* Posts by Chris

52 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Feb 2007


Gordon 'to sacky' Wacky Jacqui

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About time too.

If only it meant that the next one in would reverse the idiotic policy decisions of the worthless bag of shit. Unfortunately this mob are likely to stumble forward with all the same crap. We can only hope that they don't have time to actually _do_ anything else before being chucked out.

Please can someone come up with more parliamentary scandals. Ideally, we need enough to keep all MPs too busy covering their own arses to do any further damage. It's a real shame that having a paralysed legislature is preferable to one able to act. That front bottom Blair has got a lot to answer for.

Blog homeopathy horror hammers hippy herbalists


@In the land AC

Oh please. Are you seriously trying to suggest that homeopathy is a wonderful new theory people are just closed to because they don't know better?

Homeopathy was first pulled out of a German physician's arse in 1796. It has been repeatedly demonstrated to not be any better than placebo when subjected to anything like a rigourous testing. The same kind of testing which _demonstrated_ round-world, the heliocentric solar system, the expanding universe etc.

Homeopathy and the rest of the hippy bullshit proliferated by these quacks is a desperately sad movement which melts away to nothing when properly evaluated. They're the flat-earthers, the creationists, the "pyramids were built by aliens" loonies. Wishful thinking and nothing more. You've got your analogy absolutely 180% the wrong way round.



Joking aside, of course they were right to publish. Have you read the rest of the "You ask, they answer" series? There are some pretty snarky questions, which, for the most part, the companies involved take with good grace and answer to the best of their abilities. Neal's Yard appear to have misunderstood that some people feel claiming to be an "ethical" company and selling water as a cure for malaria/flu/whatever doesn't really match. They could have defended themselves, or at least tried to. Why wouldn't they if they believe in what they're selling?

To my mind it's a Good Thing to have this exposed.



Well, they got what they deserved to be honest. I'm guessing, as has been suggested, that they expected a bunch of fluffy questions about whether seaweed or bark chipping moisturiser was better for oily skin, and got a lot of questions about why they sell sugar pills and bottles of water at a (presumably) massive markup and suggest they're good for potentially lethal diseases.

Can't see what's "ethical" about that, personally.

Robo-fish to hunt pollution in Spanish seas

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oooh, pretty

They're lovely, the movement is especially great. I heartily approve of making more of these things for any reason whatsoever.

Do they count towards trawler quotas then?

Astroboffins probe mysterious 'blazar'



> "Where are the super-massive black holes, in our own vicinity?"

Our galaxy, Andromeda and Triangulum have got super-massive black holes at the centre, so three out of the three closest big galaxies have them. They're just not chucking out insane amounts of energy like this one is, and good thing too.

>"We're looking back at the wild freaky things that went on during the Universe's misspent youth, but surely, the implication is that these shenanigans went on around these parts, too."

I don't think it's quite like that. 1.5 billion years isn't _all_ that long ago when you're talking about the universe though - I wouldn't refer to it as youth, anyway. It's not as if every galaxy was blazing away like this until they all stopped some time in the last billion years - it seems to be uncommon for something to be this energetic. I don't know if there's any reason to believe that this kind of thing isn't still going on somewhere in the universe right now, just not "nearby".

It could be that there's a distribution of these fairly uncommon objects and we just happen to be 1.5 billion light-years away from where this one was 1.5 billion years ago. Maybe they're sporadic - e.g. galaxy collisions could lead to a larger influx of matter than normal (and therefore outbursts like these) over the period of a couple of hundred million years before the source dries up and the black hole reverts to a less blowtorchy state.

Of course if there are any closer to us, but their outburst started more recently than the amount of time it takes the light to get here, we won't know about it.

A quick Google says the closest quasar we know of is 600 million light-years away, so not that far really ("quick jog before breakfast" distance :P).

Blimey that's a long post, and all completely made up, too.

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Scratch that

Actually, the one in Triangulum's not that big, apparently. Still, two out of three ain't bad.

Conspiracy theories fly around Norton forum 'Pifts' purge




Huawei shows iPhone-style Android handset


Is this

a Geordie phone company? Have they made any phones anyone's bought before?

Samsung's Omnia touchphone goes HD



AllAboutSymbian reckon it's a Symbian machine. Which is, as you say, a pretty major change. Did El Reg just forget that it's got a completely different operating system on it?

Sat scope discovers Earthlike 'sauna world'

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worthless carping

"Do it in your spare time like all other hobbiests have to."

What, the people who are hobbier than the other people?

Engage a brain once in a while. The rest of your comment isn't even worth dignifying with a response.

Nokia N97 touchscreen webphone demo'd


He said meg

He meant gig. It's a mistake you twats.

Story withdrawn


How can you idiots

vote for anything other than "webinar" for fuck's sake? The most stupid "word" invented in the last century by miles, used only by irredeemable cockbags.

DARPA seeks Hitchhikers Deep Thought program



it's Multivac/Univac, isn't it?

NASA probe finds opals in Martian crevices



"Milliken is one of NASA's top Martian water-formed gemstone brains, seemingly."?

Hang on. We've discovered a race of water-formed gemstone brains, from Mars? How come I wasn't told?

Not only that, but it sounds like more than one of them have somehow managed to get a job at NASA. I would have thought this should be front-page news, not chucked in an aside at the end of an article.

NASA's nuclear Mars tank is go


Swanky video

Blimey, the swank levels on NASA videos have gone up recently haven't they? This one looks like it was done by the Firefly effects people - all that shaky camera/hand zooming during the descent. Lovely stuff.

Regarding the actual mission, I heartily approve. We need to show our strength to the Martian pigs before they try anything - not only can we spread chaos by the surprise dropping of large lumps of metal on their cities, but while they're reeling from that initial assault we send in the Nuclear Powered Ray Gun Death Tank to lay waste to what's left of their resistance.

Sample collection my arse.

Reg reader completely loses the plot


"Damn, you people needs lives fucking retards."

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely need a life fucking retards.

Did I type that out loud?

Woman sues EA over 'secret' Spore DRM


@AC, searching for "is Spore cracked"

Yep, cracked and up on all the usual suspect sites THE DAY BEFORE RELEASE. So it didn't even stop 0-day "piracy", and the only people being hurt are those who actually paid money for it. Those who torrented it have paid nothing, _and_ have a better product which they can install as many times as they like, on as many machines as they like. That really showed those pirates, didn't it?

'You can't use Google' - EU Parliament


Pinch of salt

After the total cock up of this author attempting to understand the difference between "buying and selling stuff" and "subcontracting" the other day, I'll find it very hard to take anything they say seriously. What's next Tim, some crap about straight bananas?

Fines all round! EU blames everybody for illegal employment

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I must be dim

If, say, "Besco", have a contract with Evil Gangmasters Ltd. to buy tasty foods, and Besco also have a contract with Innocent Hauliers Inc. to transport said foods, how are IHI involved in the same "subcontracting chain"?

It's not like Besco have subcontracted IHI to "grow, pick and deliver tasty foods" and IHI have then subcontracted the picking and the growing to EGL who have then subcontracted the growing to someone else.

One of us doesn't understand what a subcontracting chain is, and I don't think it's me.

Google's Austro-Hungarian ambitions laid bare



Would the Nazis have been more or less reviled if they had annexed large portions of Eastern Europe for "loving space" rather than the "living space" (Lebensraum) they actually _were_ after?

I'm not sure legions of Volksbeast-with-two-backs would have been any more welcome myself...

Russians probe depths of Lake Baikal



Interesting. Apparently Google Maps can't get me driving instructions from Reading to Lake Baikal. Bloody useless. Maybe I should be using Cuil instead?

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280



What's going on with those Crysis benches? Either there's something wrong with the tables, or the test setup, or a sub-£100 9600GT is about as good as the insanely expensive new card...

Asahi premiers pint-pulling robo-barman


Stop everything right there!

That's the apex of human civilisation. We've finally realised our true potential.

I suggest that we stop every activity right now so we don't screw it up.

HD TV in the UK


I like the V+ box

It's a great wee thing. Record two, watch one has been handy on more than one occasion as well.

There aren't enough HD films available from the on demand thing, and the ones which are are usually shit, but every now and again a good one turns up. Plus the Planet Earth/Planet of Fish etc. Attenborough series have been available in HD pretty much ever since the box was installed (probably over a year ago now? Can't remember exactly) and mean I don't need to buy the DVD sets.

Also, you forgot to mention that the Beeb is showing all their Euro 2008 coverage on BBC HD as well. Well, when they're not busy pulling cables out half way through a game, that is.

Nokia N78



Very much like the idea of the FM transmitter: hopefully the N96 will have this as well?

@dervheid: the N91 and N95 both had the ability to stick your own headphones inline with the wee remote thing, so Nokia have been doing this for what, 2 years now?

Nvidia launches GTX 200 series GPUs


whereas the second generation product

are for who? Slightly less rich people who still don't have anything better to do than waste money playing games? The entire discrete graphics card industry depends on those who don't have anything better to do than etc...

Toshiba to ship laptops with Cell-based GPUs this year


re: "ArsEngine"

It's great until anything goes wrong, at which point reading the logs becomes a nightmare:

"Didn't see it"

"I did not see it"

"Twas not visible to me"

/reaches for lilywhite jacket


"massively underperform and look enviously"

Hey, at least it could still win something - the PC on the other desk will just look good for a while, garner fantastic, gushing reviews, then break down completely without actually achieving anything and be broken into constituent parts and given away to other, better PCs :P

The battle of Lesbos: Exclusive combat pic

Paris Hilton

"Lesbian battle clones"?

More of this sort of thing please.

Radiohead diss freetards



I'm not sure you're right - there was an interview on Radio 1 with a couple of the guys from Radiohead recently, and as far as I remember, they stated flat out that they made more money per download than they did out of normal CD sales.

Spike Milligan goes mobile



One of my all-time favourite poems.

Also, getting on for 10 years ago now, the Grauniad's cryptic crossword had one of the most magnificent clues I've ever seen: the answer was the whole poem, spread over about 5 or 6 lines, but the clue was an anagram and paraphrase of the entire thing. Truly a thing of wonder :)

Predator kill-machine pilots suffering 'chronic burnout'

Black Helicopters

re: Simulator...

There was a cartoon thing in Wired a few years back which was vaguely like this idea (well, except they had spider-camera-bot things instead of Airborne Death Machines) - random punters signed up for controlling the spider bots and used them to film a UN weapons inspection team in Iraq. Looked like fun, but not as much fun as having a plane with armed missiles to fly around heavily populated areas with. I absolutely can't see why giving the average gamer control of one of these bots would be a bad idea at all ;).

Information Commissioner: Phorm must be opt-in only

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Excellent - good to hear the ICO actually deciding to do what they should be doing without a lot of prompting. Also very good to hear VM sound like they're trying to distance themselves from this bunch of crooks. I really can't be bothered having to move ISP/TV/Phone etc as I'm perfectly/reasonably happy with what I've got. The sooner VM announce they're not going ahead with it, the sooner I can stop pricing up alternatives...

Blu-ray Xbox 360 to be sold at a loss?



wasn't the wii the only console _not_ being sold at a loss on release this time round? Sony certainly were absorbing a big fat loss on every console sold, even with such an expensive release price, and I'm sure I remember seeing the same thing for the Xbox 360 when it was released (although they weren't taking as much of a hit).

Exec sounds death knell for games consoles



Blimey - people complain about input lag to monitors sitting on their desktop. Now he thinks that people will be happy to send mouse/keyboard/wavey stick thing controls across teh intarweb, wait for everything to be processed in the "Cloud" and sent back to their screens?

Not for a lot longer than 5-10 years, methinks

Mac is the first to fall in Pwn2Own hack contest



Just read it again, it does say

"The first winner of each laptop gets to keep it (one laptop per vulnerability entry) as well as a cash prize sponsored by ZDI. Once a laptop is won however, no more exploits may be submitted. Therefore there are a maximum of three cash prizes, one per laptop."

So there's no reason _not_ to keep going after one has been hacked


@why bother?

"Why would anyone want to bother hacking the others when the prize has already been won?"

1: I can't be 100% certain as I can't see it written in as many words, but from the prize rules: http://dvlabs.tippingpoint.com/blog/2008/03/19/cansecwest-pwn-to-own-2008 it looks like the prize money is per machine, not overall. So you still get $10,000 even if another machine has been hacked first.

2: Even if you don't get the cash, you still appear to get the laptop.

3: Kudos?

4: Why not?


@"First in the queue"

"But Apple hacker is first in the queue, he gets his machine set up 5 minutes earlier and his exploit takes 2 minutes instead of 3."

Did you miss the part where the article says that the Windows and Linux boxes are still standing at time of writing, or is the RDF in full effect this time of the morning?

Given the "timely" nature of most Reg articles, I'd be astonished if this was published in the 60 seconds between the Mac being hacked and the other two...

Video conferencing gets cheaper, nastier easier



We had one of these Halo things set up at a few of our sites a while back - I had the chance to use it recently and it's weird. I think it's a bit like the "Uncanny Valley" thing with CGI: it looks _almost_ like you're in the same room, but it's different enough that it's slightly unsettling.

That being said, it's a very cool thing, and seems to go down pretty well with the people who use it a lot more than I do.

Nintendo scores zero on e-waste responsibility



Except in this case, as it was last time, the ratings are not a measure of "what is used in the production", and don't give the consumer any worthwhile information whatsoever.

It's based on the fact that they don't have any information. If Greenpeace actually had any data apart from what's published on a company's website, then it could be worth paying attention to the press release. As it is, it's an attention-grabbing big bag of nothing.

Phorm launches data pimping fight back


@Graham Wood

Sorry, but I think the answer might well be that the only way of making sure of this is to move to an ISP who categorically state that they will not get into bed with this kind of thing. Thankfully there do seem to be a few who actually have some morals.

There's a section on the badphorm.co.uk message board which has a list of ISPs who have definitively stated that they will not do this. Personally I would ignore the ones where the answer has just come through standard "contact us" channels - I was told categorically that VM would never work with a spyware company when I called...

However, at least two (I think Aquiss and Newnet) have had MD or CTO level people confirm that they wouldn't go for this. I don't know where I'll be heading yet, but they're two I'll be considering. Any other ISPs making a categorical public statement that they would not employ this kind of thing will also put themselves in the running. Whatever happens, I will be cancelling my VM contract as soon as the notification goes out that this is going live. Which is a shame as I really like the V+ box and it's going to be a royal pain in the arse to cobble something similar together myself.



Data pimping: surveillance expert raises illegal wiretap worries


re: Downing Street petition

"ISP's you have been warned! Some set up a Downing street petition please!"

There is one, it's here: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ispphorm/

Wisnae me.

New England Patriots victims of trademark hubris


@Graham Dawson

Pot. Kettle. Etc.

If you're going to make a comment about a team being able to get into the Premiership, at least make sure you pick one that isn't actually in the Premiership and really doing quite well, otherwise you end up looking like a complete tit.

Brits can't distinguish history from the TV listings


Not Dave

The History Channel isn't Dave, Dave is the bizarrely-rebranded UKTV G2 channel.

"Dave, where you're never more than an hour away from another episode of QI".

Student taser victim spared electric chair


@David Wiernicki

It's a video game you idiot. Learn the difference between when things matter and when they don't.

You're not _seriously_ trying to equate the ability to buy a video game or not with the ability to avoid being tasered to the ground for asking dumb questions are you? Well done. You must be very proud that your society allows you to buy a video game, yet punishes someone who asks questions in a public forum with electric shock. Get a sense of perspective.

ISP bosses told to get real on broadband speeds


re: Bandwidth Throttling

How much data are you talking about? My largest downloads are probably Exchange/Longhorn betas/rc from MSDN, (somewhere between 3 and 6 GB if I remember right) and they manage to stay at about 1.5MB/s if not slightly faster on Virgin 20Mb for the duration. Steam was running at just under 2MB/s for the last few things I reinstalled (Psychonauts and, um, something else) until the last few days, which I assume is a problem with people pre-loading the Orange Box. Can't say I've noticed any throttling...

Sun to blame for yin-yang Moon's dark side


re: Tidelocked

My thoughts exactly - surely Iapetus is locked to Saturn and should get sunlight all over at different points in its orbit of Saturn, like our Moon does with us, no?

Microsoft counters VMware insanity with optimistic frown


re: desperately trying to get into the server / virtualisation market ?

Virtualisation fair enough, but they're _in_ the server market already, and not as a niche player either.

AT&T censors Pearl Jam's anti-Bush sing-along


oh please

Pearl Jam always were and always will be rubbish, a dull heavy metal band who got famous by grabbing on to Nirvana's coat-tails and pretending to be grunge because that's what the kids wanted at the time. They're the Seattle equivalent of the Merseybeats.

Not that they should have been censored by some idiot webmaster, but don't let agreeing with their politics get in the way of recognising that their music is crap (cf. Coldplay)