* Posts by Alien8n

862 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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Apple's cloud music service 'WIPES your iPHONE'

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

D'oh

Actually providing the music has been ripped using iTunes no bandwidth whatsoever, it will match your existing tracks with tracks it already has on the Cloud and use them. It will only upload tracks from your PC if it can't recognise them. The issue is whether the tracks on your phone or iPod are recognised as the same tracks on the Cloud, if they are, then fine. If not, it will delete them as it doesn't recognise them as being legitimate. No different really to what happens if you try syncing your phone to another PC, it first wipes your phone and then restores from your new PC's backup.

Britain's Harrier jump-jets reprieved to fly and fight again

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

To be fair, the majority of Lewis Page's rants are just that, rants. But this one actually has some semblance of a point. The real question is, does the RAF or RN have anything to replace the Harrier's role for which it was actually designed for? The answer is no, the whole point of the Harrier was to have a plane that could take off with little or no runway, able to take off from within the clearing of a forest if need be. We have nothing that fills that role now except for our helicopter fleet, which lets face it are not designed for bombing your average dictatorship into the dirt. Certainly we don't expect to go to war in Eastern Europe any time soon, but just because we don't expect to doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to.

Lost cities found beneath sands of Sahara by satellites

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Alien

Remote Sensing?

Who else immediately thought of "The Men Who Stare At Goats"?

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Not really, it's pattern recognition more than anything else. When I look on google maps I may not be able to tell which car is which, but it's pretty obvious that they're cars. Same here, sand looks like sand and any regular shapes are invariably archeological features. Wasn't that long ago an entire roman villa was found in England using google maps that no one knew anything about. Turned out to be a huge palace in an area that shouldn't have even been settled by romans. It's amazing how much archeology is actually visible from above, even centuries after it's been covered by dirt and grass. How else am I supposed to know where to park the spaceship :)

Salman Rushdie hissy-fit forces Facebook name U-turn

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

We had a kid at school who was muslim make a big fuss about the Satanic Verses so I went out and borrowed it from the library. Don't think I even got past the first page, only book I think I've ever read that was written worse than the first Harry Potter book.

As iPhone 4S battery suckage spreads, fixes appear

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Fanbois of another colour

Amazing how the hatred and bile fills up with some people.

Okay, the last 4 phones I've owned, current one at the top with reasons for changing:

Currently using an iPhone4. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Check. Email? Check. Decent camera? Check. Music? Check. Reliable? Check. Ticks all the boxes I require and also has angry birds on it for when I'm bored.

Previous phone, SE Xperia X10i. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Check. Email? Check. Decent camera? Check. Music? Check. Reliable? Heck no. Constant freezing, issue with charging (now has to be charged using an external battery charger), and lasts about half a day with full charge.

iPhone 3G. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Check. Email? Check. Decent camera? Nope, worst camera of all the phones I've had. Music? Check. Reliable? Check. Actually upgraded to the Xperia because of the camera.

SE K800i. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Nope. Email? Nope. Decent camera? Check. Music? Limited. Reliable? Check. Actually of all the phones I've owned this is the one I miss most. Couldn't browse the internet or check my work email on it but the camera has to be one of the best cameras on any phone I've ever owned. Even better than the higher res camera on the Xperia.

Might try Samsung next, but to be brutally honest the iPhone 4S pretty much has everything I require already covered. And I've never had an issue with running the iPhone, whereas I've had lots of issues with Android on the Xperia (even having the phone brick itself while trying to accept a call once, had to remove the battery to reset it)

At the end of the day, I don't care who makes it, I just want my phone to work and to have at least a semblance of build quality (seriously SE, plugging in the charger should NOT break the phone. It's a known fault, so make the bloody socket more robust instead of blaming the user)

Michael Dell declines to eat his Apple (humble) pie

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Churchill

Back in 1941 Churchill was told the best thing Britain could do was surrender to Germany. This was based on the fact at the time we'd had our butts kicked back across the Channel and were losing everywhere we fought except in the air. At the time the USA was firmly entrenched in a neutral stance and we were staring down the barrel of defeat at the hands of Hitler. Instead Churchill told Hitler to sod off and and vowed to go down fighting. Luckily Japan scored an own goal by attacking Pearl Harbour which forced the USA into the war.

Still doesn't make the original advice wrong, but as in war and business, 6 months is a very long time.

'Mental act' computerisations no longer automatically unpatentable

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Alien

Barbie

No surprise when we live in a world that means you can trademark a wavelength of light (Barbie pink is a trademarked colour and you're not allowed to sell anything in that particular shade of pink unless you pay the makers of Barbie).

Yesterday's Dilbert cartoon was so ironic, a real case of comedy mirroring fact.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Android smartphone

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

According to carphonewarehouse any damage to the USB charging socket is "out of warranty". It's a known fault and they're using the excuse of it being damaged by inserting the USB cable to get out of replacing the phone.

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

I'll hold fire on buying one until they've proven that they've fixed the design issue with the USB charger. At the end of the day I want a phone that's going to last at least 2 years, and not just several months before hitting an "out of warrenty" issue.

Sony Ericsson stems losses with smartphone sales

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Alien

SE need to start fixing their build quality before they'll start seeing real profits. I was a long term SE user but now I won't touch them with a barge pole due to a major design flaw that they insist is caused by users pushing the charging cables into the phone too vigorously. As a result I now have a phone which can only be charged using an external charger. Which is a shame as historically they've always had the best cameraphones available (my old K800i is still the best camera I've ever had, picture quality was as good if not better than most stand alone cameras, never mind camera phones when it came out).

Euro beaks mull copyright of software features

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Alien

By your logic if it's in society's "best interest" that a large corporation should steal someone else's idea then that person's rights mean squat and they should stfu and put up with the fact that they've had their idea stolen. Not that far fetched, say I invent a new technology that can be used to save lives. As I'm not a massive corporation I have to sell it for a lot of money in order to break even and invest more money in development. A big corporation could steal my idea and sell it at a much lower cost as they have the resources to plough into development and mass produce and mas market it. Clearly there's a benefit to society that my idea is stolen from me, and by your own admission you're happy that my ideas should be stolen from me.

Google+ chases MySpace for second place

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Alien

Not any real surprise given that Facebook annoyed pretty much all it's users last week with changes to it's newsfeeds. I know several people who setup Google + accounts because of Facebook. Also no surprise that even with those changes they're still using Facebook.

How to go from the IT dept to being a rogue trader

Alien8n Silver badge

Defensive Thinking

Read Kevin Mitnick's Defensive Thinking. There's a story in there of a guy who was working on a Swiss bank's systems. He persuaded the bank that he needed root access and immediately transferred millions into his own account. And don't forget that one of the biggest fraud's in banking history was perpetrated by a bank's IT dept forging the bank's customer's credit cards.

Verity's secret shame revealed

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Alien

Plot?

To be fair, the plots have been so flimsy lately that it's the only way to persuade the over 15s to watch the show.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray disc set

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Alien

Do a Blade Runner

That will sort out all the versiontards. Next box set do a special edition containing every conceivable version including the original theatrical versions, original SE versions, updated SE versions, 3D versions and maybe even a complete update version fixing the inconsistencies with some of the SE versions. Want to watch Han shoot first? There's a version for that...

Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]

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Foxconn churns out '150,000' iPhone 5s a day

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

I know what you mean. Working in IT people get surprised that I'm not rabidly pro/anti MS/Linux. I remember the IT manager at a previous place was so rabidly pro MS that he actually had a visible look of hatred on his face if you ever mentioned the fact that we had a single Linux machine at one of the sites that couldn't be disposed of as it ran the site's entire document management system. I personally started as an engineer, so I don't care about the OS or the manufacturer, my concern is usability and cost of ownership. Personally I now have an iPhone4. Reason? My old Sony Ericsson has a major design flaw that the Carphone Warehouse insists is my fault. I refuse to use Sony Ericsson again for that reason (the fault is present in all of their USB charged phones) and the iPhone just does what I need it to do with no issues.

Low blow: Phishers target student loan applicants

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

@AC

I've seen 2 variants of this email go through our mail server so far (we handle student accommodation) and there's several things to note:

1. These are highly targetted emails, not your usual phishing spam. Somehow they are getting the email addresses for the students. As we're a student service provider we're also seeing them.

2. With the exception of a couple minor errors these are quite believable, more so given the complete cockups of the last few years by the student loans company.

It's interesting to see that the Government email asks you to download a file, it suggests more than one phishing group invloved as the previous emails I've seen ask the student to click a link. The link looks like a genuine student loans company link until you click on it.

Joking aside about the intelligence of the people falling for this scam, but these are mainly 18 year olds without the years of experience dealing with scams that we have. They need this money in order to live and pay rent. They fall for this scam and it can result in the student having to drop out of University, owing not only the student loan company for the money that has been stolen from them but also their rent for the accommodation they were staying in. That's a hell of a lot of money for someone who now has no chance of paying it back. If they're UK based the chances are their parents signed as guarantor for them as well, that means their parents will also be chased for money. This isn't as simple as someone being a little stupid and losing a few quid, this is a crime that potentially destroys an entire family's financial security.

It's official: Journos are dumb as a bag of IE users

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Alien

@ The Brave Sir Robin

No need to fear. I ate the lizard men.

Now for pudding...

Ofcom says no to web-blocking

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Alien

As Above

Apple is now DRM free. More to the point iTunes comes complete with an option to convert from AAC to MP3 so that you can play music on any MP3 compatible machine.

Reading into the story it's not clear that all format shifting will be legalised, it may just be shifting from physical to digital. I've not had a chance to read the full proposals yet, but I'm hoping that they will be legalising format shifting between digital formats as well as physical to digital. However the proposal does make it clear that the shifted copy must be made from a legally sourced original. No downloading a dodgy MP3 copy and then shifting it to a nice, legal AAC copy.

It's official: IE users are dumb as a bag of hammers

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Not strictly fair

That's not strictly fair on the Reg, as even the BBC originally posted the story as fact. What we have here is a rather clever and plausible hoax. Made slightly more plausible by being pulled in August rather than April...

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Intelligence != Knowledge

As pointed out by a few people, intelligence is not knowledge. IQ actually measures cognitive reasoning, or to put it simply, pattern recognition. Most tests measure 4 aspects of intelligence, vocabulary, mathematics, spacial awareness and deductive reasoning. A high IQ is not a prerequisite for knowledge, but can be an indicator that the person is good at independent thought and problem solving. IQ is also linked to memory, the higher the IQ the more likely the person is to remember something that they have learnt. From my own experience I find it very easy to remember things from school even today that I read only once. I was lucky enough to never need to revise at school as my recall of facts was excellent. Give me an Excel spreadsheet to debug and I'll have no trouble whatsoever. Just don't ask me to perform brain surgery on you. I'd much rather let someone with the knowledge do that...

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Not surprising

She's an arts grad. Chances are all her course work has been produced using a Mac, so no surprise that she prefers Safari. The real surprise is that she was using Windows on her laptop...

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Blu-ray extended edition

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

New keyboard please

You sir are a swine, a swine I say!

Russia: 'We'll dump the ISS into the sea after 2020'

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Zeta Rectulli?

Forget the Zeta rectullians, they couldn't find they're own phlembulobscians with their rastnoctlians even with 12 dimensional holo-maps

US Navy orders laser machine guns

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Archimedes?

Actually it's already been proven that while Archimedes may have invented a "Deathray" it's highly unlikely that he ever built one. The details regarding Archimede's Deathray were actually centuries later, there's no evidence to say he did it and all the testing so far suggests that with the technology available at the time it simply would not have been able to perform as suggested.

Much like Boeing's attempt...

Euro beaks to rule if TVCatchup.com is legal

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Own sites?

I use TVCatchup on my iPhone, it's the ONLY way to watch TV on the iPhone as no other service is available apart from Sky Sports. Considering how long the iPhone (and other mobiles for that matter) have been around it's about time that the broadcaster's got their acts together and sorted out their streaming services. There's services for the Wii and the PS3, which let's face it are actually no better than watching it on your laptop or PC.

LulzSec hacker Sabu: Murdoch emails 'sometime soon'

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Stupidity

At the very least buy a small USB drive, swap the HDD out and dispose of the original drive. Anyone now looking at the laptop will see a laptop that is blank and no data on it. The original drive you could simply wipe and use as a bog standard portable, or even better drive a couple of 9 inch nails through it to shatter the platter.

UK gov 'Spads' hefty salaries released/buried

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Previous employment

Hardly surprising though to be honest, they'll have gotten the job due to their connections to the press (ie having worked at either TV, radio or dead tree news agencies). Only trouble being the fact that no self respecting BBC or Grauniad employee will work for a Tory, and NI own pretty much all the rest with a couple of notable exceptions. Bit difficult to hire decent staff when the pool is pretty much the scum that no one else wants to employ

Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Letters to Iwo Jima

I liked the fact that the black actor's union (can't remember the actual name of it) in America tried to call Clint Eastwood racist for not having any black actors in his film. His response? There were no black soldiers in the battle, so there's no black actors in the film. One guy who's more than happy to let historical accuracy stay ahead of political correctness...

Cloud iTunes DESTROYS music business FOREVER!

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

That's not large

I think I left school with around 100 albums, 50 CDs and close to 300 cassette tapes. A further 20 years of music collection and I'm now close on 2000 albums with everything from classic rock from the 60's through to the latest death metal with everything from irish folk to drum and bass mixed in. Mind, it also helps that I'm about to start up a local metal disco, so having such a wide ranging taste in music is a good thing there :) Just because a few people only like 5 or 6 bands at a time doesn't mean everyone can only listen to 5 or 6 bands. My iPhone must have at leat 30 different bands on it right now, one or 2 albums from each (Iron Maiden being the exception, every album on there).

When your collection is basically music from the last 40 years a single band can add over 20 albums straight away.

Virgin Media TV Powered by TiVo

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Alien

Land of the free?

You're talking about the USA, where everything is more expensive except the oil. Think mobile phones are bad here, trying being charged for receiving calls as well as making them (the US pricing model)

Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Book version

Agreed, when I saw they were making a film of the story I thought "great!" until I actually saw the film. That's not to say it was total hash, but I felt the original ending of seeing the USA turning into a totalitarian state and the main character's attempts to join the good fight would be a much better ending than "seeing the future causes end of the world". Although the book would probably have been seen as too close to a documentary than science fiction nowadays...

US admiral reveals safety plan for Zombie Apocalypse

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Alien

Which of course...

... is a Douglas Adams HHGTTG reference

Agency worker rights should be set in comparison with staff, says gov

Alien8n Silver badge
FAIL

BMW could learn from this

Did a stint temping at BMW several years ago. Not sure what it's like now but back then you had agency staff who had been there for over 4 years on temp contracts and earning 20% less than guys who had been made permanent after a year. Add to that the ridiculous position regarding illness where if you were ill twice within 3 months you were out of a job. I actually witnessed one person vomiting into the bins rather than be sent home because he'd been off ill with flu the month before.

In contrast another firm I worked at would send home anyone who had even the slightest cough or sniffle rather than allow them into the factory as the factory floor was a clean room so anyone working while ill could very easily infect an entire shift.

Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made

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Alien

2013

Listed on IMDB as a possible 2013 release. Director apparently Ridley Scott, so it'll either be very very good, or so full of "set scenes" to be unwatchable. Also, just looking at the IMDB summary, it looks like they're taking just the very base plot of the book and throwing out pretty much all of the book's storyline (much like they did with I Robot)

Boffins herald end of stiff screens

Alien8n Silver badge
Go

Earth Final Conflict

Also had a similar thing in mind for their phones, the screen pulls out of the side of the phone and snaps itself rigid.

Like the idea of effectively painting a TV onto the wall though. Imagine that with glasses free 3D at the same time and you effectively have a virtual window. Add angle recognition so if you walk upto it and "look down" you effectively look down out of the window and you can create a virtual scyscraper effect, so your humble living room in South Peckham now becomes a virtual New York penthouse. Or even a window on the ISS if you really want :)

No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

Alien8n Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Reminds me...

I used to work for a firm that did GPS tracking of trees, but there was an application being tested on similar kit to ours by a professor in Sunderland. Police tried to do him for speeding, but as he was testing his GPS kit at the time he was able to use that as evidence and prove he was within the speed limit at the time the police were trying him do him for.

So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Alien8n Silver badge
FAIL

Lensman

was made into an anime film, mid 90s? I think.

Was nowhere near as good as it could have been, was more DBZ in space than Akira with aliens.

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

Gotta love

all the people who can't read.

Best sci-fi film NEVER made, not ever made. I can understand posting in the comments, but if I comment I will also be emailing (as requested).

Got a buck to send M Night Shyamalan to film school?

Alien8n Silver badge
WTF?

To be fair...

To be fair, if you've ever seen the cartoon series it's very clear that the film follows the cartoon, but unlike LOTR that chopped a few bits that you don't really miss unless you've read the books, TLAB chops vast amounts of essential plot out leaving the viewer wondering wtf?

Red Dwarf to blast off on new adventure

Alien8n Silver badge
Stop

WBAC

Should be "We screw any customer"

Alien8n Silver badge
Stop

Sounds like Rentaghost

was the same, started off with some good subtle humour then just turned into yet another slapstick and gunge children's show.

Seriously hoping they go back to basics with Red Dwarf, was always meant to be more adult comedy.

Punter bags 500GB SSD, finds 128MB Flash inside

Alien8n Silver badge
FAIL

Not just flash

I used to work in semiconductor manufacturing, making mosfets, igbts and diodes. Part of the job was also buying chips from other vendors and taking them apart. Was quite shocking seeing just how badly designed some of the competitors chips were. Mind, the biggest culprit seemed to be Ford who would take a good design and remove key components to save cost, then complain when it didn't work...

BOFH: In distributed denial

Alien8n Silver badge
Go

Been there, done that

Also the hours of fun that can be had dropping random text files onto the user's desktop, followed by the phone calls and blackmail down the pub to ensure deletion of the offending screengrab that has been taken of their machine...

Amazed the user in question never realised that the only reason he was still allowed access to the internet was the fact he was saving the head of IT hours of downloading time every week when the latest episode of Star Trek Enterprise hit the file sharing sites...

Anti-religious campaigners smack down census Jedis

Alien8n Silver badge
Alien

religious donations

We all donate to the largest religion in the UK anyway when we pay taxes. Or does everyone forget that part of our taxes go to the monarchy, and as such to the head of the Church of England?

Tempted to put Church of Discordia down this year...

Diary of a Not-spot: One man's heroic struggle for broadband

Alien8n Silver badge
Grenade

Fibre? pt2

It's only overkill if you have to pay for it :)

Reminds me of my mate's house. House actually had about 3 buildings scattered around the property, each one connected up to a server room in his barn. Reason for the overkill? A purpose built lan party setup and the mother of all broadband connections. Used to have anywhere upto 20 people playing online games during the weekend. Was fun playing black hawk down :)

Alien8n Silver badge

Fibre

Or alternatively forget the cat5 and shove a Gb fibre optic switch in at each end.

Company I used to work in had 3 buildings less than 50m apart from each other and about 3 different 1Gb connections between each building

Xbox modder prosecution dropped like white-hot potato

Alien8n Silver badge
Pirate

Modding?

Here's a scenario:

Chav 1 modifies his mate's car with some power boosting kit (induction kit, turbo and ridiculous spoiler that actually makes the car less stable at speed) and in the process removes the limiter that stops the car from speeding.

Chav 2 then gets clocked doing 60 in a 30 zone by the police.

Who deserves to go to jail?

Okay, in reality the answer is both of them but the point is, yes he's modded a couple of xboxes. That should not in itself make him a criminal. Now if he'd been caught modding the xboxes AND selling the pirated games that would be a different matter as the modding is then specifically to enable him to commit the offense of selling counterfeit goods.

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