* Posts by Ian Yates

878 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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Android users more likely to put out

Ian Yates
Joke

You must be holding it wrong

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Airbrushed Rachel Weisz gets watchdog hot under the collar

Ian Yates

I agree

What about banning sales of the product advertised during the offense? Any false publicity they've gained is then moot.

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Ian Yates
Unhappy

Stuff the pictures

when will they be held to account for the fake "science" and "vitamins" they spout?

And their vague concepts of "clinical trials" needs to be regulated, too.

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Sick of Ubuntu's bad breath? Suck on a Linux Mint instead

Ian Yates

Minty fresh

Mint is definitely the no-hassle desktop I'm touting more than Ubuntu recently.

I love what Ubuntu has done to the "consumer" side of GNU/Linux, but the way they're going with UI is best described as "experimental" and is definitely causing some confusion with their original target market.

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Microsoft builds Kinect into Asus laptops

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Black Mirror

Just makes me think of that Black Mirror episode where everything was gesture controlled.

The same as desktop touch-screens: until they can come up with a HID that requires less input for more productivity than a keyboard/mouse combo, it'll never work.

Waving at my screen to go to the desktop is not quicker than Win+D, especially when my left hand is normally within a few centimetres of that part of the keyboard anyway.

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O2 leaks 3G users' mobile numbers to every website visited

Ian Yates

GiffGaff

I'm on GiffGaff and it doesn't include the header for me...

Not aware I've used any unusual settings, so unless O2 have fixed it since the article was published, it doesn't affect everyone.

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Scalextric restarts space race with Star Wars craft

Ian Yates

Ahhh! So when Lucas said he was done performing unsanitary acts on the films, he didn't mean merchandise tie-ins ;)

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Nokia exec praises Brazilian...

Ian Yates
Headmaster

When does the axe become a different axe?

Not to belittle Nokia's achievement (their early phones are certainly worth high praise), but apart from the "S40" name, how similar can they really say the original 7110 OS is to the current handsets?

Obviously, the interface (now in colour) is not the deciding factor; but I'd be a little surprised if they still used the same memory control and general libraries after 13 years... If they are, they hats off to them.

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Ten... IPTV set-top boxes

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

If I ever meet you, I owe you a beer.

It might be £120, but that's a darned sight cheaper than my other options of replacing the whole kit.

I've tried so many things to fix it at the Windows-level, didn't even consider a PHY solution.

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Ian Yates
Unhappy

Humm...

I'm looking to replace my custom HTPC due to Windows not handling HDMI handshake on resume properly (forgets to reconnect sound or screws up the resolution A LOT), but my needs are apparently unique in that I have yet to see a pre-rolled box that fits my needs.

The PS3 comes absolutely closest to what I want, but the 4od and ITVPlayer "apps" are just links to the website and shocking to use, and it looks pretty certain that Sony won't release a DVB-T2 tuner (of which I want a dual anyway)...

I know, pointless mostly off-topic moaning, but I've been trying to find a replacement for months and all of these IPTV boxes are tantalisingly close - the WD TV Live looks great (assuming WD start supporting more UK services), but I'd still need to buy some kind of Blu-ray and FreeviewHD PVR on the side, which puts me back in the switching inputs situation. (My better half wants the most hassle-free solution)

Suggestions strongly welcomed.

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FilmOn

Ian Yates

Useful

This was great when I was in Paris on business, as it doesn't check your location so I could watch UK telly in the hotel (Transformer with HDMI to hotel TV).

I've used it on and off for ages; it's always had that dirty "is this legal?" feel, but it's always worked. Can't see why the commercial channels would complain since you still see the ads.

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Juror jailed for looking up rape defendant on Google

Ian Yates

I came on to say the same: they made it very clear that looking up the case details online was a big no-no.

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Russia and NASA plan to COLONISE the Moon

Ian Yates

I'm pretty sure it'll be a Domino's: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/02/pizza_chain_plans_restaurant_on_the_moon/

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Vodafone manages to fight off £3bn tax bill, claws back cash paid

Ian Yates

"Do you really think that Vodafone plc completely avoids paying all tax in the UK?"

Yes, because they happily admitted to doing it for years - putting aside the tax they legally owed in this country in offshore accounts so that they could "work" it until it was asked for. Off the top of my head, they did this for something like six years before HMRC got up the courage to approach them about it.

Where the tax was "earned" is irrelevant (most of it was on-shore anyway); the laws on this country required them to pay that tax.

"Do you believe that one man's decision to "let them off" would be vindicated by the Chancellor, the Treasury, and the Supreme Court, if they actually legally owed £4/5 billion?"

Again, yes, because no one looked in to the deal at the time. Dave Hartnett was forced to declare how cosy the deal had got /after it had all been signed off/ (it was a little more than a few lunches).

His job was to chase and close large tax avoidance schemes (to rhyme with scams) such as what Voda were doing. True, there's the possibility that the contract will be retrospectively annulled, but I won't hold my breath.

Voda ended up agreeing to pay less than a quarter of what they legally owed (and knew they did), but DH let them off the rest and considered it a "good deal" (his words).

They haven't covered it in a while, but the Private Eye did some very in-depth coverage in to what Vodafone owed, why, and how they got away with it.

Not that they are the exception, by any margin.

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Thousand-gamer FPS fragfest shoots for world record

Ian Yates

MMOFPS

This is where I want to see games like TF2 heading (obviously, with different maps).

The 16/32-player limits were fine in the '90s, but devs need to be supporting more massive games now.

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GiffGaff mobile network goes titsup for 3 weeks

Ian Yates

Secret limit

I can tell you that it's over 5GB, since that's what I've hit on a couple of months.

I regularly do 2GB+ a month, and they've never said anything about it.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet

Ian Yates

Tempted

But I can't justify the price with the original Transformer at home (though, it does see a lot of usage).

Shame they couldn't make the Prime fit the original dock...

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Profs call for harsh taxes on sweet carbonated beverages

Ian Yates

Government Maths

Looks like both your example and the one in the article suffer from the usual "have your cake and eat it" style of government maths.

On the one hand, they're touting the tax as a way to reduce people's consumption of bad_product_A; but on the other they're extolling the financial gains of such a tax based on the initial figures... go figure

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Bit-part actress slings sueball at IMDb over age gripe

Ian Yates

Agreed

But hopefully she has some evidence that this is what has happened and isn't spuriously throwing claims around.

Seeing as she is a registered actress, is it not also possible IMDb got the information from more public records? (I don't know)

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SEVENTY-FIVE wirelessly charged devices will demo at CES

Ian Yates
FAIL

"plugging in a microUSB charger in the dark"

Why, oh why, couldn't they have made the plug reversible?!

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Boffins demo time-warp cloaking device

Ian Yates

Further

What Alex is getting at is that observers can obverse that your event is unobservered.

The article is describing a situation where observers are none-the-wise about not observing an event. However, they may observe the feck-off big machinary that is preventing them from observing said event.

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Asus asked to decrypt Eee tablet bootloader

Ian Yates

Asus Eeeeeeeee

This is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime being discussed, not Asus Eee netbooks.

While Asus could possibly be applauded for descriptive naming, it's possibly gone a little too far.

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Creepy photo-tagging tech slotted into Google+

Ian Yates

Err...

You can remove it, you know?

It only appears as a link below my circles on the left.

I've always thought it was a part of what makes G+ not just another Fb - being able to share and converse with strangers that you don't want to "friend".

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UK.gov to require YOU to opt out of data-sharing plan with drug firms

Ian Yates
Pirate

Well, ignoring the concept of "anonymising" data that needs to be specific enough to allow them to process it for useful statistics (which I'm a little skeptical of), this data is being offered to *private* companies.

I'm sure there are some well-meaning, private medicinal research companies out there, but I don't think it would be too unfair that a large number of them will be more than happy to cherry-pick/skew such data in order to bolster their own agenda.

Obviously, this already happens even without this data, but the idea that its being sold will benefit the greater good is (in my cynical mind) unlikely.

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US Senator demands answers from Carrier IQ

Ian Yates
Pint

Eddie Izzard? If he ran*, they would vote

* For election, not marathons (again)

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Skyrim update makes dragons FLY BACKWARDS

Ian Yates

Too late now, but if you use Steam in off-line mode, it doesn't force the patches on you.

This is a reasonably hack for single-player games, but obviously won't work for online ones (though, arguably, everyone online needs to run the same version for fairness).

I'm waiting to buy Skyrim in the new year - principally because that's when my 3D monitor arrives, but also because historically Bethesda and v1.x are not a good mix.

I had far too many stress moments where Oblivion crashed and saves wouldn't load.

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Lord British: Games consoles 'fundamentally doomed'

Ian Yates

OnLive

I was very impressed with OnLive when I play(ed) with it, but until it offers 7.1 surround and 1080p (and 3D), I can't see it replacing Steam. I was also surprised with some of the load times - I thought the idea of the cloud approach was to over-spec the server farms and make the whole experience feel faster.

Aside from "media hubs", I think the next step is for a phone with HDMI out (or wireless equivalent) and wireless controllers.

Go to a friend's house, plug it in, and play.

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Assange: 'iPhone, BlackBerry, Gmail users - you're all screwed'

Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

Tinfoil-hat Society?

While I don't doubt some of what was said (insert 'shocked' face that Gmail is a marketing tool), some of it comes across as plain bonkers.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it just sounds like too much effort for any potential gain.

"products that will let them change the messages you write" - apart from spellcheckers, how would you not notice that your messages are not what you wrote?

As for the illicit sending of personally identifiable information (photos, recording sounds, etc.), if anyone ever put a proxy in the way and discovered the suspect data (and there are people out there that do this often enough), it would be a media storm to dwarf the current Leveson inquiry.

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James Bond savages the Kardashians

Ian Yates

It really annoys me that American/British audiences always want remakes of good foreign films.

"Let Me In" (or whatever it called) was a cinematic abomination in that it was almost a scene-for-scene remake.

If people are really so scared of subtitles, dub the damned thing! The original is an amazing piece of work that didn't deserve to be sidelined like that.

At least The Ring added it's own twist, even if its idea of suspense was a hammer in your eye.

/need beer

1
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Android glitch allows hackers to bug phone calls

Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

USA?

You must be in America as UK telcos either have no power over what we do on our phones or they just don't enforce.

Sure, if you get an Orange branded phone it will have some Orange branded software pre-installed (and probably unremovable), but buy an unbranded phone and you're good to go.

Even from digging through my gf's Orange San Fran, they only bunged some marketing rubbish on it; Vodafone used to try some awful stuff with their 360 abomination (pre-Android), but they've largely given up with that; and my friends O2 Android only had a light theme applied.

From all of the comments similar to yours, I have to assume it's different with telcos in the USA.

In the UK we have laws that allow us to unlock phones from carriers (they can only charge an admin cost) or bring a phone to an existing one.

Apart from fair-use policies (normally around tethering), I've never seen a telco here bother about what people do with their contract.

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BUSTED! Secret app on millions of phones logs key taps

Ian Yates

From that article: "Carrier IQ is a software package buried deep within Android by Samsung at the behest of Sprint"

But the video shows HTC, so presumably they got the same "behest". Does this only apply to Sprint?

My friend's HTC Sensation on T-Mobile (UK) doesn't appear to be running the service nor contain the IQ libraries listed.

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Ice Cream Sandwich

Ian Yates
Headmaster

"a quantum leap forward"

So, there's not much different then?

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What should a sci-fi spaceship REALLY look like?

Ian Yates

Starfuries

How have you not mentioned a design that (allegedly) NASA have expressed actual interest in producing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfury#Real_world_interest

Can't find the relevant quote, but it was something to do with the design actually taking in to account the difference in how a spaceship would handle in and out of atmosphere.

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Samsung strokes big bulb that'll keep going for decades

Ian Yates

Three hours a day

Is that over the whole day? i.e., supporting many on/off cycles in a day?

Even then, three hours is an interesting average when my lounge lamps are probably on for well over six right now; does this affect their lifetime? I realise that they'll be used less in the summer, but if they've not tested the bulbs for longer periods, it will affect their figures.

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Facebook 'shrinks' six degrees of separation theory

Ian Yates
Mushroom

I can't help but notice...

but they seem to have completely overlooked the 90% of the population that /isn't/ on fb.

And while the majority of these are likely to be direct friends/family of people that are, I have a feeling that there's a fair portion of a small landmass known as Africa that will skew their result somewhat.

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Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

Ian Yates
Windows

@Ken Hagan

Except that, those are translations (mostly from Greek), and some of those uses aren't quite as clear-cut as they seem, when you start looking at the actual words and context.

It would be even weirder if "Hell" (not one of the many towns) was mentioned unambiguously.

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Truly unlimited mobile for $19: How can it be true?

Ian Yates
FAIL

Right....

So, the usual not-unlimited definition of "unlimited" that all telcoms seem to know

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Neutrinos still FASTER THAN LIGHT in second test

Ian Yates
Trollface

Measure the distance

Easy, they fired a photon and timed it

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Android Market free-for-all blamed for malware avalanche

Ian Yates
Terminator

The bigger issue

is that Google didn't really consider the need for OTA security updates initially.

It would be a much safer platform if Google could push security fixes as separate updates, assuming the affected component was "standard".

I try to keep my Desire at the highest OS version, but Desire development is slowing in favour of newer handsets, so I may need to eventually upgrade.

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Ten... remastered videogame classics

Ian Yates

I believe the "HD" concept accepts a minimum frame-rate of 24fps since the "definition" part is strictly limited to resolution

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Vacuum cleaner set Swedish nuke plant on fire

Ian Yates
WTF?

See icon

"a wet vacuum cleaner"

Your statement confuses me

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Valve says credit card data taken

Ian Yates

I did, and I'm not bothered

Trusting a company to hold your CC info is always a risk, but at least Steam have stored it encrypted.

Normally this type of attack is followed by a "whoops, we store your info unencrypted", despite (in the UK) this being a massive DPA no-no.

The CC I used to use with Steam expired just one week ago coincidently, but even if it hadn't any fraudulent use would be completely covered by the fact it is a CC.

Minor hassle, yes, but not the end of the world.

I'm glad we've moved on from ~10 years ago when it was basically just finger-crossing time.

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Compact Disc death foretold for 2012

Ian Yates

7digital

http://www.7digital.com/cms/flac/flac.aspx

Only one I know of. But don't expect many.

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Peat bogs will not cause runaway global warming

Ian Yates

Good news

Nice to see some positive science on the subject. Though, hopefully there are other institutions performing the same research to confirm/dispute.

My first thought on the article was: did the release of gases reduce, or the production? Is it possible that the surface is drying and locking in growing bubbles of gas?

Ugh. Cynical Friday brain

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Apple was OK to fire man for private Facebook comments

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Wow.

Bad precedence

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Five... great games for the Xperia Play

Ian Yates

Android permissions

It would be nice if the market had a way to more accurately describe what each app is doing with the listed permissions, so that less people were scared.

While I don't know Asphalt itself, "Read phone state and identity" /can/ be something as innocuous as checking whether you are currently connected to non-WiFi Internet (all the better to warn you of possible charges and speed issues).

Coupled with the "Change wifi status" and "Full Internet Access" permissions, sounds like Asphalt is going to download a ton of texture maps and wants to warn you if it'll take an age to do so and give you the option to enable WiFi without leaving the app.

I agree with you, the permissions can be a little too coarse and easy to fret over. The above, for example, could also be used by an app to track your exact location using WiFi APs as extra positioning info...

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Android voice assistant shootout

Ian Yates

speaktoit

I found speaktoit to be very good, before realising that I couldn't think of many situations where I would prefer to dictate my phone to do something for me... I can't imagine doing it in a crowd of people (probably too noisy anyway).

Just me?

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5 SECONDS to bypass an iPad 2 password

Ian Yates
WTF?

Four finger swipe?

Really? At some point there are going to be too many gestures for people to remember, or they'll just be too complicated to perform.

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Union enraged by secret driverless Tube plan

Ian Yates
Terminator

Shock: World moves on, some jobs redundant

I've personally wondered at why this has taken so long and have always assumed it was a Union thing.

While I have sympathy for anyone who loses their job, especially when the job has effectively become unnecessary, it seems worse to me to follow a "job creation" agenda of purposefully not implementing changes in order to preserve otherwise pointless jobs...

That aside, the idea of most stations being completely unmanned might be taking it too far if it means that emergency response is impacted.

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K-9

Ian Yates

IMO

2. I can't find any setting for this specifically, but this is definitely not how it works for me. If I open a folder and fetch, it gets the most recent 25 emails. In addition, you can change this number (even to "all").

3. As per 2, I can't say I've personally had any issues on this front... do other apps with similar functionality perform correctly on your IMAP server?

I guess YMMV, but I tried a lot of mail apps before settling on K9. The beauty of IMAP being that I can switch at any time, but I can't think of anything I need that K9 doesn't do.

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