* Posts by JohnG

1349 posts • joined 27 May 2007

Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

JohnG

Re: If she couldn't figure out...

"...that on your average 80km road trip the road signs usually do NOT magically change languages, "

Although, in Belgium, signs do switch between three languages and is damned confusing if you are not used to it. Having said that, German is not a language used on Belgium road signs and she might have realised something was amiss when cars started whizzing past her at speeds well above 200KmH. Then there's the snow - one might have thought she would have noticed that the world had turned white when approaching the Alps.

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Disney World slaps pay-by-bonk stalker cuffs on grown-ups

JohnG

Disquieting?

Disney's voluntary scheme doesn't worry me as much as the RFID tags now embedded in passports. Some experiments suggest that these can be read over a distance of several metres, rather than a few centimetres.....

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Cisco sued by East Carolina University

JohnG

Re: Try a slightly slower google

Yes - I guess ECU will look forward to suing Intel, the Japanese government and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, who all apparently believe that "Tomorrow starts here".

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Twin brothers nabbed for scrap over sex with 'shared' girlfriend

JohnG

Re: IT angle?

resource allocation error?

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Open-source attack dog enters Ballmer's inner ring

JohnG

Re: Libre/Open Office?

"Except that you don't need to save documents in Microsoft proprietary formats these days. Recent versions of Microsoft Office can open ODF files,..."

"....and ODF becomes the defacto Office suite file format ;)"

Yes but that ain't gonna happen. The vast majority of corporate desktops and notebooks are using MS Office and save in an MS format by default. Why would Microsoft change the default formats of Office to benefit potential rivals? I suspect they will continue to warn their users that "this document may contain features that are not compatible with this format", which will help maintain the status quo.

This means that LO has to try to work with native MS Office formats and Microsoft are clearly going to do there best to make that as difficult as possible.

Things were much simpler when Word and Excel were the underdogs to Wordperfect and Lotus 123. Now, it is probably nearly impossible to provide a truly compatible alternative to MS Office, especially where complex documents using macros are involved. Added to this, Microsoft are not so stupid as to ignore the threat to MS Office from Libre Office (and by implication, to the Windows desktop from Linux) and will likely continue to move the goalposts. I like Libre Office and it seems to be the closest competitor to MS Office but I can't see it displacing the incumbent unless Microsoft completely miss the point.

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Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

JohnG

Suing and winning

Someone already sued and won:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/06/spam_court_media_logistics/

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JohnG

Re: Spam filter rules.

"...choosing Gmail for email is swapping spam for advertising. IMHO, the only reason Google removes spam is because spammers don't pay them anything."

All true but as long as Google keep the advertising within reason, I view it as a reasonable price for their services and their spam filters are quite good. If their advertising does get out of hand, there are plenty of tools to deal with that.

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JohnG

Re: Even worse; trying to change email...

One way to fix that is to forward all emails to the old address from that organisation to their abuse address. I find they stop when they tire of abusing themselves.

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North Korea's satellite a dud, say US astroboffins

JohnG

Re: "Let them starve...,

The snag is that providing aid (and specifically, providing more aid when NK threaten those around them) is accepting the demands of a protection racket that keeps the regime in power. As NK stipulate what aid they will accept and distribute it themselves, they are free to starve their people as much as they like and tell them that whatever they have comes from their leader and the rest of the world is responsible for all their woes.

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JohnG

Re: Yeh North Korea - you stupid stupid.. place..

"...we should teach those nasty North Koreans a lesson by imposing sanctions on them."

The sanctions relate to North Korea signing the NNPT (to gain access to nuclear technology from other signatories) and then developing nuclear weapons in breach of the the same treaty. If their Chinese and Russian friends felt that the sanctions were wrong then they could have vetoed them - but they have not.

"If that doesn’t work we should threaten them some more."

It is North Korea that does all the threatening - and they increase the threats every time they want to extort more food aid from the countries with whom they are still at war. Whether they are shooting American tourists visiting the DMZ, shelling civilians on South Korean islands or aborting the babies of North Korean women returning from China, it is the NK regime that is dishing out all the violence.

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JohnG

Re: Failure?

Is it known for sure that the satellite had any significant technical purpose?

The satellite? No, that was just a pretext to launch a rocket AKA an ICBM - just swap satellite for weapon.

The silly thing with all this is that it has to be easier to just grow enough food than it is to go through the elaborate process of building some rockets and staging a nuclear weapons test, just to extort more aid from their enemies. It isn't about protection: China is NK's protection. The nuclear weapons testing and rocket launches only serve to annoy their protector and provide ammunition for their enemies in UN Security Council meetings.

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China switches on 'BDS' civilian nav-sat rival to GPS

JohnG

Re: So when do we start to see consumer SatNav

I have a GPS which uses both GPS and Galileo, with added SBAS (WAAS./ EGNOS) support. There are some GPS chipsets around which support GPS, Galileo and GLONASS. I am not sure if there are yet any which also support the Chinese system as well.

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Chill out, biz barons... your new IT system might not look like the old one

JohnG

Looking at this another way

The suppliers want to flog whatever they have and usually haven't considered the impact of all the changes to procedures/processes of their client or the costs entailed in such changes. Sensible clients will look past the marketing to assess the total cost of the available offers, including costs of training and changes to all affected procedures. Suppliers who have considered such impacts and have offers which seek to mitigate the effects are often those who win contracts, much to the surprise of the "sell it cheap and run away" suppliers.

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Brits are so outraged by Amazon, they voted it TOP for shopping

JohnG

Re: Another Red Herring

"What is wrong is using internal cross charging at extortionate rates (i.e. above market rates) that are designed to suck any profit from one location to another where tax rates are more favourable."

This is where the problem lies. If smaller companies or one-man bands try the same trick of declaring almost no profit on UK sales and pay their taxes in Eire or the Netherlands, HMRC would say it was a tax dodge and act accordingly. It seems that larger companies escape, largely because they have more expensive lawyers than the rest of us.

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JohnG

Re: When you look at the state of most high streets...

The state of the high streets is partly due to competition from online retailers like Amazon and partly due to greedy car-hating councils who have set business rates to ridiculous levels, closed off roads to cars, painted double yellow lines outside the shops and set extortionate rates for parking. Why would anyone bother to buy something in person in a high street store when the parking charges are the same as delivery to their door?

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Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

JohnG

Re: Apple was supposed to get it right the first time, right?

Apple missed the point completely. When Google releases something new, they release it in beta and then tweak things and add bits to it until they are happy. If you tell users something is in beta, they still tell you how crappy it is but they don't get nearly as upset as if you tell them it is a finished product - like Apple did with Maps. Gmail was in beta for 5 years.

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Bear backs down: Russia soft-pedals ‘net regulation proposals

JohnG

This while thing kicked off when a few US politicians suggested that the US government should take direct control of organisations like ICANN, so as to gain political/military control over the Internet. Whilst nobody in the US appears to have listened to them, the governments of Russia and China did. They have suggested that entities like ICANN should be under the remit of the ITU rather than that of a single country, the USA. They do have a point.

The snag with not arriving at a sensible agreement is that Russia has already indicated that they are happy to go it alone e.g. force Russian ISPs to use only state owned root servers.

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Mystery X-37B robot spaceplane returns to orbit on Tuesday

JohnG

Death Star construction

They are starting construction of the Death Star, as per an earlier article :

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/07/whitehouse_petition_death_star/

So, far they have about 100 bits of Meccano but need a several gazillion bits to complete it.

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Iran draws veil over lolcats, launches local YouTube knock-off

JohnG

Re: So,

Is the site sponsored by Mullah Lite?

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'Build us a Death Star, President Obama' demand thousands

JohnG

"...the Nobel prize committee for economics are fools..."

Giving Obama a Nobel prize for peace, essentially because he wasn't George Bush really made the whole concept of Nobel prizes a bit of a joke. It would be even funnier if the big knobs of the EU were made to collect their recently awarded Nobel prize for peace in Athens.

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NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

JohnG

If the Mayans were so clever at predicting important future events....

...how the hell did they miss their own demise at the hands of the Conquistadors?

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TVShack O’Dwyer strikes deal to avoid US extradition

JohnG

Google OK though?

Google and other search engines also provide links to downloads of copyrighted material.

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Elon Musk envisions small town of vegetarians on Mars

JohnG

Robots first

Wouldn't it be more sensible to send some robots with a load of materials first and only send people once the robots have built something to live in, grow stuff, make things, etc.?

Who would own what in the new land and how would governance be handled?

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ITU to EU: We don't want to control the internet... honest

JohnG

Re: It's not the ITU that's trying to control the internet

All this started when a few US politicians suggested that the USA could use its position to exert control over the Internet by taking control of bodies like ICANN. Although the idea didn't get off the ground in the USA, the mere suggestion was enough to worry countries like Russia and China. The problem now is that some countries may choose to segment their section of the Internet if they feel that the the governance of the Internet is not impartial. Such fragmentation of the Internet would be a disaster.

The ITU has managed to establish agreements on things like international telephony between countries which are normally unable to agree on anything, so they may be the correct institution to broker any agreements about keeping the Internet together.

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Facebook tries to stop its staff using iPhones in 'dogfood' push

JohnG

Re: The problem is they are buying the phones

If they are buying the phones, I fail to see the problem. The relevant department simply contacts the employee with a date for their switch to a new mobile phone, in the same way as for desktops, notebooks, desks and any other piece of company equipment. All this has no bearing on any mobile phones that employees choose to buy for themselves.

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Kim Dotcom claims entrapment by US authorities

JohnG

If he had deleted the files concerned, they would likely have accused him of destroying evidence.

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European Parliament votes to fight ITU internet power grab

JohnG

Re: Nobody can regulate Internet traffic flow

"ICANN, which does this job, would prefer to remain under California law instead of becoming responsible to everyone."

This whole issue with the ITU arose after some US politicians suggested that the US government should use their control of the Internet for military/geopolitical purposes - and that they could start by exerting control over ICANN. Although this idea didn't fly, it didn't go down at all well with the Russian and Chinese governments (amongst others) and the whole idea of of placing the ITU in charge was started.

The Russian government have indicated that, if they feel that the impartiality of bodies such as ICANN is threatened, they will go their own way e.g. set up their own root servers and force Russian ISPs to use them exclusively. China would likely take a similar route.

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Google, Apple, eBay shouldn't pay taxes - people should pay taxes

JohnG

Re: Eh?

Sean Timarco Baggaley "Corporate Tax makes no sense in light of the above."

I agreed with you up to that point. In the UK, a limited company is an entity that shares many legal rights and responsibilities of a real person e.g. own property, shares and other trading instruments, sue others, be sued by others, buy and sell property or services. The last part means that limited companies and real persons, can make profits and therefore, pay taxes. If companies don't pay corporation tax, it offers a potential avenue for individuals to avoid taxes - for example, a politician living in a property owned by an offshore company.

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Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop

JohnG

"They even openly admin they attempted to steal their work."

"They" did not admit that at all. The father acknowledged that his 9 year old daughter had attempted to download a track and failed. He purchased the track for his daughter the next day. :-

- downloading copyrighted material is not theft, in the same way that theft is not murder (different laws);

- the track was not downloaded, so no copyright infringement occurred;

- the age of criminal responsibility in Finland is 15. As the child is 9 years old, she could not be charged with any crime, even if her download had been successful;

- collective punishment is forbidden by the ECHR - the family cannot be punished for the action of one member.

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Georgian police chiefs cuffed in cyber spy plot

JohnG

Re: Quod licet Iovi....

When he mentioned selective justice, Barroso really meant "Leave our guy alone". Having gone to the expense of paying for a colourful revolution (Georgia's was rose) to get your chosen chap into power, it is a real pain when the electorate vote in someone else (funnily enough, the same thing happened in Ukraine).

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Woz: Microsoft's innovation lead 'worries me greatly'

JohnG

Re: Apple is in trouble - MS is deep in mammoth dung trouble.

I don't agree. Apple and Microsoft cater to very different markets. Apple needs to have the current fashionable must-have retail products - they need innovation. Microsoft is the opposite - they have the corporate desktop, mainly because of the entrenched position of MS Office. They need to maintain continuity and compatibility rather than innovate. Just look how many companies still use XP, despite Microsoft's repeated attempts to kill it off All they have to do is not screw up Office (although the change of user interface in Office 2010 could be viewed as Microsoft's best attempt to inconvenience and annoy their users).

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Greenpeace, unions attack 'secret UN plans to seize the INTERNETS'

JohnG

Re: Whats the problem???

"First, the internet has existed and got along just fine without any additional regulations or infringments or censorship."

The Internet has just "existed" and didn't grow from some hippy's magic bean. The Internet is an evolution of the Advanced Research Projects Agency network (ARPANET), a project of the US military. It is interconnected by numerous telecommunications companies (many of these are state-owned monopolies, many are money grabbing capitalists) - all of them are obliged to conform to the laws of the countries in which they operate - including laws concerning censorship.

The ITU has managed to keep countries cooperating enough to maintain worldwide telephony for decades - even between countries who really don't get on. So, on balance, they seem to be quite helpful and probably the right place to consider future cooperation on telecommunications matters - hence their name and their remit. If the US decides to interfere with ICANN (as some US politicians have previously suggested), the ITU would likely be the place where some degree of cooperation might be maintained/regained.

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Boss wrong to demote man over anti-gay-marriage Facebook post

JohnG

Re: The Bible also says......

"How come these things are conveniently forgotten by people saying that the bible says that 'homosexuality is wrong'?"

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc. Just like gays, lesbians, etc. enjoy the freedom to live/express their sexuality. Live and let live. Everyone should be able to get on with their own lives, believing what they like without be bullied into someone's idea of the correct way to think. The law should not be involved unless someone is harmed, threatened, libelled, slandered, etc.

I notice that nobody has been brave/daft enough to tell the Muslims which bits of the Koran they should ignore or suggest that they should consider gay marriages in mosques.

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JohnG

Re: Everyone should be allowed to be 'married'

"Oh, they own the courthouse then? Silly me, I thought the people owned that."

In England and Wales, the local registry office will officiate civil partnerships for same sex couples.

The churches own their buildings, have their own beliefs and their own rules.

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Word wonks insist GIFs are really JIFs

JohnG

Re: Huh?

Jif to us is either a lemon juice in a squeezy bottle or a kitchen cleaner (although that now goes by the name of Cif)...

Is that pronounced Kif or Sif? :)

No - but if we started calling it .JIF, we would soon have to change it to .CIF to keep the Germans happy.

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Is that a truncheon in your trousers, officer, or ... an antenna, you say?

JohnG

There are a number of modules already on the market which support GPS and Galileo - and many have integrated antennas. Some can also support SBAS (WAAS/EGNOS) and/or GLONASS. Maybe I am missing something but I fail to see the novelty here.

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Humans becoming steadily STUPIDER, says brainiac boffin

JohnG

Re: He's right but for the wrong reason

It can't help to have tax and welfare systems specifically designed to counter the effects of evolution i.e. pay the least competent folk to stay at home and procreate while the rest go to work to pay for them.

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Sorority girls gone wild: '1 to 3' casual sex 'hookups' every month

JohnG

How do they get funding?

I want to do a new piece of research - can I have some funding?

What's it about?

Sorority Girl Sex.

WTF?

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Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

JohnG

HD video? Good enough for me

For me, if a notebook or PC can play HD video without stuttering, then that's enough for me. I can safely assume that it also cope with all the other routine tasks such as creating/editing spreadsheets and other documents, browsing the web, handling email, etc. A few years back, the HD video issue might have been a constraint in the choice of notebook or PC but one would be hard pressed to find a notebook or PC on the market now that can't manage this. Why pay for a higher spec that I don't need?

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English Defence League website 'defaced, pwned' by hacktivists

JohnG

Re: EDL != Far Right

"But it's certainly the case that when you criticize Islam, you will find people leaping to accuse of racism,"

If this is "certainly the case" then perhaps you can give some examples?

Here's an example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-17181861

Google will find plenty more examples of how "comment made against Islam" = racism (in the UK).

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One in four don't clean their stinky old browsers - especially Firefoxers

JohnG

Re: Really?

"79.2 per cent for Chrome"

I'm finding it hard to believe this, considering Chrome updates itself automatically...

Maybe the figures for Chrome include Chromium and other variants which only have manual updates (e.g. Iron).

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Hacker sentenced to six years – WITH NO INTERNET

JohnG

Re: Oh noes

You seem to have overlooked the credit card fraud, bomb threats, etc.

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HP warns consumers: Don't downgrade Win8 PCs to Win7

JohnG

I enjoyed a similar experience downgrading an HP notebook from Vista to XP a few years ago, when I felt Vista was too new to be trusted. There were some problems with some drivers not being available from HP but with some perseverance and tinkering, I managed to get everything working.

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The new Mac mini eviscerated with ease

JohnG

FYI, The datasheet for the Delta LFE8904C is here:

http://www.delta.com.tw/product/cp/networking/download/pdf/LFE8904C.pdf

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Dyson alleges spy stole 'leccy motor secrets for Bosch

JohnG

Re: I can't say

My experience is the exact opposite.

I have owned a Dyson cleaner for about 6 years. It works flawlessly and I haven't had to replace anything.

I had a Bosch fridge on which the controller board failed a few months after purchase - the board was replaced under warranty. I later discovered that the defrost feature did not work. A friend had a similar Bosch fridge which had exactly the same faults, although in his case, the defrost heater element started a fire inside the fridge.

I had a Bosch washer/dryer which had a motor failure (under warranty), a pump failure (not under warranty) but the coup de grace was a controller board failure.

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Fujitsu assigns team of women to design PC for women

JohnG

Re: While this lady surgeon doesn't wear make-up or jewelry or other adornments, most women do

Mice in different sizes are already available. Keyboards and integral pointing devices on notebooks are typically too small for comfort, being constrained by the need to fit within the dimensions of the case, which is in turn set by the screen size. I do own a "manly sized" notebook but most people consider these to be too big. So, I suggest that notebooks are already sized for the fairer sex, if not for children.

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Apache promotes OpenOffice to top-level project

JohnG

Libre Office works just fine

"Does Libre Office actually work?"

Yes. I regularly use both MS Office 2010 and Libre Office. As Microsoft decided to alter the user interface of MS Office beyond recognition for users of their previous versions, I find it quicker to use Libre Office.

Interestingly, one of our suppliers (a well known national Telco) recently delivered some documents written with MS Office 2007. When opened with MS Office 2003 or MS Office 2010, the diagrams were not formatted correctly - but Libre Office had no problem.

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British car parks start reading number plates

JohnG

Re: Just as towns are discovering that free parking : Reading

"...the town's traffic planners seem to really have it in for motorists in general"

It's a Labour council: The roads are intended for use by party officials in their Zils and Chaikas - the proles are supposed to use public transport.

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Planet hunters double down with FOUR-STAR SYSTEM

JohnG

Five Star?

Do you mean like this lot?

http://www.fivestarofficial.com/

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Second LulzSec member pleads guilty to Sony hack

JohnG

Asses are hidden right up to the point where some ass breaks the law and the ass hiders subsequently receive a valid court order. While this ought to be blindingly obvious, I think you will find some mention of this in their Ts and Cs - as will be the case for other similar businesses.

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