* Posts by Andy Bright

748 posts • joined 19 Sep 2006

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US gov's flying laser hit by delays, problems

Andy Bright

What No X-Wings?

Shame on them - the first step towards a proper space program and they scrap it.

Forget all that space amoeba is alien life junk, sending cameras to Mars or collecting water from the moon - this was the one program with real potential.

I fully expected a personal X-Wings on the used-car lots by the end of the year, followed by light sabres and a holodeck in time for the following Christmas shopping season.

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Breakfast with bin Laden

Andy Bright

Back to their pre-9//11 levels and readiness?

If this is true then the war on terror is actually winning - and excuse me if I'm not gob-smacked at that inconceivable notion.

Because prior to 9/11 Al Qaeda were just about a crap an outfit as you could hope for, they were being pulled apart by political/leadership in-fighting, and their recruitment was at an all time low. 9/11 itself was a last-gasp effort to gain some kind of recognition throughout the Middle East. But they went too far, even for some of the more extreme regimes - and if it had been left at that, 9/11 would have been the biggest mistake ever conceived.

The biggest mistake ever conceived prior to the Bush Administration's War on Terror that is. What the Bush administration managed to achieve through incompetence and belligerence was turn Al Qaeda's fortunes around and save them from their final death throws.

So if we're back to pre-9/11 numbers we have a lot to be grateful for, and certainly a lot less to fear from these whackos.

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The search for alien life

Andy Bright

re: If we can't find it then we should make it...

I fully agree that searching just isn't worth it considering the space amoeba these fools are trying to pass off as life after spending billions just to fly somewhere as close as Mars or Titan.

But instead of making boring plants and bacteria, surely we have a sufficient handle on DNA now to make proper aliens? We could start off by messing with some test tube babies - growing antenna and the like, or maybe some extra limbs. Then we can start on colour and shapes.

If we piled all that money into fucking with embryos surely we could have something half decent before the decade is out?

Then all we need to do is pack a bunch of weird shit we've made into one of those multi-billion dollar probes, maybe throw in some of those glowing pigs, and send it all off to whatever planet seems promising.

The best part is because everything would have to be hush hush to avoid the whining of nancy do-gooders, we wouldn't even have to tell anyone what we've done. Then the probe reaches planet-X complete with camera and all kinds of weird stuff to photograph - and hey presto, result. It would be a great joke to play on the creationists if nothing else.

Also it saves on the embarrassment of sending a camera on a trillion dollar mission to photograph aliens that aren't visible on a light spectrum viewable by humans (or cameras).

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BT feels the need for 50Mb speed

Andy Bright

I have unlimited bandwidth too..

I know this because my phone company says so. It's just not as fast as I would like .. ;)

Actually for about $50 a month tacked on to my cable/mobile/telephone bill I do get unlimited downloads with a 7MB connection. I wouldn't swap my unlimited downloads for a Gbit connection, and I won't sign up with any provider that can't give me the advertised bandwidth during peak hours - without limits or throttle backs.

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When 'God Machines' go back to their maker

Andy Bright

Oh dear god..

Some you guys that write for the Reg are simply gluttons for punishment. Or perhaps you're fiendishly sadistic, I can't decide which.

Who will take a "but Windows" bet? I bet that more fanboyz bring up irrelevant Windows blather than simply calling the author a jerk for having the temerity to criticise an Apple product.

Yes I know it was constructive criticism, but that has no bearing on the fact Windows has malware.

My Jobs, he even had the gall to suggest another product can do some of the things the iPhone does more efficiently. When making statements like that, how can you not mitigate the iPhone's failings by pointing out Windows crashes on a regular basis? And of course by 'failings' we mean things that only idiots would want their phones to do.

So next time you feel like being critical of an Apple product, make sure you've properly considered just not doing things you can't get to work on the iPhone. Until you've explored all the possibilities, such as using a Mac instead of a Windows box, you're just being stupid. Next you'll be asking to carry a spare battery instead of tying your phone to an electrical outlet or leaving it at home to charge. What fool wants to do something like use their phone to make more calls than Apple thinks is necessary?

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Bush to gong top US boffins of 2006

Andy Bright

I appologise if this is a repeat comment

Because I feel a number of people are going to think the same thing..

But where is the award for the twat that convinced half the US population, including the entire US Administration, that Global Warming isn't real?

Ok, it's more of a magic trick than actual science. But we should at least consider awarding some sort of Paul Daniels/David Copperfield Award for turning the findings of real scientists into the muck that this Administration attempts to shovel in our direction.

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The return of the ransom-ware Trojan

Andy Bright

Chargeback

With a credit card the idea of "scamming" the scammers is even easier - as you can call the credit card or bank immediately after receiving the decryption tool and charge back everything you don't recognise as valid. Obviously you also cancel the card and wait for a new one.

But I'm not sure either is that great an idea - probably just best to blow it off and keep a watch on your credit card bills and bank statements.

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Wikipedia clarifies steam pipe menace

Andy Bright

Fake or otherwise it was still right funny

Maybe Steve did hijack the entry, maybe it was someone else. But whatever else you can say about it - it did have two important factors.

1/It was factually correct. Steam pipes are in New York and they do sometimes blow up - ask any action movie director.

2/It was brilliantly funny in it's simplicity.

I vote for more of these, in fact it would be not a bad thing if Wikipedia was entirely made up of entries like this one. Keep up the good work.

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Comments are disabled

Andy Bright

Never mind Facebook

I always thought it was a shame they never met the bloke that writes the fortune cookie messages..

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EU officially endorses DVB-H

Andy Bright

Seems someone missed an important step in the proccess

Which one? Buying the requisite number of EU politicians prior to them making important decisions (sometimes mislabeled as lobbying).

In the US, which has a tried and trusted PPB (pay per bill) political system, the way it works is over a period of years the relevant major players in a particular industry argue amongst themselves until the technology in question is on the verge of obsolescence. Having finally decided on a standard, they then hire a "lobbying" firm to buy up the politicos that create bills and push them to Congress. It then falls down to these corporates new employees to convince other congressmen that this is a really good idea, and if we don't do it the terrorists will win.

Thus a new, industry favourable, bill is passed - and democracy wins again. None of that wishy washy recommending stuff. Delays like that could open up the process to sneaky reporters and other troublemakers.

It truly seems odd that the same corporates that operate in the US still don't realise they're supposed to purchase their EU politicians prior to important decisions being made for their industries.

So you see, it is possible for a bi-partisan political system to exist, you just need enough money to buy one.

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How green is my V-word?

Andy Bright

AC

As someone pointed out, it is very possible to lower AC requirements - we've done so ourselves, reprogramming the AC unit in our server room to less than half the previous output.

The other factor with AC is quite simply less machines = less heat = less power required by AC. Yes the one VM does require more power than a single server, so it's not (in our case) 1/4 of the heat output, it was more like 3/4.. but that was still a significant drop.

Generating 25% less heat combined with reducing the output of the AC to about 1/2 the previous room coverage = a nice saving on the electricity bill. I'm only guessing here, but I reckon a lower electricity bill is quite a good indicator that our setup is greenerer that it was before.

*greenerer is a technical term I'm lead to believe, meaning more trees for George Bush to stand next to in order to look like an environmentally friendly prez.

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UK planespotters to battle al-Qaeda

Andy Bright

Actually it's a brilliant idea

And I'll tell you why.

Because this finally puts all this bullshit fear mongering into perspective.

Look without having the kind of police state society the Americans now enjoy, without having "concerned citizens" tattle tailing on their neighbours, spying on them and reporting them to the secret police, sorry Homeland Security, the US can't get any worse in terms of handing victory to the terrorists. They've basically said we're willing to give up everything their country stands for in order to catch the odd clown setting fire to a car.

Handing the terrorist watch over to anoraks is exactly what this country needs. We don't need pixie dust biometric passports, magic terrorist catching ID cards or a DNA database that will forever haunt the population of this country. We don't need our email captured, our IM monitored or our telephone calls recorded. We don't need anything other than the security that was already in place prior to 9/11 and doing a perfectly good job. Please count the number of successful IRA plane jackings..

Does that mean there will be the occasional successful terrorist plot, as in the Underground incident last year? Yes - but if we want a decent society, one that's free of overbearing government watching our every move, the occasional tragedy is the price we have to pay.

Giving plane spotters the job of the US Dept. Homeland Security is a bang on idea - and actually they'd probably be better at it (consider Katrina for example - my guess is that a bunch of anoraks would have handled that one better than some simpleton equestrian judge).

The only shame is this is not really the case and it's more about letting plane spotters onto airport grounds than catching bad guys.

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Nintendo yanks Mario Party 8 - offensive language to blame?

Andy Bright

Quite right.. this is outrageous..

After all spastic is so old-hat now, and many yoofs that qualify for the terminology probably don't even understand what it means (being spastics).

May I suggest Nintendo promptly replace the offending language with something more appropriate - like 'mongoloid' or 'retard'. Spastic is soo 80s, and while I appreciate that most developers seem to have come of age during this mystical decade - they need to update their vocabulary from thicko, simple and spastic to something today's yoof can relate to and understand.

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Sony BMG sues DRM developer

Andy Bright

In Sony's defense I have to say..

ROFL

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Sony snaps Grouper shut, gives Crackle a pop

Andy Bright

Success Stories

Remember all the rave reviews and success stories generated by their PSP video download site? Me neither.

I feel this will mirror that resounding triumph and turn into another advertising site for Sony media - a brand with a truly wholesome reputation amongst those that prefer their PC's trashed by malware.

I own several Sony products and quite like them - but there's no way I would deliberately go to a Sony media website, even if my PC is protected to some degree by appropriate DRM killing / anti-virus software.

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Nintendo to let Wii gamers go for their guns

Andy Bright

Lack of keyboard/mouse support

Afflicts almost every console shooter - and unfortunately it's usually the fault of the game developer, not the console itself.

Even a PS2 supports a mouse and keyboard through it's USB ports - it's just the games that don't.

The worst decision ever made was to make Call of Duty 3 console only. Absolutely horrible way of playing a shooter.

Ok, I'll freely admit I'm not exactly the most dextrous player out there, but surely the lack of keyboard/mouse usability in virtually every console shooter has to rank up there as one of the most stupid omissions ever made.

If you tell me that the XBox 360 versions of these games do come with keyboard/mouse functionality it just makes the decision to exclude from other versions all the more stupid.

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Second-generation Sony PSP unveiled

Andy Bright

Good..

and at last I can pass the one I bought for my kid on to him.. probably for last Christmas or something else I was too busy to notice while playing WoW..

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What's al-Qaeda's take on the iPhone?

Andy Bright

re: I used to respect El Reg

I'd probably pay money just to read articles based some of your suggestions.. but "Jessica Simpson natural not fake" I think is worthy of proper debate, and maybe several in-depth articles over the next month or twelve..

Thing is though, as far as I can remember (which admittedly is not more than 4 years ago due to various brain frying activities) the Register has always been like this.. which is why I read it as opposed to your average dry and boring Wired/CNet style IT news site.

I'm just disappointed we haven't had an update on the many Government funded, gay animal research projects.. your US and Aussie correspondents are letting the side down I feel.

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Apple emasculates the iPhone

Andy Bright

Hilarious

I know the author was fully aware that voicing any sort of complaint about an Apple product would bring the fanboyz out in droves..

So no prizes for predicting that, it's just so funny that they still can't think of anything new to say..

"get a mac".. "but the pc has malware".. "you're a jerk for wanting something Apple doesn't want you to have".. "it's not overpriced tat, it costs that much because of xyz"..

Ahh well, it's a shame really.. because if it was a bit more reasonably priced, unlocked, and if as one commenter suggested, tweaked with a software upgrade or two, it really would be a nice piece of kit.

Has anyone tried to make a phone call over WiFi yet? That's the bit that interests me the most.

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Microsoft vows to bark like a dog for you in 2008

Andy Bright

Surely Not?

Surely their biggest one day will not be in sales.. but when Vista can copy a 1 mbyte file in under 20 minutes...

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EU's anti-fraud boss to be hauled before European Parliament

Andy Bright

Government Responsibility

In the US the Government bares the financial responsibility should certain irretrievable situations arise. Such as banks or pension plans going bust.

Basically if you are lucky enough in the US to still have one of those pensions that pays a inflation adjusted amount depending on the time you worked for a company and the money you earned whilst there - if that plan dies due to the company going tits up and sneakily forgetting to put their obligated portion into the fund, the Federal Government has you covered. It's a bit more complicated than that, but the point is they don't leave you buggered like most European governments do if you suddenly find out you have no pension.

So it seems that most Governments have forgotten what their role is - which is primarily to protect the interests of its citizens. In Britain's case that means bailing out pensioners when they've been scammed; not defending corporates, fulfilling large American contracts to re-build Iraq, with British troops.

The funniest part of this story to me, though, is that the guy in charge of catching the corrupt and fraudulent is himself corrupt and fraudulent. Perhaps he was trying a bit too hard, and accidentally became someone he was supposed to go after.

Nothing wrong with socialist governments, everyone has one to some extent. Unemployment benefits, state pension plans, national heath care - all socially responsible ideas. The only real problem is the people we put in charge of running these things.

Don't know about you, but trusting politicians with our taxes and assuming they will do the right thing seems a pretty flawed concept - at least not without some serious oversight and very frequent audits.

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University boffins squeeze 500GB onto a DVD

Andy Bright

Title

"Not backup, for sure. If you've got 500GB to store, a big part of it is probably things like .doc, .xls, and .pdf files. Try reading these from a few software revs back, and you'll realize that if you store that wodge, you'll also need to "archive" an old-enough PC..."

Actually what you would use is a document management system.

The way the compatibility works is for every type of document you want to read, the required software must be available on the server.

Need to read v5 pdfs, a v5 pdf viewer must installed on the doc management server.

Other than that it's a glorified database application that allows regular people (non-techies) powerful search options.

As for storing backups on DVD, even 500GB disks, no real point. Network appliances with up to large numbers of up to 1TB hard disks are more reliable, and a hell of a lot faster.

I use a 64 x 500Gbyte appliance as a backup/disk mirroring system.

The backup software creates a copy of each drive and stores them in various time slots. So I can retrieve a document from 5 minutes ago to 6 months ago, depending on when the oops happened.

Retrieval is as easy as sticking a '~' in the path name, eg. L:\Engineering\~whatever the path is, and copying it back to the correct location.

The appliance has fault tolerance built in, using wiz bang wizardry to automatically replace data into free space should a disk go bad.

Expensive but reliable stuff, and much faster than using optical media or tapes.

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Insuring iTunes: are your digital downloads covered?

Andy Bright

No You Can Not Re-Download

That's BS. iTunes will only allow you to re-download to the same computer you used to purchase that music.

Everything from the limited number of computers you can register with your account to the complete shit you get if you convert to mp3 has been designed with forcing you to re-purchase in mind.

Even if you own an iPod, if you've been buying your music or movies online for more than a couple of years the chances are you don't have the storage space to keep it all intact.

Off site backups? Nice idea if you can do it, personally I don't have that option. I certainly don't have a safe place at work I would leave anything valuable, and although I have friends I know wouldn't steal or deliberately damage something I gave them to look after - it's a bit of cheek handing over valuables and forcing the responsibility of keeping them safe onto your friends or family.

I do have an external HD - I learned my lesson the very hard way, and unlike most people I have forked out the money for a fireproof safe. But that's not something most people can either afford or would normally consider.

The real culprits as far as I'm concerned are the media sellers. They have records of your transactions, they know what you've bought - but they will not allow you to re-download onto any computer except the one you used to download it originally.

Not much of a comfort if your home goes up in smoke, your hard disk dies or you need to re-install your OS.

The minimum length of time they should provide you a backup of your music is the same length of time you would normally expect a CD to last. They charge the same amount of money - without the expense of providing media or packaging.

I will never buy from a download site again until I have no choice but to do so. I have software that removes the viruses and other malware they put onto commercial CDs, and buying in that format gives me a reliable backup for about 20 - 30 years if I take reasonable care.

I'm fed up with the "Apple are saints" bullshit. They are as much a money grabbing corporate as Microsoft, Sony, Intel or IBM. Hell, they've even taken a page from their association with the music industry and started suing their own customers for often the most absurd reasons.

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Dinner party guest makes gruesome discovery

Andy Bright

Erm.. she stay for dinner why exactly?

Can anyone explain why you even think about accepting a dinner invitation from someone you know to be a violent drunk, indeed someone you have personally reported to the police for beating his wife?

So what, to make up for reporting him to the police she does the washing up? Presumably hoping to not only get some free food from a wife-beater, but to avoid a beating herself by cleaning up afterwards..

And after arriving, finding that she was (sort of) alone in the house with this guy, she still stays to have dinner with him? She couldn't think of any excuse for getting the hell out of there as soon as she realised his wife and kid wouldn't be joining them? Yes I know she found out they were dead later, but wouldn't having dinner alone with a psycho be enough of a reason to want to leave?.

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if she had a death wish. I don't even want to think about the possibility she was considering getting romantically involved with a supposed recent divorcee with a track record of violently beating his spouse.

The guy's actions in inviting someone that shopped him to the police are more easily explained. Except that he apparently didn't get time to off her too, as she made her escape after finding next week's dinner party in the freezer.

I hate to say this, but if anyone deserved a good slap round the head for being a muppet, it's someone that stays for a candle lit dinner with a violent psychopath - and then does the washing up afterwards.

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MS Patch Tuesday to include trio of 'critical' fixes

Andy Bright

Commodore Mac Linux A500

Is Linux a better OS? Yes. Is the Mac a better made computer than your average PC? Of course.

So why not switch? Well mostly because we can't.

Many of the every day functions you carry out on a computer are more easily and better done on both those options, but usually there's several underlying reasons why we can't change - and thinking Microsoft is great isn't one of them.

For my place of work one reason is the necessity to run industry compatible CAD software. You can get CAD on both these platforms, but not the certified applications or more importantly, the specialty addons that come with AutoCAD or Microstation. When designing buildings, roads, bridges and other government mandated civil engineering projects, we have to use the software they use, and we have to produce the graphics they have certified. A simple example would be road signs, which have to be produced with a certified application - despite the fact its only a drawing, and one the sign producing company will never view. Crazy stuff right?

Other people no doubt have other requirements that also can't be met with the software available on either of these platforms.

Then you have the ultimate reason - the most frustration problem almost everyone in corporate or government IT deals with on a daily basis.

Mandated standards.

We have absolutely no choice in the software, hardware or the configuration of either.

Usually we're stuck with one supplier, one hardware producer and Microsoft.

Why? Because the only people that aren't in the decision making process for those standards are those with any sort of background in IT. None whatsoever. Touched a computer in a vaguely professional way and you're about as likely to be included in that process as your neighbour's dog.

I work for State Government in the US. This means the IT bidder with the best lobbyist, the most palm greasing funds and whatever the kid who lives next door to the Governor said at a barbecue decides the computer systems I use. Dell is actually a four letter word, count them.

Should I go work for the local Mac Store or try to start my own business selling Linux desktops? I could, but once you get past the frustration of having to use certain products, the rest of the job is actually quite interesting.

How bored would you be if you never had to deal with malware or badly configured firewalls? If you guys got your way and there were Macs on every desk, the only thing I'd have to do would be software installs and word processor training. No thanks, that's worse than not being able to choose my own kit.

I like having money too, it pays for my WoW subscription (which I play on a Mac).

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Andy Bright

Hurrah

Three new presents to open this Patch Tuesday Day...

Wonder if I'll be able to get to sleep on Patch Tuesday Eve, waiting for Santa Microsoft to automatically deliver my gifts.

What do you guys eat on Patch Tuesday Day? We generally go for wings and philly cheese steak sarnies - but each country to its own.

"Well I wish it could be Patch Tuesday every day..

When the software downloads and the computer begins to play.."

"I wish you a merry Patch Day, I wish you a merry Patch Day, and a non-BSD You Must Reset to Apply These Changes.."

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Danes tout flamethrower-packing robot 'farmworker'

Andy Bright

Westfall?

Are you sure you mean Denmark and not the World of Warcraft area of Westfall? Because these maniacal mechanical golems sound a lot like Harvest Watchers.

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Woman arrested for WoW love affair

Andy Bright

Don't understand the vitriol either

When I left England to come live in the US about a decade ago, people had mixed views of Americans - but generally didn't hate them.

I don't really understand what's changed. Surely most of what you dislike should be placed squarely at the feet of Tony Blair. Ok he seemed to be sharing and taking too many ideas from Chairman Dubbya - but he's the one that did it, not the Americans. No one forced him to invade Iraq for example, he made that decision all by himself.

Those of us that live in the US have enough to worry about with the absurd re-election of Dubbya without having everyone back home hating us too.

The good and bad of living here makes it about the same as the good and bad of living in Blighty. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Both countries are inhabited with far too many nationalistic racists, who seem to have no regard for anyone outside their borders.

Both countries re-elected dick premiers in spite of the draconian and somewhat illegal activities and bills they've been passing into something that loosely resembles law.

The biggest failing of the US is that only 50% of those eligible to vote do so. I can't, I'm not a citizen and have no desire to be one.

Other than that, and of course the fact that both countries appear to be exclusively represented by some sort of crazy elite that bare absolutely no resemblance to the normal population - I'd say living here was about the same as living there.

So please stop blaming your average Register reader for the actions of these twats (Congress, Parliament and each country's leader) - they didn't do it, probably tried to stop it by voting appropriately, but even when they voted almost an entire new Congress it hasn't made a difference. Imagine voting out every member of Parliament, and then being faced with the same old shit when the new lot get in. Depressing doesn't even begin to describe it - but at least they did the right thing even if they were unable to prevent Chairman Dubbya from getting a second go at fucking up the world.

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Sole competitor comes second in cake-baking contest

Andy Bright

I just don't get it at all..

Who gives a toss if the story has an IT angle or not?

Personally if I just wanted to read dry, boring IT news I'd go to CNET or CNN.

I really don't get why people just don't read the stories they're not into. Does someone have a gun to their heads saying "read every Reg story or else"?

I've been going to this site for about 3 or 4 years, and it's alway published funny, non-IT related material. It's called having a sense of humour, and being IT related is not a pre-requisite to being funny.

Personally I couldn't stand going to the sort of sheep mentality websites that produce tutorials on how to copy a file using Explorer, repeat verbatim the bullshit spin from Redmond, or suck up to the sensationalist malware crud that clueless CNN reporters claim will bring down airplanes and cause WWIII.

I prefer my IT news to be written by someone with a fucking clue.

And even if I didn't want to read non-IT related news I'd still be happy to come to this site, because I have the ability to determine the nature of a story from its title.

For example ‘Sole competitor comes second in cake-baking contest’ does not shout IT to me. It shouts very clearly, cake-baking contest.

Occasionally we make mistakes. Sometimes we read cake-baking contest and think, oh an article on mass media storage or perhaps the lady in question came second in blade server configuration. However in cases such as these I have a second special ability - the back button. This mysterious functionality of my browser allows me to go back one page at a time - so I can undo the mistake of opening an article I wasn't interested in.

Accidentally reading something I had no interest in doesn't often make me fly into a rage - I can handle it. I've been there before, I know the perils and have tools to make it through the process relatively unharmed.

I want my IT news to be spattered with borg-like hoovers, gay sheep, drug addicted squirrels and only managing to come second when competing against no one else. I call it satirical news, funny and having a sense of humour. You should try it.

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US reclaims world hotdog scoffing crown

Andy Bright

You what?

Don't know about the rest of you, but I find it astonishing - and somewhat improbable - that anyone could out-eat an American in the first place.

Surely the previous holder had US genes, or at the very least was trained by US eat-all-you-want buffet coaches.

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Banks want data pulled from US

Andy Bright

The truly bizare thing about this..

is if they'd been up front a week or so after 9/11 (you know, when someone, somewhere stilled liked Americans) and said - "Hey do you mind if we have a quick shufty of your financial data, just to see if we can pinpoint the pricks that did this?", the EU and pretty much anyone else would have said, "No problem, go ahead."

But because they're still hiding behind and using 9/11 as an excuse to steal private information, listen in on phone calls, invade innocent 3rd world countries and all that other illegal behaviour - is it any surprise that one or two chaps in Europe are a tiny bit annoyed by the whole thing?

On the other hand if there was anyone in political office with a device we used to call a "backbone", the board and directors of Swift would be sitting in jail right now for illegally divulging financial information on a scale never before imagined.

Put it this way, if we put away hackers who peruse banking information for longer stretches than your average child molester, what do you think would have been appropriate for this lot?

Data thieves that steal a few thousand credit card numbers go to jail for 5-10 years. The guys that gave just about every piece of financial information they had access to, from the population of an entire continent, to a bunch of dodgy characters in black suits get to say it wasn't their fault - the Americans made us do it. And we're fine with that.

International financial transactions. That's not just corporates wiring money back and forth - ever ordered something directly from the US or Canada? Then that would be you too.

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Six Wiis sold for every PS3 purchased in Japan

Andy Bright

Price has very little to do with the lack of PS3 sales

It's just the games are so bland.

I love the Blu-ray drive, and the recent firmware update finally gives it hd-upconverting capabilities (not much use to me as my TV already does that - but it was glaringly missing from the PS3 feature list).

I have the cheaper version, and swapped out the HD with a 60gbyte drive I was using for media storage.

But I haven't played more than an hour on each of the three games I've bought for it, and I won't be buying any more until something worthwhile is released.

Every single title for the PS3 is just a superficially enhanced copy of games available on any console from the last 10 years. In fact most are worse, despite the pretty gfx, and not a single one of the shooter developers had the common sense to include keyboard/mouse usability with their boring games.

At least the 360 has a couple of innovative titles. But if I was buying now with the advantage of hindsight - I'd definitely be buying a Wii.

It may not have the processors or graphics capabilities - but at least it has some decent games that haven't been churned out of the mass production plants of EA and whoever else the other indistinguishable developers happen to be.

Shooters and car racing.. yawn. Platform games and retro titles? Sold my Amiga a decade ago.

Shit, if you're going to copy everything predictable out there, at least ask Blizzard to port WoW.

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'Effete' Europe useless in GWOT, says bin Laden man

Andy Bright

What, eh? Someone's Grandcousin is an effete Americanism?

I was just wondering if anyone in Congress that listened to these twats understood what the hell they were banging on about?

I read and re-read everything they had to say, and I can't for the life of me understand what the fuck their point is.

Adolf apparently reckons because his dad or something went to France to kill Germans, it's okay for him to torture innocent people. Come again? Call me old fashioned, but I always thought WWII about deposing a power-mad dictator bent on torturing and murdering innocents by the million. Nice to know it takes a matter of seconds for the actions of one generation to rip up and shit on the reputation garnered by the previous.

Europe is a safe haven for terrorists because we don't like giving people to Americans just for them to murder them or send them off to Iran to be tortured?

Normally I'd take an ounce of whatever these guys are on - but after thinking about it for a minute, I figure they must be on some crude form of meth, so I'll give that a miss.

I don't suppose any of the effete, spineless Democrats present actually had the balls to respond to any of this bullshit? No? There's a shocker.

It's almost as if they were so spineless, they wouldn't cut the funding on a war after being voted in to Congress to do exactly that. Afraid that doing anything controversial would cost them votes, they've pretty much gotten themselves unelected by being to spineless to do anything their voters wanted. Awesome strategy, can't wait for the Presidential election - I just want to see how they fuck that one up.

Seems to me that if anyone in that place had an ounce of integrity, they'd have taken both of these geniuses and subjected them to everything they appear to be championing - or at least give them a good kicking.

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N-Gage games to equal PC games

Andy Bright

errr??

So we'll be chucking out the 22" wide screen LCDs and World of Warcraft in favour of 3" squares and pacman?

Don't see too many PC gamers going for it somehow..

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Loopy quantums reveal successive universes

Andy Bright

No doubt Creationists would have us believe..

that God simply used a giant Space Hopper ...

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Conservapedia wades into Inverness

Andy Bright

Wonder if that's were all the dragons live..

My favourite piece of reliable scientific study (from an unbiased conservative viewpoint) has to be the terrific news that dragons are both real and may still be in existence..

It starts with the following startling evidence..

"Descriptions of dragons are widespread and match descriptions of dinosaurs, suggesting that dragons were real creatures and were actually dinosaurs."

And goes on to suggest, after revealing various corroborating scientific studies (such as there's a dragon on the Welsh flag and someone's mate saw a dinosaur in Africa)..

"That dinosaurs are not known from the fossil record above the Jurassic strata is not reason to believe that they have not survived until more recent times."

So only two questions of any importance remain imho..

1/Where do dragons live?

and

2/Which pet store sells them?

Conservapedia I bow before you... you are forever my wiki of knowledge..

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Google embarasses MapQuest

Andy Bright

Why I love mapquest

I remember returning to England for a visit about 18 months ago, and seriously not wanting to do a car journey from London to Birmingham..

Thanks to mapquest I argued that it would take too long.. that we didn't know if the weather in Norway during winter would hold us up, or if ferries even ran between London, Norway and Birmingham at that time of year.

Some argued that going through Norway wasn't a necessary part of the journey, but of course they weren't using mapquest.

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Boffins go dotty over quantum teleportation

Andy Bright

Wasn't there a QED show on this about 12 years ago?

I'm sure I saw German scientists doing the exact same thing, using lasers to 'beam' a quantum dot from one place to another.

However I wasn't particularly convinced.. it seemed that rather than moving an object they simply re-created it on the other side - in other words copied it.

Not sure how the rest of you feel, but if 'beaming' means making a copy, then I'm not sure I want to be erased from existence only for a copy of myself to be created on 'the other side'.

Then you have all those existential questions like would your consciousness know you're just a copy - or even have any form of awareness.. heavy stuff man..

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NASA snaps mysterious night-shining clouds

Andy Bright

Am I the only person here that can read?

Sorry, but the point of the article was that the shiny clouds are appearing more frequently than usual and at a lower altitude than normal.

The was a vague reference to this might have something to do with climate change, but the general theme was "we don't know why this is happening more often than before, perhaps it's global warming, but that's just a guess".

So before people start ranting that this has nothing to do with global warming, no one has said that it does - they've only said it might be.

Personally if we're all about to go down in a fiery Sahara of our own making, I was thinking that at least on the bright side we've made some pretty shiny clouds while we're about it.

A more substantial indicator to global warming would be the unusually large amounts of flooding and high winds northern Europe is experiencing ever more frequently as the years pass. Drought, floods, drought, floods - pretty much the theme of modern English summers these days.. and all good fun if you're into the end of the world.

Remember global warming is not just about getting decent tans in the our new National Deserts, it's also about having some serious fun windsurfing down your street.

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UK could get privileged access to American kill-tech

Andy Bright

But not for a 124 million

Modern stealth costs a tad more than a 124 million quid to develop. I wouldn't blame the US Congress at all for being a little bit annoyed at something like this.

Its fair enough to use the technology as we wish for our own military, but to use it to make money in Saudi Arabia or wherever else BAE sells to is taking the piss just a bit.

The point of the article is that it would be nice if this treaty brought down the cost and complexity of buying modern weapons for UK troops, but could be difficult to ratify in Congress if we allow this technology to be used by British weapons contractors.

They have a nasty habit of selling to the highest bidder, including Iraq, Iran and the Saudis.

It was more than a bit embarrassing during the first Iraq war when British arms dealers had to admit to selling better kit to Iraq than they did to the British armed forces.

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RIAA tried to shake down 10-year-old daughter, suit claims

Andy Bright

re: Mr Treen..

Great idea.. forthwith Bush shall be named as a Boston Tea Party / Falklands insurgent.. :)

But while I enjoy taking a stab at Chairman Bush whenever I can, you're actually right in this case - the RIAA have been suing people since Clinton was in office.

However the people at fault are not Bush and Clinton, but those members of Congress paid and bought for by the RIAA.

And you can't throw blame at one party of the other.. because large numbers from both are equally complicit for the DCMA.

99% of what's wrong with the so-called democratic leadership on both sides of the Atlantic, is their willingness to sell their votes for favours and campaign contributions to the highest bidder, the morals of the issue be dammed.

I've said this for a long time, we need to expel every single member of Congress and Parliament - in every election vote for anyone that's not an incumbent, where possible. I don't care what party you vote for, just don't vote in the same pricks that are laughing at us right now.

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Dell calls to consumers with coloured Inspirons

Andy Bright

A better solution to attracting these sorts of customers..

The type of person that wants to buy brightly coloured computers would probably be more easily snared if they offered colouring books and crayons instead.

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Sucky software? So add a virgin

Andy Bright

David Platt

I felt his best work was in Italy playing for Parma (I think), although he wasn't bad for England during the 1990 World Cup.

Good to know he's branched out from football management, and does a spot of programming too.

:)

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Ebuyer in hard-drive warranty debacle

Andy Bright

Offering to honour warranties is not the point

The problem is there is a reason why hard disk manufacturers offer warranties of varying lengths on particular products, and that reason should be fairly obvious.

The more expensive drives are more reliable - therefore fall within acceptable failure rates in terms of how much they have to spend to replace them over the warranty period.

So I would assume a hard drive with a 1 year warranty is probably 99.5% reliable over 5 years as opposed to 99.9% - that's a guess not an accurate number.

The problem is that hard disks are very specific in their warranties about what they cover. Very, very few hard disks come with data warranties - and that's the point.

Even if eBuyer.com replaces your hard disk after 3 or 4 years, it's not much comfort to a person that only had enough DVDs or second HD space to backup a portion of their data.

The 5yr warrantied gear would almost certainly have not failed - so the user is still out of pocket regardless of what eBuyer.com do.

Not offering postage to retrieve "oops" goods is just rubbing salt in the wound.

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American gamble or bluff: WTO members bet on Antigua

Andy Bright

Re: Yes, USA looks after it's own interests...no kidding.

The problem is that America bans only international internet gambling. A number of states allow gambling within their borders, so you have a case of discriminatory sanctions by the US government.

If they banned all gambling, domestic as well as international, Antigua would have no argument, America could justify it's actions on the basis that the ease of gambling via the internet enables addicts to blow mortgage payments, etc.

What annoys me, despite not being American, is that often an elite few (our current Administration and members of Congress for example) have once again managed to tar the entire nation as bunch of retarded protectionists.

Most Americans don't feel this way - evidenced by the huge number of companies that employ citizens from all over the world, and the huge number of (ok mostly ignorant - but definitely friendly) tourists that visit every corner of the globe.

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Rivals torture consumers via Microsoft

Andy Bright

Google / Microsoft.. hate them both

I find both these companies make shite desktop search software, both are slow and clunky, both litter their results with crap.

Microsoft caches locally, Google caches online. In my line of work, Google is absolutely not allowed for this reason alone.

But even if Microsoft produced the best desktop search ever, that still wouldn't mitigate Vista. Vista is just about as bad as an operating system can be. Bloat has reached epic proportions, inefficient use of hardware has been a Microsoft legend for decades, but with Vista they've excelled themselves. They deserve some sort of award just for the innovative methods they've used to slow down hardware and swallow inconceivable amounts of resources.

I guess they were hoping we'd be so distracted by shiny things we wouldn't notice how they nerfed the entire OS.

I never thought I'd say this, in fact I'm almost retching as I speak.. but they've actually produced an OS that makes XP look like a work of genius...

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YouTube 'riddled with 40-plus security vulnerabilities'

Andy Bright

I think the majority of security researchers act in this manner

Sure there are people out there that don't, but I think the majority do.

The issue of making money from flaws is a different one in my view. Most of those that do this, also release the information necessary to fix the flaw to the developer of the software affected. These are the good guys. They effectively sell a fix to legitimate business (not malware authors or the Russian Mafia), and at the same time either get those businesses to report the details of the flaw to Microsoft, Google, whomever - or they do so directly themselves.

Remember most of the time if these guys don't find and report these flaws, the first Microsoft et all know about it is when regular users get hit by malware.

Yes there are mercenaries out there, yes there are plenty of kiddies who use and disclose this info for mischief or cash in to the highest bidder.

But my experience has been that most security researchers are responsible people who act in the same way as this guy. And if they decide to make a few dollars to pay the bills, as long as it does no one any harm why not?

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Circuit City has outstandingly awful Q1

Andy Bright

Customer Disservice

The thing is that by paying peanuts to monkeys the chances that potential customers will be amused by the inadequacy of their knowledge and service is not something to be counted on.

So effectively they're heading in an ever-decreasing circle of fewer customers, lower profits (higher deficits), firing more employees, lowering customer service - which means fewer customers, higher deficits, firing more employees...

They're bolloxed if they continue on this path, I guarantee it.

It's not that CompUSA or Best Buy employee geniuses, but if they pay better money, they'll get first choice from the type of employees that work in those stores. Thus leaving Circuit City with the unenviable position of having to employ from a pool of workers that these two decided weren't good enough.

Imagine that - you are basically stuck with people that Best Buy, or even worse CompUSA, decided weren't good enough.

If you've ever been in a CompUSA store (more of less the same caliber of employee as PC World / Dixons) then you'll be equally horrified at a Circuit City store manager's conundrum.

RIP Circuit City - unless they get someone in charge who realises crap employees are not the way to entice customers back into your stores.

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Need hard facts? Try Conservapedia

Andy Bright

All I can say to this is DRAGONS

And I quote directly from Conservapedia...

"Descriptions of dragons are widespread and match descriptions of dinosaurs, suggesting that dragons were real creatures and were actually dinosaurs."

I don't need to read anything else.. I'm just delighted to know that dragons are real, were mistakenly called dinosaurs and are no longer extinct..

"That dinosaurs* are not known from the fossil record above the Jurassic strata is not reason to believe that they have not survived until more recent times.

Living specimens of orders of animals that were believed to have been extinct for millions of years have been found before, such as the Diatomyidae Squirrel, the Wollemi Pine and the Coelacanth"

...hooray!!.. I want my pet Dragon and I want it now!!

*Remember by dinosaurs we mean Dragons..

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Pentagon's raygun-packing 747 to visit DC

Andy Bright

Before I launch a wave of cynicism

in the direction of this mentally unstable project, a sudden thought occurred to me - thanks to one of the above comments.

"Why would you want a weapon system that's only really good for shooting down your own missiles?"

Thankfully Ronald Reagan is no longer at the controls of our nukes, but may I remind everyone who is.. and worse, who gets to push the "button" if something unfortunate were to happen (like a more dangerous pretzel experience than the one that only nearly killed him).

So I believe the answer to that question is pretty obvious.. if you had George Bush in charge of your nukes, wouldn't you want a weapon that was only good for shooting down your own missiles too?

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