* Posts by DaveT

17 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

DaveT
Stop

Is there any formal documentation on the query syntax?

For a product with a pipe in the name, it certainly seems difficult to feed data from one query directly into another - and I'd have thought this was the entire point of this application.

For example, it can tell me the current value of gold per oz in several currencies (inlcuding Sterling). And it can tell me the number of ounces in a metric tonne. How then do I put both these steps into one query so I can get the price of gold in Sterling per metric tonne? Everything I've tried results in the now standard "We don't know what to do with your input" response. And the FAQs simple tell me that I'm probably asking it in the wrong way and the best thing to do is ask the community for help, when really some documentation on how to structure a query would be better.

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Jackalope gets jaunty with Ubuntu nip and tuck

DaveT
Unhappy

@Steve

"Will teh sodding thing work on my advent 5301?? with the right resoultions"

Let me guess... SiS Mirage graphics? I've got same problem with my Packard Bell. Hours of tinkering with Xorg and it still won't display the correct vertical resolution.

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Hounslow tries STD test result texts

DaveT
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@AC "Subheading of the week!"

Indeed, although I think they should have added a "lol" at the end for good measure.

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Google Analytics — Yes, it is a security risk

DaveT
Stop

@Andrew Ness

Did you even read the article? Yes javascript runs on the client, but if you have control of the script source then it is trivial to change content. Want to change the title of the page from "Barack Obama" to "John Mcain"? Urchin JS executes on page load, so simple adding a function to do the following:

getElementsByTagName('title')[0].innerHTML = 'John McCain is the US President';

will do exactly that. Urchin.js is in every page, so every client which executes it will do the above change. That is a very basic example of course, but it shouldn't take much imagination to come up with a more malicious use. Each and every page element is changeable by DOM scripting - you could change form targets, cookie handling or submission content to name just three.

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Big TV flips ad blockers the bird

DaveT

@AC

In Firefox, it's apparently fairly trivial to detect if a user has a particular extension installed:

http://jeremiahgrossman.blogspot.com/2006/08/i-know-what-youve-got-firefox.html

Alternatively, it's presumably possible to detect if the DOM has been changed to hide an advert, and trigger a function to prevent loading of a video if this is the case (note: I don't know if this is how Adblock works, I'm not a Firefox extension developer).

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Gamers love in-game ads, ad industry-sponsored survey reveals

DaveT

From the IGA website FAQ

http://www.igaworldwide.com/aboutus/faqs/

IGA has taken the only stance it can, which is to state that in-game advertising is required in order to meet the production costs of game development - otherwise the gamer could quite legitimately ask what they were getting in return for having adverts foisted on them.

This is a tricky argument to make though: are Sony seriously suggesting that their game development studio will go out of business if they don't include ads? And this is quite apart from the frankly unpleasant (albeit expected) idea that a customer of Sony, having spent the best part of £350 on software and the equipment with which to use it, should then be treated as a cash-cow to be milked again and again - demonstrated by the IGA websites distasteful use of the word "exploit".

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Open AJAX frameworks not fit for 'power users'

DaveT
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Not convinced

A glance at the real world page on the Prototype website suggests that major commercial organisations are comfortable using an open framework:

http://www.prototypejs.org/real-world

Meanwhile, Dojo is sponsored by Sun and IBM and even a less well known framework like Mootools is used by Chrysler, CNET and the W3C. I'll start paying attention when organisations likes these drop open AJAX libraries in favour of an interface built in Silverlight.

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Brazilian cleaner spots security hole in Heathrow e-borders

DaveT
Alert

@AC

"are you supprised there was some nervous people pointing the guns"

Aren't they trained to do this kind of thing? I think I'd prefer them to be calm, professional and restrained.

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Virgin America tunes up with YSlow

DaveT
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Not impressed in the slightest

Table based layout, javascript controlling rollover states, use of deprecated HTML attributes (TD width and height?) and total validation failure. Great work on reducing loading times might have been done, but I'd question the quality of their front -end developers.

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Beer set to hit four quid a pint

DaveT
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@Will

"I'll open with £4 for a pint of Staropramen at the Duke's Head in Putney."

Indeed - and their Peroni is even pricier. However, cross the road and walk back towards Putney Bridge and you'll pass the Bricklayers Arms up a side street. Far, far superior and much more reasonably priced.

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PC superstore unhinged by Linux

DaveT

apart from anything else...

Leaving aside the inaccuracy of that ludicrous analogy, surely it depends on which BMW and which Ford engine. I'd quite like an E30 3 series with a stonking great pushrod Ford V8 under the bonnet for instance.

I'm sure Ford aren't particularly happy with the comparison either.

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El Reg issues Satan word alert

DaveT

Re: And...

***When your boys have sorted mobisodes, can they take whoever came up with "webinar" for a little drive?***

Indeed. And I'll raise you the use of "Dub-dub-dub" for "www", a term so preposterously simple-minded that it causes automatic thoughts of violence in me whenever I hear someone use it.

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Direct Line squashes esure's mouse on wheels

DaveT

but

"Mister Mouse was designed by the same team that designed Direct Line's telephone on wheels."

They haven't taken responsibility for designing Michael Winner then?

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Soggy IT pros check in from flooded Sheffield

DaveT

Flying Pizzas?

How did they get pizzas in if they couldn't get staff out?

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Cars could run on aluminium, say US boffins

DaveT

danger of explosion

re: "Note to self - stay well away from this guys car when he starts it."

Given that he apparently managed to cause a violent explosion while doing the washing up, I'd say he was best avoided at all times...

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Virgin lays down case against Sky

DaveT

Two months in...

...and I can say with some certainty that I don't miss the Sky Channels removed from my Virgin service in the slightest.

In fact I would go so far as to wish Sky every success in this case in the fervent hope that it will prevent me from ever having the chance to see "BRAND NEW! World's Wildest Filler Material" or a repeat of the Simpsons pulled from a pool of 20 of the worst episodes, ever again.

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'Cops help kill 32 Students', claims furious blogger

DaveT

Re: Crime of Passion

"And yes, we Americans have "a love affair with guns". And hopefully we always will. Because it is only through guns that tyrants are kept in check."

Isn't that what the US Army is there for? Or are you suggesting that the gun owning members of the US public are itching to go charging around the world to take care of "tyrants".

I'm no expert on constitutional law but this appears to stretch the definition of a well regulated militia to breaking point.

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