* Posts by Maty

568 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007

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Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops

Maty

I find myself cheering for Microsoft? My, how the world has changed!

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Land Rover's return: Last orders and leather seats for Defender nerds

Maty

the kudu

Mention must also be made of the Kudu armored personnel carrier built on a Landrover base by the Rhodesian security forces. A model of this weird-looking beast can be seen here ...

http://www.newrhodesian.ca/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=251

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BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Maty

ahh...

I used to take a Dak regularly between Grand Reef and what was then Salisbury in Rhodesia. The old Gooney bird had to fly very low for part of the journey to avoid rockets, which meant getting bucked around a lot by thermals.

So, on a trip with newbies, some of the infantry guys would fill one of those green NATO airsickness bags with fruit salad, and once the plane started the full roller-coaster bit and the newbs were looking a bit green, he'd pretend to barf into the bag.

Then he'd pass it to the person next to him, who'd take out some of the fruit salad and start to eat it. We had to stop doing that eventually because too many newbs didn't get to their own barf bags in time.

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Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

Maty

The best security is to live in the right place.

Two years ago a builder was working on part of our house. When he left for the night there was a thousand or so quids worth of power tools on the lawn. Since this was visible from the street I asked him if the tools would be okay. He gave me a worried look and asked 'It's not going to rain, is it?'

Pick the right bit of the backwoods, and security consists of making sure the doors have doorknobs and not handles. Bears figured out doors long ago, but you need opposable thumbs to open a doorknob.

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Red-faced Germans halt NSA cooperation after Euro spying revealed

Maty

B'ND's listening station in Bad Aibling...'

Bad, Aibling! Bad!

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Nothing says 'Taliban' quite like net neutrality, eh, EU Digi Commish?

Maty

Politicians and the net ...

... go together like monkeys and nuclear physics.

There are two issues here. Firstly, politicos - and today's specimen is a fairly typical exhibit - are mostly from a generation that thinks using email puts them on the cutting edge of the digital revolution. So people who can't tell a browser from an operating system are making legislation about the internet. Unsurprisingly, since they don't understand the Net, and have trouble controlling it, politicians fear it, and their legislation reflects this.

Secondly, legislation is a slow, cumbersome business designed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when there was little urgency, and plenty of time for checks and balances to swing ponderously into place. Meanwhile the internet moves on and evolves. So we get laws made today that address issues relevant in 2005.

So we get stories like this one. Politicians who do not understand the present proposing legislation about the future based on an irrelevant and misinterpreted model from the past.

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The Walton kids are ABSURDLY wealthy – and you're benefitting

Maty

not just $

One of the reasons the rich are getting richer is that the 1% really work at it.

I remember the Economist did an article on this about two years back. If you are a kid in the 1% life consists of being rammed into a 'top' nursery school, then rounds of private tutors and extra classes until you can get into the kind of university that gets you a valuable degree and contacts among the 'best people'. Then its on to a high-pressure life in management, lawyering or finance.

The rest of us tend to have a slightly more laid-back attitude, allow kids to more or less develop at their own pace, take gap years and so on. In short, the rich work harder at getting and staying rich than the rest of us. Given that they have more practice, the right funding and contacts, they succeed more often too.

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Microsoft's top legal eagle: US cannot ignore foreign privacy laws

Maty

turn it round ...

If the Chinese or Russian government wanted access to emails on servers based in the USA in violation of US privacy laws, would there be any doubt of the response?

How do you spell 'hypocrisy' in American English?

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Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much

Maty

Re: Blasphemy

Not only did most people know the earth was not flat, they knew it a long time ago.

The ancient Egyptians opted for egg-shaped, but the ancient Greeks figured out the shape from the shadow of the earth on the moon.

In 200 BC Eratosthenes even worked out that the earth had a circumference of 24 700 miles. Which shows how primitive and unsophisticated people were in those days. In fact the circumference is 24 900 miles

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Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Maty

Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

FOTW or Troll?

I'll go with E

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'If people can encrypt their cell phones, what's stopping them encrypting their PCs?'

Maty

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." –Mark Twain

Congressman John Carter shows that some things never change ...

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Maty

Re: M&S

Okay, I googled it, and got this

http://www.lanarkshiremums.co.uk/pregnancy.html 'Pregnancy classes in Lanarkshire'.

Coatbridge girls have to attend classes on how to get pregnant?

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Maty

Re: @Terra

Perhaps he merely missed the spacebar, something Idoalot. The reference could have been to Nob End, a scenic bit of landscape on the canal somewhere north of Manchester. In which case this is indeed a terrible thing to say to a Yorkshireman.

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Adobe Flash fix FAIL exposes world's most popular sites

Maty

flash ...

Remember the outrage when Steve jobs said that iOS would not use Flash? If only more companies had followed his lead ....

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Maty

say ....what?

'... various mouth-breathers glue themselves to shop windows and thus frighten the horses.'

Okay, can someone explain to me why a mouth-breather glued to a shop window might frighten the horses? Since the average horse doesn't spend that much time around shop windows, the horse might assume mouth-breathers to be a perfectly normal attachment.

Or assuming that we are not to take the statement literally, this must be a contender for mixed metaphor of the year.

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Australians! Let us all rise up against data retention

Maty
FAIL

Re: Two-way Street. NOT!!!!

re AC on Jefferson.

According to what I've been able to check, Sally Hemings was 16 or 17 (opinions differ) when Jefferson slept with her. This was usual at a time when some girls married at age 14.

At the time the pair got it together they were in France, where slavery had been abolished. She had all the usual rights of a female of the time, and only relinquished them when she agreed to return with Jefferson to Virginia.

Jefferson was a widower at the time, and there was no blood relationship between him and SH, so there was no incest.

SH was freed by Jefferson's daughter.

So your argument against Jefferson consists of a) errors and b) generalizations.

I do believe that slavery is wrong and the American elite of the time were appalling hypocrites, but given the quality of your research rather disqualifies you from having a credible opinion

Oh, and BTW, the usual spelling is 'Hemings' not 'Hemmings'

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Murky online paedo retreat: The Nether explores the fantasy-reality divide

Maty

the not-so-slippery slope

@ P.Lee

In a thoughtful post you ask:

'As long as "no-one gets hurt" are we likely to progress from pretend-sex to trying it out in the real world?'

Well, we've had the internet as a 'pretend-sex' playground for the past two decades. As far as I know a wave of 'real-world' moral debauchery has failed to sweep across the west. Apart from the extreme conservative (small 'c') viewpoint, most people would say that sexual politics and gender relations are in a better place now than they were a generation ago.

We can debate whether the internet has helped this (I think it has) but it's very hard to prove that it has been a hindrance. Certainly as a satanic instrument of moral perversion in the real world, sex on the internet has been a total failure.

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Powering the Internet of Stuff – by sucking electricity from TREES

Maty

Re: whatever happened to

The case, reported Feb. 17 in The Wall Street Journal, involved one Dr. Craig Bittner of Beverly hills (where else?)

http://www.physicianspractice.com/articles/amazing-case-dr-lipo-90210

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Another day, yet another emergency Adobe Flash patch. Because that's how we live now

Maty

And to think a few years back people were building websites based entirely on Flash.

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Maty

Re: Experts?

'I would argue that anyone who does not have at least one degree that required differential equations and linear algebra is not educated.'

Go on then - I'd like to see you make that argument. Meanwhile lump me in with uneducated peasants such as Winston Churchill, G.K. Chesterton or Mary Beard.

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Trolls have DARK TETRAD of personality defects, say trickcyclists

Maty
FAIL

Re: Trolling for suckers

'that's trawl not troll.'

Good try.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

Maty
Headmaster

Re: A big If

'Time for America to get back to work and you looser hippies are not stopping us this time.'

Time for the tighter hippies to step up ...

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Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’

Maty

The rich aroma of BS

So the digital centre will 'unlock major challenges in the data value chain', with 'meaningful engagement' and 'collaboration solutions'. Looks as if this was written with a buzzword generator.

http://www.1728.org/buzzword.htm

This team-oriented explicit implementation is actually a user-facing projection of multi-channelled tertiary budgetary management typical of an objective-based innovation infrastructure. A paradigm of an assimilated executive system engine in fact.

See? Anyone can play. Now where to I apply for my £3bn?

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Good luck with Project Wing, Google. This drone moonshot is NEVER going to happen

Maty

'If a respected scientist over the age of forty explains at length why something is impossible, there is a good chance of it happening within twenty years. If a substantial number of scientists under the age of forty are working on that same thing, it's practically certain.'

Arthur C.Clarke 'Profiles of the Future' 1957 (paraphrased)

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

Maty

Re: Assailant?

'Assailant = dirty rotten b******d who had the gaul to attack...'

Please tell me that the Gaul was Obelix

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We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie

Maty

Re: More talk about less talk.

'As it stands now, the way the US is controlling the net doesn't seem so bad.'

Indeed. I really can't understand why people don't trust the US to run things fairly and impartially. Whatever was that Snowden fellow going on about, anyway?

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Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?

Maty

a thought ...

If they made a version with a screen on right and left eyes, could they tweak it to get full 3-D?

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Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

Maty

Re: Collective Delusion.

'To put it very simply: an atheist denies the existence of any gods, a monotheist says there is only one, a polytheist goes for one or more'.

You left out henotheists ...

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Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town

Maty

iTunes

'... helps [the] user to know how to use and download iTunes”

Actually, if done properly, this would not be a bad app.

Maybe iTunes has improved its interface since I scrubbed it from my computer a few years back. But I remember the iTunes interface on the PC as a counter-intuitive POS which made it as hard as possible to do even the simplest functions, presumably in the hope you'd end up buying something out of sheer frustration.

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US 911 service needs emergency upgrade and some basic security against scumbags

Maty

'In Sydney just the other month the victim was arrested and taken for questioning, as well as having all his electronic devices taken and searched. That is UTTERLY unwarranted (yes).'

Um .. did you read the article? According to the report, the hoax message was apparently sent through the victim's computer which he claimed was hacked.

So if someone owns the computer from which a swatting attempt is successfully made, and then claims in defence that the computer was hacked, then I'd suggest that the police were acting reasonably and responsibly in checking the computer and questioning the owner.

Here's the link again - http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/teenager-arrested-over-hostage-drama-says-he-is-a-victim-of-swatting-hoax-20140604-39hyo.html

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Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

Maty

Author rates

If amazon ever gets its wish that 35% goes to the author, this will indeed be a revolution. Many publishers offer royalties of between 4% and 12% of sales. And sales to things like book clubs can net the author less than 10p per book sold.

The author can get some of this eased by having an agent fighting on his behalf, but then the agent takes anything from 10-15% of the author's profits as well. Writing is like acting - the few who make it big do very well, but at present most writers would make a better living flipping burgers.

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Maty

'Just ask the Chinese how to block properly!'

Or the Australians. They're trying hard to catch up, as other stories on the site show.

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

Maty

Re: Self service checkouts

This isn't just a problem at self-service. On occasion I've tried to buy a bottle of alcohol with a head-scarfed till attendant at the supermarket. This is followed by an annoying wait until the store can find an Unbeliever who will actually handle the bottle.

Goes back to Alistair's comment about dealing with non-native customer service ...

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Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Maty

Re: On the whole

"I've met tons of people with degree's, they all think they are smart"

Oh, my word. Where to start?

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Maty

Re: The heat is on?

'Yet the five warmest years on record have taken place in the last fifteen years.'

If so how does this square with average temperatures not increasing in the same period? That's what it says in the story. To keep the average, doesn't this mean that the other years must have been significantly colder?

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Maty

Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

'The crux here is drawing conclusions from data, and the scientists are probably better at this than a creative writer or history student.'

Why a history student rather than a historian? Drawing conclusions from data is exactly what a historian does.

Or did you think it was just about memorizing dates?

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

Maty

different cultures

Who was it that said 'The US and the UK are two countries divided by a common language'?

Having frequently visited the US, it's my experience that most Brits get into trouble at the border by thinking that Americans are Britons with a funny accent.

Brits rather like a bit of non-conformity, Americans hate it. At the border, the trick is to put yourself in a readily-recognizeable category and conform to it. So for example, if you're going to Nevada, don't bring skin-diving gear, even if you have a good reason.

Don't joke. It's not that the border officials don't have a sense of humour, they don't have a British sense of humour. In their minds, they are under-paid and under-valued. If you seem to be making fun of them, it will not end well.

Finally, don't judge all border officials by those at big-city entry points. If you saw some of the crap that they have to put up with, you'd also lose your sense of humour fast.

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

Maty

'There is actually an extensive, ongoing, developed monitoring of a specific known threat.'

There may be. The problem is that if I'm going to give up my liberties in exchange for protection against a threat that for 'security reasons' no-one can tell me about, then I need to have a great deal of trust in the people I'm giving up those liberties to.

The British governmental system falls laughably below that standard, so if it's all right with you, I'll opt for open government and take my chances.

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Maty

Don't blame Blair ...

We elected him. And the reason we as a nation go along with the government stripping away our liberties one by one is, to put it tactfully, because we're a generation of lily-livered cowards.

There was a time when we accepted that the IRA would exploit the benefits of living in a free society to perpetrate acts of terror. We didn't think that the answer was to stop living in a free society. Today ...

Ah well, at least they haven't banned coffee yet.

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Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!

Maty

Re: Spaaaaaaaaaace is big. Really big.

Space is not big. Space is a place for things to be big in.

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Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

Maty
Headmaster

Re: FIRST AGAINST THE WALL

Lack of coffee excuses much - but 'virii'? That's going a bit too far.

The word is 'viruses'. For the same reason that you call Mr and Mrs Jones 'the Joneses' and not 'the Joneii' (which actually sounds rather cool, but still).

It's not a Latin plural, because 'virus' in Latin is an uncountable noun and does not have a plural. So it's merely a perversion of the language that makes you sound precious and affected rather than geeky. Please, I beg you, give it up.

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'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

Maty

hmmm...

So Apple objects to inscribing words describing female genitals on an iPhone, yet has an entire ad campaign based around a song that originally described male genitals?

(So what did you think 'Gigantic' described? - the next line 'a big, big love' is another clue)

http://antiquiet.com/music/2014/04/apple-iphone-commercial-pixies-gigantic-black-phallus/

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UK's emergency data slurp: IT giants panicked over 'legal uncertainty'

Maty

Re: Old stopgap measures never die

See the 'temporary emergency measure' of raising money by income tax. Imposed to help HMG raise money in 1799.

Another of Britannia's contributions to a grateful world.

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LG unfurls flexible SEE-THROUGH 18-inch display

Maty

Space saver ...

Up the transparency a bit, and you've got a window by day, and a TV by night ...

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What's that burning tire smell? It's Microsoft screeching away from the No-IP car crash

Maty
Headmaster

Re: If only...

"keep their attorney's busy"

Remember, every time you use an apostrophe to make a plural, somewhere a little puppy dies.

Unless Microsoft's attorney has a 'busy' (which I imagine to be a small grey toupee) and he's going to hand it over to someone to keep for a bit.

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Maty

coffee is your friend

Stop. Have a cup of coffee.

When working through a tech problem one tends to get tied in knots - I want to do X to solve Y, but X isn't working, so we need W to fix X. So you start with someone who has an email problem, and midway through, the task has become teaching that someone to use the DOS prompt. That's the moment.

Stop. Have a cup of coffee.

It actually saves time, because while on the phone you are using half your mental energy to prevent yourself from crawling down the phone line and strangling the person on the other end. While in a state of caffine-induced calm you often come up with a new approach.

Also, quite often the problem resolves itself over the coffee break. That's when the 'client' realizes he hasn't turned the monitor on, or is using the mouse from the computer beside his own. Or whatever process was hanging has finally finished or given up.

In the same way, when something goes dramatically wrong with my own system, experience has shown that the best approach is a.gather information on the problem. b. coffee break c. attempt solutions.

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One amazing reason why NASA boffins are celebrating Curiosity's 687th day on Mars

Maty

Re: BBC R4

Um .. an Areophile perhaps? If we're using a Greek suffix we might as well be consistent. Like 'selene-' for moon and helio- for sun.

And an honorable mention for Total Recall (the original version and book NOT the ghastly re-make.)

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Average chump in 'bank' phone scam is STUNG for £10,000 - study

Maty

Voice calls? sooo 20th century

Recently I saw a presentation for a new phone (I forget which) in which the ability to make and receive voice calls was not even mentioned.

And a good idea too. I don't like strangers walking up to me in the street and selling me stuff. Why the hell should I let them do it in my living room? With IM and email, you can filter out the spammers and crooks much more easily. With friends and family you have a clear record of who said what, and you have time to think it over when you need to pick your words carefully.

Particularly with strangers, voice conversations should be like face-to-face meetings. Something you set up beforehand.

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Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

Maty

Re: Comfortable?

Um ... I don't think you move your head. You move your hand, and the phone works out what your POV is from the relative angles of phone screen and face.

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Fantastic fantasy four-way fling – and family-friendly fun

Maty

I see GW2 was left off the list. Is this because it featured the kingdom of Orr which has left malign artifacts all over the game environment?

(cf Reviewer's name ...)

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