* Posts by Alfie

117 posts • joined 31 Mar 2008

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Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

Alfie
Headmaster

Have I been asleep for a long time, or is it still four weeks until Christmas?

In which case the rush delivery of this Thursday doesnt mean that anyone will be dissapointed by the late delivery of presents.

Or has El Reg been taken over by the Express?

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Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Alfie

Sony M2

Point of note on the M2 is that the software update to KitKat 4.4.2 has already been rolled out, at least on O2 in the UK. Downside is that Sony has no (current) plans to take it to Lollipop despite it being a 2014 model.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

Alfie
Headmaster

RE: Geography

I worry about your grasp of geography, because last time I checked Stornoway is on the island of Lewis, not NW England. That is where the king of black pudding is made! :-)

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

Alfie

Re: Not just Oz.. happening in the UK aswell

If you use a hoover it is still in the house, a spider catcher does the trick though, I had to remove one of a similar size from our bath this week. Never seen one that big outside of Londonshire!

I should have dropped it further from the house than just out the window, it will probably come back in again if it doesnt get any warmer...

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Roll up for El Reg's 3G/4G MONOPOLY DATA PUB CRAWL

Alfie
Pint

RE: Clockwork Orange

Now that sounds like a plan!

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Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

Alfie
Alien

Reg link?

Am I the only one that thinks pic 1 looks like a vultures head on its side?

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Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty

Alfie
Thumb Up

Re: So basiclly, Sassenachs

You need to include the white (or mealie) pudding as well as the black, and you need to have beef link, pork sausage and square sausage which I think is made from pink things, some of them claim to be steak slice, but unless its actually veal I'm not convinced.

Also there should be some left over mashed potato which is then put in the bacon and sausage fat and fried until crispy on the outside.

And it must be washed down with builders tea. I think there must be something to do with the tannins that absorbs all the fat and cleans out your mouth.

That, my friends is a proper breakfast. Sadly it takes quite a while to prepare, so not one to knock up before running out the door for work, best left for the weekends.

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Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

Alfie

Polski Fiat

If you are worried about the build quality buy one of the Mk2 Pandas, all the MK2s were made in Poland. They made a diesel Cross too, but dont think they sold many in the UK so can be hard to track one down. My current car is one (non 4x4) and its now the car I've owned the longest of the eight cars I've had. All it gets is oil and filters and an MOT every year. However to make up for the boring reliability, I now spend most of my time on a Moto Guzzi ;-)

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Alfie

Bane of my life

I swear western civilisation would crumble to dust if anything ever happened to all the Excel spreadsheets that appear to run most businesses...

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Who needs a ride-on mower when a ROBOT will cut your grass

Alfie
Pint

Value?

Surely it's just cheaper to get a man in to cut the grass for you? They tend to spot obstructions on your lawn and work around them or even move them (obviously they wouldnt try to move a pond or a tree). Plus you still get to spend your free time sitting on a deck chair drinking ale with a knotted hanky on your head, so your manliness isnt called into question!

Beer, obviously ->

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Alfie

RE: background checks

Certainly you'd struggle to find work if you declared your conviction to an employer. If you didn't, and they failed to do appropriate background checks (smaller companies often fall down here), then you're fine.

Not just small companies! I used to work for a financial services company (it was a subsidiary of a major UK bank) that had a new hire that was given to me to bring up to speed on the tech that we were using on his first morning. He was marched off the premises by security about two hours later only because someone in the office recognised him. He had done time (not for a tech-based misdemeanor) and then changed his name by deed poll and it wasnt picked up in the background checks. Presumably he forgot to mention his name change or time in chokey in the application. They might have increased their security checks now...

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Podule-lodged Brit nears two weeks atop ocean peak Rockall

Alfie

Re: Rockall

Specifically in reference to the act of parliament claiming it from Wikipedia

The Island of Rockall Act 1972 (c. 2) is a British Act of Parliament formally incorporating the island Rockall into the United Kingdom to protect it from Irish and Icelandic claims. The Act as originally passed declared that the Island of Rockall was now part of the Scottish county of Inverness-shire (it is now in the Western Isles).

It is a lot closer to St. Kilda than Co. Donegal anyway, so it's ours.

Shame he wont still be there on 18th Sept. It would be fun to get a polling station on it.

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Klingon and Maori roar into 'mutt's nuts' dictionary

Alfie

Doric (Scots)

I guess the literal translation is dugs baws, but for a literal meaning you'd be better with affa fiiine. The length of the vowel in fine is dependant on the greatness you are trying to convey. Minimum of one second to get to mutts nuts level. Although it doesnt quite translate directly as I think Doric lends itself better to complaining rather than approving of something or someone.

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Alfie

Re: Shame

That's all well and good, but where do you stand on the compulsory serving of asparagus at breakfast, free corsets for the under-5s and the abolition of slavery?

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Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

Alfie
IT Angle

Quiet?

Mine isnt. As there is no through traffic the kids in our street actually play in it. There are three basketball hoops (you think they would share one or maybe even two) and the kids make for excellent target practice and unplanned ABS testing for everyone that speeds into the cul de sac at high speed safe in the knowledge that there is no other traffic.

Is there a correlation between cul de sacs and cat ownership? There are ten cats in our cul de sac of twelve houses (and a stray old tomcat that wanders the neighbourhood), and yes the only way to stop them crapping on your patch is to have some of your own.

And dont even get me started on parking at the weekend!

Oh yeah, and the council dont grit the road in the winter, which hasnt been a problem this year, but no one in our street owns a BMW or Merc anymore.

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Alfie

Re: Connect me!

Even better, the strip and twist without even sellotape for insulation.

+1 for a pair of red and black RCA plugs as well, although I always liked the BNC with bayonet, always felt properly secured, until the 50Hz terminators failed and the whole backbone went down...

... tell that to kids these days, and they dont believe you!

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

Alfie

Re: Another NC10

Thanks for that link. I had looked at the SANE list and my scanner isn't supported, but is supported in VueScan, so I'll give it a shot.

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Alfie

Another NC10

The XP install on my NC10 got slower and slower over the years, so I ended up dual booting it with Mint Linux XFCE. Much faster boot and login times. Made a door stop useable again. I then tried using the Cinnamon version, and although it still runs faster than XP it isnt as fast as XFCE and I'm not sure that the eye candy is worth it. There is also the problem of one of the setting screens (cant remember which) not liking the 1024 x 600 desktop in Cinnamon, but I dont remember XFCE having any problem. Like others have said everything worked out of the box.

P.S. It is still dual-booting to XP to access an old scanner that isnt supported in Linux or later Windows OSs. It isnt even supported by WinXP 64-bit that is on my Opteron desktop. The desktop will probably go to Mint Cinnamon in the near future (before April) when I might even get around to replacing the scanner with something a bit more 21st century. I dont use the desktop enough anymore to justify replacing it with something new.

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WHY do phone cams turn me into a clumsy twat with dexterity of an elephant?

Alfie

Camera/phone: either or, but not both

I gave up with the cameraphone nonsense a couple of weeks ago despite having a nice Sony Ericsson with an 8MP camera and a physical shutter button. It's just too damn slow, and I dont want a wide angle shot every time. I bought an end of line Canon Ixus from Argos for £65 which has a good zoom, lots of MP, a proper flash, Canon's excellent imaging firmware and a screen the size of a small smartphone. Press the power button and I can take a shot in a second or so, which is way faster than the phone, because of course it doesnt switch to the camera if I press the shutter button; oh no I have to go and select the camera app unlike my old Samsung feature phone which sadly had a crap image sensor. It is only about the size of a couple of small touchscreen phones stuck together and about the same weight too, so it fits in a trouser pocket as well. Which is more than can be said of my old Canon S3is, fabulous though it is (it has a viewfinder) and the photos it produces, it is a big lump to carry around all the time.

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INVASION of the UNDEAD ANDROIDS: Hackers can pwn 'nearly all' devices

Alfie
Unhappy

Re: Simple solution

I know where you are coming from! I have an Arc S, which just has a faster CPU, and it took me about a month to download enough apps to fill it.

I did root it and installed a nice app called Link2SD which gets around the problem by spoofing 'unmoveable' apps into a second partition on your SD card.

It was my first smartphone, and I knew nothing about rooting until I checked out the XDA forum. Took about an hour to do using their instructions and was surprisingly easy. Bloatware removed no problem. One day I might even put ICS or JB on it, but I dont think the single core processor is really up to it.

Anyway, back to the original story - chances of Sony ever producing a fix for this when they cant be bothered producing a decent ICS upgrade for it? Zero!

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How God and übergeek Ron Crane saved 3Com's bacon

Alfie

Re: And the real points of the story are:

Used to work in an office out in the sticks on a dodgy grid connection and we used to get brown outs and the like often. We had a 50:50 mix of IBM PCs and Macs at the time and the PCs would crash when the lights flickered while the Macs stayed up.

Also back in the day when speccing a new PC one of the first things on the list was a 3C509 card. Life was much simpler then. :-)

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

Alfie
Thumb Up

Re: RHA-audio

RHA MA-350 earbuds are good quality for the price, but kept falling out of my ears. Got a set of Comply memory foam tips, and problem solved. All with change from £40. Better than the Sonys and Sennheisers I've owned over the years. Not audiophile quality, but good enough and the Comply tips get rid of the background noise on the bus/train.

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Boffin road trip! The Reg presents Geek's Guide to Britain

Alfie
Thumb Up

How far back are you going?

The pencil museum in Keswick is worth a visit (even if only to watch The Snowman on telly). And there is secret pencil tech from WWII. And you could stock up on mint cake while in town.

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RBS and NatWest FAIL downs services across UK

Alfie

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Co-op?

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Twenty classic arcade games

Alfie
Pint

Takes me back to Codonas...

...on Aberdeen beach. Happy days spending all my money on Outrun (got top sores on that one), BattleZone, Star Wars and there was a Gauntlet in the Aberdeen Students Union as well ("Elf's life force is running out"). I tried Space Harrier once, I felt travel sick and nearly fell off, couldnt get the hang of HangOn either, unless it was just the handlebars version. Going further back into my childhood and I used to play Boot Hill, which was like a western version of pong but with bullets and suitably crappy graphics and sound. :-)

Thanks for all the memories!

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Cambridge boffins reveal prehistoric prawn monster

Alfie
Coat

Was it that spanish woman that 'restores' frescoes?

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Michelin critics to football blogger: Salaud! Unhand that URL

Alfie
Pint

You have to appreciate the effort he put into those images though. I mean the effort to match the faces to the images he planted them in, not his prowess in PhotoShop, obviously.

Can we have a website like this every Monday morning? It has fair made my day :-)

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Alfie
Thumb Up

Born again

I have an old Sammy NC10 which has been getting slower and slower on Win XP and as a result getting used less and less. Now that I have a smartphone I can get my emails and twit-tubes etc just by putting on my reading glasses. However some websites arent very smartphone friendly and after someone here mentioned LinuxMint I thought I'd have a look at that. The NC10 had already had Ubuntu 10.10 installed alongside WinXP but I found Unity less than helpful after years of occasional RedHat/CentOS use. Also it used to lock up for no apparent reason. I got LinixMint13 XFCE downloaded, burnt to DVD, installed (even recognised the Ubuntu install and overwrote it) in a few hours and not long after that had my wireless network setup and email configured. Now it boots in about a minute and shuts down in seconds, which is what I was after, so I can put the tablet purchase on hold for a little while yet. I still have my desktop system for serious work, but for everything else I can sit in my living room and pull out my old netbook.

Thanks commentards for saving my old netbook from an early retirement of sitting on a shelf gathering dust! :-)

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City heat leak can disrupt high-altitude winds

Alfie
Flame

Just a thought...

Perhaps taking into account the massive heat output of major cities would explain why AGW isnt following the models. In fact the greenhouse gas emissions are a smaller input into the climate models than originally thought when you add in heat emissions which would explain why the earth seems to be coping ok (for certain values of ok) with the increase in CO2 etc.

I never did understand why big corps and retail didnt pay much attention to energy saving like insulation. Surely the energy bills for a large office/retail store must have a significant impact on the bottom line? Even going into new shops and looking up you can see there is nothing between you and the roofing panel, and yet they seem happy to pump money into heating these vast spaces to ~20C day and night. And presumably cooling them in the summer as well.

<- Flames, obviously :-)

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Ofcom anoints broadcaster: Local TV is nearly here

Alfie
Mushroom

Why another London channel?

== Local TV channel franchises have been awarded over the last few months,

== though we're still waiting for the one that matters: London.

In what way is it important for London to have a local channel? Most of the national channels broadcast from London so they already have a London bias.

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UK way behind pack on broadband speed in Europe

Alfie

Lies and statistics

Surely if (as a country) you wanted to improve your average download speed, instead of investing in super high speed mega broadband XL Plus tech (or whatever is flavour of the month) it would be better to upgrade us folks stuck on a slow broadband connection to get better speeds e.g. les2 than 2Mb/s to ~10Mb/s. Presumably the tech itself isnt expensive as it isnt new, you just need more cabinets/exchanges to reduce copper length to the backbone to do it.

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Archaeologists resume Antikythera Mechanism hunt

Alfie

Re: There aren't any

When was the last time you could actually watch an entire episode of Horizon? The bit rate is so slow that a four year old child could follow the story. I cant watch it anymore, despite the tantalizing synopsis in the RT or on the EPG, I find it so frustrating. It makes me feel like I'm some sort of genius bored by a potentially interesting subject. why cant they cant speed things up a bit and get more detail into the time alloted?

Maybe I should just fit a Matrix port and be done with this broadcast information upload?

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Vote now for the ULTIMATE BACON SARNIE

Alfie
Happy

Why all the anti-butter stance?

I'm on a diet and this morning I had bacon, egg, onion and haggis slice, all fried in butter. Unfortunately no bread or roll allowed, or tomato sauce sadly. Like ghostbusters you cant mix the streams together or bad things might happen.

Cant beleive I get to eat this every morning and still lose weight, yay!

And there is no such thing as overdone bacon, the crispier the better. The A90 is a bit under-done in my book. Just as long as you dont use that waffer-theen merkin rubbish!

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Alfie
Thumb Up

The Horn

An A90 institution, I've never seen it *not* busy. Sometimes with queues just to get into the car park.

Add to that all the possible Viz comic level amusement, fnarr fanrr.

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Mmmm, delicious new sugar batteries keep gadgets up all night

Alfie
Happy

I, for one, welcome our sugary power overlords.

If they overheat like lithium ones, do we get caramel?

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LONDON iPHONE 5 MADNESS: 'You must be CRAZY to buy Apple'

Alfie
Happy

Black Books

Reminds me of the episode where Manny leaves Black Books to work at the new bookstore next door. Simon Pegg was excellent as the store manager full of management speak trying to get him to cut his hair and get him to wear the corporate uniform. So nice to see life imitating art.

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Sony Mobile moves out of Swedish lovenest after break-up

Alfie
Unhappy

The Grand Hotel in the centre is nice, but the Lund area is all a bit flat and boring for my liking.

Shame for the guys out of a job, used to consult for Ericsson out there, dont think there is enough capacity in the local area for them all to find another job.

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Feds unlock suspect's encrypted drive, avoid Constitution meltdown

Alfie
Trollface

"or risk a spell begins bars for contempt of court"

Was this story written on a phone with predictive text?

Where is the squiggly red underline of shame when you need it?

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LOHAN's flying truss: One orb or two?

Alfie
Paris Hilton

don't know about the horizontal issue, but...

...why would the two balloons need to be on long tethers that could twist around each other?

I assume that the plan is to make the girder long enough to leave a big enough space to shoot the vulture between them (ooh, err, missus!); then all you need to do is make sure the tether lines are less than the length of the girder (or maybe less) and the two balloons shouldn't get tangled.

As for the horizontal issue, I'm going with Albert G's self balancing strings dragging the gubbins around to balance it out. That and using a spring balance when filling the balloons with helium to get an approximate match on lift generated by each one before launch.

< So simple even Paris could manage it.

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CRACK made by quakes FOUND ON MOON

Alfie
Thumb Up

Re: Winners don't do drugs....

If he is going to the moon, make it TJ Laser!

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Indonesian train roof fare-dodgers given the brush off

Alfie

No, but do are you a fan of Winter Wipeout?

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Greenpeace releases meaningless 'Cool IT' rankings

Alfie
Childcatcher

Up voted you just for the gratuitous swearing. Well done that man!

Nice to see someone giving a shit, even if they cant be bothered to back it up with an argument.

^ Wont someone think of the planet?

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Avast! Mobile Security

Alfie

They have been producing free PC anti-virus programs for years. There are pay versions of the PC software for additional features. I assume they will be taking the same approach for Android and the likes.

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Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynamics

Alfie

Recent Kia OK

I had a Pro Cee'd 1.6 CRDi for over three years with no real issues. It was "3" spec so it sat on stiff suspension and big alloys that didn't help the ride, but the interior was pretty much unmarked after three years, and it looks very similar to the Rio interior. Couldn't really complain about build quality or the 7 year warranty...

...but it was so very, very dull to drive. Traded it in for a Renault Wind, even though I know that I'll probably have issues with it, it actually likes to go round corners and gives feedback to the driver.

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Council fined £140k for leaking kids' sensitive info

Alfie
Headmaster

1/10 for effort

You've not heard of the Barnett formula then?

The Midlothian tax payers will pay for it, not the English. Back to school for you, sunny Jim!

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Try a 'shroom before ruling on chill pills, boffin tells gov

Alfie
Flame

So what you are saying is that sport is a cure for depression? Seriously, have you ever met anyone suffering from depression?

Life isn't that simple, which is why simply making things illegal doesn't work. People (or more accurately politicians and the media) like pigeon holes to put things in which is why you end up with broad stroke laws that aren't effective.

Life is complicated, that is why its so interesting. It also means that we need more intelligent answers than knee jerk reactions to trigger words like "shrooms".

/rant over

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Facebook litters Timeline with apps

Alfie
Headmaster

I don't even want to think what they're not teaching you in school.

Apostrophes indeed!

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Online Christmas orders from retailers go titsup

Alfie
Pint

Tried to book a delivery slot on Sunday for delivery today from Sainsbury's, but they were showing nothing available until the 27th, so got ours via sneakernet on Wednesday night.

Best episode of The Good Life ever!

"Good will to all men, especially me!"

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Latest El Reg project: Rise of the Robot Sheep

Alfie
Coat

Surely you could strap a mower to the front of Stephen Hawking's wheelchair. That would have enough power and weight to push stuff around, and it's covered in tech, so presumably it could be controlled remotely?

BTW I'm not condoning the hijacking of the Prof himself, but what the hey, he's not got anything better to do, and he could do any work remotely over the Wifi link while trundling around the lawn.

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Humans, insects set to OBLITERATE frankincense supply

Alfie
IT Angle

Its also used extensively in aromatherapy, and the price has been rising for the past few years. I'm guessing the difficulties in propagation are why nobody has been able to expand production up until now.

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