* Posts by Martin 71

176 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009


Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

Martin 71 Silver badge

Editing an editable encyclopedia to make it more accurate

is hardly cheating :-)

Yes, I know it was a joke. It's been that kind of day. Off for a beer

EU plans IP address snatch to battle cybercrime

Martin 71 Silver badge

Our 'leaders' are bloody morons

Any way to leave for a more sensible planet ?

Mandy accused of screwing small biz

Martin 71 Silver badge

Title here

Close enough.

Intel says warranties evaporate when kit resold

Martin 71 Silver badge

As it's under a year old

And appears to have been sold in the UK both times, surely the sale of goods act, specifically the 'suitable for purpose' and 'of reasonable quality' clauses would kick in? Admittedly, the re-buyer would have to go after the original buyer for a refund, who would then have to go after the original vendor, but such is the nature of doing business (selling the item counts as that even if not done by a 'business', same word, different meanings.

IANAL, just happen to have had to argue the toss with several companies over the sale of goods act when they insist I contact the manufacturer directly. Yes, PC world, I'm looking at you.

A pint due to all the complexities in said acts that this case would raise.

Tories will force BT to open up ducts to rivals

Martin 71 Silver badge

Given the relative heights of the councourse and tracks

Wouldn't that have been 'run the train through the buffers and INTO the concourse, at about 3'6" deep?

Carly Fiorina unleashes 'demon sheep'

Martin 71 Silver badge

Is this actually real?

32 cents per gallon tax makes someone evil? American politics has become WAY weirder since I left 5 years ago!

Once impenetrable PS3 cracked wide open

Martin 71 Silver badge

I Guess I am out of touch...

But, why, in the name of all that is unholy, would a company lock down a platform? Isn't this immoral? If I pay for something, I expect full rights to it. I remember when clock radios used to come with a circuit diagram in the manual. Kids these days...

Seriously, Sony need to stop this 'fight' with their users. So do Apple. Gah. I'll stick with my PC and watch reruns of one foot in the grave

FCC evicts wireless mics from future 4G band

Martin 71 Silver badge

We're kind of seeing the same here

I can't remember where I saw it, it may have been in this very place, but the eeeediots at ofcom are planning something similar, with the result that many companies that hire out wireless microphones and audio kit are going to need lots of compensation. (I'm not calling them eeeediots because of the microphone issue, rather just because it's Ofcom)

Someone needs to be doing a proper review of frequencies, who is using them, who NEEDS to be using them, and so forth. Susceptibility to interference should be part of this investigation.

Hacker pierces hardware firewalls with web page

Martin 71 Silver badge

Nothing on a BT Voyager 240

As ye title. I did have to tell noscript to temporarily allow javascript and zonealarm that it was ok for the server program to open a port, so this hack if anything probably tells people not to rely on one line of defence and don't make assumptions.

Ofcom sets 60GHz free

Martin 71 Silver badge

Minor nitpick (the best type!)

It's more likely that the oxygen rich atmosphere would absorb the signal than adsorb it, electromagnetic waves don't stick to the surface of oxygen atoms too well ;-)


Beer: Because I Owe everyone a beer now, and it's that season again

El Reg uncovers Tiger Woods tech angle

Martin 71 Silver badge


I don't really give a flying crap what some ridiculous sports personality did, but the courts are paid for by MY TAXES, what the HELL are they doing granting injunctions to this pillock?

Unused phone lines to be taxed for rural broadband

Martin 71 Silver badge

Small technical point

Just one that struck me reading the article rather than the comments <g>

In what flaming way is an optical fibre a 'local loop'. The morons who came up with this have no idea what they're talking about. A copper pair is a loop (usually).. if you stretch the point, maybe a co-ax could be considered a loop. A fibre doesn't even have electrical continuity so it's hardly a bloody loop! The government are morons!

After reading the article a couple of times, I think the people with a disconnected BT line can rest easy though, I am reading 'unused' as 'unused for voice', IE. if you're only using the BT line for ADSL, not if a previous occupant of the house once had 12 lines, you'll pay 6 quid :-)

That obviously hadn't occurred to them. Let's hope the taxweasels don't read el reg!

What ever happened to storing pics with electron cannons?

Martin 71 Silver badge
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I believe I love this machine!

Talk about lateral thinking, electron-optical storage, involving electron cannons and robots. Robots are always worth having in a computer storage device.

Religious discrimination law may open door for decent deviants

Martin 71 Silver badge

I think the point is not 'what is a religion and what isn't

But more that, what the *HELL* [or your local equivalent] does it have to do with an employer? Provided you turn up for work and actually do the job, what more say do they have?

Ringback tones outselling ring tones

Martin 71 Silver badge

I'd simply report it as a fault

After all, I dialled the number, it failed to ring.

Freeview website titsup ahead of big retune

Martin 71 Silver badge

Out of warranty?

With regard to the boxes that are going to be permanently unable to receive certain channels: To my knowledge, 'manufacturer's warranties' are in ADDITION to your statutory rights in this country. If a manufacturer who still exists tries the 'out of warranty' lark, simply return it to your retailer and quote 'not fit for purpose', it's in the sale of goods act I believe. The retailer is the one you have a contract with, NOT the manufacturer. The retailer will claim back from their supplier and so forth up the food chain.

Man remanded for extreme porn offences

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Sarah, THANK YOU. It is indeed wall to wall BS, I've just had a friend 'investigated' by the RSPCA for keeping her animals in conditions they like (no that's not how they phrased it). The same RSPCA currently being dragged over the tiles for various acts that are far worse than what she *didn't* do.

Laws like this are used by the British equivalent of the 'US Moral Majority' to force their narrow minded opinions on the rest of the population.

The sooner this bunch of loonies loses the election the better.

Virgin Media 'overwhelmed' by broadband customers fleeing BT

Martin 71 Silver badge

Virgin are complete, utter prats

Had their adsl service for a while, while it was still actually virgin, rather than rebrandedNTHell, and it was ok, 512k @ 4km from the exchange, I knew no better and it at least stayed up 24/7 (except once every month when they renewed the IP address, apparently by powercycling most of their servers, a process taking 2 hours or more)

Then NTL got involved. Immediately the network was connected to transparent proxies without permission, which didn't work anyway. Once I complained, the adsl disconnected, reconnected, disconnected, etc. ad infinitum. They claimed there was 'an issue' (no sh*t!) and their best engineers were working on the problem. After 2 weeks of calls to the premium rate customer service line, I told them if their best engineers couldn't fix a very reproducible (ever 10 minutes, ON THE DOT) problem, I was gone. A 'retentions' creature tried to tell me it was to do with their throttling and all isps did throttling and transparent proxying. So I found me an ISP who do neither*. It costs 3x as much, but you get what you pay for, and despite a few troubles with servers dying (which they're honest about and don't get some chap in India to make you reboot), I haven't really looked back.

As a backup for those times there IS a problem, I contacted virgin media (2 years after disconnecting from their adsl) to see about getting this wonderful fibre optic broadband, as a redundant connection with the decent isp*'s ADSL. Apparently, despite everyone round here having cable tv, AND the cabinets being everywhere, we're "Not in a cabled area". So I asked the salescritter what the green cabinets were. Apparently they're BT's... I said "no, one of them's open, BT don't do cable tv, can I speak to someone who knows something about your network please".

Apparently there was nobody working there who knew about their network. That may be closer to the truth than they'd like to admit. After several attempts, I found someone with a vague clue, who informed me that "not in a cabled area" is shorthand for "not on digital cable" because some of the reps apparently are too thick to know that you can have cable which isn't digital.

All in all, if virgin media went down the toilet, nobody would (a) notice or (b) care.

*webtapestry. Helpful, knoweledgeable, efficient, a bit pricy compared to 'consumer' isps, but worth it.

HP strikes back on charges for 'free' Windows 7 upgrade

Martin 71 Silver badge

@ac 19:06

If you're in the UK, the sale of goods act still covers you even after the 'warranty' has expired. Unfortunately if you're elsewhere, you're probably SOL

Sky switches on 3D TV channel in 2010

Martin 71 Silver badge


If you click the image, not only does the 3D system allow the image to appear larger than the TV but it appears to have supernatural help, more specifically, one camera concentrates on the left angel of the subject.

It's the one with the dictionary stuffed into one pocket and a sky viewing card in the other.

Riot police raid birthday barbecue for 'all-night' Facebook tag

Martin 71 Silver badge

How did the police get on his friends list?

Or was he silly enough to have his profile 'Open'?

Yes, overdone, heavy handed, bad PR, and all the rest of it for sure. But- If you advertise a party as all night in a way that's open to the public... you're in danger of being gatecrashed by all kinds of undesirables, not necessarily just the boys in blue.

Orange UK drops DRM

Martin 71 Silver badge

I think I'm set in my ways too

Mobile phone companies supply service to mobile phones. Period. I haven't suffered with orange since 1999 when they insisted I cancel my contract by calling their number from my orange mobile. Despite being (at the time) being approximately 3000 miles from the nearest orange base station. I refused to pay the bills, they eventually agreed to leave me alone. I would have no desire to deal with them again.

NHS Direct gets to be number one, one, one

Martin 71 Silver badge

111 is a non-usable number

Precisely due to the reason everyone is pointing out, it may be old, but LD dialling is still a standard, still used by some switching systems, and by many phones. 111 is going to just get swamped, and result in more calls to 999 or trips to A&E.

Also, who thinks 0845 4647 is difficult to remember?

Ofcom need to be disbanded, Oftel at least had teeth AND a couple of people who had a clue how phones worked.

Firefox 3.5 patch coming soon as Mozilla cranks up downloads

Martin 71 Silver badge

More bloat, unfortunately

I originally moved from Mozilla Suite to FF because it was 'smaller and quicker'. It's gradually got more and more flashy and bloated. Yes, it's still a good browser, but really, do we NEED curvy buttons, an 'awesome bar' (although the functionality of it searching your bookmarks admittedly is useful) and so forth. Also, I regularly have to kill it using task manager, it can sit there for a good 10 minutes after being closed, actually still running. Much of the slowness is due to the web2.0 badgers' paws etc.

The security updates, not an issue for me, I have it set to notify me on all updates and ask, I briefly glance to see what it's doing and ok it. As mentioned by Andy Moreton and John Ridley, it's a positive thing, and anyway, you can tell it to update silently if it annoys you that much.

Scientists print out super-slim battery

Martin 71 Silver badge

Excellent idea, but I have one reservation

Being zinc-manganese (Basically a leclanché cell), the shelf life would probably be limited, and they don't handle extemes of temperature well. Still, new technology is always good :-)... isn't it?

Masked passwords must go

Martin 71 Silver badge

Yeah I know it's an <AOL> but....

ME TOO... what the HELL have these people been smoking and/or drinking to come up with such a pile of excrement?

The prevelance of mobile devices with cameras means that even a couple of seconds of having your password displayed in public areas (think libraries, internet cafés, etc.) could be fatal.

Ditto what Mike Peachey said, administrators with *extremely* sensitive passwords do not need those passwords displayed to the users who are almost guaranteed to be shoulder surfing.

Plus it would ruin all the "I know daddy's password, it's ********* " jokes.



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