* Posts by Eddie Edwards

978 posts • joined 16 Oct 2007

Second French rogue trader case sparks risky thinking

Eddie Edwards

@ Fraser

Why limit it? It's not like the banks are going to the wall if they have to pay $20 per employee for an RSA token.

Dell scrambles onto de-dupe bandwagon

Eddie Edwards
Paris Hilton

Rookie question

I'm a programmer and what goes on in the data centre is a mystery to me, so this question might be very very stupid.

If you have multiple backups of the same data, and you "de-dupe" it, doesn't that mean you now only have one backup of that piece of data, so only one point of failure?

How does that help? Surely if you're running full backups you want discrete copies rather than de-duped copies, which are more-or-less equivalent to an incremental backup?

And, conversely, if you want de-duped backup data you just run an incremental backup in the first place, without paying anyone a dime for de-dupe techonology.

What am I missing here? De-dupe sounds like a stupid idea for backup data.

Paris, because I wanted an icon with a question mark on it, and I can see the IT angle.

Spooks foils fictional Russian plot

Eddie Edwards

No-one else noticed this?

It wasn't a DDOS. It was a DOS sourced from a single location. That's just a DOS.

And the zero-day virus was no less silly than when Goldblum did it in Independence Day. Unless of course Russian subs run Windows.

And a signal at 500nm? That's not a radio frequency. It's the colour green.

The only good side to this episode was the killing off of the ultra-annoying Adam Carter.

Smiley, because he's turning in his grave.

London anthrax case man 'seriously ill'

Eddie Edwards


So it's good that this guy is still Among The Living but I really hope that he hasn't been Spreading The Disease. I bet he's feeling the Persistence of Time in hospital though. The stuff the doctors are telling him must seem like the Sound of White Noise.

/me: That's all the Anthrax albums I've got, sorry.

Bumpkin's Brum — Roving Reg blogger hits the road

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up


Just LOL

Feds indict international cyber crook accused of $1.7m ATM spree

Eddie Edwards

@ Philip IV the Fair

My knowledge of the history of the Knights Templar has, admittedly, been pieced together from Dan Brown novels, but has anyone else noticed the profound similarity between Philip the Fair's destruction of the Knights Templar on Friday 13th 1307, and Emperor Palpatine's destruction of the Jedi Knights in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith?

I think we should be told.

Open-source Silverlight slips into second gear

Eddie Edwards

SIMD in Mono?

Ahhhh. The penny drops.

It's not just Microsoft who "embrace and extend".

It's actually just an irresistable thing for *developers* to do.

This explains why I can't compile most FOSS C/C++ code on any other compiler than gcc.

House key copied from photo

Eddie Edwards

What a nightmare

I'm going to have to keep my keys somewhere private now, like my pocket.

Rigged e-voting machine snacks on Homer Simpson

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

@ Pete

Sometimes IT people make me despair with their anti-user attitudes but when said w.r.t. voting machines it takes the frickin' biscuit. We're talking about trying to operate a basic application on a machine. If a user can operate an ATM / cashpoint they should be able to operate a voting machine. If this isn't the case, it's the voting machine that's broken, not the human race.

Either way, the system of voting machine + pleb is broken, and since the idea of democracy is that plebs can vote, the system is unsuitable for use in one.

New Scientist goes innumerate in 'save the planet' special

Eddie Edwards

And another thing

To those who say that GDP *might* be able to increase without resource usage increasing, because of better technology, I say this ...

Star Trek isn't real.

You can't base arguments about actual events on things that happen in Star Trek.

Yes, one day we might all be swooshing around in starships that are fuelled by dilithium crystals. But it's not a realistic future to pick compared to all the other millions. You can't rely on things happening which we can neither control nor predict from here.

Unless you have a proposal for an ACTUAL technology which can sustain increased GDP across ALL INDUSTRIES versus zero increase in resource usage, STFU. Anything else is science fiction, and not relevant to the current debate.

Any machine merely converts energy from one form to another. The economy can only get more efficient, it cannae break the laws of physics.

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture


The reason people are picking on the examples is that the author wishes to prove a point - that GDP can rise without natural resource usage increasing. If this point is true, it should be possible (easy?) to come up with some examples which, when all variables are taken into account, clearly show a rise in GDP with no corresponding rise in resource usage. Since the author failed to do that, his overall point is basically lost.

For instance, the chip example, it takes 100s of man years of work to just design the chip. The "value" comes from the design, not from the sand-to-chip process. And 100s of man years costs a lot of money in light and heat and computer time. And those computers have to come from somewhere. As does the software they run. And so on, ad infinitum. That "extra rise in GDP" because you're making chips rather than glass doesn't come from nowhere, and the author is disingenuous to claim that it does.

It seems naive to me to think that you can somehow magically "add more value" without actually doing more work.

There's no simple relationship between GDP and resource usage, that's true. But to claim that ever-increasing GDP does *not* require ever-increasing resource usage is a very bold claim that deserves some level of justification over and above this rag's insistence on ridiculing everyone else's points on the subject.

Historically, as GDP has risen, so has resource usage. That's an empirical fact. Until I hear otherwise, I'll take the empirical facts as being representative of the truth.

BTW, Tim, New Scientist did not accept that economics was a valid way of describing the world. On the contrary, by pointing out its hubris and flaws, they demonstrated quite clearly that it fails to do so. AIUI New Scientist accepts only empirical science as a valid way of describing the world.

David Tennant quits Who

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Oh noes

Tennant *was* the doctor, in the same way that Baker *was* the doctor.

The next one will be the Peter Davison of our era.

So he should clearly be taken from a popular prime-time series about vets.

Is there one?

Yahoo! begs world+dog for free engineering

Eddie Edwards

JOIN etc

I don't remember reading that syntax in C J Date's book, which is my only exposure to the relational model and SQL (thus making me an expert :)

IIRC you'd use a JOIN on guid and then filter on guid being me. That's the "proper relational" way to do it, but it's declarative in nature. If you run that JOIN naively (i.e. without a heavy-duty optimizer on the DBMS) it will take about forever.

Seems to me that Yahoo!'s method allows you to do the same thing in a more procedural way. That means a naive implementation will do it fast or that the optimizer works less hard.

It makes sense that you probably wouldn't expose JOIN to the hoi polloi. Otherwise the hoi polloi would regularly crap on your servers.

Or, maybe they aren't using an RDBMS for this, and have their own query engine that simply doesn't support JOIN.

... now all the experienced DBAs can tell me how wrong I am :)

Vodafone pitches Comic Sans as the next Crazy Frog

Eddie Edwards

It's easy to break a phone by trying to change the font

"How do you break your phone trying to change the font?"

Well if it's an unofficial hack on a Nokia handset then you're probably talking about writing over part of the firmware. In flash memory. That's a tremendously stupid thing to do. Trying to get that function working properly is going to cost you a few bricks.

Skiving Aussie fingered on Facebook

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Obvious solution

Tell your boss you were lying on your Facebook account to make yourself look big in front of your friends, but akshully you were really really ill.

One billion unwanted opinions in real-time: Now SHOUTED at you

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

This is why ...

This is why I don't have speakers connected to my PC.

Without typo-squatters, how far would Google fall?

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

I doubt they make much from this

I mean, for a start, who types URLs?

Secondly, who goes to a misspelt page and thinks, "ah well this isn't what I'm looking for, so instead of instantly clicking on "back" I'll read these ads".

Thirdly, given a misspelling of a domain name, how can you tell what proportion of people actually mistype it that way? I'm sure many of these pages get no hits at all.

Anyway, I just tried a few misspellings of "cartoonnetwork.com". One actually went to Cartoon Network (cartoonetwrk), one went nowhere (cartoonnework), and one went to a search page containing no Google ads (cartoonetwork). So is this story even true?

(BTW, cartonnetwork.com goes to a manufacturer of milk containers. Only joking. It goes to Cartoon Network too. Cartoon Network seem pretty well set up against typos akshully.)

Believe your own hype - always

Eddie Edwards

I love this book

And I don't even own it ... yet. Give me 5 seconds. OK, it's on the way.

BTW I just finished reading "Dreaming in Code" on the recommendation of some Reg hack. It's pants. Don't bother.

The documentary aspect is OK (if you enjoy watching car wrecks, which I do) but the several chapters of random pontification on process made me want to vomit. Nothing in here you won't know already, and nothing approaching an analysis of each. It's about on a level with Panorama, if you like that sort of thing.

OTOH, the whole thing will give you a huge sense of superiority over Mitch Kapor, which can't be bad. You won't believe how long it takes to write a calendar program, if you utterly suck at development!

Hmm, it's starting to sound like a good review. But next time someone exclaims "Haven't you read Dreaming in Code?" (as El Reg asked last week) ask them wtf their point is, because the book neither draws nor invites conclusions. A "worthy successor to the Mythical Man Month" it is not.

It's also totally unsuitable for non-techies, whatever the blurb claims. He explains simple things in tedious detail and then throws complex techie terms in at random without any explanation at all.

And, to segue back onto topic, it costs twice as much as Paul's book.

Dawkins' atheist ad campaign hits fundraising target

Eddie Edwards

@ Ben Robinson

Look up "Agnosticism".

Agnosticism is the acceptance that such questions as "is there a God" are unanswerable. An agnostic does not "believe in a higher power, but has not decided what it is".

Agnosticism is the rejection of both Theism and Atheism. It is the only valid viewpoint given what we already know about the limits of knowledge. Both Theism and Atheism are irrational belief systems, which is why sometimes people refer to Atheism as a "religion".

Atheists know that their position is philosophically untenable so, when pressed, many claim that their Atheism is just agnosticism. This has led to confusion, with many people apparently believing that Atheism is functionally equivalent to agnosticism and declaring themselves as Atheists on those grounds. We would be better served if those people read about the subject and then declared themselves as agnostics.

Dawkins is an Atheist. An agnostic would never write a book called "The God Delusion".

Eddie Edwards

Dawkins believes that?!

Sounds like a bit of a U turn for Dawkins to use the word "probably".

I thought he had, like, unshakeable faith in the non-existence of God?

He's so lucky to have such strong faith I think he should declare it more openly. You don't see Rowan Williams vacillating like this.

The Jesus Phone NDA - No one cares but you

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Win and you

Yup, good article; much better than the previous fail.

/me wants to be a boss now specifically so I can tell someone "Back to work, cockbite."

Run Mac OS X on a PC

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

So what we really want

Is for this to run inside VMWare or VirtualPC.

Any pointers?

Google calls on developers to polish Chrome

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Crash? Yes

I've been using Chrome exclusively since launch day and its crashed about 3 times, taking out all Chrome windows.

One of my bugbears with Chrome is that even if you launch it twice you still only get one master process. As opposed to every other browser where two instances are completely independent processes. Very strange given their "more processes is better" motto and given that the master process is perfectly capable of crashing.

This is a PITA if you happen to have two gmail accounts. Log in to one gmail account in one window and you're magically logged out of the other account in the other window. Design fail.

I still like Chrome but it's not as stable as they claim.

'U-turn' West: MI5 watching 'great' terror plot right now

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

You missed a possibility

"About the only way it wouldn't be a horrifying operational gaffe would be as part of a disinformation strategy to discourage terrorists unknown to the government."

I thought you were about to nail it but then, no.

About the only way it wouldn't be a horrifying operational gaffe would be as part of a disinformation strategy to help push more draconian legislation through e.g. 42 days.

It worked for Bush.

CPS to consider private prosecution over stealth Phorm trials

Eddie Edwards
Gates Horns

CPS guidance

The PDF say:

g there is evidence that the offence was premeditated;

h there is evidence that the offence was carried out by a


Well it was certainly premeditated and it was certainly carried out by a group.

Sounds like it is in the public interest to prosecute FTW.

Where's the evil BT logo? Gates will have to do.

Gates predicts 'significant' US recession

Eddie Edwards

@ Edwards

Why do you assume that the B&MG foundation (a) only represents 0.1% of his wealth and (b) doesn't use any of his free time?

I admire Gates more than I admire some "lady who lunches" who never did a day's work in her life but spends her ample free time socializing in the name of charity.

Boffins conclude machines still not quite people

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Comedy Gold

Shame on you, El Reg, for missing the Quote of the Year from the Grauniad when discussing this ridiculous contest. Reproduced below for your delectation and delight:

"The event's credibility was hardly aided by the insistence of Hugh Loebner, the prize's American sponsor, that he had no interest in the result and had only set up the competition 18 years ago to promote his firm's roll-up plastic lighted portable disco dance floors."

Verizon to charge for message termination

Eddie Edwards

3c for 160 bytes?!

Given that a GPS phone call uses about 14kbps, sending one SMS shouldn't cost any more than calling someone for 1/11th of a second, should it? 3c per SMS is equivalent to charging $19.80 per minute for a call.

I'm sure there are other overheads but I find it hard to believe that 3c per SMS covers nothing more than "rising costs" of providing SMS service.

Radiation warning for low-energy lightbulbs

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up


They give you skin cancer and exhale toxic fumes when broken.

Is there anything CFLs can't do (apart from light a room nicely and work with dimmers)?

Serial commentard bitchslaps Reg hack

Eddie Edwards

I'm in the wrong job

If $12bn only buys you 2,000 MySQL developer man-years, that means a MySQL developer costs $6m per year.

I'm clearly in the wrong job.

Mine's the one with "MySQL for Dummies" in the pocket.

Oh BTW I've got some Rizlas if anyone's got any pole.

Armed cops ice South London devil dog

Eddie Edwards

Fair enough

This sort of stuff is illegal under the prevention of terrierism act.

AMD Fusion for Gaming

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Good numbers

"they pop up, grab a couple of CPU cycles of the 2,500,000 available each second, then go back to sleep"

Or maybe they pop up and grab a couple of 1,000s of the 2,500,000,000 available each second?

'Overplayed' privacy concerns rile Symantec boss

Eddie Edwards


"Basically, people in positions of power have a subconscious and inescapable bias towards philosophical beliefs that benefit themselves and their organisations."

What does being in a position of power have to do with it? :p

Darling launches £50bn relube of bunged-up UK banks

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture


BBC News reported this morning that HSBC had turned down the offer.

Panorama stated 2 weeks ago that they are the only bank with more in assets than debts. So that makes sense.

Not sure why you've listed HSBC here. Did something change?

Wireless-data LED lamps to replace lightbulbs - US profs

Eddie Edwards

Calm down

"now as usual some muppet decides that people wont be able to see it (I can discern flicker even on 100hz plus CRT screens (why I went to TFT) and now they want to irritate people with flickering lightbulbs"

To transmit useful amounts of data the LEDs will need to flicker at more than 100,000Hz. You can't discern that.

In fact many LEDs flicker; it's called Pulse-Width Modulation and it's used to dim them. Generally this occurs at over 1kHz and is also impossible to discern. Look at the pulsing LED on a Mac when it's asleep. Do you see flicker?

Judge traps RealDVD in legal limbo

Eddie Edwards

@ Iain

"the Judge appears to agree that breaking open the DRM on DVDs constitutes circumventing copy protection measures. Because it quite clearly is."

Indeed so.

"But US law explicitly states that this class of product is illegal."

Not necessarily.

The DMCA refers to "effective" copy protection measures. CSS was broken about 8 years ago; ergo it is not effective. Real can point to thousands of sites/trackers containing DVD rips.

AFAICT the case revolves around the meaning of the word "effective". IMHO Real are not going to win by saying, yes, we did break the DMCA, but then we fixed the hole. They're only going to win by saying, no, we didn't break the DMCA. And if they win on that basis, they don't need to fix the hole.

Birmingham Airport in X-rated X-ray shocker

Eddie Edwards

What a disgrace

You can clearly see two bottles of liquid, not in a ziplock bag, and possibly some nail clippers too.

I'd be embarrassed if I showed up at airport security with that bag.

Miliband the Younger becomes Green Energy minister

Eddie Edwards
IT Angle

IT Angle?

Is it because Miliband is the opposite of Infiniband?

Feds: Search engine bride was tax evading prostitute

Eddie Edwards
Paris Hilton

Lot of Dutch on today

Prostitution is illegal in most civilized countries.

Defrauded punter says 'catflaps' to PayPal marketing stunt

Eddie Edwards
IT Angle

Ian Ferguson

Is that the same Ian Ferguson who posts here?

'Windows Cloud' to descend this month, says Ballmer

Eddie Edwards
Gates Horns

A few more edition names

Windows Cloud: "On Your Parade" edition (for HD content creators)

Windows Cloud: "Into The Wind" edition (for MS internal use only)

Virgin Galactic to save planet from climate change

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

I'm with Spang on this one

Branson is paying lip service to the threat of global warming, carrying a few instruments so he can deflect criticism for the elephant in the room, which is the massive per person energy consumption of his service. Unless I'm missing something here, one person flying on Virgin Galactic is going to burn about as much fossil fuel as we each would burn over our entire lifetimes, or at least several decades.

Oh well, I'm sure he'll plant some trees.

Apple bans App Store heartbreak chatter

Eddie Edwards

So what?

Game console creators have been doing this for decades.

They own the platform. You want to develop for it, you sign a contract with them.

Oh, right, sorry, I guess all these unhappy iPhone developers didn't read their fucking contract.

Everyone knew from day 1 that Apple wasn't going to publish internet telephony apps or apps that compete with iTunes. Boo hoo to the developers that thought that didn't apply to them.

Go jailbreak your iPhone if you care.

Blockbuster: DVD to Blu-ray shift slower than VHS to DVD

Eddie Edwards

Well ...

I've got a Blu-Ray player (PS3). I've got a 42" 1080p TV. I have about 4 movies on Blu-Ray. None of them is worth getting on Blu-Ray over DVD given the price difference but I thought I'd give it a go. Unfortunately I have to sit on the floor in front of the TV to see any difference between DVD and 1080p BD. So I do that sometimes and go "ooh". The start of Cars looks phenomenal close-up. But I either need a smaller living room or a bigger TV to really make this shit pay.

Finns develop mobe sleep-cycle alarm app

Eddie Edwards

@ Secretgeek

"My girlfriend will testify that I've already got one of those thanks."

Yeah, but bear it in mind in case she ever becomes your wife.

ELSPA chief lays into UK censor over games ratings

Eddie Edwards

Made me laugh

The idea that a venerable old British institution *downgrades* games that ELSPA thinks are 18 is, to me, hilarious.

Maybe it's ELSPA that is "out of touch" if it consistently labels games as 18 which even the BBFC accepts are 15.

I assume that ELSPA is arse-covering to the max here, but if it fails to apply realistic certificates to games then its system is fundamentally broken and will be ignored.

So STFU ELSPA ... again. BBFC FTW.

Toshiba, Sony to ship 45nm Cell in 2009?

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Shouldn't this have been 45nm to begin with?

I remember way back in 2003 the claim was that PS3 would use a 45nm Cell processor.

So it might be true by 2009 then.

Good old Sony, they never lie.

OpenSocial, OpenID, and Google Gears: Three technologies for history's dustbin

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Worker threads

"Well, Google did, and crippled the "threading" interface by making all workers shared-nothing. Nice, now you don't have to worry about hard things like resource synchronization."

Sorry, did someone just say that *worker* threads should *share* resources?

Yeah, coz we all know that linear speedup on multiple cores is undesirable. Not to mention the sheer boredom invoked by provably deadlock-free code. That's not how real men do multiple threads.

What do Google know about parallel programming anyway? Let's bash them. Bash bash bash. Look how iconoclastic I am! I'm going to bash Apple next for their poor user interface design.

Axon takes 100mpg wonder car for a spin

Eddie Edwards

Note to Americans

That'll be 80mpg to you guys.

Artemis Fowl scribe to pen sixth Hitchhiker's novel

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Do not want

And that's my considered knee-jerk reaction.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018