* Posts by Richard

38 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

The best netbook-friendly Linux distros

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Re: Jaunty Intel Graphics Issues

I believe that's one thing they've fixed for eeebuntu 3.0. I've been running Ubuntu 9.04 NBR on my eeePc 901 and more recently eeebuntu 3.0 NBR, and I'd say both seem to work fine, but eeebuntu is just a little better. I haven't booted into windows since installing them either - Win XP really struggles being installed on the 4GB (fast) internal flash drive - ubuntu runs great from a 4GB SDHC card.

Since the eee can be set to boot from the SD card, trying out distros to see how they work for you is incredibly easy and won't touch the pre-installed OS - just remove the SD card to revert...

Sony X-Series Walkman

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"OLED screens are being touted as the next great leap forward for TVs, with their enviably sharper resolution, faster rendering speed and wider viewing angle, but those benefits aren't quite so obvious on the very small screen"

No - the obvious benefit of OLED for portable devices is that they generate their own light and therefore don't require a backlight, unlike LCD which does. Consequently they have significantly lower power consumption. The fact that they tend to produce more vibrant colours than an LCD screen is a bonus for portable devices, but not their killer feature.

Acer Ubuntu nettop to get quiet storage switch



I prefer the idea of the SSD version. Small, cheap, silent, powerful (enough). Network HDD for the big file storage

Nokia N79 Active


Noise isolating headphones

Given the mapping functionality of the sports tracker, I'd guess this is aimed at people running / cycling outside. In this scenario noise isolating headphones are a very bad idea because you can't hear the car/bike that's about to run you down... Normal in-ear headphones would seem a much better option - it's not as though sound quality is the primary concern when working out after all.

Other than that, this looks like it could be a good setup

Microsoft follows Google to Mars

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Web client link

The link to the silverlight web client should be;


You've just linked to the .png

Microsoft 24 hours late with IE8 pwn protection

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Didn't you do reading comprehension at school? The beta (which didn't have the ASLR/DEP) was exploited. The official release has these features in. The fact that there was a day between the beta being exploited and the final version is released is irrelevant really, and only included in the article for dramatic effect. Beta bad, final better (in this respect at least).

Microsoft: Vista desktop key to life fulfillment

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You mean there's a background?

I have no idea what's on my desktop background. I never see it cos it's permanently covered with application windows. What does that say about me? That I actually use my PC rather than staring at a blank screen?...

IE8 for Windows 7 beta in 'reliability update'

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Re: Windows Error Reporting?

I'd hope that for a beta OS MS would disable the "Don't send" option. Otherwise wtf is the point of people being beta testers?

Cocaine now cheaper than lager


Just goes to show...

...booze is too expensive. The government should make alcohol illegal so it has the same (lack of) tax as Coke, and then it can compete on a level playing field in terms of price.

LG KC870 cut-price 8Mp cameraphone

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Where's the example shots?

A cameraphone review, but with no images taken by the camera, despite this being the main / only feature considered in the review. Poor show El reg...

Windows 7 first beta due January 2009



This comes back to there being too many versions. There should be Home and Professional (if they really feel the need to separate them). Both 64 bit capable with 32bit backward compatibility modes. Any more is confusing and unnecessary.

Logitech Squeezebox Boom wireless music player


@ wot no uPnP?


The sw is written in Perl and source code is available, so it'll run on anything that will run Perl. I believe it's possible to run it on many NAS boxes, provided you've hacked it sufficiently to allow installing of SW, and it's powerful enough to run perl, decode the music and stream it (IIRC squeezeboxes stream the audio rather than sending the compressed file, meaning the streaming end has to have enough grunt to do the decoding also - the advantage is being able to synchronise playback across multiple devices, which you can't do with uPnP)

Pioneer DVR-116D multi-format DVD rewriter

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Full disc speed?

Any reason why you didn't test doing a full-disc DVD write? It's very rare I write a DVD that isn't going to be pretty much full - it would be nice to know whether the Pioneer's claimed performance means anything useful.

McCain 'dead' email ruse punts penis pills

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Why is this news

Spammers use current news events/made up topical events/porn offers/random snippets of sentences (delete as appropriate) and have done for years. This is hardly a new trend. Slow news day at El Reg?

Hitachi UT32MH70 32in LCD TV


1080i (@AC)

I don't think you can argue that 1080i is only 540 lines. You could certainly argue that the effective refresh rate is halved (ie 1080p only updating at half the nominal screen refresh period of 50 or 60Hz), although it's not quite as simple as that.

1080i has a slightly higher pixel rate than 720p (~62 million pixels per second for 60Hz 1080i compared with ~55million pixels per second for 60Hz 720p), so there is more information available per second, which should lead to a better image. The visual difference between the two is likely to be subjective and dependent on processing, however. I suspect that 720p will generally look better on a native 720 line panel, 1080i will look better on a native 1080 line panel, but again it's never quite that simple...

UK Govt to spend £100m on three-city electric car trial

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@ Lee T

The following paper;


suggests that even factoring in the CO2 generated at the power station, a tesla roadster emits less than 1/2 of the CO2 of a standard car. Obviously renewables improve this even further.

I know the paper is written by someone from Tesla Inc, but it seems pretty persuasive to me.

Firefox sweeps away carpet bombing bug

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@ Here we go again

Out of interest, why are you sick and tired of them? They take a very small amount of time to download and install (about 30s max on the 2 machines I updated today with v3.0.1), your current browser state (tabs, history etc) is retained after the restart, and they keep your system as up-to-date against threats as possible.

IE has updates too, it's just they're included with all the other windows updates, and probably require a PC reboot after install. You can always disable the automatic search for updates in firefox from Tools->Options.

Use whichever browser you prefer, but this seems to be a strange thing to base your browser choice on.

Sony details PS3 DVR pricing, launch date



From the Sony press release;

"PlayTV’s two TV tuners are High Definition ready and are able to view, record and play back High Definition signals in full HD1080P to fully complement PS3’s already impressive High Definition credentials."

However, I doubt that this means it will support DVB-T2 if that's what the UK HD freeview uses.

"PlayTV will evolve with time, with great added value functionality being updated via PLAYSTATION®Network; a feature that sets it above all other set top boxes. PlayTV will never be out of date."

If that means that they could upgrade the firmware to support DVB-T2, that would be great, but I guess it may not be possible hardware-wise.

EU sets cellphone users loose in aircraft


Re: Terminology

> Point 2: I was told by a pilot that you can pick up a normal GSM signal from a plane as you're only about, what, 9km, in a straight, uninterrupted, line above the antenna.

I'd be very surprised if this was the case - generally the antennas are directional to save wasting power - the direction will generally be aimed down since that's where the people are. Shooting a signal 9km upwards would be a big waste of power (=> money), with no benefit in terms of revenue generated.

EC jacks up Microsoft fine by €899m

Gates Horns

Re: Re: Who gets it?

"The real question is who pays it? Who pays twice what the Americans do for a copy of Vista?"

Very few people? I didn't think anyone was buying Vista...

DivX shutters also-ran cat piano video site


Call me what you like...

I doubt I'd care.

Justify it to yourself all you want. I see your words but all I read is bleat, bleat, whine, whine. I stand by my original post


Never heard of it....

Looking by all the comments on here, the people who are mourning the demise of stage 6 all used it to download copyrighted TV shows. Quite frankly, you bunch of freeloaders almost certainly killed the site - it is not your god-given right to be able to download this stuff without paying, and you need to understand that bandwidth isn't free. How many of the people downloading these shows would have stuck with the site if they'd started trying to recoup some of their costs from the users (even ignoring the copyright issues)? No-one? Thought not. You muppets.

Microsoft goes open source - almost

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Sounds good...

Sounds great if it's true. Their track record is poor, but perhaps the EU action has forced them into action. Let's hope it's as good as it sounds...

BBC commercial tentacle confirms iTunes store push


@ Another balls up

In what way is it the BBC's fault that iTunes isn't available on Linux? Complain to Apple if you want iTunes on Linux, not the BBC.

This is the BBC's commercial arm cutting a distribution deal. It doesn't mean that it's the only way of getting these shows - hell, you could even buy the DVD...

Thigh-drive phone charger put through its paces



"aren't you going to have to walk/run further to get the same aerobic effect you used to due to it "helping the leg somewhat with its task"?"

No - the device is extracting power from the system, so can only increase the amount of energy required, and thus the aerobic load. It may reduce the energy absorbed by the knees, but only because it absorbs that energy itself, rather than because there is less energy to absorb.

Germany flicks off-switch on DAB


@ caffeine addict

I live in Cambridge and our DAB reception is fine on both DAB receivers we have. Both using an indoor antenna. FM reception however is poor, and greatly affected by using any electrical equipment (PC, microwave etc).

I'd say for casual listeners who listen to the radio while they're doing something and don't / wouldn't notice any issues with audio quality, DAB is far superior in terms of ease-of-use and sound quality. For the serious audiophile with a proper external aerial, DAB broadcasts probably are too compressed. Unfortunately the price (and lack of availability) of DAB sets has made them too expensive for most of those casual listeners who would otherwise be the ideal market.

DRM in latest QuickTime cripples Adobe video editing code

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@ Paul Talbot

I don't think that this will help kill DRM. It's the content owners, not the content creators who want DRM.

Becta excludes Vista, Office - again


Re: My Dissertation

I suggest you learn the difference between "their" and "there" before submitting your dissertation. Not sure what subject you're studying, but I can only assume that getting this wrong would reduce your marks.

coat. gone.

Beeb's iPlayer reaps streaming traffic dividends


Re: Flash vs Download

>> where as the flash one is OK for watching something short I wouldn't want to watch a full hour of programming on it.

I've watched hour-long programs on it no problem. That's on a Mac mini connected to a standard def TV - the picture quality is better than a lot of the low bitrate channels on Sky / Freeview (the content quality is significantly better too...).

I'm sure that the download service is good for some people, but unless it works on the computer plugged into my TV (i.e. a mac) I'm never likely to use it.

Indignant reader defends Idiot 2.0™


Let it go Lester...

You really don't come out of this looking very good Lester. Let it go. I think your article is guilty of pretty much everything you accuse Tobak of. Particularly the comment about "amateur bloggery". It has no place on El Reg - perhaps you should take your bile elsewhere?

Smurf gives Paris Hilton a mouthful

Paris Hilton

South Park

Is anyone else reminded of the South Park where Ms Hilton buys Butters from his parents and then has a whore-off with Mr Slave? Unbelievable.

Researcher: 'Second wave' HD adopters favour HD DVD


Wrong question

I know the research was sponsored by the HD DVD forum, but surely an obvious question to ask would be whether you'd buy a dual format player if one were available (and maybe even ask about the price premium you'd be prepared to pay).

Most consumers couldn't give a crap about which format wins, as long as they haven't bought the wrong one. The format war is enough to put me off buying a player of either flavour at the moment.

Air France compensates 170kg passenger


missing the point

While I agree with a lot of the comments that people who weigh more should pay more (a combined person+luggage allowance sounds fair to me), the guy here was entitled to compensation.

The airline should be up-front about it's policy, and the staff should have been more discreet.

BBC HD channel gets green light


HD == LCD/Plasma...

... or so most people think.

The main reason that people are buying HD capable TVs is that they are flat screen LCD/plasma panels that look good. I may be wrong but I suspect that many (/most?) people who buy an LCD TV and have a freeview think that they have HD, cos HD is digital or summat.

So why would people pay extra to buy new equipment which gives them the same crap at an extra level of detail they won't notice anyway.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard - Finder

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and another thing....

Don't think much of the review / analysis. Read more like somebody ranting about things that had changed than a well thought out critique. Starting the series with overall impressions and an overview of new features rather than diving in to one particular app would have made more sense. I don't feel at all enlightened by this. And I think -1% is a little harsh for the rating...

After months of denial, Microsoft cops to IE vulnerability


Re: Why are people still using IE??

If you believe firefox will protect you from hackers any more than IE, you're almost certainly much mistaken. All browsers have flaws which could be exploited by malicious hackers.

There's many reasons why firefox is a great browser, but i don't think it's significantly more (or less) secure than recent (patched) versions of IE, or Opera. For me plugins are the reason I use firefox - firebug, HTML tidy, total validator etc are invaluable for website development and debugging. flashblock, foxyproxy, ietab etc make my browsing experience better.

At the end of the day, firefox is just another piece of software, written by humans, and on it's own isn't enough to save you from becoming enslaved in a botnet (nothing like a bit of scaremongering early in the morning)

OpenOffice builds extensions for v2.3


@ ODF & Mac version

Openoffice does support Opendocument Format. I think you mean OOXML which is MS' 'open' proprietary office document format.

The development snapshot of the native Mac port of openoffice is looking great already, and seems pretty stable

Samsung iPhone rival to hit UK in November



Looks more like a Danger Hiptop than an iPhone. But that wouldn't get iPhone in the headline...