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* Posts by Robert Baker

70 posts • joined 24 Jul 2008

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Six charged over StubHub e-ticket heist for Elton John gigs

Robert Baker
IT Angle

I only hope that a change in the law, or in perceived "good" practice, never causes all e-commerce sites to start adding those stupid 'onpaste="return false"' parameters to their input fields, making it impossible to paste in such things as my debit-card number (it's 16 digits long for gods' sake, even if it were memorable it would be a pain to type every time) or (even worse) my password (if a password is even feasible to remember or to type, much less easy, it's nowhere near strong enough). As I explained this morning in a reply to an email from one such shite wondering why I never completed the order I was trying to place with them, if I encounter this or any other dumb and pointless obstacles to my ordering, I take my business to another site whose webmasters aren't so stupid.

The day all e-commerce entails jumping through such hoops will be the day e-commerce is dead as far as I'm concerned.

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Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media

Robert Baker
Pint

Re: Premier League Football?

Isn't drinking American "beer" said to be like shagging in a boat? :-)

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Robert Baker
Thumb Up

@Lodgie

If you do, just make sure you copy it right. :-)

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Robert Baker
Joke

Re: Sounds like

Are you sure about the "oxy"? :-)

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Robert Baker
Stop

Re: GIF's?

"The Register's message boards are thankfully free of [the] pettiness [you exhibited]..."

How ironic that this remark got 8 downvotes.

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Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty

Robert Baker

Re: Carbs are the killers

Whoever downvoted that post is clearly not a diabetic. Although they may be an NHS dietitian, most of which still peddle the discredited line that "starchy carbs are very healthy" — somewhere in the last 100 years or so, the "un-" got dropped from that phrase.

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Robert Baker
Joke

Re: @Richard 81 - Wikipedia Rules

"Nope, it was cigars, and gin and tonic. The tonic was quinnine and it kept the tropical fevers away; the cigar smoke kept the mosquitos away in the evening."

That's why the French, Spanish and Italians don't have a vampire problem; the garlic keeps those away.

That also explains why the Queen doesn't like garlic; she is after all related by descent to all the other European royal families, including the Transylvanian one. :-)

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Robert Baker

Re: And you think a fry up is bad for you? Telegraph 1 April

Actually, if you subtract the sliced spuds and the toast (and possibly the baked beans; they often have plenty of sugar), what's on that plate is quite healthy — ask on any diabetes forum. The article text is sensible as well.

Just because an article happens to have a 1 April dateline, it doesn't automatically follow that it's a joke.

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Robert Baker
Joke

Re: The debate reveals that Copyrights are unnatural.

"Oh great - now the Bible types are here with their arguments that something is bad because it is "unnatural".

Hint: humanity has created a lot of artificial structures that are good for society."

Divide by cucumber error: reinstall universe and reboot.

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Robert Baker
Joke

Re: Good article.

The problem here is that Wikimedia just don't give a monkeys.

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

Robert Baker

Re: Jolly good work.

And once again, the dumb downvotes begin. This is a variation of the "appeal to popularity" fallacy; voting against an unpleasant truth won't nullify it, it will just show that you're an idiot and a wishful-thinking one at that.

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Robert Baker

Re: What law has been broken. @veti

This reminds me of the time that a website for the Sinclair Spectrum computer, called "Hackers' Hangout" or the like, was blocked on the grounds of being a "hacking" site. Er yes, it was — in the original and correct sense of "hacking" (programming), not the tabloid "sense" which was the "logic" behind the block.

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Robert Baker
FAIL

Re: Jolly good work.

"And of course that copyright is a civil offence, so I don't think it is illegal as breaking it is not a criminal offence."

Oh please, not that nonsense again; am I the only poster on these forums who has heard of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or the DMCA? Copyright violation has been a crime in the UK since 1 January 1989, and in the US since sometime in 2000...

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Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

Robert Baker
FAIL

Re: Battery capacity

I just wish that battery capacities were stated correctly; this one (for instance) is 3.1Ah, not "3100mAh". The numeric bit (unless of course it's zero) is supposed to be greater than or equal to 1, but less than 1000; that's what multipliers are for, not to be abused to make measurements look at first glance to be 1000 times greater than they actually are.

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Robert Baker
FAIL

Re: marketing scum

On June 21 I tried to buy a computer workstation and chair from Staples. All went well until I tried to sign up for an account to complete the purchase, at which point I found that they prevent Paste into fields, using a method that can't be blocked using NoScript (which is what I usually do to work around this problem should it arise). In other words, they were trying to force me to use a password weak enough to remember, and to type manually.

I contacted them pointing out exactly how and why this is a dumb idea (I didn't put it like that, of course), and to this day have had no reply, so they have lost me as a customer.

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Robert Baker

Re: @moiety: Try downloading the data sheet for a chip

When demanded an email address on what I regard as a don't-need-to-know basis, I usually use "none@forget.it". The clueless website's own abuse address is another good one.

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Robert Baker

Re: How the sale went down

"I have been offered - though, to be fair, some years ago - a completely incorrect IC as a substitute for the out-of-stock one I wanted... on the grounds that it had the same package and number of legs."

Sadly, that's far from unique. Back in the days of the Civil Service Store in the Strand, London, I popped into the DIY department in the basement to buy a pair of crimping pliers. The idiot in charge told me "how about these, they've got a crimping action". Well, duh -- all pliers have *a* crimping action, but of course the reason I was asking for crimping pliers specifically was that only those have *the* specific crimping action required to fasten solderless terminals without mangling them.

And in any case, what the pillock was trying to foist on me wasn't a pair of pliers, it was a crescent wrench. I don't know whether he was stupid, or reckoned I was (most likely both), but needless to say, I never shopped there again.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Robert Baker

Re: Choose better source material

"A little John Cage goes with anything though"

His 4'33" reproduces perfectly on any equipment. :-) It doesn't even need to be switched on...

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Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Robert Baker
Thumb Up

"Glassholes"

Love it!

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Robert Baker
Pint

Re: Slow on the uptake

"We don't serve their kind in here. Your 'droids - they'll have to wait outside!"

You mean "blanks" surely? :-)

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Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Robert Baker
FAIL

Audiofails

This thread reminds me of one idiot I knew at school; a self-proclaimed "audiophile" who to my mind would more accurately be called a "cacophonophile", since his idea was the same as that of those other idiots who buy Beats-me-why-anyone-falls-for-this-rubbish headphones; namely, louder+more bass=higher fidelity. For my part, even back then I failed to see how marginalising three-quarters of the musical spectrum (and the three-quarters which, in most real music (e.g. not (c)rap), contains the most important parts) constitutes any kind of "fidelity".

At one point, the idiot sought to "improve" a pair of good little all-round speakers by removing the vented backs and replacing them with solid ones. The result, as per his intention, was to greatly increase the bass response; unfortunately this destroyed the balance of the speakers, as the other three registers were barely audible. Also, the increase in the quantity of the bass was at the expense of a vast reduction in quality; instead of being crisp and clean as before, the newly augumented bass was muffled and boomy. Did I mention that another of his beliefs was that you can get something for nothing?

I've (fortunately) lost contact with him in the intervening 40 years. No doubt he went on to own a system using solid-gold, directional, oxygen-free speaker cables which must be installed running due north/south and by the light of the full moon — and then spoiled any "improvement" thus gained by having too many woofers and not enough tweeters. He probably also fell for the bollards about coating the edges of his CDs with a special expensive green marker pen (which is probably a cheap marker pen with a fancy label stuck on it), and never mind the fact that even if the "problem" this is supposed to "solve" actually existed, the infrared lasers used to read CDs are no more likely to be absorbed efficiently by green dye than by any other colour.

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Robert Baker
Devil

Smartphone speaker sound reproduction *is* amazing

...it's amazingly naff.

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Robert Baker
Joke

Re: Limited bit rate?

"Apple uses oxygen free copper for their headphones, don't they?"

Remind me never to use them to listen to Jean-Michel Jarre.

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Robert Baker

Re: Limited bit rate?

Did you use actual MP3 encoding, or did you perchance use Nero's MP3Pro (or "MP3Poo" as I prefer to call it)? The latter (which is limited to 22Khz sample rate) is supposed to deliver equivalent quality to standard MP3, with only half the file size — but the catch is, you have to be using an MP3Poo-compatible player (which no player I've tried is; certainly not Winamp or the iPod), otherwise the dreadful loss of quality from that half (arsed/witted) sample rate is all too painfully evident, even if playing over "old tin boxes" as Mike Oldfield put it (to wit, the tinny little speakers of my old netbook).

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Robert Baker
IT Angle

Re: Pono Player

My Android tablet (although the instruction manual says "microSDHC cards up to 32Gb") supports microSDXC cards, including the 128Gb ones launched by Sandisk in February — provided only that they are formatted as NTFS, not the default exFAT.

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Tick-tock, Jock: Dock schlock for mock-stock in ad-hoc shop squawk

Robert Baker
Happy

Re: CeX will

"Make no money for 3 days because no one in Glasgow is stupid enough to own Bitcoins."

No CeX please, we're Scottish? :-)

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Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise

Robert Baker
Big Brother

What about all the other potentially offensive place names out there?

Wetwang, Les Arses, Nether Wallop, Pratts Bottom (those three could be twinned)... the list goes ever on and on.

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Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc

Robert Baker
FAIL

Re: NFC enabled door locks sound great,

"until you get locked in/out during a powercut."

For that reason, nobody with any sense installs a domestic front-door locking system that needs a key to open it from the inside — I suspect that doing so may even be a breach of fire regulations.

It's certainly a breach of common sense, particularly for anyone who saw Westworld.

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Robert Baker
Pint

Re: What? No ring to rule them all Jokes?

Surely it's "one ring to control them all". :-)

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Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores

Robert Baker
FAIL

It's called Windows because it's easily broken

My current laptop came (in August 2013) with Windows 8.0, but by February I had to upgrade it to Windows 7.

1) Within two weeks of getting it, a Microsoft Upgrade went wrong and trashed the OS — and only then did I discover that the stupid Secure Boot (which "solves" a "problem" which hasn't existed in years, that of boot-sector viruses), along with UEFI, was preventing my system-rescue USB stick from booting (or, indeed, boot from CD or DVD). Fortunately the problem resolved itself, but Secure Boot was disabled shortly afterwards.

2) I couldn't get the legacy Help system from the MS site to install; even the version labelled as "Win8, 64-bit" came up as "this is not compatible with your OS".

3) I tried "upgrading" to Win8.1 in the hope that it would fix this, but it didn't — and introduced a far worse problem, namely that workgroup access under Win8.1 carries the stupid and unenforceable requirement that all system clocks in the workgroup be perfectly in sync; so the main effect of the "upgrade" was that I could no longer access my network.

So, having backed-up my hard drive, I then formatted it, switched the boot mode to CBR, and installed Win7; once I got the right drivers, there were no further problems. The upgrade also cured the other major problem I'd had, of Win8 burning up far too much Internet transfer allowance (5Gb, an entire month's allowance, in sometimes only two days).

If/when Win7 is no longer supported, I'm going to migrate to Linux.

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Robert Baker
Trollface

"['Genghis Khan' i]s presumably a transcription to the Latin alphabet of a Chinese transcription of a pair of Mongol words, so you could probably spell it any way you like."

I doubt many people would agree with one spelling it "Adolf Hitler", even though that would probably be true to life. :-)

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Robert Baker
Joke

Re: Just WOW

Who are you calling pricks? :-)

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Robert Baker
WTF?

Re: ... x.99 rounding

"This was originally introduced as an anti theft procedure when electronic tills were introduced- it gave the customer a reason to hang around and see the sale registered cos they were waiting for their change."

I'm sure there were prices such as £2 19/11d (one old penny short of an exact £3) long before there were electronic tills.

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Robert Baker
Joke

Re: Headline grabbing

"restrict access to those people who don't want that material visible"

Surely those are the ones who don't want access? Why make them the only ones who have access?

Oh, the ambiguity of English...

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Trojan-laden FileZilla clone slurps data, sends it to the UNKNOWN

Robert Baker
FAIL

"the genuine programme"

Ahem — a "programme" runs on a TV; something which runs on a computer is a "program".

I expect better computer literacy from El Reg than that.

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Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

Robert Baker
Joke

"One thing the Japanese did have was good management and good worker relations"

That's two things. :-)

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Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

Robert Baker
Thumb Up

Re: Forgot all about that

Sounds like there will be a Rush to download it. :-)

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Robert Baker
FAIL

There are reasons why bundled players are ignored in favour of add-on ones

I first got into ripping music to hard drive by using Windows Mediocre Player to rip an album to WMA. For some reason I've now forgotten (no, it wasn't cause and effect), that drive had to be reformatted soon afterwards, but everything was backed-up first, including that album -- or so I thought.

It was only after I restored the backup, and tried to play the album, that I learned (far too late) that stupid WMP had silently added DRM to those files I ripped, and I should have also backed-up the certificates, w/herever they were stored, so the rip was worthless.

From that moment on, I switched to Winamp and MP3. I only use WMP occasionally, making sure it rips to a lossless non-DRM'd format which I can then convert to MP3 using Goldwave, if the CD can't be ripped by Goldwave directly because it's not (yet?) on FreeDB.

(Hence the "Fail" icon -- fail for WMP being the reason why I switched to Winamp, fail for AOL discontinuing the product especially at such short notice.)

As for the petition, it would be a good idea were it not for the fact that e-petitions aren't worth the paper they're written on. (And it's a pity that the Break The Chain page explaining why has gone.)

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Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)

Robert Baker
FAIL

Re: More likely its the survey is trying to provide too many decimal places

Whoever posted those percentages has clearly never read (nor, in all likelihood, even heard of) the TV Tropes <a href="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LudicrousPrecision">Ludicrous Precision</a> page.

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The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Robert Baker
Joke

Re: used to play Quake and UT all night?

I genuinely thought it was rubbish. I never liked Doom, at all.

What!?!? What can I say to that...

Heretic

...ah yes, that's the word I was thinking of.

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Robert Baker
WTF?

Re: "disorientated"

What's wrong with disorientateteted?

Seriously, "disorientated" means that you've lost your orientation; "disoriented" means that you've gone off Chinese food, or no longer support Leyton Orient FC.

Still, dumb downvotes are no strangers to these boards; I've been downvoted for pointing out the (unpopular but true) fact that copyright violation is now a crime, as if voting against this fact will somehow make it false. It won't; piracy is indeed now a crime, and no number of votes against this statement will cause those laws to repeal themselves.

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Star Trek: The original computer game

Robert Baker
Happy

I wonder if it's just me...

...but to my eyes, that cassette inlay looks as if somebody is standing behind Kirk, bopping him in the back of the head with wadded-up balls of paper!

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BBC's Incurious George vows to 'calibrate systems' after Savile affair

Robert Baker
Flame

Re: Beginning of the end for the BBC?

I don't think the Beeb has been the bastion of "proper" English (aka Received Pronunciation or whatever the term is) for years if not decades now. I've numerous times heard their announcers refer to things such as "blaccinations" or "terraced attacks".

Mind you, nothing trumps the quiet Sunday afternoon on Radio 4, when a neswreader opened the bulletin with "Israel has been invaded by lesbian forces". Whatever was he thinking?

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Robert Baker
FAIL

The Scum

I've noticed tht the Scum newspaper are going in for their typical, self-promoting "soundbite journalism" over this one; they're demanding that Savile be stripped of his knighthood and OBE, an empty and pointless gesture as both of these are lifetime awards which automatically cease to exist at the bearer's death, regardless.

It's like insisting that Savile Row in the West End be renamed because of this scandal. To Paul Gadd Street?

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Five go wild with the Administration Tools Pack

Robert Baker
FAIL

"Linuxes"?

Surely the correct plural is "Linuces". :-)

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Skydiver Baumgartner in 128,000ft plunge from brink of space

Robert Baker
Thumb Up

>"Such as all the uniquely useful stuff you have no doubt done, wherefore you get the moral authority to say that, correct?"

Wow -- not only a relevant reply, but one of the few correct uses of "wherefore" in modern times!

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Robert Baker
Joke

Re: Wings are entirely superfluous in this case

Indeed; they were never the same after Denny Laine left.

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Orally urinating turtle boffin in nominative-determinism classic case

Robert Baker

Re: I was born with fuck all, and I'll die just as poor

I'm not surprised that there's a turtle which urinates from its mouth, given the tendency of politicians to talk through their anuses.

As for forum posters "defecating through their keyboards" -- priceless (a literal LOL for me). :)

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Inside the mind of a Bond supervillain: Psychotic, autistic - or neither?

Robert Baker
Black Helicopters

I like the idea...

...that "James Bond" isn't an actual name, but just a code name assigned to whichever agent is currently 007. It would explain a lot of things, such as 007's apparent infinite health; whenever a "James Bond" is killed or badly injured, he's quietly retired and replaced with another.

I believe this idea was used in the 1967 Casino Royale.

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Pirate Bay founder arrested in Cambodia

Robert Baker
Pirate

Re: @AC

"No crime is being committed, it is Copyright Violation, but only a civil matter"

Copyright Violation has been a crime in the UK since 1989 (the Copyright, Deigns and Patents Act 1988) and in the USA since about 2000 (the DMCA).

I wonder what's the Swedish or Cambodian for "shiver me timbers, Jim lad".

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