* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Calm a CARMA drama chameleon: Barça super waves ARMs, GPUs

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If only their corporate logo ....

..... was a llama, being tended by a farmer.

Stephen Fry explains… Alan Turing's amazing computer

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Re: A little historical context

He couldn't be excecuted because he hadn't commited a capital offense. He might have been imprisoned if he'd carried out 'homosexual acts' in a public manner; I don't know if he ever did. The 'least-worst' option would have been to leave him alone and let him carry on with his work and his life. It seems that he did need serious 'words of advice' about classified documents, though he probably created classified documents just by doodling on a notepad at his kitchen table.

Review: HTC One

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The cost!

I started with an HTC Wildfire then upgraded to an HTC Incredible. I was looking forward to upgrading to an HTC One, then I saw the cost even for second hand, so I got a new Nexus 4 (8GB) for half the price. The Nexus 4 does the job for me (but I don't have GBs of videos and music to watch/listen to). Full marks for the front facing speakers though and I do realise that it's a top-spec phone.

Refusal to swallow scuppers woman's tadpole-smuggling plan

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She refused because she'd just read New Scientist


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Re: Why?

Let's take it in stages: First learn to read; then read the story.

Fukushima switchboard defeated by rat

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@AC 07:02 Re: In other news... first new UK nuclear power station approved

In a technical article about a nuclear power plant, someone makes a disparaging comment about the cost effectiveness of nuclear power; so you raise the spectre of a natural disaster two years ago and claim that he is being disrespectful to the dead and the survivors. WTF?

Virgin Media boss to Osbo: Bung city fibre cash into small biz

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Getting modern - they just don't get it

"Only two-thirds have a website and a third sell goods and services online. "

I went into my local newsagent/sweetshop/tobacconist and told him that I could set him up with a website and e-commerce solution for a very reasonable fee and low ongoing annual costs. He told me to go away or he'd set his dog on me.

Dear gov cyber-ninjas, try not to kill people. Love from the lawyers

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"... it's not permissible to attack an enemy general's defibrillator (rule 42). "

But you are allowed to bomb civilians and cowering conscripts. It's funny how the people at the top look after each other.

Researcher sets up illegal 420,000 node botnet for IPv4 internet map

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Re: On tracking (etc)

" ..It also carried a readme file with a description of the project and an email address for the owner, or law enforcement, to get in touch if it was discovered."

Would that be a good starting point?

Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

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re. "... watching a live broadcast"

I assume you mean watching a broadcast, at the time is is broadcast, as opposed to watching a 'catch up' service version over the internet?

This would be different from the 'traditional' meaning: 'a broadcast of an event, real time, as it happens in the real world'.

Feedly now home to 500,000 Reader refugees

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@CaptainHook - An Apology

You are right, I was wrong and I should have checked.

Over the past two days, I've been jumping around between NetVibes, NewsBlur, Blar, Feedly and Google Reader; so I had a false memory. I also got rid of Feedly yesterday so I didn't check my assertion.

Feedly say they will migrate to their own backend (called Normandy) when Google Reader finally closes down, so you shouldn't need a Google sign in after that stage - maybe.

Good luck in finding a decent replacement for Google Reader. It will be very difficult, from what I've seen so far.

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Re: I keep looking at Feedly

You don't need Google OAuth to login to Feedly, you'd need it to import your RSS feeds from Google Reader, a one off task. Or, like me, you could set them up from scratch manually, it wasn't difficult. Feedly has 'presentation issues' as noted in the article, but this is a personal preference matter. It uses its own build it browser in the Android app and this has more serious issues, such as not doing text selection and Copy/Paste very well and making a mess of some pages on The Register (associated with advert graphics).

NewsBlur has a 'cleaner' look and there are two separate Android apps, both of which use the default browser but are not as 'good' as Google Reader in some ways. NewsBlur also has an issue with the Unread counts on The Independent newspaper, as I'll explain later in my post.

NetVibes is interesting in that it can almost replace iGoogle, having dashboards and widgets and a fairly clean presentation. It has no Android 'app' as such, just a browser page tailored to the phone/tablet layout that it's supposed to detect if you are on phone or tablet.

I'm trialling NetVibes and NewsBlur on my Android tablet and phone and I prefer NewsBlur (with the Blar app). However, NetVibes, NewsBlur and Google Reader all show very different figures for the Unread counts on The Independent newspaper; despite the fact that I used all three readers and marked all items as Read last night. This might be a problem and is certainly a puzzle. My other feeds all show consistent Unread numbers.

I'd recommend NewsBlur, if this Unread count can be sorted out or at least understood.

Note: I understand that NewsBlur is not accepting new accounts at the moment due to overwhelming demand.

Freeview suddenly UNWATCHABLE dross? It may just be a 4G test

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re. ".. left of Birmingham and south of Dudley ..."

Mixed directions are not a good idea.

Celebrity conspiracy as Apple attacked over customer service

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Re: Mmmm

That should be 'twatting'.

Are your servers PETS or CATTLE?

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@jake Re: None of the above.

We want to know the cute names you give them.

Windows Phone 8 support to end in 2014

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@LarsG Re: Given

My two previous Android phones were updated with the next OS, OTA by HTC, though I realise other people's experience may differ. My personal observation is that 'older' phones may find it a strain to run the next OS and be stressed by running the latest versions of apps. e.g. my old HTC Wildfire now runs like treacle fresh from the fridge.

Google+ architect: What was so great about Reader anyway?

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NewsBlur - updated opinion

I said that the NewsBlur Android app didn't work in my previous post. This seems to be because I tried to create an account using it - at which it failed. If you use a browser to go to their site, you can set up an account there and either pull in your feed list from Google Reader, or manually set them up - which I did because I only have 6 feeds. Then, the NewsBlur Android app does seem to work, after you sign in. There is also an independent reader called Blar which uses the NewsBlur backend.

Note: The free version of NewsBlur only lets you have 12 feeds, the premium version costs $24pa.

In terms of layout, the browser version is fairly clean and simple and has lots of customisation and adjustable pane views, but not as good as Google Reader in terms of clean simplicity. The Android readers are very clean and simple but don't have panes so you go from one full screen to the next and have to use Back to get to your previous list/view. It does use the Android default browser though, which is good news.

Anyway, give it a try and good luck with finding a suitable replacement before July.

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@Natalie Gritpants Re: re. Feedly

I had a quick look at tt-rss and it seems to need some server-side work at my end, which I'm not willing or able to do. Maybe someone will set up a feed/store service, which I wouldn't mind paying a small subscription for and I don't care who knows that I read El Reg and other websites. I realise that other people's situations may differ.

Many organisations seem to be jumping into the hole that Google Reader will leave behind and many are preparing a 'replacement' for it. I tried NewsBlur which seemed to fit the bill but their Android app doesn't work - fail. I'll wait until early June and see what happens.

Check out this article on a Digg 'replacement' for Google Reader:


Read it and weep. It looks like we're going to be force fed social crap sandwiches.

@Craigness: This is about a replacement for Google Reader, especially its ability to synchronise across many devices. If you subscribe to an RSS feed, you get what the site owner gives you. This is the same for all RSS readers, unless you make your own very clever one.

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re. Feedly

Feedly is BLOODY ANNOYING, especially its built-in browser that doesn't work properly, especially on The Register's site. Why oh why can't they use the default Android browser? I need to find something else.

Samsung's new co-CEO: 'Windows isn't selling very well'

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Freudian Slip?

"We like Android and we plan to continue our good relations with Google," he said. "I don't think it's correct to say that there's friction."

Who says there's friction?

Police accuse Reuters hack of helping Anonymous hackers

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Re: 25 years?

Terrorists will stop at nothing to strike at the heart of our way of life. If they knew the type of vending machine, they'd be better able to carry out an effective attack against them.

Google makes BigQuery easier to question

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re. Aaas

Why do I think of Father Jack when I read that?

Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

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Re: What is so compelling?

"....the technophobes who post on 'El Reg'"

Surely, you mean 'technophiles'?

Apple's marketing honcho Schiller attacks Android, Samsung

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Does the OS version matter?

I've used every Android version from Froyo to Jelly Bean and apart from stylistic GUI changes (some annoying) and the ability to put apps in folders (ICS onwards), the OS doesn't matter to me. What matters are the apps and that they work - which they do. I use my Android phone/tablet to pickup email, read the RSS feeds, manage and display calendars, write and read personal notes ...... oh, I sometimes make phone calls too, but not often.

I'm all for obvious improvements and fixing of bugs, but as a user then I don't care.

Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

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Re: An alternative? (Feedly)

I now have Feedly running as a Firefox plugin under Windows and as Android apps on tablet and phone. A Chrome plugin and iOS app are also available. It uses my Google login to pull Google Reader feed subscriptions across and as stated above, they are developing their own backend to give a seamless handover when Google kill Reader. Not sure how I'll 'login' when that happens.

Feedly is a bit 'graphic artist' and is full of space between items. There is a 'list' view that seems to work in the FF plugin but I always get the 'magazine' view in the Android app and they seem very keen to put great big photos everywhere. The Google Reader had wonderfully sparse and simple layout and I miss it already, even though it's not dead yet.

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If we're so smart .....

I was annoyed to learn that iGoogle will be withdrawn and now am more annoyed that Reader will go the same way. As for CalDAv, I don't think I use it but I can imagine why people are pissed off. Many commentards here are venting their spleen (and other bodily parts) so, if we're so smart, what can we do about it?

Would it be viable to develop a cloud based service that gives synchronised data/feeds/services using apps across many platforms to replace these lost services? How much would any of you be prepared to pay to subscribe to such a service?

Please, put a business plan together and Kickstart it or something. I'd be interested in subscribing to such a service but I suspect that we'll all develop new ways of working/consuming and get used to whatever new personal arrangements we make.

Outages plague Hotmail and Outlook users

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@RT tablet Re: hotmail/outlook.com works fine to me

Does your owner/user know that you're posting comments on web sites?

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Re: I actually thought about moving

"The interface for outlook is so clean and nice. "

It's only a GUI. It's hotmail with a new dress, fresh from the hair salon. They still vary the location of the Delete 'button' depending on which folder you're in - ha!

PayPal privates exposed after breach on SECURITY shop

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Ah, PayPal

When I signed up with PayPal, many years ago; they made a point that you needed two items of information to log in and make payment - i.e. an email address and a password, so it was very secure. I quickly realised that they gave your email address to every Tom, Dick and Harriet who you bought tat from on eBay. That probably explains why I started to get phishing emails at that address asking me for my PayPal account details.

At one time, I bought a small item from a German seller on eBay and selected to pay using PayPal. I was then redirected to the sellers payment facility, that asked me to login to PayPal using some german auction management site! I told it to f**k off (figuratively). I assume that PayPal would have accepted payment details via this site?

Why do PayPal do such stupid things?

Curiosity's MYSTERY MARS find: NASA reveals THE TRUTH

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Re: NASA has found.....

..... and they could have evolved into Aquaman!

Philips pushes out SDK for multicolour Zigbee LED lights

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"Not more than 10 times a second though, that being a rough limitation of the technology, ..."

I'm sure that the limitations of human vision would mean that you couldn't appreciate anything changing that fast (for ambient lighting and effects purposes).

How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web

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Re: Steganography/digital watermarks ?

If there's a known system and method for putting some kind of 'watermark' into an image, then someone will quickly develop a utility to take it out, or 'smudge' it so that it can't be used as legal evidence.

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Re: Conversely

If you had screenshots of the original website, or if it was available in the internet archive, or even if you had any kind of reliable witnesses; then surely you could have carried on using those images since the owner at the time had given permission?

Jennifer Lopez gets you more Facebook friends than Iron Maiden

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The obvious next stages ...

... are to use the results of this study to make a FB assessor utility (maybe on a website) where you give it your FB user name and it will tell you the results of analysing your 'Likes'. Then, the FB spin-doctor utility can be introduced: this will modify your Likes to give you the analysis results that you want to present to the world.

Eventually, everybody on FB will disappear up their own backside as they spiral down the rabbit hole of analysis and modification.


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re. "... a relationship thrown into turmoil by a French phone call. "

A friend of mine once had a relationship thrown into turmoil by a carelessly discarded french letter.

(Mine's the one will all kinds of stuff in the pockets)

Mozilla to Apple: we don't care about iOS

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@Nicho Re: While we're here

Smugsam? Snugsam? (I know, I'm not making a real effort.)

Seattle drinking den bans Google Glass geeks

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Re: Hmmm..

" ...expectation of privacy loss when you're out in public."

Yes, you should, when in a public place. The inside of a bar/cafe/restaurant is not a public place, it is private property. The owner of that property can set conditions on you being allowed into the property and being allowed to stay there.

HTC slays Nokia's two-headed Android patent dragon in Germany

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re. the '974 patent

This describes an auto-brightness function based on ambient light levels being detected and used to control display brightness. I remember back in the late '70s there was a medical ultrasonic scanner display (monochrome CRT) that had this feature, and the auto-brightness control was included in all the backlit controls and indicators of the scanner system. It had additional sophistication in that there was a small test patch of light-grey level in the lower corner of the screen that was covered by a light sensor and used as part of the control - hence it could take into account any tube ageing and possible different characteristics of a replacement tube.

No matter how clever you think you are, somebody has probably done it before but not made a song and dance about it. I have no idea how that patent could have been awarded to Nokia.

As for the communication with the Google Play Store, that sounds like internet communications and 'clever' software. Enough said.

Oklahoma woman cuffed with loaded .22 in pork holster

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When I try to think about what she did ....

... my brain screams and runs away.

BAN SMUT, rage MEPs: Purpose of internet must be EXTERMINATED

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Here's a bit of soft stuff. (I know some serious hardcore sites)


Red wine may be ELIXIR OF YOUTH

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Re: spellchecker! \o/ -> Caps checker :)

See title

Canuck rumps resist Street View arsebusters

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re. "the public mounting gluteus maximal protests "

I'm SURE that ought to be 'mounting public gluteus maximal protests' (I do get the bit about 'maximal')

Then again, I haven't seen the videos, just some initial still shots. I'll leave you to it.

World's 'smallest' mobe unveiled in Japan

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Re: It's been a long time...

The headline writer may have got confused with 'a la mode', meaning trendy or in fashion. It is a fashion item :)

Irish Senator suggests net users register passport and IP address

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A better idea

Every politician should have to pay to make public statements, of any kind. In the comfort of their Parliament building (or whatever it's called locally) it would be free to brain fart all day, among their own kind.

Georgia Tech proposes terabit NFC antenna

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Just wondering

"... a baseband frequency of around 75 terahertz, which seems to The Register reasonable enough to transmit 100 Tbps"

I'm not familiar with modern modulation methods, but isn't this very optimistic?

OLPC rebuts 'kids with laptops read less' study

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It's a good start

"... children in the OLPC project in this country have an advantage on average of 5 months in the development of their cognitive abilities with respect to children who have not been helped by the program.”

I think that any group of children who are involved in any kind of project, with adult supervision and external academic study, would show improved cognitive ability compared to children who were not. This would be due to taking part in a long term challenging/interesting activity and having the support of sympathetic and interested adults.

The question to be asked is, "does giving them a laptop have any advantages over any other kind of educational development aid?"

As for their reading activities, they need to learn to enjoy reading in the first place and that is a totally separate issue. After they 'get into' reading, then free e-books (various methods and arrangements possible) could easily be provided for their laptop.

Safety authorities to hold hearings into Boeing 787's battery woes

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Re: Sacrifice some weight

That sounds like a good working solution and you can do that to your personal Boeing 787, the one you don't fly in controlled airspace or use to carry passengers. Boeing have many constraints on what changes they are allowed to make and re-certification would take ages.

Virgin Media keeps mum as punters fume at crippled web access

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@Big_Ted Re: Me Too

I thought that VM had buffer storage inside their own network for iPlayer, etc. so they didn't have massive peering charges from the outside world?

Holy crap! EMC gives Vatican Library 2.8PB to store manuscripts

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Re: Dematerialization

Yes, because the digitised copy is just a copy, to allow many people to read them with ease. The original documents and library will be maintained. So, the (rare and largely fictitious) paperless office could be called a dematerialised office?

Bacon sarnies can kill: Official

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Don't Panic! There is a way out of this

I've heard that the bad effects of a bacon sarnie can be counteracted by accompanying it with a cup of tea. But, the tea has to be made in just the right particular way. I'm not sure what that way is. Any advice?

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