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* Posts by Nick Ryan

1365 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Nick Ryan
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Re: Sometimes we need to download to watch the film

Disney are one of the worst as they abuse the "you may not skip this" DVD functionality to foist trailers on the viewers. One of the great things about DVDs compared to the old VHS tapes was that you didn't have to fast forward through 30m of crap just to get to the film, however Disney reintroduced this by abusing the DVD standard.

I have a pile of unopened Disney DVDs and just watch downloaded copies instead as a result.

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Nick Ryan
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"Commenting on the arrest, FACT Director Kieron Sharp argues that these proxy sites and services are just as illegal as the blocked sites themselves. "

Which, translating from legal weaselese is a statement of nothing at all:

  • If the blocked sites themselves are legal then these proxy sites are also legal.
  • If the blocked sites themselves are of questionable legality then these proxy sites are also of questionable legality.
  • If the blocked sites themselves are illegal then these proxy sites are also illegal.

AFAIK the sites themselves are not strictly illegal, however they have been blocked by civil orders anyway.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: What law has been broken.

You can't - Copyright isn't a document or some other tangible object that you have lying around anywhere therefore it is impossible to steal Copyright. Copyright violation... well that's quite a different matter but doesn't make for the right sounding propaganda.

I'm all for creators being adequately rewarded, and the enablers and promoters that they may require being adequately rewarded as well, but starting off with a lie is not the right way to start these things.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Jolly good work.

This was the City of London cops. They're not "real" police, they are corporate police. Real policing in London is carried out by the Metropolitan Police although technically within the City of London's area the City of London cops are also responsible for real policing.

Good to see that in a "raid", a private individual from the Federation Against Copyright ViolationTheft, a private for-profit organisation funded by large studios, was invited along for the ride.

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Microsoft OneDrive tip-off leads to arrest over child abuse images

Nick Ryan
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Re: In the end...

Ouch, that's not a fun job but it is critical that a human is involved somewhere along the line as a sanity check. Some of the shit that the police do come across is pretty foul, and in just an average visit to a police station incident room you'll often see pictures that you'd rather forget.

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Nick Ryan
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"For years there has been a very stubborn resistance by the over 65s to accessing the internet," said James Thickett, research director at Ofcom. "In the last three years we have seen that change and we think that's down to tablets."

Could this perhaps be due to the passage of time? In other words, those at the top end of the age scale have a habit of dying, taking their lack of technological know-how with them, but with the progress of time, the under 65s (who are generally more tech savvy) are now joining the over 65s.

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It's WAR: Internet of Stuff firms butt heads over talking-fridge tech standards

Nick Ryan
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Re: Lactose larceny

Add green food dye to your milk. It tends to put the milk thieves off... :)

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Nick Ryan
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Numbers, numbers, numbers...

Gartner has predicted that the Internet of Odds and Ends market will add $1.9trn to the global economy by 2020

Other than Gartner coming up with an arbitrary number as usual ("making numbers up for whoever pays us since 1979" really ought to be their tagline), can somebody tell me just where this money will materialise from? "Services" is just a redistribution of money, Internet of Stuff won't create money, it will just create another avenue for redistributing it.

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Nick Ryan
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Re: PHP is like democracy

...except that PHP's (initial) implementation of Objects was created through a third hand inept description of what Objects are. The whole thing feels like "we've heard about Objects, but barely understood them, therefore we implemented them like this"... and then changed their minds a year later and bodged another layer on top of it all.

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Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law

Nick Ryan
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Re: I invent a cure for cancer.....

I knock up song about it in an afternoon. For that I get protection of death plus seventy years.

Well, your publisher does anyway...

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'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece

Nick Ryan
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Re: It'll be messy

IoT = the internet

IoT = M2M - Machine to Machine communications. It's just that the devices might happen to use the Internet to communicate - which is where the serious security fails come from...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Not surprised, but...

It's easier to understand what is going on and what can be done if you ignore the marketing rebrand that's basically all that IoT is. "Machine To Machine" (M2M), is much less marketing-tard friendly.

Hence one of the comments above about home automation not requiring Internet connections, just some form of communication medium in the home.

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Nick Ryan
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Re: Bastards

:)

Seriously though, it actually got me wondering at the level of routing abd control that will be offered. In a human controlled car, it's very easy to slow down to a crawl for whatever reason - whether it's "shopping in a red light district", enjoying the landscape / scenery (hopefully with nobody behind you) or just trying to arrive at the in-laws as late as possible, how easy will it be to control and specify this?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Will these night time trucking lorries

Aha! That aerodynamic bow-wave and tail-wave explanation now sheds some understanding on why, on a three lane motorway with two lorries seemingly joined together across lanes one and two at a seemingly identical speed, there is inevitably a Nissan Micra (other manufacturers and models are available) stuck blocking the outside lane and unable to overtake the lorries or pull back in behind them.

Suddenly it all becomes clear... quite unlike the motorway.

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Microsoft's Brit kid Cortana lands on UK WinPhone 8.1, but China's is the real cutie

Nick Ryan
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Is the combined US military tactical centre using her yet? What will happen when she goes sentient?

World War 3 brought to you by Clippy's descendent. "It looks like you want to topple an unfriendly regime. Would you like tactical nuclear help with that?"

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Android busted for carrying Fake ID: OS doesn't check who really made that 'Adobe' plugin

Nick Ryan
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Re: Patch cycle

That's weird, mine's been on 4.4.4 for a while now with a standard OTA patch. Didn't come through immediately the update was released as the devices are staggered but came through within a few days.

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Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations

Nick Ryan
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Re: Testing

Shouldn't even be specific server testing, it should be protocol testing where different versions of specific protocols are clearly defined, documented and proven to not interfere with each other. Ah. Clearly defined and documented? That'll be the problem here...

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Promises

This just leads to the next thought: What defines a person as Scottish? (from the nation point of view, not just a passport) Ignoring the obvious jokes (short arms, deep pockets), do you have to be born there, live there for a certain amount of time, eat a certain amount of haggis or porridge (which is more popular in England).

Bearing in mind that Highlanders tend to consider themselves separate to all Southerners, some held in more contempt than others, where does it end?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Promises

Strangely not too dissimilar to any normal political statements.

Now where's the equivalent UK vote on whether we'd like Scotland to stay or go? It's not all about Scotland...

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Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

Nick Ryan
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Re: Why wasn't there a sign on the door

The door was locked and in the basement so why bother with a sign?

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Microsoft bakes a bigger Pi to cook Windows slabs

Nick Ryan
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Re: Looks much like an ITX board only much dearer

My thoughts as well, I was playing around with small boards (ITX) years ago - even when adding a case, power supply, hard disk, memory, Operating System, and, often, a discrete graphics card, the things came out less that that price just for a board and "free" OS (if you have an ongoing subscription)

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BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

Nick Ryan
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somebody keeps putting the dead ones back.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who suffers with that. One of the few times I appreciate the expense of the duracell batteries with the charge test strips on them.

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AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Stifel Nicholaus?

Colour me confused, what exactly does "Stifel Nicholaus" have to do with a comparison of speculated revenues for MS Azure vs Amazon cloud?

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Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves

Nick Ryan
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Re: And and and

You forgot to include prohibitions on the developers of development software as development software tools should be limited to prevent the creation of copyright violating theft applications. This is important as It was most certainly their original intent to allow criminals to write criminal tools that allow criminals to copy steal the content that the hard working, entirely honest and benevolent content production corporations created.

Not that I'm against the principle that the creators of content should be suitably rewarded, but so many things like this smack of laws such as the UK's 1865 "red flag act" that were pushed through by the panicking train industries to have a man with a red flag walk in front of every road vehicle that had multiple wagons (e.g. towed something).

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Nick Ryan
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Re: This is what happens when it's time to vote

There does seem to be a general sense of 'It's time for a change, so let's give the other lot a go, regardless of how far they fucked things up the last time they were in power'

It would be sad if this weren't so true in so many countries that like to claim to be democracies. It's almost as pathetic as the voters who always vote for the same political party "because I've always voted for them" - that's not democracy either, although technically it is as a voter is free to vote for who they like but it is not an intelligent use of democracy.

Those that are in power or vying for power know this and capitalise on it as much as possible as it's what gets or keeps them in a job.

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

Nick Ryan
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These reactions are largely Microsoft's fault - they are pushing a decidedly sub-standard consumer targetted interface where it is not appropriate. "Metro" on a server? Not useful at all. A "Metro" notification and monitoring application that runs on a remote device and can remotely monitor one or more servers, possibly quite useful because it's a substantially different usage protocol. I dread the next release of SQL Server where they'll doubtless Metro-ify the entire management interface on the server, dumbing it down to useless levels, removing all the sortable columns and filters that are useful and if current form is maintained, replacing all error messages with "something non-optimal has happened"...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Simplicity

The overall concept isn't entirely awful, it's the implementation of the user interface, and the all too often lack of features or functionality that often requires reverting to "desktop mode" that savages the whole thing. The "not-metro" interface fails on so many basic, elementary user interface (now usually termed User eXperience) principles that it would be laughable if it weren't coming from Microsoft who in the past put a lot of good work into UX principles. They often ignored them in their own products, but that's a different problem.

One shouldn't have to randomly thumb areas of the screen in the hope that something, or anything, interesting happens. At the elemental level a user interface should be obvious, discoverable and consistent. Once "standards" are defined somehow, it is best to stick with them even if they are not the most optimal. For example, QWERTY has been proven to not be the most optimal keyboard layout for English language users, however it is an established standard. For mobile phones, pressing a home button is an accepted and expected method to wake up a device in order to use it, if there isn't such a button then the fallback is to press a button on the side, or at worst, top, edge of the device, this button will be a singular button on its own. On the other hand, pinch to zoom is not an obvious interaction method however it is an established standard interface and works very well and it's surprising how often even experienced users try it on devices or applications that don't support it.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: One OS

Shame I can't find any pics of it, but a long while ago I read a story about a horse that had learnt to drive a (heavily) modified flat back truck. It even had its own steering wheel contraption that it could turn with its teeth.

I'll have to ask some horsey friends if they know of the best way to mount a steering wheel onto a horse...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: The Plan

However Microsoft's marketing departments don't see any particular difference between OS and kernel. Luckily there is some remaining smart in there somewhere and while the shell and underlying OS / Kernel are often mercilessly interlinked, there is some semblance of separation.

Whatever happened to an API being consistent and the innards being implemented in whatever way was appropriate. An application may have to be recompiled for each API supporting system but in an ideal world (we are still a very long way from this on most systems), that should be it.

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Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day

Nick Ryan
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Is this a Surface Pro (x86) device rather than a Surface (ARM) device? (They may as well have intentionally set out to confuse the problem).

If it's an x86 device then because much of the useful configuration is only possible under desktop mode and the real reason why many people want such a device is to run x86 windows applications on it and not "Metro" apps, then the thing will most likely be largely unusable in that form factor. A shame really, because I remember using an x86 full windows hand-held device sometime around 1997/8 and it was very, very useful even if you wouldn't want it as a main system or do anything much productive (creative) on it.

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Old news but still not fixed!

I too have a Nexus 7, and install apps on it rather than my phone for precisely this reason - no SMS, phone dialler, etc. really restricts what apps can do. I've deleted and purged quite a few apps where it turns out that they implement cretinous behaviour such as install system notification processes, reminding you to come back to play the game and other nonsense. It's ****ing game, why does it need to know when my device starts up?

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

Nick Ryan
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Great big hairy ones at that.

So far I've yet to see any evidence of interest anywhere across the capital. The only "interest" seems to comes from those that are trying to sell them.

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Nick Ryan
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Ah yes, the wonders of hollywood rewriting history.

More "Scots" fought against William Wallace than for him and overall more English fought than Scots.

As for tartan, AIUI, it's generally a rather modern invention particularly with the concept of different patterns being unique, protected or related to certain areas. Previously it was just a name for a woven wool fabric that was traditionally patterned in horizontal / vertical patterns because it made it look more interesting and the colour consistency was generally so poor that if you attempted a plain colour fabric it would show the imperfections in colouring.

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Nick Ryan
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By fuss do you mean "ignore the useless new suffix entirely"?

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Nick Ryan
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Re: BMW

Would it make that much difference? You generally don't see them until they are one linguine behind your rear bumper.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: This might need more study

They could have been drinking Guinness?

(yep, I know it's dark red, but it's called "the black stuff")

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

Nick Ryan
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Re: Looking at this

Oh my... and if anything like that really came out when the C64 was vaguely new, it would have been torn to shreds for being a useless waste of screen space and being barely usable.

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Blighty's Amazon Cloud Lord: It's a battle of men vs boys, and I ain't no boy

Nick Ryan
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Re: During the meanwhile ...

On a slight tangent, is there an actual plan by jake to stress test El Reg by amassing an inordinate number of down votes?

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WinPhone iView app flap: Microsoft to pull 'unauthorised' app... coded by STAFFER

Nick Ryan
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...and without looking at it, I wonder if this app is just a wrapper around the HTML components that make up the website accessible version?

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'Ribbed' for your pleasure: Jony Ive unveils NAKED IPHONE

Nick Ryan
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Re: Engineering 101

(although sapphire != aluminium)

Just looked this up, and sapphire is essentially impure Aluminium oxide.

just my contribution to the useless factoid of the day.

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Weaponised Flash flaw can pinch just about anything from anywhere

Nick Ryan
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I'm actually rather thankful that Apple kick started the (not fast enough) demise of Flash on the web...

It's still occasionally a PITA where some sites still insist on using it (looking at you, BBC) but I am surviving quite well these days without it installed on my home PC. Now if I could just do the same with .PDF files which really shouldn't need entire embedded executable environments inside a document...

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Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system

Nick Ryan
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Re: Prevention or cure

Most of the cat shit problems are caused by lazy "owners". Properly kept cats are trained to only defacate in their litter tray. The lazy owners who don't care and are too lazy to do the basic cat training (in as much as it is possible to train a cat) are the problem. Get a pet? Learn to look after it and do the basics properly. Just because a cat will shit elsewhere does not solve the problem.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Roof of my convertible

I fecking hate the things - what sort of ''pet' wanders the streets and other peoples property ?

Cats are not pets. Dogs have owners, Cats have staff.

Interestingly, cats meet the definition of vermin.

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Insecure AVG search tool shoved down users' throats, says US CERT

Nick Ryan
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Not come across one so far.

Unless by "useful" you mean "slows browser down to a crawl".

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Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

Nick Ryan
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"The retention of communications data is absolutely fundamental to ensure law enforcement have the powers they need to investigate crime, protect the public and ensure national security," May's department said. "We are carefully considering the European court of justice's judgment on data retention and are currently examining potential next steps."

Translation: "We need to push forward May's dreams of a thought police state but don't be concerned, important people such as politicians and your favourite 'celebrities' will be excluded from monitoring. If you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide. We will change what 'nothing wrong' means in the future. Muhahahaha. What? This thing is still recording? Turn it off immediately and delete that last bit, yes delete it from the Internet. Wait, your administrators say that it isn't possible? Fire them and hire some new administrators."

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Star Wars: These are the 'unknown' actors we were looking for

Nick Ryan
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Re: Fan Bingbing?

A brief poll with those that I can quickly ask here who can read Chinese (Cantonese) "Bingbing" is the more literal character translation of her name, rather than as it is likely to be pronounced where the first and second components would be pronounced differently. Basically you'd have to ask her, or at worst somebody from the same region and ethnic group exactly how her name is pronounced.

Still, she has a classy, attractive look, almost regal but with a smile that lights everything up and changes her demeanour completely which would fit in nicely with some of the visuals that Episodes I-III featured. A "stuffy princess who is human in more intimate / personal scenes" look?

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El Reg is looking for a new London sub-editor

Nick Ryan
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Re: Nominating...

Yes but unlike SuperJake, he hasn't don't everything. By hand. Twice.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Where is the bit about fighting off black helicopters

Nothing whatsoever, move along now.

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Nick Ryan
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Re: MS should have

You might have a troll icon... but... ah dammit. There does appear to be a concerted effort to **** everything up doesn't there?

Not all interface devices and not all user interfaces are suitable for all form factors and uses. There's a reason why we don't have mice on our phones and a reason why we don't poke the screen on our desktop computers.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

Microsoft's problem is likely that they insist on being in control (and able to charge) for every part of an application installation and distribution system. The Windows 8 App store system provides updates for installed applications, however it does not allow a user to add additional repositories in the way that we can easily do with Linux.

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