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* Posts by Paul Slater

48 posts • joined 15 Oct 2007

Stale Blackhole leads to dried-up spam, claim badhat-probers

Paul Slater

Ransom fee

I'm curious. If you are crypto-locked and pay the ransom fee, do they send instructions for unlocking the drive?

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Facebook RIPS away your veil of privacy, declares NO MORE HIDING

Paul Slater

Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

Only if you use a loyalty card

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Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

Paul Slater

Re: Cultural

ditto for the UK if Cameron has his way and does away with our ECHR responsibilities

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Techies with Asperger's? Yes, we are a little different...

Paul Slater

Noise pollution

One thing that is not always taken into consideration is the fact that a lot of Aspies (myself included) have a huge sound sensitivity issue. If too many people are talking at once either in a meeting or even just in the office, I feel an almost overwhelming urge to tell them all to stop shouting and to talk one at a time. It's not only very difficult to separate separate sound streams, it also makes it almost impossible to hold phone conversations. I've often left the room if I'm just sat at my desk and there is too much talking.

Recently a radio was introduced into the office and the battle over which station and what volume was quite possibly the most stressful episode I've ever had to deal with in a ~30 year IT career. It's settled down now, so if it stays on 6 music at volume 5 or below I can just about work, but its introduction has been instrumental in me moving on to another job for another company.

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Hundreds of hackers sought for new £500m UK cyber-bomber strike force

Paul Slater

Re: They can **** off ...

Except there is a bill at its 2nd reading to reintroduce National Service for 18-26 year olds....

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/nationalservice.html

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Michael Gove: C'mon kids, quit sexting – send love poems instead

Paul Slater
Happy

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I'm crap at poetry

Nice arse.

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Brit online property bazaar Zoopla ponders BILLION-pound flotation

Paul Slater

I had an idea for an estate agents house-sale aggregator website back in 1993 or 4 but there were only about 30 people on the internet back then so I didn't bother. Bugger.

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BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Paul Slater

Re: Not so good for real time...

I still ring the speaking clock twice a year - dial 123

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ARM head legs it from core body: CEO Warren East retires

Paul Slater
Thumb Up

Good headline

Reminds me of the story I read yesterday about Michael Foot being made commissioner for nuclear disarmament or something. The Times's headline was "FOOT HEADS ARMS BODY"

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NASA's twin GRAILs reunite in lunar orbit

Paul Slater

Apps

...unlike the Beagle 2 app, which just crashes.

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Skype to test advertising

Paul Slater
Linux

@Combat Wombat

I happily run Skype for Linux on my Ubuntu machine. Note, this is a native Skype for Linux client, not the Windows one running under Wine or something

http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/get-skype/on-your-computer/linux/

Still in beta, but hey.

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Elon Musk's rocket booked by Google X-Prize moon robot

Paul Slater

Minerals and fuel

So who owns the rights to all these resources up on the moon?

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Microsoft finally says adios to Autorun

Paul Slater

Autorun attacks from CD

"..Microsoft has yet to see in-the-wild attacks that exploit Autorun on “shiny media.”..."

Err, Sony DRM?

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Brits say 'no, no, no' to 3D TV

Paul Slater

viewing position

you gotta face the TV pretty much head-on... and if it's up on the wall over the fireplace, you gotta stand up. All for a crap film. No ta.

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DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards

Paul Slater
Headmaster

Attack motives

"The motives for the attack, much less its perpetrators, remain unclear."

Perhaps it was because the company is called "sitelutions"? What an abomination of a portmanteau

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Tory councillor arrested over 'stoning to death' tweet

Paul Slater
FAIL

Netiquette

All he had to do was put "j/k" at the end.

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Foxconn faces leaked report of worker abuse, violence

Paul Slater
Happy

Dilbert had it right in 1993

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1993-03-03/

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Google's 'instant' search springs keyboard controls

Paul Slater

Lost on a non-touch-typer

I really can't see any benefit from this at all for people who don't touch type. I've been looking at the keyboard as I type for over 25 years and I'm not about to learn touch-typing any time soon, so all these instant suggestions are lost on me until I've finished the search phrase. At best, they save me one key press (the enter key).

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OpenOffice files Oracle divorce papers

Paul Slater
Headmaster

naming

FreeOffice would be a better name. And less confusing to pronounce.

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OED goes the way of all flesh paper

Paul Slater
Headmaster

Library access

Join your local library and you get free online access via your library membership. I've been using it this way for about 4 years. One of the unseen benefits of public libraries, that the gummunt is trying to close down.

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Emmerdale shoves jam rags in innocent kiddies' faces

Paul Slater

Catch up

I thought I'd check it out on ITV Player to see how long the "offending" stuff was there. Surprise surprise, that particular episode has been pulled!

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The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

Paul Slater

buttons

I was similarly annoyed when Internet Explorer moved the Home button to the right instead of the left of the address bar. I got used to it.

And out of all the reasons why one would choose Ubuntu, the placement of Window controls is not high up my list.

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Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx to Facebook and Twitter you

Paul Slater
Go

Yes you can.

I bought a Dell Mini 10V preinstalled with Ubuntu. Next.

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Govt inserts battery take-back scheme

Paul Slater

Euphemism

Why are "recycling centres" euphemistically named? My local one has separate collections for batteries, paper, cardboard, large electrical items (TVs etc.), small electrical items, white goods, garden waste, wood, yellow pages and catalogues, waste oil, lightbulbs, tins, glass bottles, plastic bottles... etc etc.

Sure, if it doesn't fit one of those categories then it goes into the great big skip, but recycling centre is hardly a euphemism.

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Intel staff 'fired' in ring piece stunt

Paul Slater

Mumbo jumbo numbers

Finnish is one of only two European languages that is not descended from the ancient Proto Indo-European tongue which ultimately produced Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, German, Celtic and English, amongst others. So it's hardly surprising that the numbers sound odd.

1 to 10 in Finnish: yksi kaksi kolme neljä viisi kuusi seitsemän kahdeksan yhdeksän kymmenen

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Bing advertisers on wane, says report

Paul Slater
FAIL

Say that again?

"Bing's biggest additions were online shopping comparison engines such as Nextag, k8yel.com, bestcompare.net, shopwhiz.net, and underpay.biz"

I've never even heard of any of those websites. Moreover, what does k8yel and Nextag bring to mind in terms of comparison price websites? Errr. nothing.

Horse, dead, flogging springs to mind. Get out while you can.

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Home Office makes nice cartoon ID card ad

Paul Slater

Advert

"one advert for which features a cartoon fingerprint unveiling the identity card to an admiring audience of other fingerprints"

I'm so glad I got rid of my TV a few months ago.

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World's nastiest trojan fools AV software

Paul Slater
Linux

MS Office 2003

Yep - it runs in Wine.

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NASA works on robo-podcab scheme

Paul Slater
FAIL

Public transport

So instead of encouraging people to leave their cars at home and catch public transport instead, this system will replicate the road system, but a bit higher up, and have travellers boarding little "cars", moving the traffic jams vertically by a few metres. Great.

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VW confirms e-car plans

Paul Slater
Stop

Tackling the wrong end of the problem

The biggest cut in emissions would not be if we all drove leccy-tech, but if more of us made those small journeys by foot, cycle, whatever, instead of jumping in the car to drive a mile and a half (what's that - 20 minutes walk?). 25% of car journeys are under two miles

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Controversial mobile directory fails on launch

Paul Slater

Opt out

So how do I opt out of this service?

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Google to delete Street View source images

Paul Slater
Thumb Down

Wrong way round, surely?

"the software sometimes makes mistakes, labelling part of the image as containing a face or a license plate when in fact it doesn't."

Surely the privacy aspect is where the software *fails* to recognise a face or a number plate, and thus doesn't blur it.

I can't imagine too many people complaining that the slot in a letter box, or top of a Belisha beacon[1] for instance, would be incorrectly blurred for looking like a number plate or a face.

[1] Okay, that'd be a pretty big face!

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IBM pits Watson super against humanity

Paul Slater
Thumb Down

Nope

Clever computer answers Jeopardy questions? I think not - shouldn't take a great deal of processing to map the lexical items and grammatical structures from the given info in order to arrive at a possible answer or at least a range of good guesses.

No, what I would like to see is a computer that can solve a cryptic crossword like The Times, for instance. In fact, if a computer could do that without just using pattern matching, then I reckon it'd be a good candidate for beating the Turing test.

Then again, I don't believe the American press carry cryptic crosswords (in the UK sense), so maybe the IBM boffins just aren't aware of how challenging they can be.

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MPs battle to save great British pub

Paul Slater
Stop

smoking

Of course, all the surveys about banning smoking in pubs showed an overwhelming number of the population in favour of the ban. I wonder what the results would have been if they had surveyed just those people who actaully go into a pub now and then, rather than the ones who sit at home reading the Daily Mail and working themselves into a lather over something that will never affect them directly.

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Evesham Technology confirmed dead

Paul Slater
Happy

Back in the day

I bought the first PC for my business from Evesham in 1994 or 95 - drove there and picked it up (I'm fairly local). I remember the sales guy demonstrating the 4x CD ROM's speed by pointing out how quickly the drawer popped out when you pressed the button... 32mb ram, 2gig hard drive, 17" monitor and a colour printer - all for around £3,500. Bargain.

Mind you, it's still being used by my ex-wife's father for putting newsletters together - not bad for a machine almost 15 years old

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US to postpone analog TV death

Paul Slater

A bit slower here

So why does the UK have to wait until 2012 for it all to be completely rolled out?

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Droid sub goes under Antarctic ice on 5000 D-cells

Paul Slater

Batteries

So they're looking at the effects of the current climate change, climate crisis / climate catastrophe / climageddon (take your pick). Let's hope they do the sensible thing and send all those batteries for recycling once they're dead.

Or maybe they'll do the old trick of just sitting them on a radiator for half an hour then sending the sub out again...

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Spinning the war on the UK's sex trade

Paul Slater

Smoking

"The majority of people don't smoke, and most of them find the ban an exceptionally good thing."

The majority of people don't visit pubs regularly either. I can't help thinking that if they had surveyed the people in my local (one of the few remaining real locals amongst wine bars, brasseries, gastro-pubs and teeny pick-up joints), the overwhelming majority of respondents would have been against a smoking ban in pubs.

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MSI mobo ditches Bios for EFI

Paul Slater

Hmm.. nothing much new here?

From the screenshots, all the keyboard shortcuts still seem there, the lines of text and options are still in a fixed-width font, and there is still hardly any description of what the settings are about - the "help" for the option to "Enable ACPI Auto Configuration" says "Enables or Disables BIOS ACPI Auto Configuration", for example.

It looks to me as though all they have done is taken the BIOS as it was, and wrapped it in some fancy paper. A bit like putting tinsel round your telly at Christmas....

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Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

Paul Slater
Linux

Slow bootups

If I want to check my University email first thing in the morning, it takes me 7 minutes from powering on a (Vista) PC at college to being able to read the contents of my inbox. It's obvious that Microsoft are aware of these slow boot times if you think about the "power off" icon on the menu, which just hibernates the PC.

As a Linux user at home, I love the way that once you are logged in the disk activity light just stops flashing, and you can get on with whatever you want straight away.

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Google to save US from fossil fuels

Paul Slater
Thumb Up

Bring it on

If a company as savvy and well known as Google is willing to start a debate on these issues, then it's all good. Anything that gets sustainability issues into the hearts and minds of the great unwashed is very welcome.

All they need to do now is shut down Google AdWords, which persuades people to buy crap they don't need. The problem is not so much to do with alternative sources of energy or transport, but with a wholescale reduction in the use of both. Move closer to work. Take a holiday that doesn't involve flying. Don't buy that new gadget, or upgrade that perfectly useful one you have in your pocket/desk/office.

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Boffins produce aerobatic copycat-copter pilotware

Paul Slater

Background

Brilliant showcasing - having the helicopter flying against a background of dark trees half the time so you can't actually see what it's doing.

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Ofcom slaps MTV with £255k fine

Paul Slater

Well..

That'll fucking teach 'em...

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Microsoft to ODF, PDF - let's get it on together

Paul Slater
Unhappy

ODF? What about Office 2007 formats....

I spent two hours this morning trying (and eventually succeeding) to open a simple word document sent to me by a student - my university has recently converted to Office 2007 / Windows Vista. As I run Linux and OpenOffice, this was a bit of an issue, to say the least! As Word defaults to saving in 2007 format, I guess I'm gonna be stuffed at least until OOo 3 comes out in the Autumn.

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Boffins' breakthrough boosts fuel cell output by 50%

Paul Slater

Boffins

Do you need to constantly refer to scientists as "boffins"?

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How scanners and PCs will choose London's mayor

Paul Slater
IT Angle

Accountability

"It might be possible, Mercuri contends, for a hidden piece of code to be activated, or for a machine to be subverted by scanning a particular bitmap image"

Why is the software not open-source, in that case? This is the public, voting to public officials, after all.

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X Prize comes to earth

Paul Slater

5mph?

"...and should have features likely to attract the average consumer."

I hardly think a car that does 5mph would appeal to the average consumer. The average granny-mobile pavement scooter would get to the Post Office quicker (though it will still probably closed down by then...)

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Oscar Wilde voted top Brit wit

Paul Slater

Stephen Fry is a genius

Stephen Fry once said "I might look stupid, but I'm not clever..." Fantastic

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