* Posts by Don Dumb

254 posts • joined 20 May 2013

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Trump carded: Wannabe prez's hotels 'ground zero' in banking breach

Don Dumb
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Only this?

@DougS - "If he said something like that, he'd look stupid"

Because otherwise, everything else he says makes him look like a real genius!

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Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

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Welcome to the 19th century

"800 square miles", "120 ft across.", "travelled at 33,500mph", "heated the air to 44,500°F", "28,000 feet above the ground"

Oh FFS Reg. You're writing about astrophysics on a tech website and yet you give all the measurements in imperial. I should expect better but El Reg seems more and more like a Top Gear spin-off every day.

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Hubble spots Pluto's moons are a chaotic mess of tumbling rock

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Joke

Re: "We are learning that chaos may be a common trait of binary systems,"

@Betacam - "The 3 body problem is why physicists rarely indulge in threesomes." - Well, that's what they would say.

Like many problems physicists deal with, finding reasons to reject threesomes is very much a theoretical exercise.

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

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Re: Amongst other dodgy deals....

@Winkypop - "the tobacco industry dearly wants an end to Australia's highly-successful Plain Packaging laws"

And tobacco is going to great lengths to prevent other countries from introducing similar laws, using incredible litigation and strong-arming methods.

In Australia, one tobacco company tried to prevent the plain packaging law change by suing the Australian government for 'unlawful trademark seizure' using a trade agreement between Hong Kong (where they had moved their business) and Australia, on the basis that removing their label from a cigarette box is trademark seizure against that trade agreement. The methods they use on smaller, poorer countries is simply bullying.

As is often the case these days, John Oliver did a piece on this in February - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tobacco.

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So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?

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@AC - >>"And a good thing it is too. It's an essential part of the balance, to have some power in the hands of a group that doesn't need to care about getting re-elected and can genuinely do what they think is best for the country. Neither side has total power."

If you're happy with that, then fine, no system is perfect. But then you can't criticise the EU for being in many ways no different. We (the British) often complain about the lack of democratic accountability in the EU, while completely ignoring the same thing here.

My point wasn't to say that we neccessarily change everything, or even perhaps anything, but that we have to be consistent in what we ask for.

>>"Also a good thing. Can you imagine the shambolic Italian-style results if we had a coalition government"?

Nothing like Cherry-picking an example is there? What about the "shambles" in Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, and so many others?

It's amazing how insular the British can be in their knowledge (yet we still feel justified poking fun at the US for their knowledge of the world). The British seem to think that we would be inventing Coalition governments in the UK for the first time. They've been going fine in many places for decades, even in places we look up to for good governance. The reason we think of coalition as chaotic is we only ever hear about the chaotic ones, the rest "just work" so don't become newsworthy.

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Don Dumb
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WTF?

Re: Don Dumb

@Matt Bryant - Your comment paints you as a complete loon, devoid of any ability to understand statements made by others or the points they are trying to make.

Firstly - who are "the watermelons"? I have no idea who they are but well done for using obscure slang terms that completely hide what you are trying to say and who you are actually reffering to.

Secondly - "I'm not surprised you want to try and redirect attention away from the EU given that it one of the few places the Greens have any power, and cutting Britain off from the EU's interference would terminate the Greens in the UK."

You know nothing about me and yet are somehow "not surprised" by what you have *assumed* to be my intentions. Why do you assume I am a Green Party supporter?

I used the *example* of the disparity in electoral support for the Green Party and their parlimentary power, simply because it was an example of a lack of real democracy in the UK, it could have easily been the Lib Dems or UKIP but I chose The Green party simply to serve as an example because the proportion of vote was similar to the proportion of the House Of Lords the CofE controls.

If you're happy with a particular national religious sect having more control than an elected political party, that's fine. But may I suggest you'd perhaps like to live in Iran?

No, I thought not (see - I can make sweeping assumptions about you too)

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Terminator

@Chris Miller - "How do I get rid of stupid fonctionnaires in Brussels who decide these matters for the EU?"

If you want democracy in the EU, let's start with actually having one in the UK.

How do we vote out the Queen, Prince Charles, and the rest of their family? You can't honestly believe that they have no influence at all. They get weekly access to ministers and the minutes of these discussions are never made public.

Then let's look at Parliament - The current government (and most of the governments before it) had only 37% of the vote but somehow get a majority in the house of commons. Some parties had millions of votes and yet their representation in Parliament is in the single figures (when there are 650 seats) - a vastly smaller share of power than their proportion of their electorate.

And once you've sorted the Head of State and the House of Commons, you still have to deal with the House of Lords, for which none have been elected and in fact*, 26 places go to serving Church of England archbishops and bishops. That's right, the Church of England gets 3.2% of the upper house and yet the Green Party had 3.9% of the vote in a general election and get a single seat, 0.15%, in the lower house. You might be an atheist and wonder how an unelected religious group gets so much more power than an elected political party to decide upon legislation in a coutnry that claims to be a democracy.

If you want to clean up, start at home, until then we're just throwing stones from our glass houses. The EU isn't very democratic and I agree that this should be changed but the EU is depressingly still far more democratic than the UK.

* - because I've just looked this up and was shocked myself.

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Re: The UK can leave

@h4rm0ny -

">>the EU, I will be glad in many ways. It will be more easier imposing barriers to nice practices like the ones that give us the "mad cows"
Incorrect. It is easier to carry out trade barriers when you're a big entity with a lot of leverage than when you're a small one."

h4rm0ny - I think you might be violently agreeing with the OP. My understanding of what JahBless wrote is that he/she is not in the UK and would want the EU to impose those barriers, against the UK when it leaves (Rather than the UK doing it to the EU). I think you essentially explained why this would be possible (and why it would be unwise for the UK to voluntarily leave a large and powerful trade block.)

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

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Re: How about a Nicolas Cage marathon shitfest?

@Steve Davies3 - I wouldn't put Nick Cage on a complete ban. He's had to make bad films partly to pay the bills but there are a few good films with him giving good performances - if you haven't seen Adaptation, that is worth viewing and he is genuinely very good in it.

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AssangeTM ♥s dictator Kim Jong-un say Sony Pictures' lawyers

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From the Anonymous Coward

@AC - "Nothing to hide nothing to fear" - from someone posting anonymously!

Naturally, I must wonder what it is you are hiding, clearly something to fear.

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Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

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FAIL

Re: Biological accuracy

@Dr Dan Holdsworth - Sauropods were most emphatically NOT aquatic in any sense of the word; they would have done their best to avoid water, since they were strongly adapted towards walking on land.

That can't be true, how do you explain Nessy then?

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Don't be stiffed by spies, stand up to Uncle Sam with your proud d**k pics – says Snowden

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Re: YouTube video link no use for UK readers

@Richard Lloyd - I just get my weekly John Oliver fix via the letter "T",

If you are not already aware John is one half of the superb cross-atlantic satire and bullshit podcast 'The Bugle'. Certainly worth listening to, especially as it gives clues on why John would have used dick pics to underline his point.

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Microsoft update mayhem delays German basketball game, costs team dear

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Re: So it's got to the stage....

@Kristain Walsh - In the absence of a big-screen and laptop, could the home team not have just dragged in a flip-chart or hastily got a marker and forty sheets of A4 (0-9 x 4 = two two-digit scores) to show the score

But the point I was trying to make in my earlier post is that it isn't just the score that the scoreboard has to display, the game clock is still very important and that has to be accurate and clear to all (plays can still be made with tenths of a second left on the clock). There are many things the scoreboard is expected to display.

In any case, the league the team plays in has standards reflecting the level of competition, that will state what the minimum for the scoreboard must be.

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Don Dumb
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Re: So it's got to the stage....

Sigh, it's got to the stage where people make uninformed comments about a common sport they clearly know little about to express ridicule of the modern world.

In basketball, even at the lowest school and amateur levels, there are scorers who sit on a table next to the court, they literally do write down the score, number of fouls, timeouts etc. And they do this on paper as this then becomes the agreed record of the game. There is also a timekeeper, who starts and stops the clock.

However, it is only fair to let the teams playing (and the spectators if there are any) to know what the game time is, how many team fouls have been committed, what the score is, etc. At the cheapest level this is usually done with some scorecards and a big clock on the table.

Most places have an electronic scoreboard, operated by the scorer who also updates the electronic board while writing down the score.

As soon as the playing standard gets anywhere near serious, it is considered neccessary to have a multi-function scoreboard that shows the score, game clock, fouls on each player, team, timeouts, shot clock and who the recipient of the next jump ball will be. It's quite a bit of informaiton and I can see how that might end up being computer driven.

Much like golf, there's still a paper record, but the scoreboard is there for everyone who isn't at the scorers table, it's not unreasonable for the league to insist that a scoreboard be working, in the same way they insist on the size of the ball.

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Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

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Boffin

Re: This makes me so happy

@Phuq Witt - " I think you mean "posterity""

Yes, well spotted. Cheerfully withdrawn.

"(with the disclaimer that I've not actually read Going Postal*) I feel 'compelled' to point out that, everything I've read about 'The Clacks' (including the above quote) suggests that, far from being an original, genius, Pratchett invention, he's pretty much just copied the concept of the 'Guild of Signallers' from Keith Roberts "Pavane", published over thirty years earlier.

[*I've tried a couple of his books and they didn't do anything for me.]"

I would disagree with your assertion, as someone who didn't get Pratchett (and there's nothing wrong with that) and therefore didn't read much of his work, it may not have been apparent how much well researched satire (both recent and historical) and parody Pratchett put into his books. Such as the passage I included where he clearly understood enough about the workings of the net. There are so many references, parodies and pisstakes that I got a whole load of new jokes when re-reading them as an adult and still probably missed hundreds (much like The Simpsons).

He may well have taken up the idea from Roberts (I have no idea) but The Clacks became an integral part of the world in several of the later Discworld books (it was introduced before Going Postal) and certainly took on a life of its own but it was never the plot of any books, just a plot device and a part of the evolving environment.

Side point - Even if you didn't like his books, I would suggest that you might find love for him in his fight for rights such as the right of people in terminal illness to die and defending atheism/humanism*

*I always thought it was funny that he was knighted despite having displaying a dislike for Monarchy in much of his books.

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This makes me so happy

What a perfect tribute to the great man. As I write, I have Going Postal in my hands, it was (one of) the book(s) where he experimented with chapters while clearly not taking it seriously. It was also the only of a Discworld book that was well adapted into a TV movie, the actor Sky cast as Moist Von Lipwig was perfect.

Re-reading the very passage that this idea comes from, it's clear how much Pratchett understood about how the internet works, that he created such a good parody in the clacks. I feel compelled to quote here for prosperity:-

"Not all the signals were messages. Some were instructions to towers. Some, as you operated your levers to follow the distant signal, made things happen in your own tower. Princess knew all about this. A lot of what travelled on the Grand Trunk was called the Overhead. It was instructions to towers, reports, messages about messages, even chatter between operators, although this was strictly forbidden these days. It was all in code. It was very rare that you got Plain in the Overhead. But now..."

Another tech link is that VLC versions are named after Discworld characters, version 2.1.5 is 'Rincewind'

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

@Dave 126 - not really that curious, a mixture of laziness and an attempt to point out that the quote was reported on this very site

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Teapot meet Kettle

"The adverts told us Apple was led by a designer, who was a genius. It was all about Ive."

The first thing that jumped out at me was the number of different colour and material options for the Apple Watch, so this can't be from the same Sir Jonny that said less than a month ago the amazingly pretentious - "You can choose whatever color you want.’ And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer." www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/19/jony_ive_apple_diy_design_criticism/

Aside from the amazing idea that maybe a company selling things should give the customer what they want, rather than the designers having some jobs-given honour to decide for the pathetic customer. But is everyone in the media's memory so weak that they can't even pick him up on blatant hypocrisy delivered less than 4 weeks ago?

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

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Pint

Re: Sad

Seconded

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MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

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Re: Why would you even fix this?

@Christian Berger - "Why would you even fix this?Yeah, why would people who pay for Netflix want to connect to the internet?"

Oh FFS - is it too difficult to understand that some of us have TVs with native iPlayer and Netflix apps (which, by the way has no microphone or camera) which we might actually want to use.

I'll be honest, I don't mind my TV knowing which iPlayer programme I've watched as amazingly, iPlayer already knows that too! (and they know no more about me than the TV)

I know privacy is a big issue but not everything is a privacy issue - this is about a TV seemingly so badly made that to watch YouTube, the TV has to know that it can reach an ip address that has nothing to do with YouTube.

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

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Terminator

Re: Blank box

@Francis Vaughan - "Or perhaps all the local friendly corner computer shops should start promoting reinstall as as it as a service as well as a really good idea."

But then it begins to depend on how much you trust the local shop doesn't it?

This could easily extend the adware market. All adware makers have to do is to pay the local shop to include the adware software (or worse) in the 'clean reinstall'.

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Ukraine suddenly 40% more interested in UK tax info – HMRC

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Stop

Cherrypicking the sample size?

From the story - "According to HMRC, 2,466 requests were made in 2013 compared to 1,701 in 2012"

So was 2012 a particularly low amount or 2013 a high amount? With only two sample points we have no idea if this is a sudden (and not neccessarily sustained) massive jump, an unusually low 2012 or the continuing trend. Perhaps even 2,466 requests is still much lower than usual.

Odd that we don't have statistics for 2014, why not wait until they are produced, at least we can see some *very* short term trend.

This is how hack journalists come up with scare stories or propaganda, pick insufficient data and make the claim that this proves something. But then I don't need to explain this to a tech site. No one here would take the writer's poor use of only two sample points as being worth anything, would they?

Tax collectors may be making more requests year on year but there's woefully insufficient evidence of that here.

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

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BBC Documentary

@James 51 - I think that there was such a documentary, it may have been an edition of Horizon, a few years back certainly so my mind is hazy on details.

I seem to remember Prof Cox, guiding the viewer around some of the bits of the LHC and also a documentary on the search for the Higgs-Boson that went around the LHC and talked to some of the academics working there. These may have been different documentaries they may have been the same single one, I reckon both were Horizons or similamp possibly still available on iPlayer.

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Oi, Kanye. BEYONCE deserves that gTLD more than you do

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Re: I think ... Beyonce deserves that gTLD more than he does.

@ADC -

I believe it's a reference to Kanye West pushing himself on stage at the Grammy awards and telling everyone that Beyonce should get the award instead of Beck.

This, as many may remember, is on the back of him doing it even more infamously a few years before. - At the 2009 MTV VMA's he did the same thing to Taylor Swift, jumping up on stage and gatecrashing Taylor's award speech for best video, taking the mike and claiming that it should have gone to Beyonce.

This was such a classless and ungracious display that even Barack Obama was overheard declaring Kanye to be "a jackass". The Kanye quote "I'mma let you finish" became it's own meme mocking his stupid rant.

It seems that whenever Beyonce loses out to someone else at the Grammy's Kanye simply can't understand and tells everyone that Beyonce should have won the award.

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First look: Ordnance Survey lifts kimono on next-gen map app

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Re: Spotted what's missing?

@Stuart 22 - Have another look, the 'North Weirs Walk' map in the article does have contour lines. Guessing that as the other images don't have contouring, it would seem to be a selectable option.

Agree with your point about how useful 3D is and the ability to clearly understand significant landmarks (like Church steeples). Google Maps is only really good at roads navigable by car, it is terrible at footpaths and other routes off from public roads.

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Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

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Childcatcher

The Reg RSS feed knows me too well

Terrifyingly, I DID spend a large chunk of the weekend watching Game Of Thrones, with my girlfriend, not something I usually do. She will binge through a 22 episode series almost as quickly as they can be played, but I rarely actually see her watching them, she just likes a background (foreground?) while she is sewing/knitting/working/etc. We are both in good shape.

From what I can tell about my friends, it seems the people who most likely binge watch are those who don't like most broadcast telly and often have kids (so a boxset is the only thing to do after the kids have gone to bed). Not necessarily lonely or fat.

But then I'm not a qualified scienticianalist like the researchers in the article.

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German iron meets Monaco's highlands: Audi A1 review

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Re: Sums?

@AC - "Finally, how much leg room up front is there for those us with very long legs? (33in inside leg or bigger)

Most cars of this size are only ok for 1-2 hours driving before your legs start going to sleep."

It doesn't really look any different to the previous A1 and I've just done a 4 hour drive in one of those - The leg room in the front seats is fine, I'm ~6ft and there's a lot more room to give in the driver's seat. It is the back seats that lose all the room and they don't have a lot of space, either for your legs or to sit up straight in.

In my experience of motorway driving in various small to mid-sized hirecars is that what makes a bigger difference to preventing feet from going to sleep is the presence of a left-footrest and adaptive cruise control, my A1 has both and long journeys are very comfortable for a car its size (which is partly why I went for one)

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

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Coffee/keyboard

@Andy Christ - "eh, nuke Mecca."

It's not the mothership*

* (C) Dara O'Briain

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BILL GATES DRINKS 'boiled and treated' POO. Ah, 'delicious'

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Terminator

Re: Well..

But that means it's homeopathic shit, it's super powerful poo.

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HTTPS bent into the next super-cookies by researcher

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Re: So...

@MrT - But HTTPS Everywhere doesn't cover every site, mostly the major ones I seem to remember. So if I undertsand this correctly, all you would need is to go to a site that isn't covered by HTTPS Everywhere, that then redirects your browser to the secure version and you have the super-cookie on your browser.

Perhaps this needs a Firefox extension of its own?

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THREE MILLION Moonpig accounts exposed by flaw

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Online contact form

@Phil Kingston - Would you be able to put up a link please?

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Re: Depends

@Elmer Phud - "Depends on whether you go the whole hog and give them all your details or not.

(similar to people moaning about FB when they have added thier entire life story to personal info.)"

No. It's not like moaning about Facebook at all. Facebook is a social networking site, Moonpig is an online shop that mostly sells greetings cards, often sending them directly to the intended card recipient. Moonpig should (and is required by law) to take responsible care of personal, including payment, details. If you don't want them to have any of your, or your intended card recipient's details then you're not going to be able to do any business with them in the first place.

Try getting Amazon to deliver to you if you don't give them your money or your address.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

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amanfromMars1

@amanfromMars1 - You're back, I for one have missed your incomprehensible (to me) ramblings. Glad to see you posting again.

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We are never getting back to... Samsung's baking Apple's 14nm 'A9' chips?

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Re: Make your minds up...

@Fluffy Bunny - "Neither of these are proper uses of the word patent. They are registered designs, which can be protected in a similar way to a patent. But a patent has to have some sort of intellectual content.

Only Americans could confuse the two issues"

Only someone who is being annoyingly ignorant (while disparaging others) could not realise that in the USA a 'Registered Design' is called a 'Design Patent'. It's not as if this is the first time it has been pointed out here.

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The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

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Coat

Re: Dunno What They're Spending £55m On...

"It's like Channel 4 for teens"

So like Channel 4 then?

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FAIL

Re: Only Connect

@Yugguy - "Only Connect...started on BBC3."

Nope, it was BBC4

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Apple lawyers fight to silence dead Steve Jobs: 'No right' to hear him from beyond the grave

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Re: Not strange to me...

@Wade Burchette - "I know someone who actually saw the planes fly into the twin towers. Saw with his own two eyes."

So they got to him too.

I must say that having read the The Physcopath Test by Jon Ronson, I now find this conspiracy nonsense quite objectionable, I imagine your friend would probably agree. The book features an account of a 7/7 London Tube bombing survior and her distressing harrassment by deniers, ironically including an actual conspiracy whistleblower, David Shayler. The account shows just how vile this can get. Imagine having to go through the experience of thinking you had died underground in a bombing only to be told later by people who weren't there that it couldn't possibly have happened and you must be lying about the whole thing.

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Re: Not strange to me...

@Khapitan - Sorry for getting personal but you are a complete cretin, I'm going to have to take this into account whenever I see your posts.

"Do you also call the scientists, engineers and architects that prove the physics as being liars and theorists.."

YES, I DO. Because there are almost none of these people and they have provided no proof. Has Cambridge University or a top Parisien university (for a less possibly biased view), proved, or at least provided any evidence, to dispute the official record. No. Has Iran or Russia, who would have a great deal of motiviation to prove The West wrong, no. Because what happened, happened exactly the way it was demonstrated and exactly the way we all saw it happen, most of us on TV.

"What possible reasons would Americans have for conspiracy theories about their own damned government other than the fact that the realise that something smells very badly in this whole affair......"

Presumably for the same reasons you do - either madness, stupidity, attention whoring or the strange desire by some in the US to see the entire government as some sort of single lucifer-like sentient enemy.

You tell everyone there was no wreckage, you are shown a picture of the wreckage and then respond that it couldn't possibly have fallen there. So presumably the firefighters, police, and everyone filming the disaster and aftermath didn't notice when someone brought in an airframe wreckage to the crash site. The more evidence supporting the established truth you see the more you think that proves a conspiracy - utter madness.

Just stop and ask yourself what is MORE LIKELY, that the events didn't happen as portrayed and a massive conspiracy has been cast that only requires hundreds of thousands of people across in several nations to keep the secret OR the events did happen as shown and a few people harbour doubts that reflect their predisposed bias/madness/stupidity/desire for attention.

No one is capable of such a conspiracy. Just grow up.

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Terminator

Re: Not strange to me...

@Khapitan - "Don't you find it rather "coincidental" that no aircraft wreckage was to be seen on any of the 4 sites.."

FFS. No, we find it amazing that you so desperately believe no wreakage was found as somehow evidence. This page has a picture of that wreckage and some reasoning why you are a complete buffoon - www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/debunking-911-myths-planes Had it occurred to you that the public weren't really that bothered with specific recovery of the aircraft wreakage, when there was also two buildings of wreckage that had collapsed. It happened, it just wasn't worth reporting.

"Obviously you want to believe the media/govt, it makes you feel better about the whole event."

Obviously you want to believe a couple of crazy deniers rather than everyone else, because presumably you'd rather think of the government/media as some evil being rather than a collection of disparate human run organisations with differing objectives. If you believe that everyone (gov/media/the non-returning passengers/families of people on the planes/the perpetrators) has fabricated their evidence, then why do you believe that your few sources the only ones that haven't fabricated their evidence?

Occam's razor - 9/11 did happen, with planes and thousands of people died, it would have been more difficult to fake.

Insanity could be defined as not being able to tell obvious fact from fiction, stupidity is not being able to evaluate sources of information, you need to get a psychological test or go to school.

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Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

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Mushroom

Re: The human body will decide the winner (if any)

BULLSHIT ALERT!*

I'm guessing these 'studies' (remember kids a study is not a peer reviewed publication) are on your own website Dr Charlatan. I make this conclusion because you clearly haven't understood what the article is talking about and furthermore you are someone who publishes papers in a web journal for which you are on the advisory panel - and unsuprisingly none of the publications made in your online journal have ever been accepted for publication in PubMed, the officially recognised database.

Why don't you go share ethics lessons with Andrew Wakefield?

* - dear El Reg, please can we have a Bullshit icon.

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WTF?

I'm living in a future world

"Induction cooking could revolutionize kitchen designs, for example."

Yes, it could, if this is the 1950s. I don't know if the author is trying to be humourous but induction cookers are, and have been, quite common in Europe and the UK. I've been in several houses with induction cookers.

You'd be amazed at how my cheap electric toothbrush has charged for the last decade - as if by magic.

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Gates Foundation to insist on Open Access science

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Pirate

Re: Well done!

@tom dial - "along with public ownership of all patents obtained based on the research"

I realise that I've added a second reply, but this is on a slightly different subject.

Beware of unintended consequences. Public ownership of patents, may not have the desired result. In UK government procurement, the general policy is that the government should get free license but industry should own the IP of publicly funded work. The policy may be slightly different for research.

The principle behind that is that the IP, say a patent, has value to exploit (for better or worse), if the government hold a patent they can't exploit it as well as industry, therefore the value of the IP generated by the taxpayer is reduced. Furthermore, the patent may be less well shared by government than industry, as a company has an interest in actually exploiting and thus a motivation to share the IP, more so than government does.

<unrealistic idealism>

It would perhaps be better for the government to simply not register any patents identified in publicly funded reasearch. It's a foreign idea to many (cough, *Apple*, cough) but no one *has* to register patents when they have invented something, once an invention is made public but not patented then it shouldn't ever be patentable and therefore free to society.

</unrealistic idealism>

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Boffin

Re: Well done!

@tom dial - the problem is very little research is actually publicly funded. Certainly here in the UK, the majority of university research in many subject areas is funded by industry.

I personally find it quite depressing, as it means that not only do most post-docs exist on fixed term contracts having to move around every few years as science mercenaries (and thus the side effect of potential conflicts of interest in having to constantly get industry to fund projects for them). But it also means that research is focused on positive results, there's no room for exploratory or 'blue sky' research which benefits society (Newton wasn't sponsored to sit there and think) and there's no appetite for negative results, which to the wider world can be more useful than positive results (this is particularly important in medicine, we need to know which treatments are detrimental not just beneficial)

When I see the pathetic amount of public funding that goes into science I do get annoyed, the long term benefit to the country of just putting a small amount more into research.

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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

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Re: How long does Ecuador's London embassy lease have left?

@Steve Davies 3 - "The embassy is part of the state of Ecuador."

That is entirely untrue although a very common misconception.

"The saga of the Iranian Embassy some 30 years ago...set the precident here."

Yes, it so set a precendence that the UK passed the 'Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987'. In fact the UK Government rather poorly pointed out to the Ecuadorian government that this law "would allow us [The UK Gov] to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy."

The unwritten reason that embassies are generally protected, is that if Country A messes around with the embassy of Country B, then all of Country A's people in all of its embassies around the world are vunerable. I wouldn't want to be a Brit in the UK embassy in Quito (or anywhere in South America) if the Ecuadorian embassy in London had just been stormed by the Met.

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

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Re: wiping iThings

@Planned Departure - "It's in their benefit to not be helpful... One less iPhone in the market is one more opportunity for them to sell."

I don't doubt that, similarly it's in a car manufacturer's interests to have your car cease to work, exactly the day after the warranty expires - it's an opportunity to sell another car!

But the more important question is whether it is legal for a company to effectively damage beyond repair things you own. I suggest that it would not be legal and quite possibly criminal.

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Childcatcher

Re: How confident are you about that will?

@Martin-73 - "Refusing to hand over information allowing the device to be used normally could constitute criminal damage to the device"

Agreed. That is why I don't think this has been properly tested in the courts. My hope is that my opinion about what should be possible for a company can do in the event of death of someone who owns that company's product is broadly reflected in law but just hasn't been enforced yet.

In truth the number of elderly tech owners is probably low, owver the next decade the number of people dying who do have significant tech assets will increase to the point that this gets a proper fight.

Basically it just needs a Tory to die - they don't like missing out on inheritances.

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Re: wiping iThings

@MacroRodent - "At least an iPad can be reset by the user, wiping (or at least making very hard to access) any old contents."

It's worse for an iPhone (and possibly a iPad with cellular), as there is a security method which links the owner's Apple/iCloud account to the device. As I am recycling a couple of iPhones at the moment I've had to wrestle with this.

Basically the association between iCloud account and device is used to locate the device when it is lost (the 'Where my iPhone?' facility) and this also prevents anyone from wiping and putting their account on the device. Even a factory reset will still keep the iCloud account associated and prevent other accounts from being loaded, you have to manually remove the account (either through an online facility or on the phone itself, with the iCloud password as verification of course). This is all helpful to make the phone more secure, and not valuable when stolen, however it also means the phone is not valuable when passed on without the owner's input (such as in death).

Thus to pass on an iPhone when dead, the iCloud account of the deceased will be needed to remove the deceased's iCloud account from the phone, if you don't have that it would seem Apple are not willing to help (rendering the iPhone effectively useless).

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Terminator

Re: Tech companies need to grow up

@Yet Another Anonymous Coward - "They have procedures, all the stuff you bought goes back to them and your kids can buy it all again."

I've said it elsewhere but that is stealing, far worse than the copyright infringement they keep preaching to us about.

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Re: reminds me

@AC - "It's true. Buy a car and you own it, but you don't own the designs to the car. You're buying a copy of an item, not the rights to make it, copy it etc."

Yes of course dumbass, because when I die, Ford take my car away. Right?

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Re: Apple's view

And by the logic of the copyright holders, the companies themselves are STEALING from the consumer, it's copyright theft!

As they have effectively taken* the license from the legal owner of the license (the inheritor of the estate) from using or taking possession of the license.

In fact, this is more stealing than copyright infringement as the owner actually has lost access to the item of value.

* - Disclaimer - this is the logic of the MPAA, RIAA, etc; Not neccessarily mine.

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