* Posts by Ian Yates

878 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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The freakonomics of smut: Does it actually cause rape?

Ian Yates
Gimp

Troll

I can't believe you picked that icon over this one ;)

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Ian Yates
Thumb Up

meta^meta studies

That reminds of some reading I was doing around environmental tobacco smoke (passive smoking).

Big tobacco funded loads of reports to prove it didn't exist or it had no harm (and eventually admitted some of the reports were fake). But even better was a meta-study that came to the conclusion that ETS didn't exist because there were more high-quality studies showing it didn't than ones showing it did. (Don't have the reference at home)

Genius! It just made me wish (and hope) that someone's done a meta-meta-study in to how well meta-studies are done.

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Ian Yates

True

I think the article could have changed the wording on "increase, not ban, the production of child pornography".

Surely just not banning it would have the same effect? Increasing circulation, maybe, but production surely is abuse, no?

Good article, though

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17 flock to see Gordon Ramsay turkey

Ian Yates
Mushroom

Re: Read The Grauniad One

The trailer review is excellent.

I also like the wikipedia "Critical Reception" understatement:

It took £121 on its opening weekend in June 2011, comparing *poorly* [emphasis mine] with the same weekend's biggest opening film, Bridesmaids, which took £3.44 million.

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Skype brings cross-platform video to Android

Ian Yates
WTF?

Thank F for that

How long did that take them? Seriously?!

Fring and NimBuzz had it so long ago, Skype should have bought of them out instead of shutting them down.

Too late now, though; everyone's looking for better (or "non-MS") alternatives.

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Office 365: Can Microsoft replace Microsoft?

Ian Yates
IT Angle

Problem solved?

What exactly are they trying to solve here?

I work for many large corporations in IT, some with 10,000+ employees. None of those companies would consider using an online office suite. Hell, they generally blocks docs.google and any other site that could potentially be used to get data on or off site.

It sounds more like a solution for personal/SOHO users, but they're currently disallowed. Plus, I'm increasingly hearing of such people switching to Open/Libre Office because it does the basics well enough without costing anything.

IMHO, MS Office peaked with 97/2003.

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Google battles MicroSkype with 'open' VoIP protocol

Ian Yates

Android

Update to Android? Like what? We're still waiting for video calling through Skype.

I may be in the majority, but video calling is the main reason I have Skype at home, to keep in contact with my distant friends/family.

Skype on Android would be a killer app if it did video calls, but it's months too late with apps like Fring allowing a get-out to a lot of people.

As soon as I've found an easy-to-use Windows client that supports video-calling, I'll be switching the silver surfers in my family.

And a browser-based solution is not an option: they need an icon they can click and leave running in the background.

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Woman dies of heart attack at own funeral

Ian Yates
Joke

Husband

"this time... for good" /Russian accent

Makes me wonder if he was also holding some kind of heavy implement as he said it.

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Kiwi gals swig shots of horse semen

Ian Yates
Pint

Here's the solution

Put it in a vial and sell it as horse semen.

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So, how many rhinos does a tram weigh?

Ian Yates
Pirate

Headphones

With or without headphones, these things are dangerous. The ones in Manchester are silent killers! Sneaky little things.

I don't know Manchester that well, looked the wrong way first (thinking they always travelled on the same side as cars) and stepped as I looked the other; jumped back just in time.

My Manc friends nicknamed them Population Control Devices - reducing the city's average age one person at a time ;)

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Dungeon Siege III

Ian Yates

Torment

Where's the next PlaneScape?! There was so much room to explore more parts of that universe with different storylines.

Hell, I'd pay for a higher-res version of PS:T that ran properly on W7. Assuming I had enough time to sink in to it

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Want to keep Android apps from spying on you?

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Trend?

"Google will soon delete this application from the Market, as well as retroactively removing it from the phones of everyone who installed it."

Citation needed, methinks.

Yes, they certainly *could* do that, but I think it's unlikely they will.

From what I've seen, Google have remotely uninstalled less than a handful of apps from phones - and they were all malicious or PoC exploits.

Google hold a lot of power in their hands, but I think it's unfair to accuse them of having abused it just yet.

Finally: "I bet I don't." Really?! Have you a) looked around the Internet for this answer or b) thought to ask Google?

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Apple Snow Leopard update sets stage for Lion

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Nice

"unlike windoze: suspend works reliably every time on laptops and desktops"

Maybe it's just me, but my "Windoze" boxes suspend/hibernate every day without issue - and I've done this for years.

I think you need to update your trolling.

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Ten... festival survival gadgets

Ian Yates

RF

I noticed the number of these gadgets relying on RF of some kind. How many channels do they support?

I'm just wondering who's tent you might end up finding, if enough people brought them.

Definitely worth the walkies, though. My sets take AA, so easy to "recharge" without mains power. Even if others are on your channels, you don't normally use them for long conversations. over. out.

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Oracle's Android claims slashed by US patent authorities

Ian Yates

A nice idea

But the truth is that a patent holder doesn't always know their patent is worthless until they test it in court.

If you mean about claiming someone's infringed when they haven't, I think that's a different matter to what's being discussed here.

Regardless, if you don't win you have to pay court costs and you may lose your patents.

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UK census data is safe

Ian Yates

Top priority

So, you know, we're going to put it on a network that isn't accessible from teh Interwebs.

Oh no, wait, everything has to be accessible for some reason no one knows. Or maybe I'm just missing the obvious non-cynical reason for having a shit-ton (official term) of personally identifiable information on a non-private network.

This goes for all government departments.

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Apple will 'own games industry'

Ian Yates

What rubbish

First, there's his stats fail about Apple's growth.

"Oh, look; they're market share grew from 1% to 3%*. That's 200% growth, therefore in 5 years they'll own the industry."

No.

* Figures are to illustrate point.

Then the comment about expensive single-player games becoming rare... I don't buy it. There are certain narratives that work better with only one player and they'll continue to be produced.

Sure, companies may scale back the massive budgets they throw on them, but I can't see them becoming rare.

If anything, MMOs should be rare. I find it odd the number of new ones that keep getting announced. At this rate they'll be SMOs because everyone will have their own niche game to play.

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Dropbox security fubar infuriates customers

Ian Yates
Big Brother

Security

Security in other peoples' hands - what could go wrong?

It might cost slightly more and not be as well polished, but SpiderOak does at least ensure that things like this can't happen to your data (assuming SO aren't lying, of course).

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Alice: The Madness Returns

Ian Yates

Awesome

Couldn't tell from the screenshots, but how would you rate the level design compared to the first game?

Alice was an average platformer, but the design was the thing I loved about it - whole worlds changing shape, etc.

Looking forward to playing this one, once it hits a reasonable price.

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Dolphin Browser HD

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Opera Mobile

Settings > Advanced > Adobe Flash(tm) > Click to play

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Ian Yates
WTF?

When a browser is not a browser

I don't know what El Reg or Dolphin did to upset you, but arguing what is and is not a browser is a bit odd.

Yes, Dolphin renders pages using WebKit and some native API calls rather than reinventing the wheel and rolling their own rendering engine - that's hardly the same as a skin on the native browser.

Are you saying the all WebKit browsers are not browsers because they didn't invent WebKit themselves?

Personally, I use DolphinHD (a browser) on my Transformer because it provides an actual desktop-like browsing experience, which the bundled browser comes no where near.

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Sony preps refreshed PS3 and talks down PS4

Ian Yates
Devil

Innovation

I'm sorry, I think the PS3 is a good piece of kit (I'm not sorry for that), but this line: "the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3"

Pure comedy.

sixaxis controller, PS3 Move? Sony can hardly claim they haven't done exactly the same thing.

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Aunty squirts serendipity into TV apps

Ian Yates

Censor

What do you mean by "censor"? I had assumed the same as Fred in that you meant restricting access (which is fair), but if you mean posting edited content based on IP address, that's something different.

Rather than screaming bloody murder, have you contacted them to find out why? I'd be interested, personally.

I'd guess it's either licensing restrictions (the Beeb content providers can impose odd restrictions about what can be broadcast where) or to do with editing in order to fit in to designated segments for Beeb Worldwide. But if it's truly censorship as you say, that's concerning.

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Ian Yates

Que?

The licence already applies to computers receiving live streams.

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/technology--devices-and-online-top8/

Long live the Beeb

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Got a website? Pay attention, Cookie Law will come

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

/sigh

Unfortunately, while I'm a big believer in the freedom to be anonymous online, I agree with the AC: I think this directive is mostly a waste of time.

Yes, I'm not an average user so I understand that a) a cookie is *not* a piece of software, and b) I am in control of said cookies.

What actually needs to happen is for all browsers to implement simple and secure cookie policies (i.e., never share cookies across domains, zero-day security bugs excepted). The whole idea of forcing every website to ask a user if they can store cookies is a joke, when this would be far simpler to be implemented at the browser level - oh, wait! it already is!

Hats of to the EU for raising awareness of the evilness of cookies and the lives they've destroyed, but I don't really see what problem they've solved here. The companies that want to track you will continue to do so in another way.

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Refusal to unveil scuppers French refusal-to-unveil trial

Ian Yates

Burqa?

I thought they banned the niqab, the face-veil? Think of burqa as the 'union set' of the three Islamic coverings ;)

That aside, her arguing it being part of her religion opens a difficult discussion:

1) Is it? I'm under the impression that even Muslims don't agree whether the niqab is a requirement

2) Should someone's religious views enable them to avoid standing trial or giving a defence?

Not easy. All eyes are on France

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AMD trumpets next-gen GPU architecture

Ian Yates
Pint

So basically

Your computer will be the Beowulf cluster. Cool

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Panasonic preps outdoor Android slate

Ian Yates
Joke

Idiots!

Do they think we go outside?!

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LucasArts Day of the Tentacle

Ian Yates
Holmes

Some list

A lot of my favourite games on that list.

Whatever happened to good storytelling in games?

/old fogy icon

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Ian Yates

Sound

I used to love all of the options before games like this.

"What video type? VGA, XGA, CGA, etc."

"What soundcard? SB Pro, SB16, SB 2.1, Audigy, etc."

Never quite being sure which options are best, so always trying a different one only to have the game bail when the first character tries to speak.

Ah, the "good" old days.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Pre-ordered?

Assuming you're in the UK: You know it's out, right? And has been for some time.

I'm not a fan of Curry's, but I couldn't find the Transformer (with keyboard) cheaper (and available) anywhere so went with them. Paid for the next day delivery and it arrived exactly when they said it would.

Haven't regretted it for a minute.

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Ian Yates
Coffee/keyboard

Thirded

I guessed they'd give 80% before opening the review, but was still kind of shocked.

Apart from the lack of Honeycomb-specific apps, I think it's the perfect media-consumption device for me.

Actually, one niggle I have is that having two separate accounts running on it is tricky. While the OS lets us both be logged in for calendars and market (assuming you trust the person), other apps (facebook, twitter, etc.) just don't support it.

Easily 90%+, in my eyes

/bias

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No Gingerbread snack for Desire owners, says HTC

Ian Yates
WTF?

Really?

My rooted Gingerbread-running Desire (with Sense 2.1) says otherwise... runs flawlessly.

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IATA: this iPad could BRING DOWN A PLANE

Ian Yates
Pint

Skeptic

I've always been massively skeptical of the claims about interference (and sorry to those that travel on the same flights as me, I always use my MP3 player during takeover/landing).

If airplane instruments are so sensitive that a MP3 player, iPad, etc., can set them off, I'm seriously shocked. How can they possibly be fit-for-purpose?

I remember when a Merkin friend was flying over with some special tech gear; he asked BA if it was alright for him to carry on his expensive, delicate gear (can't remember the details, some kind of wireless equipment that he was going to use to set up a proof-of-concept long-range wireless network with - pre-WiFi days). They replied that it was fine as long.

He pushed it and asked if he could use some of it mid-flight, and gave them specs; they said that it would be no problem. (He did and said that he found no interesting signals up there)

Alas, this was ~15 years ago, and I no longer have the email that he forwarded around. We were all pretty shocked, though.

Final bugbear: Why don't airlines put the interactive entertainment system on straight away? Passengers would be far calmer watching a film during takeoff/landing.

The system's powered up, so that's not the reason; it's normally showing the stupid "flight info" screen to some boring classical music.

/Beer: need one

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Living, biological raygun produced in lab

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Scale?

Can we scale this up to, say, sharks?

No reason - just thinking about the savings on water-proof, cranial-attached hardware.

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Ian Yates

Surely

++C++

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Toxic Plankton feeds on Android Market for two months

Ian Yates

Numpties

While I had the same thought as you, the tech-illiterate who have picked up an Android consumer-focussed phone are likely to perceive anything in the market as being legitimate by the very fact that Google "owns" the market.

Perhaps Google need to add a rewards scheme for security firms identifying malicious apps in the market? That way, they don't need to expend any effort themselves, if that's their issue here.

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Phishers LAMP web hosts

Ian Yates

root

You touch on something there without mentioning it explicitly:

A lot of these attacks are pre-scripted and assume many things like directory names and user names.

Simple tasks such as using unusual usernames for admin tasks and not using the pre-supplied directory names can foil scripts enough that the majority of attacks won't even bother following up.

I see enough 404 attacks to things like "phpMyAdmin" (all case variants) to know never to have that as a root directory.

Publishing Apache or webapp version numbers publicly doesn't help, either.

I'm not saying this is the answer to security, but it's a simple fix to a lot of attack attempts.

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Ian Yates

Phishers

Except phishers need somewhere to host their fake bank sites.

Fair play, though, I had the same thought to begin with. Not sure why the Reg went with "phishers" when I'm sure this applies to any script-kiddie-based activity.

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BioWare blows brains with intro cinematics for Star Wars MMO

Ian Yates

Intrigued

Some hands-on previews I've read have said that it is good but there may be some hyperbole in what we've been told.

Specifically, they were referring to the usual grind in fighting swamp rats (etc.) and masses of similar quests with some names/locations swapped out; though they did emphasise that these have all been previews.

Still, worth a watch - loved the KOTOR games.

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Netherlands first European nation to adopt net neutrality

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

facepalm

+1 Internets to you both

My ill-thought argument can rest their for posterity.

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Ian Yates
Headmaster

Stats

Wait... someone help me out here.

"8 per cent decline in text messages per customer"

So "text messages per customer" is the total number of text messages sent divided by the number of customers (assuming we're talking mean here), and they've seen a decline in this figure of 8%.

Isn't that *exactly* the same as saying "8 per cent decline in total text messages"?

(Thursday-afternoon-brain don't do me wrong!)

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Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud

Ian Yates
IT Angle

"Vista and Win7 are mainly about eye candy."

To be fair, OS innovation died a long time ago.

XP covers 99% of what people want in an OS. Vista did a lovely job of shaking up the underlying hardware APIs, but the end user benefit was negligible.

MS (and others) make a lot of money from OS's, so they need to do something new.

However, I completely disagree that DirectX/3D are bad - maybe you're thinking back to the DX3 days when MS were catching up with the emerging 3D market? Nowadays, they're streets ahead of OpenGL (as painful as that is to admit), but they have the massive disadvantage of being platform-dependent.

OpenGL is a reasonable multi-platform solution, but it's been playing catch-up to D3D since about version 8. In terms of features and API, that is.

Personally, I like Win7, but the big things I like are simply usability improvements that *could* have been applied to WinXP if MS could have made the same margins from it.

I don't begrudge them a new OS, though; if I owned an OS I'm sure I'd want to constantly improve it as well - Linux and OS X do exactly the same.

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Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car

Ian Yates
Terminator

All it needs

is for a manufacturer such as Smart to tie up with BP, Total, etc. and offer the ability to switch your dead batteries for charged ones at a "petrol" station.

Sure, it requires a modification to the car design, but the station can store ready-charged batteries and charge you for a) the cost to charge and b) the convenience of an instant charge.

This way, if you can't charge it home, you can pop in to a garage on the way to/from work and quickly swap your batteries.

Assuming they're making their money, the only other concern for the driver is that they remove old batteries from circulation.

I think this is the only viable solution until almost-instant charging is possible.

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FT sticks it to Apple

Ian Yates
Go

"which has since taken the world by storm"

I assume this is my irony fail, since I've heard nothing about it since about a week after its launch.

I can't say I've noticed any amount of iDevice users reading it on the tube or at work either.

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Apple hit by new competition complaint as iCloud launches

Ian Yates

Heard it before

Name the culprit: "It's our operating system, we can tell people what browser and media player we want them to use!"

Now take the same idea to printer manufacturers and print cartridges, or cars and fuel. and on, and on, and on

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Cellphones as carcinogenic as coffee

Ian Yates
Holmes

Fixed that for WHO

"that heavy use [of anything you care to name] is a contributory factor in cancer rates"

I think that statement should be pretty close to reality.

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Student geeks build Rubik’s cube solving bot

Ian Yates

Gaggle?

I'd have thought it was "union", or maybe "pub" or "party". But I like "cluster".

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Skype reverse-engineered and open sourced

Ian Yates

FWIW

I had the same thought as you.

Certainly "clean room" emulators don't pretend they've never had the console they're emulating, just that they didn't extract the firmware and decompile it in order to reproduce the functionality.

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Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 7 8

Ian Yates

I wouldn't

Watching the video of Win8 (working title, apparently), it's clearly targeted at tablets. I can't see anything that makes it look like a productive desktop environment.

They're obviously designing a media-consumption-oriented OS, which is fine, but it doesn't like like it's got the featureset to replace Win7.

I can't see me upgrading my home PCs from Win7, unless they include some kind of "force", like DX10+.

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