* Posts by Alister

3263 posts • joined 19 May 2010

El Reg seeks new mobile, wireless tech writer - could it be YOU?

Alister Silver badge

I hear Balmer is looking for a job. He says hes worked with mobiles before.

No, I'm sorry, but he doesn't meet the required standards. The article clearly states

Technical expertise in the underlying engineering and physics would also be highly desirable, and some knowledge of the wider telecoms and networking field is essential.

On that basis alone, he's got no chance...


Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

Alister Silver badge

"You have a woman's hand, milord! I'll wager these dainty pinkies never weighed anchor in a storm."

Our second attempt to give LOHAN a good banging: Live tomorrow

Alister Silver badge

Good luck!

Oh, and shouldn't it be Low Orbit Hydrogen Assisted Navigator now, I can't remember.

Ghastly! Yahoo! Groups! gripes! grip! grumpy! gremlin! grumblers!

Alister Silver badge

Never mind the quality, feel the width!!

Oh, and how do I get to type a whimsically slanted bang?

Massively leaked iFail 5S POUNDS pundits, EXCITES chavs

Alister Silver badge

I really. really hope you were doing it deliberately, otherwise your Fail is immense

This post has been deleted by a moderator

LOHAN Spanish team touches down... to prepare for lift-off

Alister Silver badge

I think he did the old "running along the back from one end to the other" trick whilst the photo was taken...

LOHAN test flight LIVE: All the launch action

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Balloon launch and pursuit for your viewing pleasure

One of the prerequisites for a balloon launch is, I believe, a balloon. The clue is in the title...

So, which bit did the team forget?

LOHAN doomsday box dubbed BRASTRAP

Alister Silver badge

"Snappy elastic backronym"

Nice... :)


<smug mode>

I voted for that!

</smug mode>

IETF floats plan to PRISM-proof the Internet

Alister Silver badge

Unfortunately, whilst a nice idea in principle, it is becoming clearer as more information is released that the underlying infrastructure of the current internet has been fatally compromised by the efforts of security services worldwide.

I can't see that there will ever be an internet which is free from the possibility of such interception,apart from starting again from scratch with new hardware, software and cryptography standards untainted by government interference, and this is not a feasible or practical solution for the internet as a whole.

BBC releases MYSTERY RIDDLE poster for Doctor Who anniversary episode

Alister Silver badge

The national broadcaster is milking the anniversary for all it's worth

Oh God, it's going to be soooo naff!

David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

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humans have become the first species to effectively halt the influence of natural selection.

But not the first species we did it to...

Most farm and domestic animals, and most farmed crops have been untouched by "natural selection" since humans started selective breeding, which is something like10 millennia ago.

In pictures: El Reg hooks up with rain-lashed Spanish rocketeers

Alister Silver badge

The photos of the assembled rockets lying on their side in a rack made me think of a stash of wing-mounted ordnance. I wonder how much a you can get a surplus Sidewinder for, these days?

Shop-a-suspect web security system: 'We've helped cops nab 100 suspects'

Alister Silver badge

Re: Innocent until ...

So if your face happens to resemble a poor quality image of someone who one shop keeper was suspicious of, all the local shopkeepers are going to be treating you as suspicious and keeping an eye on you every time you go out shopping. Every shop you go into is gong to be making it clear they are watching you. Every time.

So what? Unless you were planning to carry out some criminal activity, does it matter if the staff are watching you?

Pulse-taking ticker tech cuff to sniff out cash-snafflers

Alister Silver badge

the bracelet will have to ensure it remains connected to a live wrist; as with biostamps, if it can simply be slid (or hacked) off and still work, it'll be no good."

Ah, what you need is an Arisian Lens - it actively interferes with the life-force of anyone not authorized to use it.

Google submits YET ANOTHER offer to fix 'search dominance' in EU

Alister Silver badge

@AC 12:13GMT

Innovation is monopoly abuse?

Microsoft was innovating when they stuck IE in their OS?

Google are innovating when they put all their products and services first in search results?

I see this comparison a lot and it's completely false. Nobody is under any obligation to use Google as their search engine, and if they do, they don't have to click on the sponsored links, or links to Google products.

The only way your analogy would stack up is if Google ONLY returned search results pointing to their own products, and nobody else's, which is clearly not the case.

Vote NOW to name LOHAN doomsday box

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up

A difficult choice - I liked ARMADA, but really, it's a bit tame considering the rest of the backronyms associated with the project, so I went for BRASTRAP

NSA is 'great at some sophisticated tasks but oddly bad at the simplest'

Alister Silver badge

Julien [sic] Assange and Edward Snowdon [sic]

One hopes that he learns enough about the people he's basing the film on to at least spell the names correctly.

Smartwatch craze is all just ONE OFF THE WRIST

Alister Silver badge

these companies are only doing what we ask: come up with stupid products that the cretinous will buy in their millions on the back of seeing inexplicably popular celebutards wear one.

Alistair, aren't you a little young to be exhibiting "Grumpy old man" syndrome?

That said, thanks, great article.

LOHAN cops a faceful of smutronyms

Alister Silver badge


Mission Abort Mechanism, May Attract Register Yokels

Description and warning in one neat package...

NAO: UK border bods not up to scratch, despite billion-pound facial recog tech

Alister Silver badge

The NAO said in a report that border staff managed to cut immigration queue times down during the London Olympics, but only at the expense of neglecting their other duties.

Ok, so the Tech used is inefficient, as repeated above by most commentards, but no-one seems to have noticed that this report is based on a period when the number of incoming visitors to the UK had almost doubled compared to normal, and yet the staffing levels were not adequately increased to deal with this.

It's hardly surprising, then, that the Border staff did the best they could with what was available to them, and prioritised the queues of incoming travelers over their other duties, and yet now they are being admonished for doing that. Had they ignored the queues and continued to carry out all their duties equally, I'm sure they would have been criticised for that as well

I am not in any way connected with the immigration service or any other affiliated organisation, by the way, I just think it's typical UK government behaviour to blame anyone other than the policy makers (themselves) when a lack of forward planning is highlighted.

Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

Alister Silver badge

Re: "They should've named the next version of Android after Kendal Mint Cake"

Ahh the Kendal Mint Cake, appropriate emergency food as you would only choose to eat it in an emergency.

No, no, you're thinking of Dwarf Bread, it lasts for months... years... decades... aeons!

3D printed guns are for wimps. Meet NASA's 3D printed ROCKET ENGINE

Alister Silver badge

Re: patents patience


No, that would be conshiderably...

Guardian teams up with New York Times for future Snowden GCHQ coverage

Alister Silver badge

Re: Danger already present

Interesting that the two don't quite agree:

Snowden says: "The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger ..."

Greenwald says: "I'm not aware of, nor subject to, any agreement that imposes any limitations of any kind on the reporting that I am doing on these documents. I would never agree to any such limitations."

So which is it?

Russian spyboss brands Tor a crook's paradise, demands a total ban

Alister Silver badge

In a post last week, (here) where there was a discussion about using Tor to evade interception of web browsing by Google, the NSA or anyone else, I made the following comment:

I notice that certain sections of the UK press have cottoned on to the use of the Tor network, and have labelled it "a tool of paedos".

It would not surprise me if we soon see calls for knee-jerk legislation to try and block anonymising services, VPNs and encryption software.

It appears I was partially correct, I just got the country wrong...

Rasp Pi skydive: Ballsy Baumgartner best beware Brit bionic Babbage Bear

Alister Silver badge


Tat bazaar eBay takes a rest for 'scheduled maintenance', goes offline

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The site, ebay.com at least, is instead, at time of writing, serving a "connection reset" message to visitors.

ebay.co.uk seems to be working now.

Nasty BOFHses. It burns us! It burns...

Alister Silver badge

Classic BOFH, thanks Simon.

Apple sucking triple the phone switchers as Samsung – report

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Re: slightly retarded flamebait article penned by Gollum after loosing his ring?

It's losing, not loosing

Boffin blends benevolent beer

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Boffin blends benevolent beer, Hydration hack hinders hangovers...

Awesome Alliteration.


WTF is... backend-as-a-service?

Alister Silver badge

Re: I realize some of you may be tempted to make a dirty joke...

I'm afraid you're way too late, sorry

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Alister Silver badge

Just plug it in

I wonder what percentage of households in Britain don't have the luxury of a driveway to park their car in, and therefore could only charge an electric / hybrid by trailing an extension lead across the public pavement.

Or what about the traveling salesman who stays at a different Hotel every night, how many Trust House Fortes have 13 Amp sockets in the car park?

This is surely the biggest sticking point for many who would otherwise consider one of these vehicles.

Just add creepiness: Google Search gets even more personal

Alister Silver badge

Re: It's not so difficult at all..

If a big enough percentage of internet users takes these security measures, the spooks will either have to change their methods or expend insane amounts of money to continue with their fishing expeditions.

...or make them illegal. That seems to be the easy route.

Alister Silver badge

Re: It's not so difficult at all..

The problem with your list that I can see is that if you follow it, and take other similar actions to avoid interception of your internet use, you risk inviting greater scrutiny, as your behaviour could be profiled as terrorist / paedo / naughty.

Not saying it is right in any way, but it seems to me that we are rapidly heading towards a situation where any attempt to keep data private (particularly email and phone conversations, and web browsing habits) , will automatically be flagged as suspicious.

I notice that certain sections of the UK press have cottoned on to the use of the Tor network, and have labelled it "a tool of paedos".

It would not surprise me if we soon see calls for knee-jerk legislation to try and block anonymising services, VPNs and encryption software.

Boffins claim Voyager has already left the Solar System

Alister Silver badge

Re: Didn't you see the final episode?

Nah, that was all just a dream...

Alister Silver badge

Does nobody watch those old documentaries anymore??

If you did you'd know Voyager is in the Delta Quadrant, and has been for years!

Tumblr! boss! bags! $81m! if! he! stomachs! FOUR! YEARS! at! Yahoo!

Alister Silver badge

Re: Don't! you! think! the! exclamation! mark! after! every! word! for! Yahoo! news! is! etc!

he only does it to annoy

because he knows it teases.

Vulture 2 spaceplane flies to the 3D printing press

Alister Silver badge

That's looking good, nice one.

Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but who will rid us of terrible trolls?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Charging

I have a considerable spleen and would gladly pay all I have and a little more to vent it all over the interwebs.



Alister Silver badge

Unfortunately phrased

Officers in Waltham Forest [northeast London] received an allegation of malicious communications from an MP.

These MPs who send malicious communications, eh! You'd think they'd know better...

Microsoft introduces warning on child abuse image searches

Alister Silver badge

The company debuted the pop-up message on Bing

Don't know about anybody else, but I have popups blocked in every browser I use...


Microsoft haters: You gotta lop off a lot of legs to slay Ballmer's monster

Alister Silver badge

We all like to moan about and abuse Microsoft, but until recently there really hasn't been a viable alternative to Active Directory for centralised user management which integrates with shared resources, email accounts etc.

That coupled with the fact that if you wanted to do business with other companies, you had to be able to create, edit and access Microsoft's file formats, meant that in practice, however much you may have disliked Microsoft, you had to use their products to function as a business.

However, as more and more of the day-to-day functionality is transferred to the "cloud", the less is the need for the old centralised philosophy and therefore the less is the need for reliance on Microsoft products.

'Wandering Dago' tuck truck ejected from NY race track

Alister Silver badge

Re: Smoke my faggot?

A faggot is also (in parts of Britain) a ball of minced pork and pig offal served in gravy.

I suppose you could have them smoked, same as you do kippers...

Kids LIE about age on Facebook, gasps Brit ad watchdog

Alister Silver badge

Just curious...

...but how would you get a 13 year old to offer proof of age online, anyway? An emailed photocopy of their birth certificate?

Been hacked? Don't dial 999: The plods are too dense, sniffs sec bigwig

Alister Silver badge

This is all very well but as a company we have a legal requirement to report any attacks on our network. Our local plod just went "Meh" last time we had a problem with a major DDoS on one of our client's systems, and wouldn't even log it and give us a crime number, which we needed.

BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

Alister Silver badge

RE: Don't forget the Bell

Of course, can't believe I'd forgotten that bit:

chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga... CRASH! ... Ting!

Alister Silver badge


Lasers, Inkjets, Dot-Matrix; modern claptrap.

When I first started playing with computers, I had a GPO type 7 Teleprinter which I used for RTTY and packet BBS.

It took two people to lift it, and every time it did a carriage return it used to jump about a foot to the right

You could hear it for miles around - chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga... CRASH!

Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

Alister Silver badge

Re: The smart meters offer a running commentary on how much power a home is consuming.

I have visions of this disembodied voice from the cupboard under the stairs:

Oh, you keep your wife there too?

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