* Posts by Oliver Mayes

432 posts • joined 19 Nov 2008

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Scientology seeks to squash anonymity

Oliver Mayes

Are they a religion?

Is Scientology classed as a religion in Australia? In France I believe it's recognised as a cult by the government, and Germany classes it as a business.

They might want to souble check that if they seek to "make it illegal to incite hatred against religious groups"

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What US Homeland Security collects about you

Oliver Mayes

Experiences of Merka

Flew into LAX and spent a full three and a half hours queuing up to be photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed by three separate Mexicans. Amusingly, the friend I was travelling with misheard the question "What do you do for a living?" and answered "Uh, yes?" but still got waved through.

During that time we were subjected to 6 sniffer dog searches which uncovered not one, not two, but three apples being illegally brought into the country by my fellow passengers (Two of which were leftovers from the in flight meal). I now have a mental image of the security staff piling up all of the confiscated fruit out back somewhere and destroying it in a controlled explosion.

When I came to leave again i sat in the terminal waiting and had one of their heavily armed stormtroopers come up behind me and look over my shoulder at what I was reading, a Readers Digest, not exactly a threat to democracy. I also bought two tins of Jelly Belly jelly beans from the airport and had to open the shrink wrap and show the contents of the tins to the staff as they claimed the tins were 'Impervious to X-Rays'.

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UK population to abandon Midlands

Oliver Mayes

Why do people keep saying that?

The Midlands is not 'oop north', we're in the middle. The clue's in the name.

Also, I work in an office and a pay cut of £6,900 would put me dangerously close to 4 figures. Plus, health insurance and company cars? Which office was this survey done in? I'm apparently working in the wrong one

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Tourist magnet blows off Speedo-wearing men

Oliver Mayes

Simple solution

The rides already have signs stating how tall you have to be to get on, they just need to have narrow gates leading into the park. If you're too big to fit through the gates then you shouldn't be wearing a swimming costume in public.

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High Court shields database state from blame

Oliver Mayes
Big Brother

Not really a problem

This will only affect you if our almighty database wielding overlords make a mistake, and as we all know, they are the very acme of flawlessness.

In cases like this where there is a discrepancy between The Database(tm) and reality then reality must therefore be in breach of the law and will be corrected immediately (or as soon as is convenient for the overlords).

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Tory landslide inevitable - maybe

Oliver Mayes

Does it really matter?

Regardless of who wins, the wrong lizard will still get in.

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Electropulse weapon fear spreads to UK politicos

Oliver Mayes

@The Metal Cod

Yes, EMP devices are real. In this case the EMP pulse is just a by-product of a nuclear explosion. I'm don't think that pure EMP devices are in general use yet, mainly because in order to shield something from EMP you just need to put a bit of shielding around it so it's not really very effective.

All major government and military facilities are already EMP shielded to ensure they can't be disabled in the event of an attack. Even if an EMP were to be used in a developed country only the most delicate electronics would be permanently damaged, given time everything else would just come back up again once they'd had a chance to recover.

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Too-tall terror snapper stopped by cops again

Oliver Mayes

Knowing your rights is one thing

But it's not much use in cases like this where they arrest you first then decide what they arrested you for afterwards, whilst apparently being under no obligation to actually tell you what they came up with. I was under the impression that there was some legal recourse for being wrongfully arrested, or does that only apply if they can't come up with a reason afterwards?

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Jupiter takes a serious knock

Oliver Mayes
Alien

Come on people

It's obviously just a monolith going about it's everyday business.

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Google not liable for defamatory search snippets

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Ukraine slaps ban on all porn

Oliver Mayes

A possible solution

"pursuing no other goal" is apparently one criteria of what determines something to be porn. So if the plumber actually fixes the broken dishwasher and maybe gives some advice on how to avoid it breaking down again then the material must not be porn then. Right?

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Software firm goes after Google for internet invisibility cloak

Oliver Mayes

I might be missing something here...

...but since when did Google have a legal obligation to provide free advertising and contact listings for every company in existence? Surely if they remove a company from THEIR search engine then that's their right. If you're not paying Google anything then what right do you have to demand that they link to you?

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Panasonic patches cameras to block rivals' batteries

Oliver Mayes

In a perfect world

"if a third-party battery is used and it does fail the way Panasonic describes, that's a matter for the user and the battery maker, not Panasonic's responsibility." would be very accurate.

However, we live in a world where if you break a fingernail trying to open a battery compartment you can sue the manufacturer for the 'psychological trauma' you suffer as a result.

There is undoubtedly a financial benefit to them from doing this, but there is still a valid excuse for them trying to protect themselves from lawsuits. After all, if one of these third party batteries did catch fire and destroy the camera, how could they prove reliably (and in a way understandable to a judge) that the battery was third party and not one of theirs?

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'Bionic ear' can detect Wi-Fi, FM,GPS signals simultaneously

Oliver Mayes
Happy

Spelling?

radiob

the human hear

electromagneticn

typicsal

Long day is it?

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McAfee downplays service pack fail

Oliver Mayes
Linux

"tagged windows system files as malware"

<insert obligatory 'just doing its job' comment here>

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'D'oh!' tops fave kids' TV catchphrase poll

Oliver Mayes

@Brand Hilton

Here in the UK back in the 90's 'Ninja' was considered too violent an image for a kids show, so it was changed to 'Hero' for that particular cartoon series. It's back to Ninja in the more recent ones though.

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DHS to field Star Trek 'Tricorder' medscanner

Oliver Mayes

This is all well and good,

but does it make the right bleeping/whirring noises?

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Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

Oliver Mayes

Doesn't work for me

I wasn't able to find anything that it did understand other than simple dates or names, but it still scores over Cuil by not serving me actual Nazi propaganda if I search for Pingu.

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Banned US shock-jock demands Clinton intervention

Oliver Mayes

OK, two things I can see here

1) His 'right to free speech' is not being infringed, just his right to enter a particular country. As far as I can tell there are no plans to hunt him down and shut him up, he's just not welcome over here. Surely it's up to our government (corrupt and flawed as it is) to decide this, not the US?

2) They're citing international regulations that protect individuals' human rights, exactly the same regulations that the US ignores whenever it feels like it (Guantanamo anyone?), now they want to hide behind those same regulations?

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Archaeologists unearth oldest known 3D pornography

Oliver Mayes

Woman?

Looks more like a big bloke with a tiny head carrying a giant parsnip to me.

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Gov 'smart meter' plans: Sky box in charge of your house

Oliver Mayes
Joke

Next wave of trojans

"able to switch between suppliers by simply pressing a button - or perhaps under the control of a simple home computer program".

Then the scum start writing trojans that switch you to a premium rate supplier to make themselves loads of money. A bit like the old premium-rate diallers that circulated back in the 90s.

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Gordon Ramsay breaches f**king broadcasting code

Oliver Mayes

Have these berks never seen Gordon before?

Anyone who has ever heard of Gordon Ramsay knows that he swears a lot, it's his whole gimmick! It's like watching a porn film and complaining about the gratuitous nudity FFS.

If this is regarding the episode I think it is, then I'll admit that there was more swearing than usual. I even counted the expletives off on my fingers as the chef ranted to his manager for a couple of minutes. But if anything, I found it entertaining that he wasn't able to come up with anything coherent to say so just kept repeating himself over and over again while re-arranging the fucks and shits.

If you don't like swearing, then don't watch something that you already know will contain swearing. It's that simple.

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Swedish couple demand right to name baby 'Q'

Oliver Mayes
Thumb Up

@Doug Southworth

"IT Angle?"

Well, the Q from James Bond would be well worthy of a mention here, and I'm sure I'm not the only geek here who associates the letter Q with a character famously played by a certain Mr John de Lancie. If that isn't of interest to the IT community then I don't know what is.

(Thumbs up because it's the closest I can get to snapping my fingers.)

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Virgin Media pilots 200Mbit service

Oliver Mayes
Coat

Must... hold back... tirade...

*Deep breath, calm face on, grip edge of desk to prevent rage from surfacing, clear throat*

Ahem, I have their "up to 20Mb" service, and have never passed 16Mb (even that's just a brief spike at around 3AM every few weeks), my average is roughly 3-5Mb. They cannot deliver anywhere near the speeds they currently advertise. all of my attempts to discuss this with them result in me being put through to a call center in India where someone with no technical knowledge reads a script to me. Their 'automated support' line in all seriousness told me to "Turn your PC off for 10 minutes then turn it back on again, this will solve most poroblems", then it hung up on me!

The fact that they are constantly claiming to have faster and faster speeds is bull effluent of the highest degree. At what point is someone going to step in and give them (and preferably all other ISPs) a firm slap across the face and force them to actually live up to some of their promises?

Going away now, blood pressure is rising rapidly and I doubt I can contain the bile much longer. *Rage, taking over...*

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BT's great hole of Ilford still causing grief

Oliver Mayes

its machine hit "an uncharted obstruction" later identified as part of BT's network

Are we sure it wasn't one of its call centers that was hit? Last I heard they were both uncharted and extremely obstructive.

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Hackers pwn Macca site with banking malware

Oliver Mayes

@ Jolyon Ralph & Camilla Smythe

I think it's intentional, it's a sort of zen link. No href is needed because the information isn't found anywhere, it is found within yourself. Either that or someone missed it out, I don't really know.

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Google taps your IP address for Starbucks targeting

Oliver Mayes

@ Richard Hodgson

You're lucky that you've got the country right at least, a lot of our IPs seem to claim to be in Amsterdam lately.

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Brits build e-car friendly solar parking bay

Oliver Mayes

@ac 15:05

But that doesn't specify what that's from, i.e. per parking space/per pair of spaces (like the one in the picture). Plus, this won't be the only method of charging the cars up so it doesn't need to supply all of the annual power requirement.

At the very least, having a few hundred of these around the country would help to augment the power grid with some nice clean power.

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Cosmonaut bemoans ISS toilet row

Oliver Mayes

Anyone else...

...thinking about 2010? American and Russian astronauts on a join mission, forced to split up due to political issues back one Earth, sound familiar? The next thing we know we'll have a planet missing and an extra sun.

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Artist slices gadgets using CT scanner

Oliver Mayes
Joke

This must stop

Once non-techies start looking inside their gadgets they'll realise that they don't run on magic and blue smoke. We need to stop now this or all our jobs will be at risk.

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Police union leader calls for 'killer games' sales ban

Oliver Mayes
Thumb Down

He may have a point

After all, before computer games there wasn't any violent crime anywhere in the world.

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BT names first 29 exchanges for fibre rollout

Oliver Mayes

*yawn*

Breaking News, ISP announces that it's next broadband product will deliver the fastest speeds ever (subject to F.U.P., location, throttling, random whims).

In other news, catholic bear shits on the pope in some woods, or something like that.

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Card-sniffing trojans target Diebold ATM software

Oliver Mayes

Maybe I'm being naïve...

...but how exactly does this stuff get into the ATMs? If they have to connect to the net to communicate with the banks then they shouldn't be visible to anyone else, and I can't imagine someone physically opening up one to plug a USB stick in.

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Euro ion-rocket sat launch success

Oliver Mayes

Ironic

They build a highly advanced satellite with what must be the precursors to impulse engines, but then get scuppered by a dodgy door? Did they need to send someone down to the shops for a can of WD40 or something?

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Scottish Parliament pr0n law faces angry opposition

Oliver Mayes

Possible new genre

"so possibly jurors will be required to watch any prosecutions south of the border without sound."

Silent porn, cutting back and forth between the action and black and white cards with the speech on them like an old silent film. Might add a touch of class and/or nostalgia to the production.

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'Sunshade' global-cooling plan would ruin solar power

Oliver Mayes
Stop

Woah, hang on a second

Who exactly is planning to put this 'layer' into the atmosphere? Surely any such thing would need to be approved by the whole world before being deployed.

Is this something that's genuinely being developed or just a theory? If it's real then I personally would like to see some details before they potentially screw up my planet with it.

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Court rules airline secret security list is stupid

Oliver Mayes

Something similar happened to me

Trying to fly from LA to London, was pulled aside by security due to them seeing something they didn't like in my carry-on. Turned out to be a couple of tins of Jelly Belly jelly beans, according to them the tins were 'impervious to x-rays' and showed up as solid blocks on the scan. I had to remove the shrink wrap and open both tins up to prove to them that the contents of the two tins that I'd just bought from their duty free weren't actually dangerous (just tasty).

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Boffins build 'slow glass' light-trapping nanodoughnut

Oliver Mayes
Thumb Up

Sounds great

So how long til I can get all my house windows replaced with it? Nice daylight views visible during the night (although I suppose it'd look dark during the day, and anyone looking in through the windows would see the insides as they were x hours ago. Great for confusing my enemies.

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Royal Mail disses runaway post van man

Oliver Mayes
Unhappy

@ Neil Porter & Lee

I'm not dismissing what he did, he stopped the van and that's a good thing. But I just think It's really arrogant of him to then demand payment for something he did off his own back.

There's no evidence that there was anyone else around at the time so as far as we can tell from the facts we have, there was no immediate danger to anyone other than the possibility of property damage. (Which would be paid off by the RMs insurance)

He's clearly entitled to a thank-you from the Royal Mail and at most a commemorative stamp of him, but I don't see any reason to give him anything else.

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Oliver Mayes

He wrote to them?

He actually wrote to them asking for 'a reward or compensation'? If he had really done it out of concern for others he wouldn't care about getting money. This is just a case of someone trying to get money for nothing. Sure he probably helped by stopping the van but it's his own fault that he got hurt and I don't see any grounds for him to demand money for it.

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Metallica's Lars Ulrich illegally downloads own album

Oliver Mayes

It took him 30 minutes?

"We sat there and 30 minutes later I had ‘Death Magnetic’ in my computer. "

1 MP3 = 30 minutes? So with all that money he still has dial-up?

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Nude Apple iMac pics leaked to web

Oliver Mayes

re: duct tape

You're all wrong, it's iDuctTape. Does the same thing but costs twice as much and only sticks to 1/3 of the objects that the regular stuff does.

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Brit nuke subs exposed on Google Earth

Oliver Mayes
Black Helicopters

Bah

Everyone knows that all those buildings are mere holograms designed to draw attention away from our real armed forces. Secure in their distant hollowed-out mountain-top hideouts.

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Judge issues radioactive 'pr0n downloader' alert

Oliver Mayes
Joke

Captain Scarlet

I'm sure I remember an old episode of Captain Scarlet where Captain Black was accidentally irradiated and they used a special 'directional' geiger counter to track him. Surely someone somewhere must have invented one of these by now that we can use to find the guy.

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El Reg suffers identity crisis

Oliver Mayes

Wow

Phorm actually accused El Reg of being unethical. "Pot, kettle, black" doesn't even approach my feelings about that.

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Microsoft U-turns on overpaid redundo packages

Oliver Mayes
Gates Halo

More like

No-one agreed to give them the money back so rather than admit defeat M$ just claim that they've had a change of heart and want them to keep it. That's all, it was entirely their idea. Next we'll hear that the overpayment was intentional but someone in HR hadn't been told about it and raised all this commotion.

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Virgin Media boosts bottom tier broadband

Oliver Mayes

@Sooty

"why is it called medium if it's the smallest package they offer? Surely small would be a more appropriate name. Do they even know what medium means?"

They do, but small is not a good word to use in the world of marketing, it sounds much better and looks better on their sales blurb if you're buying their 'medium' service. That's all there is to it.

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Oliver Mayes
Thumb Down

As if

I'm already on "up to*" 20mb and I'm lucky if I see 4 Mb. It's all just a big marketing ploy, I doubt if any of these customers will see any noticeable performance increase from this.

*When the wind is blowing in the right direction, when Jupiter aligns with Mars, when hell freezes over and when I close my eyes and wish really hard.

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Hurlable 360° cam-grenades used by IDF in Gaza

Oliver Mayes
Joke

Better idea

Sell a public model with wifi, then you just lob it into some changing rooms and it automatically uploads the footage to youtube.

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What did you do on Emergency Services day?

Oliver Mayes

@everyone else referencing the IT crowd

Isn't it a little weird that I'd never even hear of this new emergency number until reading this, but can recite 0118 999 88199 9119 725 3 without hesitation (yes I did sing the little jingle in my head while typing that). Maybe the EU needs to consult the shows producers for tips.

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