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* Posts by Matt Siddall

103 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

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You are here => Earth is in 'the suburbs' of an IMMENSE HEAVEN

Matt Siddall

Re: Yeah...

Logic on that doesn't quite work... Try this:

“It is known that there are an infinte number of numbers, simply because you can add 1 to any number to make another one. However, not every one of them is odd. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average number of odd numbers that exist can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the all numbers are even, and that odd numbers you run across are merely products of a deranged imagination.”

But then, I've never really been a Douglas Adams fan.

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Windows Registry-infecting malware has no files, survives reboots

Matt Siddall

Re: No files ?

Given the likelihood of false positives, I'm not sure I like the idea of AV solutions checking the registry as well. If they screw that up (and they will) the machine could easily be bricked.

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Mr Almunia, how many more times can Google rewrite Euro search 'dominance' settlement?

Matt Siddall

Google has been given three separate chances to revise its concessions on search, in part, because Almunia has stuck so firmly to favouring such an outcome that, he argues, will restore competition more swiftly than forcing the multinational down a so-called Statement of Objections route.

Do we really need to restore competition? Why is that the business of the EU? If we all prefer Google, are they going to force some people to use Bing, or Yahoo?

Search is contestable, and economics tells us that we don't have to worry about a contestable monopoly. If Google start to really misbehave or if someone else comes up with a better product, then Google's days are numbered. In the meantime, can we not just let them get on with what they're doing (providing a search service that 90% of Europeans think is better than any of the alternatives)?

(I still remember using AllTheWeb back in the good old days of university - wonder what happened to them...)

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Chromecast hack Rickrolls Google's TV stick

Matt Siddall

One of the dependencies is aircrack - so there's a good chance it can get onto the Chromecast's wifi network using that

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NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'

Matt Siddall

Dropbox

If I want to store things securely, I won't be using a cloud service at all. For storing pics and files for easy sharing and access, Dropbox works. Just don't put anything there that you wouldn't want to get out

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EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers

Matt Siddall

Re: Long shot, I guess, but any chance

They're getting better - the LG G3 for example lets you uninstall the bloatware that comes with it (I too have no use for Twitter or Facebook).

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OnePlus One equals 'killer' new mobe running CyanogenMod

Matt Siddall

Re: 3G frequency support

The 3G bands that it uses have been released already:

1/2/4/5/8 (850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz) so there shouldn't be any issues.

The 4G banding is limited to 1/3/4/7/17/38/39/40/41 , so you may have issues with 4G with some suppliers in the UK (from memory, EE is fine but most others not so much).

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EU gives Google JUST WEEKS to submit stronger search biz concessions

Matt Siddall

Erm

From what I can see here, Google hasn't actually done anything illegal. The EU commission is having a go for supposed "Monopoly" behaviour, but they've got a near-monopoly because they're the best at what they do. If someone came up with a better search engine, there's nothing stopping us all from moving to it (and I'm sure there are some people who do use Bing and the like).

So Google have done nothing wrong, but the EU is threatening them with fines because their competitors are unhappy about them doing so well. What's wrong with this picture?

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HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment

Matt Siddall

Re: Retina?

"Good luck with your HTC One X, that little beauty has a nice GPU overheating defect.... blank display not happening yet? Be patient it will..."

Oh, it gets plenty hot enough if it's plugged in and I'm playing games, but I can live with that. Generally if it's plugged in, I'm at home - so can just use my pc instead. If it's not plugged in, it gets warm but not excessively so. The only other thing that makes it excessively hot is the camera. I accidentally turned it on in my pocket once and a few minutes later it was starting to really heat up (at which point I noticed it and turned it off).

I'm starting to get occasional glitches with the touchscreen. All fixed by turning the screen off and on again though. It is nearly time for a replacement, so I'm not overly concerned about fairly minor issues that I can deal with without too much effort.

All told, I'm very happy with it. The Nexus 5 does have me quite interested in upgrading though - just have to see what's around next April :-)

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Matt Siddall

Re: Retina?

To be fair, the original retina display was just meant to be as good as a human eyeball (iball?) can see at 12 inches. I dunno about you but that's where my tablet tends to be. My phone is a good deal closer though, so higher numbers could have value for phones.

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Matt Siddall

Retina?

Any word on the actual resolution? It seems to me that Retina is becoming a bit meaningless these days.

Let's see. According to the Apple website, the 5S has:

"4-inch (diagonal) Retina display

1136-by-640 resolution

326 ppi "

Whereas the new Nexus 5 has 4.95 inches, 1080p, 445 ppi.

Hell, my old HTC One X (which has been around for a year and a half now) has 4.7 inch, 1280 x 720, 312 ppi...

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Do+ you+ use+ Google+? Seemingly+ you+ DO+

Matt Siddall

Re: @AC 07:35

I dunno - maybe I'm weird but I prefer G+. When I (briefly) had a facebook account, I kept getting emails, notifications, all sorts of spammy game things - I spent as much time clearing out the messages from people I didn't know and didn't want to interact with as I did actually interacting with friends. On G+ I get no annoying "see what your friends have been up to" emails and just get to look at what I want. It's there when I want to have a look, and otherwise leaves me alone. I much prefer it.

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Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Matt Siddall

Not sure this is worthwhile

So he gets 7p per minute? That works out to £4.20 per hour. My time's worth more than that...

For what it's worth, I don't seem to get any spam calls - Not sure if this is because I don't really use the landline though - my father in law is the only person who ever calls it.

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Google scientists rebel over company's support for 'climate-hoax' Senator

Matt Siddall

Re: God?

"2. Every time it rains, god cries on you."

That's not tears...

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PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Matt Siddall

So?

"What it stops is little Jonny 5 yr old from finding what is there in the first place."

So? I remember when I first found out about the mechanics of the whole business. I was about 8, and I remember thinking something along the lines of "errrrgh!" I just figured adults were wierd, and I'd never want to do that. I certainly wasn't interested in porn, and the naked female form held no appeal for me. If I had stumbled onto a site full of it, I'd not really have known what it was all about and I'd definitely not have been interested.

The point is that seeing sexual images is not going to do Little Jonny any harm unless there's already something wrong - he'll just shrug and move on to pokemon, or moshi monsters, or whatever the kids are into these days.

What harm does it actually do?

(now if we're talking about child porn then I can see that there might be odd assumptions created in little Jonny's brain - and incidentally it really bugs me that there's no H in his name, even though he doesn't exist - but that stuff isn't easy to stumble onto and is already hidden/removed as quickly as possible)

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US Senate vote to add internet sales tax this week

Matt Siddall

Re: I'm confused

"How do you work that out?

If no one is paying taxes now, it's a level playing field (sale price - costs).

If everyone pays taxes it's a level playing field (sale price - tax - costs).

In fact it gives smaller companies an advantage."

Not quite. If all companies have to deal with 9,600 separate taxing districts, there's a certain overhead involved. The costs of preparing for such a thing are fixed (get lists of tax rates, setup software, etc) so someone like Amazon would hardly notice it, but it could be a massive chunk of the profitability of a smaller firm.

Generally speaking, regulations favour the bigger companies.

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British bookworms deem Amazon 'evil'

Matt Siddall

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

"THEN they discover they've bought into proprietary DRM-saturated Hell."

How do they discover this? When all the books they buy from amazon automagically appear on the device? When the books they buy elsewhere can be fairly easily converted and transferred to the device by plugging it in to the computer, or by sending an email?

If Amazon prevented you from loading your own books onto the kindle and made it so that every book on their had to be purchased from them, I'd agree with you. But they don't.

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Matt Siddall

It's not even locked in really

Use something like Calibre, and download books from anywhere you want - Calibre can convert them to kindle format.

I can particularly recommend Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/

Also, it's very handy being able to email books onto the kindle. My dad has one, and when he's run out of books, he calls me and we talk about what I have and what he fancies reading next, then I just send an email and it appears on his device as if by magic. It really is easy!

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Bradley Manning to speak in public for first time in two years

Matt Siddall

agreed

Why is it ok when those working for a private sector company spill the beans on their dodgy activities (whistle blowing) but not when someone working for the government does the same?

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Foxconn won't sue over fabricated radio brickbats

Matt Siddall

Re: Anyone else getting tired..

Not that I'd ever encourage anyone to buy apple, but:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/01/30/the-apple-boycott-graphically-explained/

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Sun hacks cuffed after being DOBBED IN by News Corp

Matt Siddall
FAIL

The point being

If the people involved were terrorists, then there might be an actual danger to someone, so justifying dawn raids, etc. In this case, surely the purpose would be served just as well by the police showing up at 10am and showing some degree of respect to those arrested - after all, "innocent unless proven guilty" ?

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Brit pair deported from US for 'destroy America' tweet

Matt Siddall
Thumb Up

no need to hack

You can do it completely legally (well - it might be in violation of Twitter's T&Cs) by just creating a new account with a name that's an awfully like that of the person you want to get into trouble.

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Five firms to create HD-centric DRM for SD cards

Matt Siddall
WTF?

and once again

they make it so that the pirated versions are better than the officially purchased versions - can't they see why this is a problem?

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Pirated software hard drive on display as art

Matt Siddall
FAIL

It is important to be precise

Technically speaking there is a cost for the replication, be it in clock cycles, bandwidth, power consumption, or whatever. By your argument, since human beings can be replicated infinitely, they too have no value.

It is also worth considering the cost of information, and the value of relaxation. Value is a very subjective thing.

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HTC: Apple and Samsung won't steal our lunch

Matt Siddall
Thumb Up

Root, Cyanogenmod and S2E gets around the space problems - you can format part of your SD card and have the phone treat it as internal memory and use it for storing apps.

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Security takes a backseat on Android in update shambles

Matt Siddall

I'd say so - it's so much more customisable than the sense interface, and runs really well.

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First private-sector space station docking delayed

Matt Siddall

Repeat after me

Jobs are a cost, not a benefit!

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'Hands free' pissing contest games installed in boozer

Matt Siddall

Next thing you know

What's the betting that this will be installed at the houses of Parliament. They're already adept at pissing away our money...

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Eurozone crisis: We're all dooomed! Here's why

Matt Siddall

I think the main issue is that we have a significant amount of transfers within the EU. The home counties pay a lot more in tax than they receive in services, and a number of places receive a lot more than they pay.

So it could work across the whole EU if Germany were willing to give large chunks of cash to places like Greece, Italy, Portugal, etc. Oddly enough, the Germans are not overjoyed with this idea...

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Matt Siddall
Headmaster

<pedant>

It's not feasible for the govt to take 100% of the GDP as taxes. Even after Labour's stealth taxes and the like, we're still only at about 50% here, and the Greeks are well known for under-collecting.

But even if the Greek govt could collect 50% of the GDP as tax, then it would be like someone with an income of £10k owing £32k.

According to http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/48/27/41498733.pdf the 2006 %age of GDP taken as tax revenue was 31.3 (2006 is the latest I could see, but I didn't look that hard). at 31.3%, it's the equivalent of someone earning £10k who owes £51.44k. So the original statement was actually pretty close...

</pedant>

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UK.gov moves to close VAT loophole on etailers

Matt Siddall
FAIL

If MW3 were under £15, then you might have a point

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OPERA review serves up a feast for physics geeks

Matt Siddall
Alert

I was wondering

I'll preface this with the fact that my knowledge of quantum physics and relativity are both rather shaky, but I did have this thought:

Given the references to the Supernova, in which case the Neutrinos travelled 160k or so light years and arrived 3 hours before the light itself; and comparing with the OPERA experiment where the difference was relatively bigger (scaled up to 160k light years, the OPERA result would have meant the Neutrinos arriving about 4 years ahead of the light); I have to wonder if matter plays a part.

Hypothesis: Neutrinos are able to travel slightly faster than c through matter (whether by quantum tunnelling or some other method).

This would mean that the Neutrinos in OPERA would travel slightly faster than C for a significant part of their journey, whereas those from the supernova would travel faster than C for a very small part of their journey (as there's not a lot of matter in space - but there is a little space dust and the like). So then the effect would be more pronounced in OPERA than it was with the supernova - as observed.

I've put a post on my blog about it that lays it out perhaps a little more clearly (http://thoughtsonmorality.blogspot.com/2011/10/those-neutrinos.html)

Anyone know if this is possible, or measurable?

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Dutch court rejects Samsung iPhone ban bid

Matt Siddall
Facepalm

I thought the issue was that Apple had refused to license the patents previously. What happens if they can't agree terms now? Can Samsung just be unreasonable (one meeeelllion pounds!) ? I'm guessing not, given what the judge said, but in that case who decides what's fair?

Do Apple just get to pay the same as anyone else who's licensed it? And if so, what if they refuse?

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Scientists discover Tatooine-style world 200 lightyears off

Matt Siddall

There were rather a lot of pebbles just a few systems over, roughly where it used to be...

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Matt Siddall

Charitably?

Given that our sun's diameter is about 870,000 miles, I really don't see how 0.5 million is a charitable guess. I'd say err on the side of caution (i.e. to downplay your results) and go for 1m each, at which point they're only 21 diameters apart.

Bear in mind also, as others have noted, that unless you're viewing them from a perpendicular direction, they will appear to be closer than this (hence eclipses being possible).

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Dog fight game bitten with pro-PETA virus

Matt Siddall
Thumb Up

against my better judgement...

I've just upvoted this post.

I think it's a work of art, and must be a very carefully crafted troll. Observe the lack of punctuation, capitalisation and grammar. Look at words like dnagers and cuz. The long run on sentence. But above all else, the implication that world war 2 was caused by a computer game.

This is a work of art, and should be recognised as such. I applaud you, NomNomNom!

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Google+ succumbs to Facebook game envy

Matt Siddall
Thumb Up

Two things

First of all, the article could perhaps be a little clearer. On G+ you have 4 separate areas at present. These are:

- Stream - where new posts from people in your circles come in

- Pictures - where you can see pics from people in your circles (pics also appear in the stream when first shared)

- Profile - where you can sort out your own profile and how the world+dog sees you

- Circles - where you can manage your circles.

Games is to be an additional area, and any game related information will be confined to the Games area - so you won't get farmville or vampire spam clogging up your stream - you'll have to go to the games tab to get it.

The other thing is that a lot of people are still waiting for an invite. I put an app on the google market that lets people submit an email address to request an invite and I've invited over 7,000 people to date. The app works through php (although all invites have to be sent manually due to google's t&cs) and anyone still needing an invite can request one by going to http://zelazny.co.uk/links/gemail.php?email=whatever@domain.com - just replace whatever@domain.com with your email address. You'll get one email straight away to confirm that I have your email address, and then you'll get an invite within 24 hours.

Alternately, grab the app from https://market.android.com/details?id=appinventor.ai_zelazny.Gplus_invite (there's also a paid version available, but I figured most people would want the free one).

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Matt Siddall

actually

It looks like they're taking that into consideration. You don't get game updates sent to your main stream, so crap like farmville won't be spamming you every 5 minutes. You only see that stuff if you go to the games tab, which presumably those who want to avoid the gaming will not...

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Google told to delete people from search results

Matt Siddall

What's to stop them

using robots.txt ?

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X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Matt Siddall
Happy

Psi was great, but caused a lock on at least one occasion

If you took control of an alien, you couldn't access their inventory. But, you could open the inventory of one of your men, then use the "next trooper" button to move to the alien.

iirc they had a single clip of ammo, but if you removed it another one appeared. This did cause a problem on at least one occasion, as I clicked on the ammo but didn't actually have enough APs to move it to another location. A new one had appeared and I couldn't put it back, so had to reboot the computer.

Never figured out if you could use it to get infinite ammo - but I did always make a point of having any aliens I controlled drop their weapons...

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HTC loses prelim patent ruling to Apple, takes stock hit

Matt Siddall
Joke

@What About

"Putting all these patent trolls, companies and lawyers onto a deserted island and let them slug it out."

Already been done. It's called America

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Sega forums still closed a month after mystery hack

Matt Siddall
Thumb Up

I guess they've figured it out

The only 100% safe forum is one that's not on the web...

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Amazon's anti-iPad arises 'in October'

Matt Siddall
Stop

Yeah, but

Thing is, it only applies to things that were installed via the Market. If you install something from the apk downloaded from the web, then they can't touch it. The idea is that if someone starts distributing malware through the android market, they can remove it from people's phones (and thus avoid any liability).

If someone goes and installs it themselves, then Google won't touch it, and won't really care that much (as it's not their problem).

And incidentally, you can use things like Titanium Backup to remove the market link so that even if there is a recall notice, you won't lose the app.

All this "google can take things from my phone" stuff is a little overblown - all they can remove is things that you installed through their market.

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ISS and Atlantis crews face 'daunting' box-shifting job

Matt Siddall

beer

through a straw is the safest way

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El Reg to unleash rocket-powered spaceplane

Matt Siddall

Title

At which point you could use:

Lego Operative Hurled Aloft Naked...

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Matt Siddall

Just as a thought

What about the Kinect for horizon detection? It has some impressive sensors/cameras in there, and can be hooked up to anything that can use USB. Get someone to figure out some drivers to run Kinect on a mobile and you've got quite a potent package...

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Nice try, Amazon: 'One-click' payment too obvious to patent

Matt Siddall

Doesn't have to be real

Robert Heinlein described a bed filled with water as a relaxing way for a wounded man to recover from his injuries (having some experience of medical problems himself) and this prevented the patenting of the waterbed, as it constituted prior art.

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Accused autistic hacker Ryan Cleary freed on bail

Matt Siddall

Spock

Spock was fully capable of lying. He just mostly chose not to as it would not make logical sense to do so.

See for example the city on the edge of forever and this side of paradise.

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BT, TalkTalk refused appeal against Digital Economy Act

Matt Siddall

not sure about this

There's this: http://current.com/news-and-politics/88858559_help-them-pensioner-jailed-2-years-writing-to-grandson.htm

But there's not a lot to back it up. I can't view the youtube clip from here, but I'd expect there to be rather more coverage :S

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Apple, Google, Microsoft seek gargantuan tax break

Matt Siddall

as opposed to

Rather than leaving it as it is now, where the companies can just spend the money on the overseas businesses without having to give even 5% of it to Uncle Sam?

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