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* Posts by Robert Baker

56 posts • joined 24 Jul 2008

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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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BSkyB blocks The Pirate Bay for millions of Brits

Robert Baker
Paris Hilton

Re: yet more publicity for TPB

It's the Streisand Effect all over again — remember the IWF's attempt a few years back to block access to a certain album cover on Wikipedia, because they decided that the cover in question (which had been available for some 30 years) had somehow suddenly become porn? Seldom has any Wikipedia page received so much traffic in such a short time. :-)

This'll be the same thing again, I tells yer, Jim lad...

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Facebook needs Opera - to rescue it from dependence on Apple

Robert Baker
Trollface

Re: Oh dear

"many of whom have Facebook accounts and don't think"

Says it all, really.

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World's first biz computer was British – and sold teacakes

Robert Baker
Coat

Did LEO stand for anything?

Lyons' Enormous Ordinator perhaps? :)

I used to use some old computers, including an ICT 1300 -- some joker had stuck an abacus to that one, labelled "emergency nackup"...

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Sky wins TV riot battle

Robert Baker
FAIL

"Clapham"?

Why do those talking about the rioting keep referring to events in "Clapham"? It wasn't Clapham, it was bloody Clapham *Junction* — a well-known misnomer, the Junction is actually in Battersea, nowhere near the real Clapham. Everyone knows that Chelsea FC is in Fulham and always has been (to site a soccer ground in Chelsea would cost a fortune, even if it were allowed), so why do they make the same mistake here?

I live in Clapham so I know where it is.

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CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

Robert Baker
Coat

Trepanning?

I need that like a hole in the head...

...erm, wait a minute...

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Google dumps all 11+ million .co.cc sites from its results

Robert Baker
FAIL

delete .cc?

That will piss off customers of openmail.cc, to name but one legitimate service...

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Google: Go public on Profiles or we'll delete you

Robert Baker
Devil

Safety precaution

Just in case Google decides that one needs a profile to access all their services -- to protect my GMail account I've created a public profile for it.

As of today, my Google Name(TM) is "Notel Ling" and the picture is of a cute moggie. And my Google Gender is of course "other" -- what else? :-)

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Robert Baker
Happy

"Everybody has something to hide though"

Except, of course, for John Lennon and his monkey.

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Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud

Robert Baker
Devil

The best Windows?

Isn't that like describing something as the best disco track ever? -- that is, hardly saying very much at all.

I'd upgrade to Fedora or Ubuntu, were it not for the fact that my craptop has a SiS graphics card, hence no Linux drivers are available...

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Robert Baker
FAIL

Doomed to failure

I like to play Doom, and on XP ZDoom was perfect for this. But then I made the mistake of "upgrading" to Vista and then to 7, and ZDoom on my machine gives garbled graphics on both. Trying other Doom ports hasn't helped -- most of them won't run at all on my setup.

If it ain't broke, don't "fix" it, lest you break it.

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Behind Apple's record sales are signs of desperation

Robert Baker
FAIL

Dumbass, indeed

That title describes you quite accurately -- I suppose you've never heard of MP3s, for a start. :-)

Music has been high-tech ever since the mid-'60s, when Abbey Road Studios started replacing 4-track tape decks with 8-track ones. And it can't be denied that Apple Corps is in the business of *selling records* (which, like everything else these days, is heavily dependent on IT) -- hence the confusion.

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Robert Baker
WTF?

And why does the Reg forget that there's more than one Apple?

I mean to say, I shouldn't have to read a sizeable chunk of an article before I can work out which Apple is meant.

On seeing the words "Apple" and "record sales" in the same headline, being of the '60s generation I naturally assumed that the article was about Apple Corp (the Beatles' management company), which is far, far older than Apple Computer.

Maybe Apple Computer should comply with the terms of the 1980s injunction and change their name to Orange -- then they can start slugging it out with a French telecom company, rather than a British music company.

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Royal Wedding: Prince Charles is a ZX81, Wills is an iPad

Robert Baker
Paris Hilton

Surely the Charles == ZX81 analogy is false?

You can't run a nuclear power station with a Prince Charles.

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Top Ten Retro PC Games

Robert Baker
Go

(witty title goes here)

I'm surprised that nobody's yet mentioned Driller (Incentive Software) -- the first full-3D game, years before Doom, Quake et al, and I was astounded by how much faster it ran on the PC than it did on the Speccy, even though the clock speed back then wasn't much higher.

Re. Doom, its TV Tropes page mentions the nonsense that was spouted about this game by ignorant soundbite pedlars in the wake of the Columbine massacre. Especially that "Doom teaches players to aim for the head"; as anyone knows who's actually played Doom for longer than about five minutes, what it actually teaches players about aiming is that (1) one only needs to trouble with aiming left/right, up/down will take care of itself; and (2) this "aiming" stuff is somewhat irrelevant, one just needs to point the gun in the general direction of the target and the shot will probably hit.

I'm sure neither of these are true of a real-life gun.

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