* Posts by Ian Yates

878 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Ian Yates

Re: So we can disable the laugh track.

Or, apparently, we'll all form some kind of "conformation bias" and all cut out the same thing...

I know the Beeb are famous for their birtspeak, but did he actually mean "conformation bias"?

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BT! dumps! Yahoo! after! 10! long! years! together!

Ian Yates

Brilliant...

This better be a super smooth transition. A few of the silver surfers I look after are on BT Yahoo! and have a tendency to only mention that their email hasn't worked for X months when I visit.

Hopefully they'll be able to sensibly transition the IMAP/SMTP details so I don't have to reconfigure everything (that's what DNS and MX records are for, right?).

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Opera debuts Chromium-luvvin' desktop browser Next 15

Ian Yates
FAIL

Re: Impressions so far.

> You should stop caring about browsing surveys [snip]

There, fixed that for you.

Honestly, my browser experience is far more important to me than other people's.

Fail is for surveys in general.

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Ian Yates

Re: Impressions so far.

Will give this a try tonight, but you've listed a number of my favourite Opera features...

Given how bad the new Opera Mobile is, I seriously hope they are still planning a lot of work on these.

If Mobile doesn't get better soon, I'm either going to roll back or find an alternatively and lose thinks like Link.

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Better Place electric car outfit goes titsup

Ian Yates

Re: Chicken, Meet Egg.

I don't disagree with you (I don't own an e-car and am unlikely to buy one any time soon), but:

"A classic car on the other hand - there is a station every 5-10km and refuelling takes mere minutes"

This was kind of the point I was trying to make. When the automobile first appeared, this was not true and people had to stockpile their own petrol/diesel/coal or buy it in shops.

The technology is in its infancy and I'd be shocked if these problems aren't solved over time.

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Ian Yates
Flame

Re: Chicken, Meet Egg.

Had the Internet existed when the petroleum-powered horseless carriage was being pioneered, I'm sure that existing horse-drawn carriage owners would have been saying something similar.

"These contraptions are a solution looking for a problem, what-ho."

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Bill Gates: Corporate tax is not a moral issue

Ian Yates
Devil

Re: Bill is right this time.

"You can't craft your tax law so that it allows corporations to pay less taxes and then complain when they use it."

The problem isn't that simple. Tax laws start simple and become a convoluted mess in an attempt to encourage foreign business.

Say, McBurger comes to the UK but is based in the US and complains that they're paying tax on what they sell in the UK and their profit in the US. They see this as unfair (rightly so), so the government (on both ends) agree to change the tax rules to be fairer to how the company operates across borders. This works great until some shrewd/immoral/cunning/evil (delete as applicable) accountant realises that there is a way to misdeclare or offset the money taken in one region in order to pay less tax.

As the rules around how companies operate across borders expands to cover other scenarios, the number of loopholes increases. (As a developer, I want to say "due to poor unit testing")

Take a look at how Starbucks reduced their tax bill by renting their UK property from a foreign company (themselves) based in a country with lower tax. Perfectly legal, but clearly not what the system was designed for.

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Hot new battery technologies need a cooling off period

Ian Yates

Re: Battery swapping also has problems

"1. Getting on for half the value of an electric vehicle is in the battery."

Except, it wouldn't be. You would rent/borrow the battery and only buy the vehicle.

"swapped out for a 10-year-old Toyota"

I'd see the battery system as being standardised, but that doesn't mean all batteries are alike. In the same way we have diesel, unleaded, LPG, etc., you could have batteries with higher "performance", even if that's just capacity.

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Tea, Earl Grey, hot! NASA blows $125k on Star Trek 3D FOOD PRINTER

Ian Yates
Joke

Re: Just like inkjet printers...

OUT OF CHEESE ERROR

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Happy 23rd birthday, Windows 3.0

Ian Yates
Windows

Re: How many hours wasted?

I managed to cut Win 3.1 down to a single floppy that you could boot from. Ran like a tortoise, but helped me repair many a corrupt config.

Buggered if I can remember the details now (nor care), though I'm pretty sure I still have the disk somewhere...

That brings back memories. I had disks dedicated to different boot configurations so that I could have the right memory split to play games like Frontier/Elite or POP.

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The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex

Ian Yates
Mushroom

In fact, during a games meet / LAN party in 2000 and 2001 (I believe) my mate rented the whole place out and we had ~30 people + computers in there playing various games.

The best was during the Star Craft tournament when "Nuclear launch detected" was repeatedly broadcast throughout the war room ;)

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IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Re: First Direct Bank have it right.....

Also a First Direct fan, but I wanted to mention Smile as well, since they have a similar policy.

Both companies seem to have made the common sense judgement that call centre staff should actually have the ability to help, rather than apologise that the system won't let them do something.

Oh, and both have 0845 numbers. Perfect.

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Boffins find world's oldest virgin water trapped in Earth's crust

Ian Yates
WTF?

Re: The perfect gift . . .

You mean Dasani? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasani

It's still going strong in America (USA and Canada), and is just treated tap water.

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Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Ian Yates
Boffin

Re: You what?

No excuse. The Sensation has one-click rooting and a plethora of excellent ROMs from pure AOSP to CM 10.1.

I'm not suggesting that everyone can/should root their phones, but I'm sure a silver-badged commentard knows what they're doing ;)

Personally, I buy a phone based on it's hardware and current ROM status; not interested in the manufacturer guff.

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Ian Yates

Just because manufacturers can "add their duplicate/bloated/useful/pointless apps" doesn't mean they have to, so the fault lies firmly with them.

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German court: 'Nein' to Apple 'global consent' on fanbois' privacy

Ian Yates
Coat

Extracting bodily fluids from our corpses? Apt metaphor

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Don't use Google+? Tough, Google Glass will inject it INTO YOUR EYES

Ian Yates

Re: World Travel...

From what I've seen, the camera (pictures and video) is pretty poor, especially in low light. It's possible this is to allay some privacy concerns.

Other than that, it's an Android device, so (eventually) you'll be able to be in complete control of the device and how it behaves. I can imagine a lot of XDA et al. focus on this.

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Ian Yates

Re: @Ian Yates - Not from my Android phone!

Good for you, although I don't see the relevance here.

In order to use Glass you will need a Google account, so my point stands. I wasn't trying to say that Google can trace all Android phones, I'm well aware of how to remove Google from Android.

Honestly, I don't trust Google any more than the others, but they have no need for covert ways of harvesting your data, most people are happily giving away enough to keep the advertisers happy.

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Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

The camera isn't always on; the battery is actually quite weak.

The only location data the big G is getting is something they could already get from Android phones.

I'm still not sure what I'd use Glass for, but I'm very interested to try it out.

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Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

Ian Yates
Stop

Re: Sir

But... "cyberspace"!

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Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

Ian Yates

Re: We told you it was shit

"good UI developers identify which approach is best"

Best for whom?

In my experience, existing users want new features to fit with the current style, new users don't know better.

Over time, existing users may come to prefer new styles (I actually prefer 2007's ribbon to 2003's menu system now, mostly because of the visual cues, though I still have to hunt for some things) but they don't want to be forced to learn a whole new "user experience paradigm" (that's probably going to change in the next release) just to continue doing what they've always done.

I think this fits perfectly with TIFKAM, which I've disabled on my only Win8 box as much as I could, and have never felt like I'm missing out on something.

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Look ma, no plugins! Streaming web video with just JavaScript

Ian Yates

Re: Shouldn't that be...

Not subtle enough and it turns consumers away, too subtle and a simple reencoding can corrupt or strip out the watermark info.

It's an interesting idea, and certainly better than the full DRM options, but it's still security by obscurity, which just doesn't last (see AACS and others).

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Google hit by building automation security FAIL

Ian Yates
WTF?

Re: And who in their right mind puts a BMS on the Internet?

Agreed. Certificate-based VPN (possibly IP-restricted) should be the minimum for such a critical system, if it has to be accessible externally.

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37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

Ian Yates
Coat

Re: Let's see....

It's blue

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Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

Ian Yates

Re: Have a gorilla...

Please... don't do that

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Facebook Messenger tech to glue 50bn-strong Internet of Stuff

Ian Yates

Or your local router? Seems like a logical place for such a broker

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Ian Yates
Terminator

"in the past year I have seen 4 computer monitors and 3 TV's die"

Have you got surge protectors? If so, you seem to have the worse luck with electrical equipment I've ever heard of

(maybe you project an anti-technology field? useful for the robot uprising)

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Apple: You thought Google dodged taxes? Get a load of THIS

Ian Yates

All banks "relend" investment, it's how they create the credit in the first place, which is what powers the economy.

One view is that a "responsible" bank should hold enough assets at any time to cover a minimum of 20% of their exposure.

And although Lehmans practiced some truly irresponsible trading and lending, they were far from the cause of GFC (sounds catchier).

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Google to Glass devs: 'Duh! Go ahead, hack your headset'

Ian Yates

Re: Brilliant initiative from Google's end

Look on the BBC today and you'll see an article about a woman parking a car being filmed. It's already here, if people want it, using phones; I don't see Glass changing that. Upskirt shorts are far easier with any of the hundreds of "spy" cameras available for sub-£100 than Glass.

Plus, the current specs of Glass mean that you really wouldn't want to video things unless they were of real interest as the battery just doesn't last that long. Google also limited the mic to only pick up the wearer's voice properly, and their low-light ability is terrible.

"How long before a salesman in a shop you've never been in before knows your sales history and credit rating before even speaking to you? Google sell the info and the facial recognition data, heaven forfend!"

Google aren't that dumb. There's a legal limit (currently) to what information can be shared without direct user's consent, based around legitimate relevance to what the information was given for.

I'm not saying Glass isn't a privacy issue, but I don't see it as any worse than current smart phones. I never know if the people on the train are holding their phone up to read the screen better or take a picture/video of me.

Anyone know if Glass has a light to show it's recording?

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Canadian TV station wails: NFC bonking... it's not SAFE

Ian Yates
Alert

Re: No Chip and Pin in America?

"the easiest method of stealing card numbers"

Didn't you read the article?!

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Peak txt: 1.5 BEELLLION more chat app msgs sent than SMSes a day

Ian Yates

Re: Another app?

I use SMS, Google Messenger, and WhatsApp, depending on the friends involved.

I actually prefer GM because I can start a session on my phone and continue it on my PC and back again. WhatsApp's group feature is also very useful, but (as you said) everyone has SMS so it's the default point of contact.

The real crime here is the cost of SMS; telco's are laughing for every text they charge for.

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UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

Ian Yates
Coat

@Andrew Orlowski

"Of course, some people were in a hurry. When the"

... comment was written?

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Ian Yates

Re: Excuse me

I should probably check, but I was under the impression that Flickr did provide ownership controls that updated the EXIF metadata?

It'll be interesting to see how defensible the claim of orphaned work is.

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Science of the lambs: Boffins grow GLOW-IN-THE-DARK sheep

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

+1

How do I upvote the article tagline?

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iPhone 5 totters at the top as Samsung thrusts up UK mobe chart

Ian Yates

Re: Not out of the woods yet...

"each time they sell a phone, they simply create a dissatisfied customer, who won't go back. Why? The phones suck, Nokia hardware is not state of the art any more, but a generation behind. The operating system also sucks."

So when does this Eadon report come out?

I have 3 friends on WinPho (all Nokia) and they're all very happy. Do you know why? Because the phones do exactly what they need them to do, and they do it well.

These are not people who want to customise their phones, and they don't need whizz-bang features. Essentially, they would also have been happy with the older BBs (can't say I've looked at BB10/QNX yet).

True, it might not be the demographic that MS were hoping for, but I can see it being a good growth area for them.

Like it or not, WP8 is a functional, simple, and (arguably) elegant OS for a phone.

And what do you mean by "state of the art" hardware? Nokia has the best camera sensor and microphones that I'm aware of (although, the HTC One camera looks to be getting closer).

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Fried-egg sarnies kick off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

Ian Yates

Re: Egg sarnies

Also, add some vinegar = pickled eggs! Last for ages

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

Ian Yates

Re: Sad realities

"What do we get now?"

Well, I have a Cowon J3, which has a superb sound and plenty of EQ controls. Battery lasts 50+ hours and I've currently got 64GB on it (32GB onboard + 32GB uSDHC card). Plus, it plays everything from classical and opera through to rock and indie without concern.

I can't see me moving away from a dedicated music player for a long time; I don't have to worry about using up phone battery to listen to music and the device is designed specifically to play music well.

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Google's Euro antitrust offer: Fine! We'll link to our search rivals

Ian Yates

Re: Another dodgy practice...

YMMV, but I've had good experiences with duckduckgo

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Bill Gates offends Koreans after sticking hand down trousers

Ian Yates
Coat

Re: could have been worse

It would also be slightly rude if they had both hands in their pockets

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Ian Yates
Stop

Re: Gates vs Politician - college is not necessarily good. Brunel.

"they knew more by 10 than modern teaching teaches kids by 18. Brunel had mastered Euclid's elements by 8 years."

You mean, those that could afford it? Brunel had by no means a standard education of his day

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Galaxy S4 radiant, but has black holes

Ian Yates
Terminator

15 minutes? I fail to see how this is an issue... If you'd said a day, then I'd agree.

Personally, the ability to customise it massively outweighs the time to do so.

On the very rare occasions when I do a full wipe, it takes longer for my installed apps to redownload (automatically, though) than it does for me to customise the home screens.

Also, on the discussion of lag, I can't help but feel that this is Samsung's issue more than Android itself. I have the original Sensation running a kang of CM 10.1 (Albinoman887, for those that are interested) and don't have any issues with lag.

(Isn't it time for a Google/Android icon?)

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Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

Ian Yates
WTF?

Re: No

Why, is that what your current GPS does?

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Google Glass will SELF-DESTRUCT if flogged on eBay

Ian Yates
Stop

Re: Overreaction?

This seems to me just a way to prevent scalping. True, it comes across as horridly totalitarian, but how else do you prevent people buying up the (limited) stock for their personal profit?

The purpose of the first release is to get the device in to the hands of devs so that they can create cool stuff for it, which would be hurt by allowing anyone to buy and resell them.

Arguably, "free market" blah blah blah, but they have a point.

Caveat: the above is void if this clause remains for the final product.

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O2 tries something completely new: Honesty

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Re: Wrong...

"I have always found that it is the same or cheaper to buy the phone outright and use a SIM only plan. In fact, buying the phone on some credit cards can sometimes work out cheaper!"

Agreed. I don't change my phone every year, but I always buy outright.

As I'm on a one-month rolling "contract", I can change whenever I like and am always on the lookout for a cheaper one.

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Google's 'power to switch off the lights in Europe' has 'chilling effect' - rivals

Ian Yates

Re: Not a particular google fan but

They want them to stop being so successful so that everyone can have a go at Internet supremacy.

This just sounds like MS (and others) moaning that they didn't take the 'net credibly until it was too late.

I'm sure Google could scale back some of their integration in to everyone's 'net use, but it's difficult to say that they don't deserve their current position, given the innovations and effort they've put in.

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Antarctic ice sheet melt 'not that unusual', latest ice core shows

Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

"It's a popular tactic amongst commentators of all stripes."

There, fixed that for you.

Proponents do it as much as denialists; it's pretty standard rhetoric.

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Movie review: Oblivion

Ian Yates

My first thought (on seeing the trailer) was where did all this shiny futuristic tech come from? My understanding is that this is set ~65 years in the future...

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Google tool lets you share data from BEYOND the GRAVE

Ian Yates

Re: I can imagine receiving the alert

Or "I told you I was ill"

Apologies to Mr Milligan

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Ian Yates
Mushroom

Re: But it takes 2lbs of frozen peas

... Only if your peas can initiate/sustain nuclear fusion

Very cool tech (no pun)

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Microsoft leads charge against Google's Android in EU antitrust complaint

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Re: Ha!

I was thinking that with this line "embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses"

Seriously? This came from Microsoft (by proxy)? They have the biggest ones I've ever seen

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