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* Posts by Ian Yates

858 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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Boffins sex pterodactyls at last

Ian Yates
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Ditto

I had the same thought.

And, as unlikely as it is, what if the male pterodactyl is the one that carries eggs to term (like seahorses)?

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Texter who fell in fountain threatens to sue

Ian Yates
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Hear, hear!

"Why do people seem to be unable to take responsibility for their own actions?"

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Ian Yates
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no title

I'm not condoning their actions, but if she hadn't spoken out, we wouldn't know that it was Cathy Cruz Marrero who walked in to a fountain and her name wouldn't be a point of ridicule.

She's had her minute of fame, she'll probably never be heard from again.

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Website with 10 million users warns of password theft

Ian Yates
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Responsibility

And, as a contract developer myself, I'd go so far to say that whoever designed and implemented that system should have to help cover the costs (assuming they didn't flag it for the client's attention).

A company should be aware of the security of the data they hold, but developers need to take the responsibility to tell even their bosses if they're endangering sensitive data.

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Amazon buys Lovefilm

Ian Yates
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Streaming

Excellent; maybe Amazon can improve the movie streaming service and start offering HD (or even decent SD).

I rented one film for £3.50 and felt so ripped once I saw the quality that I stopped it less than 10 minutes in and got a refund.

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Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Ian Yates
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No

Because I don't think it's a worthwhile investigation; it's sensationalism (or "journalism" maybe, there's a fine line).

Maybe I'm out-of-touch with the unclean masses, but I wasn't aware that anyone thought that electric cars were being touted for distance driving.

I've only seen two electric charge points, both within the City of London. If I was going to buy an electric car, it'd be for short trips within an urban area.

As I said, I'm sure this will eventually change, but the market is so young right now, I don't really see why the BBC went through with this "investigation". The headline should actually have been "Wow! You /can/ drive to Edinburgh from London in an electric car!" (no sarcasm).

IMHO, IANAL, YMMV, GMAB, NTIC, IOHTMTOMH*

* I Obviously Have Too Much Time On My Hands

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Ian Yates
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Stop

That's some pretty bad reporting

I love the Beeb, but they should really get some proper tech and science hacks in. That's not to say I disagree with some of their assertions, but this was a sensationalist piece and tech/science tend to get much angrier about these types of things.

For a start, I agree with Llewllyn that testing a car they know is non-production on a journey with notably few electric recharge points is underhanded. To compare the car against "Stevenson's" [sic] Rocket is odd, since /that/ was a self-powered vehicle (assuming it had a supply of coke); though I'm sure it was reliability and efficiency that the Rocket lacked initially, more than speed.

Fully electric cars are not mass-production ready, as the Reg article covers. Leaving aside the cost, unless you're travelling ~30 miles within an urban area, the infrastructure isn't ready yet.

The only true infrastructure solution with current tech would be to standardise the cells used by the cars and be able to switch with fully-charged ones at service stations.

I'm sure "e-cars" have a future, but the Beeb trying to call it now is daft; it's very early days. I would like to see more hybrids, though; I like the idea of not burning petrol when I'm sitting idle at lights and junctions.

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Microsoft readies official Kinect support for PCs

Ian Yates
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Good on them

It's rare to see a company know it's too late to stop their product being used for purposes they didn't intend and actually decide to allow, let alone support it.

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Case cut-outs connote iPad 2 SD, HDMI connectivity

Ian Yates
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SD

Apple don't exactly have a track record with allowing removable storage on their mobile devices; why would they start now?

Slight OT, but why do all tablets have a rear camera? Is it just bullet-point filling or have I missed an important tablet use-case?

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Steve Jobs takes 'medical leave of absence' from Apple

Ian Yates
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Joke

Jobs

I think he's like Castro or Jong-il; he's actually been dead for ages, but they don't want to cause a fuss with the news.

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Apple tightens rules for iPad news delivery

Ian Yates
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@Giles Jones

I entirely disagree.

The issue here is that these are already paid subscribers and the magazine/newspaper is just allowing them electronic access to something they produce in print.

Apple are basically saying, "yeah, we want a cut of your print sales".

I agree with the other commenter: these publishers need to move to web-only and just provide an "app" that opens a cut-down browser to their website.

I find Apple's walled garden philosophy normally quite baffling, but this is one of the first articles I've read where I can only describe my reaction to their actions as disgusted.

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Bletchley Park to rebuild pioneering EDSAC computer

Ian Yates
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Mass reply

No, I'm not American and I'm not terrified of mercury.

My link to asbestos was because they're both dangerous (increasingly) due to length of exposure and are both treated as hazardous material.

I would imagine breathing masks in a "mercury factory" and overalls (not necessarily white), but I didn't immediately think of glassed off areas. Probably rubber gloves, though.

I spent a while searching for mecury factories/refineries/production/etc. but didn't come up with anything worthwhile.

I didn't say "one breath and you are dead", but I can see how my original post might have read more scaremongering that it was meant. I was just saying that I wouldn't put myself in a position of risk if it was unnecessary (and not fun).

To be honest, IANAL but I don't believe Bletchley Park /couldn't/ use mercury due to H&S (which was the reason for my original post), they've probably chosen to do so because of h&s. In other words, why risk exposing people to a potentially dangerous substance if you don't need to? Just go with Turing's idea and use gin!

@Graham Wilson: I'm not going to address every point, but 4 confuses me. OHSA and H&S do not inhibit using mercury, they merely define how to reduce occupational exposure and personnel risk.

OHSA don't even list it in their "highly hazardous" list of chemicals (and yes, I know what a chemical is).

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Ian Yates
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Troll

Mercury

To be honest, they probably have opted to not use mercury themselves and H&S is just one reason given. Cleaning up a mercury spill is not a simple job.

Sure, if you don't care you can get it done quickly, but I wouldn't want to be exposed to mercury vapours. But feel free to march over there and proclaim that you'll rebuild it with mercury yourself.

I guess you also think the way people handle asbestos is just H&S zealotry?

(Have I been trolled?)

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Android passes iPhone in mobile ad race

Ian Yates
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Ads

I've heard it's ad supported... but I've never seen a single one...

I was in the beta and then got the full version and seasons after that, so don't know if there's a relation there.

I can't even see where the adverts would be...

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Google Nexus S Android smartphone

Ian Yates
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Earl

Re. the screen, probably not. I personally think SAMOLED screens are really nice, but I know enough people who would disagree. In addition, Apple's pixel density is still way higher than the competition, but I don't think it's a big enough difference for most people to care.

As for ROMs, I see your point about security. However, I pay to use Modaco ROMs, and Paul would have to be mad to abuse the trust of his paying customers. As long as I have an Android phone, I'll keep paying my sub for the freedom that Modaco provides.

I hope to see some great advancements in Android usability (I personally have nothing against it) and the phone hardware over the next year; competition is good.

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Researcher cracks Wi-Fi passwords with Amazon cloud

Ian Yates
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A fair question

What he's almost certainly done is recorded someone else having that very conversation with the router (not "plain english", but you get the point).

The inherent insecurity in all wireless tech is that you don't have point-to-point communication - if you say "hello", everyone who can pick up wireless transmissions can hear you. Breaking WPA just requires someone to listen for long enough to hear someone else run through the secure handshake and then take however long they want to breakdown and reverse the process offline.

It's like the door to a secret club; if you hear the pass-phrase clearly enough, you'll be able to con your way in.

As someone else said, though, if we're talking about home networks, I'm personally not bothered. Especially since I managed to connect to one of my neighbours' routers yesterday, which still has the default "admin"/"password" login.

I'd tell them, but they haven't been daft enough to use an SSID of their address (well, it's slightly worse since they haven't changed it at all), and there were no nodes connected at the time.

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Apple 'cans restocking fees'

Ian Yates
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Law

"the distance selling regulations are not actually law, and as such breaking them is not 'illegal'"

I'm not sure I agree with you there.

The Consumer Protection Regulations is the UK acceptance into law of the EU distance selling rules; catchily known as Directive 97/7/EC (and, yes, I did have to look that up). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31997L0007:EN:NOT

While the Office of Fair Trading may not be the scariest thing, if someone believes that their consumer rights have been infringed (i.e., goods not being accepted back within the 7 day clause), they're obligated to investigate and (if needed) litigate on the consumer's behalf.

Anyone with any free time is suggested to read this wonderful site: http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/after_you_buy/know-your-rights/

There's nothing more powerful than a consumer knowing their rights, since most retailers either don't seem to or don't care (knowing that most consumers don't know).

IANAL, just a consumer that knows his rights.

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Philips 46PFL9705H Ambilight 46in LED 3D TV

Ian Yates
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L[EC]D

I agree, it's a confusion of terminology, in the same way that current "3D" and "HD" are (what happens when we get 'real' 3D* and resolutions over 1080p?).

I guess the issue is calling them "LED-lit LCD" isn't so catchy. Consumers like to shorten things down ("I have a plasma TV. No, I don't have a clue what that means, but the guy at the shop told me it was better").

* "4D" is taken, so will it be "5D"? *shudders*

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Facebook boobs over breastfeeding page... again

Ian Yates
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Glutten for punishment

If I was them, I'd strongly consider one of the hundreds of other free services that offer at least the bare minimum of Fb's features and don't randomly delete your group without warning.

Most even allow for Fb, Google, OpenID authentication, so you're not forcing people to already be a part of something else.

I'm not saying this couldn't happen elsewhere, but the Fb mods do appear to be pretty trigger-happy.

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Samsung launches 'world's first' Android MP3 player

Ian Yates
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Niche

Depends on the niche you're referring to.

I have a Cowon/iAudio J3 (32GB). True, it doesn't do apps in quite the same way (only dodgy flash games), but it does have a really nice touchscreen, a coverflow-like system (not that I use it), brilliant battery, and great codec support.

In addition, it has microSD expansion (with proper library integration) and it can be used as a normal mass-storage device on any computer :)

And that's not even talking about the sound quality.

Unfortunately, I can understand why some people might find it a little bit techy, and even I'm disappointed with the playlist support.

Since I have an Android phone, I'm not really looking for anything more complicated than that (though, wifi file transfer would be a bonus, I suppose).

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Beastly Android will batter Apple's iOS beauty

Ian Yates
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Shift

I've noticed a definite shift towards Galaxy S or Desire among the technically illiterate (my sister, for one).

It is interesting to see the teens moving to BBs, though. I use one for work and the only reason I can think to have one personally would be if I was texting A LOT. Is this because of BBM, or just that BBs are cheaper than iPhones?

The (non-technical) people I know with Android have it because it was the best offer on their network of choice.

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London's tube demands faster-than-NFC ticketing

Ian Yates
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Ping!

But you don't care (really) who says they are whom in your ping scenario; for TfL, they want to be *mostly* sure that the person they've scanned in is really J Bloggs.

I'm sure there is room for error (since all scans are recorded and CCTV'd), but they don't want to be taken for a ride.

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Double-clicking patent takes on world

Ian Yates
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Joke

*THE WEB*

Since you can apparently patent anything existing, as long as you restate it as being done on the web, is the next round of patent trolls going to be:

Using a keyboard... IN SPACE!!!

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Hackers get to work with Apple's AirPlay

Ian Yates
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DLNA

I don't know much about AirPlay, but is this really just an Apple-only version of DLNA?

If so, why?

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Feds please no one with first official net neut rules

Ian Yates
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Socialism

You're probably being thumbed down for throwing the usual McCarthyist rubbish around that something you don't like is "socialist" because it's about government control.

I'd argue that this was authoritarianism, which I have no problem with if the purpose is to use authority to protect the "weak" (those who don't have the power to protect their interests) from the strong (in this case, the ISPs who wield all of the true power).

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'Porn lock' heralds death of WikiLeaks, internet, democracy, universe

Ian Yates
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Joke

Wrong time of year

But why not ask all the nefarious websites to use the new HTML5 tag: <meta name="evil" content="yes" /> and filter by that?

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UK Man cops to £500,000 iTunes royalty scam

Ian Yates
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Coat

Agreed

If they did have the credit card details (and not just iTunes logins), I can think of many better ways to launder their money to my accounts.

Hang on, there's someone at the door.

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Beeb ordered to release TV licensing contract sweeteners

Ian Yates
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Adult approach

As Lee said, if you know you're in the right, just ignore them.

They won't prosecute unless they are sure you're evading paying.

(IANAL)

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Ian Yates
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EMR

I just assumed they picked up ambiguous electromagnetic fluctations (possibly from CRT TVs) using directional antennae?

They'd then check if the possible source house had a licence and knock on their door.

Could (and almost certainly would) generate a huge amount of false-positives, but at least you got 'em!

Not sure it would even be worth it in the last 20 years, with PCs, microwaves, etc., but no reason not to pretend.

In fact, if that was how they worked, I'd be slightly dissapointed if they still had all the gubbins in them, seeing as how useless it would be.

Can't say I've ever seen one of these vans, though.

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Google gets physical on Hotpot

Ian Yates
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QR codes

Why not include QR codes on these as well?

Oh, wait, Nexus S...

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WikiLeaks payment service threatens to sue Visa, MasterCard

Ian Yates
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EAW

From my following of EAW cases, I don't believe this is true (or if it is, no member country understands it correctly).

EAWs are regularly abused (there are some notable countries that like to apply for them without any real evidence to back it up) - but this is due to poor "quality control" and understanding.

Sorry for lack of sources, 'busy' at work. Examples should be easy to find, though.

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Ian Yates
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Re: AC 1017

"a trusted individual who had agreed not to do so stole some data. IANAL, but it sure sounds like a US crime has been committed by a US citizen."

Interestingly, the US have "whistleblower" laws to allow people to 'steal' information and pass it on 'illegally' but get let off. It'll be interesting to see how much (if any) of this leak is allowed under that defence.

At the end of the day, there's been very little in the current batch of cables that the US gov should be scared of, so their reaction is probably related to something they know or suspect is still to come.

So far, the leak has been a slight embarrassment, but even ex-UK envoys have admitted that this pretty much par-for-the-course with every country (and I believe that pretty easily).

The telling thing is how they don't appear* to have sought much of a discussion with wikileaks, instead resorting to name-calling and threats.

* In the sense that I can't find any public announcement that they tried to talk to Assange et al.

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Nick Cave smashes speed camera with Jag

Ian Yates
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Grinderman

See above; very good live.

(Am I feeding?)

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Windows Phone 7 unlockers let off with a warning

Ian Yates
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Adobe AIR

Is it then possible to release these on the app store? I had a trawl around, but couldn't see anything about using AIR apps on iOS (iPhone and iPad).

The iOS SDK is still Apple-only, though: "To develop with iOS SDK and participate in the iOS Developer Program you must have an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard."

Which was my original comment.

http://developer.apple.com/support/ios/ios-dev-center.html

Not sure why I got voted down; I wasn't critici\ing (it's Apple's choice), I was just pointing out that there are still duplicate apps on a system that has a large "tax" on coding for it.

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Ian Yates
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An interesting hypothesis

However, Apple have two cost barriers in the way of iOS development:

1) the annual fee,

2) OS X

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New NASA model: Doubled CO2 means just 1.64°C warming

Ian Yates
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Experts

If they're not named and known within their "expert" field, they're almost certainly hacks or whackjobs who have stated they're experts in order to have their voice heard *cough*Gillian McKeith*cough*

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Salesforce.com parks cloudy database over Ellison's head

Ian Yates
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Pricing by record

Aren't they just taxing by normalisation level in this way? Surely the £/MB works better?

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ASSANGE ARRESTED in London - in court later today

Ian Yates
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I agree

This is best resolved in a fair and balanced court of law.

The problem is, how do you (a) try him with the current media storm, (b) show that the trial is fair and balanced?

I'm not one for conspiracies, but if this is a smear campaign (i.e., the claims are insubstantial and get retracted before real proof is needed), it's a hideous abuse of multiple justice systems.

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This year's comedy Xmas No. 1 contender: Silent song 4'33"

Ian Yates
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Coffee/keyboard

Very few comments get me like that

n/t

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Ian Yates
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Gates Horns

Radio Gah Gah

It would be awesome if every station could agree to play the song at the exact same time on just one day.

Imagine people's confusion

(Bill not relevant)

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Gov decides not to have scientific advice on drugs any more

Ian Yates
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Marvellous

Now they can continue setting policies based on Daily Mail and Sun readers' "opinions".

Afterall, who cares about scientific evidence on how drugs affect us, when people can just scream about their personal ancedotes and be believed even more?

Time for a scientific strike?

It'll all end in tears.

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Three cops spanking in mobile user ranking

Ian Yates
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Three

You did well - I survived one month, and then fought to get that money back. My phone constantly said I was roaming (related to their tie-in with... T-Mobile, I think it was) and they promised I wouldn't be charged, but then I was.

I shifted to T-Mobile only to find out that the "free Internet booster" doesn't include always-on phones (Android, iPhone, etc.). Apparently, they need their own special Internet (this caused a hilarious conversation with the customer support, as they didn't actually understand what I found so funny about their idea of "free Internet").

Anyway, I'm now with Giffgaff. True, no true customer support, but all of the issues I've had (related to connection) have been solved from a quick forum search, and I can leave whenever I want.

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Apple patents glasses-free, multi-viewer 3D

Ian Yates
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Patently

"highly effective, practical, efficient, uncomplicated, and inexpensive autostereoscopic 3D displays"

So I'm okay as long as I make it expensive or really complicated?

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Foxconn hit by worker protests

Ian Yates
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Black Helicopters

"million-strong company raised wages"

Is it possible for someone at Reg Towers to verify this?

I've seen reliable* reports saying the exact opposite - they promised the wage raise to calm the press, but never actually followed through.

Full disclosure: Private Eye

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Angry Birds struggle to take on Androids

Ian Yates
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One man's "fragmented"

is another's "diverse".

I know apps can specift the API level needed to see them in the market, but can they specify other filters?

Sounds like Android need some kind of device scoring system to cover things like screen size, CPU, etc., in order to classify compatible apps in the market.

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US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Ian Yates
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Your risk

"I'd rather take some extra risk than let others make my decisions for me."

And I'm happy for you to do so, unfortunately a car is a machine more than capable of killing and drivers need to have respect for how easily than can be distracted.

I'm not saying I agree with the OP's proposal, though I can understand the logic.

I don't think monitoring drivers is the answer, I think more stringent punishments; along the lines of weeks/months suspension based on the severity of the disregard of others' safety.

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World's most advanced rootkit penetrates 64-bit Windows

Ian Yates
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I didn't know

but I do now. Cheers, all!

Peter Kay raises on interesting point, though.

I'll see if the benefits outweigh the risks.

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Ian Yates
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UAC

"elevated privileges, this should not be required for end-user software (and if it is required, then there is something wrong with the OS design)"

Completely agree.

I think Win7 has a pretty decent balance in this respect - I haven't found many apps that require elevation when they shouldn't. Mass Effect was the last oddity, that springs to mind.

However, I was playing with some USB debuggers the other day, so I had UAC messages every few minutes for install/start/debug/etc., and ended up clicking the accept button without even - this made me pause because I suddenly realised that I had no idea if I'd accepted it for the app I was even using...

I think the UAC screen needs two changes:

1) Drop the stupid fade effect on the rest of the desktop. It adds an annoying black-screen pause while I wait for my (high-spec) PC to display it. Or is this on purpose? Just seems pointless and annoying to me.

2) In contrast to point 1, either have a two-step process (an "I accept" checkbox to enable the "OK" button), or a couple of seconds countdown on the button (a la Firefox's addon confirmation).

The difference is that I can be reading the info on the app requesting elevated privilegs while I wait.

/rant

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Ian Yates
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BIOS MBR write-protection

I haven't used this in years.

I enabled it on a XP machine that had been running fine for months, and it destroyed the MBR on boot.

Recovered the data and did a fresh install, but the MBR protection destroyed it a second time.

Living by the "fool me once" code, I've never bothered again; maybe I should. I assume either XP didn't like it or my BIOS had a fault.

Perhaps I'll ghost my boot drive and give it a shot... I'd say "it can't hurt", but see above.

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Democratic phone network turns dictatorial

Ian Yates
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Free data

FYI: The "unlimited free data" you're referring to as ending in four months is for the PAYG-only customers.

They've made it clear that the bundles (goodybags) will always have unlimited data included.

I'm a recent giffgaff convert, and so far I think they're on a par with other telco's (unless you get support from yours often).

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