* Posts by Dr Patrick J R Harkin

805 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008

Bezos begs forgiveness for Amazon's Big Brother moment

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

A lot of people say eBooks aren't like real books

This makes the Kindle more like an actual bookshelf. I've often gone to get a book and thought "I'm sure I had a copy of that."

Watchdog bites Mattesons saucy sausage ad

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

There have been 63 comments (as I type this)

As a sign of support, we should post six more and then stop.

US space superloo claps out

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Until it's fixed...

Can't they just go out the window? Worked in Shakespeare's time. As long as I'm not stood underneath, natch.

Google lights up Moon on Apollo 11 anniversary

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Am I missing something?

On screen, there's a man, next to a sign which says "Harrison H. Schmitt". He says "I'm Jack Schmitt." I never really understood why Jack is 'short for John, but Harrison?!?!

OpenOffice bug/feature stirs 'horde of angry chimps'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

A few years back, I tried OO on 250 documents

They were submitted by students for assessment, so most were MS Offic or Open Office, a few were from Macs - but a real-world mix. OO wouldn't open 9 of them. Admitted MS Office wouldn't open 3 of those (it's a rare 10,000 word essay which fits in a 4KB file) but it worked out that I couldn't read about 4% of the files I needed to read. If I ran a business, that might mean not being able to read 4% of contracts or tenders. Compared to losing a contract, paying for MS Office seems a minor expense.

GIMP seems OK, Inkscape (tried for the first time so far) fell over (losing all work done so far) within half an hour. I've wasted many days looking at OpenSource libraries for writing ID3 tags into mp3 files. Many claim they can write the more complex forms - but I've yet to find one which actually does.

I've never bothered with *nix, but I have a friend who is a great fan. He spends so much time trying to find working drivers, or rebuilding kernels that if he spent the same time working minumum wage in a burger bar, he could have bought everything retail...

OpenSource is a wonderful idea - but in the real world it doesn't yet live up to expectations.

Tattooed Swedish devil girls sexually molest cyclist

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


Has there recently been an advertising campaign to attract more tourists to Sweden? or sell more bikes there?

California skateboard dude swipes Reg logo

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Logos want to be free!

He probably got it in a Torrent.

Apollo 11 moon mission reincarnated as website

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I've had a look

That's never a real web site. That's been simulated in a studio somewhere.

France takes third swing at 'three-strikes' law

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"arguing net access is a human right."

So, if someone doesn't have a computer, society is obliged to provide him with one? After all, without some form of device, that "internet access" doesn't really achieve much, does it?

Did the Vatican suppress hidden 'Galileo Cryptogram'?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


You've just given Dan Brown a plot for another novel!

iPod fingered in car inferno

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

OK, I'll start the playlist...

Firestarter - Prodigy

Fire - Crazy World of Arnold Brown

Don't You Wish Your iPod Was Hot Like Me - Pussy Cat Bad Puns

Teen cuffed for bomb threat webcam pay-per-view

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


"but more importantly, has some retard actually named a university "Clemson University In Clemson".

There may well be another Clemson University elsewhere, or Clemson may have more than one campus.

A woman spends 287 days choosing what to wear

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

But it's so important not to arrived dressed like someone else!

I went to a formal dinner a few weeks ago and the was another man there also wearing a dress shirt, bow tie and dinner jacket. I was so upset I had to go to the bar.

Programmer charged with stealing Wall Street-ware

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
IT Angle

So, where's the IT angle?

"The programmer, who earned $400,000 per year," Oh wait, I see now...

Gamer embezzles virtual cash to settle real debts

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Run on a bank. Iceland based corporation.

Nope, rings no bells at all.

Satanic blob beast menaces North Carolina

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Hello? Is that Samuel L Jackson?

Hi, you don't know me, but I have a script I know you're gonna love. It's called "Worms in a Sewer", and it about... hello? hello? Mr jackson? Are you still there?

'First-ever' flight of robotic ornithopter announced

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Breaking news:

North Korea is said to be stepping up it Taepodong XII Rolled-Up Newspaper Program...

Toyota in 'real time brainwave driver control' success

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


"An eighth of a second is a perceptible delay, so is the machine reading the user's intention before the user is consciously aware of it"

Could well be. Your brain decides what to do, then tells you about it. If the machine reads your brain, rather than your mind, it could know about it before you do!

Humberside koi carp rustlers trawl Google Earth

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Why blame Google?

Wouldn't it be easier to join the local Koi Keeping Club? Or go to the local fish feed/pond equipment store and follow a purchaser home?

Buzz Aldrin gets down with Snoop Dogg

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I'll believe it when...

...we see a Saturn V with 24inch chrome spinners and a rear spoiler (Oh hang on, that's a space shuttle, isn't it?)

CGI Thunderbirds sadly not go

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"Anderson produced 32 episodes of Thunderbirds between 1965 and 1966."

But... but.... Thunderbirds ran forever! There were millions of stories! Please. El Reg, check your facts before publishing stuff like this!

Paris Hilton in Dubai hotel spycam shocker

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Paris Hilton

@By Why

"I suppose PH eventually will have kids, keep her surname and call them Bangkok, London and somewhere else in the World where there is a Hilton hotel."

I wonder if she'll adopt one and call it TravelLodge.

El Reg commentards offered extra iconography

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

But why......

can I only have ONE icon on each message? What if I want to suggest that the thought of Big Brother watching Paris Hilton installing embedded Linux in a Black Helicopter had caused Steve Jobs to ruin his keyboard? (As a joke, obviously)

Dreamliner first flight delayed yet again

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Paris Hilton


Why has that plane got "ANAL" written on it?

Apple won't let Commodore onto its baby

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

If people want C64 games, there's a workaround

The rules forbid a C64 emulator which will load code, but would permit a "C64-emulator-with-one-game-preloaded", which could be done on a game-by-game basis.

That said, surely 6502 code ISN'T executable code to an iPhone, any more than a JPEG is.

New Pegi videogame ratings designed

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Sod the "safety of the children" icons

I want one that says "This games too bloody hard for you, old man." It says "3" on the label of all my Spyro games, I should be able to do them...

Bah. Modern technology. You knew where you were in the old days, playing in the yeard with a, a, a breezeblock and a bit of stick.

Software to turn iPhones, Pres into virtual pens grabs award

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


We have a device sold on the capability of its touch screen...

Which is used, every day, to send millions of e-mails and texts entered via said touch screen...

And a great idea is to use the accellerometer as an input device.

What's that you say, Skippy? Someone has fallen down the well and cracked his head?

Certainly sounds like it.

Twitter typosquatting site preys on gullible

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

What? I could lose control of my twitter account?

Well, that's my life over then.

Aren't there services more worth the effort of hacking than Twitter?

University emails 'blocked from Hotmail'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Well, there's a funny thing...

"Oxford Brookes said it had informed Microsoft of the problem and was working to resolve it, but had not heard anything back."

"We e-mailed them and e-mailed them and e-mailed them and we never heard anything back..."

Malware infested MPs' PCs inflate leak risk

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Isn't it a shame...

you can't get AV software on expenses...

TDK readies netbook-friendly SSD series

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

17 is a magic number

There are 17 forms of planar symmetry. There is a method of constructing a 17-gon using straight-edge and compass. And now 17 gig SSD. Coincidence? I think not!

Pirate Win 7 ruse used to build botnet

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Jon Brunson

My understanding is that an "official" Torrent would, by it's very nature, be corruptable. Black Hat hacks Torrent client, d/l's offical code, seeds infected code, and thereafter "official" Torrent clients spread infection.

Debbie Gibson battles Mega Shark and Giant Octopus

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"We're dealing with a menace"

Now THERE'S a scriptwriter who was paying attention during the soryboarding session.

Town OKs Jobsian tear-down

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Pictures are impressive.

I'me sure I've seen that bedroom in The Blair Witch Project and wasn't "Foyer, with refrigerator" the sequel to "Girl, Interrupted"?

Adobe plagued by 16-month-old XSS bug

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Well, I've read this twice now

But I can't find the bit which explains how it's all Microsofts fault.

Cops collar Russian punting dog dressed as lamb

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: mutton != lamb

When did you last see mutton on sale? When I was a lad, you could get scrag end of mutton for a nice stew, lamb to roast was much pricier. I'm not sure whether they've just renamed mutton (so we're still buying it, just at lamb prices) or if it's actually not sold any more.

VeriChip shaves 3mm off human RFID chips

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Knowing which patient you've got on the table could be handy

Also possibly useful for proving care - healthcare worker carries reader, reader can show doctor was with (or at least near) patient at X o'clock - or not, in accusations of substandard care. Though an RFID tag in the wrist-band would be as good for that.

New service seeks to monetise microwaffling

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


"Opened letter from landlord - rent is due. What to do, what to do...."

"Off to Tescos - food bills are going through the roof aren't they? How can I pay them?"

etc etc

NASA sticks to 2010 shuttle retirement

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Something is about to happen.

Something wonderful....

2060: Humvee-sized, bulletproof meat-eating spiders attack

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Pah. Easy to deal with.

Place suitably sized bath near spider nest. Return in morning with 80 foot tall whiskey glass and 12 foot wide postcard. Sorted.

Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

So Hanks zooms round the world solving mysteries

Remember the good old days, when he spent the entire film in one location either fixing the plumbing in an airport, or talking to a basketball on an island?

US air traffic faces 'serious harm' from cyber attackers

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

US air traffic control being hacked?

Get Jack Bauer. He'll retrieve the custom CPI unit they're using.

McAfee website visited by plague of security locusts

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

CPU hogging

McAfee does slow startup - which is something I do once a day. Once the machine is running, I never know it's there. As I type this, not a single McSfee element is managing to get off 0% in Task Manager. I run my scheduled scans overnight, and leave my machine on once in a while. It isn't perfect - sometimes the updates choke for a few days, but it has never caused me any real problems.

And yet I read loads of "McAfee is a CPU hog" messages - how come?

Ron Howard accuses Pope of scuppering Dan Brown movie

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Angels and Demons

Was that the one with the bomb which they could see on security camera but couldn't find because "the camera was wirelss and had been moved"? So no one at CERN is familiar with the concept of "radio direction finding"? I'm sure evn Skippy once triangulated a radio signal to find out which well that stupid kid had fallen down this week.

I read the Dan Brown novels in reverse chronological order - and if you think DaVinci Code was bad, you should be aware that it is a PHENOMENAL improvement in quaility over the early books. My eyes bleed when I even think of "Digital Fortress"... Seriously, he has improved so much as a writer that if the rate of improvement is constant the next book might actually be worth reading! NOW can you comprehend how dreadful "Deception Point" was?

Oompa-Loompa and Tinky Winky cuffed for drunken brawl

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Teletubbies vs Oompa-Loompah

Well, Tubbies are tubby. They eat junk food and don't do much. Oompa-Loompahs are hard-working guys, hoisting sacks of cocoa beans and grinding sugar, day in day out. They'd kick the Tubbies to somewhere there's no stomach reception.

ElcomSoft poster provokes PGP apoplexy

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

The only way to break into PGP?

Me an' da boys offah a bespoke soivice, whereby we employ our special talents to encourage da mark to cough up da passwoid. You don' need ma card, we knows wheres you lives.

Pudsey Bear refused UK passport

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Jobs Halo

They are not protecting HER identity...

they are protecting the identity of the real Pudsey Bear. This woman obviously seeks to entrap fans of the genuine Pudsey in some form of honey trap. She even admits she has managed to get £4000 that way already!

Jobs icon cos I've never used it before and can't be bother to come up with some dubious claim that "iJobs reckons the name is more important than the thing" argument.

US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Someone got hit by a silent electric car?

He didn't see that coming.

Old school music sales fell 8% last year

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Whoa! Hold on there, old fogies!

"nothing to do with that fact taht most new music is crap at all is it!"

"1) The content is crap."

"Maybe the downturn in sales has more to do with the complete shite they're selling?"

Yes, modern music is crap. Modern music has ALWAYS been crap. I'm listening to 80's crap as I type this, which I bought on vinyl, and it was so crap I bought it again on CD.

The quality of the music (as perceived by um, 'chronologically experienced' listeners) can't really take the blame.

"Nothing to do with the world-wide recession "

"So, the music industry worldwide suffered in an economic downturn"

".what they are saying is that the huge economic downturn which has resulted in massive drops in revenue in just about every industry in the last 18 months has in no way had an impact on cd sales"

The entertainment industry manages better in a recession than retail industry. And download sales went UP. We can't blame the recession.

It may be that people are acquiring (by any route) less music than they used to - but I don't see any reason to believe that's true. No one would argue that if I could somehow photocopy televisions and make them available for free that it wouldn't affect sales on the high street. Why is it so hard to accept that free music might affect music sales?

[Retreats into flame-retardent bunker, also water-resistant to a depth of 10 metres]

Judge sends Blockbuster to court over Facebook Beacon Borking

Dr Patrick J R Harkin


How did Blockbuster know her Facebook ID? Or how did Facebook know her Blockbuster account details?

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