Feeds

* Posts by A K Stiles

49 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

A K Stiles
Pint

But the most important question...

What was the beer like at The Star?

0
0

Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

A K Stiles
Facepalm

I'll just leave this here...

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

(it's the Oatmeal - it might be considered NSFW?)

0
0

Innovation creates instability, you say? BLASPHEMY, you SCUM

A K Stiles
IT Angle

Re: rm is temporary...

I'd assumed it was something to do with Research Machines...

0
0

Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys

A K Stiles
Mushroom

population growth

Never mind that they are making more Playmobil 'folk' every second than the human race does, they probably also don't reduce their population at anything like the rate we do either.

Frankly you're going to have to do much better (worse?) on the LOHAN test missions to try and bring the expiry figures into some sense of parity!

(icon for how the recent SPEARS mission didn't go...)

2
0

LOHAN spaceplane 'Punch and Judy' test flights live online

A K Stiles
Pint

Looks like a successful launch and recovery

From the earlier streaming coverage and tracker maps, both balloons launched successfully and reached altitudes around 90,000ft. Punch, Richard and Judy then descended gracefully back to earth between Evesham and Tewkesbury, where they were retrieved before the 2 tracking vehicles retreated for a post mission debrief.

They were last seen in the vicinity of The Star in Ashton Under Hill, so we're expecting the follow up report to also include a review of the available refreshments!

6
0

'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

A K Stiles
Headmaster

Re: "Apple has been roundly spanked for sticking to smaller displays in its iPhones"

Please - irrespective or regardless. (the 'ir' is effectively a negating prefix, so if it existed, 'irregardless' would be a double negative and therefore mean 'with regards to')

Yes, I know it's pedantic and petty, but pretty please?

4
0

Police pen shortage threatens Irish public order

A K Stiles
Joke

Re: What they need is...

Hmm - n sure whether that requires up or down voting...

If you'd gone with 'gimmericks' and possibly 'pyrrerhic', it would definitely have been up, just for the joy of inventing words to rhyme more closely.

2
0
A K Stiles
Coat

Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

Is a custody suit one where the jacket fastens up the back, and the sleeves are a bit too long?

3
0

Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

A K Stiles
WTF?

Seeking enlightenment?

Hey 404 - 'Curbstomp' - not one I'd come across before but, nasty. Any chance you could expand on 'TH' for the hard of thinking? Options I found so far were 'Table Header' (non xHTML compliant), Thorium, the Thai language, but none of them seemed to fit the context...

0
0

Achtung NIMBYs! BT splurges extra £50m on fibre broadband rollout

A K Stiles
Pirate

Ah, but you see, it would cost BT too much if they laid FTTP everywhere. Not that FTTP infrastructure is significantly more expensive than FTTC, just that they couldn't also then continue to rake in the £15+ per month per install in line rental for the land-line phone that many people no longer want / need, on top of the £5 a month* advertised broadband charge.

(* rising to £20 per month after 3 months**

** rising to £30 per month after a further 6 months***

*** what do you mean "dubious advertising practices" and "locked in contracts"?)

5
0

Pay-by-bonk on the blink: O2 loses Wallet

A K Stiles

Re: The real problem is people like real cash

It's true enough. I'd be happy with a digital cash card, if it had a display (eg e-ink) to show what the balance was, and would be wirelessly powered / charged from the cash machine / pay terminal everytime you use it, add money, and where I could transfer a specific amount of money to someone else's card by some simple mechanism of bringing the 2 devices together, perhaps with an optional one-time validation code required (like bluetooth pairing?) .

1
0

Smarty Ring promises technology at your fingertips

A K Stiles
Pint

Hopefully IP rated...

for the first time you wash your hands or, theistic paradise forbid, spill your pint!

1
0

Revealed: How Microsoft DNS went titsup globally on Xbox One launch day

A K Stiles

Re: Because, of course, internal systems never, ever fail

The other reason to do things internally and not rely on the cloudy services is that these sorts of changes can and probably should be timed to roll-out when any unforeseen issues will cause the least issue to your organisation. Persuade Microsoft to co-ordinate with all their clients so the timings aren't potentially painful?

1
0

Asus NV550JV 15.6in full HD notebook - the one we didn't have to send back

A K Stiles
Facepalm

Track pad alignment

The track pad looks like it is actually centred on the main keyboard, but the numeric keypad to the side makes that be 'not-centred' to the whole laptop and therefore screen. For touch typing that may be a good thing, but without trying it I couldn't say where would be best (in my subjective opinion). Oh, also an adaptable Left-hander.

but yes, why is it so difficult to find a laptop with a better than HD screen? HD is for television, not computing!

(Doh! icon 'cos it's a left-handed face-palm)

3
0

Kamikaze Moon mission on track as NASA grips its tumbling LADEE

A K Stiles
Boffin

Re: PLEASE

For me, the compelling argument is that scientists globally (not just America / NASA) can bounce a laser off reflector pads that were left on the moon's surface by the Apollo missions and thus determine the exact distance between us (at that particular moment). As it only works when the laser hits the right spot (about 4 square linguini?) and not generally from the moon's surface, how do the deniers deal with that?

0
0

Dixons in talks to offload loss-making online mart PIXmania

A K Stiles
Devil

It' still going?

I made the mistake of buying something from Pixmania 5 or 6 years ago - it was such an unpleasant experience that I've blanked a load of it from my mind, but I do remember the delivery taking the best part of a month, and then the items turned up with built-in European 12-volt adapter plugs (not clear during the order process and not an easy cut and replace option) along with a couple of UK style plug-adapters - that didn't fit over the transformer part of the euro plugs! Sent an email pointing out the problem, to which the first response was "but all our stuff has euro plugs on, you should have got adapters in the box", resent the email highlighting the fact that their adapters didn't fit and eventually got a Gallic shrug of a response which essentially said "we can send you some more adapters if you like, or we could refund you £3 so you can buy your own."

Never used them again, and recommended avoidance to anyone I knew who was considering them for a purchase.

5
0

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: The mobe for CHUCK NORRIS TYPES

A K Stiles
Pint

Eagle IPA?

I'm glad to see you didn't actually waste any Eagle for the purposes of that photo - looks more akin to some love-boat-lager (carling / bud - the american one). Either that or someone didn't flush through the pipe cleanser before pouring the beer!

1
0

LOHAN cops a faceful of smutronyms

A K Stiles
Alert

SPITS

Satellite

Powered

Incursion

Termination

System

0
0

Boffin snatches control of colleague's BODY with remote control BRAIN HAT

A K Stiles

Re: ssh person@kitchen

obligatory xkcd reference?

http://xkcd.com/149/

0
0

IP telly upstart stuffs Comedy Central, MTV in Freeview box

A K Stiles
Angel

Re: Does God TV sound bad, particularly?

or perhaps you just hear lots of people telling you how great it is, but you can never actually see it for yourself?

5
0

Microsoft announces execution date for failed QR code-killer

A K Stiles

Use of QR Codes

Something you can print with a standard printer, that you could run off a hundred copies using the office photocopier (assuming it didn't do some failed pattern recognition substitution!), or some circuitry required to be applied to every copy you make... I don't see QR codes vanishing overnight in favour of NFC.

The one thing that has disappointed me with QR codes is that I've only ever seen them used for URL links to more information, rather than actually putting some useful information into the QR code itself - it just seems like a missed opportunity.

3
0

Boffins: We have FOOLED APPLE with malware app

A K Stiles
Coat

Re: Objective-C runtime

slightly OT and I realise you meant 'instantiate' (at least I think that's what you meant), but I'm now quite intrigued by the concept of a class being 'insatiated' - perhaps it needs to be struck by lightning then attempts to absorb the entire contents of wikipedia, AND check all the cross-references. (©1986, Tristar Pictures)

6
0

Fanbois smash iPhone 5s much sooner than iPhone 3s ... but WHY?

A K Stiles
Thumb Up

Re: Actually

upvote, purely for

"more slippery than a weasel on an ice rink"!

2
0
A K Stiles
Holmes

Or perhaps...

the 3 has been around for longer so the survey has some multiple year values to drag up the average which the 5 doesn't?

Nah - who am I kidding - from what I read on here, nobody's keeping an iphone for one year, let alone several !

9
0

Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

A K Stiles
Unhappy

It's during these sorts of conversations... <kids spoiler alert!>

That I feel inclined to mention Santa Claus. How many of us were told as small kids that Santa would bring us presents if we were good (enough)? How many of us still believe in a 'current' Santa (not the historical philanthropist chap), and there was evidence (presents) that he'd been to visit, even at the time we stopped believing. Even at the age of thirty-mumble I sometimes still get evidence of him, even if he has handwriting like a girl (very similar to my mother as a comparison sample).

And yet people who were willing to stop believing in the magic-present-man are still utterly convinced that there is/are m/(deity)*/ interested in and mystically guiding their individual lives.

2
0

The IT crowd: Fiercely loyal geeks or 'inflexible, budget-padding' creeps?

A K Stiles

Tripartite IT departments

A place I used to work had essentially 3 areas of IT - Helpdesk, Infrastructure and Developers.

Helpdesk seemed to spend a huge amount of time dealing with inane user requests (My mouse doesn't work! - might that be because the ball is so coated in gunk that it won't turn any more / the buttons are glued down with spilled sugary coffee?), Infrastructure had a defined role of ensuring the servers (iSeries & Windows) were as close to 100% available as possible, which was translated into "No changes must happen!" and the Devs who were trying to build new systems from user specs along the lines of "It would be nice if the system could do 'X'.

I had the joy of working in a couple of those areas during my time there and the Devs generally saw Infrastructure as the people who tried their hardest to stop the Devs from doing their jobs. Infrastructure saw the Devs as a bunch of dangerous individuals who were clearly intent on taking down the company systems at every possible opportunity, and they both saw helpdesk as a collection of barely competent monkeys who had difficulty sorting out the most basic issues and who would fail to gather even the most rudimentary information before promoting a support request to one or other of them, all in an effort to meet some spurious management kpi about time spent resolving queries.

It definitely seemed that sometimes what they all forgot was that they were there to try and ensure the users could do their job with as little hassle and effort as possible, as that was what brought the money through the door!

Although I still don't understand why the infrastructure guys were always the ones with the newest, shiniest computers to just run a terminal emulator, system status monitor software and an email client, whilst the developers tried to use 5 year old, underpowered desktops to run full IDEs, multiple local development VM instances and more, alongside the terminal emulators and email client. Well, I do understand it - they were the ones in control of the procurement budget...

2
1

Author Iain (M) Banks falls to cancer at 59

A K Stiles
Thumb Up

Re: If you are a fan of Iain. M. Banks, may I recommend...

I'd second that recommendation and add Peter F. Hamilton to the mix. Include Mr Pratchett and you're covering the majority of my bookshelves.

1
0
A K Stiles
Unhappy

Sadly Missed

I've read just about everything he's written since I was loaned a copy of the Wasp Factory in 1995. Love the Culture stuff - it just seems so right and something to which we could aspire. Love, and occassionally am quite perturbed by, the 'straight' fiction - some of it is quite twisted. Met the man once - seemed like a lovely, down to earth kind of a guy with whom it would have been nice to spend a quiet evening or two in the pub.

I found out about the diagnosis about a month ago and struggled to avoid having to explain why I had tears in my eyes. Now I'm trying to avoid sobbing out loud. It truly feels like I've lost a good friend or a member of my family.

Iain - thank you for all the good times and for the days when I stayed up all night reading your work.

4
0

Al Gore: Stop using the atmosphere as 'AN OPEN SEWER'

A K Stiles

Re: I expect to hear the MMCC co2 believers now

I am wondering slightly (but not enough to actually type it in to Google at the moment) when the last 500-year flood was in southern Germany...

4
0

MIND CONTROL HAT makes CHOPPER do what BRAIN says

A K Stiles
Pint

And as for the rest of it?

Nice idea, but having had recent experience of an EEG 'hat' (I'm not crazy, I've been tested!), there's a load of calibration work to fit it, not to mention quantities of electro-conductive gel to be applied to your head through each sensor, and try not to clench your jaw or move your eyes too much 'cos the electrical signals from the muscles will generate some serious interference - hence the fact that the guy in the video has a bit of a dopey look due to trying to keep his head and neck relaxed whilst imagining clenching his hands.

If you can get round a lot of the messy application, recalibration and dopey relaxation issues by inserting a sensor once with a simple* procedure then that actually has some appeal for real-world applications.

*I am (clearly) not a nerosurgeon, so for a given value of 'simple'.

Beer, 'cos it helps with the relaxation!

4
0

Oi, Google! Stop LIBELLING us Germans, fix your autocomplete

A K Stiles
Facepalm

Re: "Germans are ..."

you may have a thumb up for spotting the entirely deliberate and required* mistake, although it wasn't grammatical, so much as lexical.

1
0
A K Stiles
Headmaster

Re: "Germans are ..."

Sorry, I realise it's OT and definitely Grammar Nazi territory, but I see it more and more and it annoys me in direct correlation with visibility. The phrase if "different FROM ..." , not "different than ...".

You differ from something, not differ than something

just like you can be similar to, or the same as, or equal to something.

You can also be greater than or less than something, but different than just doesn't make sense!

</grammer_rant>

2
0

Rolls-Royce climbs aboard Bloodhound SUPERSONIC car

A K Stiles
Mushroom

Re: Interface (Verb)

IIRC, the EJ200 was designed specifically for the EF2000 Eurofighter Typhoon (other random designation that it's had during its development cycle) with some semblance of thrust vectoring control based on the output of the flight computers. As such, the Bloodhound will therefore need to at least communicate with the engine in a way to control the vectoring, or at least prevent it from adding to the potential to launch the car skywards, or wind up looking like this icon.

0
0

UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?

A K Stiles
Facepalm

Driving licences

These are the ones that bug me - I used to just have a piece of paper with a signature on it. Then I moved house and had to send them a verified photograph so they could send me back a credit card sized thing with my photo, signature and date of birth on it - which is easier to carry and is accepted almost everywhere as a form of id, except for driving, where I'm required to also produce the A4 piece of paper, which duplicates most of the information from the card, except the picture, and has a large space to show whether or not I've been a naughty boy. It is also easier to misplace or lose one or other part of the pair, costing me more money to replace them in order to remain a good little compliant citizen...

1
0
A K Stiles

Mine from c. 2004 doesn't - the only address(es) in it are the multiple layers of next of kin address stickers I've applied to the appropriate page as the bu**ers just wouldn't stay in one place for more than 3 years, let alone 10!

0
0

'Wireless charging' in Galaxy S4 will betray Samsung's best pal

A K Stiles
Devil

A4WP vs WPC ?

SPLITTERS!

0
0

Burger King's tweets fried after hijackers pimp Big Macs

A K Stiles
Pirate

Re: That's amazing.

You've got a combination on your luggage? Blimey, if the baggage handler at the airport wants to rummage through my socks and pants then good luck to them. They'd do it with or without a lock, but my way they only trash your bag throwing it at the aircraft rather than cutting their way in round the zip (allegedly...)

0
0

Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa

A K Stiles
Alien

Warm it, and keep it warm for as long as you can.

To the commenter way back ^ thataways... we did the whole taste-test thing on warmed / not warmed, boiling / not boiling and milk first / milk last. Those of us who didn't pollute our tea with more sugar than a can of cola all (blindly) picked the tea from the pre-warmed pot, made with boiling water, and the milk in first as being the best, where the tea was brewed for about 5 minutes in the pot, from when the brew water was added. (all made with the same brand, same quantity, english breakfast tea).

Warm pot = hotter water for longer = better flavour extraction from the tea.

Boiling water = better flavour extraction from the tea.

Milk first = milk warmed from 277K to a max temperature around 340K (similar to pasturising)

Milk last = milk warmed from 277K to a max temperature around 370K, causing denaturing of milk proteins - think UHT long-life milk flavour - bleurgh!

No milk - perfectly acceptable & better for some blends / varieties than others.

0
0

El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

A K Stiles

The pot's the thing!

Warm the pot with almost boiling water, so you can barely hold on to the sides, empty the water out just as the kettle comes to the boil for making the tea (fresh water, not second boiled).

Add n serving (bag / teaspoon of loose) per person, plus a serving, to the pot and pour on enough boiling water for the number of mugs/cups you are intending to pour, then put the cosy on the pot. Now leave it to mash (don't force it!) for 3-7 minutes.

Milk of choice, in quantity of choice, in the bottom of the mug then fill with tea (stops the milk scalding and tasting weird that way around).

If forced, allow others to add their preferred quantity of sugar (bleuch!) and enjoy.

Or when in the office, bag in mug, boiling water on bag, nip for a wee to let the tea brew (yes, washed my hands, thanks!), remove bag from mug, add splash of skimmed milk, just enough to make it cloudy, then find desk and consider code. Repeat at regular intervals throughout the day, whenever faced with an intractable problem, or when you've just solved an intractable problem.

Key to proper tea is to never, ever, WASH the brewing vessel - that's where the taste is!

0
0

Astronaut yells FIRE ... from SPAAAACE

A K Stiles

Re: Stuff strapped to his arm?

From the twitter feed the other day - He's conducting biological experiments (on himself) and it's part of the monitoring kit for at least one of those experiments.

2
0

Oprah Winfrey tweets her love of Surface – from her iPad

A K Stiles
Happy

Re: HAH, Americans

Probably just an early Tuesday rant, but thank you, thank you, a thousand "thank you"s!

It isn't a "Focus Ford" or an "Astra Vauxhall" (or Opel or whatever local brand GM have consumed where you live). It may or may not be a terrible car, but what it definitely is, is a Reliant built, 3-wheeled, Stig-tripping, Clarkson-rolling Robin.

2
0

Dead Steve Jobs was dead wrong on Flash, bellows ColdFusion man

A K Stiles
Stop

exactly - why do newspaper sites, fora and <insert deity of choice>-knows what other sites insist on trying to get me to install their "great" apps to browse their content. That would be why I have a 'browser'... of course, that doesn't then tie me in to always looking at their site or giving them unrestricted access to the rest of my phonebook / storage / gps data now, does it?

0
0

Young Frenchwoman desperate for fat pipe tumbles out of window

A K Stiles
Gimp

Re: Splendidly misleading title

Ha - and when I read your comment for the first time I thought you'd suggested some restraining, rather than retraining!

1
0

HTC profits lobbed off a cliff by rivals Samsung and Apple

A K Stiles

Missing Functionality

I like HTC phones - my last 3 phones are all HTC devices, and I was recently looking at potential upgrades from my Desire (original version), but the lack of removable storage in the HTC One (whatever version) was definitely a show-stopper for me - I just don't want to use network bandwidth to shuffle potentially large files around from my phone to NAS, and I'm not giving my data to 'the cloud'.

1
0

UK govt to KILL OFF Directgov within weeks

A K Stiles
Stop

Government Gateway ID

I have one of these - what do I use it for? Booking appointments for donating blood and, well, nope - that's it. It's worked fine for 8 years, but suddenly it needs to be killed off and replaced? Will I have to apply for a new ID in writing and then wait months for the new bit of shiny cardboard with the new totally unmemorable string of letters and numbers to turn up so I can access this one service roughly once every 3 months?

0
0

Curiosity snapped mid-flight by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

A K Stiles

Re: Raising the bar

Next they'll get the SPB to help them make it out of paper!

0
0

Cornish pasties awarded protected status

A K Stiles

Re: Re: Devon Pasties are better

Surely that would be Cornish-ish? Mmm - Need to get me one of those now-ish!

0
0

PARIS unveils impressive box

A K Stiles
FAIL

Re: Hmm

Actually there is a word orientate - and it is theoretically more common in the UK whilst the version orient is more common in the US, and as Lester is in the UK...

The short version is slightly older in usage than the long version, as is often the case with Americanisms.

I already knew this - many of my colleagues wouldn't hesitate to agree to my 'Grammar-Nazi' credentials - but just to be sure, I also followed the principle of JFGI and found a source of info that wasn't the online encyclopaedia El Reg loves to hate!

0
1

BOFH: Little ups and downs

A K Stiles
Pint

Index beyond array boundary

Wouldn't that cause a memory leak, or perhaps that would be caused by the falling ceiling tile?

0
0