* Posts by Stumpy Pepys

53 posts • joined 28 Apr 2010


T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

Stumpy Pepys


I remember easyMobile and Orange having a barney over the colour orange. Can't remember how that one was resolved.

Press F to pay respects to the Windows 10 April Update casualties

Stumpy Pepys

Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

CHM files live to fight another day; it's HLP files (their predecessor I think) that are being deprecated.

I wish they would get rid of CHM files; I'm a tech writer and still have to produce the bloody things. Static HTML 5 runs rings around them nowadays.

So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

Stumpy Pepys

I have a Chromebox and a Chromebook and they're my primary devices. They're certainly the fastest computers I own. My Windows desktop is relegated to a cubby hole; and I use it remotely using Chrome Remote Desktop.

Chrome OS is certainly good enough for most normal folk (i.e. non Reg readers), unless they have specific hardware requirements. They're also really easy to use.

My mother regularly asked for help with her Windows laptop; since she got a Chromebook, I haven't heard a peep from her.

CERN staff conduct 'human sacrifice' at supercollider site

Stumpy Pepys

Whither the weasels

Benevolent people from the future are sending weasels back in time to sabotage the LHC. If only humanity would take notice!

Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

Stumpy Pepys

Alternative cough medicine

I won't repeat what everyone has already said about placebos and untested medicine. The thing is, though, there isn't really any evidence that the active ingredients of conventional cough medicine—such as dextromorphan—are effective either. The whole cough-medicine industry is essentially built on products that don't work.

Say what you like about morphine, but it will stop you coughing. :-)

(To add to the debate, I was once prescribed dihydrocodeine for a back injury and can confirm the constipation was shocking. Marvellous stuff though.)

Brits rattle tin for custom LCD Raspberry Pi funbox

Stumpy Pepys

It's like the Chumby all over again.

German football hero battles Nazi doppelgänger

Stumpy Pepys

Re: The real embarrassment here...

[oops, was beaten to it]

Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

Stumpy Pepys

Re: Bothered?

There are some studies suggesting low-dose radiation is good for you.

The processed meat risk isn't new and I'm not surprised to hear it again. See also barbecued meat.


Stumpy Pepys

It's a convincing finding

When McDonalds first opened, a Coke was 7oz / 200 ml; now you can buy many multiples of that in a single cup.

Thing is, do governments have the balls to stand up to the global food industry? I'm reminded of when the mayor of New York tried to limit portions of soda and ended up in court. (The food and drink industry won.)

Small wonder, little competition: Asus Chromebook Flip

Stumpy Pepys

I see this as …

… an alternative to a tablet, not a small laptop. I mean the iPad has a fair bezel around it as well.

The advantage it has over a tablet is that Chrome OS is more conducive to doing real work than Android is, plus it has a keyboard.

The HP Stream is nice enough, but it's slow; if you want a web-browsing machine, you're better off with a Chromebook.

Earth wobbles on axis as Google rebrands

Stumpy Pepys

I'm still upset

about a Facebook page redesign in 2013.

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

Stumpy Pepys

To cut manufacturers some slack

Android, although perfectly usable, didn't have a particularly nice UI until version 4.

Things like HTC Sense were actually an improvement; I remember rooting my old HTC Desire and installing stock 2.3 on it, only to realize how fugly it was. I then stuck another Sense ROM on it.

However, Android 5 is rather nice in my opinion and manufacturer customizations now degrade the experience, allied to the security issues.

Mozilla testing very private browsing mode

Stumpy Pepys

Re: Works for me, too

So you want to directly or indirectly pay for content somehow?

Wordpress issues second urgent patch in two weeks

Stumpy Pepys

Re: "Easy"

Yeah, I'm frustrated with WP. The very reasons clients want to use it (to move fast and use lots of plugins) are detrimental to good practices.

I understand where you're coming from but what are the realistic alternatives? I fell foul of the mass Drupal hack at the end of last year and never really recovered (I had something like five hours to update the software). The auto-update feature is certainly attractive, even if the security of some of the plugins isn't.

My company is running its website on a CMS that hasn't been updated for five years. Fortunately it's so obscure (Typo3) that seemingly no one can be arsed trying to attack it.

Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

Stumpy Pepys

I've wondered for years why the BBC never did this; the value in their archives must be very large.

By the way, I did binge-watch Blake's 7 when I was sick earlier this year.

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Stumpy Pepys

I've just done the same thing. Does this mitigate the problem?

Not that I can remember anyone ever sending me an MMS. My dad did once, possibly.

GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

Stumpy Pepys

I was going to write exactly the same thing. People have short memories and, as a victim of the recent Adobe hack, I get spam delivered into my Outlook inbox at work all the fucking time.

Google reckons their AI now catches 99.9% of spam email.

Sorry, say boffins, the LHC still hasn't sucked us into a black hole

Stumpy Pepys

Wake up sheeple!

The black hole is a smokescreen.

They're building a transdimensional portal to hell. If you add up the numerical values of the letters in 'Brian Cox' …

Apple Watch sales in death dive after mega launch, claims study

Stumpy Pepys

Not scientific, but …

In affluent Munich, where I live, iPhones are pretty ubiquitous, but I've only ever seen two people wearing an Apple Watch.

To be honest, I just don't see people wearing smartwatches period. I only know one person who owns one (a Pebble Steel).

Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

Stumpy Pepys

Re: Plan 9 from Outer Space

Plan 9 from Outer Space might be bad, but it's definitely not boring.

Battlefield Earth, on the other hand, just made my brain hurt.

Daniel Radcliffe to feature in GTA biopic flick. Well, it's work at least

Stumpy Pepys

Re: Why?

The BBC is in Hollywood?

Google wants Marvin the Paranoid Android's personality in the cloud

Stumpy Pepys

So long as

I can get the BBC Marvin (not the Hollywood one), I'll be happy.

Flying cars will take to the skies in 2017, if government allows

Stumpy Pepys
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Seeing how badly many people drive in two dimensions, I shudder to think what havoc they could cause in three (unless these things fly themselves or drivers are required to get pilot's licenses).

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Stumpy Pepys

Re: self-indulgent onanism

All my onanism is purely to reduce my chances of prostate cancer.

I have special dispensation from Pope Francis.


Stumpy Pepys

Memories of Microsoft Bob

I'm starting to believe Microsoft Bob to be a giant false memory; I don't believe I've ever seen Microsoft Bob, even though I feel I have.

Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Stumpy Pepys

Rather disingenuous article

Yes Stradivarius violins are anecdotally considered to be the best ever. The problem is, in blind tests among players and listeners, they score rather averagely against expensive, high-end modern violins.

That's not to discredit the acoustic analysis though.

'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

Stumpy Pepys

Is this issue

Likely to affect anyone in real life, other than a subset of tech journalists who photograph Raspberry Pis that aren't inside cases?

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Stumpy Pepys


No, I completely disagree. Corman never claimed he was making great art; he just made films to make money. It's a testament to his skill that he ended up making some pretty good films very quickly and on very small budgets; particularly the Poe adaptations.

Films like Bucket of Blood are crying out to be remade. Even the obvious exploitation flicks like Slumber Party Massacre are well-made and tongue-in-cheek, even if they do deliver the requisite gore and tits'n'ass.

Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron all learned their trade under Roger Corman.

Stumpy Pepys

I always

give low-budget trash and exploitation films a bit of leeway here; it's the terrible stuff done by people who should know better that I'm less forgiving of. And stuff like Creeping Terror and Plan Nine from Outer Space are good fun to watch.

But yes, Battlefield Earth is jaw-droppingly bad. Special mentions also for Girl on a Motorcycle, The Room, Glen or Glenda (sorry Ed) and the Fat Slags movie.

Films I need to check out—to see if they're as bad as people make out—include Rancid Aluminium, Sex Lives of the Potato Men and Norbit.

Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?

Stumpy Pepys

Re: One for dad

I think Chrome OS (or tablets) should be compulsory for parents.

Acer to unveil a 15.6-INCH Chromebook WHOPPER at CES

Stumpy Pepys
Thumb Up

Most people

For most people a 15.6" laptop is exactly what they need. They offer a comfortable typing experience, reasonable audio quality and a big screen. Although they are fairly heavy and have poor battery life, it's not a huge deal because they never leave the house.

Unless people need MS Office or iTunes, or are tied to particular bits of hardware that need legacy support, Chrome OS is great for the average punter. Super-quick boot-up, good performance, syncs across devices, secure, malware-free and generally idiot-proof. Because people don't take them outside, offline capabilities aren't that important.

Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Stumpy Pepys

Buying a Moto G

was the point at which I realised smartphones had become fully commoditized.

(I'm still a bit jealous of the iPhone fingerprint reader, mind.)

Don't bother with Apple's 9 Sept hype-day: Someone's GONE AND BLABBED IT ALL

Stumpy Pepys

I dunno …

I shouldn't comment before the announcement, but the iWatch sounds like it's going to be an improved version of the Samsung Gear Fit.

The smartwatch functions may well appear to the geeks and the health functions to the runners, but it just doesn't sound like a mass-market, must-have product. The iPhone appeals as much to overweight housewives as it does to sporty fanbois.

Thin naked model slips out of Apple's secretive lab ... it's an 'iPad Air 2'

Stumpy Pepys

Typos ahoy!

Blimey, who needs proofreaders, eh? Mind you, the grill will come in handy when I get a bit peckish..

Yahoo! Bids! To! Own! Your! Smartmobe! Home! Screen!

Stumpy Pepys

Seeing as Facebook Home died on its arse, why does Yahoo! think this will succeed?

AT&T has Amazon 3D smartphone on lockdown – report

Stumpy Pepys

Re: Yawn

I agree. Shame they couldn't put their efforts into something useful, like a battery that can last for two or three days.

Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Stumpy Pepys

There is one

Thing is, it's the Chromebook Pixel

Reg tries out Google's Chromecast: Yep, we even tested smut sites

Stumpy Pepys

I'm very happy with mine--for me, it's worth it for YouTube, Plex and Pocketcasts alone. It'll be dead handy when it gets added to Google Drive and you can cast a slide presentation.

You're right though--it works much better when you use cast-enabled apps, compared to casting from Chrome tabs on a PC. Although the latter works acceptably for me.

MUM's WordPress recipe blog USED AS ZOMBIE in DDoS attacks

Stumpy Pepys

My wordpress.org sites all update themselves these days. Or does this depend on your version and your host?

Tinfoil hats proven useless by eleven-year mobe radiation study

Stumpy Pepys

I thought the efficacy of tinfoil hats had already been demonstrated by those students at MIT?

Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist

Stumpy Pepys

Column width

You're forgetting one issue with body text on a web page — column width.

My typographically inclined colleagues recommend a maximum of 60 characters or 12 words per column. Anything wider actually slows down the reader. Obviously the web designer shouldn't be applying fixed font sizes and these values will differ between devices, but very wide columns of text isn't something I'm looking for.

Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

Stumpy Pepys

If that were true

then people would be returning them in droves. (Maybe they are, but you'd have to post some figures to back up your assertion.)

Read the Amazon reviews for the Samsung Chromebook--people know what it is and what it does, and they generally seem satisfied with it. They're very useful machines for a certain market segment, even if they're of no use to you.

Acer C720 Chromebook with Haswell battery boosting goodness

Stumpy Pepys


Had a go on one of these over Christmas -- it's a nice form factor, it's fast and has good battery life. The only reason I didn't buy one is that I was underwhelmed by the display (I had the same issue with the Asus T100, which also has an unremarkable screen).

Think I'll wait for the new Samsung to be released (or the new Dell if it's any good).

Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

Stumpy Pepys


I use Reader to manage podcasts in Google Listen (also technically defunct).

Any ideas for an alternative method for Android?

Google parks panzers on Germany's lawn over 'link tax' plan

Stumpy Pepys

Gott hilf uns!

Blimey, if you're going to use foreign phrases, ask someone who has some grasp of the language, rather than sticking it in Google Translate.

Girlfriend 'tried to MURDER ME with her AMPLE BREASTS'

Stumpy Pepys

I speak reasonable German

But I can't find this story in any German news source (even Bild Zeitung, which would be incapable of not putting this on the front page).

I smell eine Ratte.

Btw, Deadly Weapons is really worth tracking down--quite unlike any film you've ever seen (apart from other films by Doris Wishman--a real one-off).

Being a skinny is much more unhealthy than being fat – new study

Stumpy Pepys
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Is there no subject

that Lewis Page isn't qualified to tackle? The man makes Leonardo da Vinci seem like an underachieving waistrel.

I thought he would never surpass his single-handed debunking of the whole of atmospheric research. Large Hadron Collider people beware!

Steve Jobs biopic

Stumpy Pepys


Admittedly, he does look like young Jobs, but I've never seen any evidence of Kutcher being able to act. I'd have cast Mark Strong.

Ballmer? Bob Hoskins. Wozniak? Ricky Tomlinson.

Blighty's Android fans get British English voice control

Stumpy Pepys

As someone afflicted with a northern English accent

I've never had much of a problem with Google Voice, which works far better than I ever expected.

I wish I could say the same for the voice recognition on Windows 7.

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

Stumpy Pepys


A film adaptation that seems to be permanently in development.


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