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* Posts by Zog The Undeniable

212 posts • joined 18 Jul 2008

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Star Wars movie to start shooting in UK this summer

Zog The Undeniable

You forgot the biggest Hollywood racial stereotype of all: the English as the antagonists.

In the original trilogy the whole Galactic Empire had English accents except for Darth Vader, and he was only dubbed because a Bristol accent isn't gert menacing, my lover.

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

Zog The Undeniable

It's George Osborne (no "e"). As in Ozzy, who probably wouldn't do a worse job as Chancellor (OK, the economy is belatedly growing, mainly because we're not up the brown creek with the euro-using countries, but stuff like Help To Buy is completely bonkers freakonomics).

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TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

Zog The Undeniable

It works...sometimes

Tom Tom's LIVE update (which costs about £60/year) is quite good at telling me about delays when I've already been stuck in them for a few minutes. I believe the raw data comes from other vehicles using Tom Tom kit that can dial out (so if they're moving at 5mph on a 60mph road, there is congestion) so it depends on Tom Tom market penetration and also on how many people have enabled the sharing feature.

There is also a spurious "no through road" in the database which tries to prevent me from getting to my house the most obvious way.

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Facebook tests sinister CURSOR-TRACKING in hunt for more ad bucks

Zog The Undeniable
Black Helicopters

Presumably they have an AdBlock Plus tracker, too? I'm not on FB but the wife is, and she says she never sees any adverts.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Zog The Undeniable
Facepalm

Too soon

DAB (or a lot of low bitrate Internet radio - I'm looking at you, Classic FM) isn't worth running through a decent hi-fi amp and speakers, because it just sounds too bad. It's fine for speech on a small kitchen radio, which is where we use it. Except that my preferred music station, Jack FM, is, as its name suggests, not on DAB. So actually it's just my wife that uses DAB to listen to Radio 2.

If FM goes I will only listen to Radio 4 on DAB, occasionally kicking the set down the garden when The Bloody Archers, some chattering-classes feminist claptrap or a esoteric documentary about lesbian haddock comes on. So that's two thirds of it..

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THIS is the kind of clout a British Prime Minister has: Facebook pulls ONE beheading vid

Zog The Undeniable

FB said the videos need to be available so people can condemn them.

By that logic, FB needs to allow Gary Glitter's browsing material of choice too. Stupid argument.

FB is just trying to be provocative, like a rebellious teenager as a result (ironic, given that FB's main user base is now middle-aged, teens having decided that sexting each other on Snapchat is the latest thing).

Of course, there was a U-turn of the U-turn as soon as the advertisers pointed out that they didn't want their product promoted next to some poor woman being killed in a medieval fashion.

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Wanna run someone over in your next Ford? No dice, it won't let you

Zog The Undeniable

car widths have increased 16 per cent in the last decade and parking sizes haven't got any bigger

This is a big problem. Most garage doors are exactly seven feet wide, meaning you can't actually drive a new VW Golf or Honda Civic into the garage without either folding the mirrors or risking a scrape (the clearance on each side is only an inch or two - good luck with that when you do it 365 days a year). So everyone clutters up the street with their second or third cars and fills the garage with broken barbecues and other crap. Many cars are banned from the Rotherhithe Tunnel for the same reason - they won't fit through the new entrance bollards.

I know the world's people are getting fatter and fatter but there really ought to be a limit on car width. No-one is going to go and widen all the roads by 16%.

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Germans brew up a right Sh*tstorm

Zog The Undeniable

What's wrong with "Scheissesturm"?

It's also more alliterative and the extra syllable gives it a nice rhythm

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Unemployed? Ugly? Ugh, no thanks, says fitties-only job website

Zog The Undeniable
Paris Hilton

Re: At least with this site...

My wife and I tested this scientifically by putting ourselves on hotornot. 7.6 and 8.3. I was the 8.3 and she's never lived it down ;-)

Paris, because she's not shallow or anything.

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Charity chief: Get with it, gov - kids shouldn't have to write by hand

Zog The Undeniable
Devil

We're all going to hell in a handcart

Give them leaky Osmiroid fountain pens and tell them to MTFU. You can't make ink pellets with an iPad.

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ANCIENT CURSED RING known to TOLKIEN goes on display

Zog The Undeniable
Mushroom

Coincidentally, we took the kids there last week

The ring display was a bit "meh" (it's next to the secondhand bookshop and not exactly pride of place) but the curse seems to have worked on nearby Tadley, which has some of the most depressing housing outside the former USSR and a nuclear warhead factory.

My daughter bought a rubber dragon from the gift shop, which I suppose might have been Smaug.

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Android's US market share continues to slip

Zog The Undeniable
Facepalm

It's the iPhone 5, stupid

Apple put a new phone on sale in Q4 2012. Samsung didn't.

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Gov report: Actually, evil City traders DIDN'T cause the banking crash

Zog The Undeniable
Boffin

But this analysis is about HBOS

The wider banking crisis occurred because 'merkin banks made lots of doubtful loans to trailer trash and then securitised these loans, selling them on to a succession of other gullible banks (including British ones) who didn't realise or care what they were buying - they just looked at the predicted cash flows. Predictably, the trailer trash defaulted and there was a massive loss of confidence in the whole system which caused the credit crunch and thus the recession (or is it a depression by now?).

So it's the same root cause, but through an amplification mechanism that is more akin to the casino banking which the OP dismisses.

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Zog The Undeniable
Thumb Up

This would almost work as a proposition for us. My wife mainly does short trips to and from work 3 miles away, I rarely drive to work (I cycle, to keep the flab at bay) and we have a petrol-powered estate car for longer trips. It's vanishingly rare that we need to independently take long journeys.

Battery cost is still high, though - add on the electricity cost and we'd only just be breaking even on "fuel" costs, I reckon. Lower servicing costs and a longer-lasting vehicle, though.

Main disadvantage is that the house would really need rewiring, as plugging in the Zoe and the tumble drier together would almost certainly fry the substandard radial connection to the garage.

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Samsung: We're doing smart watches too

Zog The Undeniable
Coat

Re: ...

That reminds me of the old joke about the three golfers; the Englishman with the implanted mobile phone in his finger and thumb, the American with the videoconference facility built into his corneas, and the Japanese guy who suddenly has to run into the bushes, because he's receiving a fax.

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Crack Bombe squad dismantles Reg encryption in an hour

Zog The Undeniable

Re: Private Pirate Operations

Is it purely a coincidence that the last cipher group is an anagram of wankr?

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LinkedIn password hack sueball kicked to the kerb by judge

Zog The Undeniable
Thumb Down

Unsalted hashes

are easily broken en-masse with a rainbow attack, unless you used a really strong password that the creator of the rainbow table didn't include, like "j67-*^%fg".

This is a pretty epic fail, although I accept the judge's assertion that no harm can be proven in these specific cases (I'm assuming the users changed their passwords promptly so the stolen hashes can no longer be used).

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Throttled customers rage over Virgin Mobile UK's tight cap

Zog The Undeniable

I'm an EE customer

and I don't recall them telling me about the 4MB cap. Maybe they buried it in the weekly spam e-mail, in white text on a white background, or used steganography to hide it in their horrid new logo.

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Reg readers brew up the ultimate cuppa

Zog The Undeniable
FAIL

Nooooo!

The only way to get the creamier taste of "milk first", and still brew the tea with boiling water, is to use a teapot.

Sorry, the research just shows what a bunch of philistines the sample was.

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It's the Peer 2.0: Martha Lane Fox now a crossbench baroness

Zog The Undeniable

Selling remaindered goods and services to less affluent people* is her biggest achievement, and therefore an excellent metaphor for Britain.

*I have bought a couple of holidays off lastminute.com, no complaints

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Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

Zog The Undeniable

Actually, vinyl sucked. Yes, it's analogue (good) and it has a wide dynamic range (good) but add the slightest dust contamination, and it all goes to hell. And it wears out. And lots of them were very poorly pressed, so they would never sound good even on a £100,000 system.

Laser turntables (which predate the CD) are interesting because you can play LPs without wearing them out and also get error correction for scratches and dust. This isn't a pure analogue system, of course, but it's pretty good.

Personally I find CDs just fine. When I first got a CD player I took it round a friend's house and we played some of the same albums (The Stone Roses was one of them) on his Linn turntable and on my Philips CD610 (still going strong 23 years later), through the same high quality amp and speakers. They sounded different; the CD player gave a warmer sound, possibly because of the absence of any mechanical stylus noise, but we agreed that neither was "better" than the other. I would have been 21 at the time, with more high-frequency hearing range than now.

128k MP3 though, I can't cope with. When it gets to 256k, it's fine.

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Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist

Zog The Undeniable
FAIL

Re: Why not just build a solar panel that covers half the world....

Because you are receiving an artificial subsidy (paid for by me and most other electricity consumers) out of all proportion to the true value of the power generated.

And I'm not even on Lewis' side in this debate.

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Dish boss on ad-skipping service: 'I don’t want to kill ads'

Zog The Undeniable
Unhappy

Sky - paying for adverts

I confess to being surprised when I subscribed to $ky and paid handsomely for the privilege of seeing even more adverts than on ITV. VH1 was unwatchable because they crammed all their adverts into peak hours (with none at late night) to get round the 10 mins per hour limit, meaning it was about 20-30% adverts if you just wanted some music videos.

Only the movie channels avoided adverts (at least during films) but they cost a shedload, the pricing structure being geared towards making you pay for the full monty rather than just selecting what you want (if you add either movies or sport, having everything costs very little more, and I definitely didn't want sport).

Eventually I unsubscribed because satellite TV turned out to be a prime example of Sturgeon's Law.

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Oracle 'fesses up: Java security flaws more than storm in teacup

Zog The Undeniable
FAIL

It's getting worse

The irony was that Microsoft's unofficial version of Java, once bundled with Windows, was generally OK. Then Sun sued Microsoft and the result is that we have to use the bloated, insecure, crapware-laden official version (anything that adds itself to the system tray and creates pop-up reminders is a fail in my eyes). I never install it when building a machine, and if a website requires it, I decide that I don't require that website.

The current irritation is that the latest release of Firefox prompts me to install an updated version of Java whenever I start it (on Windows, anyway - it's OK on Linux Mint). One day the wife or kids are going to do what FF asks and I'll have a crapware-infested system. Hopefully them being "limited users" will prevent this.

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Star Trek saviour JJ Abrams joins the dark side: Star Wars VII

Zog The Undeniable

Re: Star Wars originally planned to have 9 parts?

As any fule no, the "IV" was added in the 1981 re-release.

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Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water

Zog The Undeniable

A car starting battery is a very poor example, because it is built to supply high current above all other considerations, and is hardly discharged at all in proper use. Try using one as a deep cycle battery and you'll be lucky to get ten decent charges from it as the plates fall apart and buckle.

A better example would be a deep cycle lead-acid "leisure battery". I don't know how long these last, but it isn't 2000 cycles and 10 years. On the other hand, lead-acid batteries nearly all get recycled, so it's not all bad.

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First Google wants to know all about you, now it wants a RING on your finger

Zog The Undeniable
Mushroom

Not good enough

I want a ring like that of Ming The Merciless, that generates earthquakes, tidal waves and - er - hot hail on obscure planets in the SK system. Or just Dunstable, I'm easy.

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Germany's RTL pulls free-to-air channels off terrestrial TV

Zog The Undeniable
Boffin

Small problem with satellite

Freesat, as opposed to Freeview, has some channels missing (e.g. Dave). This is apparently because half of western Europe can receive Freesat but only the UK and a bit of Belgium can receive Freeview, hence there are international licensing and royalty issues at stake.

There was the odd thing on the "free to air" channels over Christmas that we couldn't see because we're on satellite (old Sky digiboxes, no subscription).

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This week's BBC MELTDOWN: Savile puppet haunts kids' TV

Zog The Undeniable
Childcatcher

Re: Innocent until proving guilty?

Oh for the good old days when you could convict them, dig them up and hang them (Google Oliver Cromwell).

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Zog The Undeniable
Mushroom

I've also seen Wile E. Coyote setting up a roadside IED to try and "take out" Road Runner. Do these 1950s cartoon makers and modern-day DVD pimps have no sense of decency towards our brave boys in Helmand province?

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Zog The Undeniable

Trevor Moore

Must have the inverse Midas touch; everything he touches turns to something brown and squishy. I bet he got paid well, thobuts.

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Apple 'slashes iPhone 5 screen orders', tight-fisted fanbois blamed

Zog The Undeniable
Thumb Down

Hang on...

1. Not many people outside a few big cities can get 4G, so what's the point in buying the iPhone 5?

2. A 3% drop in share price is noise.

(I don't own anything by Apple but this seems to be a non story).

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White House rejects Death Star petition: '$850qn too pricey'

Zog The Undeniable

The name's a bit of a problem

Call it a Freedom Star and they'd have gone for it.

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Reuters rubbishes report rubbishing cheap iPhone rumor

Zog The Undeniable

Probably just a third world model. Since the first world, however young or poverty-stricken, will already beg and steal to get a full-price iPhone; there's no point in offering them a cheaper one. It's not like BMWs (another product where the badge adds 50% to the price) where the 1 series sells to people who could never have afforded a new 3 series.

The iPod nano is as much about form factor as low price, so I'm not sure it's a valid analogy.

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Facebook testing $100 fee to mail Mark Zuckerberg

Zog The Undeniable
Devil

Facebook. It's free and always will be.

Apart from this bit. And this. And this.

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Time has already run out for smart watches

Zog The Undeniable
Holmes

Everyone said the iPad would fail

but it had an Apple logo on it, so it sold like hot cakes. Normal laws do not apply.

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Making apps for touchscreen mobes? YAWN. Try a car instead

Zog The Undeniable
FAIL

Or they could actually fit the Focus with something useful

Like a head-up speed display reflected in the windscreen. Why don't all cars have one? It's old tech.

Frankly, touch-screen stereos frighten me; they are totally distracting as you have to use your eyes. There was a good reason that Motorola car radios in the 1970s had push button memory, rather than having to turn the tuning knob and look at a scale.

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Brazilian slammer guards nab mobe-smuggling CAT

Zog The Undeniable

Nothing to see here

It's just a delivery from the Catphone Warehouse.

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Brit boffins build projectile-vomiting robot to kill norovirus

Zog The Undeniable
Joke

Obligatory Kenny Everett joke

"Got a weak stomach, have we?"

"Whaddya mean, weak stomach? I'm chucking it as far as he is."

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Facebook T&Cs vote falls 299.5 million short of quorum

Zog The Undeniable

Re: im pretty confident facebook will be dead by 2016

Facebook does make money - about $1bn a year profit, although that's paltry compared to its valuation at the time of flotation.

Not sure about your second point, but I imagine it's too good for the spooks to resist.

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Zog The Undeniable
FAIL

Well, I logged in to vote

I don't use Facebook but I have a basic profile just so people can see I'm not dead. Tried to vote against this but (as usual when it's busy) the site didn't display properly and came up in text-only format, there was no apparent link to the vote from the voting information page and I just gave up. I suspect a few million other people did the same.

Imagine a General Election where the location of the polling booths was not made public.

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GPU-stuffed monster cracks Windows passwords in minutes

Zog The Undeniable
Thumb Up

Re: Epic Fail.

Correct, it's LAN Manager hashes that do the split into two 7-byte components, which makes an 8-character password unusually easy to crack. NTLM superseded LanMan, and anyone who still has LanMan turned on is a muppet; it went years ago.

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Being responsible, creative and motivated means you aren’t

Zog The Undeniable
Angel

Pulchitrudinous

Salacious

Facetious

Quixotic

Puckish

That's me. I lied about one of them.

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Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

Zog The Undeniable
Boffin

Sorry, but that theory has been comprehensively debunked EXCEPT for one town in Canada, I think, where their electricity all comes from cheap and clean hydropower but their home heating is all from oil or something equally carbon-heavy. In that case they are indeed better off burning the electricity.

For the UK energy mix (and the relative cost per kWh of electricity and gas here) you'd want the CH to take the load rather than your light bulbs.

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Zog The Undeniable
Happy

LEDs are fine

But you have to pay proper money for them. The 2700K Philips ones we have are all excellent; brighter than the quoted incandescent equivalent would suggest, good colour and spectrum, instant-on, no failures. Sainsbury's usually have them for £10 each.

The cheaper LEDs, like the MR16 ones we have in the bathroom, have bad spectrum (purples and greens are enhanced) and 2/10 failed in the first year.

CFLs almost universally suck; the much-recommended Megaman ones actually have the worst warmup time of almost three whole minutes. The best CFLs we have are the 20W GE spirals, which are about as good as a 60W incandescent. Provided you don't have to look at them.

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China strikes blow for property rights, British move to collectivism

Zog The Undeniable
Trollface

Copyright extensions are so important

It would be a tragedy if Paul McCartney couldn't milk another 20 years' payment for an few afternoons' work he did in 1968. Judging from his excruciating performance at the Jubilee gig, he has no option but to rest on his laurels.

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Word wonks insist GIFs are really JIFs

Zog The Undeniable
FAIL

Re: One could always ask Doc Brown

And Stephen Rea ruins "V for Vendetta" by inexplicably pronouncing "lever" as "levver". After all that effort trying to get Natalie Portman to talk proper like what we does.

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Quarter of Brits don't believe that cell towers improve phone reception

Zog The Undeniable
Unhappy

Nice strong HSPA+ signal here

giving 10kbps (yes, that's kbps) download speed. Too many smartphones trying to use the same mast.

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BT to win Norfolk broadband contract - if Europe gives the nod

Zog The Undeniable
Coat

Norfolk and chance of fast broadband

Where's the punning headline writer today?

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