* Posts by auburnman

1228 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

auburnman

Re: supermarket pricing

In the UK there's usually a price per 100g/ml/item in the small print on the shelf sticker in most of the supermarkets for easy comparison. Not sure if this is due to legislation or a voluntary code or just trying to one up the other mob, but all the same studying the shelf sticker closely usually pays dividends.

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

auburnman

Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

So it's not fin guided then.

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auburnman

Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

According to the quote from the article, the shot is taken from a "standard rifle." Where did the assumption a smoothbore will be required come from?

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UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

auburnman

Re: Reminds me of the classic

Sometimes it's a Long Stand...

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Amazon lifts lid on AWS money factory, says it's a $5 BEEEELLION biz

auburnman

Re: It's a tax con

Yeah I thought this was common knowledge by now; I was actually a little surprised by the 'poor Amazon' tone, as if the author doesn't know this is how it looks when it's going to plan for them.

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>Ring, ring< Hey Wall St. Yeah, it's Google. Yeah, bad news again, fellas

auburnman

Something occurs to me: would it be possible (in terms of navigating the legal hurdles) for companies to hedge against Wall street manipulation by publicly publishing a strategy of share buying/selling at set prices?

e.g. "We at ChamChung believe our company is worth $XBn, which corresponds to a share price of $100/ share. We will therefore automatically buy up our own shares trading under $80/share and sell shares when buyers are offering in excess of $120.

I realise no-one would ever actually do this due to executives usually having vested interests in the Wall Street shenenigans and not wanting to admit when your company is tanking, but would it be a feasible thing to do without being accused of insider trading or somesuch?

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JUNK in your TRUNK is Amazon Germany's new delivery plan

auburnman

Re: Cars/bulter ratio

Then surely the solution there would be an Amazon locker in the train station near the car park. What if it's a multi story park? I still maintain that with a number of delivery companies barely managing to service a static address, a moving target is a recipe for disaster. Or at least coming home to a "We could not (be arsed to) deliver your parcel" email.

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auburnman

Re: Cars/bulter ratio

That'll never work in a million years. Some delivery companies can barely deliver to static addresses, now they want to go after moving targets? Banking on Joe public for accurate directions better than "the grey Audi on Somesuch street" and remembering they can't move the car on that day?

This all sounds way more complicated than just getting a parcel sent to your work if you can't be home.

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auburnman

Why?

How are they going to deliver to your car, unless your car is at home? And if your car is home, it's a good bet you are too? And if this is aimed at two car homes, surely they can just get the butler to receive the parcel :)

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Google versus the EU: Sigh. You can't exploit a contestable monopoly

auburnman

Google users are Google customers as well as the product. In the web search market they buy search services by providing eyeballs on the Google page; Google takes these eyeballs, categorises them by the likely interests of the user and delivers them in bulk for a fee to advertisers in the advertising market. Google's 'products' are free to take their business elsewhere at any time within the search market for the low low cost of a few keystrokes. Google's customers are free to buy advertising space from any other ad provider at any time (and I imagine they already do), but Google remains the biggest supplier of eyeballs on ads due to its dominance (not monopoly) in the separate web search market.

There is no loss-leading going on; web search is a no monetary cost operation and was long before Google entered the business. I won't deny that Google's might creates a massive barrier to entry. But whatever your opinion of Google, the failures of other market entrants/participants can't be laid at their door.

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auburnman

Monopsony not Monopoly?

I have issue with the headlines assertion that 'you can't exploit a contestable monopoly.' Clearly you can, even if it (might) attract competition (after a time lag where you lap up the gravy.)

But let's look at it as Google being a supplier for a minute: Google is more or less a monopsony with a stranglehold on the eyeball supply. Every single advertiser could hate them and be ready to jump to another advertising space seller, but how does a competitor contest Google's position when market share in search is the resource that you are using? You can't make more eyeballs so you have to steal Google's somehow. Only on that side of the equation you are competing with a (financially) free service with years of experience in delivering effective, relevant search results.

Google may be pushing their own services and agenda all they like on their website; until they piss off a critical mass of search users or they pull an unambiguously illegal stunt that lands them in doo-doo, advertisers have the basic choices of putting up with it or pissing off.

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Thinking of following Facebook and going DIY? Think again

auburnman

Re: FFS

The Fast Show was (IIRC) the first sketch show in Britain to (heavily or almost exclusively) feature recurring characters. While it was entertaining I think the combination of nostalgia and rarity (watchable comedy was rocking-horse shit rare back at the time) has inflated its status over the years.

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auburnman

Saying that prices have crept up is cherry picking facts slightly as well. Sonic 2 and their ilk cost about £50 from Woolworths in the 90's. Years after this Sony slashed prices on PlayStation games and prices have steadily crept back up after that point, but we're still shelling out roughly the same as we happily parted with for 16-bit titles decades ago.

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BLAM! Valve slams brakes on Steam flimflam with $5 spam scram plan

auburnman

Re: Is this a problem?

It's becoming one. I went years with no Steam spam, but lately I log in and see 5-6 messages that 'vlkdhbvkjef' has added you to their friends list, and have started seeing items like "Hi bro my friend want trade wit you but he cantfor sum resn add <<dodgy scam here>> pls" cluttering my inbox.

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auburnman

Re: WTF?

But $5 each and every time a new account is created will add up to a lot, and more than likely will stop a lot of spam as it stops being profitable for the spammers. Valve should go further and tier the response, so that a brand new account that has spent no more than the minimum $5 could only message say, ten other accounts in the first week.

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You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

auburnman

Next Monday's headline - Google closing it's '.fr' domains.

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Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

auburnman

Sounds like Worstall should chip in on this in his next Economics article, maybe do a teardown on how realistic the claims of each side are.

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Revealed: The AMAZING technology behind Apple's $1299 Retina MacBooks – a lot of glue

auburnman

"never tried it but just know they won't like it."

I've never lit my testicles on fire either but I'm reasonably confident I wouldn't like it.

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Sticks and stones may break my DRONES – but I'm worth $10bn, laughs China's 'copter giant

auburnman

"Last month, a DJI drone was used in the first attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison"

first unmanned attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison

in fact, first detected unmanned attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison

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DRONE ALONE: US Navy secretary gives up on manned fighters

auburnman

Re: All will be well then...

If they can actually support aircraft unlike ours we will gladly have them (or we would if we had any money to buy them)

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+5 ROOTKIT OF VENGEANCE defeats forces of gaming good

auburnman

Re: Why is this still an issue?

Of course you get players that are just good being called hackers*, but there is massive scope for the game client to pick up things that are really obvious exploits like repeatedly getting headshots through walls, surviving attacks that are supposed to be 1 hit kills, using powers their class/level shouldn't have access to to name a few; all of which you see these days and it seems like sweet FA is done about it.

*Oh to be the lucky little shit who thinks someone with an 18-10 KD ratio is hacking - they've clearly never played against an actual hacker in their life

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auburnman

Why is this still an issue?

It's high time multiplayer games distributed anti-cheat software so that the clients are all watching the OTHER clients in a match and came to a consensus about kicking/banning automatically after a certain number of stikes, eg:

-Client_123 suspects client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA be added to suspected cheater watchlist (headshot through wall)

-Client 124 suspects client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA of cheating (6 headshots within 6 seconds)

-Client 125 suspects client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA of cheating (Client 125 player actor dealt 1600 damage to client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA player actor which did not enter death state)

-Consensus reached to kick client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA.

Multiplayer inherently requires the game clients to tell each other what they are doing, it's ludicrous that no-one is using this to automatically catch the signs of abuse

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auburnman
Trollface

Re: "kernel driver providing a rootkit-like functionality to hide activity"

You 'crack' something that is strong and well built, like concrete. You 'pop' something that was soft and not really up to withstanding deliberate abuse anyway, like bubblewrap or anti-cheat software

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Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

auburnman

Re: This doesn't add up at all

Makes perfect sense to me, in the aftermath of the big fire people will probably think any alarms are just acting up, and you can clart around town with big tools / climbing gear quite openly. If you get challenged you can say you're on the way to the fire site or checking other underground infrastructure for secondary damage.

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auburnman

I think he's perfectly likely to have heard of it if there was ever a fire of that scale in his working lifetime; surely any disaster big enough to cause evacuations would be an all hands to the pump job for all the emergency services.

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The Internet of Stuff is a gigantic ultra-perv robbery network – study

auburnman
Joke

Re: My fridge

There is the small matter of the house being robbed by a yob who stood on the back of the Smart Droid and got carried into the house, but that's a small price to pay for such convenience surely?

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Irvine Welsh offers A Decent Ride, while the The Discreet Hero is yet to be revealed

auburnman

Re: Bizarre as it may seem

I seem to recall when they tested the procedure on a group with severe gut disorders they had to stop the test early as the results were so black and white. The treatment group almost universally saw massive improvement and the control group quickly figured out they hadn't actually had the procedure and begged for it.

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

auburnman

I thought the link would have been posted by now, but isn't there an XKCD where they try burning ebooks?

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

auburnman

To me it looks like a statement that just happens to end with a question mark. Downvoting it might seem a little harsh but the thinking that household fuses can handle grid-scale voltage is dangerous.

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auburnman

A downvote doesn't mean people want you to burn in hell, it just means people have disagreed with your statement enough to give you imaginary negative internet points. Nothing controversial about disagreeing with an inaccurate idea unless you take it personally.

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Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

auburnman
Facepalm

"Subsequently a voice connection is established to avoid sending rescue services to small accidents”

That'll be exactly what you need when you've just had a prang bad enough to launch the airbags and your adrenaline is through the roof - a disembodied voice from nowhere questioning you!

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auburnman

Re: Will it be easy to disable ?

I would guess technically yes, but in reality it will be engineered too deep into the system and/or an insurance nightmare for all but the most diehards.

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

auburnman

Re: Apathy and abstention

Sadly the majority of voters voted against the Alternative Vote referendum which gave the politicians an excuse to leave the voting system as is.

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BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

auburnman
Headmaster

Pedantic point of order

"However, the Beeb simply can’t afford to give away £5-10m every year in hardware"

"According to the BBC's 2013/14 Annual Report, its total income was £5 billion" (Wikipedia)*

Pretty sure they could afford it, but that dosh would probably be better spent on youtube-style video series explaining coding in detail with the core principles & practical examples.

*Yes, terribly lazy of me and probably wrong, but what can you do.

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Siri, you're fired: Microsoft Cortana's elbows into iOS, Android

auburnman

Re: Yet to see

It's a great idea in concept - a PA you don't have to pay - but who is realistically going to talk to their phone in public like a bellend? Add to that the voice recognition is dependent on a data connection to more powerful servers to turn your abhorrent shrieking into recognisable language, and it's practically guaranteed to not be available when you really need it.

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

auburnman

"Physical copyright offences carry a maximum 10-year penalty, but online infringers can only be sentenced for up to two years."

How do both of those stack up against shoplifting the equivalent priced item?

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ALL comp-sci courses will have compulsory infosec lessons – UK.gov

auburnman

Own goal for GCHQ?

The more people who become properly educated and informed on InfoSec matters the less they will be likely to trust/work for the various 'hoover up all data!' organisations. Bring it on I reckon.

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Chappie: The AI tale that’s about heart, not intelligence

auburnman

Re: Nice review...

Elysium was a good film with an interesting promise and a weak ending. If they'd just taken 5-10 minutes to construct a decent narrative about the situation improving instead of the computers then magically make everything alright. Even a voiceover Epilogue would have been better.

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Ouch! Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux

auburnman

Re: “On the software from” ?

What's your ratio of corrections mailed to corrections@thereg vs. posted in the forums? I really think it would be worth adding a button that lets you flag your own post as correcting the article. Limit it to badge holders and take it off anyone who abuses it.

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Ex-cops dumped on never-hire blacklist for data misdeeds

auburnman

I think it's SHARING a blacklist among multiple organisations that's an offence; it's one thing to keep a track of people you've kicked out of your organisation, it's another thing entirely if there's a culture of fear because stepping out of line could get your name in "the black book" whereupon you will be lucky if you can get a job stacking shelves.

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

auburnman

On top of that there's definitely already an NHS unique number, I had to go through all my old records to find mine when registering for a new GP.

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US Senators hope to crack down on the trade of private information

auburnman

Wouldn't Google and Facebook count as data brokers? Sorry to be my usual cynical self but this is bound to be buried under a ton of lobbying.

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Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

auburnman

Re: hmm

Well I'll concede el Reg don't have my bank details, over several years of being a commentard I may have revealed enough little bits about me to be useful to someone trying a social engineering attack to reset a password somewhere. Looking at my profile details you have my real name, my job role, my email address, you DON'T have my company name but the box is there so you may know who others work for. If someone could access my Reg login then off the top of my head they'd probably know the city I live in, possibly what kind of phone/'puter I use and what I say about my workplace when I'm posting as AC.

If you don't see a good reason to protect the login creds, that doesn't mean there isn't one.

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

auburnman

Re: petur Fair trial

"All while the cameras are conveniently pointed the other way."

At least when the cameras are rolling they (sometimes) put the guns away and completely legally choke you to death on film.

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Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

auburnman

Re: motivation

Perhaps Worstall was due to submit a column to el Reg, and was a bit stuck for content?

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£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

auburnman

Another problem with Kickstarter is the urge to tack on features that haven't been properly time/cost budgeted for to shore up a project that looks like it won't meet the funding goal. I backed a videogame way back in the mists of time that was initially to be iOS only after they pledged to do a PC version.

That PC version came out this week, months behind the mobile stuff and 'slightly' behind the projected ship date of Sep '13. Having said that I feel quite lucky that I got a product at all as I do acknowledge the risk of Kickstarted projects.

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Hillary Clinton draws flak for using personal email at State Dept

auburnman

If she really wasn't given a state.gov address, the one of the most senior Officers of the state would have been unable to do her job effectively; sounds close enough to an emergency for me.

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Tinder Plus charges oldies MORE to ogle young hotties' pics

auburnman
Joke

Re: NSFW

Perhaps el Reg are choosing the photos based on Lusty's browsing profile...

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Chasing pennies, Sony, Microsoft and smartphone biz rivals retreat to mid-range

auburnman

This crash was on the cards the second Quad-core processors and other properly tasty tech started appearing on the lower end handsets. Once 'settling' for a budget mobe didn't feel like settling at all, the 'high end' (non Apple) phones were bound to start piling up. Then retailers have to sell them cheap to get shot, meaning the average quality of cheaper phones goes up and there's even less reason to shell out big bucks for the latest Flagship products.

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End in sight for Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe wage-fixing lawsuit

auburnman

Is Lucy Koh the only Judge in the whole of California or something? She seems to handle every single lawsuit we hear about.

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