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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3100 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

CAPTCHA challenges you to copy pointillist painter Seurat's classic

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: CAPTCHA doesn't work on phones.

Do these people never test stuff for usability ?

Of course. It's just the testers were unable to log on to the test system due to failing the CAPTCHAs, deadline was upon them, so they just released...

It's obvious, from all the ones I've done, that no-one's ever tested them on anyone with less than perfect vision.

Then again, I've tried a few of the audio ones, and despite having perfect hearing and only 5% of average sight, I still use the visual ones.

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METRE-LONG DINOSAUR POO going under the hammer

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Re: El Reg {rolls eyes up}!

I disagree. Playground humour is both childish and annoying. And if you say different, it's because you smell of poo.

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Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

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Re: Tramadol or

And the short term memory loss.

The constipation's not ideal either.

Did I mention memory loss?

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Re: Nothing works faster ...

I never even had paracetamol mentioned to me. Though my problem was neck/upper back pain. I was told to use ibuprofen, which doesn't work. Well to be fair, it seems to take a few days to work on joint problems, so with something sporadic it's hard to know when the pills have fixed it, or just the waiting.

My friend with spina bifida was prescribed 1500mg ibuprofen. At which dose he saw pink elephants.

I was on a muscle relaxant called robaxin, which seems to have disappeared now. And that worked. Didn't reduce the pain, but seemed to stop the spasms. It was rather annoying that the buggers were about an inch long, and you had to tip your head back a long way to swallow them. Which with a bad neck...

I can bear the pain if I know it'll stop. So I've only asked for painkillers once. Which was when my whole neck and upper back went into spasm, and I betook myself to casualty. I couldn't even lie down. It's the most amazingly painful thing that's ever happened to me. Or I ever hope to. It went from intense pain that could just be ignored to absolute agony if I moved my head. For which I got morphine and muscle relaxants. They worked, but can't remember what they were called. Because of the morphine. I lost a week. I remember deciding I could work, after 4 days, and I remember leaving at lunchtime, because it hurt too much. I then had the embarrassment of phoning several people the next week to apologise for not getting back to them for a week, only to be told, "you spoke to me on Thursday."

"I did? Oh. What did I say?" It appears I said the right things, I just didn't take any notes, or remember anything about it.

Exercise keeps me OK so far. Morphine sucks, and is to be avoided at all costs. Seeing as it took a week to die down, that muscle relaxant probably wasn't much cop either.

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SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans

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Re: ... a mammoth 2,000 olfactory receptor genes, ..."

Another policy. Helper elephants for old people. They've got to have extra-wide doorways because of wheelchair access, so the elephants will fit in your kitchen, they can pass you the stuff you need with their trunk. And help with other household tasks. They'd be great at bath-time.

I wonder how big the elephant-flap would need to be?

Abolish guide dogs, and replace them with guide-elephants. I don't know why, but it sounds fun. Elephants would surely be better than those hearing dogs for the deaf too. Much bigger ears.

I'd better stop now. I think it's looking at the accounts this morning that's done it to me. My brain hurts. Either that or this is what having a genius idea feels like...

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Re: ... a mammoth 2,000 olfactory receptor genes, ..."

it's impractical to use them for tracking or in airports for drug searches.

I disagree. Elephants are obviously larger, but then they don't actually need to go to the place where they're sniffing. If you put one between two security lanes, it can move its smelling device around, and so reach items at different angles and heights with ease.

In the case of tracking, they're even better. Why go foxhunting with a pack of hounds and a horse, when you can just take an elephant, which does both. I guess the elephant wouldn't be quite so good at jumping fences...

But then if you can't go over, you can always go through.

In fact we should replace police dogs and horses entirely with police elephants. They'd be much better for riot control, can do sniffing, as well as dealing with armed criminals. OK, they might not be able to delicately hold their knife-arm in their jaws (with the promise of more pain to come if you struggle). But on the other hand, once a few criminals have been stomped into a paste on the ground, the others will learn. Plus it cuts down on prison costs.

Also elephants wouldn't be endangered if every police force in the world had a few hundred of them.

I'm liking this more and more. Anyone want to join me in founding The Elephant Party? Our policies are elephants for the police, subsidised elephants for anyone who wants one, and replacing 50% of horse racing with elephant racing. Then we can have equal opportunities for fat jockeys, who still have a chance to win a race.

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Kickstarter tin-rattlers offer reboot of '80s Integrated Space Plan megagraphic

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Perhaps he's placed a backdoor in the system. Then when he's ready he can pay all his final bills, stock his rocket with the finest goodies and art treasures, and be off to Mars before the rozzers catch up with him.

There's no extradition treaty with Mars, so he should be dead before the bureaucracy have finished all the paperwork. Let alone built the rocket and trained the police to fly it...

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PayPal post-checkout cash slurp a FEATURE not a BUG

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Re: WTF?

I think PayPal are a bank in Europe. They have a banking license in Luxembourg. Don't know how they work in the US.

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Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe

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I still reckon that a tool box, overalls and confidence will get you past 90% of security.

A friend of mine did this. He's a furniture designer, but was meeting a client at his office. In one of GEC Marconi's buildings doing defence work. He coudn't be arsed to go through the long security checks this time, so he removed his suit jacket, rolled up his sleeves and waltzed past security and reception carrying a rolled-up newspaper, his lunchbox and a pad of paper. He got in unchallenged of course.

I presume the KGB weren't equipped with lunch boxes at the time, thus our national security was safe.

Rather like our planes are safe from the hijack danger of the metal cutlery that 1st class passengers are given onboard. This is because Al Qaeda HR policy is that people have to fly economy, on pain of a disciplinary interview...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Simple social engineering would break both the door and the safe

A confident manner is all you need. 2 stories from my last company illustrate:

1. Someone walked into one of the branches. Overalls and clipboard. "Sign here please". Put £10,000 of copiers onto dolly, and wheeled them out to his van. Byeee. Wonder how much he got for them down the pub?

2. Chap walks into head office. Finds a nice side office with 3 people in. "I've lost my contact lens, can you help me find it?" Gets them all into the gents looking, then he remembers it might have fallen out in the car. Pops out, nicks their wallets, then to allay suspicion pops back into the gents, "Sorry chaps, it was in the car, thanks for all your help." Leaves. The credit card company spotted the odd transaction, and phoned one of the guys to check it, which was the first time they noticed.

As you say, I've never had trouble getting into a hotel room. At one family occasion my brother managed to go to the desk and get a duplicate key to someone else's room. Even though we'd all booked and paid separately. And the one time I've had to ask to be let back into my room, no questions were asked but the number.

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Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

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Oh yes. I'd forgotten that! Running quickly down another passage, after your brother had gone through a door into a room full of nasties. If you did it fast enough, he could no longer retreat through the door and snipe at them as they came through, he ended up in the melee. Ooops.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

I had the Amstrad CPC464 version. Which I think must have been simplified. I don't remember being able to block with the shield, for example, although it was a long time ago. I don't think you could play more than 2-player either. Still, I loved it, as I don't recall seeing it in an arcade until much later. We didn't have a local one, so I didn't go to them often.

My record was to waste a whole Saturday afternoon playing a game. Play a couple of levels, load more from tape, repeat. Every so often there'd be a treasure room. I got to level 87 when it happened. I had a decent number of lives left, only a hundred levels on the tape, lots of treasure rooms done, so all stacked up with nice potions for dealing with deaths Tape error. Aaaaaarrrgggghhhh!!

I don't think I ever got much past level 30 again. I wonder if the machine overheated, it was randomness, or there just weren't 100 levels on the tape?

I want to play it again. I'm amazed no-one's released it for iOS / Android, or just as a Flash game online.

Boo, no happy wallowing in nostalgia icon. Say eating Spangles and/or Wham bars, while wearing mismatched flourescent socks and listening to rubbish music...

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About comments

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: About comments

Many commentards agree. See the huge feature suggestion threads. Although I've yet to come across any forum software that handles everything well. But it would certainly be nice not to miss out on conversations with people who've replied to you. And fully threaded forums would be far better.

As to your second point. There is a way of telling which post a reply is to. Not that it's by any means perfect. But if you click on the little grey swirly arrow thing on the left of the post, which is there to tell you it's a reply, it puts the post its replying to right to the top of the screen. Which I do in the most confusing cases.

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Microsoft: OK, Office 365 sellers – you can be customers' 'first contact'

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Re: So, handing over some control...

No new product until 2016. When they'll release Office366.

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Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!

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Re: Question

For those more up on the DSN than me, are NASA considering putting a satellite up to improve the network? I know that there's some capability to use some probes to relay from others - but would it be worth putting something at one of the Lagrange points?

I wonder if this could be a job for a small collection of micro sats to work as an array antenna? Then the array might be able to point in different directions at once.

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Answerphone

This is Uranus. I'm afraid I'm not here at the moment. Please leave a message after the tone.

And no sniggering.

Beep!

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Re: Question

bigphil9009,

I'd imagine the bandwidth is going to suck for nice pictures. So it'll store those and start transmitting the most interesting data first. After all, we now have better instruments than the old probes did. And we can often do more things at once, and stick the results into storage for later transmission.

Just a guess, but are any of the gas giants moving between us and the probe in that period as well? They're noisy and might interfere with the signal.

The other option is that NASA cut costs too much and used O2 for their data...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

Re: To boldly go

I hope you told him when he was passing Uranus...

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Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

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Happy

Digital eagles may soar, but digital weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

To mis-quote Scott Adams Dogbert. He didn't say anything about digital vultures I'm afraid...

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Phab-u-less: Huge MONSTER iPhone 6 not due until 2015 – claim

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Re: I for one

Lallabalalla,

There's nothing wrong horribly with the Apple mail client. It just only allows you to use one mail account at a time (the same as Android).

Whereas Win Pho gives you a shortcut to each email account, which if the live tiles now work properly means can check each one at a glance.

The other problem with the Apple client is that you have to use the same button to change accounts as to access different mail folders within the same account. And it's pretty much random as to which on you get when you press the button. So you want to look in your sent items, you often have to select the mail account again, just in order to then be allowed access to a sub-folder!

I have 2 work accounts to juggle as well. Hence I set up the gmail app to separate out my personal mail.

Oh and while we're at it, the Apple addressbook is even shittier at handling multiple accounts. I want to display my personal and key work numbers, and not mix up with the 4,000 others. And then find those by searching. But Apple don't allow that. I've got to wade through thousands or manually change address books each time.

They basically don't seem to have recognised that a phone is for both work and personal use. Win Pho has the best email and address book, although the new Blackberry seems to be pretty good at this too.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: I for one

When used as a phone, my iPhone 5 and the Lumia 710 and HTC Wildfire that preceeded it were perfect. Nice convenient sizes to fit in the hand, hold up to the ear and not overfill your pocket. My personal favourite being the Lumia, for the big writing (no reading glasses when walking down the street).

Once you start doing stuff online, or trying to plan a route on a map, then they all feel quite cramped. At that point, the Galaxy Note seems like a really nice device, with a pen for sketching and lots of room.

My device is mainly a phone. If I've a lot to do, I tether to my iPad. So I'm happy with something smaller. But it's horses for courses.

Special unfavourable mention must go to Google here, for their gmail app on the iPhone. The font is absolutely tiny, and there are times when I can barely even read emails with my reading glasses on. And they've of course disabled pinch to zoom. I'd use the Apple email client, if it wasn't so crap at coping with both a work and personal inbox. Windows Phone was great at this.

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Will GCHQ furtle this El Reg readers' poll? Team Snowden suggests: Yes

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chatroulette

Which garden shall I deposit my shit in today? Place you bets.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Black Helicopters

Another worrying thought?

Do they have a working internet sarcasm detector?

If so, we're all buggered. And it wouldn't be the first time that GCHQ had technology vital to the health of the internet, and kept it secret.

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SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

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Devil

This is just an excuse! Everything went perfectly. But he's got to pretend that they don't yet have full control of the reusable stage return, so that when he drops one on that Chinese Tesla trademark troll's head, he's got plausible deniability.

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

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Trollface

Now there's an idea...

I shall create a site forthwith, which allows you to categorise pictures of attractive and less attractive ladies plus men in skirtskilts. I shall call it:

whatshotwhatsnotwhats.scot

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Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

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Happy

Re: Made me think of

4ecks,

What time is it?

I love Cherryh's books. And of course this law suggests exactly the problem that she covered in that book. If you can't steal the stuff before it's mined, you can beat people to the asteroid. It would be a shame if you crashed into them first…

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

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Happy

surely there should be a grep and an awk in there too...

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The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0

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Re: Hmm

It's not that they won't let you out of Stansted, just that there aren't any signs. Or if there are, they're incredibly well hidden.

Funnily enough I was watching a program on architecture the other day, that claimed it was the best airport designed up to that time. Although I guess that is rather like being offered the choice of smallpox or ebola.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Google Potatohead+

That's just a load of old Glollocks!

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: @ AC ~1220h - Photos photos

or shouting: "OK glass, horse porn, loop, mike off!"

If you do that near me, it'll have to be a swift kick to the nadgers I'm afraid. No one interrupts me when I'm watching hot sheep-on-sheep lovin'!

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

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Happy

Re: Bluetooth audio... pah

No. They'll release Goldtooth.

Blutooth uses the air to transmit imperfect wireless signals. For the true audiophile such as yourself, you need to be using the equivalent power of gold contacts and oxygen free cables.

Hence Goldtooth. Instead of using the sound deadening oxygen in the air to transmit our radio signals, we transmit in the less crowded helium band. As there is so much less helium in the atmosphere, we have to use much larger antennae, but this is a small price to pay for audio perfection.

The name comes from the fact that it's helium which give the Sun it's distinctive golden hue at sunset.

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What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

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Happy

Re: Guessing game:

The clever baby will learn to put the thing on the radiator for a bit, to get it all toasty warm - and then be given Calpol.

Most young children are Calpoloholics. It must taste really nice.

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Tesla trademark spat threatens Musk's China dream

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Devil

Elon Musk owns ICBMs. Why pay someone else? He may not have nukes, but with access to heat shields and orbital velocity - that's not a huge problem...

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Dubai to get HUGE climate-controlled DOMED CITY and giga-mall

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Re: Office arguments over the air-con controls

There will be no arguments. This is Dubai. Air-con will be set to massively, amazingly, astonishingly fucking freezing. And you can lump it.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Romdeau

You can get solar panels to mount on the side of buildings. But they're not transparent.

You could easily have a glycol and water mix wandering around tubes in the glass dome. I guess if you made the channels small enough, they wouldn't be too visible. You'd need a bloody big heat store though. Moden solar-thermal panels can get up to 300°C (although they're black) - so if you don't keep removing heat from the system they cook their own circulating pumps. This means when sized wrong they often have to go into shutdown in the hottest part of the day, and can't switch on again until the sun's gone down.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: or indeed that it is perfectly survivable anyway

This dome will be no better. I walked into a Dubai shopping centre. It was 40°C and humid outside, then I walked into a wall of ice. It was 18°C and dry inside. That was an almost painful transition. Although not as bad as walking back out through the doors into the heat was.

And I was there in October. In July/August it hits 50!

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Coat

Re: what a fscked up world we live in ...

It was Abu Dhabi who bailed them out. Just waiting long enough to let Dubai sweat, so they'd know who was boss in future...

I know this, because due to censorship Saudi Arabia won't show the Flintstones movie, but Abu Dhabi Do...

Sorry, I couldn't stop myself. I'd best get my coat.

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Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

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Re: Luvverly

If you search them out, it's your own fault. If your arse of a mate sticks info out there, in a deliberate attempt to be annoying, then they deserve to cop some abuse.

Not that I care, I've not seen it in several years. But whoever released it is a complete tosser.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Wait and see

the only problem then is avoiding the bloody spoilers from Trailers the BBC broadcast

My favourite example of this was from something that ITV used to show at post-pub-o'clock. Sadly that space is now taken up by some sort of tv-roulette-scumbaggery. The show was 'Tour of Dury'.

In this episode someone fragged an officer while he's in the toilet. So whodunnit?

I can still remember sitting down with my revitalising cuppa and snack. They had the bit many US shows have before the theme music. "Next on Tour of Duty", and a soldier is shown being led away in handcuffs by the MPs.

Funnily enough, I guessed whodunnit quite early in the show...

I do hate fuckers with their spoilers though. I don't like the soaps, but my Mum was always annoyed when some arse at the Sun or Mirror decided to stick what was going to happen next on their front page. She didn't even read them, but there's always some other bugger willing to compound the felony by reading it out on the radio.

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It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

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Re: Dope Amine

Now I feel dirty for upvoting you...

I'd much prefer it if electric shocks were built into the downvoting button instead.

Although, come to think of it, that makes me sound like a massochist. I might have commented less on El Reg if I'd had 1,000 electric shocks for my pains. I'd certainly have learned to be nicer about Julian Assange, Bitcoin and Google...

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Re: If only

wowfood,

You're showing a lack of critical thinking here. You don't want to be administering any more pain to yourself. You give this product to the boss, "here, wear this wristband, it's linked to the Powerpoint PC, so you just wave your arm and the slide changes."

You then either program it to do this, or simply operate the thing yourself, every time he waves his arm. Any presentation that lasts longer than say 5 minutes, elicits a shock.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

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Happy

Re: take off

I'm no orthinologist either. More of a wird-botcher...*

But cliffs is what I'd assumed as well. It's not likely to be an evolutionary success to rely on a sufficient gust of wind being available for take-off, just as the local predator turns up for lunch. Although many sea-birds can lighten the load for emergency take-offs by vomiting their stomach contents all over their attacker.

Perhaps symbiosis is the answer? Maybe there was an aircraft carrier dinosaur, on which these things could land? We just haven't found the fossil yet.

Then again, they did die out "under mysterious circumstances". So maybe it was crap take-off abilities and natural selection. But my carriersaur theory is still in it with a chance! Perhaps the things just evolved away their catapults, and forgot to upgrade the birds at the same time?

*With thanks to the late, great, Humphrey Lyttelton.

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Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

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Happy

so even if it did catch a bit of flack and go down, it should do little more than make a splash.

You heartless bastard! Have you no regard for the safety of Playmonauts?

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German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

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Re: Well, well, well. I perfectly well understand that the expression "allies"....................

If I were in the Greek, Cypriot, Italian, Irish or Portuguese government, I wouldn't necessarily regard Germany as allies. I might be sharing a currency with them, but I'd find it hard to interpret their actions over the last few years as terribly friendly.

Getting caught can certainly make life awkward though. But it's all part of the fun-and-games that is international diplomacy.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

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Mushroom

Re: Orion spacecraft

Yeah. I didn't really like Florida when I went there, NASA had mostly managed to make their museum / tours of the Cape quite dull, which is amazing given how exciting space stuff is, so no-one would miss it. Plus we get giant mutated nuclear alligators and manatees to revenge themselves on humans for all the horrible things we've done to the planet.

Light up those nukes.

P.S. Can some US network re-hire Piers Moron* to do the launch commenatary. From a desk just outside the perimeter fence, like in the good old days of Walther Cronkite...

*You took him of your own free will. And no, we're not don't want him back. You're stuck with him. We only take returns on faulty items, you can't just change them because you think they're hideous after a few years.

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El Reg is looking for a new London sub-editor

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Re: Sir

I'll take navigating PRs over troubleshooting printers any day of the week.

Trevor,

Both are engineering problems, and can therefore be solved with the liberal application of a hammer.

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Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

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Re: Over the top?

On the subject of keeping giant corporate entities in check, does The Register have a policy of doing no evil? Enquiring minds would like to know…

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I ain't Spartacus
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Axel Springer

I wonder if we can expect changes from the new commission?

Supposedly the fun-and-games that gave us Juncker as President of the Commission relate to this subject. What changed Merkel's mind, and made her backtrack on a possible deal with Cameron to block Juncker, was the massive reaction in the German press. Although her coalition partners were also in favour of Juncker.

Anyway, I've seen a couple of sources say that Juncker's campaign team promised Axel Springer that the new Commission would support them against Google. And this may be related to the sudden huge outcry in the German press.

I've seen this reported in several EU politics stories in the Guardian and FT. Although I've not seen it mentioned in business / IT news.

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Trollface

Re: For a company flogging the discovery of information

For a company flogging the discovery of information

She sure did a great job of blocking.

Wasn't one of Google's mission statements to organise all the world's information? Well some information obviously gets shown to the public, and some gets placed in a drawer in a locked filing cabinet, in a disused toilet with a sign on the door saying "beware of the leopard".

That's organisation for you...

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Google buys shagadelic playlist biz Songza

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Devil

Hmmm. What is the appropriate music for preparing to get into the shower? Punk perhaps? It's got to be something pretty short, given that it doesn't take long to remove clothes, open door, climb in.

I wonder what's on their playlist for 'having a poo'?

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