* Posts by Andy

44 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Aug 2007

Doner kebabs: Death wrapped in pitta bread



There are some flaws in the calorie system but they're not as bad as Richard Cartledge makes out. As JonB pointed out, there are weighting factors involved which account for some of the body's 'inefficiency' in processing food but they only work to a certain extent.

Most food, if chewed up properly before swallowing, will provide the body with the calories the manufacturers claim it will. Some foods which are particularly difficult to digest such as those which are hard (nuts) and those which come in a tough cellulose wrapper (sweetcorn) will pass almost untouched through the body if not chewed.

Further, the weighting effects fail to take due regard for dietary fibre (which is simply counted as carbohydrate 'cos that's what it looks like in a machine) so if something is high in fibre (all bran and their ilk) then the calorie count will be way off.

A kebab isn't difficult to digest and doesn't contain a great deal of dietary fibre and so, it will indeed provide you with way more calories than the body needs at any one moment in time.

As for 'eating lots of chocolates in one sitting is better for you than eating a couple every so often' that is pure arse gravy of the highest order. Firstly the calories in chocolate are pretty easily absorbed and if you have an excess in the body then they will be turned into storage (fat) but secondly, you may notice that if you have a large meal you feel fuller for longer because the rate of passage through the body is controlled so that the maximum absorption can take place. Fatty meals sit in the stomach longer because it takes the body longer to deal with them. High carb and high protein meals get processed much quicker. The body will still take in as much of the nutrition as it can and, if there is an excess, it will be stored as fat.

Cash'n'Carrion: A lean, mean, fighting machine

Thumb Up

Title this!

An actual sensible comment? *gasp*

Anyway, poking around a little, as solicited, I noticed that if you click 'show all' to show everything then not everything is shown. I will admit the only thing I noticed not being shown was the 'WTF?' T-shirt, primarily because I want one of those, but there may or may not be others (imho, ymmv etc)

Otherwise great. Who knows, I may even buy something.

London store brews £50-a-poop cat-crap coffee


Old news...

This stuff has been on sale for ages. You can get 57g (2oz) for 22.95 here:


£50 per cup sounds a bit much though. I don't know how many cups you get from 2oz but I'd say it's probably more than half!

Incidentally, if that's too much for you you can have the slightly cheaper one here:


where your 2oz has been swallowed and then vomited by weasels, all for the bargain price of £15.95.

I think I'll stick to Kenco.

Guitar maker Gibson thrashes out more robo-axes

Thumb Up

Won't be buying one...

I'd like to get my hands on one to test it out though. Digital tuners are nothing new, of course, but sticking them into the body of the guitar and linking them to the machine heads is. Or rather it was when they first did it a few months back. I'm sure the technology works, and works well, otherwise they wouldn't have done it. I'd like to see what difference, if any, the extra electronics in the body make to the sound of the instrument. I'd guess not much otherwise, again. they would likely shy away from it.

If they brought the SG out in cherry, like SGs should be, then I'd consider buying one but purple? Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

CIA demands UK halts interrogation tactics


For clarification...

Are we supposed to call 'April Fool' or just make some rant about the predictable hypocrisy of those crazy yankees?

Adobe to remove Photoshop pic pimping clause


Get over yourselves

How long have you people been reading The Register? I first started in around 2000 and have, on and off, kept up with it. The standards of journalism are not falling. We're not seeing a reversion to childhood. The Register takes a lighthearted and irreverent look at the stories which matter to IT people. This is what The Register is, it's what it has always been and, god help us, it's what it always will be. A clue? You can mark a comments with an icon which means 'what's the Paris Hilton angle?'. That in turn allows all the Hiltards - people whose only raison d'etre is to show they can think of a double- (or, being honest mostly single-)entendre linking Paris into the story - a reason for commenting. IT people are, almost exclusively - and self-included, little boys (or girls) with a childish desire to make things-that-bleep bleep louder, stronger and faster, safe in the knowledge that only they can do it best. One day I might meet one who doesn't fall into that category but I'm not ceasing pulmonary inspiration in anticipation.

You people who complain - and over the years there have been plenty - are the worst kind of idiot. The ones who think the world has to work for them. The ones who believe that they have a divine right to not be slighted, insulted or challenged in their life - even accidentally. I'd love to know which other news organisations you read because, apparently, you have to agree with every word which appears there or you must throw your dolly out of the pram and refuse to read another word.

Do I like the word freetard? Not particularly. But it has been coined and is in use and happens to be a convenient way to refer to 'over-zealous exponents of the free and open source software movement' (and before you complain, all freetards are over-zealous - if you're not over-zealous then you're not freetarding correctly).

Reality crashes Google hippie code fest


@Joshua Goodall

"If you were Debianizing a bikeshed"

The concept of bikeshedding (as described by C. Northcote Parkinson) is in no way unique to Debian. It's been a feature of every software project I've participated in - both open and closed source - where there have been multiple developers.

For example this particular GSOC project, for FreeBSD:


US airline pilot pops a cap in cockpit


A couple of comments

Not from me but from people on the PPRUNE link that Brad posted. Some of you may not have time to plough through a billion pages of comments but a couple amused me...

First from Fergus Kavanagh responding to the news that the gun has to be locked away when the cockpit door is open:

"Run this by me again?

You have to lock the gun away when you open the door to go for a slash.?

So, when the door is open, the time of max vulnerability, you have the gun

locked away, but when the door is locked, and there is little threat, you

can take it out and .......

Nah, that cant be right.....

But it probably is."

And second from 'Two's In' who ably voices the fears of passengers and crew alike:

"It's easy to laugh this time when it was only a handgun - next time it could be more than 3 Fluid ounces of hand lotion."

Hear hear.

Tom Cruise does splits in birthday boogie vid


Conference of the vertically challenged?

Was it a pre-requisite for attendance that you had to be unfeasibly short? I mean I know the guy (allegedly) wears platforms but, even so, it's not often that the diminutive Mr Cruise looks like one of the tallest in a roomful of people.

Google Sky brings the heavens to a browser near you


@Sarah Bee

TinyURL? As a verb? Say it ain't so...

Yahoo! leaves! London!


*Shakes head*

Where do I get the neural implant so I too can have the Daily Mail's criminally woeful brand of 'news for people who can't think for themselves' beamed directly into my brain? (Satellite 5 perhaps?)

I swear, if I have to have the 'Poles, coming over here, taking our jobs and eating our swans' conversation one more time I'll explode in a fit of bigot-induced rage.

One man's mead is another man's poison. Every country on Earth has pros and cons and pros for some will be cons for others. I happen to like the pros I see in this country and the cons, whilst plentiful, are still not close to being outweighed. And there'd be a lot more room, and less carbon dioxide emitted through hot air, if the serial whingers would go through on their promise and leave those of us who don't judge their quality of life by the size of their bank balance in peace. And good luck with that wild-goose-chase to find paradise on Earth.

Ballmer pledges PHP love in Microhoo future


How about a little commercial integrity around here?

Whatever happened to companies working hard to create a dominant market position by being the best and then working hard to stay in that domination by still being the best. Even if you have no competition in a market the only logical thing to do is to work your damnedest to ensure that that's because the competition could never compete with you on the things that matter.

If Microsoft, or any other company for that matter, actually looked at things from a consumer-centric rather than a competitor-centric (or, less charitably, profit-centric) point of view then they would be immeasurably better off both in terms of profits and in terms of public perception. If you ask 'what do you want?' and then *gasp* actually do it then the people love you. If you ask the equivalent of 'which of these three crap options would you least hate?' then people really resent you because a) you're doing what you want not what the people want and b) you're trying to make it look the other way round.

I'm not a fanboy of any flavour. I'm a 'best tool for the job' kinda guy. I use windows where appropriate, *n*x where appropriate and I have an iPod running Rockbox. And a PS2. And a Wii. And a DS. And a PSP. And a Dreamcast. And...

(OK, you got me...I only ever buy Nokias. My guilty fanboy secret. But don't tell anyone, OK?)

Asus 8.9in Eee PC surfaces

Thumb Up

More screen real-estate

"scaled up slightly to accommodate the bigger screen"

Looks to me like all they've had to do is remove the ugly black bezel from around the screen which, imho, is probably the best thing they *could* do to it. Obviously it remains to be seen but I'd imagine the physical dimension are the same.

Doesn't look like the beach-babe has had her assets upgraded similarly.

Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote


@Sarah Bee

What? No Eastenders?

Peggy: Leave it ahhhhhht, Phil. - has to be one of the best sci-fi movie quotes ever.

Judge greenlights lawsuit against Microsoft

Gates Horns

Loathe as I am to defend anyone...

...is this really any worse than advertising laptops 'from £200' where the £200 version is so poorly specified that a child in Africa would be ashamed to own it; the price for a decent version being more than double that.

They said it was Vista Capable and, as there is something called Vista that it is capable of running, I don't see that there's much merit in the case. Playing insidious semantic games with the English language is naughty but it's hardly a new idea in the world of advertising and marketing.

EU wants RFID tags turned off



If you buy any clothing from M&S these days then they already have RFID tags. I forget exactly what they call them but it's something like 'SmartLabel' - if you feel the tag you can feel the almost-impossibly-tiny chip and rip the label open to see it for yourself.

Eugene Kaspersky and the KGB man that never was

Paris Hilton


"The Baculum is a unique bone found in the penis of most mammals. This bone aids in copulation when mates have only a short encounter and need to perform quickly. The Baculum is sometimes referred to a “hillbilly or mountain man toothpick” and can be utilized as a coffee stirrer. The largest Baculum in the mammal kingdom belongs to the walrus, which can reach a length of 30 inches."

So not only do they exist but you can also buy them:


I don't think I need to explain Paris on this one...

Oz teen elephant pregnancy sparks protests


re; Unnatural conception

But that's not a problem as elephants never forget so she'll just remember what her mother did for her!

OFT mulls Egg probe


Bad puns, you say?

I used to have an egg card and considered getting a second but I realised one egg was un oeuf.

Apple applies to light up laptop touchpads, iPod clickwheels

Thumb Down


I may be missing something here but, having racked my brain for all of the previous 30 seconds, I can't come up with a need for this. On my iPod I get guided round the menu options by visual indicators on the screen such as the menu item in question becoming highlighted in some way to distinguish it from others. Once the required menu item is highlighted I then click with the centre button to choose that menu option.

I can almost imagine that this might be some help to partially sighted people but only if the light was bright and there were enough different colours to represent each menu option...otherwise they're better off jamming the screen right up to their face and checking for the previously described 'visual feedback' mechanism which is already present - like I have to do when I'm indulging in spectacle-free iPod usage.

Nokia N95 8GB becomes first phone to win DLNA thumbs-up


Generation gap...

They're on 8G now? And I thought my 3G phone was up to date...

Gates kicks off farewell tour in Vegas


Farewell tour indeed


What's that quaint word that the kids use when they've just been well and truly stuffed by someone on the ol' 'puter? Oh yeah...pwned!

And in other news, was I the only one excited by the BBC headline 'Gates joins Dancing on Ice stars' until realising it was the Pop Idol singer, Gareth, rather than the world's richest geek?

How to be a failure at Guitar Hero III

Thumb Up

No axe to grind

As a mediocre guitarist myself - I can strum a few chords, play a few songs and occasionally manage a solo - I have to say I find Guitar Hero to be pretty easy. I have no idea whether my guitar 'skills' help this or whether I just 'get it' in the same way that I have no idea whether if I bothered to practice by real axemanship every day I would be the next Slash. I was playing it last night with a couple of musicians (an oboist and a trombonist) who didn't seem to manage at all well with it so I was assuming it was my guitar experience which was carrying me through.

I guess Guitar Hero is to guitar what Dance Dance Revolution is to dancing. It's guitar music - the buttons you have to press change as the notes change, although granted not necessarily in the same way as the real world - but like DDR it's only guitar (or dancing) in the broadest sense of the term. What it is, though, is a lot of fun for a bunch of people with alcohol in their veins looking for a way to liven up a party and that's really all it ever pretended to be. It won't turn you into Slash - even if you beat him in the head-to-head - but it will give a you a certain amount of hand-eye and left-right coordination and help with pattern recognition and useful skills like that.

US air force, Boeing press on with alternative jet fuel tests


It's the future...

"he likened the coming shift to the distribution of computing power outward from mainframes into PCs"

Hoorah! Tanks of algae in every home!

There's probably a joke in there about 'the tank has detected an illegal operation in algae.dll' but I can't be bothered to get my coat...

MIA in Iowa - personal data on 3m UK driving test candidates


Pearson...a great british company.

From http://www.pearsonvue.co.uk/home/gsn/ln/

"Pearson VUE is the trading name of Pearson Driving Assessments Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 04904325, whose registered office is located at Hellaby Business Park, Hellaby Lane, Hellaby, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S66 8HN. VAT No GB 830 0666 55"

Although that's actually a LIE as Companies House lists their registered address as:




Which is the rather beautiful Shell Mex house (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_Mex_House) where 'most of its floors are occupied by companies of Pearson PLC'. The intricate web of shell companies, holding companies and trading names always makes things difficult to follow in modern business. Pearson have dabbled with many things in their time (they started as a construction company) including BSB, and are currently listed as 'media conglomerate' although printed media (books) is still their forte. They own Penguin books, the Financial Times, half of the Economist, a number of 'testing' companies and, perhaps most importantly, they own examining board 'London Qualifications Ltd' (formerly Edexcel) so between that and their publishing interests they are (or could be) almost in complete control of educating a large percentage of British children.

So why would they want data on a few million young British consumers? I couldn't possibly imagine.

Toshiba tech paves way for 100Gb Flash chips

Paris Hilton

What's in a generation?

Any kind of timescale? I understand that they have to squeeze every last drop out of current technology before it becomes worthwhile moving to newer ones. Does anyone know how long this is? Are we talking 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

I just want to know how long it'll be before I can walk around with a terabyte of porn in my pocket.

Violin plays AMD for memory monster


@ Adam White

"How does one physically connect a 2RU MAS unit to an Opteron server via HyperTransport?"

I suspect the answers to that would be, variously, 'one doesn't', 'with a cable' and 'real soon now'. Clearly I couldn't go into a computer shop and build me one of these fellas up but presumably they'll be working on getting the connection right (or 'right enough', as is so often the case with these things) so that the solution is there.

Media player users beware: more vulns ahead


One man's mead...

"Taking care not to click on suspicious links in browsers and email programs should suffice"

If we could trust the general population to do this then we wouldn't have viruses, exploits and other malware running around the world like wildfire. WE (as reg readers) are neither the kind to get exploited by this and nor are we the kind to whom the advice is directed. But you have to remember, a lot of people are stupid and, even more importantly, a lot of seemingly intelligent people become stupid in the face of technology. They elevate someone to the role of 'knows computers' just because they know where the on switch is and if they can manage to order something from Amazon or find the lyrics to an old song on Google then they become revered as IT Gods.

Rhys Jones 'killer' named on YouTube



Or maybe [redacted] is his street name innit.

Guardian blogborg takes aim at global warming


@John Clarke

Thanks for saying what I was about to. You saved me the bother of commenting.


Well at least comments don't pollute. I mean...my computer was on anyway.

*turns down brightness a couple of notches*

Prince's anti-YouTube crusade halted by American mommy



Her view count will have suffered irreparable damage due to being unavailable for so long. I suspect this publicity will more than make up for it but that's not the point. And we all know that in this popularity contest we call Web 2.0 it's all about the views.

Or perhaps great aunt Maude died before she could see her little great nephew playing because of the takedown thus depriving her of a few moments of happiness in her twilight? Maybe the stress of finding something missing, akin to getting back to your car only to find it not there, was so great that her life has effectively been ruined? Maybe, even, her trust in the internet has been broken so greatly that she will never again be able to bring herself to use it thus effectively rendering herself a second class citizen in the net-dominated future?

I reckon damages of about $47 billion should cover it...

Sheet music site forced offline



Sounds more like Failed Mahler to me...

Mobile phones soon to be allowed on aircraft

Paris Hilton

Not quite the end of the world as we know it - but I still feel fine

To quote the West Wing (ep 1x01)


You can’t use your phone until we land, sir.


We’re flying in a Lockheed eagle series L-1011. It came off the line 20 months ago and carries a Sim-5 Transponder tracking system. Are you telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?"

Let them use phones. I somehow doubt that they'd be allowing it if they weren't reasonably sure of its safety and I also doubt that the first test flight will involve a few hundred paying passengers being given free reign to mob away. And what happens if you interfere with a plane's navigation system anyway? You end up in Bermuda instead of Paris? Nice thought but no.

I won't be using mine unless I absolutely have to but then I take the same attitude with them on the ground. But I learnt a long time ago that avoiding what I consider to be 'anti-social behaviour' is about as easy as avoiding stories about Paris Hilton. People are people - from scumbags to saints - and you either learn to live with them or you go insane.

Will Bungie jump from Microsoft?

Thumb Up

Foresight saga?

So now the BBC have it as 'Breaking News' that this has just been announced. I guess the rumour wasn't too far from the truth then :)

To those who said 'Microsoft owns Bungie so it can't happen' you could probably use a lesson in the world of business. Companies can be owned by other companies without becoming a part of that company. If management of the smaller company decide that visions no longer concur then the larger company takes the decision either to boot out the dissenters (usually a bad idea) or to let the company fly freely with some kind of 'future collaboration' brief which makes everybody happy. Kinda.

Hackers hit back at iPhone update



Does anyone actually know for a fact that it's not possible to unlock the phone using a simple system of 'secret codes' like normal phones? I mean...people seem to be assuming that this phone is locked to AT&T (or whichever other provider) forever and the only way round it is by hacking about its software or hardware internals.

So the question of 'what happens once the contract is up?' comes up. I suspect we shall find out when it happens. I would go so far as to suggest that all mention of Apple's evil intentions is simply pointless conjecture which serves only as a self-sustaining debate between fanboys of the various factions involved in IT.

As a non-fanboy myself, perfectly capable of using whichever tool will best accomplish the task in hand (sometimes it's windows, sometimes it's linux, sometimes it's a creative zen, sometimes it's an ipod, sometimes it's even a large rubber mallet), I find it all rather tiresome. No one would have this problem if they just stuck to Nokias which, any normal person will tell you, are the only decent phones worth considering.

Experts fret over credit card compliance



According to our card processing t&cs, there is no risk to the merchant from chip and pin transactions. The only risk is from signature-verified transactions which...well...we haven't done one for over 12 months. According to various articles I've read this was decided as a strategy by the processors to encourage take up.

My company is lucky in that in over 10 years of accepting plastic we've never had a single chargeback. We had 1 request for 'proof of signature' which we supplied once and that was never charged back. Just lucky I guess.


@Balance of Risk

That's not strictly true. The risk lies with different people depending on what type of transaction it is. In CP (Card Present) Transaction the risk lies with the customer for Chip and PIN verified but with the merchant for signature verified - unless the merchant can produce a copy of the signature and show that that signature looks the same as the one on the card. It would clearly be unfair to place the risk with the merchant on C&P transactions because there is nothing that the merchant can do about it...unlike with signatures where the merchant can check the signature. If you accept a signature and it's not the same as the one on the card then you deserve to lose the money.

For CNP (Card Not Present) transactions the risk again lies with the merchant unless there is a 'Verified by Visa' (or equivalent) element in which case the card processor will assume risk. In actual fact they will pass it on to the customer because these are considered 'uncrackable' - and when the banking industry learns that nothing is uncrackable when there's a human element involved the world will be a much better place.

Incidentally, in the US banks have to disprove fraud before they can pass on the risk to the customer whereas in the UK the customer has to prove fraud to pass the risk to the bank.

Hospital's brand new '£1m' server room goes up in smoke


Waiting lists...

"The catastrophe hit on 9 September"

But presumably it had to sit on a trolley in the corridor for two weeks before a janitor came along and noticed there was a problem.

What's 77.1 x 850? Don't ask Excel 2007



Maybe when they increased from 65,536 rows they did so by expunging the number from Excel's internal 'database of known numbers' (what, you think it calculates? hell no, it looks them up in a book) thereby causing the problem.

EC competition commissioner slams US dissing


Fashion angle?

I was wondering where the fashion angle was but your last paragraph seems to have that one zipped up.


Google, Yahoo! and Amazon sued over email patent



If you look at the patent, it's specifically tailored to e-mail systems which analyse the content of messages and decide whether it can be dealt with by auto-response or needs to be forwarded to a real person for proper human processing, e.g. those used by website helpdesks.

As such it falls outside of the 'normal' e-mail processing done by procmail et al although I suspect it wouldn't be too difficult for a lawyer to prove that there was software capable of doing this long before this patent application landed.

Produce-licking YouTubers attacked by 147-year-old American grocer


Tripe tripe baby

If only Vanilla Ice had slapped a patent on 'a method for making poor rap records out of food-related rhymes' when he wrote the lines 'quick to the point to the point no fakin', cooking MCs like a pound of bacon' then he'd be able to get in on the action too.

Then again, I'd imagine there's prior art involved but seeing as I generally regard rap 'music' as 'something to avoid' my knowledge base is happily lacking in this area. I do, however, know all of the words to Mr Ice's seminal classic (is that a euphemism for 'pile of wank'?) so I shall, indeed, get my coat.

UniquePhone answers sceptics with video



'a debate on where the septics live'

Don't they live in septic tanks?!

Incidentally, is it coincidence that septics is an anagram of cesspit? I think not...

AT&T turns screws on iPhone unlocker



Doesn't Bush also rent that small property on Pennsylvania Ave, DC with the sniper-wired fence?