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* Posts by Steve Evans

2299 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Diesels greener than battery cars, says Swiss gov report

Steve Evans
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95% of the time?

It doesn't rain in your part of the world then?!

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BBC dumps Gulf oil spill on Middlesbrough

Steve Evans
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Me waits...

...for first member of the terror paranoia thought police to cry that this tool could be useful for a terrorist who plans on deploying a V2.

Re Middlesbrough and Croydon, nobody notice, carry on.

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Apple fans drool over Liquidmetal widget

Steve Evans
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Are you sure...

Are you sure it's LiquidMetal(tm) and not another rather well known liquid metal which is known to impaired cognitive skills?

From the evidence I have seen (queues outside Apple stores) it looks very much like that more common form of liquid metal is used in copious quantities outside of the USA.

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Electric mass-driver catapults to beat Royal Navy cuts?

Steve Evans
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Re: Magnetic...

Well they don't have much choice... They decided to go with a gas turbine driven design ship, so they don't have any steam to drive the regular steam driven launch system (which was actually invented by a Brit!). Why they didn't go with years of experience and user Nuclear I will never know.

Basically they painted themselves into a corner.

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America's top model fights off 'pervert' at Star Wars convention

Steve Evans
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Odd...

"The man was reportedly arrested for disorderly intoxication..."

So not sexual assault, driving under the influence or fleeing the scene of an accident? I'm sure one of those must be a felony.

I thought American law was supposed to be tough?

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Hackers spoof car warning system

Steve Evans
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Where can I order?

Sounds like just what I need to get the slow moving taxi driver out of my way (why do they always do 28mph when they have passengers, and 35mph when empty?)...

Oh, and just thing how great it would be to get the (insert latest rep mobile here) that's trying to climb into your boot/trunk to back off on the motorway?! Although in that case I think I'd still prefer a 6 inch steel spike I could launch out the back of my car and straight through the following radiator...

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Steve Evans
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So Mr smarty pants A/C...

How would you connect a wire to a tyre pressure sensor? That's tyre as in big rubber thing that goes round and round and round and round and round (getting the idea now?).

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Ten unlikely iPhone insurance claims

Steve Evans
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Re: Does no one have a problem with...

I think you are relying on the phone being in use at the time too much...

If it was on your hand because you just grabbed it from your desk as you headed out the door, then you could very easily put in on the roof while you rummage for your keys.

Don't laugh, I had a boss that did this with several phones, and once even with a laptop. In the interest of good taste I will not detail what happened to the laptop.

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'Poo-powered' Volkswagen astounds world+dog

Steve Evans
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Well...

In typical El Reg standard it started off with a story of UK poo power and then draws a comparison with charging off a US socket...

In Europe we have 230volts. UK sockets are rated at 13A. So 3kW is easy. The ring main circuit itself is fused to 30A, so some cunning use of several sockets could get you to almost 7kW.

Now if you really want to get clever you need a friendly neighbour. To balance the load across the phases you often find that the phases for the local substation are wired to each single phase house in sequence, so you will have the same phase as the house 3 doors down. NOT the same phase as the house either side of you... So be nice to the neighbour on either side and you can use his live phase and your own (120 degrees out of phase of each other), and tada, 415v :-)

Be warned if you have an earth leakage trip it'll plunge you into darkness!

Please note you should not do this if you don't know what you are doing! If you think 230volts makes you jump, you really don't want to try 415!

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Conficker's 6m strong botnet confounds security probes

Steve Evans
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Re: did I miss a pun?

In a word, Yes.

IT crowd.

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Steve Evans
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Well...

At least Conficker is nice and gives some serious clues to the tech savvy that it is there...

Network traffic goes through the roof and windows update disabled... Hmmmm... Might notice that!

Personally I'm more worried about one that doesn't disable windows update, which spreads quietly without flooding the network, and has so far gone unnoticed!

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Ten Essential... Symbian Apps

Steve Evans
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Curious list...

No y-browser, no Nimbuzz, no Fring, no Opera Mobile...

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Steve Evans
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There's a trick to that...

Assuming the installs will work on your non-Nokia symbian device, try this:

With Firefox, get the user agent switcher add-on. You can use another browser if you like, but you need to be able to change the HTTP user agent field.

Set up a new user agent of

"Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; Series60/5.0 NokiaN97-1/10.0.012; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1; en-us) AppleWebKit/525 (KHTML, like Gecko) WicKed/7.1.12344"

Now you can visit the OVI store and it will think you're an N97. Download the sis and sisx files to your pc... Now you can either use whatever equiv you have to Nokia/ovi suite to install them, or copy them onto the phone and run the installer locally.

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Android surges past iPhone in smartphone sales

Steve Evans
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Oh yes...

Wonderfully distorted US figures... Honestly the US market is so out of kilter with the rest of the planet it's a joke.

Next you'll be saying the nobody uses SMS messages because you've just dragged out some US study.

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UK supermarket starts contactless payments

Steve Evans
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What?

Not that many people have them?

I've had a contact-less VISA with built in Oyster since 2009... And they just sent me a contact-less debit card too.

Never used the damn things! Never seen anywhere to use them!

The Oyster looked and sounded handy for 2 seconds until I read the blurb and discovered it wouldn't give me any more integration than taping a normal Oyster card to my old credit card, and as I prefer not to give all my info to TfL I didn't really want to set up auto top-up from my credit card thank you very much. I'll stick to my topped up by cash only Oyster which was given to me by a friend.

Now that's anonymous data :-)

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French operator pooh-poohs iOS4

Steve Evans
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Nope..

We shall continue the flogging until the distortion field is neutralised!

As for selling like hot cake I have seen more iPads than iPhones flaws... Namely 1 iPad.

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Nude trampolinist bounces free from court

Steve Evans
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Sad...

I'm very sad that the BBC doesn't appear to have a stock photo for this incident.

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Futurologist warns of malevolent dust menace

Steve Evans
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Yeah right...

Smart dust? Some one has definitely been sniffing too much space dust.

You'd be better off filling the air conditioning system with something conductive like carbon dust. Sure it can't wander into the right part of a circuit and start sniffing packets and broadcasting them back over radio (then again, what can?!), but it will cause chaos.

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FBI hunt gun-waving, skateboarding bank robber

Steve Evans
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Joke

Ah...

Bart Simpson finally comes of age...

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Dutch send submarine to fight Somali pirates

Steve Evans
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Trouble is...

Whilst we're playing the softly softly, aren't we civilized game, these pirates are going about doing pretty much whatever they like, kidnapping innocent travellers with seemingly very little risk.

I'm sure a few torpedoed boats and body bags left to wash back up on the shore would be a far better deterrent.

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German arrested for Adolf Hitler ringtone

Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

Whilst I don't agree with the beliefs of this man, I feel very uncomfortable that a ringtone could be illegal.

Curiously enough the same would happen in France... The same France that gave us Voltaire and his famous quote...

I fear the same would happen in the UK too. However if you were a fanatical ethnic minority preacher you'd be able to spout it forth on the streets of Finsbury Park for months before anyone would do anything about it.

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No secret to stopping XSS and SQL injection attacks

Steve Evans
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Quite right...

In fact you have to sanitise to make "Brer O'Hare" even work as a name. If you didn't it would close the SQL query term and add Hare' on the end, causing an error.

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Speed cameras slide out of LibCon budget

Steve Evans
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and...

Not indicating on roundabouts!

Round my way they're usually taxis/mini-cabs, the first people to start tail gating and getting impatient if you hold them up when they are empty... They go much slower when they have a fair... Odd that.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Re: CCTV...

I remember about 2 week after my local high street got CCTV, someone smashed in the front window of the chemists and empties the place.

The local paper reported it and said "Police believe the raiders must have been from outside the area as local people are aware of the highly publicised new CCTV system."

Which was fair enough... However the last sentence in the report just cracked me up.

"Police are appealing for witnesses."

CCTV that good eh? lol!

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Steve Evans
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Agreed

I have exactly that problem. They are letter of the law, not spirit of the law.

There is one near me by a school. 30mph.

If I go through there at 35mph at 2am on a clear dry night, I will get a ticket.

If someone goes through there at school kick out time at 29mph in the pouring rain they won't.

Who is most likely to hurt someone?

Then again, what am I thinking... Who's got a hope of doing anything like 29mph at school kick out time... But that's a different rant!

Another camera near me had an interesting effect on accident stats. Yes it did reduce the number of injuries (shifted them down the road 500 yards I'm sure), but curiously it doubled (from 1 to 2) the number of fatalities. They didn't mention that statistic... Yeah, I know, lies, damn lies etc.

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Google's Wi-Fi snoop nabbed passwords and emails

Steve Evans
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Honestly...

All these people whining that some personal data was picked up by the google car... What about the amount of data that could have been sniffed by world+dog from these *open* wireless points before and since?

Hopefully they won't miss out on that little fact and people might actually secure things.

Yeah yeah, I know, fat chance.

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Nobel Prize winner on dodgy World Cup ball

Steve Evans
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Whine whine...

Q) What's the England teams favourite wine?

A) The ball's the wrong shape.

I would say it all evens out... The goalies don't know where they are going, so can't stop them, and the strikers don't know where they are going so can't actually get them on target.

At least they have the excuses all lined up for the penalty misses in advance this time.

Now stop whining, or we fill the ball with hydrogen :-p

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Hacker charged with threatening US VP using neighbour's PC

Steve Evans
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Enough said...

"affidavits reveal years of disputes between Ardolf and neighbours from different areas he's lived in."

Sounds like there is a common link there, or maybe a that should be missing link.

Let's hope he gets on better with his neighbours in sing sing.

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BBC wins go-ahead for Freeview HD content controls

Steve Evans
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LOL!

Don't you just love agreements hammered out by lawyers.

So the programs aren't encrypted, but the program guide is, and to get the free key for the program guide you have to agree to not be a naughty boy. I assume chasing people for breach of contract is easier than chasing them for copyright infringement?

IIRC Media center, certainly on XP, doesn't even use the OTA program guide... I assume that means we're free to be naughty?

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O2 to step back from unlimited mobile data deals

Steve Evans
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Well...

I don't know how the current O2 T&Cs define "unlimited" and we all know there is no such thing as "unlimited" data, so it's actually nice that they are being clear and open about the limit on these tariffs.

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Conroy pledges to stop spams infecting Aussies' portals

Steve Evans
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Oh dear...

As usual with MPs, speaking the unintelligible about that which he knows jack sh*t about.

How about they challenge him to protect his own personal email address from spam and then publish his address whilst still getting 100% of the real emails?

It's only one email address, how hard can it be?

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Plucky Finn attempts to drive length of Finland in small digger

Steve Evans
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They're even madder than that!

I have some Finnish friends, and they are bonkers.

They're also totally addicted to mobile phones. Not fruit flavoured toy ones either. You go out for a drink and they will constantly have a beer in one hand, a vodka shot in another hand and a mobile phone is another hand! It's no accident that a very large proportion of mobile devices originate from that area of the world.

The long winter nights just give them time to dream up crazy ways to enjoy the summer!

Good luck to Mr Trundle.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Attitude difference: "pointless"

Are you sure about that, I'm English and see no problem with doing things just because it hasn't been done before.

And I don't believe Everest was conquered in the 1950s by one of the Queen's subjects wearing "Sponsored by Britvic" either.

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Steve Jobs unveils iPhone 4

Steve Evans
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re: 18 months

"Elementary physics will inform you that the amount of pixels on a sensor is only a measure of the image size, not the quality; for that you need a decent lens."

Actually the number of pixels does relate to the quality, and not in the way you expect. After a while the craze of upmanship produces a sensor with photosites so small the amplification has to be cranked up to see in even moderate light. The more amplification the more noise. More than 4 or 5 megapixels on the tiny sensors they have in phones is pretty pointless.

At least Apple have finally put a flash of sorts on the damn thing, I was getting fed up of facebook pictures ("uploaded from my iphone") of silhouettes!

So at last it's caught up with my old N95... Assuming it has a good lens of course. Mine says Carl Zeiss.

Now we just have to see if this new gift from the gods can actually make it past 4pm without crawling crying to a power socket.

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Prisoner of iTunes - the iPad file transfer horror

Steve Evans
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I can't help wondering...

Given that people have been able to break themselves (RSI) using mice, and typing on "real" keyboards, how long will it be before stress fractures start occurring from "typing" on a virtual keyboard which is nothing more than bashing your fingertips against a sheet of expensive glass?

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Twitter airport bomb spoof joker launches appeal

Steve Evans
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Personally...

Personally I think he should argue that he didn't actually send a threatening message. To send a message surely you have to have a recipient. Only then can you judge if the message was threatening or not. Sending a message saying "Someone needs to blow up Sainsbury's" could be seen as threatening if sent to Sainsbury's head office, but not if sent to Tesco's head office. In fact Tesco's would probably quietly smile and nod.

He did not send a message. He publicly posted his opinion. Just as if he had hung a sign on the outside of his house, or worn a T-shirt with a slogan on it. He did not send a message to the CAA or Airport authorities.

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Is your office World Cup sweepstake legal?

Steve Evans
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Great...

A yet a crappy phone in TV quiz (on premium rate lines) can become a game of skill, and not a game of chance (aka lottery) by asking questions such as:

The company that make the iPad are?

1) Apple

2) Orange

3) Banana

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iPads in spa-a-a-a-ce!

Steve Evans
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Well done mate...

Instead of having a ball doing somersaults you've just wasted your time doing a pointless (and predictable) test with an electronic tea tray... And yes, the lady behind was cute - Not that you'd appreciate her yet, you might grow into that kinda thing one day.

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Smokescreen brings Flash to the iPhone

Steve Evans
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I have no idea..

I've never found a reason to turn it on beyond annoying iphone owners.

I'm still firmly of the view that flash is what arty farty designers use because they either can't use HTML and style sheets, or that using them would "negatively impact their art". Either way I don't bother with such sites either on my mobile or on a "real" desktop browser!

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Steve Evans
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LMAO!

So the only part of Flash it can handle is the bit you really don't want, the bl**dy adverts!

Wonderful!

Gotta laugh, it's one of the few things I agree with the Jobsworth about. My mobile does do flash, but I turned it off because it never adds anything but bandwidth overhead and clutter.

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Found phone leads to paedophile ring

Steve Evans
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Curious...

How exactly are they going to stop this guy from sending images via phones/computer?

He's obviously wised up to pay as you go top ups and will now only use cash, and as for stopping image exchange via the internet... Hahahahaha, too funny, the RIAA have been trying to stop mp3 exchange for how long exactly?

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Approaching space object 'artificial, not asteroid' says NASA

Steve Evans
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Alien

Yup....

It's voyager... They still haven't realised the universe is actually just a painted backdrop to a cheap alien reality TV show about a fictitious solar system and Voyager bounced off the wall and came back!

I wonder if their voice over has a geordie accent too?

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Microsoft Tag emerges from beta

Steve Evans
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So...

The M$ system is like putting a bit.ly shortcode into a current QR code?

Honestly, I can't see this really taking off. Outside developers aren't going to be interested in a system controlled by M$ (not without some "encouragement"). If M$ had a larger presence in the mobile phone market then there might have been a possibility of almost making people use it, but they don't.

Even Apple, however much they may hype their sales figures (aka only quoting USA) would be hard pushed. Nokia, despite their own attempts at self destruction, are still the mobile heavy-weight, and if they don't read M$ codes (and why should they, their phones quite happily do QR) it's going to be still-born.

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Blunkett threatens to sue for £30 ID card refund

Steve Evans
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Exactly!

There really should be a way us the tax payer can audit the govt and sort out all the back handers and miss management. Has the man really forgotten that he was once the Home Secretary so is therefore partially responsible for this fiasco?

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Regent Street blocked by iPad fanboi swarm

Steve Evans
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re:...you went toRegent street? Moooooooo....

Reminds me of the O2 late opening iPhone "hype"... I went to my local highstreet (where I could park after 6pm for free) and walked to the O2 store... Man on the door looked excited and went to hand me a numbered ticket. I brushed him aside and wandered into the shop, bought the 8gig MicroSD card I wanted, and wandered off again.

There were more staff that customers.

That's probably to one and only thing I would thank Apple for... Saving me 70p parking when i wanted that memory card for my Nokia... *snigger*

Re your father, mine isn't quite as old as yours, but I wouldn't trust mine with anything made after 1970... He'd have it in bits looking for the valves (vacuum tubes to those in the colonies)!

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'Draw Mohammed' page removed from Facebook

Steve Evans
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What are they hiding?

Was he really really ugly?

Come on, he couldn't have been that bad, have a look at Oliver "Warts and all" Cromwell, and we've got a statue of him outside parliament!

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Google halts deletion of Street View Wi-Fi data

Steve Evans
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Curious...

France said keep it? Isn't there some kind of strange law in France about accessing a wireless point from outside a building or something like that?

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Most browsers leave fingerprint that can ID users

Steve Evans
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Flame

Well...

My firefox 3.6.3 exploded (and offered to send the bug report to MS), how unique is that?!

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Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels

Steve Evans
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Delphi is a modern language!

To anyone that hasn't tried it, Delphi is really nice. It's object Pascal.

I came up the commodore PET route, Commodore Basic, then BBC Basic, then 6502 machine code, Z80, a bit of 68000 then 8086, VB, C and Delphi.

Given complete free reign I go straight for Delphi. strictly typed and readable, not like C's compile anything but who knows what it'll do style! And the "please don't make me come back and modify it later" syntax!

It's very hard to write the kind of security flaws we see every day if it had been written in Delphi, 99% of the time it just wouldn't compile. Buffer overflows of strings would be hard to exploit as Delphi has very powerful native string handling that doesn't rely on the programmer keeping tabs on how big his lump of allocated memory is and performing bounds checking manually.

That's not to say you are insulated from the real guts of the machine, you could do it C style if you wanted to, but you'd have to be insane to really want to!

Unfortunately on a day to day basis I have to use C... Oh well, that's microcontrollers for you, but I cringe every time I have to do anything with strings. I might as well be programming in machine code.

If you want to give it a try go, grab FPC (Free Pascal Compiler) and the GUI front end Lazarus. Free and open source for Windows and Linux.

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Mystery fungus smacks Afghan opium poppies

Steve Evans
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@Les Matthew

Sorry, too subtle for text only I guess... There was plenty of sarcasm in that, believe me!

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