* Posts by Christopher Martin

166 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Sep 2007


Mozilla takes on web data miners with privacy icon release

Christopher Martin

Bad choice of words?

Of course we don't give out your data to advertisers. The data we've collected about you isn't YOUR data. Its OUR data. And we do with it whatever the hell we want.

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Christopher Martin

Opposite effect for directions

When you're calling someone who's giving you directions, or you passenger is using a phone for GPS, I think the phone is more likely to increase safety. A driver who knows where he's going is less dangerous than one who is lost...

Tumblr and 4chan knock each other out

Christopher Martin


I have to wonder why this journalist would refer to a website that keeps no archives as a "repository" of anything.

Amazon customer purchases protected by US Constitution

Christopher Martin


I'm glad they won, but I can't help but be bothered at the obvious fact that Amazon is only protecting its interests of helping its customers evade sales taxes. Not that I'm a fan of adding more taxes to anyone's lives, but I do appreciate it when businesses have to play fair with each other - And surely Amazon gains a significant advantage over other retailers by offering goods "tax-free" (since the customer will never report online purchases to the IRS).

Google: Street View cars grabbed emails, urls, passwords

Christopher Martin

What's the problem?

I really don't understand. If you are actively broadcasting your password such that anyone listening can receive it, what expectation of privacy did you have?

Men sentenced to prison for Comcast hijack

Christopher Martin

re: 18 months??

It's US federal court. They're lucky they didn't get their hands cut off.

IE9 strips to win Chrome fans

Christopher Martin

Security, security, security

Usability is not the reason to stay away from IE.

Nintendo hails Super Mario's silver anniversary

Christopher Martin
Dead Vulture


I expect to see this kind of drivel on CNN, not on The Reg... Anniversaries of news are not news.

Piles for Windows - a pain in the arse?

Christopher Martin


So, it's a panel widget that shows the top n files in a directory sorted by modified date.

Why did I have to wach a video to discover that?

Steve Jobs beheads iPad apps for acting like desktops

Christopher Martin

Definitely widgety.

Seriously... weather, clock, sticky notes? Those are the first things that any half-assed desktop-widgetsmith will forge.

McAfee false positive bricks enterprise PCs worldwide

Christopher Martin


"Bricking" reduces the utility of a computing device to that of a brick. It happens to game consoles and shitty phones that are so locked down that software bugs can render them unusable. But how the hell do you brick an average computer? Okay, maybe this means that you can't boot your primary OS. Does it not still boot from other partitions or devices?

Call me pedantic, but I don't think a device is a brick if you can have it mostly recovered, by yourself, by the end of the day.

ICANN delays decision on pornography domain

Christopher Martin

ICANN loves money

They know that porn site operators have money and are willing to spend it on domain names. This proposal does absolutely nothing for the internet (unless they intend it as a stepping-stone to banning porn from other domains). All it means is that the owner of fucksluts18.com, .net, .org, .biz, and .ca now needs to register fucksluts18.xxx too. It doesn't help parental controls, because little Timmy can just change xxx to com and probably get the same website.

World of Google zombies mistake news story for Facebook

Christopher Martin

Reg, I think you got trolled

Maybe a couple people were actually confused, but I have to agree with comment 507: "These comments are starting to look very anon. Is this on 4chan?"

"Haha - epic thread"

"leave signin alone"


"Toasting in an epic bread"

Firefox-based attack wreaks havoc on IRC users

Christopher Martin

"Browsers absolutely should not be able to connect to ports unrelated to HTTP"???

Every port is related to HTTP if you run HTTP services on it. This bit of wisdom is coming from a "web security expert"?

Is it art or is it pr0n? Australia decides it's ALL filth

Christopher Martin

The real irony...

If intent is irrelevant, and any nude depiction of a minor is unlawful, then looking at photographs becomes more illegal than looking at the real children. Because surely parents need to look at their kids from time to time - but to look at a photo of the same thing is forbidden!

Police cuff citizens for videotaping arrests

Christopher Martin

If it's illegal, it's illegal...

"Had I recorded an officer saving someone’s life," he said. "I almost guarantee you that they wouldn’t have come up to me and say, 'Hey, you just recorded me saving that person’s life. You’re under arrest.'"

Yeah, that's because if the cop saved someone's life, you'd probably have two-party consent. It's not hypocrisy - it's the intent of the law. If someone videotaped YOU saving someone's life, you probably wouldn't complain either - but if someone showed up at your office and started filming you while you work, you might very well call the police.

Apple's alleged Kindle-crusher set for spring release?

Christopher Martin
Jobs Halo

Can we call it the Jesus Book...

... or has that name already been taken by something?

US data firm blows s**t out of server

Christopher Martin



Windows XP on netbooks to lose life support?

Christopher Martin

"hopes that shoppers will buy Windows 7 Home Premium"

Wtf offtopic, but... If I were ever in the market to purchase an operating system, I think I would baulk at these titles. "Home premium"? What the shit is that supposed to mean? It's good enough for the "home" but not the office? What is "premium" about it?

Microsoft, do yourself a favor and start naming your versions after animals like everybody else. It's SOFTWARE, for god's sake, it deserves a capricious naming scheme.

Win 7 remote kernel crasher code released

Christopher Martin

WinNuke indeed

This all sounds so very familiar.

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

Christopher Martin

Nothing new

I started using ubuntu with Gutsy, and have tried a couple upgrades over the last 2 years. Never again. I have three machines running three different ubuntu versions, but I won't consider trying to upgrade any of them. When I need a newer version, I'll reinstall rather than go through that hell.

I don't blame them for not having a good upgrade procedure... it's probably a really hard problem. I just wish they would be honest and advertise it as something that probably won't work well.

Malware cleans out jailbroken iPhones

Christopher Martin


"... allowing hackers to connect to any jailbroken iPhone."

Does "any" mean "having ssh with a default password", or is this just an error that won't be corrected?

Mac art project game destroys aliens files

Christopher Martin

So what, anything capable of deleting files is dangerous?

A person with malicious intentions could tell someone that adding "alias vim=rm" to .bash_profile installs a game. The results could be disastrous. Looks like Symantec needs to classify rm as malware.

Windows 7 busts the 3 per cent share barrier

Christopher Martin

What's this percentage in total number of machines?

And how does it compare to the number of boxes running Conficker?

Microsoft counters Windows 7 upgrade hack advice

Christopher Martin

"Transfer rights..."

...are not something you can just decide take away from your customers. Unless you're an airline, I suppose.

Microsoft in Bing jingle kiddie vid outrage

Christopher Martin

Oh god

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Security boss calls for end to net anonymity

Christopher Martin

Licenses, yes

Like driving, you should need a permit to operate a machine as root if that machine is going on the internet.

Has nothing to do with identification, though.

Michael Dell: Netbooks go sour after 36 hours

Christopher Martin

Yep, an eee is my "second machine"

And it's served gloriously for all of my portable computing needs for over a year now.

What's your point, Mike?

Google Docs gets jiggy with folder sharing

Christopher Martin

Holy crap, FINALLY

I've always been impressed with how Google made a website whose purpose is document sharing, and got away with giving it such terrible sharing controls. One of my many complaints is that whenever I'm sharing one document, there will probably be several others that I'm going to want to share with the same people. And you can't actually see a list of the email addresses that you've invited, so I have to ask everyone for their email address again... For all of Google's power, I am astonished by the fail that creeps in.

Honda slips motorised unicycle into e-car

Christopher Martin

"Will we ever use our legs again?"

How are we supposed to stay on our unicycles?

iPhone developer stamps out calculator profanity

Christopher Martin

I don't suppose they considered...

... maybe to stop pretending their application is an old-style calculator and just use a sensible fixed-pitch font which, when turned upside-down, just looks like upside-down numbers.

How to host your very own Windows 7 launch party

Christopher Martin

It's like they're... building a theme park on the Titanic

I remember when Microsoft added dictation "functionality" to Office - And I believe we did actually have a good time watching it generate nonsense in response to voice commands.

Seriously, though, folks, the Windows marketing people need to understand the role of the product they're pitching.

An OS doesn't have exciting "wow" features unless you're a tech person (improved SMP support is great, but it's not sexy). It needs to be reliable, have drivers to support a lot of hardware... basically "non-functional requirements," not marketable features. By emphasizing exciting first impressions, Microsoft just seems to be showing their lack of consideration for creating a solid, maintainable platform that doesn't earn hatred with extended usage.

I guess Windows is more than an operating system - It's an entire "distribution," in Linux terms, so they want it to be evaluated based on the software packaged with it. That's great, and I guess a handful of novel applications can generate interest in a platform (people always want to play with compiz on a new ubuntu installation), but I don't see how they can sell it. Just like the operating system depends on what it *doesn't* do (crash, not support a specific printer, etc), the distribution is judged on the applications it doesn't have, because it needs to support everything you do.

They need to work on losing the hatred first. Affection is a luxury that requires first having a good product and then adding marketing on top of that. Maybe they should be trying to convince us that IT professionals trust it, rather than telling us that some random demographic representatives are interested in the launch.

Eurocrat demands MP3 player volume limit mandate

Christopher Martin

Mp3 player

So if it supports ogg vorbis, is it free from this retarded legislation?

California man jailed for E*Trade skim scam

Christopher Martin

Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but...

1. Brokerages set up a system that pays ~$1 to new account holders.

2. Guy abuses brokerages' systems 58,000 times, while they fail to notice for ~6 months.

3. FBI and Secret Service, paid for by me, the humble taxpayer, hunt this guy down.

4. Scammer pays brokerages in the order of 4 times the amount he received.

Note who lost money and who netted money in this scenario.

Now, I know that a society needs to band together to protect victims from criminals. But if you run a web service that automatically makes payments to whoever signs up... shouldn't you personally bear some of the burden of making sure you don't accidentally transfer $50k to one guy?

'Do You Want To See My C*ck?' asks budding author

Christopher Martin
Big Brother

Seriously not worth it

... unless the aspiring author is so passionate about this idea that he's willing to quickly end up on a sex offenders' registry for it.

Google Maps reborn as world's largest Monopoly board

Christopher Martin

The game...

... that everyone hates because it takes hours to finish, now has a sequel that takes, what, years?

Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard — The poison taste test

Christopher Martin

Sorry, I know you said fanboys go home, but...

The Mac gets praise for having WORKSPACES?

Why does Ubuntu not get to join the fray?

- "fast, elegant, and powerful"

- free

- runs on any hardware

- "benefits from countless applications"

- "performs well"

Azerbaijani donkey bloggers face seven years' jail

Christopher Martin

"hooliganism carried out by a group of people"

Best. Charge. Ever?

NY residents sue for $100m over phone masts

Christopher Martin

Try "disguising" them

Around Atlanta we had some people complaining about towers, and the "solution" was to put some shoddy decorations on them to make them "look like trees" - resulting in something far uglier than the towers had been.


Serves those whiners right. Electronics scattered about is just part of the modern landscape, particularly in a city.

NZ woman sacked for SHOUTY EMAILS

Christopher Martin

Everyone involved is an idiot

At my last job every two weeks we'd get a SIGN YOUR TIMESHEETS reminder. Yes, people use caps when stating something that people often forget. Maybe it's a little annoying? But no more annoying than, say, attaching a crappy gif to every message you send because it just looks so cute to have a background that makes it look like you wrote your email on old parchment. This is either an incredibly touchy person, or somebody who lied about the reason for firing - either way, big time asshole.

As for the firee: "I am a single woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and borrow money from my sister to make it through. They nearly ruined my life." No, you "nearly ruined" your own life by failing to plan for temporary financial problems. Sometimes people lose their jobs. This is a risk we have to plan for to some extent. If it happens and you immediately don't have enough money, MAYBE YOU COULDN'T REALLY AFFORD THAT HOME IN THE FIRST PLACE.

When ISPs hijack your rights to NXDOMAIN

Christopher Martin


I just tried to get some Internet service from Comcast in the States. We spent 2 weeks, 4 appointments (two of them missed), and innumerable phone calls before establishing that they are either unable or unwilling to providing working service.

Standards? NXDOMAIN? Dziuba is right (as always) - I'm angry at Virgin Media in principle, but don't give a shit in practice. I would be more than happy with Virgin Media service, because what I've been dealing with is remotely competent ISP that can't serve me anything.

64-bit Chrome takes centre stage in Linux land

Christopher Martin

Where's the 32-bit version?

I guess I haven't cared enough to look very hard, but I still can't find a chromium .deb ...

Man blames cat for child porn downloads

Christopher Martin

Cats are the scourge of the earth

I'm not at all surprised the poor man's cat was using his credit card. Cats are lazy freeloaders, all of them. And now pedophiles to boot.


Gov geek publishes 5000-word Twitter guide

Christopher Martin

Max of ten

"tweets - should be spaced at least 30 minutes apart, with a minimum of two tweets and a max of ten."

I'm confused - did I misread, is the recommendation that a person should never tweet more than ten times in his lifetime, or did some hack paraphrase this incorrectly?

Truck drivers! Don't go texting now

Christopher Martin


Tired of all this shit. Laws only give cops things to charge you with (How can we fuck with the black guy sitting at that red light... oh shit! He's texting, arrest him!) How is anyone actually going to enforce this by noticing you texting where it's dangerous, like while people are driving? Anyway, texting is not the problem. People driving without paying attention is the problem, and you can do that no matter what else you're also doing. The way this is generally enforced is that if you drive without regard for the safety of others, you're also driving without regard for your own safety, which most people aren't willing to do. If you are a moron who is willing to kill himself on the highway, then no manner of laws dictating what exactly you can and cannot do with your cellular telephone is going to prevent you from killing you and somebody else on the highway.

Foxconn pays suicidal iPhone engineer family for life

Christopher Martin

as long as they're alive...

"... 30,000 yuan ($4,385) every year as long as either of them remains alive."

I'd be wary to give this company any reason to want me dead.

Microsoft offers EU choice on Windows browsers

Christopher Martin

Based on use-share data...

So are IE8, IE7, and IE6 going to be the top three choices?

I smell a prank opportunity... If we can get enough Firefox users to change their user agents to indicate that they're using Netscape Communicator or something equally embarrassing for MS to offer :)

Apple iTablet a (virtual) certainty

Christopher Martin


"Apple's marketing team will have to pull a very big rabbit out of its hat."

Not really - they just need to call it "the world's first Apple touchscreen". The fanbois will eagerly forget that touchscreens have existed for years, because they've never been put into expensive aluminum cases before.

Open-source firmware vuln exposes wireless routers

Christopher Martin


Wow - I couldn't believe this, so I had to ssh into my home box and try it for myself. This is beyond pathetic. How can you fuck up security so entirely badly? Patching doesn't seem like enough... I'm not sure how I can ever trust this project anymore.

Metallica sticksman gloats over Napster downfall

Christopher Martin

I appreciate it

The decline in Napster-style filesharing networks has lead to increased participation in torrenting, which is a much better way of obtaining just about anything. Napster, Kazaa, DC++ are a jumbled clusterfuck of staticky, mislabeled tracks. Sharing entire discographies in torrents is much more effective. By scaring users away from old networks, litigation contributes to the uptake of new technologies - so, thanks!