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* Posts by Oliver Mayes

411 posts • joined 19 Nov 2008

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Nokia talks Pure typographic cobblers

Oliver Mayes
Flame

"humanist sans face"?

A humanities scholar without a face? Perhaps a victim of the infamous Helvetica Scenario?

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Fire-quenching electric forcefield backpack invented

Oliver Mayes

Star Trek already did it

The Enterprise-D would project a forcefield around a fire and let it burn out as the oxygen inside was consumed. Sounds like this is a similar idea.

Any thoughts on what it would do to a person's oxygen consumption? I can imagine this has potential applications as a future 'crowd-control' device.

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Curiosity kills 3D Cameron cams

Oliver Mayes

Much cheaper option

Just slap a Kinect on there.

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Apple bashes 'gay cure' app

Oliver Mayes

re: Their kids can sue them...

That's assuming that the child doesn't become depressed and self-hating after failing to completely suppress their 'disease' and commits suicide.

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USB key to 4,000 vulnerable people's front doors lost

Oliver Mayes

You are a bit

My father is disabled and for a time had a care worker visit twice a day. The idea behind these was that a spare key to the front door was kept in a metal box with a combination lock bolted to the wall near the door.

The care agency have the code to the box so if they arrive and the door is locked, rather than waiting for the occupant to make their way to the door to unlock it (or if there has been an accident or fall and the resident can't get to the door), the care worker can just let themselves in and you (theoretically) don't have the security risk of handing over your door key to an agency.

Plus, if there is more than one care worker who visits (as they work shifts it may be a different person at different times of the day), you don't need to give each one a key, they just all have a copy of the box code.

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The 64-bit question

Oliver Mayes
Pint

Don't forget the timestamps

64bit is going to be essential in about 27 years when the 32bit timestamp rolls around in 2038.

The problem is that even that is just putting off the inevitable, according to my (admitedly mostly beer-fueled) calculations, 64bit timestamps will only buy us another 6.3 billion years.

We'd better have moved onto 128bit by then, but again that will only get us some more time. I'm afraid I don't know exactly how much because they called last orders so I had to stop working it out.

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Japanese nuke meltdown may be underway

Oliver Mayes
Boffin

Yes, actually

This is a 40 year old reactor, its main cooling systems have been damaged and it's backup systems don't appear adequate to control it. You would never get permission to build a reactor like this any more. There are also some reports that maintenance in the power plant may not have been as thorough as it should have been.

Modern nuclear reactors are built specifically to prevent these kinds of problems. Reactors don't just explode because someone trips and spills coffee on them.

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New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty

Oliver Mayes

Um, you seem to be missing my point entirely

My comment is nothing like theft of bank or card details. That's clearly illegal as it's not public information. I was stating that public property or records suggests that the information is just that, public. Surely if it's a matter of national security then it's not public.

I was arguing that since the information is suggested to be publicly available and all that has been done is to take a copy of it and publish it to a wider audience, then how has there been any theft.

You then go on to attack my question, and me, with some vague comments about my remarks being 'crafted' and then you ramble on about me belonging to some group that has free music and books? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are you accusing me of being some sort of anarchist pirate? Judging by the number of down votes in your comment history I'm asusming that you're either a troll or just a generally unpleasant person and think you're somehow superior to everyone else here. Either way, your responses to my question are completely useless.

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Oliver Mayes

"theft of public property or records"

How is taking a copy of something theft? Especially of 'public property', surely if it's public then anyone has access to it and as long as he leaves the original there no actual theft has taken place?

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Ads overseer told to bring down 'up to' broadband speeds

Oliver Mayes

Did you even read the article?

It says right there that they are also investigating the use of the word unlimited in mobile and fixed data plans. There, saved you the trouble really.

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Oliver Mayes

99.9% of germs

Is only used because it's impossible to prove that 100% of them are dead. Unless you've got a really good microscope, a guaranteed sterile environment and a few days to spare checking each and every one. Pretty much any bleach will kill 100% of germs, but if you can't prove it then you can't have it in your advertising, up to 99.9% is, apparently, acceptable as it's not specifying an exact figure.

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Fairness FAIL: When small print contradicts the big print

Oliver Mayes

Agree with you there

"The average shop monkey doesn't even know what a contract is"

When I went into the O2 store to buy a new phone it came with 'unlimited 3G usage*' The * at the bottom of the page (in minute writing hidden under a photo of a happy smiling person using an O2 phone) said that the unlimited usage was subject to a FUP. When I asked for a copy of this FUP before buying the phone/signing the contract not a single person in the store, including the store manager, knew what it was. After about 10 minutes of rifling through papers and advertising they just said "It's probably on the website somewhere".

I still haven't found it yet.

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Customs officers get X-ray machines for down under searches

Oliver Mayes

Hmm, I see a potential scam here

Woman swallows drug package shaoped like a foetus, customs think she looks dodgy and x-rays her. 'Baby' shows up on x-ray and they assume shes just pregnant. Woman subsequently sues airport when she 'miscarries' later.

Doubt any grunt working in customs would know how to distinguish between baby and baby-shaped object. Airport doesn't want to draw attention to it's shiny new toy potentially killing babies so settles quietly out of court.

?

Profit.

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Boffin breakthrough doubles Wi-Fi speed

Oliver Mayes

Provisional Patent

At least this is what patents are actually for, protecting the discovery of independent researchers from being usurped by someone with more money and less morals. Take note America.

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Man matches machine in Jeopardy! showdown

Oliver Mayes

First round is on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PSPvHcLnN0

Starts at about 6:30 in, the first 6 minutes or so are a walkthrough of the servers and description of how Watson work. It's just the first round but gives a pretty good idea.

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Kid spanks a grand on Xbox using Mum's bank card

Oliver Mayes

Sorry, but I'm with Microsoft and the bank here

She entered and saved her card details, then went to the parental control settings and authorised her son to access xbox live. At what point did Microsoft do anything wrong here? You do not require card details to have a live account, you can just buy an annual membership code over the counter from any game store and use that.

It's obviously a problem but she can't just expect to get all her money back when her son has purchased and spent several months using the content.

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iPhone owners get walked through confessional

Oliver Mayes

Missed a trick there

Should have called it 'iConfess'

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PSP playing boy plunges onto railway

Oliver Mayes

Not a darwin candidate

Children cannot qualify for Darwin awards as they're considered too young to have learned better. Same goes for the mentally disabled. (Menaing 'actually' disabled, not just clinically stupid)

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Official: PhD in 'Essential Oils' or 'Natural Toiletries' = 'a Scientist'

Oliver Mayes

*headdesk*

"there will still be many diehards who simply don't accept that homeopathy or herbalism are sciences"

Because they're not.

Diluting something in water over and over again until there is no longer any significant amount of the original substance left, then selling it at an enourmous mark-up to gullible idiots whilst claiming that the water somehow 'remembers' what was originally in it is not a science. It's a glorified con.

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Mexico demands apology for Top Gear outrage

Oliver Mayes

Never been there myself

But my father worked in Mexico quite a bit and always told me that out of all the places he had been in the world (quite a few as he was an engineer who was sent to install hardware at sites in a different country every week for more than 30 years), their food was the worst he had ever encountered. This was in 'real' Mexico too, not the tourist towns. Apaprently a cheap hotel he was staying in served chilli soup at breakfast, which he described as just stupidly hot chilli sauce mixed with warm water.

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Boffins hope for dimensional portal event at LHC by 2013!

Oliver Mayes

"Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it,"

If we're going to send something through might I suggest Jedward? Or would that be considered un-neighbourly to our interdimensional bretheren?

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Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service

Oliver Mayes

Same here

I'm on the 20Mb and don't really consider myself a heavy user. I do use the internet a lot but only really web browsing and xbox live, no big downloads or torrents. Last week I bought a game off direct2drive which was 12GB, 20 minutes into the download they capped me at 5Mb for the next 24 hours, took a full day to download the game. They say that if you are one of the <5% who get 'restricted' that it only stays capped until midnight, that's a blatent lie as I checked again the morning after it happened and was still on 5Mb.

I've never actually seen the 20Mb either, normally hovers between 9-12Mb, but drops to 6-7Mb during 'peak hours' (Which they define as anytime I'm at home)

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Boots punts over-the-counter paternity test

Oliver Mayes

Not certain, but

perhaps it's because the entire point of the test is to confirm who exactly the father is. If you're taking the test then there must be at least some doubt as to whether the 'father' involved is really the parent. I imagine it's more likely that the mother is known to be the parent.

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UK tech retailers are rubbish

Oliver Mayes

Not exactly new

I remember accompanying my dad about 10 years ago when he needed a new phone, and the woman in the phone shop tried to convince him to pay extra for one with 'polyphonic graphics'.

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Beeb say sorry for Stephen Fry A-bomb quip

Oliver Mayes
Joke

He is pretty unlucky

Hit by two atomic bombs and no superpowers? What are the odds?

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Oz pair in blow-up sex doll whitewater ride

Oliver Mayes
Happy

You get a thumbs up

For the obscure Bottom reference.

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Thunderstorms found to squirt antimatter into space

Oliver Mayes
Boffin

Nope, nothing so interesting

The antimatter is just repelled by the Earth's magnetic field

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Cable vendor slapped for unproven claims

Oliver Mayes

A good start

When can we expect a similar judgement for the guys who charge £1500 for 'Ultra-High Quality' HDMI cables. Ignoring the fact that there is no difference between HDMI cables, I've seen several both online and in stores that claim that they contain some revolutionary new technology that prevents the image data from degrading on it's trip to the TV.

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Christmas shoppers hit by BT fire

Oliver Mayes

If you look closely at the photo

You'll see quite a bit of charring all around that 'one small circuit'. I'd assume that all of the equipment in the other cubby holes is in the same condition.

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BT accidentally chokes bandwidth to 'superfast' customers

Oliver Mayes
Joke

Accidentally? Pfft, not likely.

They mean they got caught and so are now claiming that it was an accident.

'Quick Bob, they're starting to notice, turn the bandwidth valve the other way a bit!'

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Judge puts Assange behind bars ahead of extradition hearing

Oliver Mayes
Black Helicopters

@Crazy Operations Guy

It's not paranoia if there really are government agencies trying to get rid of you.

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Ransomware Trojan is back and badder than ever

Oliver Mayes

re: Consumer Credit Act to the rescue?

"I think someone suing their bank for the cost of all consequential damages ought at least result in some heavy pressure being exerted to find the culprits!"

Incorrect methinks, the banks would just add a paragraph to their t's and c's placing all responsibility for the transactions on the customer and increasing their fees at the same time to offset any potential loss they might suffer from the bad publicity.

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Leslie Nielsen dead at 84

Oliver Mayes

He'll truely be missed

My name is Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant, Police Squad.

There'd been a recent wave of gorgeous fashion models found naked and unconscious in laundromats on the West Side. Unfortunately, I was assigned to investigate holdups of neighborhood credit unions.

I was across town doing my laundry when I got the call on the double killing...

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Parent-thwarting bypass tool takes kids to internet badlands

Oliver Mayes

Except

That the key point I took from this article is that it's targeted at children. Kids who want to get around the parental filter on their family pc aren't going to have a working knowledge of proxy servers and will just click on whatever promises to do what they want.

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China-inspired charity aims to sex-down society

Oliver Mayes

Double standards as usual

Pornography apparently "leads men to objectify women". Anyone who's ever seen a diet coke ad knows that this works both ways but they don't seem to want to point that bit out.

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Youth jailed for not handing over encryption password

Oliver Mayes

@The Original Ash

Except double jeopardy prevents you being punished for the same crime twice, if you refuse to hand over a password and get prosecuted that's only once. If they ask you again and you refuse that's a second offence and you can be prosecuted for it.

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McCanns join CEOP quango row

Oliver Mayes

They may not have found her

But without Gamble it would have taken almost twice as long to have not found her.

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Boston firefighters get oxygen masks for cats and dogs

Oliver Mayes

"There would be no obvious application in the case of cats stuck up trees, however."

Depends on how high the tree is.

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National Grid blames BT for gas explosion

Oliver Mayes

Much as I hate to defend BT

Wouldn't any construction work like this require planning permission or something similar? If so then wouldn't whomever authorised the construction be at fault here? Or is that BT as well, in which case go ahead and sue BT for all they're worth.

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Browser security warning lookalike pushes malware

Oliver Mayes

So you didn't actually look at the screenshots then?

Because if you did you'd have seen that they initially spoof the browser 'This website has been reported as hosting malicious content' screens. Which are all red. It then redirects you to the download site to get the 'security update'.

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Punters still puzzled by broadband ads

Oliver Mayes

There's also an even simpler response for them

If you can't compete with Virgins fibre network, then stop claiming on all of your adverts that your 'aging' network provides 'upto 20Mb/s'.

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BT ad banned for 'misleading' customers over broadband speeds

Oliver Mayes

What excellent service

It only took them about 9 months to decide to ban the ad, that's quite impressive. I haven't even seen that particular one for months now, they've put out at least 2 or 3 more since the one that's been banned and they all say pretty much the same thing, so will those ones also be banned or will there have to be complaints made about each one and a similar turnaround time to ban each one in turn?

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Argentine court overturns ruling on search engines' link liability

Oliver Mayes

Even better

When they complain just point them at the person who brought the court case and say 'it's all their fault, speak to them.'

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Oliver Mayes

I've got a better idea

If anyone tries to sue a search engine because they don't like the results they get when searching for their own name, just block their name entirely. If anyone searches for that person they'd just get a page explaining that the person they searched for doesn't want them to do that. See how this alleged model feels when suddenly no-one can find her agents website.

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Man sentenced for DIY gift-card cloning

Oliver Mayes

I'd assume

That he's logging the unique ID of each card then trying to read it's balance online. The balance wouldn't show up to until the card is purchased and a balance is added to it. So it'd then say 'This one's been activated and had £50 put one it'.

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Ton-up speed merchant blames dyslexia

Oliver Mayes

How did he have a license?

I thought it was a requirement of the driving test these days that you had to be able to read road signs and understand all of the informational displays of your car. If he's dyslexic to such a degree that he can't read numbers then how did he have a license?

Plus, even if he's telling the truth shirley the fact that everything was flying past him in a blur should have been an indication that he was going too fast.

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Satnav leaves family stranded in Outback for three days

Oliver Mayes

@ AC 11:12

Sadly not, if you take anyone else down with you then you get disqualified from the Darwins as it's not fair that someone else should suffer due to your stupidity. This includes children and animals.

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Broadband advertising speed gap widens

Oliver Mayes

Can someone explain to me

How Virgin can claim that their services are subject to the same problems as ADSL (interference, line length, etc.) when they have a length of co-ax (not fibre, whatever their ads claim) running directly into my house?

Surely since they are own every last bit of my line I should see the full 20Mb that I'm paying for? My speeds once hit 18Mb when they upgraded my exchange to support up to 50Mb, but it's now dropped down to around 9-11.

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Extraterrestrials strafe Bosnian with meteorites

Oliver Mayes

RE: Actually

Some sort of reinforced hat?

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Miracle-tech that could fix almost everything: Major advance

Oliver Mayes

RE: Re: invisible sheds?

Excellent, we're one step closer to the submersible stealth attack gazebo.

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