which does not include backup but comes at a lower price point, then you'd have 0 right to be 'miffed' if there weren't backups.

Such a package is just offering customers what they want: cost savings based on the customer sorting their own backup solution out.

Court upholds 'hacking' charge against smut-surfing worker

Ryan Barrett

Waste of tax dollars..

Public service suing an employee for something which is an internal problem.

Then the courts sentencing him to prision time? For visiting websites which are lawful?

If I was an Ohio tax payer I'd be wanting to know why my taxes are being wasted on something which quite obviously has nothing to do with the "crime" committed.

Judges rap police over raid on paedo expert

Ryan Barrett

So how long do the thieves get?

Who broke into his home and stole a whole lot of his (and his client's) computing equipment?

You'd expect them to be made an example of given the fact that they were in responsible positions...

Brussels to sue UK over Phorm failures

Ryan Barrett

ICO logic

[quote]The ICO accepted BT's argument that it would have been hard to explain Phorm's interception and profiling system to internet users whose communications it was being tested on.[/quote]

So, lets say I someone ran over the BT CEO's kid, killing them.

Following BT's logic, it would be better hide the body and not tell him about it. As, after all, telling him you've murdered his kid is "hard to explain".

I'm of the view that if the EU win this, we should be pursuing criminal prosecutions against these at the ICO who went along with BT's argument.

It stinks of back handers and corruption in general.

P2P eavesdrop 'guilt by association attack' developed

Ryan Barrett
Thumb Down

Isn't it just easier to connect to the swarm..

..of a torrent you're interested in monitoring?

Because 100% of the clients connected would be downloading the material.

Memo to Microsoft: Enough with the SKUed Windows

Ryan Barrett

RE: Dutch dell

>I was flabbergasted when I received my new Dell in the

>Netherlands complete with the only OS option of Vista

>(I took Basic) in Dutch, and tried to change the language

>to English unsuccessfully. I mean, they use a translation

>library, right? They don't recompile afresh for each language?

Considering the Dell website clearly states the language of Windows you're buying, and usually offers the option of English or Dutch, I can understand why you're posting as AC.

From what I understand it's an hard translation, they have different binaries for each language..

Of course we run the English version, as it's kinda annoying googling windows error messages in anything other than English......

Sony Vaio P netbook taken for a spin

Ryan Barrett

Bezzle's bigger than the screen....

..shame, it looks like they could have crammed an 10 inch screen in there, or made it a couple of inches thinner/shorter.

Facebook in goldmine potential deficit

Ryan Barrett


If they could work out a way to charge the unwashed lots of money for something which costs nothing, then they'd be on to something.

Bit like the mobile companies do for SMS.

Remember that their users are the same people who buy Britney's latest ear buster and call those dodgy premium numbers which seem to be bankrolling the horror which is TV at the moment..... there'll be a way of extracting money from them, Facebook just need to work out which one to start with..

Daft list names Firefox, Adobe and VMWare as top threats

Ryan Barrett

Don't feed the Marketing Trolls...

.. or the idiots'll keep doing stuff like this and the trademarked smiley..

Entire class fails IT exam by submitting in Word format

Ryan Barrett
Thumb Down

Computer says no

What a pathetic response from the exam board.

Why, exacty, is stopping them printing off the exam entries and then marking them? Or allowing resubmission?

Time to put an end to this sort of petty beaurocracy. Viva la revolution!

Story withdrawn

Ryan Barrett



Bummed in the Gob







...so many goodies missed.

IT Crowd: spot Reg gear

Ryan Barrett

BOFH tee spotted

On the Irish man!

Kings of Leon to freetards: Y'all are trash

Ryan Barrett

MP3's does a disservice to their music..

..especially the one doing the rounds. Though the music's great, it really does butcher sections of some songs.

Great album btw, return to form after the awfully mixed mess that was Because Of The Times (I'm looking at you, On Call).

OiNK BitTorrent admin faces fraud prosecution

Ryan Barrett

Did the record execs get jail time?

When they were found guilty of defrauding the public through price fixing?

Did the owners (shareholders) get jailed?


Then something's very wrong here.

Microsoft dishes dirt on IE8 'pr0n mode'

Ryan Barrett

What about index.dat?

Are they going to clear that, or will the little spy file continue to monitor every site you've visited?

That password-protected site of yours - it ain't

Ryan Barrett

Don't encourage people to use expert$-exchange..

..that cancer of a site already b0rks most tech-related searches, and it's a pain typing -"experts-exchange" for each search.

Hadoop: When grownups do open source

Ryan Barrett

Apples and Oranges

Ruby, particularly Rails, is great for developing small/medium scale bespoke solutions.

For example administrative systems, or invoicing systems for firms with 5-500 employees. Lots of code reuse, short development cycles, and it'll all run on a pair of servers.

All for a whole lot less cash and far less hassle than letting SAP and co at it.

Java's far more geared towards projects which need to scale and must be multiplatform. Big, but not infrastructure.

Which leaves C/C++ (and a pattering of assembly) to cover the infrastructural stuff - where the Big Boys play.

Dissing Ruby because Twitter sucks is like dissing an hacksaw because it does such a poor job at chopping trees down. You should be dissing the frikkin' idiots who're trying to use a hacksaw for a job which requires a chainsaw....

Yes! It's Joyce McKinney, admits Joyce McKinney

Ryan Barrett

Mad cows buy cloned dogs

Oh, what a headline.

Phorm papers reveal BT's backwards approach to wiretap law

Ryan Barrett
Thumb Down

So, by BT's logic, rape is legal?

If you're only "testing" someone out for sex. Without permission.

Nice one BT.

Sony details PS3 DVR pricing, launch date

Ryan Barrett

PS3 HDD is easy to upgrade!

Just the same as switching a laptop HDD. So this device could be useful to some people.

Not for me though, our digital cable comes via UPC and we need their decoder card to decrypt everything.