* Posts by John Angelico

351 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007


Organised crime law crushes animal rights duo

John Angelico

SOCA? Well named

Serious Organised Crime Act.

Down Under we use "soccer" (yes it is bad English, being derived from "Association Football" --> Assoc. etc) to label the "world game" since we already have two codes called football (three if you count Union and League in Rugby) which are played by men with leather balls.

Since my perceptions of the games run to semi-organised warfare, I would say this is a most aptly abbreviated piece of Parliamentary output.

Google defends open source from 'poisonous people'

John Angelico

@Edward Pearson What?


There are NO absolutes, but I don't see a problem with letting your contribs add their name to their respective modules, and to suggest that they'll become possessive over each one, is simply wrong.


Pardon me sir, but your philosophical slip is showing! :-)

The tweed jacket with the meershaum pipe in the pocket, please.

Reg readers split on Vista readiness

John Angelico

Vista on older kit?

Well, shut my mouth! "Don't expect Vista to work as well on older kit." - to paraphrase a little.

That makes the concept of "backward compatibility", for hardware at least, a little hollow. The point is that other OSs DO manage to install quite well on older rigs, and this phenomenon of hardware upgrades before end of useful life is largely confined to the MS-Windows eco-system.

Sadly this perpetual bloat cycle has all the appearance of a scheme to ensure that new software almost enforces a requirement to buy new and more hardware. No wonder MSs customers are not the end users, but the hardware manufacturers and software developers who have climbed onto the longest gravy train known to modern (wo)man.

Supermarket offers phones for a fiver

John Angelico
Thumb Up

Finally something like the Tranny or Calculator Effect

Yay! Finally someone re-discovers the bright idea that a no-frills phone can be useful to people who just want a mobile phone!

My wife wants not a PDA, not a flamin' camera, and not a fashion statement (although looking at those, some may have to live with a form of fashion, I suppose). I wonder if someone in Australia would dare look at an idea from teh Ol' Dart? Hard to see it flying in these horribly pro-republican days, though...

EC probes OOXML standards-setting process

John Angelico
Thumb Down

Why did they have to do it?

MS claims that DIS29500 is clearly for the benefit of the computing populace.

Not-so-naive Questions:

1. If it's so good, why is there such a stink over the strong-arm tactics they employed, as reported by participants, including some who favour DIS29500?

2. If it's so good, why did it have to be <b>pushed through</b> the Fast-Track process, rather than simply swanning its way through?

Assyrian clay tablet points to 'Sodom and Gomorrah' asteroid

John Angelico


1st April has finished already where I am

Yes, the Akubra too - thanks.

Antarctic meteorite points to smashed dwarf planet

John Angelico

A generous serve?

"...but larger than Vesta ..."

Now that's a lot of rice to get through

Vatican updates list of mortal sins

John Angelico


Thanks for all the great laughs - ROTFLMAO!

So many laughable ideas, any budding comedian could be set for a two-year tour with this lot!

Microsoft codes leap year bug into Exchange 2007

John Angelico

@Chris Bradshaw

"Actually, I prefer OpenOffice..."

Actually I still prefer other programs (not even suites) and use OO under sufferance - less than others but I still find the fundamentals of word processing in OO and MS-O incomprehensibly confused.

I am used to an entirely frame based wordprocessor, with entirely character-based formatting. It is called DeScribe, it was built for OS/2 and still runs faster on eCS, and does almost all I want.

I would prefer that the builders of OO just do the Save As stuff compatible with MS-O and then go and do the rest as logically and as user-friendly (yes, I know, hatcheck by the door) as possible.

I believe this business of staying as close as possible to MS-O in both UI and function is crippling the take-up of OO.

IBM gives mainframe another push

John Angelico

@Valdis Filks

"The term mainframe is missused enormously"

Ahem! Does that mean that the term "PCs" was mistered, mastered, or mustered?

Drizabone and Akubra, thanks.

Sun will swallow Earth: Official

John Angelico

What - wrong article?

Trying again!

And I thought it would be something about a carve-up of Google...


Ballmer! explains! hostile! Yahoo! bid!

John Angelico
Gates Horns

Principle of Denial...

From another Comment

"Yahoo owns Zimbra, the open-source email drop-in replacement for Outlook and Exchange, which works like a dream (from personal experience). Now why would Microsoft want Zimbra ;-)"

(Outlook email monopoly by A Franklin at Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead...)

"Steve Ballmer all but confirmed that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! for scale, branding and audience rather than any technology or products the web media co owns."

From "Yes, Minister" comes the principle of denial: don't believe anything in the press until it has been firmly denied.

They have been talking for eighteen months - long enouogh to have a good look at the product portfolio, right?

Watch out for the "serendipitous" disappearance of a competitive product.

Rocket train smashes world land-speed record

John Angelico

Mythbusters need not apply...

for a contract to supply crash test dummies

The 'blem wit' error messages

John Angelico


John Carney,

if those errors had been in a TSR, could they be described as a trs TRS TSR err?

Giant solar plants in Negev could power Israel's future

John Angelico

@solar and terror

"Solar isn't like nuclear. It's distributed."

Finally we get an intelligent contribution to the debate! :-)

All the thinking about this so far goes: make large collection systems, then figure out how to a) store and b) distribute the results without losing the lot.

Apart from cloud/rain of course, solar energy falls upon the entire planet (the poor, ailing, groaning planet) evenly across the average 24 hour period, or in Douglas Adams' terms, per diurnal anomaly.

Wouldn't it be better to distribute the collectors around the world and put them close to the users of the power? How about building them into our roads, and all our building surfaces - both domestic and commercial? Then we only have to worry about local imbalances (like a power-intensive industry or business cf many house roofs in residential areas), instead of world-wide imbalances and large scale transmission/storage losses.

If we go this way, instead of investing in large-scale transmission, we can concentrate on a) reducing the cost of localised collection and b) equipping all buildings with two-way electricity feeds - both outgoing and incoming - with a reversible meter (pay only for what you drag off the system, get equal credit for what you put back in).

Major HTML update unveiled

John Angelico


[Grytppype Thynne] Moriarty, get a floor-cloth and mop up those Huzzahs...

Yes, that's the one, thanks.

EU moves to establish gibberish as lingua franca

John Angelico

@253 combinations, but 506 translators

Spike? Spike? Oh, of course! Spike Milligna the well-known typographical error.

He definitely fits here.

Microsoft puts dusty, old Office code on web

John Angelico

@Ian Peters

"Open Office XML (OOXML)"

Naughty, naughty Vultures.

Please return to Burton Group for your re-education program in correct Microsoft nomenclature.


Hackers go after Excel

John Angelico

@ They have no shame

You said:

"OpenOffice is not a bad option but it is not suitable for the 5% or less who actually use the advanced features of Excel. But for those who want to do a quick budget analysis OO's spreadsheet is fine."

After 35+ years as a CPA in Australia, I recomnmend that all spreadsheets be limited to a few pages which can be viewed within a screen or two.

If you intend to create a complex spreadsheet using those advanced features, you are unlikely to understand the output you get, you are unlikely to be able to audit anything beyond a few pages and therefore you cannot rely/depend/entrust your life or future to that spreadsheet.

These cautions may also apply to a spreadsheet of a few pages, depending on your level of skill with spreadsheets.

However, these cautions definitely apply, independent of skill levels, to large complex spreadsheets.


OOXML marks the spot, says research firm

John Angelico

@Jeff Deacon

Posted Wednesday 16th January 2008 19:24 GMT

"I've heard of Burton's before ...

They make suits don't they?"

Is that like "getting fitted up"?

Ah, Yes! Does one good to recall Rumpole at the Bailey dressing down an over-zealous detective who has tried too hard to fit up a "known crim" with a dapper set of bespoke evidence... :-)

Boeing knocks back Dreamliner first flight

John Angelico

Re: @Aubry Thonon

"Passengers, your attention, please. We are currently awaiting our supplies of yellow, lemon-scented paper napkins for your comfort and refreshment. In the meantime there will be a short delay. Please remain in your seats, as stewardesses will be serving you coffee and biscuits shortly."

Typed from memory :-)

BOFH: Memory short circuit

John Angelico

@OS/2 and pound notes (various)

Now OS/2 is known as eCS, and v2 is due soon.

It's OS/2 Jim, but more than OS/2 as we knew it!

ECS could mean Europeans Converting to Sterling?

Yes, the set in the far corner, thanks

Microsoft's Raikes leaves

John Angelico

Are we about to witness...

a Raike's Progress?

Thanks, they're over there.

School-dodging Mexican lad glues self to bed

John Angelico

Clearly this is the Calpurnia strategy...

[Flavius Maximus] Mrs Caesar? Can you tell us anything about your husband's death?

[Calpurnia] I told him! I told him 'Julie don't go!!'

Yes, the Driza-Bone, please, and the battered Akubra

Bill Gates gives $10m to probe the universe

John Angelico

@Sad people

"Bill is a very principled philanthropist who has already signed over the bulk of his fortune and has said years ago that he intends to give away over 90% it."

Well, I wish he would just get on with it without all this trumpet-blaring publicity.

Every time I see one of these I recall Matt 6:2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."

'Draconian' Microsoft promises to make Office work again

John Angelico

Borrowing from Sir Humphrey Appleby...

Microsoft? The intelligence of Winnie the Pooh?

[Ponders the question] Of course, they *must*.

[Still pondering] Yes... well, on their day.

[Puzzled] Umm...? I'm almost sure they do...

Kent council approves 'cleaner' coal-fired plant

John Angelico

@anonymous coward

"Lets see how well you are able to "enjoy" your TV, computer, oven and washing machine when your house is feet deep in flood water. It happened to half of Gloucestershire last winter, remember?

This is happening right now, and the effects are continuing to increase. "

What, is Gloucestershire now under more water than before? Possibly yards deep?

I beg your pardon, but you have failed to make your case.

US colon cancer risk blamed on English couple

John Angelico

Why not the Vikings?

Ahem, how come this accusation was not sheeted home to those rampaging, pillaging, plundering earlier migrants?

Too much North Sea oil, probably... :-)

Car crash driver blames pterodactyl

John Angelico

If you cross a...

Pterodactyl with a prestidigitateur using a von neumann machine, then apply a reductio ad absurdum, you may be left with the letters D and T.

Maybe that's what he saw: DTs.


Counterfeit Vista rate half that of XP

John Angelico


Will Vista help me to do the same things I do now, better, faster, more effectively...?

I was raised in the era of decent education before calculators, dedicated word processors, or large scale computers, let alone the PeeCee.

On occasion I can still beat a spreadsheet to the correct answer, because of this old distinction:

man is slow, sloppy, distractable but a brilliant thinker

a computer is fast, (occasionally) accurate, tireless but utterly dumb.

I leave you all with this last analogy: I don't have to upgrade my car every couple of years in order to get from a to b. I may choose to upgrade every 4-5 years for additional features *if I believe they represent value for money to ME*. I do NOT upgrade because GM or Toyota force me back to a dealer.

Remembering the IBM PC

John Angelico

"God, I feel old!"

Umm, I have only seen one person dare to claim they wrote in assembler.

I am past caring about my age, but when the boss bought the IBM PC-1 with 256K of RAM via an IBM friend, I thought "how amazingly small these new things are..." :-)

I trace my computing back to 1969-1972, the era of 80-column punched cards, 15-inch and 17-inch fanfold stationery, 24-hour turnaround at the job collection window, 5th floor of the Institute of Technology where I trained in Accounting. There was the one register per instruction ICL George 3 OS running nearly 1000 jobs per day in 96K of core memory. This was the era of showing employees a room full of whirring machinery and saying "there you are, that's what calculates your pay." "Wow!" (Witnessed that conversation over and over again.)

I bear the scars, but I am sure there must be others who pre-date me...somewhere! Fellas? Anybody still here??

Microsoft hopes to patent 'automatic goodbye messages'

John Angelico

Prior Art??

Sorry, but this application is stretching the terminology as well.

Since when did "Ciao, Harry!" constitute art??

Dogs blast hunter with shotgun

John Angelico

Variation on...

Man bites dog story?

Hmm, hat and coat time, I fear.

Microsoft patents brain-computer link

John Angelico

Caution: waste matching Mars exploration project...

Sad that those American cousins over on the west coast have to waste all this time, effort and money on a fruitless exercise.

Those of us close enough to Ol' Blighty to enjoy the verbal peregrinations of the Goon Show will instantly recall one of those famous lines delivered impeccably by Bill:

"Beware of thinking! It's ALL IN THE MIND, YOU KNOW!"

Microsoft shouts 'Long Live XP'

John Angelico

@Downgrade rights?

But in that scenario, the monopolist still gets your hard-earned bread.

I prefer to look elsewhere - eCS 2.0 is almost ready, I hear about a thing called Ubuntu and others have mentioned an Apple a day to keep the Ballmer away.

John A

OS/2er from Down Under

Microsoft settles eight year patent case with Eolas

John Angelico

Could be better than you think...

Since MS successfully claimed prior art to influence the final decision, one might consider it a victory for common sense.

Now anytime MS, RIAA, BSAA or any other multinational ogre tries one on, prior art can be cited (as long as it really exists, of course) as a valid defence.

And one's lawyer could cite Micosoft vs Eolas as a part of the case history.

Hoist with one's own petard, n'est pas?

Websites could be required to retain visitor info

John Angelico

Am I "on notice" by having read this article?

Now that I have been alerted to the <i>possibility</i> of needing to keep records <i>just in case</i>, have I received constructive notice from the gummint, so that I must begin to keep such records at my business website?

Umm, further, do I have to make a written record of a verbal conversation I have had <i>just in case</> the subject/s become relevant in some <i>possible</i> future legal altercation?

Where will this all end?

George Orwell would be impressed - not only is Big Brother watching, but he's persuaded us to help him keep an eye on us!

Computer virus turns 25

John Angelico

Cookie monster - more

Yes, indeed. Although I wasn't a victim, it was explained to me by a regular user (Ph.D student at Melbourne Uni in Victoria, Australia) of the MelbUni mainframe systems (character based terminals, remember).

Cookie would wake up, select a terminal to bother, and would type

"Please may I have a cookie?"

If the user typed "Cookie" the program (more a worm than a virus) would fill the entire 80x25 character screen with "Yum! Yum!" and go away for a while.

If not, the requests became more stern and insistent over time, until the screen was locked with the banner headline text


and the user could not continue without typing in "cookie" when it was released with the "Yum! Yum!" response of satisfaction.

The program was adaptive as it eventually favoured the users who responded more quickly. They got more "Yum! Yum!"s on their screen until it became too much of an interference with their work. [I wonder if the programmer had a liking for The Mikado?]

Speedy evolution saves blue moon butterflies

John Angelico

10 generations, one year?

My, my!

Who needs millions and billions of years, then?

Chilean scientists crack lost lake mystery

John Angelico

That's Sir Pedant to you!

"Soccer" is a contraction of "association" so really is the most correct term to use as "football" is just too damned ambiguous.

Soccer is one of those uncommon words which fails to observe the rules of English language. It is therefore decidedly not a classy expression, but a lower-classy corruption.

[And no, I am not really a knight, since our Aussie government stopped giving any serious gongs. We can only get "Orders of Australia" now. Just doesn't have the classy ring of "Sir Percy Spender, calling Sir Spender, telephone for Sir Spender". :-) ]

Loopy quantums reveal successive universes

John Angelico

When you've stopped bouncing your brain...

Posted By Andy Bright Monday 2nd July 2007 21:52 GMT


"No doubt Creationists would have us believe..

that God simply used a giant Space Hopper ..."


Odd that - I haven't noticed any Creationists jumping onto this bandwagon...

They still believe that there was an orderly creation by an omnipotent God. None of this bouncy-bouncy stuff.

It's the silly evolutionists who keep changing the details of their "theory".

Rock-solid science - yeah, right!!

Ghostly plastic bathtoy flotilla nears Cornish coast

John Angelico

With cat-like tread...

Upon our prey we steal

Windows Vista aligned with good management practice

John Angelico

Alternative interpretation

I agree with Mike Mike (I prefer to call you Minister, Minister - Bernard Woolley :-) )

that a well-organised shop is likely to be more adventurous about VIsta.

I recommend to the survey house that the same parties be asked in 12 months time about the results of their upgrade programs.

How many actually achieved the upgrade within their expected timeframe?

How did the results compare with their expectations?

How did the budget commitments compare with actual financial results?

And it would be very instructive to ask the users how different/same the old XP was compared with the new Vista.

Declaring my bias against MS and Vista generally, I am prepared to predict that reality will fall short of expectations, and the most likely upshot will be increased hardware requirements for users to enjoy all the snazzy "features" seen in the adverts, of which none are of any real business value in terms of getting their job done.

Boffin retracts martian water claims

John Angelico

Scientist admits claim doesn't hold water; journalist can't take the p...

It make remain true, dear Vultures, that the journo got it right, but it's the scientist who is retracting, n'est pas?

John A

Down Under

The Economist de-rails Microsoft media love in

John Angelico

Calling the Pope

He should be instantly canonised as a saint!!

Finally someone else (apart from 'chairs' Ballmer) who can put Bill Gates back into his box!

And the centre of your desktop is...

John Angelico

Skewed results?

Unfortunately, the most obvious implication is that the sample respondents spend far more time on email, spreadsheets and word processing than on doing any "real" work.

I would expect accountants to use an accounting app, engineers to use CAD, hotel staff to use booking systems, sales reps to use a contact manager, airline staff to use a reservations system and so on.

Is this a signal that the paper-pushing bureaucrats have defeated the real workers?

Or that the survey doesn't accurately reflect the situation beyond Planet Geek.

Microsoft to fork out $180m to Iowa

John Angelico

Microsoft settles in Iowa with Monopoly Money

To quote:

"Businesses that purchased multiple copies of products can receive a discount on new software from Microsoft."

Why should businessmen be entitled only to a discount and only *if* they buy some new software, instead of receiving a cash refund like personal consumers?

This "payment" (which is customarily known in the legal profession as "go away(euph.)" money costs Microsoft almost nothing if the businessman buys more MS software, and exactly nothing if he doesn't.

Sounds like a Pyrhhic victory in there somewhere...

Spanish flag flies over Gibraltar

John Angelico

Headline: Huzzah receives Gilbertian response


A hearty "huzzah", an extra ration of grog and a signed photo of Lord Nelson for true patriot John Webster, who alerted us to this shameless act of piracy.

[Capt Corcoran] Bosun, in commemoration of this victorious occasion see that extra grog is served to the ship's company at 7 bells.

[Bosun] Begging your pardon, sir. If what?

[Capt Corcoran] "If what?" I don't understand!

[Sir Joseph Porter KCB] The gentleman is quite right - "if you please!"

[Capt Corcoran, through stiff upper lip and gritted teeth] "If - you - please!"

[Sir Joseph Porter KCB]

For I hold that on the seas,

The expression "if you please"

A particularly gentlemanly tone implants -"

[Chorus] And so do his sisters and his cousins and his aunts!

Happy Pi Day

John Angelico

After the approximation comes the accurate one...

And then when the real world reaches July 22nd, we can celebrate all over again.

You may regard me as ab-surd, and fractionally improper, but at least it's the more accurate :-) version.

James Cameron finds grave of Jesus & Son

John Angelico

Date problem

I must confess to not realising that we had already arrived at April 1st. - I am still having trouble getting out of February or, to quote a Mr Dent, Arthur Dent "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."



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