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* Posts by ElectricFox

78 posts • joined 27 May 2011

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Don't tase me Pro: WD brings out Thunderbolt external drive

ElectricFox
Coat

We all make mistaykes, but I just like to highlight the ones that end up being unintentionally funny with the Grammar Nazi icon....

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ElectricFox
Headmaster

"WD has _bought_ out a Thunderbolted My Passport Pro external drive with power delivered over the speedy data cable."

So they acquired some other company that were doing this and re-branded their technology? Or is that a typo?

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Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

ElectricFox
Headmaster

A new Register unit of measurement?

To put that figure into perspective, there are nearly six times as many people living on Easter Island (or Rapa Nui, if you prefer) than were actively testing the Windows 8 version of Firefox.

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Brit 'naut Major Tim could carry YOUR name into SPAAAAACCEEE

ElectricFox
Joke

"Entrants also need to be careful that the logo is one that can be pronounced in other European languages, not just in English."

Probably why they didn't choose a Glaswegian:

"Jimmy in Flight", or JIF for short...

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Netflix needling you? BBC pimps up iPlayer ahead of BBC3 move

ElectricFox
Devil

Factual

I used to love it in the early days, when they put religious programming under the "Factual" category!

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Official: British music punter still loves plastic

ElectricFox
Holmes

DRM has done a lot of damage to purchasing digital music.

See the icon -------------------------->

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

ElectricFox
Windows

BBC2 and BBC4 “spread too little money over too much,” and one of the two spectrum-hogging channels could go.

BBC4 is one of the best channels that came out on freeview. Especially when you compare it to the trash that's on BBC3...

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California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

ElectricFox
Holmes

One for all and all for one!

Fact is, it should be an all or nothing implementation. Who will hold you at knife-point and decide whether to steal your phone, or not, based on whether it can be remotely bricked? They might realise it's not worth stealing a NZ$24 phone, but a shiney touchy black mirror; they'll take it and flog it for whatever it's worth. Make them all lock-down-able ; or else don't bother at all.

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Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

ElectricFox
Paris Hilton

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU MEAN THE VALUE OF BITCOIN CAN FALL?

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

ElectricFox
Terminator

Re: Just wondering?

You think it's bad with the number of cars taking up road space with only 1 person in them... Wait until the fleets of empty driverless cars being sent to free parking take over!

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It's Satya! Microsoft VP Nadella named CEO as Bill Gates steps down

ElectricFox
Windows

Personally, I'd have nominated Eadon for his enthusiasm alone...

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

ElectricFox
Gimp

Is it just me, or do those crocodile clips look like heavy duty jump leads?

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HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT

ElectricFox
Paris Hilton

Dear Esther

Don't know about you guys, but I'm still hopelessly stuck in the caves level in Dear Esther. Now that's a hardcore game...

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Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

ElectricFox
Mushroom

"You don't want to be left with all the cards at the end of the game."

Brilliant line!

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

ElectricFox
Childcatcher

Adverts

Interesting that this article doesn't bring up the thorny issue of advertising. I never took out a Sky subscription after sharing one in a student flat. You're paying extortionate fees for advert-riddled television. Many parents will only put BBC children's TV on for their kids, because they're all too aware of the power that adverts wield over young impressionable kids. Whatever the BBC decides to do; please, for goodness sake, don't introduce adverts and kill the golden goose.

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Boffins hampered by the ampere hanker for a quantum answer

ElectricFox
Thumb Up

Thanks for that. I was just pointing out that the coulomb would make a better base unit than the ampere. It's interesting that they're striving to define the kilogram by counting standard isotope silicone atoms much in the same way counting electrons could give a better definition of the coulomb...

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ElectricFox
WTF?

I always thought it odd that the Ampere is a base SI unit. It's considered a flow rate of one coulomb per second. Surely, the coulomb should be considered the base unit here?

Any explanation would be greatly appreciated...

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Nearly 1 in 5 of UK's Xmas gifts were bought online... not that it helped

ElectricFox
Devil

Christmas shopping in town? See the icon... Fighting your way through crowds of people trying to find presents based on what's on offer in meatspace. I also increasingly find that staff in shops know bugger all about what they're selling. I bought all my stuff online with zero hastle.

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Two guilty over 'menacing' tweets to feminist campaigner

ElectricFox
Mushroom

Re: Splendid, I am delighted to hear it.

Agreed. There is a definite distinction between "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" and directly threatening individuals with rape and murder because you do not agree with their views.

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Hong Kong Bitcoin miners pour datacentre in a FISH TANK

ElectricFox
Coffee/keyboard

Working out how much this will cost in electricity per hour, and factoring the cost of the hardware is easy enough. Unfortunately, the value of bitcoin is so volatile, and the algorithms to mine new coins gets increasingly difficult (though I believe the latter is reactionary to the evolution of technology, and the number of people employed in mining, so it's not possible to predict). Therefore, there's no way of estimating, or guaranteeing when, or indeed if you'll ever get your money back.

I could see bitcoin mining installed in place of electrical heating (radiators, swimming pools, etc), then you could argue that the energy is being put to better use than heating a resistive element....

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

ElectricFox
Headmaster

A great article. I can only dream as I was at the beginning of IT becoming an MS word subject. There are 2 points you make that I would argue with however:

"pointless subject like French"

Modern languages are considered one of the hardest humanities subjects to learn, and are probably one of the more useful "soft" skills to someone pursuing an unrelated career. The few British employees that speak fluent foreign languages as a side skill are generally well respected for this in companies, especially those dealing with international trade. Modern languages are probably the only formal training kids get in grammar these days as my English was entirely dominated by poetry and Shakespeare.

"The current ICT syllabus is designed on the basis of inclusiveness, dumbed down so that any child can learn it and so that ICT can be taught by someone with no qualification in the subject."

All school subjects seem to teach to mediocrity, and I've been taught many other subjects by teachers that hadn't studied that subject past gcse, but they were bright people and could pick up what they needed to know to teach. I feel that kids are streamed into abilites to late, and should be allowed to specialise into subjects that interest them more at an earlier age. I think they should bring back the 11+ system to bring back vocational schools and subjects. There may even be an argument for permanently. The amount of teaching time I had wasted on disruptive kids because the lessons were too easy/hard/not interesting to a 14 year old was pretty shocking.

Again, other than that, thanks for a great article!

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Ding-dong, Cthulu calling: Infogrames’ 1992 Alone in the Dark

ElectricFox
WTF?

There was one terrible puzzle in Alone in the Dark which I can't believe was left in. Spoiler alert...

You have to remove the wedge from some beer barrels in the cellar to uncover a secret passage to the caves under the mansion. If you go into this passage from the cellar, you get eaten by a zombie worm. However, when escaping the caves at the very end of the game, you have to do it through this passageway. If you didn't clear the barrels half way through the game, you get stuck on the final "run" out of the mansion and have to play half the game again to put it right.

That aside, what an epic game. Tres bien fait!

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Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting

ElectricFox
IT Angle

I know you're in Spain for Lohan

But what's the IT angle on this?

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Pimp my office: 10 cubicle comforts

ElectricFox
Meh

Re: Shock, horror, gasp etc

I paid £90 for a Das Keyboard. But then, I spend eight hours per day, 5 days a week using it, and hope it will last for quite some time. I don't want this to come across as preachy, but it's so much nicer to use than a £5 budget keyboard, and I feel the amount of (ab)use it gets more than justifies the cost.

Just because it's not as popular as a £15 mouse doesn't mean that there isn't a market for it (I spent £25 on a laser gaming mouse, but £265 seems a bit of a stretch for my needs).

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Hands up, who couldn't post to Facebook today? Oh, MILLIONS of you

ElectricFox
Thumb Up

Well thank god the Register's forums are here to take up the slack!

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Post-PC world? POST-MAC WORLD more like

ElectricFox
Boffin

Upvoted...

My car PC gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it

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Wanna run someone over in your next Ford? No dice, it won't let you

ElectricFox
Mushroom

How useful!

Your car automatically avoids that plastic bag that just blew in from your peripheral vision and steers into a concrete bollard instead....

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British support for fracking largely unmoved by knowledge of downsides

ElectricFox
Mushroom

My major fear

Is that very small quantities of our GDP are being put into science and engineering research to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. I fear the social disorder from sky high energy prices (gas, electricity, diesel, petrol) than I do any of the environmental concerns of fracking.

Fracking, tax cuts, drilling the arctic: it's only postponing the shortages, not addressing the root cause.

Nuclear because....

</rant>

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500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

ElectricFox
Coat

Re: XP? Pah!

I have a hammer and chisel

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Missing Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG RISES from the GRAVE

ElectricFox
Black Helicopters

They're here!

Hmm, looks like an alien seedship to me. Good job they got it out of that field before it spawned more experiments! Great story.

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Valve aiming to take the joy(sticks) out of gaming with Steam Controller

ElectricFox
Thumb Up

Display

This is where I think the Wii U got it wrong: a massive screen on one controller only. By putting a small cheap(ish) screen on each controller, you can have a private window for sociable strategy games played competitively around one big screen. I can see this being a real plus for bringing many popular board games to the television where you don't spend forever faffing about with little pieces.

Regarding the trackpads, I suspect Valve has put a lot of testing, polish and thought into this, and dismissed many other possibilities that they were researching in favour of them. Finally, regarding cost, because this is all open source hardware, you can bring your own controller round to a mate's for a gaming session on a PC, or any number of steam consoles that will be released next year.

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Hiroshi Yamauchi, bizlord who gave the world Donkey Kong, dead at 85

ElectricFox
Thumb Up

He made such a long lasting cultural impact.

1-Up

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Mozilla's Metro-friendly Firefox for Win 8.1 to arrive in December

ElectricFox
Trollface

"Metro-friendly"

aka Micky Mouse edition...

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Speaking in Tech: You shouldn't EVER store data off-premises

ElectricFox
Mushroom

What happens if the premises floods or burns down taking all your data with it?

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Brit Skylon spaceplane moves closer to lift-off

ElectricFox
Go

Re: Frakking Skylons

More affordable delivery systems makes launching systems to de-orbit junk more affordable. We just need to work out the space law as to who pays for this service...

Why isn't there a $DOLLAR icon?

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ElectricFox
Childcatcher

Had the UK only invested more generously in this earlier

Instead of bailing out banks and the financial ponzi moneylenders. Here's a way to leave a lasting impact on science, engineering and technology.

God, I feel like a BBC commentard sometimes!

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UK plods cuff another bloke in Twitter violence threat probe

ElectricFox
Gimp

Re: Genuine question...

Do you suffer from a sado-masochistic split personality disorder?

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ElectricFox
Pint

Fortunately, these muppets are too impulsive to consider any need to cover their tracks. A pint for the police for acting on this & taking it seriously.

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Deadly Spanish train disaster exploited by malware mail scumbags

ElectricFox

Re: A little off topic, but...

Wow, thanks for clearing me up on that. Only on the Register can you get comments from people with so much knowledge in tech subjects.

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ElectricFox
Alert

Re: A little off topic, but...

I can't speak for the Spanish system, but in the uk, an Automatic Warning System (AWS) activates before a sign which gives advance warning of a major drop in the speed limit. The driver has to push a button to acknowledge this warning and then look out for the signal/sign that pertains to it. If the AWS is not acknowledged in a set time, the brakes are automatically applied to bring the train to a stop. Of course, you could end up in a situation where a driver just pushes a button every time the AWS triggers, and eventually misses the hazard it's supposed to warn you about. There is nothing to "force" a uk train to obey the speed limit.

On the other hand, at almost 200 kph, it'll take at least a mile for a train to stop on emergency brakes. the crash happened 2.2 km from the end station. Imagine how much worse this disaster could have been had the train not derailed where it did and smashed into a station instead.

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ElectricFox
Unhappy

A little off topic, but...

That video is so tragic. It really brings home the responsibilities involved with big heavy things full of people that travel at over 200 kph. I'm sure lessons will be learned around the world from this incident.

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Radiohead's Thom Yorke pulls his own music off Spotify

ElectricFox
Pirate

"[or]else new music producers should be bold and vote with their feet."

Like many potential customers already do with the industry already.

Overpriced music

little of this going to the artists

DRM

128 kbit/s mp3 downloads

...

...

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Confidential Microsoft brief: 'We're TOAST if we fight Google on price'

ElectricFox
Windows

"Wrestling back a Microsoft splitter is "incredibly painful"

Indeed, it is painful for the (ex)customer.

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Apple builds flagship store on top of PLAGUE HOSPITAL

ElectricFox
Headmaster

I always used to wonder why the French used the same word for "electronic chip" as for "fleas".

[The grammar Nazi is also interested in etymology....]

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Voyager 1 'close' to breaking through to DEEP SPACE - boffins

ElectricFox
Alien

We know it's finally out when we hear it shout:

SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!

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Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

ElectricFox
Megaphone

Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

I'm not a luddite, I just think that standardisation, rational thinking and designing things with the end user in mind are good principles to engineer by. Let's try some rational thinking to why replacing the crank shaft is a good idea, and swapping pedals around isn't.

Replace Crank shaft with starter motor

Pros

You don't run the risk of your engine backfiring and smashing bones in your hand.

You can start the car quickly if you stall in busy traffic: try having to get out and crank your car in rush hour.

You can use the starter to nudge your car forwards in an emergency when the engine won't start (stuck on a level crossing for example)

Disabled or plain not strong people can start their cars.

You no longer impale people on the starter handle (was quite a problem, I think)

Cons

You'll need to replace your starter motor with a refurbished one ever decade or so (depending on use case)

Swapping the order of the pedals around

Pros:

It's more aesthetically pleasing, and makes you more hip and trendy

Cons:

Anyone else that drives your car will likely crash it

Once you get used to this standard, you'll probably crash any other standard car you drive

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ElectricFox
Holmes

Re: I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

I can see why they've waited for Friday afternoon before publishing this article....

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ElectricFox
FAIL

If car manufacturers were to do the same...

Wouldn't it be fun to change the order of accelerator, brake and clutch on cars every ten years' or so to "move with the times". I think that boring layout is long overdue for an aesthetic overhaul.

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Microsoft caves on Xbox One DRM and used-game controls

ElectricFox
Black Helicopters

Steam Box

I, for one, am waiting to see what Valve do with the Steam Box. I think it's a pretty good platform on the PC, though I rarely pay over £10 for a game. On the plus side, they'll probably have a lot of support for alternative games from indie developers rather than the overdone fps, racing and sport games. I've bought quite a few of these and have often gone over to friends' houses, logged into my account, download a 150 Mbyte game and have a good multiplayer session.

If the PC Steam client is anything to go by, the Steam Box will be download only, no trading and the same sort of DRM on Steam. A lot of people (myself included) accept this on their PCs, so this is how it will likely break out into the console market.

I expect Valve are watching the Xbox180 quite closely.

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IT mercenaries and buy-to-let landlords are my HEROES - here's why

ElectricFox
FAIL

Just to expand on this, take London as case in point. Businesses could make huge savings by moving up to the north or out to Wales through lower wages and cheaper office space. By being reasonably close to an airport and mainline rail station, they can still get good links to London, and failing that, there're the interwebs.

It will be interesting to see if HS2 indeed moves more businesses out of London, or simply turns Bimingham into another commuter belt. I, for one, sadly fear that it will be the latter.

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