* Posts by Silas Humphreys

55 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Feb 2007


Apple wants to swipe your iPhone

Silas Humphreys
Jobs Horns

Yup, prior art alright.

In fact, when my wife lets me use her iPod Touch, I constantly find myself attempting to delete PalmOS-style...

BOFH: The PFY wants a reference

Silas Humphreys
Thumb Up

The PFY should have known better.

The true Bastard is always at least ten steps ahead.

Ex-Logica boss to teach UK.gov how to identify crap IT

Silas Humphreys

How to identify crap IT? Simple, really...

If the government is considering it, it's crap. Have any government EVER got good IT?

Well, maybe some ancient Chinese one buying the newfangled abacus...

Microsoft folds-in Multimap for '$50m'

Silas Humphreys
Paris Hilton

I never rated Multimap much anyway.

I use Google Maps mostly, unless I need to use a train - in which case, it's Streetmap, since Google inexplicably fails to show stations. Both have a usefully large map area (unlike Multimap) and load reasonably fast (unlike Multimap).

So really, Multimap is an ideal fit for Microsoft. Demonstrably worse, yet somehow more popular...

MoD: Frontline troops must have silent Xmas crackers

Silas Humphreys

No doubt the troops have plenty of practice at shouting "Bang!"

what with it being a standard training method, and about the only way to get a noise when you pull the trigger of an SA80...

US navy's robot carrier plane building fast

Silas Humphreys

They've been doing automated carrier landings for years.

Heck, they had them at least partially automated in the days of the F-8 Crusader.

The major difference with this is the lack of the backup meatsack.

Kindle ain't no e-book reader

Silas Humphreys

My reaction to every e-book "solution" that's going to replace paperbacks...

is "What, again?"

E-books: the paperless office of the noughties. Hopefully it won't take 20 years to realise they're bogus the way it did with the paperless office...

Amazon's $399 folly book reader

Silas Humphreys

Not interested.

Won't be interested until they make one that can survive having my dinner spilled on it or being dropped in the bath.

Raytheon to deliver 'paging system' for submarines

Silas Humphreys

All well and good, until...

the Other Side figures out how to interpret the signals. All they'll really need is a few hydrophones and some decent IT, and both of those are pretty much commodity gear nowadays.

Russians offer Terry Pratchett-style droid luggage

Silas Humphreys

But the important question is...

will it eat anyone trying to steal from it? If it doesn't, no way am I buying one...

US manned spaceflight after Shuttle could be delayed

Silas Humphreys

They've hit Pournelle's Law...

"Everything takes longer and costs more."

Mum sends stripper to teenage son's school

Silas Humphreys

some age-of-consent-ish pedantry...

You can still legally smoke at 16. You just can't legally buy your coffin nails until you hit 18. No, I don't understand it either.

You can also buy your own beer, wine, cider or perry as part of a meal order at age 16 (having been allowed to drink the stuff since 5, under parental supervision; and "Two pints of wifebeater and a bowl of chips" doesn't count).

From 18, anything legally allowed is yours.

Privacy advos demand 'do not track list' for websites

Silas Humphreys

"Don't track my internet usage!"

Erm... they DO realise that to opt out of being tracked, they're going to need to be tracked so that they can be snipped out of logs and suchlike? Someone REALLY didn't think things through...

Ubuntu's latest OS not so Gutsy

Silas Humphreys
Thumb Down

Sounds like the same problem I had three versions ago...

ie, Ubuntu insisting on preferring IPv6 even though it's used virtually nowhere in the real world. I complained about it then and got no sense from them. The pedants have taken over at Canonical; it's time to find the next pragmatic distro, run (for the moment) by people who understand that having things actually work is more important than having them idealogically sound...

Hypersonic hydrogen airliner to bitchslap Concorde

Silas Humphreys
Thumb Up

Well, if they make it, it'll be a Good Thing overall.

Not so much because of the plane itself, although it will be nice to cut the time spent trapped in a metal tube with Cat Piss Man (who may or may not have showered before the filght, but you can't tell because the stink is so deeply ingrained), but because it'll drive development of the engines, which as mentioned will be usable for a nice SSTO reusable spaceplane...

LEDs replace hands in bonkers Japanese watches

Silas Humphreys

None of them are what I want.

For the moment, the 1964-vintage self-winder I inherited does the job very nicely... but if someone wants to sell me a new watch, here are the requirements:

- Digital readout, preferably including date (in a perpetual style, taking account of leap years properly)

- Runs entirely on mechanical clockwork

As far as I'm aware, no such watch exists. If it did, I'd buy one. It's almost certainly possible to achieve...

Chemical-weapons hysteria causes cholera

Silas Humphreys

Proof, if proof were needed...

that worrying excessively about terrorist threats is bad for your health!

Coat, getting.

USAF flying deathbot power-grab rebuffed

Silas Humphreys

Glad to see SOME military policy types have functional brains.

After all, we know what happens when Air Forces manage to pull this kind of power grab off; just look at the state of Army air support in the British forces...

Orange to turn pink at Xmas to favour young women

Silas Humphreys

Who cares what colour it is?

The important thing should surely be whether or not it WORKs. The number of people I see daily struggling with overly complex phones suggests that things have Gone Too Far...

Cursing senior plod samples electric justice

Silas Humphreys

They missed an opportunity for real publicity here.

They should have had Jeremy Clarkson wielding the zapper. I know he prefers the AK-47, but I should think he'd be prepared to put up with using a yellow toy-like device for the opportunity to run 50,000V through "the mad mullah of the Traffic Taliban"...

Better gadget battery-level readouts in pipeline

Silas Humphreys

And about time too!

Now if they could just do something about the conspiracy to render older devices useless by discontinuing batteries for them, then I'd REALLY be impressed...

User seeks $1.4m from IBM for shoddy server packing

Silas Humphreys

So, the basis of the suit is...

that IBM are responsible for the fact that the recipient's warehouse wasn't suitable for forklift use? This isn't tricky; if you're going to use a forklift, make sure the floor is level.

I just hope the judge has some common sense.

NASA: no fix needed for shuttle

Silas Humphreys

"If it ain't broken, don't fix it"

There's the problem. It IS broken.

"So, guys, there's this hole smashed into your heat shield. It goes right through. It's OK, though, we've played with our computers a bit and we're reasonably sure you won't die too much, so we're not going to have you fix it, even though we figured out a way of doing a quick get-you-home fix over twenty years ago."

Risk is inevitable in space travel. That doesn't mean there's any call to go screaming "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" to Murphy...

God appears in eggplant slice

Silas Humphreys

Who buys this stuff?

Golden Palace, of course! They bought the Jesus toastie, among other things, not to mention their renting a young Scottish lass's ample charms...

If it's on ebay and it's daft, Golden Palace will give you money for it.

Taser markets electric cattleprod gun to the laydeez

Silas Humphreys

@Graham Marsden

"Better nobody has them."

Welcome to politics, where everybody shares the delusion that criminals obey the law...

Derbyshire cops get into deep water

Silas Humphreys

A note to a nonny-mouse...

Regarding the inadvisability of filming police in the USA...

two points.

First, police *are* civilians. They'd love us to think otherwise, but they are still civilians. There are generally severe restrictions on using anyone non-civilian in a police-like role, for what I sincerely hope are obvious reasons.

Second, I suspect one R. King of Los Angeles is very glad some people regard the filming of police officers as something that shouldn't be an offence. What are the police so afraid of - after all they keep on with the line of "if you've done nothing wrong, why are you concerned about surveillance"?

Your boss could own your Facebook profile

Silas Humphreys

This is why I don't do such things from work.

Frankly, though, if you've got time to use Facebook from work, you're being overpaid or you're swinging the lead. If you're told to get on Facebook by work, then it's just common sense to assume that they own your profile. If you want to avoid disputes, just don't do anything that involves a password or user ID from work. Simple, really...

Microsoft tells Ultimate Extras fans to 'hang on'

Silas Humphreys

It comes to something...

when you buy an OS because it lets you legally run the previous version...

F-22 superjets could act as flying Wi-Fi hotspots

Silas Humphreys

So it can act as a flying hotspot...

because it has this fancy transceiver mounted in it that can also be used as a radar. I may be going out on a limb here, but would it not be more cost-effective to take the odd knackered old B-52, mounts loads of the uber-radars in them, and send them up with spare flight crews and tanker support? Then, they'd have a far less expensive flying relay, with endurance limited by how many microwave meals they can cram in rather than by the pilot's bladder...

In other words, the F22 is still a monumental waste of money and ingenuity looking for a purpose.

French-led continental stealth-bomber robot firms up

Silas Humphreys

All planes are uninhabited.

Nobody lives on a plane, do they? Not one that flies, at any rate, although I seem to recall some scrapped airliners being used as "houses". Political correctness being completely daft again... but as I recall, that particular idiocy has been dumped anyway, in favour of "remotely piloted" or "autonomously piloted", since "unmanned" or the euphemisms for it were giving the RotM worriers too much fuel.

I think El Reg owes it to the NRA to be honest about these flying killbots.

Jobs chucks Leopard titbits to Apple masses

Silas Humphreys

What really annoys me...

is the fact that Apple can sell Leopard for $129, while MS charge HOW much for Vista? Either Apple are making a loss on Leopard (not flippin' likely) or someone's REALLY cleaning up on Vista.

Funny how OSX looks better while being able to run on computers as old as G4s, too...

Google Maps aids terrorists, NY lawmaker warns

Silas Humphreys

Jamie A:

I've been saying that all along. So have others: http://qntm.org/terrorism

Now can someone PLEASE give all these politicians implants of prosthetic Clue?

Israel deploys robo-snipers on Gaza border

Silas Humphreys

"Let them hate, as long as they fear."

And are you perhaps wondering WHY they hate?

Slammer turns Florida election result into worm food

Silas Humphreys

The bug made no difference?

What about the people they turned away? Did they get to vote later? ALL of them?

No marks.

I'm sure I don't neeed to tell anyone here how daft it is to have voting machines a) running on Windows and b) connected to the Big Bad Internet...

UK ID card costs climb £600m in six months

Silas Humphreys

To me, Schengen means...

"An agreement that the UK never signed up to". Yes, MOST Eurotypes don't need passports within the United States of Europe. Since the UK never signed up to that one, British people DO still need passports within the USE.


Silas Humphreys

Not about control?

Just to make people "feel" safe?

They're desperate to torpedo it, aren't they?

Online ads rouse 33% hike in complaints

Silas Humphreys

Actually, I expect the same amount of honesty online as off.

None whatsoever.

Anyone expecting otherwise is naive in the extreme...

British Gas security scare as payments page springs a leak

Silas Humphreys

Yes, you could get a card meter...

if you LIKE paying well over the odds. Much the same as the way calls cost more from a pre-pay mobile phone, and so on and so forth.

Student expelled for high school Counter-Strike map

Silas Humphreys


Let's be honest. Stole. They weren't illegal, there was no indication he was going to use them for anything illegal, so there was NO reason to take them away. Is it any wonder the police are commonly disliked when they go around doing stuff like that?

Jesus appears in Samsung Flash memory chip

Silas Humphreys

I have longish hair and a beard.

I therefore declare, ex cathedra, in my capacity as Pope Visible Eyebrows, that it is me. Since I am a Pope, and therefore infallible, the argument must now cease on pain of excommunication.

Mobile phones no longer used for calls

Silas Humphreys

Not so much the most spendthrift.

I've been comparison shopping a lot lately, and Orange are consistently pricier than the other Real Networks. The MVNOs I've not looked at so much...

Super-Earth orbiting red dwarf

Silas Humphreys

My rough-and-ready calculations...

make it about 2.2 time Earth's gravity.

Which should be checked by someone who knows what they're talking about.

US to fund 'man-made lightning' raygun tech

Silas Humphreys

Someone's been playing Quake, haven't they?

"Try it. You'll like it. Use the same technique as watering your rosebushes." - Quake manual.

"EVERYBODY OUT OF THE POOL!" - cry of players when they hear the Pentagram on a certain map...

BA edits Branson from Casino Royale

Silas Humphreys

Well, to be fair...

"we want to ensure they contain no material that might upset our customers." is accurate.

Reminding people that there are airlines which do better for less dosh is liable to upset them.

Hi hon, I'm on d plane

Silas Humphreys

Cattle class?

If you treated cattle that badly you'd be nicked, mate.

Spanish flag flies over Gibraltar

Silas Humphreys

Nah, not the Union Jack.

Ceuta needs a Moroccan flag. As does the other one whose name I don't recall.

Hello, Senor Pot. I'm Kettle.

Blu-Ray disks hacked by sweet talking teenagers

Silas Humphreys

The whole point of El Reg...

is cynicism, spleen and a general air of being a very aggravated Rottweiler (nicest entity one could hope to meet when happy, but by $deity you do NOT want to piss one off). Half the joy of reading is the shouting at the monitor, either in agreement or disagreement. That's why I still watch party politicals; it's good for the soul to scream out the demons once in a while.

Microsoft calls on UK public to raise the Office standard

Silas Humphreys

Don't bother with a counter-petition...

Just sign Microsoft's.

Mouse, M.

Duck, D.

Regina, V.

Caesar, J.

Cicero, M.T.

Lincoln, A.

Washington, G.

All good names to sign under. After all, this is an online petitione. People would think it was fishy if it didn't have lots of Mickey Mouse signatures.

Falling debris was no space plane, says NASA

Silas Humphreys

Since NASA doesn't know which way round Fahrenheit and Celcius go...

... not to mention not knowing foot-pounds from Newtons (and thereby crashing a probe into Mars, no mean feat of cock-uppery), a mere inability to tell the difference between AM and PM is nothing...

Inventor touts Robocop-style armour for use in Iraq

Silas Humphreys

I suppose we'll just have to hope...

... that he doesn't team up with Kevin Warwick. Speaking of which, how IS Captain Cyborg these days? Upgrading himself to Vista or something?