* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Verizon awarded $33.15m against cybersquatter

Herby Silver badge

How the money trails...

It is probably one of those companies that is "Crazy Like a Fox" ads that show up on late night TV. They always have a different URL at the bottom of the ad, or some such. Yes, you can "make money fast"! Often is it one of those schemes that propose to make you a small fortune, only after you had a large fortune to start with.

Maybe they should go "up the food chain". Oh, sorry it is InterNIC, they don't do anything!

If you can fart, you can earn $10,000

Herby Silver badge

A needed addition to...

the baby that poops if it doesn't get to the potty in time. Come on people, get your act together and team up!! One needs to pass gas and s*** at the same time. Off to the toilet we go flushing dollar bills away as we go!


Walmart's Jesus Phone no better, no worse

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Is it really worth $2?

Lets do some calculation, shall we:

US Federal minimum wage: $6.55/hr (it goes up to $7.25 in 2009).

Current price of gasoline: $1.78/gal (I filled up today, it is much cheaper than in September!).

Mileage for my big gas hungry SUV 16 Mi/gal (It has a nice built in calculator!)

Distance to my local WalMart: 7.1 miles (Yahoo Yellow pages!)

Distance to my nice friendly Apple Store 3.4 miles (Yahoo yellow pages again!)

Additional miles to WalMart: 3.7 miles (.23125 Gal, $.42 [rounded!])

Now let's get there at a reasonable speed: 30mph, takes 6.8 minutes, another $.74 at minimum wage.

Now we're left with $.84, or in minimum wage terms, or about 7.7 minutes to argue with the minimum wage clerk (I'm being kind here!) at the WalMart desk.


Not included:

Even more arguing with the clerk about finding the thing.

Time to park (maybe a wash, I don't know).

Attempting to get past all the customers who don't know what they want (what is a gigabyte?).

The pain and aggravation of having to go to WalMart in the first place.

The fact that my time is worth more than minimum wage (most of the time, I am unemployed right now, but the $900 in unemployment every two weeks is something!)

And last but not least: I just don't like WalMart. They (mostly) sell cheap junk!

Enough said!!

Verity Stob's Big Fat Geek Yuletide Quiz of the Year Part 2

Herby Silver badge

One forgotten.

No, the answer is NOT Vista. Vista is the problem, not the answer!

Software copyright inspection powers used for first time

Herby Silver badge

Coincidence (or not)

When the Ad next to this article says "Open Office 3.0, The only option". That it is!

At least in the USA, we have "Innocent until proven guilty" (or at least something vaguely like that.

Orwellian Apple ad celebrates 25th birthday

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

In 1984: IBM

In 2009: Microsoft

Then there are those who say:

In 1984: Apple

In 2009: Linux/Open source

Time will tell when Orwell will be proven right. It will be some day.

FCC boss gets knuckle-rapped

Herby Silver badge

FCC's failings (the short list)

There are many:

1) Broadband over powerline (neither broadband, or powerline!)

2) Whitespace networking (give me a break. Google and Microsoft can go to 2.4 GHz!)

3) Digital TV. Decreases range, isn't compatible, silly converter boxes, not universal (low power TV can still broadcast NTSC!). Why bother. Nobody cares about picture quality!

There are more, but why bother. Generally a bad batch.

Microtune boots up for in-car TV

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Digital TV

Not likely. The signals aren't that good. It will never work. Especially in a hilly territory like the San Francisco Bay area.

Back to DVDs for me!

Entire class fails IT exam by submitting in Word format

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What should have been done...

Is to FAIL the TEACHER. He was the one who gave the wrong directions.

Yes, Microsoft formats are bad. What else is new?

BOFH: The Christmas party

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Frozen Paintballs

On an episode of "How Its Made" (Canadian produced show shown in USA) they did a thing on paintballs. Turns out that in the show they were made of perfectly edible innards. In that case they just might freeze. In any event, ones that had been "conditioned" at a lower temperature would be more painful on impact. I for one would want to be on PFY's team!

Wireless comms and the end of civilisation

Herby Silver badge

Practice makes perfect

Every year (around the end of June) amateur radio has "field day" which practices emergency communications. In the USA it is a big deal and being that the setups are "in the field" it is a great party. It has been going on for MANY years (over 50) and most hams would be able to get something going.

Yes, all the broadcasters would be gone from 40Meters!!! The side benefit would be that Microsoft products wouldn't matter any more.

The original needs help as well.

How Microsoft blew its own RIA invention

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Microsoft Innovation

Just another oxymoron. The managers (as said before) don't understand the process, only the money (and lots of it!).

Then again, there is the exception: Microsoft Bob! (Why didn't they call it Bill, it would have been more appropriate!).

Gov backs campaign to save Scott's Antarctic hut

Herby Silver badge

Remember the planning...

Amundsen was the engineer, Scott was the scientist. Compare to "Computer Science" people and the engineers that actually get the work done.

One has no planning, and has high hopes that things will go well. The other considers contingencies and does extensive planning.

Draw your own conclusions.

I'd put a penguin logo up, due to the South Pole aspect, but it would be construed differently (*SIGH*)

FCC offers prison boss phone jamming help

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Possible solution

Just have signal locators all over the place. They light up and make sounds when a cell phone signal is nearby. Even just turned on cell phones emit signals to find the base station. In addition, put up "signal absorbers" (simple half wave stubbs will do) so the cell phones will need to transmit with more power.

Pretty easy solution if you ask me. No "jamming" needed.

BOFH: The unwanted software compo

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On Pounds and Dollars

We here in the states sometimes refer to $$$ as "bucks". I believe that across the pond (and 8 hours away) they refer to £££ as "quid".

Yes, it took me a while to get used to it. Thankfully, all our bills are the same size.

Love those pictures of previous presidents and other elder statesmen past.

Retro piracy - Should the Royal Navy kick arse?

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Bond, James Bond.

Sounds like an obvious solution to me. Send in the good guys and make SMERSH or SPECTRE pay.

Of course, it would be made to look like someone else did the job if it were done correctly!

License to kill.......

French record labels sue, um, SourceForge

Herby Silver badge

And the French not having an internet....

...is a bad idea. The French will always be "The French", and I doubt that anything will change that fact. Like it or not.

Microsoft marks Windows' anniversary with Windows 7

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Always an add-on for MS-DOS, and not much more. As long as they have drive letters, and not something more informative, it will always bee that way.

If they had actually done it "right" they would have started over, but that would take too much time/money.

"Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick two" (enough said!).

North Korea photoshops stroke from Kim Jong Il

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Nice dresser!

Is it just me, or is the (partial) picture of Mr. Kim the only one that has nicely pressed pants? The two guys next to him must have the wrong pant size (probably because they only have one in Korea), with all the wrinkles!

As for being photoshoped: Bloody Obvious!

Is the internet going down down under?

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Been said before, but worth repeating...

The net treats censorship as damage, and routes around it.

So, it will never work (completely!). Why try.

The proper place to protect "the children" is for parents to do the job. They should be the ones to "pull the plug". At the very minimum, they should be watching what "the children" are doing in front of the computer, and stop the "bad activity". Of course, this would be common sense, and governments are very poor at implementing that!

Windows 7: One compatibility label, no confusion

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Aren't these WARNING labels. Here in California we have to warn people about cancer risks and all that, so we have these "Warning, contains chemicals known to the State of California known to cause cancer". I've treated BOTH the "Intel Inside" and the "Windows..." stickers as warning labels. I even at times remove them from new hardware and put them on the places that properly deserve them, toilets coming to mind as a likely choice.

FCC defies Dolly Parton, opens white space waves

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Just wait...

When a politician gets his wireless microphone interrupted, then things might change.

In the mean time we will have rock concerts and NFL football games interrupted.

One of these days the bozos at the Friendly Candy Company will actually READ the reports and test data.

Daily Mail punts Georgina Baillie filth

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Halloween even better

Somebody got the day right. Looks like a wonderful costume to me.

Trick or Treat!!

Spooks foils fictional Russian plot

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Fiber optic cables CAN be tapped!

When I was working at RayNet (then a division of Raychem), the entire work they were doing was based on both injecting and detecting signals into and out of fiber optic cables. They did it by bending the cables around a radius, and if done correctly you can make things work quite well. We were developing "fiber to the curb" to have nice digital signals get there. Now days, DSL is used, and they have remote terminals for both the data and the voice.

Things change over 20 years! What used to be OK (8kHz data for voice), is nothing compared to 3MHz+ coming into your home. Oh, well.

Yes, submarines did tap a cable as discussed.

Century-old hydropower plant to run on fudge

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All creatures Great and Small

Look, somebody needs to do it. To me it looks like this sort of thing is based on silly ideas. Everybody knows that natural gas is a much better way to generate heat (forced air heating and nice toasty hot showers). My house averages about a demand of around 1kW. This translates to around 8800 kWh in a year.

Give me that nice 1GW Nuclear plant please. NOW!!

Then we can start talking about using Ready Kilowatt for things other than lighting and TV's (and computers!)

El Reg in Street View drive-by snooping

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Now for a contest...

Find the first Google Street view that has a Google snooper car in its sights. I don't know if there are any, but it would be interesting to find one.

TSA seizes pre-flight terrorist screening

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195 pages??

Look, if a policy/procedure is this long, it is bound to be terrible.

All of this is in the category of "window dressing" which does nothing to "enhance" the safety of the flying public. All it does is make $$$ for those who "speed up" the clearing process (the "clear card" people), and cost everyone else added fees (look at your ticket!).


UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

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Just remember the saying:

"The internet considers censorship as "damage" and routes around it."

Any attempt to regulate will be met with the same answer.

McCain gets pair of personal cellphone towers

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"More bars", or "Can you hear me now"

Take your pick. As for "perks", the secret service guards all ex-presidents, and therefore needs to set up shop for the Clintons in New York. They are charged "rent" on the out (back) house in the estate. Simple math turns out this "rent" is exactly the mortgage payment for the whole estate. Ain't politics grand!

Can I have secret service coverage as well. It would be nice to have bullies follow me and shove people out of the way.

Now if AT&T (modem test command) would have decent coverage here at home....

Lehman Excel snafu could cost Barclays dear

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One should remember ONE thing about printouts!

And ONLY one thing about them. "The printer was working that day!". If anyone assumes anything more about the printout, they deserve what they get.

Anyone can make up something convincing to show off. It is VERY easy to do. The observant will know this and take action accordingly. The stupid will get what they deserve. It is similar to taking Wikipedia as gospel truth. Don't believe everything that is printed/on the web!

Ignore at your own peril!

Batman theme composer dies at 85

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Tune in tommorow...

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.

Geez, that really dates me, I remember the series as first runs. Of course, it was the 60's.

..."If you remember the 60's you weren't there!"

‘You can Google Checkout any time you like, but you can never leave...’

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Who is Number One

You are Number Six.

I am not a number.....

Look, I couldn't resist!

Airport baggage screener charged with stealing passengers' stuff

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Just make sure things are "secure"

I have a bunch of small cable ties of a unique color that I "seal" my luggage with. It becomes immediately obvious when they are opened. I also put inside a nice sheet of paper that says "sealed and inventoried" (not in radio-opaque ink!) so if the luggage does get opened, the TSA employee will KNOW they are "being watched". Yes, they can break the simple cable ties but then they know that I KNOW as well. I believe that this is a bit of a deterrent but not having anything ebayed from my luggage I'll never know.

The TSA locks are really a BAD idea. They seem to imply that there is something valuable inside!

How the fate of the US economy rests on a Dell workstation

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Wonderful thing these models

They are all "perfect". This is a problem with ALL models. The people who run them claim that they are the "end all" of everything. Then they go out and act as if they are.

Sorry, they aren't. They never will be. At best they will be an approximation, but if the model fails to take into consideration a SINGLE input, it WILL fail.

Oh, this applies to weather/climate models as well. Sorry AlGore!

EU battery rule may zap iPhone, blow away MacBook Air

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First Lead (RoHS) now this.

Maybe soon they will declare human waste as a hazardous waste that can't be thrown down the drain.

Give me a break! All they need to do is make the "recycling" of the battery cheaper than throwing it away. So, have a government depot that accepts the used batteries and pays money for them. Let the government refine the waste and sell for a profit. Who knows, they might even make some money doing it, which given the current times is sorely needed!

Daylight savings shift to cause phone havoc Down Under

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If you want to "save" daylight, just do everything an hour earlier. The government (of whichever country) doesn't need to be involved.

I'm reminded of a political cartoon where the protaganist cuts off chunk of blanket on one end and sews it onto the other end. Then calls it daylight saving(s). It dates back to the early 70's when it was stretched out into winter.

Of course there are few countries that have more than ONE time zone. Unfortunately I live on one that has 4 big ones and a few minor ones.

Microsoft gives users six months longer to flee from Vista

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Windows Vista "killer"

Is actually Windows Vista itself. It all comes down to "why bother"? If you have something that "works", don't "fix it".

Of course, there are those who consider Windows (from Microsoft) a virus that should be eliminated, and we might actually be right.

Remember: As long as there is a "C:" drive, it will always be DOS (or actually CP/M) in some form (and therefore broken!).

HP waves goodbye to 9,300 EMEA employees

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Welcome to the "real world" Europe!

The sooner that they understand that "at will" employment works better for everyone, and allows proper staffing levels (good and bad).

Of course, being unemployed since Sept 5 makes this difficult to say, but it needs to be said.

P.S. Have keyboard, will code. Wire Herby, Silicon Valley.

Did the width move for you, darling?

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After a couple of weeks, it kinda grows on you

But other weird things exist. I miss having the first 5 comment titles at the end of the article. One always strives to get in those first few to show off that they have important things to say. In addition, I use "no-squint" that makes fonts bigger (it works quite nicely!) for those who need higher power spectacles each year. Sometimes it has a really bad side effect of making things overlap when they shouldn't. Of course the fixed width stuff feels strange, but as I said, it grows on you.

But, all in all, as the main content hasn't changed (or its literary style), I'm content.

Microsoft threatened on antitrust non-compliance

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Original penalty was the best!

Divide up the OS part and the application part. Then they would need to publish the interfaces. Couldn't get around it at all. Unfortunately the judge couldn't be convinced at all. Once again Microsoft gets away with out penalty. Nothing new.

Miracle airship tech sustained by DARPA pork trickle

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DARPA stands for

While I understand English separates our two countries, here where DARPA exists, we call it the DefenSe Advanced Research Projects Agency. I suspect that over in the UK, it might just be called "Q section". Similar end functions.

Secret Windows 7 screens leaked?

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Still DOS/Windows

As long as there is a "C Drive", it will be nothing new. Just a bunch of band-aids (UK: Plaster) stuck on top of a VERY old interface. Nothing really new but a "coat of paint".

Oh, some other stuff added like DRM junk just to slow you down because you DO pay your bills.

BOFH: Remote access malarkey

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Amazing what you can do with "remote access"

Back in my support/BOFH days (1981 or so), the computers I worked on had remote access modems on them (I had designed the hardware). While these were only character interfaces, the people who ran the boxen were "dumber than cheese". We would always "ask" first, as it would lock out the control terminal at the remote location. The "fun" part was that we could call up the computer and switch operator talk paths all around. All of a sudden we would monitor the voice, and interject some remark at the proper time. "Hello there" would elicit almost a scream. Always fun.

Bill Buxton to change Microsoft from within, hug Steve Ballmer

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Microsoft Change?

Just another oxymoron. Just like Windows Vista.

Nothing more to say.

Chinese manned spaceshot set for 25 September

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If they really want to get noticed!

Let them link up with the ISS. THAT would be something! Then it would be truly international in scope. When they do a mission like Apollo 8 (to the moon and back!) they will have done something. Of course, you need BIG rockets for that. Saturn-5's are on display in Houston (maybe not after IKE) for copying purposes.

Judge: Breath test firm must hand over source code

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All this sounds like...

...hanging chad redux. I agree that the source code should be available for inspection, that's what the vendor of the device should have done in the first place. The problem is that the devices are paid for by the very fines they produce (Radar speeding tickets sometime fall into this category). So, there is a vested interest to have as many "convictions" as possible, even when they are not founded in fact. For all we know, it prints out a sheet that says "drunk" for every 9 out of 10 tests it does. The assumption being that if the policeman has any suspicion he is probably right.

To the vendor: if it is THAT secret, you shouldn't sell it anyway. A chemical analyzer is a pretty standard device. Anyone should be able to make one, compete on cost, and show us the code!

Royal Society: Schools should show creationism 'respect'

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Creationism really does exist...

...it is just in the form of the Big Bang!

As seen on somebody's signature:

A black hole is where God is dividing by zero.

Bring on the large Hadron collider and create us all again! Or maybe an tactictal nuclear strike in the proper place will do.

NASA mulls nuclear Moon reactor

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Windmills? Solar??

Why not? You could erect quite a large windmill in 1/6 g space. Take quite a bit less steel. Solar would work as well, no atmosphere to bog things down.

What? No atmosphere, no wind, dark 14 days in a row. Small details!

Another idea: Scale up one of those black/white in globe things. It might even work. You just need large white panels (4) with black facings on the obverse. A nice bearing, and away it goes. With no atmosphere, it would spin quite nicely!

World goes mad as Bill and Jerry eat churros

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Jerry Seinfeld??

Am I the only one who sees some irony here? Go back and take a look at ALL of the episodes of the Seinfeld show. Back in the corner of Jerry's apartment is (wait for this!) a Mac! You can pretty much tell when the episode was made by the model. Early shows had an SE or an SE/30 (you really can't tell), and they it went more upscale from there. I remember a powerbook in a base among others. To me it goes without saying that the producers (Seinfeld was one of them!) approved of this product placement and even made money from it.

Remember: He didn't switch when W95 came out, or any later version. This reinforces the notion he IS a paid shill!

Hi-tech cops lose their website

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Something needed in domain registry

So these guys let their domain expire. Maybe they wanted the id10t's that link to it to understand that they have done something wrong. Sure they could re-direct it, but the lazy linkers just keep doing it. There is an alternative to having some "cyber-squatter" take over the link! The registry should have a category (you will probably need to pay for this service though) that says "domain is out of service".

When you don't pay your phone bill there is a lag of quite some time (locally it is usually at least 6 months) before the number is assigned again. It should be the same way with domain names as well. If you want to cyber-squat, you will need to wait 6 months!

Yes, I know the people who have the domain are stupid. They should have kept up their registration (the information at least!) then they might have gotten an email suggesting that something was about to expire.

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