* Posts by Jolyon Ralph

374 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007


Round Two in Sky vs Skype trademark scrap goes to Murdoch's men

Jolyon Ralph

Firefox next?


The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

Jolyon Ralph

It was only a law because it rhymes with Moore....

If his name had been Theirry they would have called it a theory, which of course would be equally wrong.

'If you see a stylus, they BLEW it' – Steve Jobs. REMEMBER, Apple?

Jolyon Ralph

Who wants Handwriting Recognition anyway?

Unless you're the sort of person who uses your iPad to remote-control your Stannah Stairlift I really can't see what the market is for handwriting recognition in the modern world. Everyone's tried it in the past, but handwriting itself is a dying art.

How many of us here would genuinely find it easier to write by hand rather than type (or even stab at an on-screen keyboard). There are a few people for sure that would benefit, but it's hardly mass market.

Want to have your server pwned? Easy: Run PHP

Jolyon Ralph

> either enforce the update and explain the likely-extended downtime and lost revenues to Accounting

Congratulations. You've just described what an IT Manager's job role is. If your IT Manager is NOT doing this then they don't deserve the job.


Jolyon Ralph

Re: Won't anyone think of the scientists?!

>But the failure isn't just bad news for the company itself.

But on the other hand, NASA must be delighted with the number of YouTube views they're getting

Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

Jolyon Ralph

Fruity führer?

What's wrong with the term iAtollah?

US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Jolyon Ralph

> So If I set up a camera that has an infra-red trigger that is set off by an animal,

Then you're fine because you have set up and targeted the camera, you have framed the shot as you want it to be. It's your copyright creation.

In this particular and highly unusual case this did not happen. The photographer did not frame the shot or have any real creative input into how the shot would come out. He even claimed it was a lucky accident. As such, his involvement in creating the shot was pretty much limited to a) being in the right place at the right time and b) having the camera set up to take shots at the right exposure levels, etc - but as it was clearly set to autofocus and probably at least on either automatic exposure or automatic aperture setting (but none of us can tell that without the exif data) his argument for creative input on this is pretty week.

Similarly, if you and your family are on holiday and ask a stranger to take your photo, you still tend to own copyright of the photo because the assumption is that you are setting up the shot yourself, you are in control of where you and your family stand and the stranger is little more than a 'meat tripod'. This is where that differs from hiring a professional photographer to take your family photo.

The monkey example would be a bit analogous to you being on holiday, leave your camera on the table, someone runs up, takes your camera, takes a photo of themselves, and runs away. You wouldn't own the copyright in that case either. But then you'd probably just delete that picture (or pass it to the police!)

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

Jolyon Ralph

Opera browser

Does this mean Opera Browser with its "Opera Turbo" mode is against the law?

It seems to be able to access many if not all of the websites banned by my ISP for copyright violations.

128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

Jolyon Ralph

94.6 bits

How on earth can you have .6 of a bit?

All this new fangled computer technical speak is making me feel very old.

In my day if you had 128 bits of space for your program you were happy

Build a BONKERS gaming PC

Jolyon Ralph

All very good...

but how well does it play Plants vs Zombies?

Schmidt slams China as world's most prolific hacker

Jolyon Ralph

Mmm yes..

From his Daughter's blog (https://sites.google.com/site/sophieinnorthkorea/home) describing their trip to North Korea.

" We left our phones and laptops behind in China, since we were warned they'd be confiscated in NK, and probably infected with lord knows what malware."

Mmm yes, leave your laptops in China. Good advice there :)

Console content can cause crime, claims cop

Jolyon Ralph

Dihydrogen Monoxide

Have they checked to see how many of these criminals were exposed to dihydrogen monoxide at some point in their lives? It may also be a factor.

Native Americans arrived to find natives already there, fossil poo shows

Jolyon Ralph

Poor clovis

So, the clovis travelled all the way from Asia to the US only to find someone had already shat in their caves.

At least they didn't have Homeland Security

Exotic proto-mineral 'panguite' from before the planets found in meteor

Jolyon Ralph

Not really news

As the majority of meteorites pre-date formation of planets, there are dozens of these"proto-minerals" already known.

My favourite one is the utterly bizzare icosahedrite (www.mindat.org/min-40647.html) - a natural quasicrystal - which was found in terrestrial rock, but analsys suggests the grains were derived from an ancient meteorite that were then redeposited within earth rock.

Apple will only reinstate mute kids' app if makers win patent case

Jolyon Ralph

> but as developers are unable to issue updates and fixes,

> it could gradually become buggy and incompatible with the software.

Ah yes, the inveitable bit rot that introduces new bugs into existing working software. If the app works now on an ipad, and the ipad isn't updated in any other way, it's going to continue to work, isn't it?


Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Jolyon Ralph

Microphone input NOT removed

>Muzos will also be surprised to discover that – apart from the pair of built-in microphones

>– there’s no audio input at all

Not true. All they have done (in common with other manufacturers, my 2 year old Lenovo laptop has exactly the same) is combine the two into a single extended socket much the same as is on the iPhone and other mobile devices.

So you can plug your iphone headphones/mic straight into it and use it. No need for headsets with two plugs on the end. I've found it much more useful when using skype, etc, on my Lenovo that I can plug in my iphone headphones/mic rather than carrying around a headset with two connectors.


What's copying your music really worth to you?

Jolyon Ralph

Re: Economic harm?

"I can't believe you are stupid enough to think that there's a difference in the technology involved."

Did I mention technology at all? The technology allows me to listen to music that I have legally paid for. The fact that it allows people to listen to music they haven't paid for doesn't stop the technology working well for my purposes. Should I have to subsidise those who pirate music by paying an additional fee on my music player? No, I don't think so.

The problem is DRM can't work with audio because CDs are unencrypted 16-bit uncompressed audio. By creating a system that requires DRM, you're preventing people from using music they have already paid for (ie, format shifting), it's not just the pirates who are getting annoyed.

So, without pissing everybody off, you can't make an audio player that refuses to play pirate files. Simply isn't going to happen. If you want to blame anyone, blame the music industry for really not thinking the whole thing through in the late 70s/early 80s when they dreamt up going to digital.

"Just because an article is written by Orlowski does not mean it is completely irrational and without merit."

As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. I've not seen any.

Jolyon Ralph

Re: Economic harm?

The original article, and my comment, had nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with format shifting. Despite what record company executives may want to believe, the two are not the same thing.

If hungry musicians who sold me a CD want to eat, they can jolly well record a new album which I will buy, they should not expect me to bail them out because skanky kids are pirating their music. That's not my problem.

Jolyon Ralph

Economic harm?

What bullshit. We are meant to feel sorry for companies trying to rip us off by wanting us to buy the same music twice? What is the author thinking????

If I have paid for music on a CD that I can play in a car, on my computer or on a CD player, then there's no moral justification for stopping me listening to that same music on my iphone.

Don't give the music companies a single penny of "compensation" for this. I, for once, am proud that in the UK we're holding out and not paying this fee to the music companies.

Yes, Apple could afford to pay it - but that doesn't make it morally right.


Will UK.gov crack down on itself for missing Cookie Law deadline?

Jolyon Ralph

My suggestion

although it wasn't accepted by the client, was a big box at the top which says.

Cookies are essential for modern websites to work. Get over it [ ] I've got over it.

Once ticked, cookies are permanently enabled for the site.

The whole thing is a complete nonsense. The ONLY sensible solution for this is a browser-based one, with browsers keeping track of what sites you have enabled cookies for or not.

Vote now for the worst movie NEVER made

Jolyon Ralph
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Wait a moment.

Shouldn't the winner get 10 DVDs of the worst movies ever made, the second place get 20 and so on...

(checks current pole positions)

No, wait, leave it as it is!

Hated Visual Studio 11 beta in HIGH-ENERGY colour blast

Jolyon Ralph

Save icon

Isn't it time to ditch the 3.5" disk icon? Not that I can think of a better replacement.. But seriously, it's 2012

Botnet army flicks 'off' switch at UK crime agency website

Jolyon Ralph

Home office biometric systems down today too

Huge biometric system failure in Lunar House. Lots of frustrated people having to rebook appointments.

So what's the worst movie NEVER made?

Jolyon Ralph
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The C Programming Language

Original by Kernighan and Richie

Screen adaption by J.J Abrams

Jolyon Ralph

Bad director remakes

I live in fear of the wrong directors being invited to remake classic movies,

can you imagine, for example:

A remake of Psycho directed by Michael Bay

A remake of Free Willy directed by Quentin Tarantio

or worst of all

A remake of Star Wars directed by George Lucas

Jolyon Ralph

The Ucyclopedia list of 100 WOrst movies of all time:

contains such classics as:

"Close Encounters of the Third Reich"

Adolf Hitler returns in a UFO, and he's pissed.

"Titanic vs Godzilla"

At the end of the original Titanic, Bruce Willis (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) destroys the iceberg after drilling into it and planting a nuclear bomb in its core. But the RSS Titanic is far from safe. Blown off course, it heads into Japan, home of the notorious Godzilla

"Andy Warhol Controls the Universe"

Mr. Warhol hits new experimental heights in this film about a filmmaker making a film about a film whose filmmaker filmed it entirely with the lens cap on.

"Paul Allen vs Predator"

Can $21 billion protect you from an invisible alien hunting machine?

and so on...


Apple files patent for 'polished meteorite' keyboard

Jolyon Ralph

One problem with polished meteorite *

* Assuming you mean a shiny metallic one, and not one that just looks like a lump of roadstone.

The problem is rust!

Meteorites are not good at being handled, and rust easily. Meteorite slices are best oiled and kept out of humidity to avoid decomposition.

So, neat but utterly impractical.


American search team fails to find women's G-spot

Jolyon Ralph
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Obligatory XKCD reference


Exotic Russian rock CAME FROM OUTER SPACE

Jolyon Ralph

five-fold symmetry

Yes. the stuff has five-fold symmetry, which is freaky and quite unnaturally weird. Nothing else in the mineral world does.

Jolyon Ralph


None of the articles seem to have mentioned the name of this mystery mineral - which is actually called icosahedrite - see http://www.mindat.org/min-40647.html

An entirely new crystal system had to be invented for this - called 'Icosahedral'.


Reg review of 2011: Jobs, floaters and 90,000 tons of radioactive water

Jolyon Ralph

What to do with 90,000 tonnes of radioactive water?

Only one simple option. Dump it (carefully) at sea.

90,000 tonnes of radioactive water added to 1,400,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes of normal seawater = problem gone.

Don't forget there are 4.5 billion tonnes of natural uranium dissolved already in the oceans. 90,000 tones of radioactive water (even if with more dangerous isotopes) is next to nothing.

This assumes of course that it can be dispersed and spread relatively evenly, rather than just dumped all in one place. But take a few slightly leaky radioactive barges on a tour around the pacific and it'll be good.

Jedi light-sabre beats Taser in Oregon parking-lot fracas

Jolyon Ralph
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Hokey Religions

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good taser at your side, kid.

Rainbow Islands

Jolyon Ralph

Future Antique Code Show ideas

Here's my suggestions for future articles:

Ant Attack (ZX Spectrum)

North and South (Amiga)

Marble Madness (various)

Balance of Power (Amiga)

Halls of the Things (Spectrum)

FCC (finally) cracks down on BLARING! TV! ADS!

Jolyon Ralph
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Fake doc cuffed in concrete arse shocker

Jolyon Ralph
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When the police came

she must have been shitting bricks

NASA: 2012 solar flares could DEVASTATE CITIES!

Jolyon Ralph

Start panicking!

I'm more alarmed about the possibility this will trigger the earth's core to stop rotating, and that we'd have to drill down to the core and restart it spinning with nuclear weapons. I saw a documentary about this once...

'Angry Bird' netflinger projectile brings down drug ultralights

Jolyon Ralph

You would think that a 30mm chain gun would be more effective

and a better deterrent.

Comp-sci boffin aims to REPROGRAM LIFE ITSELF

Jolyon Ralph

Explains the Fermi Paradox!

Finally, we begin to understand why the value of L has to be very low in the Drake Equation, and that explains the fermi paradox.

Cyberattack Blighty and we'll use 'military means' - UK gov

Jolyon Ralph
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Spear to Peer?

Type your comment here. If you have one, which I don't

British Library defends flogging of orphaned artwork

Jolyon Ralph

Stripping metadata

Although I wouldn't put it past Facebook to be doing this deliberately, most websites that accept image contributions are going to want to resize and possibly reduce JPEG quality of images to optimize filesize and therefore their bandwidth requirements - simple techniques for doing this (such as using the PHP GD library) don't automatically preserve the metadata from the original image

Google Maps API now costs $4 per 1,000 requests

Jolyon Ralph


Well, I have a site that does 300,000 pages a day, and that certainly doesn't make anywhere near enough money to pay these rates.

Jolyon Ralph

Bing not free

Sadly Bing has a limit of 500,000 free maps PER YEAR which is even worse than Google.

This is a fucking nasty move by Google. I note there is no exceptions for not-for-profit sites or other information sites that can't afford to pay the rates Google want us to pay.

Go Daddy flogs 50 MILLION domains

Jolyon Ralph

Why not list them all?

>The entire universe of internet domains amounted to 215 names at the end of the second quarter

Second quarter of 1984 maybe!

WTF is... HbbTV?

Jolyon Ralph

f*ck off, and NO

>That has caused friction among UK content providers, some of whom feel they,

>not a consortium, should be free to define the UI that fronts their IPTV services.

Fuc* off, and NO. Consortiums usually produce shit results, but it will be consistent.

I do NOT want the retards who build menus on DVDs to build IPTV menus, thankyouverymuch.

.Scot campaign seeks UK Gov backing

Jolyon Ralph

Not needed

They only need to register ochayethe.nu

Missing moon rock found among Clinton's knickknacks

Jolyon Ralph

The Colorado one

is now proudly on display at the Colorado School of mines museum, where I saw it last week!

Apple Store newspaper headlock may be slipping

Jolyon Ralph

Premium Register Edition

I really think that a Premium Edition of The Register should be created, and all of Andrew's articles should only be available for those who pay for them.

I totally agree that premium content should be paid for!

That UK.gov Firefox cookie leakage snafu explained

Jolyon Ralph

.co.uk cookies

Not sure if it's still the case, but there was a nasty situation a while back where advertisers were writing cookies to the .co.uk domain which were then cross-readable by any UK website.

Of course, that also meant they could be deleted by any UK website, so some of my sites might run a bit of javascript that might remove cookies that are aimed at the .co.uk domain level.

Jolyon Ralph
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this is an appropriate title

I believe you meant 'stupidly'.

Microsoft unveils file-move changes in Windows 8

Jolyon Ralph

What I really want to see

is a file copy queue. So if I drag 10 files from disk A to disk B, they start copying. But now, if I drag another 10 files, it starts a second queue of 10 files copying at the same time.

Now, there are time I may be copying 100 large files from disk A to B and then want to copy a small file from A to B at the same time, and want that concurrently, but the majority of time it would be far more sensible (and less thrashing) to append the second block of ten files to the original queue.


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