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* Posts by Martin

751 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Apprentice runner-up becomes Greggs bigshot

Martin
Thumb Down

er....no....

I don't dispute that the Unions had their teeth kicked in. But unfortunately, the by-product of that tooth-kicking was indeed to destroy the manufacturing industry, and lost many people their jobs, most of whom were moderate people who just wanted to do a good job for reasonable money.

And to call me a communist because I think that it actually makes sense to rent when you're younger (so that you can be more flexible, and get other jobs elsewhere, and so you don't have a huge millstone round your neck) - well, words fail me.

Oh, and the Tories also sold off all the decent council housing stock too. So there's no decent rental market any more - particularly in London.

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Martin
Thumb Up

Good post, apart from the knee-jerk Labour bash....

Remember it was the Tories in the eighties who shut down most of the manufacturing in the UK and starting this obsession with owning property.

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Firms fight over universal remote control patents

Martin
Happy

The Harmony does more than just replaying IR

Push a button once, and it cleverly does everything in the right order so that the correct items are switch onto the correct settings.

Don't know if this is anything to do with the patents, but it's definitely something a bit more than just replaying IR

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Vesta flashes charms to approaching Dawn

Martin
Headmaster

More precisely....

"It cannot land on Vesta itself because its engine thrust (10 grams at 1g) is much less than its weight on the surface (27.5kg)."

Actually, there's no problem at all about landing on Vesta. It just wouldn't be possible to take off again.

On a more serious note - it is quite jaw-dropping that in a year's time, we'll have some pretty serious maps of Vesta - a small lump of rock less than a third of the diameter of the Moon, a hundred and seventeen million miles away.

I wonder if there will be any sign of the Silver Queen?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marooned_Off_Vesta

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Amazon's anti-iPad arises 'in October'

Martin
Thumb Down

colour e-ink?

Do you want your books to look like old Geocities web-sites?

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Hunt refers News Corp/BSkyB bid to Competition Commish

Martin
Facepalm

NomNomNom, you're either a troll or an idiot...

...so I'm not sure why I'm responding to you.

But let's give it a try.

If paedophiles are driven underground, this is not a good thing.

The whole point of paedophiles going underground is that once they are underground, the police no longer know where they are, and can't keep an eye on them

If there is a paedophile in my town, I'd like to be sure the police know where he is. And if he leaves the town, it's a good thing that they know where he's gone.

If paedophiles are driven underground, so that the police no longer know where they are, the world is actually a more DANGEROUS place for kids....

But you're clearly too stupid to understand this.

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UK will obey barmy Euro unisex-insurance rules from 2013

Martin
Thumb Down

"...scientifically proven that men are better..."

Check out "The Myth of Mars and Venus" by Deborah Cameron before you make statements like this.

The vast majority of the so-called "better" performance is to do with early conditioning and education. Would you assert that it can be scientifically proved that men are better software engineers than women?

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Bloke ordered to remove offensive numberplate

Martin
Happy

Fiona Richmond...

...actually owned the wonderful FU 2

She may also have owned PEN15, but I suspect you've just got your numberplates mixed.

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ICO orders release of (mostly useless) weather station data

Martin
FAIL

Oh, come on....

...just because it's Greenpeace, doesn't mean it's wrong by definition.

Greenpeace, without doubt, have an agenda.

But that doesn't detract from the fact that one of the leading scientists on the denier side is being paid by the coal and oil industry.

And it also indicates that El Reg is being their usual selective self by ignoring the stories that don't appeal to THEIR agenda.

And with a response like that - you're telling ME to grow up?

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Martin
Unhappy

It's not at all too much to ask...

....it's just that, on the "denier" side, the vast majority is in the business of spreading FUD, and not in the business of actual science.

It's a lot like the way the tobacco companies attempted to hide or discredit the facts about the health issues of cigarettes (and still do, come to that), or the way the Christian Right is trying to "teach the controversy" about Intelligent Design.

There are very many scientists trying to do actual proper transparent science. The vast majority of them have been convinced - by the science - that we really are likely to have a problem in the fairly near future. They can't ALL be deliberately misleading us. On the other hand, there are a lot of non-scientists (and a few scientists, to be fair) who do not believe the science is convincing. And there are a large number of corporations who have a vested interest in persuading people that it's not really happening. And the science is hard, and not by any means exact.

Hence, it's very easy to spread FUD, and El Reg ought, frankly, to be ashamed of the help that it gives the deniers.

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Martin
Meh

I wonder why El Reg hasn't covered this story?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon

So, there are loads of climate change scientists who have a vested interest in saying it's happening, to justify their claims (according to the "skeptics").

But how about this leading skeptic who definitely has a vested interest in saying it's all rubbish?

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Google field tests (yet another) Facebook rival

Martin
Happy

xkcd....

Can't believe no-one has posted this yet...

http://xkcd.com/918/

As for the suggestion of having two facebook accounts, one for work and one for friends - isn't that what LinkedIn gives you?

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Samsung NC110 matte-screen netbook

Martin
FAIL

"...the price has gently declined..."

No it hasn't.

The range for a netbook has always been between £175 and £329. It hasn't changed a bit in two years or more.

Given you can get the Packard Bell DOT-SE-911 from John Lewis for £229, and as far as I can see it's the same spec, this is just a basic machine at a silly price.

I was honestly expecting a machine like this to be £150 by now. But no-one wants to sell machines that cheap - they'd rather price netbooks too high, then say "no-one wants them" - so they can concentrate on making bloody tablets that loads of people don't actually want.

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Facebook hurls insults, punctuation at growth slump report

Martin
Thumb Up

Excellent example of the Emphatic Period there.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/01/verity_stob_english_upgrade/

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Venice not in major peril after all - new research

Martin

If the Guardian has an article by a scientist...

...who is actually working on ice cores, and if the article refers to evidence which is (apparently) well researched, then it's not an unreasonable cite.

I said NOTHING about whether CO2 causes global warming. I specifically said that you could argue all you like about whether the rise has any effect at all. I merely said that it was a fact that CO2 has risen significantly, and it's difficult to see any other explanation which doesn't involve man.

The article which bill 36 asked me to read, is, however, an article written with an agenda. It reminds me of anti-evolution propoganda - full of quotes with no context, loads of doubtful possibilities thrown out and appeals to authority.

I do not dispute that people on both sides have an agenda. I do not dispute that this is not an exact science.

But at the moment, the scientific consensus is clearly that there is a rise in C02 in the atmosphere, and that it's very likely indeed to be a result of the action of man. That's ALL I said. And, speaking purely personally, it's difficult for me to see how anyone could dispute it.

Finally - nyelvmark - please look up the difference between weather and climate.

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Martin
Happy

Sigh...

What, exactly, did I get downvoted for?

What's not to like about a statement of fact (and yes, the statement about the current CO2 level compared to what we have over the last million years or so IS a fact), and a very reasonable deduction from that fact?

Ah, what the hell. It was probably downvoted by Lewis.

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Martin
FAIL

Take a read of this...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/punctuated-equilibrium/2011/jun/10/3

...and then tell me you don't buy this CO2 bit.

I refer you in particular to this sentence...

"These measurements show that atmospheric CO2 concentrations fluctuated between around 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm) during nearly one million years. This provides an important baseline for understanding our current CO2 level, which is now at 393 ppm"

You can argue as much as you like about what the effect of the increase in atmospheric CO2 will do. But it's not really realistic to deny that there has been a massive and sudden increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, and it's hard to think of any other reason as to why this might have happened except due to the influence of man.

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Martin

But what do you expect at El Reg?

That's their default position on Global Warming - the scientists are wrong and it's all rubbish.

Get used to it.

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Samsung UE40D6530 LED 3D TV

Martin

No one-size-fits-all?

How do cinemas stay in business, then?

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Martin
FAIL

Sooo....you pay a grand for a TV....

...and when you get it home, you are expected to fiddle with the settings to get the picture to your liking?

Look, when I pay a grand for a telly, I expect the settings to be right. If I go to the cinema, they just get it right, don't they? Why on earth can't it just be right for a TV?

The difference with audio is stark. When you spend less on a sound system, it tends to come with multiple audio adjustments to try to fiddle the sound to be a bit better. When you pay a lot for your system, it comes with a volume control and that's it. To my mind, it should be the same for visual systems - you turn it on, and it looks great - full stop.

(I'd accept a bit of adjustment for a bright or dark room, but that's all...)

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Motorola Atrix dual-core Android smartphone

Martin
Thumb Up

And as usual, the minute I get a new phone....

...they come out with another one that I want.

The bit I think is ingenious is the fingerprint sensor. Why has no-one done this before?

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Martin
Happy

Time to ask Verity what she thinks....

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/07/verity_stob_cplusplus/

It would be nice to see an updated version of this.

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Brit rubbish-dump worms in space station science triumph

Martin
Boffin

International Boffinry Alliance

Excellent.

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Verity Stob and the super subjunction

Martin
FAIL

A useful piece of advice....

The front page contains the title of the article, the summary and the name of the author. This is useful information, and should be noted carefully before clicking.

In future, refrain from clicking on the articles labelled "Stob". Then you won't feel it necessary to tell us you don't like them.

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Martin

...or even....

Spot. On.

Isn't there a Parameterised Emphatic Period?

Best. ${item}. Evvah.

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How to... change sleep-screen pics on your Kindle

Martin
Megaphone

And for the 7000th time....

...you can't convert DRM'd ePub books to Kindle format.

(Well, not legally, anyway.)

When people say they want ePub support, they mean they want to buy an ePub book from Waterstones, or get a ePub library book, and read it on their Kindle. They don't want to have to find a bit of dubious software to hack it, then transfer it to Calibre, then upload it to the Kindle.

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Samsung Galaxy S II dual core Android smartphone

Martin
Happy

Seemed huge to me...

Well, it still seemed big to me - I guess I do have small hands.

Got a desire S in the end - even that seems a bit big. I tend to hold a phone in my left hand (even though I'm right-handed) and I can only just reach the top right of the screen with my thumb. If I'd got a Galaxy SII, it would have needed two-handed use a lot of the time.

A lovely phone, I admit. But I'm happy with what I have, and I'm paying a fair bit less a month too.

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Martin
Unhappy

I was seriously considering this....

but when I got my hands on it - it's flippin' huge. Not sure whether it wants to be a phone or a cut-down tablet...

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Amazon tablet, touchscreen Kindle on course for H2, say moles

Martin

well, for one thing....

...that 'orrible keyboard taking up all that space?

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Sanity saver: Fedora 15 answers Ubuntu's Unity

Martin
Happy

The reason is very simple...

...and it's always been the case.

Software developers like writing new stuff. They don't so much like maintaining the old stuff.

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No stranger to the moleskin trouser

Martin
FAIL

C++ ???

Real programmers use C.

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The Osborne 1: 30 years old this month

Martin
Happy

ahh...the Z88

We used several at work as cheap and portable serial terminals - took up a lot less space than a VT100.

Wish I still had mine...

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Martin
Happy

This truly was innovative....

I remember going to see a customer who had a problem with an embedded system we had supplied. I was able to see the problem demonstrated, bring up the software on the Osbourne, implement a fix, recompile (more precisely, reassemble, I think!) and link the software, burn a new ROM, install it into his machine, and leave a very happy customer working again.

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Antarctic ice breakup makes ocean absorb more CO2

Martin

So you don't believe any of the other climate change stuff...

...but, as this supports your agenda, it's clearly entirely correct and should be listened to and taken seriously.

What a surprise.

It's very interesting news, nevertheless.

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UK iPad 2 to cost under £400

Martin
WTF?

@James Hughes 1

Did you see the :P in @opague's title?

It means "tongue in cheek" - i.e. it was a slightly sarky response.

It certainly didn't require the venom of your answer.

I ask again - why is it that people feel that language that would get them bopped on the nose in a pub is reasonable on the internet?

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Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

Martin
Happy

24x80 - fixed font

Green screens rule. Any other size just doesn't count as a screenful.

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Ten... fantasy swords you wish you owned

Martin
FAIL

So let me think about this...

...I go to someone's house, and they have a sword hanging on the wall.

"That's interesting", says I. "What is it?"

"Ah, that's a replica of Aragorn's sword from Lord of the Rings"

"So it's a replica of an imaginary sword owned by an imaginary hero from an imaginary place, right?"

"Er - yes. But it's really cool."

Riiiight. I'm with the original poster. Never mind the legality or the safety. Massively, massively uncool works for me.

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Steve Jobs unveils iPad 2

Martin
Happy

On the other hand....

....they make lovely teapot stands.

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Woman sentenced for breaching former employer's PCs

Martin
Unhappy

Well, legally, maybe, it ain't theft....

...but I can assure you that there have been several occasions when people have just cut'n'pasted the words from one of my websites and published it as their own. When you find that, it damn well FEELS like someone's stolen something from you.

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BT Home Hub 3 ADSL Wi-Fi router

Martin
FAIL

A written down password?

And that's a GOOD thing?

What damn use is that little doohicky that slides out when the first thing most sensible people will do is change the name and password of the wireless connection?

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Ford Focus 2011

Martin
WTF?

Just somene else to say....

...why are you reviewing a car?

Electric cars and hybrids - yes. It's the future and definitely techy.

But a normal car? God knows there are plenty of sites out there to get reviews. We don't need to know the Reg's take on it, really we don't.

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Android inches nearer NFC nirvana

Martin
WTF?

reading, wrighting and reckoning?

Citation needed.

Or is this meant to be a joke?

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Lexmark Genesis multifunction printer

Martin
Thumb Up

Yes, it's expensive....

..and no, I'm not going to buy one....

But I'm impressed by the scanning facility. It's at least an attempt at trying something new. Let's be fair, the "bar-along-the-glass-plate" solution has been around for years, and is inherently slow. Yes, it works well, but so did the telephone dial for a long time - but who'd want to use that now?

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iPhone owners get walked through confessional

Martin
Happy

We poor atheists?

"those poor atheists who haven't even cottoned on to the fact that God is there yet, and haven't a clue what they're missing out on..."

Yep. No idea at all. Poor me. Never mind, I'll cope.

But there are plenty of atheists who are ex-religion. They presumably DO have a clue what they are missing out on...and have come to the conclusion they are better off without it.

But that app is going to sell extremely well. Hope he's giving his tithe to the Church.

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DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Martin
Happy

My first real computer was a PDP10...

...not literally, but at my school in 1970ish, we had a 30baud connection to the timesharing PDP10 at Hatfield Polytechnic. Working in Basic and Fortran, I wrote my first real programs there, on a teletype. My favourite was a horse-racing simulator, with betting accounts and everything - the memory of the teletype printing out a horse-race commentary and me and five or six of my friends cheering on our horses will never leave me!

I lost interest when I went to Uni in 1973 and discovered I was expected to use batch-processing. Once you've sat at a "READY" prompt, typed in your program and watched it run, waiting for 24 hours for your output to return seemed pretty tedious. Then I found a PDP-8 hidden away in a physics lab. Happiness returned....

Thanks Ken.

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Indian courts 'rule astrology is a science'

Martin
Thumb Down

There is hope....

It's not just women.

But here's a cartoon to cheer you up - not xkcd for once....

http://cectic.com/182.html

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BBC rebuilds Civilisation in HD

Martin

Don't entirely agree...

I'd rather be patronised than treated as an idiot, which is what happens with most TV documentaries today.

I agree it focussed on the visual arts and on Western civilization almost exclusively. But I still found it thoroughly fascinating, and it'll be interesting to see it again.

But no arguments about The Ascent of Man - that was landmark TV.

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Tablets to eclipse e-book readers

Martin
FAIL

OK, so it's not exactly scientific....

...but I travel on the tube every day. On each journey, I see maybe two or three people using a kindle - to the extent that I hardly notice them now. I have seen - in total, since they came out - three iPads in use on the tube.

iPads may be outselling Kindles (though I doubt it), but it seems pretty clear that Kindles are actually being used more.

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Acer: tablets will replace netbooks

Martin
Thumb Down

Sigh....

Everyone seems to be saying that tablets are the way to go. But I don't see anyone actually using them.

I wonder if this is something where "the market" is actually being driven by the manufacturers and the critics, rather than the consumers? Clearly, there are fewer moving parts in a tablet, so they can be made cheaper, hence giving the manufacturers more profit. So if netbooks are replaced by tablets - ka-ching!

But damn - people aren't buying tablets - they are still buying netbooks. OK then - we'll stop making netbooks. That'll do it !

I know loads of people who have netbooks and use them frequently. I know only a few people who have iPads or similar, and they pretty well all reckon the novelty soon wears off.

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$1,000 reward offered for stolen cancer research laptop

Martin
WTF?

Just wondering....

...but SEVEN YEARS worth of data? Is this machine seven years old? If not, then presumably the data must have been copied from somewhere else - so does that somewhere else no longer exist?

And also - a 13in netbook - and it's someone's main machine?

I dunno - I suspect this isn't the full story here....

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