* Posts by silent_count

511 posts • joined 21 Nov 2011

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Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

silent_count
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@James 51

And at the time I write this you've got 7 downvotes for making a perfectly reasonable observation.

I'd love to see a feature added to El Reg so you can look up who up/downvoted each post because I share your view, James 51 - I think The Register has finally got popular enough that MS is paying some 'image management' mob to downvote anyone who says anything negative about Microsoft.

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Microsoft Edge web browser: A well-presented mea culpa

silent_count
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Twice Shy

Having spent 15-odd years getting rid of their last browser, I desperately hope that the world knows better than to fall for Microsoft's shenanigans again.

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Oz opposition spraying perfume on metadata dead cat

silent_count
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Underwhelming

"Greens deputy leader Scott Ludlam, a vocal opponent of the legislation, said it was "underwhelming" to see Labor raise concerns about the laws after the fact."

The above is quoted from 'The Age' piece mentioned in the article and sums up the Labour party's regrets and in fact the whole party. Is this really the peak of our opposition party's intellectual firepower? To pass laws and only afterwards questions whether it was a good idea.

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Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $4.6 million

silent_count
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Land of the (certainly not) Free

If one is willing to assume that Google's people know what they're doing, it's a sad state of affairs that the best way to improve their business is to buy politicians rather than spend the same amount on improving their existing products or researching new ones.

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Greece? Zzzz. EU bank says TWEETING can move the stock market

silent_count
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Is this how it's done?

- Buy up junk stocks for the price of a beer or two.

- Use dummy accounts to seed twitter with "bullish".

- Offload junk stocks and use profit to buy Martha's Vinyard.

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Ex-Apple bods suing Apple for bag searches get class-action upgrade

silent_count
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@Paw Bokenfohr

This is a self-correcting 'problem' (if one chooses to view it that way).

If enough customers are offended by Apple searching it's employee's bags, then Apple has the option to change the policy or lose customers and go out of business.

If enough prospective employees are offended by this policy then Apple will have trouble attracting staff, which means paying higher wages, which in turn means charging more for their products (to make enough to pay the higher wages) which will make their products less attractive to customers.

Regardless of what Apple fans might say, the more they charge for products the more potential customers will decide that a similar Samsung, HTC, or possibly even WinPhone is good enough.

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silent_count
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"Apple argues that the searches were so quick, there's no need to pay out any cash."

If it's as quick as all that then what's the problem with doing these searches during the time the employees are paid to be there?

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Ad slingers beware! Google raises Red Screen of malware Dearth

silent_count
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Google blocks malware

This must be stopped!

Google is using its browser 'monopoly' to harm the poor malware peddlers' business model.

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How many top-level domains are there now? 300? 500? No, it's 1,000

silent_count
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I've worked it out

In an effort to reduce confusion about when to use .com, .org or .net, ICANN will issue a new TLD for every web page. Problem solved.

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Hacking Team hacked: Spyware source code torrent blurts govt customers

silent_count
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Re: "claiming to only deal with ethical governments"

"Ethical" governments are the ones willing to pay for the daVinci malware. The unethical get it for free when they torrent "Window XP mega ultimate w/ activation crack" :p

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Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

silent_count
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Re: PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

No John Smith 19, no e-reader is any good at PDFs, mostly because PDF is a shitty, though admittedly popular, format. If you've got your heart set on a PDF reader my advice is to go looking for a cheap android tablet.

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Australia gets its Internet filter after Senate vote

silent_count
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Want a laugh?

Ask any of the 37 who voted in favour of this how it benefits their constituents.

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Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

silent_count
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Hypothetical

So what say ye? A 15 inch laptop (or 17 inch with a numeric keypad), i5, 2400x1800 (4x3 aspect ratio) matte screen, 8gig ram (upgradable to 32), 256gig SSD*, a decent, backlit keyboard** and good trackpad?

Any objections? I suspect if such laptops were available to the Reg commentards (for a less than utterly ridiculous price) they'd sell like hotcakes and yet nobody makes em.

* Could always do with more but I wouldn't want less.

** Costs about $10 extra and is useful on odd occasions.

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How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

silent_count
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If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

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Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

silent_count
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@Kleykenb

"(and why would you use it if it cost you 6Euro and it's only worth 2.5Euro)"

I take it you've never seen Brewster's Millions (R.I.P. Richard Pryor and John Candy).

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Women are fleeing from the digital sector, reckons UK.gov report

silent_count
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He said: "Initiatives like TechFuture Girls that encourage young women to consider a career in this dynamic sector will play an important role in addressing this issue.”

Why? Is there any virtue to having a 50-50 gender split in the IT, or any other, sector?

I don't see any urgency to get men into fields which are dominated by women, and I'm ok with that too, because I don't see what's wrong with accepting that some fields appeal more to some population groups than others.

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Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

silent_count
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Teaching kids to code is what they called a 'hospital pass' when I was growing up.

'Here you go kids. Learn coding! What's that? You're good at it and you enjoy it. That's great! Well no. There are no coding jobs because they were outsourced to low wage countries before you started school.'

The CEO mentioned in the article wants kids to learn coding. Fine. But did he happen to mention any plans to hire any coders in the foreseeable future?

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

silent_count
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Re: Don't worry citizen.

"(Yes, yes, I know it's just a trade agreement and not some super secret criminal laws... yet.)"

Unless you've read it, neither you nor I know what theis agreement entails. That's the problem with it.

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WHOOPSIE! Vast US health insurer CareFirst plundered of 1.1 MEELLION records

silent_count
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Re: Here we go again

"oops, sorry, here's a credit monitoring service. Now, let's get back to outsourcing our IT department to the lowest bidder."

And there I think you've hit at the root of the problem - it's cheaper and easier to say "oopsies" and give out pennies worth of credit monitoring than to pay the cost to secure the customer data.

Unless there's a big enough stick - either through legislation or litigation - this will continue to be the standard practice.

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Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

silent_count
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Re: Darwin's Law is still in effect.

"but the issue [with my master plan of voluntary bad driver culling] is that it tends to involve innocent bystanders."

You're right, to an extent, but I see it as more of a trade-off.

Either a one time period of increased danger to 'normal' people while the incompetent drivers remove themselves from the gene pool forever. The added danger tails off in direct proportion to the rate of culling.

Or the continual risk of incompetent drivers only texting-and-driving if they can't see a copper nearby coupled with the increased chance of them reproducing and passing the 'dumdum' gene onto their offspring who will grow up and inflict their dumb upon the next generation.

I'd prefer to bite the proverbial bullet and go with the first option but can't really hold it against you if you favour the latter.

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silent_count
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Re: Darwin's Law is still in effect.

It's a delicious thought - remove all penalties, nay encourage using a phone/tablets/laptops/blow-up-dolls while driving, and let natural selection sort 'em out.

Who are these fines for anyhow? The people who don't posess enough rational thought to realise that driving is dangerous, and driving while intentionally impairing their driving ability is a really bad idea. Therefore the fines are for people who should never have been allowed to drive in the first place.

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Why does Uber keep its drivers' pay so low? Ex-CFO: 'Cos we can'

silent_count
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Re: "no comment"

I'm no Tim W but I'll have a stab at it.

Uber matches drivers to passengers. The passenger pays the driver a 'fare', and the driver then pays a 'cut' of the 'fare' to Uber for their matchmaking service.

If the 'fare' is too high, there will be no passengers. They will catch a train, taxi, bus, or drive themselves, or just decide a night out is too expensive and stay home instead.

If Uber's 'cut' is too high, that is the drivers don't get to keep enough of the 'fare' to make driving people around worth their while, there would be no drivers. They would find a different job or maybe just stay home and watch TV or read Tim W articles instead.

This article is about Mr Novogratz saying that Uber's 'cut' is too high - Uber is overcharging for it's matchmaking services. If he's right, a free market will create a competitor which will kill Uber. One who is willing to take a lower 'cut' and thus is able to charge lower fares (which will steal all of Uber's customers) or pay the drivers more (how well would Uber do if their drivers all left Uber to work for a higher paying competitor?).

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High-level, state-sponsored Naikon hackers exposed

silent_count
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Alien

"Naikon has developed platform-independent code [...] "

Yeah right! It's on the desk over there, next to the perpetual motion device. Unless.. maybe the reason Kaspersky is reluctant to implicate a country is because that would be secondary to implicating the Naikon crew's home planet. ----->

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So why the hell do we bail banks out?

silent_count
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Re: it's gambling.

I occasionally wondered about just that. What's to stop the CEO of a 'too big to fail' bank from going to the casino and betting the bank's float on 23 red? If it works, the CEO made a masterful investment and gets a bonus. If it loses, the bank gets a government bail-out (and the CEO probably gets a bonus anyhow for their skills in negotiating with the government).

Heads I win. Tails you lose.

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Polygraph.com owner pleads guilty to helping others beat lie detector

silent_count
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"Lying, deception and fraud"

These are the very basis of polygraph tests. If they really were 'lie detectors' then it would not be possible for Mr Williams, or anyone else, to teach you how to 'cheat' the test.

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More oompa loompas needed to push Google's EU agenda

silent_count
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Re: First two laws

Sure big_D. Now who do you imagine is going to implement these laws? The corrupt or the corruptors? Or option #3, the dictator?

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Rand Paul: I'll filibuster the hell outta the Patriot Act, fellow Americans

silent_count
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Makes me smile

It's gotta be simply killing the supporters of both major parties that the one guy who, at least in this instance, is doing the right thing* by the American citizens... is the kind of guy who most supporters on both sides would openly mock.

* He's talking the talk, which isn't much but is still more than anyone else seems willing to do.

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

silent_count
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Re: The thing is

"Do you have a source for this assertion?"

No. In the mid-90s I used to work on a road where there was (still is) a string of car yards and that's what I used to hear from the car salesmen. The SUV (throw a hat over any 4-8 seater passenger vehicle larger than a sedan) are perceived as safer, but would Joe Public go through the extra effort of getting a truck license to drive (for example) a Range Rover when he could buy a sedan an drive it on a regular car license instead? It'd also mean the wife/older children couldn't drive it without extra driving training. So, for most families, the requirement to get a truck licence to drive a SUV would result in a sedan or, if the extra seats were needed, a minvan.

I could stand to be corrected with regards to the pilot's licence. My understanding is that even a recreational pilot's licence (single engine aircraft and a max of 1 passenger) requires a heap of supervised training, clearance from 3 different levels of instructors and requires the would-be pilot to have regular medical checks.

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silent_count
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The thing is

One of the factors underlying the popularity of SUVs is that they don't require the prospective owner to have a truck driver's licence*. If they did, you'd be lucky to see any SUVs outside a rural setting.

With no disrespect intended to truck drivers, a pilot's licence is another order of magnitude harder to get. So while I appreciate AeroMobil's ingenuity, I don't know who they hope to sell their "car" to.

* I think they should but that's another argument for another day.

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OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

silent_count
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Re: Not a burden?

Surely there's an accounting software package which does the heavy lifting for smaller online sellers where you plug in your sales figures and it spits out a list of national tax departments who you need to send a cheque to. And since any business selling stuff online would need some accounting software to keep track of sales and deal with their own tax department, having to deal with additional countries should not represent a large increase in burden.

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Even Uncle Sam admits: US patent law is whack

silent_count
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Re: Intelligent Design

US patient law really is about efficiency. The aim is to grant ridiculously broad patients to US companies and then use said patients to extort everyone else. See! Perfectly efficient.

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French MPs say Oui to Le Charteur des Snoopeurs

silent_count
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Heads on spikes

Of course the ruling class, regardless of nationality, are always in favour of granting themselves ever more power over the citizens they're supposed to serve. But where does it end? And will they recognise that they've gone too far before the mob starts mounting heads?

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Australia cracks tech giants' tax dodge code

silent_count
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Re: "but the Committee contends they are certainly cynical"

Mortality is not the sole domain of the religions but I believe that arguing that something should (not) be done because it is (im)moral is the domain of the irrational, of which the religious are a subset*. When I read, "X is (im)moral", it translates in my head as, "I can't provide a compelling, rational argument to support my posion on X but I want you to take it as gospel that my position is correct."

* I know religious people who I consider to be good people but that's not the same as saying they're rational. "We shouldn't steal things from others because it creates an environment where thieving is considered acceptable and I don't want my stuff stolen", is a rational argument. "We shouldn't steal because God/Allah/FSM said so", is not. Nor is, "We shouldn't steal because it's immoral."

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silent_count
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Re: "but the Committee contends they are certainly cynical"

Thankfully we live in a secular society and thus there is no "moral" in our tax code. We don't have priests, or rabbis, or scientologists saying, "Well yes, you did pay the legal amount of tax but, from moral standpoint, you should have donated another x% to the church/synagogue/temple so you go to jail... directly to jail."

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Accused Aussie game hacker flees to Europe ahead of trial

silent_count
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$100 million.

The dollar amount is pure nonsense. From the article in 'The Australian', "The FBI alleged a group of five hackers based in the US, Canada and Australia had stolen intellectual property worth $100 million-$200m."

They don't know what was "stolen". If they did they'd have a more accurate figure than, "Aww. You know. A hundred million. Or wait! Maybe it was two hundred million."

Maybe the reason they don't know how much it was worth is because it really was stolen - that is, the victims no longer have the files in question and thus are having difficulty determining how much the missing files are worth. That couldn't possibly be right, could it?

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Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of code theft … again

silent_count
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I do understand that he was charged under different laws the second time but it still reeks of the prosecution trying to circumvent the principle of double jeopardy - that you can't be charged for the same thing twice.

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'Just follow the damn Constitution!' FBI, DoJ skewered over demands for crypto backdoors

silent_count
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Thumb Up

Well done to the people of California and Texas for having the distinction of voting in the one member of each major party who actually seem to have a clue.

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NSA-restraining US law edges closer to reality, leaves just 6.81 billion under mass surveillance

silent_count
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How about the scenario where a Foreignland's intelligence agency spies on US citizens, US intelligence agencies spy on Foreignland's citizens, then they swap homework? If there's nothing to prevent that, then this bill is little more than theatre.

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Visual Studio running on OS X and Linux for free? SO close

silent_count
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Re: Beware the License Agreement!

If they're up front about what data is collected and what triggers it, well and good, I suppose. You could code around it or choose a different tool chain.

The nightmare would be developing a child oriented program, to teach them math for example, then finding out that your software collects data on it's users in contravention of laws specifically designed to protect children from such things.

I've had a honest go at reading through their statements and T&Cs and am no wiser about what/how data might be collected about people who use software which you write using MS tools. Either they're being too vague or my ability to read 'legal' is not up to the task.

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

silent_count
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Backup hardware

This could have been prevented with 80's era tech - a 286 hooked up to a dot matrix printer* and a fax to send out flight plans as required. As in, "put down the shiny toy and look at this white stuff with printing on it. It's called paper. It doesn't require batteries or wifi. It just works™."

* See BOFH 2013, #5. As an added bonus, when they work out who is responsible for this stuff up, they too can be fed to the dot matrix printer.

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Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

silent_count
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"What does that mean?"

It's easy to think of people who don't share your areas of knowledge as less intelligent. My point is that while they might not be as knowledgeable about certain things a you, it may well be because they've chosen to focus on other, no less valid, branches of knowledge.

"Because I need someone to build a house and they don't need to know any science, we shouldn't try and improve our education systems so that they know some anyway?"

And again, that's my point. You're equating "doesn't know astronomy" with "doesn't know science". There's a great deal of science that goes into constructing a modern building, it's just not the kind that gets taught in an astronomy lesson.

A carpenter, just to pick an example, does need to know science but they don't need to know if the earth goes around the sun or if our ancestors lived next door to a brontosaurus. And, according to the article, these are the questions being used to gauge scientific knowledge.

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silent_count
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"What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently; "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work."

- Sherlock Holmes

I believe the above quote is relevant anyone who sneers at result like this.

For most people, most 'scientific' knowledge is irrelevant. Does knowing whether the earth goes around the moon improve the code which I write? Does knowing how many planets are in our solar system improve the work of the guy who services your car? Or that of guys who build your house?

Don't get me wrong. The scientific method is the humanity's best tool for understanding the universe and for testing our understanding thereof. However, it's simply not necessary to remember every irrelevant detail. Do you know the mass and age of the star third nearest to our sun? Or how many chromosomes your pet dog has?

Sneer all you like but you'd better write your own software (all of it), service you own car, and build your own house while doing it. And solve your own crimes too.

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Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

silent_count
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Re: why the downvote?

"It is almost getting to the point where posting anything useful is a waste of time."

You think too little of the commentards here if you think we get our knickers in a knot over a random downvote.

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NBN Co loses the “Co” for AU$700,000

silent_count
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Flame

Look for pro-logic! You've completely misrepresented the complexity and nuance involved in the extensive corporate rebranding process. It's not just a simple matter of paying a $350k per letter removal fee. That just ridiculous!

NBN (formerly with "NBN co") actually negotiated Rebranders Inc* down to the perfectly reasonable fee of only $100k per letter but then there was the additional issue of organically certified, environmentally friendly whitespace disposal. I think we can all agree that "NBN[space]" would provide an unacceptable corporate presence so $500k for removing the space was perfectly justified. That you failed to consider the disastrous implications of that trailing space just shows what a total novice you are in the rebranding process.

* Full disclosure: The CEO of Rebranders Inc does have a certain similarly of surname with the CEO of NBN, and the 'logo designer' does share the same name as the three year-old son of Rebranders Inc's CEO but I'm sure it's coincidental and, to be fair, it's a very talented three year-old.

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Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

silent_count
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Tyson & Spinks

Was the only boxing match which I went out of my way to see.

It was before I was old enough to drive, so an hour by train to get to festival hall in Melbourne to pay $20 to watch it on a big screen.

There were a few hours of underwhelming undercard fights with me sitting in a non-air conditioned hall with a thousand, or so, other people on a stinking hot day.

There was a forty-five minute delay after the last undercard fight because the ref wasn't happy with one of Tyson's gloves. This involved his hands getting rewrapped, and the ref still wasn't happy, and on it dragged, and on I melted.

Then the announcements.

Then the fight... all 91 seconds before Tyson knocked Spinks out.

Then I left. Another hour on the train and I arrive home just in time to see the whole fight again in the 6pm news broadcast.

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ECJ upholds LG’s €210M LCD panel cartel fine

silent_count
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The courts should double the fine every time a guilty company appeals. The idea being to dissuade the practice of using appeals to 'fish' for a favourable result, or continually appealing because it buys time for inflation to eat away at the real value of the fine (ie. keep appealing until €210 mil is about the price of a beer at the pub).

There are good arguments why courts should not do what I'm suggesting but I'm over companies trying to buy the answer they want.

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London man arrested over $40 MILLION HFT flash crash allegations

silent_count
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Re: re: With American "justice"

Yankee comedian Chris Rock made the point well.

Alcohol is made by white people: no problem.

Pot and cocaine made by brown people: illegal.

White people sell guns: no problem.

Black rapper says "guns": congressional investigation.

As for your pommie trader who made a packet by, so far as I can see, bluffing some of Wall Street's trading algorithms, more power to him I say.

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

silent_count
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Re: So....

@dkjd

With every AOSP ROM which I installed on my previous phone (galaxy s3), you had to install Google's app bundle separately from the ROM. I don't know which phone you have but if you're asking if it's possible to have an android phone without Google's apps (play store included), the answer is absolutely 'yes'.

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UH OH, it's MOBILEGEDDON! Your site may lose, well, PENNIES

silent_count
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Re: "Mobile Friendly"

@themoose

Thanks for taking the time. My interest is not so much in the specific criteria so much as, given Google's huge impact on the internet, whether they're reasonably likely to promote their stated aim. From the list you've posted, it seems they are.

And for AC

"So you want the internet to look generic?

Quick answer, yes.

The longer answer is that I rate "easy to read for those with less than perfect eyesight" and "simple HTML which is easy for screen readers to parse [for blind people]" over "look at this kewl trick I can do with JavaScript".

That said, I think the ideal situation would be for browsers to be good enough to enforce the user's wishes. For people with sight issues, the browser display black, 16pt sans-serif on a white background. For people who don't like 'generic', it displays every character in a different font, colour, size, blink, orientation and randomly bolds, italicises, underlines and super- or subscripts.

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silent_count
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"Mobile Friendly"

It's an ill-defined phrase that gets tossed around a lot and I'm mildly curious about Google's idea of 'mobile friendly'.

For my money it would have the same characteristics as 'a well designed website' - navigation links across the top (like the Reg's mobile page) followed by simple HTML. You know. The kind which was fairly common till the marketing 'creatives' got the web designers high on latte fumes and convinced them what the world needs is cascading, multi-level, mouseOver-driven menus, along with auto-playing videos and sites that simply can't function without flash.

Rather than harming small businesses, I think Google's decision could well benefit those businesses that aren't large enough to have marketing leeches spewing their 'creativity' over their company's website.

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