408 posts • joined 31 Mar 2007
Badly out of touch
"I am not one of the current generation who has a smartphone glued to his ear at all times."
Really? REALLY? This bloke clearly doesn't know that the current generation wouldn't be seen dead with a smartphone glued to their ear - doesn't he know that they are for texting selfies over the information superhighway? Put one to your ear and you won't be able to type OR take photos very efficiently. Such ignorance.
An alternative to banggood (which I hadn't heard of until now) and which I've had good experiences with in the past, for buying random Chinese tat, is Brando (start with gadget.brando.com). Cheap postage too, although at this point in time you'll be lucky to get anything in time for Christmas!
Missing the point of the article
DO any of the Reg commentards actually ever read the articles they've vomiting over?
It said nothing about infecting machines via sound. It did, however, mention using them as an ad-hoc network - if you manage to infect a closed and secure network via a non-networked medium (USB, for example), you would still need to get that USB stick and its data into an outward-facing machine so that it could be sent on its way home. Let's say that the user is sufficiently well trained that he doesn't use the same USB stick between his work and home computers, but that his home computer is already infected. The two machines are never on the same LAN and they don't share USB. The virus can still transmit its data package nonetheless, so long as both machines are infected with compatible viruses and within 'hearing' distance of each other - thus opening up a new vector for data transmission. Sure, it's early days, but now you need to only infect two machines seperately and just have them within the same physical space, rather than infecting them *AND* making sure they're both on the same network or sharing USB or whatever, and so on. There is a lot of potential there.
Re: Way too complicated for non-techies
You clearly didn't read the bit in the article about not wanting to trust "teh cloud" or big faceless corporations with your personal stuff. I think a home project like this is awesome for those wanting to learn more (which is, after all, the sort of person the Pi was aimed at), but I don't think we should be funding this numpty for a year as per all the other comments. Anyone willing to do it themselves doesn't need him, and anybody not willing to should be renting from an ISP or using Gmail/Wordpress et al in the first place.
Commenting here as a native English speaker from the UK. I learned German in school for a few years, but with no real purpose to the learning, I never really paid that much attention to it. I'm not a natural linguist. However, I moved to Finland a decade ago and found the language surprisingly easy. I've also learned a little Czech and a little Cantonese in that time, as well as bits and pieces of some other languages. I have to say, any variant of Chinese is a lot harder purely due to its tonality; having both tried many languages myself and see people from various countries trying English and other languages, it seems to me that the percieved difficulty of languages like Finnish come mostly from a point of view of unfamiliarity. People are wary of the unknown, and assume it will be hard because it's different. But really, anything with a Latin-compatible alphabet will be fairly easy for most English speakers. The single largest impediment to English speakers for learning *any* foreign language is how insular their own linguistic backgrounds usually are - in English-speaking countries, we don't get a lot of exposure to, and to be fair rarely have any real excuse to need, foreign languages. Books are translated, movies are dubbed, subtitles are 'too much effort', and you know, 'everybody speaks English anyway'.
All it takes is the right mindset and a little perseverence.
Re: I've already solved this problem
> Personally I'm more worried about a future internet connected toilet going wrong
It's already happened! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23575249
"A luxury toilet controlled by a smartphone app is vulnerable to attack, according to security experts."
You're all missing the obvious!
Think of Lego enthusiasts. Look at the market for custom minifigs and special bricks on eBay. Those things cost a fortune per brick. I can see being a real challenge for Lego, and other manufacturers of generic plastic toy parts. At the very least, you could clone out thousands of internal bricks and use the pretty Lego-branded ones for the visible outsides.
But no, I don't really see it replacing common household items, and especially not iThing accessories, any time in the near future.
Re: The first rule of Android club is...
"If you're too dumb to follow these simple rules, don't own a 'smart' phone, or a computer, or drive for that matter."
And for those of you who claim to be sysadmins or power users, please don't tell me you aren't using something like Droidwall on your Android device. Blacklist all by default, and then just allow communication from those apps you're absolutely sure of, and to hell with whatever permissions they're asking for!
The IT angle? Good old RISC OS!
RISC OS has used podules and modules in its systems for decades now. You add a hardware podule to the system (any expansion card, such as an IDE controller) which comes with a set of driver modules on a ROM chip on the card. When you insert the card into the machine and then power on, you get extra modules added to the main system ROM. You can enumerate listings of these from within RISC OS by going to the Supervisor and typing *modules, *rommodules, and *podules, as appropriate.
Minus points to El Reg for not managing basic research into good old British computing.
Defeating the point
As others have pointed out, there are many small-and-light systems that users can just pick up and use - from Android on a mobile device or USB stick, to SFF computers like the Shuttle DS61 or Intel's NUC - so these devices (Arduino, BeagleBoard, Pi) aren't aimed at those sort of users. The only reason to pick a Pi over an Android USB stick from a cheap and small media serving system is if you want to build and install it yourself, rather than have somebody do it for you. If you get a Pi and then want somebody to do it for you... well, what was the point of getting a Pi?
What can I say, it inspired a generation.
http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/5076308_700b.jpg says it all, really.
El Reg: "The Liberator's bullet emerges going very slowly and wobbling or tumbling due to lack of spin. It might go almost anywhere, though not very far, and is unlikely to do much damage to anything it manages to hit."
You: "The point is it has now been shown these things deliver a bullet with lethal speed."
Did you notice the range from gun to target? Trying to take out a running or hiding person, from a distance probably in meters if not tens of meters, will be significantly harder. Yes, there are a lot of things that can kill at point-blank range, including this gun. I don't think its power or its accuracy would stand up to testing at a typical gun range.
I'm just surprised that nobody has apparently noticed that this use of "Google" in a word has a meaning of "something which can't be found via an online search", but with specific links to Google since it's part of the word. Thus, it's implied that "something which can't be found via Google" which in turn implies that other non-Google search engines might be more useful. If I were Google, I'd be most unhappy that my name was being used to hint that I was unable to perform my primary function, while there is no mention of my competitors being equally as useless.
I kinda parsed RM as "Royal Marines".
I got confused by the URL
Although El Reg is by now quite well known for its URL typos, this one was particularly amusing. I thought for a moment that there were hackers keeping websites online when their owners wanted to shut them down:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/23/egyptology_site_forced_online_by_hackers/ forced ONLINE
Re: I like it
> Also if anyone makes this ap I'm suing for stealing my invention.
This is quite possibly why so many cool apps that would benefit us all just aren't getting made. I'm quite sure your idea is neither new nor unique - as this story itself tends to suggest - and with the world full of idiots running around threatening to sue each other, all that's doing is stifling innovation. Maybe we should try working together to get stuff done rather than shafting each other in a pointless orgy of greed and selfishness.
Re: ...spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”
"Because in the real world, those kids will want a job when they leave school, and Windows has the market share to help them with that. I've never seen a job advert asking for OpenOffice skills, but many asking for Microsoft Office, Word, Excel skills."
Not true, unless you're taking the ad extremely literally. Asking for skill in "Word and Excel" is just lazy shorthand, what they really mean a lot of the time (and what used to be more common in job ads) is employees with skill in "word processing and spreadsheets". It's just the same as saying "skill at Googling" when they mean using search engines, or asking for a housemaid with skill at "using a Hoover" when any vacuum cleaner would do, because most if not all of the skills and knowledge, not counting specific UI familiarity which in Office has changed between pre- and post-Ribbon anyway, is entirely transferable.
Harder to stride is the gap between a real desktop-based spreadsheet and Google Spreadsheet...
Re: Oh go on, I'll feed em...
"2) Tightly integrating malware protection into the OS is something MS are trying to do but there is massive resistance from the software devs"
No, it's not the software devs and certainly not the FOSS lunatic fringe. It's the core userbase, who are used to having it easy (at the expense of security). MS made a botched attempt at locking down root with Vista's invasive UAC, and finally got it right in Windows 7's more subtle UAC. Remember, this is a feature that *nix users take for granted, not running with superuser rights without specific necessity to do so. But suddenly it's an annoyance that Windows users, installing from day 1 with Administrator accounts, never had to get used to. It's as much in the end-users' resistance to change as anything else. I'm by no means a Microsoft fanboi, but you can't say they aren't at least trying, and it isn't all their fault.
Additionally, I do use Microsoft Security Essentials on many of my Windows machines - it's lightweight, relatively effective, and does pretty well when partnered with a competent hardware firewall. However, although I agree with other posters that making security more an integral part of the OS is an essential goal, how many anti-trust suits do you think the AV market and the anti-MS brigade will bring if Microsoft started bundling their AV solution with their OS? It would be the IE browser wars all over again, but this time in a bad way. Choice is fine, but not at the expense of security.
Wireless for mice, yes please
I'm a fan of wireless for mice. I find the cables get tangled, or catch on things, or are just never as long as you need. Keyboards, though, certainly not, with the exception of the venerable media center box. My Logitech M705 is an awesome mouse for which the manufacturer claims 3 years on a single set of AA batteries. This seems to be holding true so far (one year in and counting). And yes, I do play games.
As to the iPhone comment in Alastair's footnote bio thing, I have the same ethos with my Android phone (Galaxy S Plus). I use Elixir Widget to put some functional buttons on my phone's main screen, so I can turn Wifi and 3G on and off very quickly. I can also disable sync, so that 3G won't check emails or marketplace updates when activated, if all I want to do is check one app or surf on the browser. I can go several days easily without running out of battery, and if I use this strategy in combination with the excellent EBB-U10 (Samsung's official battery add-on pack case thing), I can get a week's use out of it easily (this combination is great if I go out hiking for a long weekend, up to 4-5 days). And the power and connectivity of the phone is still available whenever I want it!
And, more importantly, when will governments and agencies learn not to keep sensitive documents on internet-facing servers? They should restrict them to private LANs and internal networks only.
Re: No offence to Stephen Fry
Or this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/18/stephen_frytard/
Want one set to play with. At that price, the setup is even within the range of the home user, although my primary interest is for our testing environments at work. I wonder if you can set it up to work with some sort of GPU-accelerated (RemoteFX/PCoIP/etc) backend environment?
I have a lizard in a terrarium and I just point a webcam at her and have it serving itself all the time. That way, I can check if the bulbs are okay and the temperatures look good (digital ones lose enough to the camera to be readable). There's a pretty decent webcam viewing app for Android ("tinyCam Monitor FREE"), so I can use that well enough. And my employer pays for my phone, so I don't worry about viewing a webcam on 3G :-)
"So I intend to roll my own, probably a embedded Linux box, with analog to digital hardware to connect probes (flow meters, pH, EC, DOC etc), and some relays to control pumps, lights etc."
Can't you already do this easily and cheaply (adding all the sensors etc that you would want) with an Arduino or similar?
Best Vatican-related movie ever...
...is the little-known Bruce Willis classic "Hudson Hawk". I could watch it over and over again easily, and I can never get that damned song out of my head.
Or, to put it another way,
should we all now be doing this?
"Have you tried replacing the hard drive with an emulator? There are projects out there that replace the floppy and hard drives of old kit with something that can interface to USB."
Sounds overly complex to me. An old 1GB CF card and a cheapo 99p CF <-> IDE adapter from eBay, and my RiscPC has both an upgrade and an extension to its life. It's also miraculously silent - I didn't realise that for years, the loud whirring noise wasn't fans or other components, it was my clunky old 800M HDD!
Some factual errors
There are even more rabid fanboys than I in the RISC OS world, so I'll preempt them (or maybe just warm them up) with a few points:
"Risc", as you point out, is an acronym. Thus it should be RISC. Ditto "RiscOS", which should also be two words: RISC OS. "Rom" should be ROM. Confusingly, the last Acorn machine was the RiscPC (in lower case), but the official logotype has a sort of half-space, so most people write is all joined up as I do. Finally, the mouse buttons on an Acorn machine were referred to as Select, Menu and... Adjust, not "Alter".
There seems to be some confusion about the difference between Lander and Zarch: the former was a demo of the latter. The demo (Lander) shipped with most machines in this era, while the game (Zarch) was a commercial full product. It was exactly the same game on the PC, but known as Virus. The player's ship in that was not triangular (it was non-symmetrically pentagonal), and is the same shape as the Copperhead ship from Bell and Braben's game Elite.
Two final points. First: "Archimedes morphed into the Risc PC line, a series of ARM-based boxes designed to run Windows – on a co-processor, and presented in a Risc OS window." No. Just no. The RISC PC was never *designed* to run Windows - it was designed to run RISC OS natively, and use hardware-based emulation to run Windows within RISC OS. The "co-processor" wasn't a true one in the sense you seem to be inferring; the primary CPU was an ARM610, 710 or some variant of the StrongARM processor, while the secondary CPU was a specially designed 4x86 or 5x86 card which could *only* be used by the emulated copy of Windows. It was also not a default item included with the RiscPC, but usually a seperate purchase.
Finally, there's the fact that you say the line stopped with the death of Acorn/Element 14, without mentioning anything about the two spin-off companies RISC OS Ltd or Castle Ltd. Acorn's demise left RISC OS at 4.02, and ROL/CTL developed this further in two confusingly-numbered parallel brances, known as RISC OS 5 and RISC OS 6 (also known under the names RISC OS Select and RISC OS Adjust). There were also the the Iyonix, the Omega, and some other hardware designed and sold in the post-Acorn era. And last but not least, there are ongoing efforts to port RISC OS to small boards like the BeagleBoard and the Raspberry Pi, these mostly happening through RISC OS Open Ltd (ROOL), a spin-off created when Castle decided to open parts of the RISC OS source.
@madra / Re: Does anyone proof-read any more?
"But when your contributors sink to the primary school level of; not being able to"
Eh? You're complaining about the quality of this article and demonstrating how superior you are at grammar and you use a construction like "of; not"? You totally displayed your utter lack of grammar skill, showing yourself to be an arrogant hypocrite who can't even use a simple semi-colon properly! Go and learn proper grammar yourself, before being so presumptuous as to try and correct others.
Both your blurb here and the review on the compo site say "penta-core" but the competition options for CPU are only single, dual and quad. Is this a trick question? And more to the point, do I win one for pointing it out?
"... including children"
Oh dear god, heaven forbid that children learn that people are all fundamentally IDENTICAL underneath the clothes we wear. All men have penises, all women have vaginas, most computer programmers have as much tits as women, and many of us are flabby and wrinkled. I'd hate to break the stereotype of the idealised mid-20s Aryan body figure but seriously, is it so bad if kids learn that a human body is just, basically, a human body?
Viewing angles on mobile screen
Not everybody likes to be in public (which, frankly, is the principal advantage that laptops have over desktops - portability) where any stranger sitting anywhere vaguely near you could easily read or watch whatever is on your screen.
Use some imagination
Surely a more interesting use for this - particularly in historical studies - would be to map the progression of an historical event (skirmishes in a war, the movements of the Sarajevo assassin, the march of Garibaldi, etc) rather than the life of an individual, particularly if it is what that person DID, conceptually, which is important, more than where that person WAS at any given point in time?
Cute idea though.
@ Facebook is not relevant to work
> "this is work, Facebook is not work therefore it is not relevant to this process"
Really? This is an IT forum, on an IT news site. I'm betting that for quite a few of us, it *is* directly relevant. I myself work for a large entertainment organisation which has just released a major (and very popular) app onto Facebook. There are others with various apps, services, and plug-ins. Facebook and the use (and knowledge) thereof is quite valuable to us. Say what you like about idiots who use it, but hey, they're helping to pay my bills.
That said, I would create a testing account and not use my *real* profile, whether for an interview or a production app...
The fix, say I...
I can't believe nobody's thought of this, but... why not just *not* have all your sensitive and private information on Facebook in the first place?
Additionally, don't add random strangers to your friends list. This doesn't bypass the issue of malicious friends, but in that case, you'd best start re-evaluating your life. With friends like that, etc.
Re: Progress :-(
Yes, it's only Apple products as far as I can tell, every smartphone around here (Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson et al) have removeable ones. I do keep the awesome EBB-U10 around for my Galaxy S Plus, though, because it's an external battery as well as a hard shell, and as a bonus charges via USB port so there's no swapping of batteries (and thus no shutdown/reboot when battery is low) to worry about.
As for the Psion, yes, I had a 3, 3C, Revo and 5MX and they were wonderful little things. However, throw on bluetooth and wifi and I very much doubt you'd get much life out of your 2xAA any longer...
Re: "Microsoft encourages developers to be careful with their memory use "
"OK, take a lesson on memory management from the Great God Vista."
They did. It was called Windows 7, and works quite nicely. Sheesh.
I was going to write a long post about how I'm a good driver, and how I use a sat-nav when needed but don't follow it slavishly, how I know how to drive yet don't mind something just keeping me on the right track (we're only human, after all), and about how this is helpful for even when you're driving perfectly and then some idiot cuts in or whatever.
But frankly, AUGMENTED REALITY. I want a HUD in my car like a fighter jet. I want a Terminator-style optical recognition and enhancement overlay. I want to be a cyborg. And THAT is why this tech is cool :-)
Did you notice that today's level (day 5) of the Angry Birds Advent Calendar is all themed around the Galaxy Note?
It's all just a bit of fun, innit.
"This mirrors the key differentiator that Google has claimed for its own social network over Facebook – the ability to categorize friends in 'circles' and share different items with each group."
You can already do that on Facebook (you can order your friends into groups, and post items specifically to - or specifically blocked from - any group, combination of groups, or combination of groups and individuals.
I've tried to use G+ (my employer uses Google Apps, Gmail, Google Code, etc, and they're replacing their intranet with G+) but it's nonintuitive and silly. I see where they're coming from and all, but I couldn't even transfer my contacts from Gmail - which is where the Official Company Address Book resides - and had to do the old export to CSV, import to G+ dance. I work in a high-tech firm, but everyone else seems just as stumped.
If I wasn't forced into it by my employer, I'd just give the whole thing a miss, to be honest. A good old-fashioned BBS or even a forum like PHPBB would do me just grand for an internal messageboard. G+ is just too sloppy and unintuitive.
@ laird cummings re: @ Pete Smith 2
> > Rule 35.
> > That is all.
> Actually, that's Rule 34.
Actually, that's Rule 35. Read the article again.
@ Cordwainer 1, 2-Part Return, et al
In Firefox at least, and presumably you can fiddle similarly with the config of other browsers:
In the URL bar, type about:config. Locate keyword.URL and change its value to http://www.google.com/search?nfpr=1&q= (or whatever other default domain you prefer).
It's the nfpr=1 part of the URL which prevents Google from showing search results for keywords it *thinks* you intended to enter, and instead forces it to return your actual query as stated.
@ AC, 24th October 2011 23:33
"When I, and I suspect most people, put a single word in quotes it means that we don't actually mean what is written"
English fail indeed - but unfortunately *your* fail, not theirs. Partial quotations are used in English to help paraphrase; check out the BBC's RSS feeds, they do it all the time (looking at it right now, I see things like: Syrians 'tortured' in hospitals; Writer hails 'genius' Steve Jobs). This means that a word or phrase was lifted directly from the original source and is a quotation from, rather than something the author has included by himself. While it "can" be used for varying types of emphasis, this is only where options such as italics are unavailable (such as in these comments) and really isn't the correct way to use it. Just because it's "common" on the internet doesn't make it in any way grammatically "correct". Go back to school.
Alternatives to Google/moronic 'intelligent' autocorrections
One alternative is to write a script to reformat the search or its results. I find the Greasemonkey scripting community to be handy for this. In terms of moronic autocorrections, I find this one works wonderfully: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/103507 - it parses your original query, and only supplies the "Did you mean...?" as alternatives, not as the main results. Also instructions for modifying the Firefox search bar to do the same thing. It's worth searching for other scripts to handle any other new Google/Facebook/whatever functions that you don't like, the GM scripters are quite prolific.
To the downvoted gautam...
"There are more interesting stories in US tabloids if you troll enough, then. Just dont foist it uppon us , here in UK."
No, there are more interesting stories in the US tabloids if your trawl them. There are more interesting comments in the comments section if you troll them. Congratulations, you have now experienced both. This is what is known as a homophone (two words which are different but which sound the same or very similar). Have a good day, sir.
Disclaimer: I'm also Scottish but from a different part of the country
"VM engineers now busy making up a new batch of batter with added <insert rat poison of choice>. All they now need to do is keep the locals away......"
Keep the locals away? Surely it'd be better to let them eat it too :-)
Well done, Microsoft
*cough* http://i.imgur.com/vd2WA.jpg *cough*
Since there's a bandwagon...
Subject: looks like Buddy Christ from Dogma
Obligatory Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Christ
There, that ought to do it.
As for "mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs", surely those are things like love thy neighbour, sleepeth not with another man's wife, do not worship false idols, and things like that. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I didn't realise that the physical figure of Jesus was an actual "core belief", rather than just a representation of their god.
What? No XKCD?
I'm surprised at you lot:
@ Adrian Esdaile / Geiger counters
Funny you should say that, because I have several old British military ones (there's something unbearably cute about the phrase "Ratemeter Scintillation Portable", ahh the military and their own peculiar jargon). You find them in old house clearances where people have kept them since the '60s and suchlike. Looking for one in an antiques shop is just asking for daylight robbery, however.
One note, however: I brought my dosemeters from the UK to another EU country just earlier this year, in main luggage. There's certainly nothing dangerous or illegal about them - they *measure* radiation, but they don't *contain* any, as a surprising number of people seem to think.
Hmm, my nice old RSP 1413A is a very pretty wooden one stamped with the markings of "Isotope Developments Ltd, Aldershot, England" - the home of the UK's wartime nuclear research facilities. I wonder it it'll be worth a bob or two to a collector...
@ Jesus Puncher
"It's a shame the ingredients bill ran so high, otherwise he could have purchased some Mr Muscle® Oven Cleaner..."
You did realise that they already use household detergent to clean out disused nuclear reactors? True story:
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