Feeds

* Posts by Captain Underpants

715 posts • joined 24 Jul 2009

Page:

UK dodgy-political-donor watch database canned

Captain Underpants
Trollface

No no no, you're all getting it wrong

This isn't about allowing (or turning a blind eye toward) dodgy donations, it's about leveraging private market forces in the area of political donations by removing such obstacles as dedicated and adequately-resourced oversight and the ability of the electorate/tabloids to uncover individual instances of underhanded dealings.

I look forward to the final phase of this project when the Conservative Party will announce its IPO.

2
0

Beeb flogs Doctor Who episodes via Facebook

Captain Underpants
Boffin

@James

Only if they've uploaded it and made it available. iPlayer doesn't operate in the same way as eg 4OD (which keeps a bunch of its shows available perpetually in a with-ads-interspersed format that's pretty good) - most stuff on there is only available for 30 days from when it was last broadcast OTA.

Particularly in the case of their biggest cash cow (as far as I can tell), the Beeb aren't going to willingly make it available for free if they can help it.

0
0

Aussie retailer accuses UK shops of HDMI 'scam'

Captain Underpants
Meh

@Andy

I imagine Kogan aren't really concerned about "helping" the consumer, except for those helpful actions that also result in Kogan getting more business. But then, charging a customer a three figure sum for a cable that has, in technical terms, no advantage over a cable sold for a single figure sum isn't really helpful either. There again, to steal a line from Iain M Banks, the default setting for capitalism is that neither helpfulness and fairness are included.

I would imagine this is a creative exercise in getting extra people onto their mailing list, more than anything else.

0
0

Blighty gets gold-dispensing ATM

Captain Underpants
Facepalm

Uhhhh....?

....

What the frell?

I've generally been positive about Westfield in that it's a reasonably pleasant shopping centre experience (or about as close to one as you can expect to get, given the constraints of commercial activity) but a gold-dispensing machine seems a bit...I dunno, completely fucking useless compared to most things they have there....

0
0

Facebook promises 'awesome' launch next week

Captain Underpants
Joke

Well, it might be technically true

Something doesn't have to be *good* to be awe-inspiring :D

1
0

NHS bitchslapped by ICO on data security

Captain Underpants
Alert

Can we consign faxes to the dustbin of history please?

I continue to be baffled by the number of large organisations who use fax despite the availability of better and more dependable systems. Hell, even some large tech firms (hello Dell) still use it in their purchasing systems.

Long story short - if any part of the information being sent from A to B is confidential or has DPA implications, it shouldn't be sent in plaintext (whether that's email or fax or unsecured traditional mail) - it should have security applied, preferably of the public & private key variety in the context of email.

1
0

Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye

Captain Underpants
Unhappy

Aw :(

This is a bit of a "Nooooo! They be stealin my bucket!" moment, really.

3
0

The freakonomics of smut: Does it actually cause rape?

Captain Underpants
Unhappy

@Vladimir

The problem with providing access to the material they've confiscated so far is that in a certain sense it will be seen to condone the creation of the original pictures. The last thing any abuse victim would want to find out is that the government is actively circulating the images of their abuse.

The registered & confidential access idea is probably not a bad one, but we'll need a better class of human before that happens - imagine how fast you'd have murderous lynchmobs on the prowl if it emerged that there was a confidential govt. register of paedophiles who regularly viewed material created by abusing children. Especially since the register would probably be an Excel spreadsheet stored on a pendrive that'd then get left on a train and find its way onto $TORRENT_REPOSITORY_OF_CHOICE...

5
0
Captain Underpants
Mushroom

Eeesh, that's going to be a really awkward debate

If that Czech paper is reliable in its conclusions, and the claim that child molestation decreases with increased availability of material depicting molestation, surely this just re-opens the pseudoporn debate? It's going to be much easier to sell the idea of eg CGI'd abuse material than the idea of existing or (even worse) new material.

Icon because, well, that's the reaction you're going to get, isn't it...

13
0

Brewer bashes Beeb over anti-beer bias

Captain Underpants
Meh

@AC

Unless tapas magically don't count as food or Spaniards don't at least sometimes go for tapas instead of traditional meals, I'm not sure what your argument is.

Perhaps a better way of putting it would be that wine doesn't have a monopoly as the beverage consumed with food. Either way, the notion that mediterraneans only have wine with grub is patently bollocks.

1
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@ Dapperman - there's a saying about what not to do when you're in a glass house

I can assure that having lived in Spain for 20 years, beer with food is very common over there. So far all that Captain Public Schoolboy likes to gush about the Cheeky Flavours and Hints Of Cheese in whatever bottle of £5-a-go plonk he's grabbed off the shelf in Sainsbury's, the more likely case is that the Spaniards or Italians making the food in question would settle down with a bottle or glass of Estrella, Cruzcampo, San Miguel or Aguila.

As for Germany & Belgium, my point was that if you're going to dismiss food with beer perhaps a bit more knowledge of how the two can be combined (taking as an example the Belgians, inventors of the potato chip as well as brewers of many fine beers) would be a good idea in order to not be roundly ridiculed by those with more knowledge on the subject. Especially when we're talking about a country whose major^Wonly contributions to the culinary world have consisted of half-inching recipes and food preparation techniques during its empire-building antics way back when.

0
3
Captain Underpants
Pint

Yes but sort of

I don't entirely disagree with you, but my view on lagers is based generally on pilsners. If you live for any amount of time somewhere warm and dryish like the south of Spain you'll have a chance to appreciate a decent & cool pilsner. I'm thinking things like Krombacher, Estrella, Cruzcampo & the like.

Still plenty of scope for piss-poor efforts, but then I'm pretty sure I've had at least a couple of shoddy ales before.

0
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

I, er, think you've missed the point.

You, er, seem to have missed the point being made, though - which is that beer is not just something Glugged At The Pub By Those Seeking A State Of Arsed-Rattedness. It's perfectly possible to enjoy a beer or two with a meal, or even to use it when cooking food (and if you think otherwise, I challenge you to sample food from the likes of Belgos - http://www.belgo-restaurants.co.uk/world - and then repeat the claim).

I'm not particularly keen on red wine and would much rather have a beer with food than wine. However, there's a marked tendency on cookery shows to play this down and bang on about throwing cheapy wines around instead, which doesn't really do anyone any favours. I'd much rather hear about interesting dessert ideas using Young's Chocolate Stout or Banana Bread Beer than I am about things I can do with a £7 bottle of red wine that I'd have to be paid to drink.

6
1
Captain Underpants
Pint

Interesting point, actually

Any time I've seen Saturday Kitchen it's that rosy-cheeked public schoolboy goit going mental in the Wine section choosing something that costs less than a tenner. Frankly, at that kind of money I'd rather a decent ale or beer.

If they *really* need someone to explain to them how beer works well with food and won't trust any of their local lot, I'm sure there are folks in Belgium and Germany who'll be happy to have a word...

11
0

MS advises drastic measures to fight hellish Trojan

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Captain Underpants
Joke

Ah, the Master Book Record

Clearly the most important book/record of 'em all! (Delete as appropriate for local book/vinyl preferences)

1
0

Punters to spend $2.1 trillion on e-tat this year

Captain Underpants
Boffin

Is there any historical data for comparison purposes?

Do Gartner have any inflation-adjusted numbers to compare spending to eg 15 years ago, when the equivalent services were something like magazine subscriptions and video/game rental clubs?

I'd be intrigued to see how it compares. At a guess the total expenditure per head would be much lower due if nothing else to information bottlenecks and the pain in the ass factor involved with going to the rental shop and having to deal with physical media.

0
0

Sony to slim PlayStation 3 price

Captain Underpants
Happy

Hmmm

Might almost be interested in getting one at that sort of price....

Are they still making a loss on each unit sold?

1
0

UK taxpayer 'fleeced' in spectrum selloff windfall

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Apple dealers hit with Lion bar

Captain Underpants
Meh

@Goat Jam

For the Pro^WBusiness/Enterprise editions at least MS have generally committed to 10 years of support from launch date (as long as you're up to date on your service packs). XP's extended life was an aberration due to Vista's initial terrible (and deservedly so) reputation, though as others have mentioned Vista SP2 is actually very usable (though too late to make it a viable commercially-sold OS).

Like it or not, Microsoft do generally offer longer-term support for at least some versions of their OS than Apple. That's partly down to Apple viewing its target audience as being exclusively consumers (and thus getting away with adopting an extended support phase attitude that amounts to "Buy the latest version of OS X or GTFO").

0
0
Captain Underpants
Meh

@Stuart

That sounds less like a disaster waiting to happen, though it's a bit crap that I'm finding this out through a thread on El Reg rather than from our Apple Account Manager who I've been bugging about this for the last couple of weeks...about par for the course though, I suppose.

0
0
Captain Underpants
Boffin

@AC

Yeah, basically what Hyphen said.

I'm not opposed to the idea of making the software available via download, it's pushing it out via the App Store with iTunes-tethered payment that I'm seeing as a problem. iTunes is, as far as I'm aware, a resolutely consumer-oriented affair, and Apple are very unlikely to have built payment systems into it that can handle non-credit-card options, which creates hassle and auditing issues for any organisation with more than a couple of hundred (at most) employees.

Of course, I shouldn't be surprised as this is the same company that insists it makes high-end consumer electronics (even when some of those have a Pro range available), but it's still a pain in the arse.

0
0
Captain Underpants
Pint

Aw, for -REDACTED-'s sake....

Yes, because that's what you want, a bunch of big corporates & education clients being forced to purchase their upgrade licences as downloads through the same flaky portal that's built around processing consumer credit cards. Do I believe the ability to submit payment via POs is built into the App Store? Do I -REDACTED-. Apple are a high-end consumer electronics company, after all.

*grumble*

(Yes, I know, it's the company/uni's fault for letting the userbase have Apple gear in the first place. You try telling university staff, particularly senior academic staff, that they can't have the new shiny FruitMachine and see how far you get. Different story when the feckin' things break, or won't run any of the dozens of Windows-only software they 'need' to use, but then it always bloody is....some days being a sysadmin is just ballache from start to finish.)

Beer Icon 'cos I need one, knowing how much pain this little App-Store-promoting stunt is going to cause...

3
5

Google bypasses admin controls with latest Chrome IE

Captain Underpants
Meh

@Turtle Fan

The problem with the "skin the first offender alive and make an example of 'em" approach is that, if you can't prove you have existing policies in place that try to stop them doing what they're doing, you run the very real risk of a harrassment/unfair dismissal charge, and if your company's already not doing IT properly, how likely do you think they are to want to run the risk of that sort of legal grief?

Whether or not you rate your IT, the principle of locking down machines and removing local admin is underscoring the machine's state as a work tool, rather than a toy that you get to do with as you please. It doesn't help when some big corporates handle it badly, but having seen how often admin rights + laptop + work-paid-for home broadband leads to "I don't know how that virus, or all those pornographic downloads, or those various pieces of pirated software with my name as the registered user, got onto this computer, honest guv", I maintain that in terms of minimising downtime for users and unnecessary work for the support team, limiting administrative access is the way to go. The problems you describe are failures in your IT team's operational model, not reasons for you to be admin. You being an admin fixes the symptom, not the problem.

0
0
Captain Underpants
Boffin

It's the WebGL capacity

Well, the first issue I've got with it is that Google Chrome Frame is WebGL enabled. Bad enough that to disable webgl in Chrome proper you have to change the launch target and add a command line switch (because Christ forbid it be something you can configure in a conf file somewhere, or in the normal settings interface). But if IE doesn't do WebGL because Microsoft think it's a bad idea for security reasons and then Google release a way that users without admin rights can have a webGL capable browser *anyway*....well, that's pretty bad.

Of course, I'm one of the people who thinks that letting webservers send content directly to my graphics card is very obviously a really shit idea. Someone who eg develops content to exploit this function and therefore sees this as a way to get a greater target audience might differ.

0
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@AC 10:13

Oh noes, they made you has audit software! THE BASTARDS! How dare they try to, eg, ensure they're not made liable for someone installing the Totally Legit PirateBay Edition Adobe Suite!

You may not be a numpty, but there are a fuck of a lot of numpties out there and when you're dealing with hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of machines the sane operating principle remains "deny all except".

Educating users is a great idea, assuming the users actually understand. The reason a lot of sysadmins still have jobs is that for a fuck of a lot of users, computers are still magic boxes that bring the Internet home and let them play games.

I'm somewhat surprised that you've not been able to make a case to your local IS team for how to practically improve the user experience by making some simple changes to login scripts, based on your complaints. Assuming you've actually bothered to engage them instead of just assuming they're dicks for not letting you have what you want straight away...

15
3

30,000 Shreks besmirch BeautifulPeople

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Really, guys? Really?

I hope they at least *paid* you to run this ridiculous load of old bollocks...

That being said, I'm somewhat curious as to what the vetting process is. How do they avoid people just engaging in that finest of internet pastimes, ie bunging around half a dozen .jpgs that they claim are Definitely Pictures Of Me, Guv, I Swear, I'm Totally That Hot Blonde And Not Eg. An Overweight Bloke With An Internet Connection And An Interesting Sense Of Humour?

2
1

Kindle Store awash with auto-generated crap 'books'

Captain Underpants
FAIL

Did we both read the same article?

Was this just a lazy automatic reaction of playing the "ZOMG! NOT GIVING UP MY PAPER BOOKS FOR ANYONE!" card, just because someone mentioned the Kindle Store?

'Cos if it wasn't, I'd like to know how you got from "Kindle Store listings are full of crap that gets in the way of buying the book you want" to "Kindle books are being hacked and spammed in a way that makes them unusable"...

9
0

BOFH: CSI Haxploitation Cube Farm Apocalypse

Captain Underpants
Happy

There's only one thing that could've made this better...

...and that would be if Moss from The IT Crowd had featured somehow :D

4
0

LucasArts Day of the Tentacle

Captain Underpants
Thumb Up

Only one problem here

...which is that LucasArts have, for some reason, not made DotT available on Steam. Get on it, LA, there are loads of us willing to pay cold hard cash for another chance to play the game :)

2
1

Nintendo: no DVD, BD playback for Wii U

Captain Underpants
FAIL

Goddamnit, Nintendo. Goddamnit.

The man definitely has a point, I mean it's definitely not like the Gamecube lost out to a technically inferior console like the PS2 in part because the PS2 could also be used as a DVD player at no extra cost.

Oh, wait.

The Wii didn't suffer this fate against the PS3 or 360 primarily because the cost difference between them was enormous, but if the Wii U is going to be a significant upgrade from the Wii there's no hope in hell it's going to cost anywhere near £200 on launch, at which point why not at least give people with big disc libraries the option of playing them with their new box and reducing the total number of devices they own? I mean, the cost of adding the functionality's going to be at best fuck-all compared to the overall cost of the device - that bloody controller looks like it's going to cost the better part of £100 just by itself.

Of course, Nintendo are a bit schizophrenic at the best of times when it comes to predicting how new tech will fare - just look at how prescient they were with the Ultra 64^W^W Nintendo 64 using more expensive carts because nobody would want to use those gimmicky CD things...and that's before you look at the Cthuluesque monstrosity that they rolled out as a controller, presumably developed in response to the excessive comfort and ease of use present in other controllers on the market at the time.

Then there's the whole notion of having a Wii Shop that lets you buy game downloads but which took something like 4 or 5 years to implement a working demo system. When you compare it to the likes of Steam it doesn't look particularly impressive... In fact, fuck it - when you compare it to the average system used to sell Java apps to mobile phone users in about 2006 it doesn't look impressive.

They've made some great consoles and some truly amazing games, but it amazes me just how regularly Nintendo manage to make high-level decisions by thinking with someone's arse.

0
0

MoD plans 'name and shame' crackdown on crap projects

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

So close, and yet so far

So he realises they need to do something, but doesn't want to actually do anything himself like, oh, implement contractual standards with meticulously defined financial bollock-kickings for any supplier who takes the piss with their project?

I'm reminded of the Billy Connolly skit about the dangerous dogs act and the Tattooed Fuckwits - where the government started from a stance circa "Shoot them! Cut their balls off! Cut their balls off first, *then* shoot them! Never mind the shooting, just give 'em a hefty boot to the balls! etc" but somehow arrived at "Make people register them at the Post Office". Because that gets the Tattoooed Fuckwits quaking in their boots, doesn't it?

0
0

Steer clear of the desktop virtualisation bootstorm

Captain Underpants
Gimp

Re: Only a surprise to noobs

That's pretty much what I was thinking - you'd have to have been pretty crap in your initial project to *not* think "Hmm, how're we going to deal with peak load situations?" I mean it's not like they don't already happen even with domain-bound workstations that use networked authentication and home directories...

Yes, there'll still be idiots who get caught out by it, but then that's the nature of idiots, isn't it?

1
0

IATA: this iPad could BRING DOWN A PLANE

Captain Underpants
Meh

Oh fer Christ's sake, it's very simple:

Either:

a) there's a signifcant risk - in which case Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers can (at the behest of national aviation authorities, if need be) conduct in-lab tests using a sample set of devices to determine what, if any, interference is caused and how to deal with it, and the nature of the interference will determine the nature of the solution, or

b) there's no significant risk, in which case shut the hell up and leave me alone when I'm listening to my mp3 player/using my EEE/whatever.

In either case, relying on the opinions of a bunch of non-technically-trained in-flight staff who've already got a tough job placating a large herd of humans in an enclosed and cramped space is pretty much guaranteed to get you nowhere. What proportion of flight crew staff do you reckon could tell you what the operating frequency for 802.11b wireless signals is, much less what aircraft equipment is likely to experience problems due to the presence of said signals?

I'm all for caution in the face of unknowns, but given how many laptop-bearing people we punt around the sky on a daily basis in giant metal cigars with wings, it's way past time that someone actually undertook some definitive research to answer the bloody question. It would greatly improve the likelihood of success if this someone were an actual scientist with a background in electronics.

8
3

Dragon scoops Expansys into his Marlow den

Captain Underpants
Devil

If I were them I'd expect the market to remain challenging too

Their prices are uncompetitive and there's really not much reason for anyone to buy something from them instead of from any of half a dozen alternatives. Especially when competitors aren't owned by that gimboid Peter Jones....

1
0

Boris-Bike firm penalised by £5m over system hiccups

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

As others have mentioned, someone's left their thinking meat at home...

So the solution to coping with high demand is to increase pricing to reduce demand, rather than providing greater resources to meet demand?

Well, ok then...all you'll do is ensure that fewer people use the damn things and thus undermine your own goals, but don't let that stop you from thinking with your arse.

6
0

Has Steve Jobs killed the consumer hard disk industry?

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

You haven't really thought this through, have you?

Right. So you'd be happy doing the same thing with movies, would you? Oh, wait, there's no film equivalent of Spotify. Oh, wait, the bandwidth involved in streaming films is punishing when compared to the standards imposed by most ISPs (especially if you're including mobile telcos in that equation). And that's before we get to games - I'm far from a hardcore gamer but the last 4 games I bought on steam were 26GB of downloads between 'em (Portal 2, Arkham Asylum, Far Cry 1 & 2) - fancy streaming that each time you want to play?

What's that, you say? You're in the boonies and there's no signal, and the only place you can get network access is a hotel charging you through the nose for a share of a crappy highly-contented 1MB/s line? Sucks to be you.

There may be certain areas where the need for local spinning-platter storage is diminishing, but to extrapolate from there to all other areas is the reasoning of a five-star numpty.

2
0
Captain Underpants
Alert

150Mb/s in practice sounds a bit optimistic

150Mb/s in practice for consumer wireless? Most consumer wireless kit I've seen still seems to be in the 50-200 Mb/s In Theory region. Sure, there's higher-end gear available, but I wouldn't have expected it to be widely used (and, let's be honest, until ISPs start bundling such gear with new connections or upgrades, it won't be).

Even allowing for wireless kit that gives 150Mb/s in practice, if you're using said wireless connectivity to retrieve data from a non-local network bound resource, you're stuffed in terms of being anywhere close to as fast as syncing via cable to a local terminal with the data you want.

4
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Contrary to popular belief, the Fruity Ones don't control all human behaviour...

As far as I can tell, this article is basically saying "Because Apple says so, everyone will shove *all their stuff* on the cloud and stop having local copies or backups of anything".

That seems a bit suspect to me

5
0

Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech by default

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

There's a lot scary about it, actually

Firstly, they rolled it out on the sly as an opt-out service.

Secondly, they haven't made any statement about who will be given access to the information they used to build up their identification algorithm. Let's say, for instance, I don't like giving Facebook my photos, but friends of mine keep putting up photos of me and tagging me in them. How do I tell Facebook I don't want them to profile me based on those photos nor suggest my name for other photos of me?

It's a bugger of a thing, really.

4
0
Captain Underpants
Happy

Oh you genius you

Give the man a medal, he's just invented Rickrolling 2.0!

11
0
Captain Underpants
Happy

There's a better approach

Which I assume lots of people follow, myself included - which is to not only withhold some sensitive info (why the hell do I want Zuckercorp to know when my birthday is?) and outright lie about others (where I live, who I work for).

Who knew peeing in the data pool could be so much fun?

4
0

Apple ignores dozens of iCloud domains

Captain Underpants

TBH I thought most registrars offered something like this

Most registrars should offer you the chance (!) to pay them a bit more money per annum and put their details down as the registrar, but in such a way as not to fall foul of ICANN rules. I'd imagine it's most useful for domains relating to small businesses operating out of residential properties...

1
0

Stealth-cam software snaps laptop looter

Captain Underpants
Facepalm

@Richy

I can attest to the contrary, having had two stolen in the last month.

Don't let facts get in the way of being a dickhead, though.

1
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Up

Nice idea, I'd like a Windows-friendly version please :)

Having recently been burgled and had my laptop & netbook nicked, I'd be more than happy to pay a few quid for a windows equivalent of this. Anyone got any suggestions of suitable packages?

0
0

BPI works out how to put PG stickers on downloads

Captain Underpants
Devil

@Lamont

Presumably they expect this to get them in with the Mumsnet Brigade...can a "Mumsnet-approved" sticker campaign be far behind?

3
0

El Reg pays by phone – mmmm, free cookies!

Captain Underpants
Devil

Let's be honest, this is aimed more at retailers than punters

It's seriously unlikely that the ability to pay by phone is going to become more widespread than the ability to pay by debit card any time soon, and as far as I can tell the sales pitch here is that retailers can process transactions "faster" and deal with queues more effectively.

I want precisely feckin' *none* of it, because I'd only ever want it tied to something like a 3v card and at that point I might as well just get in the habit of having an emergency tenner stashed in my pocket somewhere.

2
0

Ten... Core i5 laptops

Captain Underpants
Trollface

@Mark 65: TBH they're all pretty feeble

Don't get me wrong, it's tedious that even the 15" models in the review feature a max res of 1366x768 - it's grudgingly tolerable at a 13" size but at 15" higher resolutions should damn well be available.

I was trying to suggest that claiming the MBP's screen is a selling point when it's got basically the same rather crap resolution as the rest of them is a bit silly.

0
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@hlovatt - cry harder or get a helmet

I can't help but notice you don't mention the way that, for all your (incorrect) claims about the 13" MBP having an IPS panel, it still has a fairly crappy screen resolution. It also has a non-user-replaceable battery. It also has a pretty bad business-quality warranty - compare Applecare (which has been improved from the terrible "ring Apple, then take it to the shop, then wait two weeks, then go to the shop, then get it back" service to the still pretty rubbish "ring apple, then get it collected the next day, then wait a week, then get it back) to Dell or Toshiba, both of whom offer very reasonably priced (ie ~£100-£150 at consumer pricing) 3-year Next Business Day On-Site support coverage.

But no, you keep on crying about how using your MacBook Pro is like getting head while riding a unicorn through fairyland...

3
2

Netflix overtakes Bittorrent as traffic champ

Captain Underpants
Badgers

It's extremely sad that this is a surprise

But then again the kind of large companies that monetise copyrighted content aren't exactly fast to come up with new business models, and always seem to think that complaining about piracy is the best and only way to deal with new technologies.

I've been waiting for several years to be able to sign up for a UK equivalent of Netflix - just for streaming. I can live with DRM and non-Linux support, so long as I can use it for impulse-buy streaming. I know plenty of others who'd do the same thing, if it were reasonably priced.

10
0

Page: