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* Posts by MrMcginty

27 posts • joined 20 Apr 2011

Tiny transforming bots: Meet these self-assembling 'thoughtful' droids

MrMcginty

Hitch-hikers

Reminds me of the 'upgraded' origami-bird version of the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy in 'Mostly Harmless' and subsequent audio adaptations.

And the 'skittering' (00.48 - soooo creepy!) reminds me of the 'pull-toy' a technician invented for James Cameron so that a face-hugger could chase Ripley and Newt in 'Aliens'.

[Where's the 'side-nerdiness' icon?]

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PORNAGEDDON: Sexy bloggrs stung by Tumblr smut smackdown

MrMcginty
Holmes

Naturally

Tumblr is starting to succumb to ad-cancer anyway - mostly in the form of PRs who approach Tumblr bloggers with a very high number of followers and pay them to introduce patently-sponsored content (i.e. for some awful movie that isn't currently likely to succeed on its own merits) without labelling it as such. And that's just the elliptical route - in my opinion interstitials and worse are coming. But it was a glorious few years.

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Microsoft: Still using Office installed on a PC? Gosh, you squares

MrMcginty

God save me from the cloud

Since my company decided to save a few shekels by moving from Exchange to 365, my colleagues and I have gone from getting inter-company mails within seconds to having to wait several minutes or more, sometimes with catastrophic results, as those 'Stop that traaain!' emails never arrive in time these days. Luckily I have a virtual Windows install on the company Mac which still gets mail via Exchange, but it's hardly ideal. These missives now travel thousands of miles to arrive twenty feet.

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IT design: You're not data, you're a human being

MrMcginty

Very glad that someone is at least thinking about this

When you have a practical monopoly, you can dictate terms, and Apple were so successful for so long in getting their consumers to do things Apple's way, that the mindset seems to have changed from 'What does the customer want?' to a kind of design imperialism - as if these products were coming out of some Ministry Of Technology which expects that the proles will just have to read the pamphlets and adjust their habits. They figure that if we want it that bad (iPhones and the shiny mobile space, next-gen game consoles, access to new TV and movies, etc) we will get it on the producers' terms or not at all.

Only recently have there been major signs of customer-dissension actually changing this mindset, such as the MS U-turn on some of the nastier proposed features of the XBox One, and the grudging semi-return of the Windows start menu. But everyone outside Apple has just been dazzled at the degree to which unwanted or unwelcome changes can be forced on customers without any major penalty on sales (if any).

As regards computing, I think the argument is skewed by the 'middle bell' consumers you mention. Before the reductionist age of the iPhone came in, we were talking about a band of people (and lets avoid demographics here, insert your own prejudices) who formerly relied on spouses, friends and relatives to set up and/or troubleshoot their computing experiences.

With practically all the options taken away (apart from the colour of the iPhone case), there was little left that could go wrong anymore. Today's middle-bell computing consumers feel liberated from the thrall of geeks, I think, and to boot have become the defining force in the consumer marketplace. What they will accept, en masse, is what the rest of us will end up with, like it or lump it.

On the plus side, it's still the same crazy jumble of spaghetti wires behind the shiny shiny, and those who are able to work with that can still do so, and arguably have better tools to do this than they have ever had. And, mostly, the tools are free.

It's just that geeks have to work harder these days to get their own computing experience 'their way'. And many of the most popular consumer products, following the iPhone/iPad model, are hermetically sealed in every sense imaginable. That won't change, so long as the numerous middle-bell consumers keep consuming.

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Dell explores wearable computing as PC base crumbles

MrMcginty

"Having a watch on your wrist – that's pretty interesting, pretty appealing."

Available technology since 1868.

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Schwarzenegger says 'I'll be back' for Terminator 5 reboot

MrMcginty
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I need a vac-ay-shun

Oh my God, stop.

I was mystified by T4 - without the time-travel element (and there was bloody little in that movie), it's just another VFX-engorged post-apocalypse shoot-em-up. Do agree with the comment above that Arnie could have moved into T5 quite effectively.

If the film industry had been like this in the 1970s, the likes of All The President's Men, Klute, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Taxi Driver et al would have been 13-parters on HBO, AMC, Netflix etc - no chance whatsover of being made as movies.

I love films, and oddly enough I love visual effects, but I am tired of McBlockbusters.

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When Apple needs speed and security in Mac OS X, it turns to Microsoft

MrMcginty
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What a relief

This is good news for me, since in every working environment of mine in the last 12 years I have had to force the IT department to connect my Macs to the servers via Samba, which has a tendency to kill the default search capabilities of OSX on your own Mac, but is in other respects essential to get any goddamned work done.

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We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

MrMcginty

CCTV

For your safety and security

Bulls&hit. Your chance to end up on Britain's Most Murdered.

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Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

MrMcginty
Alert

Re: Where do...

El Reg is dipping into tenuous territory (which, admittedly, it can't legitimately avoid) with these articles examining what we all give away as the creators of 'Big Data'. In the case of The Register, which I have faithfully followed for about 11 years, we aren't just the product, we are also the entertainment. We gather together and amuse each other, with a huge number of us just reading enough of the article to be able to enjoy the comment threads. If there ever is an 'awakening' among the previously-grateful adherents of Facebook, Twitter etc, that awakening will inevitably include all those sites, such as this one, the value of which is primarily provided for nothing by its readers. Or, should I say, 'contributors'..?

This isn't a pop at The Reg - I love this site (though I'd be glad of the option to subscribe to it at a moderate price and turn all ads off). I just feel that the day is coming when the best of us men 'on the Clapham Omnibus' might realise that we are giving away something marketable for free, and have been doing so for a very long time. And no, I wouldn't count myself among the best, but you guys know who you are.

Our viewing stats, number of comments per thread, number (ironically) of Facebook and other Social Media 'Likes', 'Retweets' etc, are all inevitably trotted out to advertisers and potential advertisers to maintain or raise the price of MPU and leaderboard campaigns. Without us, there is no 'conversation' (though I vomit at another ordinary English word being appropriated and poisoned by marketing folks). And without that conversation, there is no money - and no site.

I wonder how long the situation will remain this unilateral?

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Adobe's Creative Cloud fails at being a cloud

MrMcginty
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Re: Cloudiness

The 'Pick one app' price is an absolute joke: £17.58 for one app vs. £46.88 for 'most' of their 'most popular applications'. The 'all-you-can-eat' price..? I guess they're still working up the courage to announce that one.

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Murdoch Facebook gloat: You're like my $580m, 'CRAPPY' MySpace

MrMcginty

For over £250m...

...he has paid full price, at the very least, for his little rant.

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Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE

MrMcginty
Big Brother

Stalkiness factor

Yeah but you can't record me without looking like a great stalky creep, pointing your phone at me while the screen illuminates your face like a pantomime villain.

Wear Google Glass and it's a very different social proposition.

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PayPal security boss: OBLITERATE passwords from THE PLANET

MrMcginty

Re: No thanks...

Surely a retinal or fingerprint scanner should have built into it a sensor which confirms blood-flow in the digit/eyeball being used to identify?

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Whatever happened to self-service computing?

MrMcginty
Facepalm

Meh

The whole imperative in IT self-service is to cut the geeks out of the equation - always was, always will be; to create flexible and brilliant systems that highly socialised non-geek managers and mid-level workers can use to realise their objectives without the need for any interstitial nerds. As one of those nerds, I'm not offended by this, twas ever thus.

But neither do I feel overly threatened. Time and again I have seen the target audience for these systems inevitably come crawling back to the Geek Squad, because they possess so little technical or geek acumen that they don't even know which questions they need to ask. NASA-style, they're not scared, because they don't understand the problem.

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Public cloud will grow when experienced IT folks DIE

MrMcginty
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Idiocracy

Maybe future outages can be addressed with toilet water.

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Google patent filing suggests Glass will be ULTIMATE REMOTE

MrMcginty
WTF?

Give me a break

My journey to work is already plagued by bad passive iPod music, whistling message alerts and people who have set their fondleslabs and smartphones to emit a feedback sound every time ANY kind of button is pressed. I just know these hipster jerks are ulcerating to sit their with future-tech glasses going "Set reminder - Giles and Sorcha, 28th, wheat free...check Facebook...tab...tab...like...like...retweet...tab...tab..."

Maybe the judge will let me off.

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Kickstarted mobe charger 'kicked to death by Apple'

MrMcginty
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Story completely wrong

The link provided in the article - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/siminoff/pop-the-intersection-of-charging-and-design/posts - tells a different story. Apple changed the rules after Wired brought this to the world's attention. The project is going ahead, and the makers are opening a crate of champagne, from the tone of the post.

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McFlurry McMisdemeanour costs Welsh lass McJob

MrMcginty

Re: Gross misconduct.....

Gross misconduct is grounds for summary dismissal. You don't need three warnings, which you DO need to can someone for lesser forms of misconduct.

By coincidence a mate of mine wants to pop into McDonalds with me today, an unpleasant happening at the best of times, and made the more sour by this piece.

I'll have the fries - it's about the only thing they do (apart from milkshakes) that doesn't - usually - look sad and depressed when compared to the menu pictures.

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Entire London 2012 Olympics' cultural events database held on Excel

MrMcginty
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Tabloid

BTW, Yes, EL Reg IS a tabloid - it's even got the red/white header to nail its populist colours to the mast. So what? Personally I treat it as an informational coffee-break with plenty of misjudged moments jostling with strokes of brilliance. If El Ed had to sit down and generate a Ben Bradlee-style ulcer before deciding to post a frivolous piece of amusing nonsense like this, it'd be a sorry state of affairs for the site.

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MrMcginty
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Swiss Army Knife of software

/agedp *approves*

Without Excel, my dad would never have been able to make the transition to the digital age for his work. He uses it for everything, won't touch Word and probably wishes Excel had better bitmap support so he could dump Photoshop.

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Chinese army: We really need to get into cyber warfare

MrMcginty
Pint

Careful now...

...you might end up having to set up a slideshow with subliminal messages and buy them all a pint.

< Uncle Sam has discovered a chink in his armour... >

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Are_You_Right_There,_Father_Ted

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Google rolls its Facebook mimic onto rest of web

MrMcginty

PageRank

Google have been saying for at least two years that PageRank is being phased out, but this may be the omen that begins to convince the dozen or so PR companies I work with that the days of measuring the 'green bar' are numbered. I think the next major iteration of the Google Dance is going to be 'Like'-led, as I always believed. But foolishly I didn't think Google were going to get in on that act directly.

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Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

MrMcginty
WTF?

Ditch Mars?

I thought this was supposed to be harking back to the PKD story, the way Carpenter did with the original source material for The Thing? Why get rid of Mars? Damn the 1990 film, it was in the bloody Philip K. Dick story.

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Billionaire Zuckerberg kills to eat

MrMcginty
Stop

Too much free time

You only have to delve lightly into the customisation of Facebook profiles to watch the supposedly dumbed-down 'user experience' suddenly descend into the depths of PHP programming. Dare I suggest his work here is not yet done.

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Fairlight: The Rolls Royce of synthesizers

MrMcginty

Mostly used for sounds effects in 'Aliens'. Mostly.

On the DVD extras for the quadrilogy and anthology editions of 'Aliens', it's mentioned that James Cameron did tons of sound effects in his hotel suite with a Fairlight during the production of that movie in 1985.

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Calling all commentards: Want some new icons?

MrMcginty

I get Slashdotted...

...using 'Anonymous Coward' entries most weeks, they really don't care who submits or how, since they log IP addresses and use those to enforce temporary bans where needed.

Though I admit, I too am sick of the endless dicking about with the comments.

New icon: Robbie The Robot ("***k off, I'm having a geek moment"), to limit the use of the 'Reg gravestone' whenever an article on geek movies/TV etc goes up.

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New double-barrelled Taser unveiled

MrMcginty

Robocop

Every time I see the latest shock-and-awe tech from US police, I can't help but envision Dick Jones testing it on an intern in his glass-walled office, and maybe nodding in approval over their collapsed carcass as the smoke settles.

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