* Posts by Ian Yates

878 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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El Reg pays by phone – mmmm, free cookies!

Ian Yates
Joke

Ladies of profession

Where would you wave your phone to pay?

NFC means something different to such people.

etcetera

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Android Marketplace starts cleaning house

Ian Yates
Flame

Age-old argument

While the sentiment is sound, unless you're running homebrew games (and plenty exist), the value of the emu us clearly in copied ROMs.

I'm not saying I agree with Sega, but I can see how they could put together an argument so that Google decide it's better to cut off a few devs on dodgy ground rather than risk getting in the crossfire.

Now, if Sega were doing it because they had an Android emu of their own to release, along with tested and tweaked ROMs of everyone's favourite classics at reasonable prices, I'd say "fair play" - but they won't. They'll crush all attempts for people to play classic games that Sega themselves have no interest in without offering a legal alternative, and then do nothing about it.

Perhaps these companies should learn to chat to such devs and come up with a legal compromise that pleases everyone, rather than acting like a spoiled brat?

Seriously, they could be making £1 a ROM without putting any effort in themselves.

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Skype pushes gaming software down users throats

Ian Yates
Facepalm

MS

While I doubt MS are to blame for this directly, I wonder if they're starting to question how good a purchase they've made?

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Naked cyclist streaks through Suffolk village

Ian Yates
Pint

Fund

Can the Reg provide a way for us to buy him a pint? I would, and I doubt I'm the only one

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Boffins tail bees with tiny radio tags

Ian Yates

Go West

She was clearly dropped west of El Reg Towers.

Any mountains she can use nearby to navigate?

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HTC to stop locking smartphone bootloader code

Ian Yates
Stop

Carriers shmarriers

They need to get their noses out of our data.

If I've paid my £10pm for "unlimited" mobile data, why do they get to say what I can't do with it?

I don't mind "no tethering" clauses (smartphones have different data needs to PCs), but they shouldn't have any say in the features on phones they haven't produced themselves.

/rant

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Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Smart move!

I lent my weedy voice to the masses calling for this.

Had they chosen to continue making it hard to tweak the OS, I certainly wouldn't have been able to consider buying a Sensation.

Having been through the hoops to unlock a friend's Galaxy S, it was easy to see that the manufacturers were getting better at preventing rooting.

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Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

Ian Yates
Joke

Ideas?

Hollywood can't even remember what ideas are to know how to run out of them

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Ian Yates

Naively hopeful

True, the original film (despite its late 80s graphics) was a reasonably good adaptation of Dick's attempt to confuse the concepts of memory and reality.

The re-imagining, apart from highlighting that Hollywood has no more imagination, has plenty of leeway to play with the same concepts and make something good.

Should be interesting to keep an eye on.

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Yanks officially recognise the word 'boffin'

Ian Yates

Don't make me feel old!

Is "pukka" really one from the by-gone years? It was certainly a big word when I was still legally allowed in playgrounds (as a child, I mean; I don't have any dodgy convictions).

I can't say I've every head "chunter" before though. And I'm not entirely sure that "twee" is ever used outside of being ironic...

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Judgment Day prophet resets doomsday clock

Ian Yates

Bad tactic

Seems he's going for the "I'm bound to get it right eventually" approach.

He clearly isn't very good at calculating probability (although, if it happens before his prediction, I don't suppose anyone would take him up on it).

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Coders run Android 3.0 on Honeycomb-less tablets

Ian Yates

Interestingly

Read this post in Larry Ellison's voice and it takes on a whole new meaning ;)

/insert evil Larry icon

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Sony BMG Greece hacked

Ian Yates

Responsibility

How many governments are going to hold Sony responsible for the huge data-loss that's occurred?

They had an obligation to protect the information of their users, so it should be a pretty landmark case if it (rightly) kicks off.

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Bin Laden's porn stash: Too good to be true?

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Jesus bin Laden

I like the idea that history will become so confused that in a few thousand years people will remember the Son of God as "that bearded dude who blow up some buildings and then died watching porn".

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Ubisoft whispers the wonder of Wii 2

Ian Yates

No interest

I'm not interested in whatever Nintendo do next at all.

/looks at dust-covered Wii

Until they announce it, of course, and then I'll NEED one!

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Facebook 'smear' shock: Journos aghast!

Ian Yates

Wait...

are you saying Google planted this story to (smear/slur/etc.) Facebook?

/looks aghast

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Facebook fails webmail tests

Ian Yates

Coolmail

Have you used Hotmail?

I'll confess I haven't, but from what I've heard from friends who do, the refresh a few months ago (teething problems aside) was remarkably good.

Yes, they've "borrowed" features from Gmail (who borrowed them from lesser known services), but they've implemented them well (so I'm told).

I don't use either, though I have accounts with each, but I'm tempted to fire them up and have a gander.

If MS really have done something good, well done to them.

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Ian Yates

Of course

Why would they want you to leave the fb ecosystem?

You have to admire their gall to call it "email".

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Go SMS Pro

Ian Yates

Handcent

I've been using Handcent for over a year and just tried Go.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems to be 90% the same... I don't know who got there first, but the customisation dialogs are identical and the general inbox/conversation stylings are too...

I'm going to play with Go for a while, but I can't currently see any features that make me prefer one over the other... am I missing something?

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Portal 2

Ian Yates
Heart

Brilliant game.

Absolutely love the game, but with two niggles:

* SP campaign was too short (I finished it in a little over 6 hours, and I didn't feel I rushed - I have started a second run, though, to find the last two achievements)

* None of the puzzles felt nearly as hard as some of the ones in Portal; I was always hoping for a large mind-bender near the end, but it wasn't delivered

The story was worth it, though, I hope they find something to continue for a Portal 3, and all of the voice acting was perfect.

Can't wait to get some coop fun going :)

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Multimillionaire's private space ship 'can land on Mars'

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Not only that

He's actually making space flight cost-effective, which I think deserves massive props.

If he's making a profit at the prices he's quoting, it just shows what healthy competition can do to an industry.

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The best sci-fi film never made: Also-rans take a bow

Ian Yates

Are you sure?

The Void trilogy is set over a thousand years after Judas Unchained, still prominently featuring Paula Myo and a few other characters.

Maybe you're thinking of The Night's Dawn trilogy, which is in a different universe?

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Ian Yates

Banks

I'm hoping for Matter. (not that it changes anything)

It's got everything a good sci-fi film needs and it introduces the Culture without getting too heavy or relying on lots of backstory.

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ICT classes in school should be binned – IT biz body

Ian Yates

Computer Science

I think "ICT" (having taught it and know people that do) should be dropped and a proper Computer Science syllabus be added as an optional GCSE.

I learnt how to use Office at school and how to program VBA at A-level. It wasn't until Uni that I really got in to memory structure and OOP. I'd have loved proper CS courses at GCSE/A-level, but they just weren't/aren't there.

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Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Ian Yates
Pirate

On the plus side

it's all MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) - or a "Patent Gap" in Peter Sellers talk.

They'll all fight it out and then agree to stop suing each other because of the sheer size of the suits flying around, and a few years later it'll all start again.

The patent system is so opaque that they don't even know if they hold valid patents and most companies aren't really interested in being proven wrong. It's the legal equivalent of slapping your dick in someone's face.

(Where's our evil lawyer icon? No need for the good one)

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Google to close pre-YouTube Video service

Ian Yates
Badgers

@Elmer Phud

Agreed, "cloud" is just marketing speak for what people have been doing for years (IRC?).

But then the same is true for "social networks" - people think it started with facebook or Friendster, but BBS' and forums were doing the same thing since the 80s (sans Farmville).

But then, where would Web-2.0 be without ignorant hype?

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Got a buck to send M Night Shyamalan to film school?

Ian Yates

title

It only works because of the "clever" cuts between scenes.

From the top of my head, the one that stuck out was every time he goes to the basement door it cuts to him being in the basement until the very last attempt when he realises he's dead.

/shrugs

Maybe it's just hindsight, but the film seemed far less clever the second time around. I think that's probably true with all MNS's "twists", though.

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Ian Yates

Unbreakable

I thought that until I tried to watch it a second time.

Although, watching Sixth Sense a second time showed just how weak the pretending-he's-not-dead thing was.

Signs was just dreadful.

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Nissan Leaf electric car

Ian Yates

Charge

I'd argue 5 minute charge would be the upper limit to being a true mass-market product. I can't see owners nor forecourts being happy for people to sit around for 30 minutes.

If the charge was only a few minutes, 110 mile range would be livable.

Actually, I take that back; I'm sure Thingy Bean cafe will love having people around with nothing else to do.

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Can Bing ride IE and WinPho to Google triumph?

Ian Yates

Have to say

I actually like Bing. True, they've renovated more than innovated most of the features (certainly a lot of Google and Yahoo features in there), but I've started using it as one of my main search engines.

I think it would be a mistake for MS to push it too hard, though; I tend to rile against default search engines, and we all know how much ire it can get from the technorati.

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Binary dinosaur drive found alive and breathing fire

Ian Yates

Speccy

Not too interesting, but I have a few old ZX 16K/48Ks with voice synthesizer, thermal printer, and microdrive.

These were my home computers growing up (we had multiple due to the number that stopped working).

I got the whole lot (with 50-odd tapes and microdrive "disks") out of the loft about 10 years back, but all of the microdrive disks were dead (no surprise) and I couldn't get most of the tapes to fully load.

The Hobbit worked, if I recall, and it really made me appreciate how patient I used to be to play any of those games.

In the end, the Speccy emulators are superior to digging up the real deal (IMHO).

Almost forgot: how awful were the keys on those units, though? eh? Crazy little rubber things

And what was with 5/6/7/8 being the arrow keys? Threw me off for ages trying to play things like Dan Dare.

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HTC Android tablet priced up for Blighty's shoppers

Ian Yates

Screen

The screen sounds very clever: capacitive for the hands but a dedicated layer for detecting the more precise stylus.

Unfortunately, from what I've read, you can't rest your hand on the screen while using the stylus :(

Drop the price a couple of hundred quid and I'll consider it.

Have they mentioned Honeycomb support for the future?

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SpaceX unveils new Falcon Heavy rocket - WORLD'S BIGGEST

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

I was going to disagree

But then I heard an interview with Musk and he has a pretty awesome villain voice.

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Ten... tech treats for mum

Ian Yates

Slankets

Let's face it, though, a slanket is just a backwards dressing gown.

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Pre-release Windows 8 code hits PC makers

Ian Yates

Not just that

But these aren't even OS functions; these are clearly just applications bundled with the OS. Why not release these as some kind of (paid for) suite for Vista/7 and do a smaller OS update with only OS changes?

/sigh

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Fire-quenching electric forcefield backpack invented

Ian Yates

Sprinkler system

I always thought that the sign of a good safety device was one that worked in the absence of something telling it not to. i.e, dead man's handles or engine governers.

Sprinkler systems work through water pressure, but this new device will require electricity. I may be wrong, but their version (while very cool) sounds like it has the most potential to fail in its duty.

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Apple bashes 'gay cure' app

Ian Yates

@P.Lee

Having seen the screenshots, I'm not sure I'd go with "discriminatory", but maybe I missed something since I'm heterosexual.

It struck me more as being hugely misleading and questionably dangerous (based on anecdotal evidence of the damage their therapy has had on people).

I don't disagree with Apple removing the app since it did give a "homosexuality must be cured" message, which I find pretty sickening; in the same way I'd be against a "homosexuality is better for you" message.

Being the provider of a public forum gives you the responsibility to not encourage/allow extreme views (IMHO).

I think the extremity of their message might be where the "discrimination" aspect is coming from; not so much direct discrimination but espousing discrimination of their lifestyle.

And if you want to know their viewpoint, go to their website. I doubt these guys want to be engaged in discussion.

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Apple Mac OS X: ten years old today

Ian Yates

PowerShell

PowerShell is a much better CLI than cmd/command, and it takes a lot of lead from Linux/Unix CLIs (ls and ps, for example).

MS finally put in features like coloured text for error outputs (and other) - amazing!

I've seen lots of people complain about how different it is, but that's a lose-lose argument ("I hate cmd but ps is too different").

I'm still a Bash man, though ;)

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Fukushima explained in crap cartoon

Ian Yates

@Steven Jones

I completely agree; I wasn't defending their preparedness or lack thereof, just pointing out that they actually had tsunami defenses in place.

The 2004 tsunami was expected to have reached at least 20m at landfall... and that's the low estimate.

I'm inclined to go with someone else's comment about how fair it is to attack them on trading off cost for extreme safety (especially with the odds of such a large earthquake/tsunami occurring). Where do you stop? A 20m+ tsunami is not a trivial problem to prepare for.

I think they've proven they designed the nuke's damned well*, but it would have obviously been better if they'd been able to get the whole thing under control so much faster.

* Given the age and inherent flaws in the design of the reactors.

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Ian Yates

@IMG

That's not entirely fair.

They did expect the "double whammy", but nothing in the range of what they got. As Sean said, put this in perspective - the wave was freaking huge.

"The Fukushima power plants were required by regulators to withstand a certain height of tsunami. At the Daiichi plant the design basis was 5.7 metres and at Daini this was 5.2 metres.

Tepco has now released tentative assessments of the scale of the tsunami putting it at over 10 metres at Daiichi and over 12 metres at Dainii."

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Stabilisation_at_Fukushima_Daiichi_2003111.html

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Microsoft Kinect hacked to control the PS3

Ian Yates

Long view

Any chance MS will take the long view and start allowing publishers to license Kinect for their PS3 games?

It'd be interesting to see that kind of collaboration. They could take the view that having X titles on PS3 using Kinect might draw PS3-only owners to buy an XBox (having already got the Kinect) in order to experience the 3X Kinect titles and exclusives.

Probably not, though.

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Actress meets feds investigating nude photo Gmail hack

Ian Yates

Don't be absurd!

Who do you think you are?

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TV sitcom opens up the world of penetration testing

Ian Yates
Pint

Oh dear...

Who else has visions of attackers being displayed graphically breaching firewall "shells" to get to some core system?

Or worse, it could be Hackers all over again...

I try to let it wash over me, but when a movie/TV gets IT so seriously wrong (Swordfish, etc.), it really shatters my suspension of disbelief. Actually, even books; I'm not sure I ever finished Dan Brown's Firewall (I'm not even sure why I started it...).

Ah, well. Almost beer o'clock.

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Apple 'gay-cure' app severely slapped

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Not So Simple

Using discrimination to fight discrimination is entirely the wrong way to solve anything.

If you're confused, "remove ALL religious based app" is discrimination.

The correct response (IMHO) is to remove apps that promote extreme/negative views of others (this includes anti-religious) and let the market decide about the rest.

You can't spout equality on one side will removing it on the other. As with democracy and free speech, if you want equality, you have to be prepared to give it to others first.

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Nintendo 3DS smashes advance order record

Ian Yates

Nintendo

"Of course it's nintendo, and people just buy nintendo, as they know no different."

Or they have years of experience of knowing that Nintendo deliver some of the most innovative and fun 1st party games on all of their platforms.

I'm not in any particular camp, but Nintendo (and close partners) do produce some of the most intensely enjoyable games.

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Supercomputer charts killer tsunami's course

Ian Yates

Well said.

That energy plot image is just terrifying.

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Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

Ian Yates
FAIL

eltit

"DNA cannot be repaired"

Really? I think you're wrong

http://www.nih.gov/sigs/dna-rep/whatis.html

You should probably read up on background radiation as well, since there is a significant amount of evidence that there is more than just a "safe dose", small doses of radiation may actually be healthier than none (as part of the DNA repair process and radioresistance).

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Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'

Ian Yates

Easy to prove?

Once we've detected the singlets, we just leave a long-standing note (a la Doc Brown) saying when we started detecting them and what we expect a message to look like and, assuming one day we can create and direct singlets, we should start seeing messages. No?

IANAPhysicist, but this seems to fall under Hawking's observation about never having met a time traveller.

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Court OK's Assange Sweden extradition, given 7 days to appeal

Ian Yates
Pint

"Sexual offences are an extraditable offence"

Part of the defence was, I believe, that what he was being charged with wasn't a sexual offence in the UK.

And the "Australian national" thing is irrelevant as we are obliged (morally and constitutionally) to not send anyone somewhere to suffer unfairly, regardless of nationality.

Personally, I think he should go and defend himself. If he's innocent, congrats, if not, obeying the law in the country you're visiting and taking personal responsibility is part of life. I've got nothing against the guy, but he sounds like he's just trying to avoid giving his side of the story in a court.

I may be naive, but I don't believe Sweden will be able to get away with an extradition to the USA, even if they wanted to. Any extradition from the UK would not allow a forwarding extradition without concluding the original trial, and we constitutionally can't extradite someone to a country where they face cruel punishment (i.e., death).

I'd be first in line to protest his release should he be couriered out of Sweden.

(Beer, since I'm off tomorrow)

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New balesio appliance liposuctions fat out of files

Ian Yates

n/t

I read that as "liposuctions fat out of flies" and was very confused.

I assumed it was the start of lab tests for a new fat-reduction method, and couldn't work out why you'd start with flies...

Ah, well. Slightly more interesting than the actual content ;)

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