* Posts by M Gale

3549 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Sony says virtual reality is virtually a reality

M Gale

Problem with VR...

..isn't the tech. We've had fast enough 3D technology ever since the Playstation, Saturn and 3DFX days. The problem is who wants to look like a dork with a giant thing strapped to their head? Who wants to pay bucketloads for two headsets to play multiplayer?

Until you can somehow make VR headsets fashionable, I can't see them taking off in a huge way. Not that I wouldn't want to play with the tech, but then I'm not exactly a fashionista either.

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Canada buys Obama's reject Brit choppers for spare parts

M Gale

Not helibeans...

...bellyfloppers.

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Anonymous smites Orlando after charity arrests

M Gale

Applying for permits.

This reminds me of the SOCPA debacle that stops people from protesting about anything, in any way whatsoever, even wearing a mildly provocative T Shirt or displaying a cake with the word "Peace" iced on it, anywhere in central London without a permit.

So a certain activist comedian got in on the act. Got several hundred people to all think of their own causes and all individually apply for permits, all on the same day, at the same police station. That made for some fun footage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRGZr2m4r7M

There are ways of appearing to cooperate, while making complete and total idiots out of the people in charge, I'm sure.

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Samsung runs to the ITC to seek Apple ban

M Gale

Wondered how long this would take.

Hope Apple get everything they are giving.

As for them being a US success story, they outsource most of the work to China don't they? Could paint that as somewhat traitorous, if you were into the black art of PR and spin.

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Smartphone security gets better: Blanket bans no longer inevitable

M Gale

Re: AC

Eh, if you're working for MI5 or the Census, fine. However, there are a lot of workplaces that don't deal in national security or large amounts of money. In this case surely a "let them eat cake (within reason, segregated from the sensitive stuff)" approach is likely to result in a happier and more productive workforce than one kept very thoroughly under the thumb?

Like the article alludes to, these days people WILL bring Internet-connected devices in. They are too ubiquitous to ignore. Unless you're in a highly secure environment that doesn't allow phones into the building in the first place (and I was a keyer at the 2001 census so I know what you're talking about), people will have their various fondle-toys and toyphones with them. A blanket Thou Shall Not does seem a little like Canute's advisors, under the circumstances.

So you don't have a typical workplace, which is fine. However last time this subject came up, the comment threads did rather get hijacked by people who seemed like they'd been given a little bit of power and were stroking their moustache (or cat if you like), sat on their throne in the server room, while throwing the sack at any attempt to use an iPhone. Network Nazis, basically.

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M Gale
Mushroom

I've been through this once already...

...and got fed up dicking about with the wannabe network nazis here.

Still, I'll suggest that you try facilitating the needs of your users, rather than lording it over your feifdom. There are ways to allow iWotsits and Droidthings onto networks securely. Plenty of places manage it. Would you rather people be using their own 3G connection to natter on Facebonk all day, or would you like to let them onto a "dirty" LAN where you can audit what they are doing during the hours that, presumably, they are being paid to work?

Unfortunately a "BOFH Crackdown" only works in the Odds N' Sods section of El Reg. In real life it's more likely to gain you the utter disrespect of your colleagues and peers, which could be a far more potent security risk than any number of fondle toys. It's alright bleating on about terms of contracts and laws and lawsuits, but that doesn't help when your servers have melted into a puddle because of a disgruntled ex-employee who was subject to your little jack-booted tirade.

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Key internet address server sees spike in traffic

M Gale

Who the hell uses root any more

Your ISP does?

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Draw and fold working circuitry with the silver-ink pen

M Gale

I was going to mention how conductive ink has been around for decades...

...but it seems a lot of other people have had the same idea. Instead I'll just say:

Ooh, I see this paywall doesn't send the whole article and depend on the browser behaving properly to stop you seeing it. Fancy that! Murdoch, take note please.

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Mosman Council Website copied by Anonymous

M Gale

Yes but...

...to possibly 99 point something percent of the population, using wget IS hacking, surely?

At least that's the impression I've gotten when using it in the presence of just about anyone. Christ, if I was using dig or whois they'd probably think I was fit to be extremely rendered all the way to the US of A!

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Apple pulls app after dev publishes users' PINs

M Gale

My unlock code is...

...a squiggly line. Gesture unlock for the win, just so long as you remember to clean the screen every now and then!

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Microsoft nails second Android device maker

M Gale

You can. Sort of.

Problem is it requires installing extra drivers that cause a nag window on every boot until you tell UAC to fuck off and trust them. Fine for most readers of the Reg, but what is Mr J Public's reaction going to be when he pulls the SD card from his camera, sticks it in the computer and gets "This removable device is corrupt or unreadable, would you like to format it?"

And software patents in general can die in a fire. I hope that someone with the money and balls to challenge Microsoft manages to overturn a few patents. Then encourages the rest of the "licensed" (nice term for "diddled") manufacturers to join them in the biggest class action suit in history. Microsoft and anybody else who behaves like them deserve to be ruined.

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Hackers pierce network with jerry-rigged mouse

M Gale

Arduino is an Italian masculine first name, meaning...

..."pwned".

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Cambridge gets a white (space) wash

M Gale

From field to street.

"unlikely to have microwaves (i.e. something not DESIGNED to be a radio but emitting anyway), wifi, bluetooth etc. abound in large SNR's."

Okay let's put it this way: I'm flying single-channel foam and micro variants up and down a very wirelessly connected street and it's not having a problem. The 2.4ghz band is not reserved for hobbyist use, it's using the same standard ISM frequencies that your wifi, bluetooth and microwave oven uses. The only difference is where your wifi is using great fat bands that split 2.4ghz into 16 channels or so, these things have 80 tiny little channels available. By the way, you can run 41 aircraft without a problem. It's just that one of you is going to have no redundancy.

I'm not saying it's simple to achieve over very long range, but just dismissing whitespace radio as impossible when there's a range of technologies from DSM2 to 802.11n that work by finding and exploiting blank frequencies is disingenious.

And aren't emergency frequencies reserved? So you make your kit to say "these are the areas you can't stomp on. Have fun with the rest."

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M Gale

"But radios designed to find and use empty frequencies simply don't work"

Tell that to Spektrum.

My various model flying things now work by hunting about the 2.4ghz band and picking two out of 80 available channels. TX and RX are bound together in a similar manner to Bluetooth. If one channel gets futzed with, the other acts as a redundant spare until some blank space can be located for both channels to fire up again. This all happens fast enough that I don't even notice it. Given how twitchy some aerobatic frames can be, you want a reaction time of under some 1/50th of a second or that daisy-strimming low pass just turned into a splat. The technology makes the old 35Mhz FM method with matched crystal pairs positively ancient and vastly more dangerous in comparison.

Go and research Spektrum's DSM2 technology, then come back and say that radios can't find empty frequencies with a straight face.

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Google battles MicroSkype with 'open' VoIP protocol

M Gale

It's quite possible...

...to make a Skype call over a good dial-up connection of say, 48,000bps. Granted there's a comically large delay, but it's just about, barely, will-do-in-a-pinch possible.

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M Gale
Trollface

Hm.

So the crappy ARM11 thingie running at 600mhz in my ZTE Racer is the most up to date hardware you can think of? Wow.

Nice troll, dude. Got me replying anyway.

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Google Chrome extension busts Murdoch paywall

M Gale
FAIL

You're still defending a really piss poor attempt at a paywall.

I'll repeat this, again: Depending on the browser to faithfully do what you ask it to is idiocy. Everything should happen server-side. The server should determine if you are logged in. If you are not logged in, it should NOT SEND YOU THE ARTICLE. Anything else is plain dumb.

The best part is that existing entirely on the server end means you don't need to install anything at all, including dodgy Javascript or CSS that is naive at best. The most you need on the client side is a session cookie, and done properly there's no way a dodgy client is going to do anything with that. It also means there is absolutely no grey area if someone decides to hack your servers open or compromise logins in order to get to restricted articles.

Seriously, turning this into an "installing rootkits" issue is misdirection. Since when has any website, anywhere, worked in this stupid, brain-dead manner? Does Google Mail rely on your browser when it comes to logging in, for anything other than a session cookie? What about your bank? Why do you think that is?

Saying that implementing a proper server-side login would mean any of that FUD you're spilling, is as idiotic as using the client side to hide article text. If anything, depending on the client side for things that really should happen server-side is MORE likely to mean that only a certain subset of clients are supported!

Please, please, use a little bit of sense. Same thing I'm asking Murdoch to do, really.

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M Gale

"This is Kemi, north Finland."

And this is an ex mining village in the North West of England. You'll find a similar thing happens here, partly because we know our neighbours. The only worries you might have are the occasional smackhead scouting the garages on their way past to get to the next village and their latest fix.

Problem is the Internet is not like some semi-rural village that only got 3G a little while ago and has more cows and horses than phone masts. When it's just as easy for someone from a bad part of Manchester to open your door as someone from a few doors down, you'd lock your door too!

And analogies are still bullshit.

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M Gale

Nice selective quoting.

However my original post is right up there. You forgot about the "by simple HTML or CSS hacks" bit.

Murdoch's paywall isn't a paywall. It's a vain hope that everyone's browsers comform to Murdoch's rules. Guess what? They don't!

I'm sure the old Digger could start getting litigous. Start throwing his weight around and punishing someone for daring to be clever. Or, alternatively, he could get someone to rustle up a paywall, as opposed to a joke. Stops the problem at its source then, y'see.

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M Gale

The quality of free newspapers...

...is quite high compared to such illustrious paid publications as The Sun and the Daily Mail.

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M Gale

My hollerin' and squealin'...

...is for Murdoch's benefit, surprisingly enough. I'm frankly quite happy that his publications are going behind paywalls, as I don't read any of them anyway.

Trying to paint me as some freetarded spoiled child is not going to work. I haven't demanded anybody take their paywall down. Not even implied it. Go look up and read my posts again. What is it I'm suggesting? Not "let people read articles for free", more like "fix your shit because people WILL read it for free."

You can squeal and holler and stamp your feet if you like. Fact is this world is not some giant Amish community. The hippy-dippy kumbaya approach doesn't work in the real world, and when you're attached to a network that's rapidly trying to include all seven billion people on this planet then people will circumvent moronically designed paywalls. Hoping that the government will get involved and start slicing people's hands off is just plain sadistic when you could just fix the problem with your badly designed site!

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M Gale
Trollface

Re: It's the "Paytard" comment that caused me to Down vote you.

It was a troll. I do that sometimes. Plus I get fed up of being called a "freetard" for my views when I probably have a bigger collection of paid media than some of the people who attempt to insult me in such a manner.

And as I also stated, all analogies are bullshit. A website is not a house, and a computer is not a car. These things should not be forgotten when making an argument for or against something. Basically, circumventing the paywalls of those news sites is not burglary, nor is it even worthy of being called a hack.

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M Gale

Re: What's yours is mine too

"In some societies locks are not necessary because there is no theft."

[citation needed]

"Your argument is that because the locks are inadequate, you are entitled to the contents of the house."

No. However what I will say is that under UK law, if a front door is left open and you walk in, you cannot be charged with breaking and entering. Despite that though, all analogies are bullshit and I do wish you'd come up with an argument instead.

"You've pissed in the well and everyone has to drink it."

I have? I didn't make a site with such piss poor security that anybody with a browser extension can bypass the paywall without it even nearly being a hack. WSJ could install Drupal or Wordpress and have better security!

Besides, this is the Internet, not some Amish community. Having a website with more holes in it than a colander is idiocy of the highest order, and my original point stands: Punishing the writers of these extensions would merely be shooting the messenger. It's not dealing with the problem at all, which is a paywall that doesn't do shit. According to some articles, you don't even need a browser extension for fuxache. Read http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-read-the-wsj-for-free-online-2009-6 to see what I mean!

Whatever my opinion of news sites going behind paywalls, the fact is this is a stupid move by WSJ and any other news site that works in a similar fashion. Fix it, Murdoch, or next time this happens it won't be a developer writing an extension. It'll be someone from Nigeria scraping your entire bloody site and putting it on the Amazon Bookstore!

But hey, keep downvoting me. Keep on loading them magazines up and firing. Keep on ignoring the issue. Whatever you do, don't bother actually putting those articles behind a proper authentication system.

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M Gale

WTF?

If your paywall can be routed around by simple HTML or CSS hacks, then frankly you deserve to have your paywall routed around. I'm hardly the world's best web designer and I could very likely do a better job myself!

I'm sure I'll get downvoted by paytards. I don't care. Fix your sodding sites, Murdoch. If this is all it takes, then they are hopelessly broken. Killing these extensions would simply be shooting the messenger.

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Want to keep Android apps from spying on you?

M Gale

"The problem is that all of the ad agencies require a unique id as a minimum."

There must be some that don't. Angry Birds didn't require that until recently. Sure you can't make up a number unique to the installation (as opposed to the device) and use that instead?

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M Gale

I don't mind the ads.

What I do mind is anything other than "Internet Access" required to deliver them. That includes phone state and identity, and definitely includes location awareness. Also SMS sending/receiving, being able to read contact data, and the numerous other permissions that some apps require for no good reason at all.

Your right to a return on your work does not trump my right to privacy, and I will take active measures to defend myself. If you don't want your app being used by people with adblockers, then don't make your app require stupid permission levels. Simples!

Or to paraphrase a certain Cupertinian businessman: "Change your app's permissions. Not that big a deal."

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M Gale

After Angry Birds' latest permissions hike?

This can't come too soon. Angry Birds is just one example of apps that seem to start with just "Internet Access" and then with later updates, expand their permissions requirements into location and other such lovelies. Presumably the developer and/or advertisers think you can't live without some toy that involves flinging birds about like a sparkly version of GORILLAS.BAS.

Yeah. Watch me.

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US patent reform jumps through second hoop

M Gale

"But an algorithm is an invented method of doing something"

An algorithm is any iterative mathematical formula that uses its output as part of the input for the next iteration, if you wish to be pedantic.

It's still math, and allowing software patents has still fucked the system up. So you can put in a whole load of hard work making a different implementation of the same algorithm? Isn't that a good thing? We wouldn't have the PC if software patents had been anywhere near as pervasive in the late 70s/early 80s as they are now. That's a whole industry that's appeared, and all because IBM could copyright but not patent the IBM PC BIOS.

These days, Compaq would have been dragged into the court and bankrupted by lawyer fees and reparations so fast their collective feet wouldn't have hit the floor until they were dumped on the street without a shirt on the backs. We'd likely still be paying Commodore, Atari or Sinclair ridiculous prices per megabyte for the privilege of a hard disk on our welded-shut and completely incompatible home computers, and the very idea you could install the same software on three different computers from three different competing manufacturers would probably be scoffed at.

You might consider software patents to be advantageous, but the costs really outweigh the benefits. Just look at the cold war situation the IT industry is in right now, where if you don't have nukes^Wsoftware patents, you might as well bend over and beg the established players to use lube first.

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M Gale

"who cares whether it's built using hardware, firmware, software, or a combination?"

Because you might as well try and patent e=mc^2 if you're going to patent software? It's math. Algorithms. Really shouldn't be patentable because they come so thick and fast that allowing them has flooded the USPTO (and other patent offices) with so much gunk that they have no choice but to approve first and worry about it later.

That and would you really like a world where it's possible to say "e=mc^2. And any usage of that equation shall be chargeable at $5USD per instance, because you're doing it on a computer"? Well, right now, we are living in that world and the constant, ever-increasing sue-balls being thrown around are a symptom of this disease.

Seriously, software has been copyrightable since the dawn of computing. That's protection enough, but some companies and some lawyers want to have copyright AND patent protection on something that should never have been patentable in the first place.

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Femtocells at tipping point: Don't want to become also-RANs

M Gale

I suppose an alternative idea...

...would be if you paid for the cell and it acted like a public hotspot. The provider(s) you're contracted with could offer to re-imburse you a certain percentage of anybody else's calls routed through your cell. You get a potential for a little money earner, the mobile providers get lots and lots of little cells about the place for comparitively little investment, and (in theory) everyone is a happy bunny. Sort of like how solar panels on your roof can be used to pump any excess 'leccy back into the grid and pay you for it.

Still, right now yes I would pay (a small amount) for a device to give guaranteed coverage (to me, not everybody) within the four walls of my house. From what I'm aware you're not "paying twice" like some people are stating. You just pay the usual amount. You already have an Internet connection at home (or at least, I assume most commentards here do), and it's not like one compressed-to-buggery duplex audio stream is going to impact much on even a poor broadband connection. Are you "paying twice" to use Skype Out?

Which makes me think. Why can't a smartphone with wifi use the wifi to talk to the operator?

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M Gale

+1 for truth

It's funny because it's oh so true.

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M Gale

The problem:

Take a clipboard. Go into a busy town centre. Start asking people if they know what a femtocell is. Start asking people if they've heard of (for example) Vodaphone SureSignal.

You'll probably find that out of the respondants, hardly anybody has. Now on the other hand, if you were to ask people "would you attach a box to your router that made the mobile phones in your house work properly", I bet quite a lot would like the idea! That is, amongst the respondants that have heard of what a "router" is.

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Google confirms US antitrust probe

M Gale

Tesco

Tesco's strategy is to spam everywhere with stores, even if those stores don't make a particularly huge amount of money. Why?

Because once a Tesco is there, it becomes much more difficult for anybody else to get a start-up going. Why bother shopping anywhere else, when there's a Tesco just around the corner?

Sneaky eh?

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M Gale

"However, Tesco don't push their brands 'over' their competior brands"

Been to a Tesco lately? Have a look at the positioning of the products on the shelves.

You could buy Red Bull at £1-something for a 250ml can. Or, directly above it, a litre bottle of Tesco Kx for a quid. It's the same all over the store.

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M Gale

Difference between Google and Microsoft

If I don't like Google, I can firewall every single one of their services and carry on using the rest of the Internet without a worry. As soon as you delete Windows from whatever computer you have, you've just fucked yourself for trying to get the vast majority of everyone's applications working on your computer.

Most people use Google amongst other search engines because it's good, and any concerns you might have about Schmidt and his "Creepy Line" need to also be levelled at Microsoft, Apple, and especially any kind of vertical search provider. Oh and probably Tesco too.

@steve 48: The downvotes without a reply just mean they have no argument.

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Kiwi gals swig shots of horse semen

M Gale
Coat

A little horse.

Applejack, perchance?

Yeah I know, I already said I was going.

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M Gale
Coat

Blegh

Though spare a thought for the guys who have to collect it.

That said, could hire a few furries. I'm sure they wouldn't have a problem.

Coat, hat, going,

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Virgin Media blames Activision for Call of Duty lag problems

M Gale

PC Gaming sector

That would be the businesses that find it perfectly acceptable to install layer upon layer of malware onto your computer, slowing your machine down with needless bullshit and all under the guise of "anti-piracy", right?

PC owner here, by the way. If it has compulsory Steam installation, is made by EA or Ubisoft or anything similar, then it goes straight back on the shelf. Couldn't give a shit about the reviews. It's a toy. I can live without it.

Amusing to see many of these such games being ripped and torrented within days of release though.

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M Gale

"Play FPS games via P2P"

How else do you expect to play them? Someone has to be the server, unless of course you're paying silly amounts of money for your own co-lo box or getting locked into some publisher-owned-server deal that can be switched off whenever the sequel comes out. Then who's the mug?

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Sega celebrates two decades of Sonic the Hedgehog

M Gale

Dirty Cheaters!

And if Sonic 3's annoyingly difficult level select was proving annoying, you could try this:

Start Sonic 2 up.

Enable level select + whatever else.

Rip the cart out.

Insert Sonic 3.

Press reset.

Tada, Sonic 3 with cheats enabled. Well, presuming you didn't blow the Megadrive up, though I never did manage to break anything by ripping a cart out. I discovered this way before the official cheat was discovered, and most miffed that magazines wouldn't print it. Tsh, liability issues. Wimps!

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M Gale

Mmm, I likes me that blue kool aid

Two different games really. Mario was a traditional platformer, with puzzle and exploration elements.

Sonic on the other hand, while it had exploration elements, was more of a racing game. Asides the collection of Chaos Emeralds, the whole point of Sonic was to see how fast you could do a level. If you were skilled at the game, it was entirely possible to complete some levels in mere seconds. However you had to know exactly when to jump, where to land for the next jump, how to land so you rolled perfectly down a slope or hit a spring in just the right place...

Yeah. Two different games. You might as well compare Zelda to Virtua Racing.

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M Gale

Up, Up, Down, Down, Up, Up, Up, Up (and an Up to be sure)

You were supposed to do it before the screen flashed white, as Sonic was barrelling toward the screen and busting the Sega logo all over the place. Still damned tricky though, hence my other post here on how to cheat at enabling the cheat!

Also Sonic & Knuckles + any random game = fun.

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Apple strangleholds worldwide battery output

M Gale
Flame

So where do the flying-models suppliers get their stuff from?

Smaller market, granted. However I've no problem with nipping over to the shop in the next village and grabbing myself a hundred quid handful of lithium polymer goodness (asides me not being made of money). What about the e-car manufacturers as well? Toyota (and e-flite) could perhaps be doing a roaring trade to laptop suppliers, if the IT industry is that hard-up.

Fire because shorting a LiPo can get exothermic veeeeery quickly.

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Man battles police siege with Facebook

M Gale

“not sure yet how to deal with it."

So what would happen if one of his "homies" was parked nearby with a CB radio?

How is this different?

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MeeGo and the Great Betrayal Myths of tech history

M Gale

*nix is almost as silly with its messages.

"You don't exist. Go away."

Seriously?

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M Gale

"Y'all need a license from google for an API key."

For the app, yes. The developer signs that, not the hardware manufacturer nor the OS vendor.

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/signup.html

Nowhere in there do I see "you can use this on Android, but not on Meego, and definitely not on iOS or that Microsoft thing." Now, if you were on about Android Market or the Maps app (as opposed to API), then yes I would agree. Google would be most upset about those things running anywhere other than approved platforms. However, nothing there stops developers releasing their own apps for Ovi, Bada, Amazon App Store or whatever else they like.

The whole point of Google's APIs is that anybody on any platform can access them, shirley?

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M Gale

Was about to say a similar thing.

I mean on one of the first lectures at uni, the prof said something like "say what you like about Microsoft, they have been the one company that has achieved Bill Gates' dream of putting a PC in every home."

I just had to put my hand up and mention "uhm, wasn't that Compaq, who first reverse-engineered the PC BIOS, thus opening up a simple product into an entire industry made of many different manufacturers all wanting us to spend money on their products, thus enabling the rapid explosion of the PC as a platform, the success of which Microsoft simply rode the coat tails of and claimed responsibility for?"

His response was "Shh, we don't mention the war."

Funny guy.

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M Gale

"Spawn of satin."

Silk?

Velvet?

Corduroy?

Velcro?

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

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M Gale

Indeed.

What the hell is with these cross-site-login things anyway?

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