* Posts by Steve Sutton

140 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Jun 2006

Music biz proposes 'iPod tax' in return for format-shift freedom

Steve Sutton
Thumb Up

A breath of fresh air...

...from a Reg hack.

Any chance you could force Orlowski to read your article?

Intempo Rebel DJ and ad-zapping FM radio

Steve Sutton

I wonder if

a beowulf cluster of these things coul.....oh, wait, wrong forum. Sorry!

Google's cookie crumbles under scripting attack

Steve Sutton

@Nick Stallman

Actually, MS only guess the content-type if it is not sent by the webserver, or if it is one of 26 "known" types.


Why? Well, that's more infinite wisdom from Microsoft, in order to "make it easier for an average Joe to put up a personal website without worrying about mimetype details"


It's a shame that Gupta doesn't recognise that most websites are put up by professionals*, and that their perhaps well intentioned code is a frigging nightmare at times. "Asking everybody to fix their servers" is precisely what they should do. We expect Microsoft to fix their software, adhere to standards, &c, and they have a right, nay duty, to expect the same in return.

* Insert some reference to professionals using apache and amateurs using IIS here

("infinite wisdom" is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation ... well, probably)

Australia giving snoop powers to employers

Steve Sutton


Hmm, perhaps you're right, but about legal grounding (tbh, I probably wouldn't go looking for a lawyer), but I'd still walk out on general principle if I found out that they were reading my personal email, especially as I and colleagues have been given a separate email account specifically for that purpose.

@Solomon Grundy

Fair enough, if they thought I was wasting time at work, by for example reading and posting comments to a popular IT news website, then they're entitled to check on this, but reading the *contents* of my personal email is way out of line.

Steve Sutton
Paris Hilton


There's nothing in *my* contract about my company monitoring my email, and if I ever found out that the were doing it, I'd be out the door, and on the way to appoint a lawyer, faster than I could explain why Paris!

Sony, MS want control of PS3, Xbox iPlayer, Beeb boss claims

Steve Sutton
Gates Horns

@Andy Turner

Just curious, but how much *do* you get paid for your comments.

Do they pay you per post, by the size of your post, or by the best available estimate of number of readers?

Where can we sign up?

Apple rewards developers with bricked iPhone

Steve Sutton


"Well, bricked means unusable due to firmware not working correctly, but it doesn't mean that nothing can be done to revert or fix that behavior."

No, they're right! Bricked means irrevocably* in a state, where it cannot be ever be used again, except perhaps as a brick.

* This includes any situation, where there may be means of fixing it, but that these are inaccessible to the public, even via manufacturers' repair centres.

If you've got bad firmware on it, but can (relatively) easily replace it, and re-enable the phone, then it is not a brick.

HSBC pops thousands of customer details in the post

Steve Sutton



"Seriously have us reg readers stopped actually reading the articles now?

1. The data was for life insurance; so yeah they want to know if you smoke."

The article doesn't actually say it was *for* life insurance (although, I did misread "reinsurance" as "insurance" - which didn't help). Thanks to that, and a number of explanations that they sell life insurance, It now makes a bit more sense (it really was a funny shaped cloud, not a black helicopter).

@ Jon

Thanks for the explanation, however the "HSBC sell life insurance[1] to their customers" would have been sufficient for me to understand:)

Steve Sutton
Black Helicopters

Where the hell...

...do a bank get information on the smoking habits of 370000 people? What purpose do that have being in possession of this information? Holy shit, what is privacy and data protection coming to?

Microsoft gives XP an extra two years to live (kinda)

Steve Sutton

Dear Microsoft,

I anticipate buying a new laptop, within the next 12 months or so.

The operating system on this laptop will be XP, or Linux. Your call!



Final beta of Firefox 3 available now

Steve Sutton
Thumb Up

@ Gilbert Wham

...yes! I've been using beta4 for a few weeks now, and it does seem to use a lot less memory.

Storm Worms exploit April Fools

Steve Sutton

@Ian Ferguson

Hey, you've just reminded me, it's Internet cleaning day today - must get my server brushes out ;)


Need a new duster? Avoid Woolies

Steve Sutton


"There are errors with your order:

The product you have just tried to add to the basket is not available to purchase at this time."

Ofcom hits green on in-flight calling

Steve Sutton

@Craig & Fraser

How is that any different from the two people sitting next to each other and having the same conversation? The fact that mobile phones enable more people to have more conversations, and more convenient times, while not physically next to each other is a *good* thing!

If you don't want to listen to other people's conversations, keep yourselves locked up in a quiet dank hole somewhere, you miserable pricks*

* Ooh, was that a little harsh? I never can tell.

UK postal vote system 'not fit for purpose'

Steve Sutton

@ Onionman

Okay, fine, but how do you suggest I prove that it is a 3-4 hour, 160 mile round trip costing about £20 in fuel (never mind wear and tear/mileage/&c.), that is barely practicable to do on a working day, that I have to make in order to vote?

Do I need a note from my boss, confirming where I work? And, how do I prove the authenticity of the note?

A third of online shops undermine consumer rights

Steve Sutton


Anybody know about delivery charges?

I recently sent something back to Dabs (it wasn't specifically broke, just a truly crap piece of kit that I decided I didn't want), and they told me that they wouldn't refund delivery charges. Further, I had to pay the cost of returning the item.

So, my question is, do they have to refund delivery charges?

BBC calls DRM cops on iPlayer download party

Steve Sutton
Black Helicopters


.... and perhaps or perhaps not related, I've discovered, this morning, that attempting to view video on the BBC News website in firefox now causes the message "additional plugins are required to display all the media on this page." to be displayed. Clicking "Install missing plugins" sends you to a firefox dialogue allowing you to install windows media player 11.

Note that the video still actually works, without installing this version, but this message is new for me.

See for example, the current footage, of an incident involving yet another highly competent terrorist, featured on the front page.

Texas Instruments sounds alarm on 3G

Steve Sutton
Paris Hilton


...3G is a brilliant, very useful facility which has tremendous potential. I frequently find myself in a position when I want to use the services that are possible with 3G. There's just one problem. It is almost invariably considerably more expensive than I am prepared to pay, and as a result, I don't use it.

That's it....the only reason....it's the price....nothing else. If that was reasonable, I'd be making full use of 3G.

Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote

Steve Sutton

let's get on this bandwagon then....you mised

"12345, that's incredible, i have the same combination on my luggage"

HMRC blows £1.4m on two-word slogan

Steve Sutton

@AC ("My first post, can I swear.....? ")

I'm no expert, but you seem to have got the hang of it!

Steve Sutton

de dum de dum

Right, let's put an end to all this slogan nonsense now, with a public campaign.

The Register

"IT workers against terrible slogans"

(unfortunate acronym for the slogan though - iTwats)

Coat? Never even took it off!

Jedi to open Surrey academy

Steve Sutton

@ fraser & dervheid

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Obituary: HD DVD 2002-2008

Steve Sutton

none of the above

I have to say, that while I preferred Blu-Ray, simply 'cus I trust Sony to invent the better technology, I have no intention of using either, until I am 100% convinced that all of the DRM, and particularly the player-disabling features that I've heard enough about to be worried about, have been removed.

Maybe I'll look into it properly for myself, or maybe I'll just wait until the companies involved come out and state it clearly.

Tiscali and BPI go to war over 'three strikes' payments

Steve Sutton

@AC (Who Pays For Content? )

"Those calling for free-for-all downloading aren't really asking for *everyone* to have free access; what they want is for *their* music, films and television to be free."

That's not really the issue here, although I appreciate that a lot of people who feel this way are piggybacking the issue.

ISTM and a lot of other people, that the way this will work is the RIAA, BPI, or whoever will simply see an IP apparently sharing a file unlawfully, and tell the ISP to disconnect them. This means that if someone who I allow to share my WiFi, or someone who steals my WiFi, downloads copyrighted material then they can arbitrarily take away my Internet!

See "actus reus" and "mens rea" on the interwebs, two things which do not happen if someone other than me uses my connection to unlawfully download material, and yet I am being found guilty and punished despite the absence of either of these. How would you feel about being branded and convicted as a kiddy fiddler, if the only proof needed was that your IP was used to download kiddy porn?

Now you can argue that stealing 'secured' WiFi is difficult to do, bit it's not impossible, and the threat of being disconnected from the Internet gives more motivation to people who download music to learn how to do so.

The power to 'convict' someone of downloading copyrighted material, and punish them accordingly (including disconnecting them from the Internet) must remain solely in the hands of the judiciary, where we can be sure (well certainly more sure than if the RIAA/BPI are in charge) that it will be tested to a proper standard.

Steve Sutton


"Did you really just compare downloading a copy of the latest pop album with child pornography?"

You're right, the bloke who did that is an idiot. It should be perfectly clear to him, as it is to the rest of us, from observing government behaviour that stealing music is a *MUCH* more serious offence, and that anybody who thinks that dealing with kiddy fiddlers is more important should frankly be taken out and shot!

Google in mass 404 land grab

Steve Sutton


10.4 Client Error 4xx

The 4xx class of status code is intended for cases in which the

client seems to have erred. Except when responding to a HEAD request,

the server SHOULD include an entity containing an explanation of the

error situation, and whether it is a temporary or permanent

condition. These status codes are applicable to any request method.

User agents SHOULD display any included entity to the user.

It only says "SHOULD", not "MUST" - although I've found this annoying, developing/debugging web applications (as I do), which send diagnostic information with 404 messages. We had to work around this with MSIE, by padding the page.

T-Mobile and Orange hook up video trial

Steve Sutton

Mobile TV?

I was on the original (well first I heard of) mobile TV trial which Orange ran nearly 3 years ago, which I assume ran over 3g somehow. After the 3 month trial period, they then wanted 10 quid a month for the service! (and that was only 9 channels IIRC)

Laugh? No, I just canceled the service.....and then rang up to cancel again, after they charged me anyway!

I can't speak for others, but I'd be prepared to pay 50p a month for access to mobile TV, and only then if it included worthwhile channels. Any more than that, and they can keep it!

El Reg collectible pops up on eBay

Steve Sutton

£1 = 900 euro

To all those who don't understand this exchange rate, please refer to your dictionary or Internet encyclopedia, and look up the word "satire"

Egg scrambles to fix network outage

Steve Sutton

@ scott & John

@ scott

Nope, you are correct that they can call in the entire debt if you breach the contract, but not if they merely end it for business reasons.

In your case, the 30 days notice would appear then, to not be enough, but for most people they will at least know before they go on whatever trip. Yes, perhaps it is inconvenient, but that is their prerogative, and back to my earlier point, they are under no obligation, whatsoever to lend you money, if they don't want to.

Frankly, if you* were sensible (and I'm not either), you would make sure you had the money to spend before you go, not rely on borrowing it, when it comes time to pay (okay, okay, I know we're all used to the idea of credit on tap via cards and overdrafts, but it would not surprise me at all, if other credit cards made similar moves in the near future. If the 'credit crunch' is coming, people will start having to get used to the idea of not having so much on tap credit). Alternatively, if 30 days notice is not enough, you should arrange for credit that *will* be available when you need it. Egg, and other credit card companies do make it clear in their small print (oxymoron acknowledged), that they can end the agreement by giving 30 days notice - if this is period is inadequate for your purposes, find another lender.

* when I say "you", I don't mean to be personal, I just mean people who expect to have credit on on tap, in general.

WRT trusting Egg, Just because they are the first to do this, doesn't mean they will be the last! Most credit cards have similar terms, and as I said, I wouldn't be surprised if others follow suit - I don't think that others are any less susceptible to deciding to make such a move.

@ John

Sorry, I must have missed it, but I've not seen any evidence of Egg going round telling anyone that anyone else has bad credit! http://www.egg.com/scumbags-what-don't-pay-their-bills.html doesn't exist. Maybe they were misleading in how they announced this move (I've not seen any actual press release), but they certainly haven't lied about any specific individuals AFAIK.

Totally agree with you though, from what I *have* heard, it would appear that they said one thing and that this would appear to be at least in part BS, which is unacceptable.

Steve Sutton


"Would *you* now trust Egg to give you a line of credit that they can call at 1 month’s notice (which I believe *is* the standard credit card term)?"

They can't call in the entire debt at 1 month's notice, they can only "...end this Agreement at any time. We will normally give you 30 days' advance notice..." The repayment terms, in particular minimum monthly payments remain the same, and cannot simply be increased.

Steve Sutton

@Tom Ward

"However, to publicly declare that it's because of poor credit ratings is akin to slander"

Not true, if anyone were guilty of slander, it would be the credit scoring agencies, and that would only be the case, if what they were saying was untrue.

...and in fact, in that case, it would probably be whoever told the agency the bad information who had actually committed slander, unless the agency themselves had 'made it up'

Egg Nog/Anonymous Coward is quite right; any credit company is entitled to refuse credit to someone who is a credit risk (which in the case of credit card companies, includes withdrawing the practically unrestricted ability to obtain further credit, by withdrawing the card).

...and in fact, if anything, credit companies are often guilty of giving too much credit too easily (if what I read in the press is true).

...and in fact, Egg should in all likelihood be praised for not giving too much credit to people are a credit risk (yes yes, I realise that there are questions over the way that they have done it - they could, for example reduce the card limit for riskier people - and that this doesn't apply to the reported withdrawal of services from zero balance customers, but, I'm sure that there are many credit-opponents who would argue that this is a step in the right direction)

RealPlayer dinged by software watchdog group

Steve Sutton


Yeah, but unfortunately, that does involve buying a Mac.


Steve Sutton
Paris Hilton


You mean there are still people out there who haven't learnt the first rule of Real Player: "Don't install it under *ANY* circumstances!".

Most of us geeks learnt this ages ago, surely this information has filtered down to the hapless masses by now!

Maybe we should convince Paris to publicise this in a charitable fashion.

@ Les Matthew - apparently not, although, to be honest, I don't use that either, as any acceptance or support of the rm and related formats will only delay its death.

Nokia N82 smartphone

Steve Sutton

iPhone-like motion sensor technology

...because of course, we all know that it was Apple who invented this!

+++NO_CARRIER:Connection reset by sarcasm.

Germans launch flights for nudists

Steve Sutton
Thumb Up

"to fly as nature intended"

...and that's why I love El Reg!

Software firm bills council over high website traffic

Steve Sutton


@John Bayly

I was merely suggesting one possibility. Frankly, from what I regularly hear about government IT projects, I would believe anything.

@Matthew Joyce

I take it your compiler runs aren't going well.

Steve Sutton

@John Bayly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_address_translation ... for example

Jobs: Blu-ray wins HD format war then loses to downloads

Steve Sutton


Downloads didn't (and currently won't win), DRM failed. If/While downloads include DRM, they too will be issued with a voucher entitling them to claim their fail.

The future's bright for Virgin executives

Steve Sutton

Or, maybe...

"Orange has been getting less profitable of late, so with Alexander at the helm we can expect some form of cost cutting, or squeezing more revenue from existing assets"

....or maybe they could do what Virgin do, and charge a fair price!

(actually, Orange used to do the Virgin tariff, but stopped doing it a good few years ago. Actually, I was quite annoyed at this, but mostly, I just switched to Virgin mobile and got the Virgin tariff from them!)

GPS is killing children

Steve Sutton

Strange, because...

....my TomTom selects the shortest route, when told to, and the "fastest route" (which tends to use main routes and avoid residential areas) when told to.

In fact, I have found that when in "fastest route" mode I can, for example, turn off a motorway to avoid traffic, and head down a 'back road' which I know. When doing this, TomTom will, for some distance, keep pestering me to "Turn around when able" and attempts to divert me back onto the motorway where I left.

New Jersey bans sex offenders from the web

Steve Sutton

New Jersey bans sex offenders from the (web/internet)*

* delete as appropriate

So which is it then, are they banned from just the web, or the whole Internet?

Nokia wins hearts, minds with breakthrough mobile

Steve Sutton

Absolutely right

Absolutely agree with you Andrew the 6310i, IMHO (and the opinion of anyone I've ever known to express an opinion on the subject), is the best mobile phone ever made.

I don't use it nowadays of course, as I went in to 'ave a go at camera/3g phone. And, to be fair, looking back, there are a few things (and only a few) that modern phones do better (notably, the larger screen sizes), but I sometimes still think to myself that I'd like to go back to the 6310i

NHS frets over Brits' genitalia

Steve Sutton
Black Helicopters

Quick, somebody tell OFCOM the vote is rigged.....

For those who don't know, the voting is done by email (a mailto: link in the page). Here's what happened next:-


This is the Postfix program at host <my-mail-host>.

I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be

be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.

For further assistance, please send mail to <postmaster>

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can

delete your own text from the attached returned message.

The Postfix program

<full-body-map@nhschoices.nhs.uk>: connect to mail.nhs.uk[]:

Connection timed out

Steve Sutton

...no, hang on, don't head off to your bunker yet, I'm an idiot!

No really, I sent my vote from my company 'internal' email account!

Hey, c'mon, It's the last week before Christmas, I disengaged my brain some time ago.

Drivers on the phone face the slammer

Steve Sutton

Hand's free nonsense

I'll wager, and I'm guessing here, that the research into hands-free phone driving is flawed.

The fact is, that when you are driving on a hands free phone, you can dedicate you primary attention to driving, or the call, but not both. While some people are foolish enough to pay more attention to the call, that doesn't mean that everyone does.

So, here's my question to the researchers: Is there any penalty clause in your research for drivers who don't pay attention to the road? (I imagine that the research goes along the lines of a driving simulator with a phone call or message played - candidates are then paid for each correct answer they give to questions on the information given, motivating them to pay attention to the call, not the driving. For this to be accurate, they must also be told that they will lose all of their money, if they cause an accident or break any driving laws)

The art of software murder

Steve Sutton

Oh so true - give me PSP7 back

I'd been using PSP 7 for years, and whey my boss finally upgraded me to a PC from a Mac, I needed some image manipulation software. I said, I'll have a copy of PSP, please, thinking I would get something like PSP 7, with perhaps a few improvements. But no, what did I get? PSP 10, and I regretted it immediately.

Why oh why do people have to take software which is close to perfect, and bastardise it into something horrible?

Beeb censors Fairytale of New York

Steve Sutton

@ old slut on junk

Oooh, have I been moderated for copying an pasting text from wiktionary???

Okay, the bit I mainly wanted to mention was that I heard it on the radio last night, and IIRC, they actually did censor the word "slut"

Steve Sutton

@ old slut on junk

Oooh, have I just been too impatient?

Steve Sutton
Thumb Down

@ old slut on junk

I heard this, last night, and IIRC they have censored "slut" too.

Not that I consider censoring either word acceptable.


3. (countable) (derogatory) a slovenly, untidy person, usually a woman.


4. (pejorative, US, slang) A male homosexual.

Just because they happen to broadcast to the US on satellite radio, doesn't mean that they should censor the version broadcast to the vast majority of their listeners.

Virgin Media network collapses nationwide

Steve Sutton

Never forget...

....it's not "Virgin Media" it's "NTL"