* Posts by John Angelico

351 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007


High-speed Chinese train kicks French, Japanese butt

John Angelico

56 departures per day?

Egad - that's one every 25.71 minutes, around the clock.

For a 3 hour run time that means they need 7 sets plus maintenance sets...

Firefox 3.5 wins top dog browser crown - sort of

John Angelico
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Begging your pardon

but I have just in the last 24 hours had to report to an ISV that their software does not work on my FF3.5, and asked them (politely) if it is fixable.

They acknowledged that it is targetted only at IE, and they have vague plans to broaden their coverage of browser brands, so I pointed out that FF now represents on average 30% of the browser usage "market".

They were VERY surprised at this statistic, since I was the only person in the last 6 months to report browser problems with the application (a database enquiry system for lab test results - could comfortably be written to be browser-agnostic).

I give them credit for being customer-responsive, as they said they would start field enquiries about browser usage and interest in a FF version. I recommended that they ask clients not only "who has had problems using FF" but also "who has FF but doesn't use it for their app", as that would represent latent demand.

So "market share" / usage stats have their place - and it's not just 'bragging rights'.

Microsoft loses appeal on Word injunction

John Angelico

"Little used feature"?

They must be kidding - to have been so firmly slapped with a $290Million judgement and a re-affirmed injunction, it must have been reasonably well used by MS customers.

John Angelico

Excuse me, which planet have you just arrived from?

i4i was using their patent - until MS had a good look at them, sucked them dry and then tried to kill them off. The judgement talks about wilful actions by MS.

Vatican awards self 'unique copyright' on Pope

John Angelico

Hey, you...

...Northern geographist, you!

Stop displaying your geographical bigotry - we're enjoying a summer solstice down here!

No coat: too warm...

Oz anti-censorship site is censored

John Angelico


"Pan-oma war crimes" ??

I wonder what hideous war crimes all those Dutch grandmothers could possibly have done?

Camel carcasses menace Outback water supplies

John Angelico

Is it April 1st already?

...Or is Lester off with the fairies?

Umm, drought killing camels which are dying for lack of water

Yes, acceptable statement - drought = no water. Desert = hot and dry.

Decaying camels polluting and poisoning water.

Unacceptable - you just said they were dying from lack of water. AND that they were even invading towns in search of water (logical presumption: no water in the desert).

So, where is the water the carcasses are supposed to be poisoning?

It certainly can't be in those waterholes, creeks etc which in reality have dried up and therefore can only exist in the text of the article.

Wonder if it's the water they have just found on the moon? :-)

Microsoft donates .NET Micro Framework to open source

John Angelico
Gates Horns

Colour me cynical...

...but I would reaqd VERY CAREFULLY the entire licence and compare it word for word with another copy of the Apachce 2.0 licence just to make sure tehre are no ticking time bombs in there.

This is not The Mouse that Roared, but the Proved In Court Monopolist here.

Caveat emptor! even if the price is supposed to be NIL.

MS exec gets shot down after 'inaccurate' Windows 7 spiel

John Angelico


Standard Civil Service policy:

Don't believe any rumours until they have been offically denied.

Microsoft admits Mac was Windows 7 muse

John Angelico


...a place where horses eat hay, and leave behind certain detritus!

Apple blueprints the iShoe

John Angelico

And I thought they were ...

...trying to patent Maxwell Smart's ShoePhone.

Maybe they did, they did tee a puddy-tat, but figured that there was too much prior art, so then went for the sensor instead.

Top drug boffin renews criticism of cannabis policy

John Angelico
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Of course...

...these drugs are [only] as dangerous as alcohol [cirrhosis of the liver] and tobacco [lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease].

And, yes, various diseases were previously considered equivalent to riding a bicycle, mounting a horse, or crossing the street. The analogy has only limited usefulness, and in this case is well past its use by date.

It doesn't mean that we should permit open use of such things as ecstasy and condone the consequences.

El Reg receives message from planet 'Female Pigeon'

John Angelico
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@Jimbo 6

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity and striving after wind!

Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone

John Angelico
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[OT] Chelsea Chariots?

Oh, yes, you are historical, you funny Brits!

I had a rough idea from the context, but needed to google to confirm what that meant.

Down Under we call them "Toorak Tractors" because they became popular when purchased by wealthy city 'farmers' seeking tax deductions for "farm equipment".

45th Mersenne prime revealed

John Angelico
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...there's no Reason

it's just POLICY - that's all

Chinese media finger Swedish lesbian enclave

John Angelico

In English it's called...

Castle Adamant, and is owned and run by a lady known as Princess Ida!

Pluto still a planet, says Ronald McDonald

John Angelico

@Stephen Channell 13:44 GMT

"Chill.. the designer might be ignorant of cosmology, but at least they didn’t say “god created 9 planets 3000ish years ago”"

Crikey, there are a lot of people from the Bronze Age who just rolled over in their graves at that one, Stephen!

If you want to have a go at the creationists, how about getting your facts straight?

Alternatively, if you insist on waving your membership card to the Raving Looney Party, go right ahead.

Yank slams El Reg 'zio-fruitcake' Playmobil 'crap'

John Angelico

@Anonymous Coward 18:43 GMT

..and where do you buy *your* scratch from?

PC tune-up software: does it really work?

John Angelico

Registry Fix-ups or clean-ups?

Hmm, there are some things which were not measured in this round.

I suffer more crashing programs and inexplicable slow-downs from poor condition of the registry than other sources of annoyance, so I use a Registry fix-up tool as well as a general tune-up tool.

AI robots to mark exams

John Angelico

Isaac Asimov might (or might not) be pleased ...

Have any of the designers ever read his short stories on robots?

The most common theme is the reaction of curmudgeons who don't accept the changes being wrought by tin substitutes.

This reply was crafted entirely from recycled electrons - so there!

The one with the Alpha Sprayer in the pocket, thanks.

Open source code quality improving

John Angelico


~39 million lines?

Didn't I hear that in connection with MS Win XP, or was it Service Pack 1 for MS Win XP?

I believe that is commercially available code from a well-funded project house.


Mozilla plans to tie Firefox 3.7 pigtails in pretty Ribbon

John Angelico

Dick Deadeye would say...

"Argh! He's on the wrong tack, and so are you!" [HMS Pinafore; Gilbert & Sullivan]

What is this constant craving for more acre-age? We MUST HAVE more screen space available for rendering? Sez WHO?

How about KISS? Keep it simple, Stoopid!

I am already over a lot of news sites which clutter up the screen space with so many stupid little things (and I haven't even started on the adverts!)

Having seen a few iterations of Office, I can understand the Ribbon being a replacement for a heap of cluttered menu bars.

But that was because dreary old Office decided to mount six menu bars in the screen real estate before showing you the top of the blank page - where you actually typed.

In older screens with resolution of 800x600, that left you with about a Ribbon of typing space, right? And that was just too much like the old mechanical typewriter, wasn't it? :-)

Icon none - who needs to clutter up the space?

Cosmic flashbulb effect caused by 'black-hole invaders'

John Angelico

More real that art?

"The mysterious cosmic flashbulbs pop off about once a day from random directions in the sky, and boffins have struggled to work out what causes them ever since they were detected in the 1960s"

Umm, sounds like art has been imitating life again!

I believe this phenomenon is common at so-called gala-h events with copious quantities of red carpet in view.

OK, I'm on my way

Lancet: Hordes of patio-heater babies will doom planet

John Angelico

Sounds like a variation on...

..."If you do it, you'll go blind!"

Excuse me Lancet, but I would sincerely appreciate it if you could translate and then comply with the following:


Microsoft goes Darwinian with evolutionary tree patent

John Angelico


No, the creationists are laughing at the whole thing.

Now that evolutionary charting is locked up, I wonder if ID and creationism will see a rise in research interest...?

Aussie Sex Party bursts upon political stage

John Angelico

An ASP is what killed Cleopatra

Could this be Australia's answer to the late Screaming Lord Sutch?

Texan judge outlaws Word

John Angelico
Gates Horns

If they win, they lose...

...if they lose, they pay.

If MS overturns this decision, it could put patent trolling on death support, and failing fast.

Which would soon kill the MS patent-trolling machine, right?

If they lose, the daily penalties could be a steady drain on the bulging coffers. The faster they settle, the more likely there will be copy-cat attacks.

First success for vulture breeding programme

John Angelico

@andy livingstone

Nah... a lot of carrion about nothing at all, really.

And, yes, I'll get my coat (dustcoat, grey, scientists, for wearing by) as well.

Microsoft 'update' breaks Office for Mac

John Angelico
Gates Horns

Oh, no...

[Bowl of Petunias, aka Agrajag] yanked into existence miles above the planet Magrathea, only has time to think, "Oh no, not again," before crashing to the ground.

Microsoft offers EU choice on Windows browsers

John Angelico
Gates Horns

Releasing the APIs

... in a "complete, timely and accurate manner" (IIRC) means that either

a) MS won't be doing it and they are putting one over the industry - AGAIN


b) MS will be doing it THIS TIME which must be interpreted as a clear indication that the war has shifted to another front - possibly Linux and the GPL as seen by the "release" of heaps of code (see other articles at Vulture Central).

Microsoft: GPL violation didn't drive Linux donation

John Angelico
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Sorry Linus...

... but I don't hate Microsoft people - only their behaviour.

They have serious form for acting to compulsorily acquire the entire bazaar, using means which sane people cannot call fair. Their leopard spots are all underhanded, sneaky and corrupting.

All I can hope is that eventually the MS leopard is identified as a man-eater, so that the Bwana-hunter can come along and shoot it - for the good of all the villagers in the disctrict..

Opera slams Microsoft's Windows 7 E move - again

John Angelico

@raving angry loony

I'm with you 100% ! And don't sell yourself short - you are not loony.

THE SHILLS ARE SO STRIDENT I can almost hear the caps lock keys being hit from down here in Orztray-a!

Shills, stop defending the indefensible - MS has been convicted a number of times of criminal behaviour, and has forfeited rights to some privileged position as "computer industry leader".

It certainly deserves special treatment - special HARSH treatment, sufficient to slow it down until serious competition or a major shift in the marketplace pulls it back into line (just as happened to the previously infamous IBM).

Somewhere dowen the track, I expect we might be raving again in the same sort of terms over someone like say Google, and for exactly the same reasons: "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" (for more on this see http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Leonard_H._Courtney).

OpenOffice bug/feature stirs 'horde of angry chimps'

John Angelico

Seven and a half years...

[Red herring] This reminds me of the old musical "The Pajama Game" ('seven and a half cents' in wage negotiations) [/Red herring]

Yes, I would suggest that this will go on a lot longer than 7.5 years. The complainants (parties of the first part) are attempting to redefine the concept of a bug to be "something that happens unexpectedly and not according to my/our intentions."

The logic of the current OOo behaviour is as follows:

a) column is populated with data

b) column is filtered to <DISPLAY> only some of the data

c) modifying data across the range affected by the filter also modifies unseen data (ie. data hidden by the operation of the filter)

It is perfectly logical, even though it may not be as the user intended.

Bridge --> Build --> Traverse please

Vulture Central plans Brit-Yank dictionary

John Angelico
Big Brother

@Softly softly catchee monkey

First part of this expression became the middle of a marvellous series of police dramas which began with Z Cars and ended with Softly, Softly Task Force.

Quality exceeded only by The Avengers.

Child protection groups undermine Aussie Firewall

John Angelico

It's ironic, init? :-)

How about that - a Communications Minister who recognises a clever bit of communication!

Orange UK exiles Firefox from call centres

John Angelico

@oliver jones

No one I have read in comments disagrees that it's company policy.

It's just that everyone seems to agree that it's a blanket policy being applied STUPIDLY, and consequently is affecting staff morale, customer relations and business image.

Prof: People reject news which conflicts with beliefs

John Angelico


...this column may contain traces of nuts.

Masked passwords must go

John Angelico

mea contra mundo et canus

To all you ravers saying "no way!" and "what are these guys smoking?" may I ask how often you mask your personal signature?


In-building coverage: What’s the problem?

John Angelico

@Christian Berger

Could it be by definition that the phone is mobile?

Why are cordless phones popular?

Landlines are fine, but at work if I have to go out back to the factory, the ringing phone means I have to stop what I am doing to race back to a handset in the office - 30meter dash.

But a diverted call to mobile, to which I connect a Bluetooth earpiece means I have automatic handsfree communication in a business that requires me to be highly responsive.

UK climate change funding cut by 25%

John Angelico

@will godfrey

Just one set of Victorian (Australia) bushfires in February released the same quantity of carbon dioxide as the entire human energy use for the State for the whole of 2008. HOW MUCH impact do we have as humans?

And you want us to kill our economy based on flawed pseudo-scientific postulations - just because they use computer models?


What else could I use for an icon?

Microsoft strikes back at Outlook 2010 rendering grumbles

John Angelico

He speak with forked tongue (again!)


“There is no widely-recognised consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in email for interoperability. The ‘Email Standards Project’ does not represent a sanctioned standard or an industry consensus in this area,” he said.

Hmm, isn't it called an "RFC" in internet-speak?

And IIRC, the subset of HTML found in the RFC looks like this: < >

Don't call me Ishmael

John Angelico

Being a boring accountant...

I started naming our little home network of OS/2 machines to remind us where they were:

Ollie (in the office) and Stan (in the store), and then we got our first laptop (Louie). But the next two desktop machines were christened Dewey and Huey.

Printers? Named by the youngest member of the family at the time, we have

Burt (the early-ish model HP 1200 which burps when it cycles its sleep mode)

Cargo (a Kyocera MFP-1118 for the heavy lifting)


Hippo the HP 2600N colour network laser (a large beast)

Other machines - a dual-boot OS/2-Windows laptop called Traal (the Bug-blatter beast of) and a Windows desktop without its own KVMs called Bernard (Woolley - employed by our resident Hacker).

OK OK, mine's the one with 'OS/2 PM Programming' in the pocket...

iSuppli: Moore's Law to take a breather

John Angelico

Sounds like the "laws of engineering" asserting themselves

Like most mature industries (think automotive engines) there comes a time when the practical (financial realities of survival) overtake theoretical possibilities.

There is very little demand for Formula 1 engines (V12s running at 18000rpm) to power our shopping runabouts or commuter vehicles, and nobody has asked for a Cat C-15 600hp truck engine for their SUV/4WD.

Intel powers netbook via thin air

John Angelico

@quirkafleeg: Why spelling is important...

Yes, indeed.

The sentence "...this transmitter could be embedded in a wall with plasterboard over it and that wouldn't effect the transmission" actually negates the intended reply, rather than confirms it.

"Effect" as a verb = to make or cause

"Affect" as a verb = to interfere or act upon

Behind Microsoft's IE-free, Windows-for-Europe ploy

John Angelico

Promoting a fallacy

"given you'd need a browser to get online in the first place"

is based on a logical fallacy - getting online requires a TCP/IP stack and applications such as telnet and ftp. It does NOT require a browser unless one wishes to view web pages.

Downloading a file does not require a browser. It can be done with a dedicated mini-app running anonymous ftp.

Please do not fall for the MS-promoted half-truth. I say call their bluff, and go without the browser. There should at least be a prohibition on MS to prevent them from forcing IE onto the channel.

No doubt there are applications where a browser is totally unnecessary. Corporates with a SOE can specify what they want pre-loaded. If IE is in such demand, then I am sure OEMs and channel suppliers of kit can put together a build to customer specifications. The same could apply for SMBs.

However, since over the counter retail sales are such a small proportion, the retail trade can afford to offer a CD/DVD with an auto-run installer for the browser of choice - the so-called banner page.

Nobody needs to feed the 800-lb troll.

Zaphod Beeblebrox home sun 'shrinking', may have blown up

John Angelico

Time to relocate to...

Stavomula Beta, then?

Yes, the duffle coat, thanks

Cobol hits fifty

John Angelico

Sub-editor alert!!

Original COBOL did not have a DISPLAY statement.

If you wanted to display some sort of historical relevance, it should have been a WRITE ... AFTER statement.

Egad! It's been so long since I did any COBOL that I had to look it up! <embarrassment ++>

But I JUST KNEW it was wrong! :-)

BNP DDoS 'mega-assault' not actually mega in the least

John Angelico

@Natalie Socrates

Hmm, I thought Microsoft Denial of Service was something that *emanated* from Castle Redmond, Washington State, US of A.

Are you saying that it was *perpetrated* upon same??

<Shock, Horror!! > How would one detect the difference in direction of traffic flow?


Canadian Sex Party stands proud at polls

John Angelico


"that sex between consenting adults is a normal, enjoyable activity that should be allowed to take place without state interference or any attempt to dictate boundaries."

How about these folks cease to act like the square root of minus one?

There is no way to live life without boundaries. Otherwise, they would be advocating rutting 24/7/365 - impossible!

Yes, that's it, the one with log tables in the pocket.

Firefox users caught in crossfire of warring add-ons

John Angelico


Well, duh!

You have merely re-stated the essence of the software problem.

The ultimate question is: whom do you trust with your data?

It has been a problem since Adam was a lad (or in IT terms since Ada was a lang...)

Yes, yes, the one with the wiring patches in the pocket, please...



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