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* Posts by John H Woods

1194 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Neighbourhood watchers in Reading get speedguns

John H Woods
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Carrot required...

Why is it all stick and no carrot? How about average speed cams through villages with ANPR. Stick to the limit and get a smiley face, and an entry into the national raffle for a free vehicle tax disc.

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WD works on hybrid drives

John H Woods
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I'm with you...

... I put one in my T61 and it's made a massive difference. Maybe not quite enough :-) but it's not magic.

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Amazon outlines Android bill of rights

John H Woods
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Proper search...

... if you want to find good Android apps then use AppBrain (an app recommendation service) or just use an internet search for 'best android apps'. I only ever use the search function of the android market for finding apps that I already know I want - I can imagine it would be terrible for just browsing the market.

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Ford punts prang-prompted auto cops-calling kit

John H Woods
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112 is the GSM emergency number

It works in the UK, Australia and North America (as well as a few other countries, I believe) not just mainland Europe. Many (Most?) phones will let you dial it whilst they are keypad locked.

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NSPCC blurs lines as vetting debate kicks off

John H Woods
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Flame

three quarters of a century ago...

... the Daily Mail was also a different organisation - an active supporter of the British Union Fascists (famous headline: "Hurrah for the Blackshirts"). But times have changed and Bernados now accept that they were wrong. Not sure about the Daily Mail tho.

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Nuance Flext9

John H Woods
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Dic too big...

I bet that's why the app is too big. Most people use 5000 words maximum - Swype and T9 dictionaries (and all spell-check dictionaries) should be small (say 10k words) and extensible. Only crossword solving dictionaries and their ilk need to be huge.

For instance, I was outraged recently to have Swyped 'tine' rather than 'time'. How many fucking times do you want to discuss fork prongs in SMS? It is much, much better to confirm the occasional use of a word outside the top-frequency list than it is to accept mis-spellings because they happen to be obscure or archaic words.

Place names especially should not be present in such dictionaries. Although I have to say that Swype does give you a better class of typo. As I wrote last week - this is Tuscaloosa (Ridiculous).

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Patent row gets Playstation 3s banned from Europe

John H Woods
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"IT'S A GAMES CONSOLE"

In other words, a post-sale change made by a manufacturer doesn't count because it is not something in which you are interested?

You say "SONY had the right to change it." That, my friend, is what is called begging the question - you are assuming the very point that is at issue. Naturally, if everybody agreed with you that SONY had that right, you would be entirely correct. But they don't, so you aren't. What you need to demonstrate, if you wish to be taken seriously, is some supporting evidence that SONY have the right to make such changes in the first place.

Of course this is all slightly off topic but, considering the timing (virtually contemporaneous) and the subject matter (ownership of intellectual property) it is hardly surprising that the matter has been raised.

I personally don't give a toss about OtherOS, even though I experimented with it. But I can see why people who DO give a toss about it are aggrieved and, at the moment, I think they are correct that SONY have been (at the very least) unfair. No wonder they are pleased to see SONY getting some 'karmic retribution'.

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Doctor Who inspires another game, this time MMOG

John H Woods
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Happy

Lego Dr Who...

... *please* ...

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Killzone 3

John H Woods
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BBFC2 ...

... an update to the British Board of Film Classification?

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Survey sets out to pin down nation's pr0n habits

John H Woods
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Thumb Down

That argument is a tragedy ...

... by which, of course, I must mean that it is a song about a goat.

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Electric cars not as 'green' as advertised

John H Woods
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This is true for ALL the press ...

... as my old Dad liked to point out, if you spoke to an expert in 'x' for long enough, they would eventually tell you how everything written about 'x' in the media was pretty much rubbish. As you went through life, and met more people, you found that this was true for a pretty large range of 'x'.

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Moderate boozing good for your heart: Official

John H Woods
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I am reminded of an ancient punch cartoon...

... showing two old geezers in their high-sided chairs surveying the not terribly interesting proceedings at the old folks home where they live. Caption: "If we hadn't given up smoking and drinking, we'd have missed all this!"

BTW it's more useful to think of a unit as 10ml of alcohol rather than 8g.

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Polyglot 419 scammers target German and Welsh speakers

John H Woods
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Happy

amen to that...

"Record researcher Samantha has made one of her customary visits to the gramaphone library, where she runs errands for the kindly old archivists, such as nipping out to fetch their sandwiches. There favourite treat is cheese with homemade chutney, but they never object when she palms them off with relish."

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Windows Phone 7 gets 'goodie' update

John H Woods
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WTF?

WTF?

"When the Iphones didn't have it for years, it was deemed unimportant. When WP doesn't have it for a few months, it's considered a major flaw."

This would only be an "inconsistency" if they had been released contemporaneously. Would you claim I was inconsistent if I criticised a new make of car because it didn't have airbags, and I hadn't taken into account that the first Fords didn't have them either?

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Sarkozy: Microsoft represents all that is great about France

John H Woods
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Yeah but ...

... Napoleon wasn't short!

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Storm brews over Chinese synchronised goldfish

John H Woods
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actually no...

... try looking in the OED, or Jane Austen, for example. The English changed it to an 's' afterwards, and the Americans kept the 'z' (along with the stupid Month / Day / Year thing).

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Census threatens spies' cover

John H Woods
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Ethnic Origin

Correct Answer: "African (Aren't we all?)"

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Dinky Florida machine 'could whup world No 1 computer's ass'

John H Woods
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PR Opportunity

Just reconfigure it to be good at the LINPACK tests.

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Google brings 2-factor authentication to Gmail

John H Woods
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yes ...

... in fact, Lotus Notes has a web-interface that - even though it's not that good - beats the Notes (fat) Client into a cocked hat.

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Free Android encryption comes to Egypt

John H Woods
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sed

s/totalitarian/all/g

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Bank scorched by stupid Facebook policy

John H Woods
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CBA ...

... usually means something else on Facebook, if I am not very much mistaken.

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Ten... wireless keyboards

John H Woods
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I agree...

... those IBM clicky-clicky ones were the dog's. One thing I like to do when i get a keyboard is to swizzle the keys round into the Dvorak layout. It's getting harder with most modern keyboards because the keys from different rows are different sizes, or because some keys have nipple cutouts (GHB on a Thinkpad, frinstance).

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CoD: Black Ops 'not fit for purpose', fans claim

John H Woods
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@Ramazan

Many people will point out that national law trumps what is written in contracts. Hence Apple UK having to abandon re-stocking fees for mail order goods.

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John H Woods
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Blimey ...

... if 'not entertaining' can be used as a reason to get a refund on a game, video or audio product I might be able to hear some floodgates opening. Never played Blops on multiplayer, the single player campaign was worth the money. But what about terrible games such as Haze?

I think if you've had the game for 2 months, like Gangsta, you'd be hard pressed to prove it's just been gathering dust. But I've taken games back to GAME a day or after purchase and asked (succesfully) for credit against a different purchase. But then I'm in there every week spending $$$ so they know that if I take something back there's a good reason.

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Wind turbine bonanza expected in Hull

John H Woods
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Joke

Doesn't matter ...

... when the wind blows, charge up your car!

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NASA 'naut falls off bike, misses shuttle launch

John H Woods
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Unhappy

Unluckiest...

Person... EVER

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ASA goes online to swing stick at new media advertisers

John H Woods
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FAIL

Repeat after me ...

... the internet is not like other media. It is simply not amenable to the same levels of control, censorship or regulation. The only thing that needs to be done about this is that people need to realise that it is simply not amenable to the same levels of control, censorship or regulation. It seems that politicians and bureaucrats are significantly behind the curve where this realisation is concerned.

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Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

John H Woods
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Wall socket?

I'm undecided about electric vehicles, for a whole variety of reasons, but I think it's unfair to quote charge times for a single "wall" socket. Any house with a remotely modern electrical system can supply a 10kW load (e.g. a cooker or shower) so I'm pretty sure 230V x 45A would be a quite reasonable expectation for a domestic charging point.

Standard 13A UK three-pin sockets would only ever be used for exceptional circumstances - charging up somewhere where there was no vehicle charging point, and in most houses you can plug two 3kW loads onto a modern ring main without it tripping, so with appropriate circuitry you should be able to get at least 25A from two adjacent wall sockets.

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Lane Fox promises sub-£100 PCs

John H Woods
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Agreed ...

3 told me they "don't support linux". Fortunately you can just plug a 3 dongle into a modern Ubuntu distro, and when the box pops up, select '3'. Then it works. It's one of the advantages of using Linux - last time I tried an O2 dongle on Windows it tried to subvert all my Wifi config by replacing the windows zero-config with a huge bloaty buggy mess.

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Top CEOs agree: US is down the crapper

John H Woods
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Exactly correct...

... and this is why there are more sports therapists than engineers. You can't outsource sports therapy, so anyone who is any good can always get work where they live. However, someone who is an ace software engineer can easily be out-competed by someone on the other side of the world.*

I don't want to be telling my son that plumbing is a better career option in the UK than software development, but unfortunately it's the truth, and until your toilet can be remotely unblocked from China, it's going to stay that way.

* In my experience, the competition is only on price, because outsourced software is rubbish. Not because of the quality of the people doing the coding, but because of the increased disconnect between the recipients and producers of the system: managing complex and changing requirements was hard enough when teams were small and co-located.

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HTC Desire HD

John H Woods
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Tasker ...

... can save you battery life.

It's not free but it rocks. For instance - automatically switch wifi off when not in range of home wifi; enter power saving mode if placed face down. go into quiet mode if both at home; on charge and it's between midnight and 6 am.

Also divert calls from mistress' phone straight to voicemail if you're at home :-)

I got a DHD for Xmas and I haven't yet put it down, I absolutely love it. Hopefully a bigger battery will be available someday but I'm quite happy having it on charge whenever I am at home or in the car.

The screen is so large it is effectively a mini-tablet, and as a handheld computing device, I think HTC have set the bar. Any larger, and you'd probably not want to hold it up to your head, unless you are Dara O'Briain. But for chunky fingered lardies like me, who could use the exercise of carrying an extra few grams, it cannot be beaten.

If you want a lot of standby time, just do what I did - spend a fiver on a tiny cheap Samsung and carry that around as well. But

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Beastly Android will batter Apple's iOS beauty

John H Woods
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Please can we distinguish ...

... between percentages and percentage points?

RIM: 35.0% -> 19.2% (loss of 15.8 percentage points or 45.1%)

iOS: 20.9% -> 26.9% (gain of 6 percentage points [not 7] or 28.7%)

Android: 27.5% -> 40.8% (gain of 13.3 percentage points or 48.4%)

Other: 16.6% -> 13.1% (loss of 3.5 percentage points or 21.1%)

Same for VAT please: it is a 2.5 percentage POINT increase - it has gone up by 14.3% and represents a 2.1% increase in the price of goods with standard rate VAT.

I'm pretty sure I'll have fallen foul of Muphry's law here somewhere, but I still think we should encourage the term percentage POINT

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John H Woods
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[A-Za-z0-9]+

I've bought loads of apps from the Android market. Some of these are "unnecessary" - for instance the free version of Maverick (off-road GPS) is quite good enough, but at the same time it is so good I couldn't resist the opportunity to bung the developer the tiny amount of loose change the pro version cost. Is this a sustainable model? I think only time will tell.

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Capita buys chunk of troubled NHS software firm iSoft

John H Woods
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Google IBS

Hint: the first result is not iSoft Business Systems. Surely it's worth a quick check before naming your business?

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Paris Hilton meets bikers, opens up... wallet

John H Woods
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LOL

So did I!

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Beeb ordered to release TV licensing contract sweeteners

John H Woods
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How detector vans might work:

Well I can think of some fairly simple electronics that would do the trick. But maybe it's just electronics to make beep-beep noises, after all.

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Apple chap knocks up ancient Lego computer

John H Woods
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Unhappy

And within a few hundred years...

... the parasitic meme of religion took hold of our gullible race and cost us at least a millennium of scientific and mathematical progress (and probably philosophical, ethical and social progress too).

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Blighty's kids nosedive down global reading, maths rankings

John H Woods
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Yes ...

... the OECD report notes, according to the report in the Telegraph:

"Countries where schools had more bureaucratic freedom performed better and the study showed a strong link between good discipline and high scores "

Of course, the government response to our recent poor performance in this test means that they will feel they need to exert even more control.

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White House forbids feds from reading WikiLeaked cables

John H Woods
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Just the excuse I needed ...

... to cancel my paypal acct.

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Mass mind control artist condemns El Reg to obscurity

John H Woods
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Errm...?

"I suspect the causes are typical geeky ignorance of real politics along with unhealthy doses of mind-deadening socialism spoon-fed over a lifetime. "

Wow - you're objecting to ad hominem attacks (on RL and his followers) with this?

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John H Woods
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Don't be so modest, Cake.

See title

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Unreleased Lady Gaga songs nabbed in audacious hack

John H Woods
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Heart

Be nice to Ke$ha you lot ...

... come on - how many hot blonde pop starlets are on record as saying they like fat blokes with beards?

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Google in 'better' copyright protection vow

John H Woods
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Happy

Use scroogle...

... plain interface, no frills, no incremental search - and encrypted too.

https://ssl.scroogle.org/

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Google ends 'do be evil, if you want a top ranking' policy

John H Woods
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Well ...

... try googling nominative determinism. Best ever example is

Br J Urol. 1977 Apr;49(2):173-6.

The urethral syndrome: experience with the Richardson urethroplasty.

Splatt AJ, Weedon D.

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US politician: 'homosexual agenda' behind TSA groin grope

John H Woods
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Happy

"puts the willies up the TSA"

I see what you did there!

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Frenchies, Germans wave fat pipes at embarrassed Brits

John H Woods
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A solid 2-4 Meg pipe...

... /is/ big enough for the vast majority of people. But what about the vast majority of _households - which hold more than one person? I'd like to be able to watch HD TV regardless of what my kids are doing.

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NASA to make MAJOR ALIENS REVELATION this week

John H Woods
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Yep, that's because ...

... it's a thinly disguised retelling of our local bard's "The Tempest".

John H Woods

Stratford-upon-Avon

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Canada steps closer to legalising sex work

John H Woods
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Since you ask?

It would be "nice" to live in a world where no person felt compelled to prostitute themselves - and maybe no-one felt they needed mood-altering substances.

We don't live in such a world. We live in one where prostitution, drugs and gambling are a reality and where attempts to obliterate them via legislation have actually increased the harm that arises from them.

You want common sense? Me too. But to me common sense is realising that certain ways of dealing with things are counterproductive (as decades of experience should tell us) and that we should be seeking other ways of dealing with them.

Of course there is a role for using the law to *control* these things. But if they are simply outlawed, criminals prosper and the vulnerable - and often the rest of society - suffer as a result.

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Apple says no to Android-oriented iPad mag

This post has been deleted by a moderator

John H Woods
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@Ralph 5

Sorry, but I really think you are missing the point. Imagine going to Tesco and being told "We're not carry Private Eye this week because they keep criticising us" - or "We're not selling the Daily Redtop today because they decided to run a full page advert for Lidl"

But why am I arguing with you? If you already read Neil Mitchell's post and you still stand by yours, there's little point in me or anyone trying to change your mind.

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