41 posts • joined Monday 5th March 2007 16:32 GMT
Sarah Connor may be OK...
...but Ernie from Sesame Street is fucked!
See, now Terminator: Salvation is ruined forever because I'll be thinking of Kermit and Miss Piggy instead of Christian Bale and Moon Bloodgood.
The Internet is for...
Websense has an option to force safe search on the usual suspects (Google, Live Search, Yahoo! etc...) so you can't do an image search on smut and squint yourself blind looking at grumble flick thumbnails.
Alas Websense hasn't yet caught up with Bing. And the thumbs are bigger on Bing, I've noticed, too.
My last Homechoice router died a couple months ago. The Tiscali support bloke gave me no hassle at all and got it replaced the next day with the huge Tiscali STB and tiny (crappy) wireless router. I don't mind, I can use my Netgear RangeMax instead.
So far I've been impressed with the new hardware and neither box gets hot, let alone hot enough to cook itself like the old, HC boxes.
For those who missed the pleasure, Homechoice (now Tiscali TV) gave you a cute, small, completely sealed brushed aluminium finish STB that was a DSL modem, router (with only one workable Ethernet port) and IPTV decoder with SCART out. It had no ventilation whatsoever. With DSL router combined with MPEG4 decoding, the things got hot and, with no way to dissipate the heat (unless you brushed the aluminium with any part of your skin) they would slowly fail as they fried themselves. I went through 3.
Amusingly, I used to work for LineOne.net even before it was launched. Snaffled by Tiscali. I also worked for World Online before Tiscali bought them out too. Then I became a Homechoice customer and Tiscali bloody bought that!
Please go easy on me, Were-phone Craphouse! And keep the TV, It's the only pay-tv I can get.
OK, I'll take those questions of yours on. Firstly, though, I'm going to ask you why you think 40 years of observations is enough to build an accurate model for global climate change historically?
The Earth (and the rest of the solar system) is heated by The Sun. We, also, get some from our nuclear core which complicates things a bit, but for simplicity we'll go with your assertion that it's the sun wot dun it. Yes if you turn up your bar fire the room will get hotter more quickly and if you turn it down again it heats up less quickly. Assume that this room is not a closed system and can dissipate heat at a certain rate, then, yes, if you turn up the bar fire, it'll get hotter and if you turn it down again the room will slowly cool to a previous thermal equilibrium. Now, what if you change the rate of heat dissipation, up or down, and also can change the rate of heat transfer from the fire? You change the way the room responds to changes in the fire, upsetting the equilibrium and you get a change in climate behaviour that has a cause.
The model we have for climate change (or, as I prefer to think of it, the change in climate change) is based on historical data taken from core samples all over the world going back hundreds of thousands of years, modelling how global climates changed then and applying what we observe today. There is little doubt that human effects on the environment (not just fossil fuel use, I think that's an easy straw man politicians can point at, tax, and look "green") have changed the way the room responds to the fire.
Memory, turn your face to the moonlight!
The Netscape 1.1n logo! The first browser to support backgrounds! Begone, boring, grey background! Hello "about:mozilla"!
I started creating websites back in 1994 for MCSA mosaic 1.0 and I remember the first time I was able to <CENTER> text and images and things in Netscape 1.0 "Blue! Throbbing! N!". It was incredible, the extra creative freedom you suddenly had! Ahhh, nostalgia. Sepia toned memories of sitting at an AIX terminal writing markup in asedit.
On a more serious note, how come we all applaud Netscape for extending the HTML standard with proprietary tags but pillory MS for doing the same with IE? I mean, IE didn't "kill" Netscape, Netscape deciding to charge for it's previously free browser did that.
FFS you lot
OK, this *barely* belongs in "Government" but what did you lot honestly think would be behind an article titled "Go, Brown, go!"? Fashion advice? Some Home Office declaration that, unless you paint your walls a dark colour you're a terrorist?
Sure, another online petition doomed to be ignored utterly that allows anyone with a browser and a couple of minutes spare on a Friday afternoon to vent a little, not news (well apart from the fact it's been approved at all)
However, as has been shown by some comments, there *are* people who read El Reg who fit the above category. Not everything is written just especially for you, my preciouses. It's Friday, relax!
Re: Palm Pre.....
However, before you pick it up, is it a pre-palm Palm Pre?
Erm... should probably say something on topic now, or risk angering the Moderatrix.
Have I missed the point of these? Are these essentially a netbook without a screen? They ain't going to replace any desktop usage I can think of, and you can buy a full desktop for the cost of the higher end ones. Also, the AspireOne has an external VGA port and it's portable. I just don't see a gap in the market for these things.
I hope to hell they don't go titsup here anytime soon. I like TiscaliTV (even if the STB's are shithouse and cook themselves regularly) it has a good choice of channels and the price is reasonable. My broadband isn't the fastest, greatest, bestest but it does what I need it to do, works well for gaming and downloading software/patches even the odd iso.
The terrifying alternative would be Virgin Media and I don't think anybody wants to see that, now, do they?
Everquest to WoW (a brief history of timesinks)
I played EverQuest for years which, at the time, was the definitive MMORPG. It did a lot of things "wrong" although Sony changed the gameplay a lot to mitigate some of this (For instance, if you couldn't get to your corpse in 7 days it went to an "underworld" zone where you could go and get it at leisure, then they introduced a place you could pay an NPC to summon your corpse to you from wherever it was - oh, and certain character classes could Rez you which gave you almost all your XP loss back) *however* it did a lot of things right.
EverQuest: Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion was the first ever introduction of Instanced zones and set the standard.
EverQuest did *not* prevent different factions from talking to each other which is the single stupidest idea in WoW.
The game is no longer recognisable from the version I played (although you still need to group with other players in order to do *anything* at higher levels) and, being so old, there's very few people left playing.
So I tried EverQuest II which was a game Sony created from scratch themselves and, at launch, it had some major problems. Notably you couldn't select your character class at the start so, in the beginning, you couldn't play the character you wanted to play. You couldn't get past certain levels until you'd completed some arbitrary quest to get nearer to the class you wanted to be... oh and it needed serious hardware to run, for the time.
Then I tried WoW. Now this felt like EQ2 *should* have been as it played very similarly and I enjoyed how much effort Blizz obviously put into the quests and lore and I liked that I could do things even on my own with one or two hours only to play. Then the novelty wore off and I couldn't stand the majority of the other players, so peurile and annoying and selfish and, well, everyting that my experiences in EQ were not.
I now exclusively play EverQuest II which has not only fixed everything I didn't like, it is by far the best MMO I've ever played. It's not masochistically evil to you like EQ1 if you cock up, it allows me to play casually, solo or with other players, has all the quest flavour, lore etc... that WoW has, the instanced mission system is *much* better than WoW, has more constantly developing content and world events that the players actually take part in and it's generally a better game all round.
The problem? EQ2 was a bad game at launch whereas WoW was a good game. A lot of people stayed with WoW and as it got more popular even more people joined in. I know one guy who went into the shop to buy Warcraft III, picked up the wrong box and became an instant fan of MMOs, WoW being his first.
The secrets of WoW's success, then: a) It wasn't shit at launch unlike it's rival at the time. b) It's easy to play, so accessible to people new to MMO gaming. c) It's got plenty of goodies for the hardcore munchkins too. d) It has all the player base so you'll never sit around on an empty server waiting for people to log on to play with.
Hercules or Sisyphus?
"Conroy said the pilot would filter a blacklist from the Australian Communications and Media Authority as well as 'other unwanted content'."
So The Great Barrier Chief reckons he and ACMA (well, mostly ACMA I imagine) will be able to monitor and list every bit of Internet content that fits the "unwanted" criteria, 24/7, and instantly apply it to ISP filters? I know that we here in Blighty are filtered at the point of entry into our shores but that's (currently, anyway. Give Ms Smith time) a very narrowly defined set of criteria. Widening the list to "stuff that's inappropriate for children" is a massive task that global organisations struggle to manage and even then can be circumvented with a proxy or waving SOCKS about.
I hope he is made to look very, very silly in this trial and the reulting stink means that nobody in their right political mind will touch an idea like this again anywhere in the western world. Jacqui Smith I'm looking at you.
The "solace" that religion brings in times of grief is simply a blind "It'll all be OK in the end, really it will" temporary abstention of emotional hardship which is a natural defensive reaction anyway. People have different coping mechanisms and this effect is not limited to religion. At some point it is necessary for that grief to be worked through naturally and being able to pretend that everything is OK because God made it happen and he's kind and loving does not encourage taking responsibility for ones own feelings.
Alternatively you could dress up as a bat and fight crime. Oh dear, I think that means it's time to seek solace in the church of the holy lager. Another pint please, Vicar!
The problem with Dawkins is...
I'm an Atheist. If I believe in anything it is the ability of scientific method and rigour to observe and explain the universe around us. I don't need a higher power weaving mystical tapestries to explain why I'm here. Nor do I expect to ever know all the answers to all my questions. Here's the problem, though, and it is why debates between Atheists and Theists (generalisation ahoy, cap'n!) always fall down.
Atheist: Prove to me, in accordance with scientific rigour, that there is a deity!
Theist: Prove to me, using your science, that there isn't! My faith says there is, so my faith can do more than your science.
Atheist: Fuck, how do I tell this guy about Santa Claus?
The problem with Richard Dawkins is he's an Evangelical Atheist and, while I totally support the aim of encouraging free, informed thinking rather than accepting something because someone in an assumed position of moral authority told you it was the truth, Richard Dawkins rehashing the above argument again and again won't change anyone's mind or change the nature of the argument.
What it will do is put out one more slogan in a sea of otherwise pro-religious propaganda and maybe kick off this same, pointless debate many more times.
Still, it's one for our side so: WIN!
Fixed Width solution proposal
I would suggest that those who do not wish to see lots of wasted space when viewing at high res exercise their ability to change the vertical/horizontal display properties of the browser to suit by resizing the fecking browser window! The bits of desktop or other open widows that you'll see are not that distracting!
The only problem with FW is on smaller screens/mobile devices that cannot change browser width (Jesus Phone and iTouch exempted, for instance) and are fixed at a lower res. As long as the wraparound that occurs does not break the flow of the story or otherwise stuff up the site (Right hand features column I'm looking at you!) then it's all good.
Anyway, beer o clock.
Seconded. I would certainly buy a couple.
I went to Bletchley Park last year and had a great time, though I was shocked at the state of disrepair it had been allowed to fall into. Both the Station X and Museum of Computing are struggling for money but both are well worth a visit.
At the very least, Reg readers, take a trip to BP this weekend and pay for a ticket. Your ticket is valid for as many visits as you like for a whole year!
That computer you're sat at now? That server that pages you at oh-dark hundred to tell you it's disks are about to give way? The sweet gaming rig you have at home? Remember: It Came From Station X!
*rattles the tin*
Imagine you give your child (Daily Mail Alert!) a mobile phone on PAYG and the brat blows all their credit on texing their mates in class.
Great, now you can't contact them because they have no credit to pay for the incoming call and they have no money/ability to top up.
Same as me at the end of the month, really.
This just makes no sense, unless it only applies to contract deals and then they'd have to seriously reduce calling costs/rental to make it sufficiently appealing to customers. Let's be honest, they've already set the charges the way they are to factor in the financial burden of the whole call so if they stopped having to pay for part ot it the charges must come down.
No, any way you look at it, this would be a nightmare to implement and would be very unpopular. You'd have companies falling over themselves to get the other companies' customers by offering "Free to receive" calls and we're back where we started.
Surely if a terrorist wanted to probe for a weak point all he'd have to do is carry ID?
Anyone in any kind of security position should know that the biggest threat comes from (trusted) inside, not (untrusted) outside your borders.
The more you rely on data as a source of information the less able you are to react flexibly on that information. You become predictable and that is a weakness.
This is where I add would a snide comment about our own ID Card proposals, but, you know, choir, preaching and all that.
Re: British consumers waste a third of the food they buy
I think they've actually based this figure on John Prescott.
Actually, there's some truth to the idea that the supermarkets set a "use by date" long before the food actually starts to go off. It's designed to protect them from being sued and has the handy benefit of getting you back into the store to buy another one soonish. Of course, we're complicit in this because we take one look at the label and go "bugger, these sausages were use by yesterday, they'll surely kill me if I make a casserole out of them today" and throw them away. I used to be as guilty of that as anyone. About the only things I worry about Use By on now are chicken and eggs and even then, chicken is freezable.
So, yeah, food prices are going up and it's all our fault now, not the Chancellor or the ex Chancellor, anything to do with increased oil prices, tax on diesel for transport companies, subsidies for biofuel crop growth etc... no it's because you don't clean off your plate you ungrateful taxpaying scum!
Actually, that bloke who does the spoken part at the beginning of "Another Brick In The Wall Part 2" ... that's Gordon, that is!
Re: Waste of money
I disagree. I think that this is exactly what taxpayers money should be used for - an elected opposition MP standing up to the Goverment and using the electoral system to make his point and allow the public, if not a vote outside of his constituency, at least some representation.
Yes, it's not a proper election in as much as the constituents won't get a lot of choice of candidates, but it's got a very real "point" to it.
Christ, given all the other ways our politicians have of wasting our money, this most certainly doesn't meet the criteria.
Re: Re: Re: Rational oh you get the idea.
Steve, whatever Mr Geldof's views on civil liberties, his personal opinion of David Davis, the Tory party or whether or not you can eat an after eight mint *before* eight o clock, the fact remains that his high media profile will bring the issue-du-jour to the attention of a wider audience than it would normally.
Nobody gives a monkeys about a bunch of stuffed up politicians sat posturing round a table pretending to move money around and discuss "targets" but the minute you get a Sleb telling you that, hey, this is a good chance to tell the blokes that run the world what we really want them to do, then you get millions of people interested in the G8 Summit.
It's the same here. "Boring old Tory Minister stands in by-election, big deal" suddenly becomes interesting to a whole lot more people if Rockstar Man shows up to explain it to the masses and draw more attention to it. By doing this it ensures that Labour cannot maake it a non-event simply by not contesting it and so avoiding the political debate.
Sure, he and Bono might get on your tits by turning up on telly at the merest sniff of a cause, but I'm glad they do if only to draw attention to that cause.
Good things come in threes?
Yesterday I found out that, unlike Tony Blair in 2004, Gordon Brown has actually stood up and banned (sorry, Sarah) Zimbabwe from playing cricket here next year, and now an unworkable technological "solution" proposed to fight a popular bogeyman-du-jour has been dropped!
For Denon home theater?
"it's designed to thoroughly eliminate adverse effects from vibration"
"the insulation is made of a fluoropolymer material with superior heat resistance, weather resistance, and anti-aging properties."
Where the holy feck do they think people are going to be using this thing?
Sure as hell I'm going to need "weather resistance" in my living room! Anti-aging properties? What, my lines and wrinkles will appear reduced in just two weeks or my money back? Superior heat resistance is important, though, since I actually live in a secret lair hidden in the bowels of a volcano.
Time to look elsewhere, I think.
Well, I enjoyed a very good service under Homechoice who got snaffled by Tiscali. I'm in the process of re-installing all my software and games onto a new build PC and am downloading an awful lot of patches.
Well, trying to, anyway. Tiscali have effectively prevented me from doing this.
My only reason to stay is the TV service I recieve (well, that and the only alternative seems to be Virgin Mediocre). I do have a spare Freeview box, though, so it's not that bad.
Any suggestions on a decent ISP?
Yes you are missing something. The NPfIT has been very badly sold and there's a lot more to it than is reported. It's not just a bunch of patient records stored on the Spine but a whole suite (eventually, anyway) of clinical applications that will replace some frankly hideously outdated systems that no longer match the needs of the modern hospital. The problems, IMO, arose because they decided to allow multiple companies/conglomorates, to pitch their solutions on a regional basis rather than having one master plan, one national solution, one standard. Well, that and the government couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery if they had to use a computer to do it.
To go back to your example of being knocked down by a bus in London, which has many hospitals covering various areas for A&E treatment. In order to provide the best, safest care for you upon your splattered admission, no matter which hospital ends up treating you they need to know if you are currently taking any prescribed medication (on a short term basis) that you may have left at home, for instance, or are you allergic to ibuprofen or have you recently recieved a certain type of general anaesthetic?
How good would it be if you were taken to have an MRI scan and they didn't know you had a pacemaker?
There are many clinical benefits to the NPfIT and, of course, many challenges (i.e. complications if they're going to get around the potential security/privacy SNAFUs) to overcome to get it right. Selected regional vendors not going titsup would help tremendously.
ICT Marketing. Hmmm.
Well probably the only fair use of this is to use it as a site to flog ad space on El Reg which is, of course, ICT marketing.
I much prefer the idea of an El Reg Government IT Cock-ups channel though.
Either way, jolly good show, chaps!
Need a shot for the STB
I'm with Tiscali TV (was an previous Homechoice customer) and there are problems with the TV service that are making me consider quitting.
1) The Set top box is nice to look at but has absolutely no ventilation whatsoever and, bearing in mind there's a GPU in there to decode the MPEG4, they literally cook themselves. I am on my third because I run a wireless home network so it is always on. It's frustrating when, after just a few weeks, TV pauses, pixellates and the box goes into something the engineers have called "search mode" for a while before coming back on.
2) The picture quality of the IPTV. I have an HD TV/Monitor and this, unlike a normal CRT TV, does nothing to hide the very poor quality of the signal. I'm no expert but the compression really hurts it and I don't think that 2Mb Broadband is sufficient to carry high quality TV data.
3) I have not yet found a way to convince my STB to feed me proper widescreen signal. It appears to be optimising for width but at standard ratio so I lose a chunk of the picture at the top and some to the left hand side. Boo!
So, yeah, apart from the fact that I've heard scary, scary stories about Virgin Media and I prefer my wallet to remain un-plundered by MurdochTV, I'm considering jumping ship too.
Oh for the love of...
The bloke wasn't sat in his trench with a fucking laptop, people! This was not an original piece of work created for the sodding web!
I imagine a lot of work has gone into turning it into something readable on a computer screen and, in all likelihood, this has been done at expense, by a web publishing outfit who slapped the DRM on it and set the cost. I doubt the Family are going to be raking it in over this and, if the dosh they get back is comparable to other writers I know, then 50p to charity is a decent chunk of their coin.
Actually, no, you're right, they carefully chose this method of distribution *specifically* to piss YOU off.
Paris Prefers Picking Perfect Pertness to Patronising Poor People
Rwandan Shopping Opportunites "Limited" says airhead heiress.
Any ideas as to whether we'll see this gizmo on sale over in Euroland or is this strictly a US release due to the US-centric nature of the charity deal?
Oi! WD! We have Breast Cancer charities over here, you know and it is coming up to Christmas. Just a thought.
Cheaper is good unless
they are shafted by the blu-ray DRM nonsense.
It's bad enough if the dodgy software phones home from a player attached to my telly, never mind attached to my computer, where all the really juicy data sits.
There is a big difference in that this is an educational tool that will be pitched to the kids as an accurate depiction of what it's like to drink and drive. The whole point of it is that the kids associate it with the real world out of the gate.
The fantasy world of entertainment games is kept just that, fantasy. If some disturbed kid then mentally crosses the streams and starts to associate it with the real world, or otherwise loses that distinction, that's an issue with that person's mental health/education rather than the content of the game or the way that game is presented.
A closer look at the scan website indicates that they have tuned this car themselves and there's video (youtube) footage of it in a drag race against a Ferrari (no, they don't say which model and it's hard to tell from the footage).
Needless to say the Skyline wins handsomely.
That'll do me!
Next time I need to do a Powerpoint presentation on some tediously boring subject I'm going to start out with a picture of a topless woman to ensure I get the full attention of the audience.
It could work
*object of affection opens box, inside, where a ring should be, is some cash. Video starts*
"Agent <name of lady here>, A man of your acquaintance, Mr <your name here> has contracted a serious illness called "Love". We are, as yet, unsure if this is the work of the sinister agents known as C.U.P.I.D. It is possible this condition may cause his state to deteriorate and it appears you are the only one who is able to bring him happiness and stability. It is possible this assignment may last as long as he remains alive. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to marry <your name here>. If you accept this mission, you should use the currency located in this box to travel directly to Terminal 2, European flights and proceed directly to the lounge area where your contact will be waiting."
Wait for her somewhere conspicuous, smile, act casual and present her with the real ring box closely followed by the tickets to Paris. Job Done. Claim your "I'm a romantic bastard, me" prize.
The main problem with the Vista launch as I see it, is much was made of the Aero UI as the defining feature of the OS. The problems being that a) You needed a PC upgrade that most modern games wouldn't require, in order to run it or else b) you had to "upgrade" to a copy of Vista without the "Wow is Now" Aero factor and it just wasn't worth it.
Now, if I'm buying a new PC *anyway*, then, sure, I can be sure the spec will be sufficient and I'll go away happy and get my whole Vista experience.
Then I will remember it's just an OS and I'll need to install all my old programs I used to run on XP anyway.
The best reason I've heard to upgrade to Vista so far? "Eve Online is releasing DirectX10 graphics so I need Vista and an nVidia 8 series." There is no compelling reason for anyone else to splash the cash just so they can ooh and ahh at Aero.
Back to an idea that was first put to Sony Online Entertainment re: Everquest back in the day (though for slightly different reasons): Have an 18+ Server.
There are many adult players who would prefer to avoid a lot of the childishness and have a less restricted playing environment (no naughty words filter, etc...) where they can game without worrying about the sensibilities of minors and enjoy a more grown-up experience. It would seem to me that this would at least give the ERP'ers somewhere to go away from the possibility of kids seeing it.
With WoW being as big as it is, I'm sure there'd be sufficient uptake to make it economically viable.
Hold the front page! Dr Who is not historically accurate!
Don't care. Kylie looks great in that outfit. I'll try and refrain from the "she could go down on my Titanic anytime" gag because it's crude and lame. Well, I said i'd try.
Good thing those movies are encrypted!
Because I've never seen a movie available on bittorrent, no sir. It's all unencrypted music all the time there on digital skull rock, Arrr, me hearties!
You don't need to "circumvent" the encryption on a movie - my DVD player's region encoding already does that for me. You shouldn't be made to walk the plank just because you choose to send the signal to a device the MPAA didn't think of.
Well, there goes that idea.
Amazingly* www.BlogABog.com is taken. I guess I'll just have to wait for Web 3.0 to make my fortune, then.