* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

3004 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

Cowon D2+ DAB

Robert E A Harvey

Battery life

Is it still 52 hours receiving DAB?

Dab dates back to the 1980s, and consumes joules like I consume steak and chips.

Will no-one solve the DAB battery life problem?

Toshiba TG01 smartphone

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton


Yet another me-too winmobile phone with improbably minor differences from all the others.

For glod's sake, surely a company as big as Tosh can have an original idea occasionally?

Paris, 'cos she always likes what she's already had.

US bank deposits checks via iPhone camera

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down


Why does it have to be an iphone? Why not mail in a picture from any mail client that supports gpg encryption?

BMC snaps up message queue maven

Robert E A Harvey


But to me BMC will forever be associated with a rosette and with cars made out of ferrous oxide lace.


Mine is the one with a roll of gun-gum exhaust bandage in the pocket.

Microsoft secures web Office XML patent

Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns

@Michael H.F. Wilkinson

Oh glods, no. A microsoft screwdriver. Only works with screw 2.3, whose direction of driving changes half way down, and which can only be used to fix microsoft wood to microsoft wood. After driving three screws you have to buy a new screwdriver and not give the old one to anyone else.


Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns


So you can bully the ISO into adopting something as a standard, then persuade the US patent office to patent it afterwards? How can that be right? or legal? or enforceable?

BT's giant new faster broadband boxes blocked

Robert E A Harvey


I suspect that the old 39" tall BT wire cabinets would be banned these days under Health and Safety - Engineers having to bend down or sit on the pavement is just asking for days off with back pain.

I suspect that the 1.8m cabinets aer so they can work standing up!

Microsoft under threat from Linux - it's official

Robert E A Harvey

@deege: Linux Home Basic

Thirdly: no-one is spending the sort of money marketing Linux that MS & Apple are spending

The success /despite/ lack of marketing reminds me of the first 3 J.K.Rowling books, made popular by word of mouth consumerism.

Alleged games console modder faces DMCA charges

Robert E A Harvey


It's the name. crippen. Can't get away with anything, that family.

Flying 'Motorbike'/Reliant Robin 'to take off next year'

Robert E A Harvey

Been Here before

Moller, Skyvan, macro, Terrafugia.

Let's see a few hundred in everyday use before we get excited.

Amish farmers lose court battle against RFID

Robert E A Harvey

Problem solved - re'Hmm'

AC has clearly put the case 'Now if you were to use a metal tag to number, this would not interfere with the amish belef system, however using an electronic tag would.'

The next logical step is that the Amish apparently eschew lifestyles associated with modern innovation, so they would have to give up cattle farming and revert to growing wheat.

I'd like to see someone stick an RFID in the ear of every wheat plant.

Villagers cut off as dripping thong sparks brown out

Robert E A Harvey

Been there

Best travel advice for Leadenham is similar to that I was given for the village of Queen Adelaide.

Take a brick with you.

1. When you tire of talking to the locals, you can hold a worthwhile conversation with the Brick.

2. If you stand on it you might be able to see somewhere more interesting.

Mine's the one with a brick in each pocket.

Spotify: iPhone sideloads for £120 a year, unlimited

Robert E A Harvey


Makes the BBC licence fee very good value!

O2 leaves travellers in the lurch

Robert E A Harvey

ha! update

OK, got to Schiphol now. No O2 here either. mark you, that's not uncommon. Oddly I often fail to get a service upstairs, but can get a signal downstairs in one of the terminal rows.

Good effort, lads.

Oh, and the Virgin Mobile? The signal strength bargraph looks like a cornfield, there are so many of them.

Robert E A Harvey


I've just driven from Fujiera to Dubai, and my private Virgin mobile phone has had signals all the way. The O2 company phone is as dead as a dead thing.

Palm restores Pré iTunes synchronisation

Robert E A Harvey

Nokia and @Sean Timarco Baggaley

""Nokia alone have produced over 700 mobile phones in over two decades. If any company should know how to beat Apple in the mobile phone market, it's Nokia. So what the hell is their excuse?"" Quite right Sean. Quite right.

They may have produced 700 phones over that time, but they are indistinguishable from each other, and from most others. Like the manufactuers of cameras and motor cars they are stuck with a "me too" mindrut where they only make what is already selling. Innovation is risky so basically they don't.

Ignoring things like DAB radio, IR remote control emulation, Garage door opening nodes, microcash, football ground eticket admission (all of which have been pundited and never appeared) how about telephony? How come at least one model in the range can't take dual SIM cards? How come you can't bundle your home and mobile numbers and have both ring when either gets an incoming call? How come voicemail can't be transferred to the phone like text messages, to be replayed when out of service?

There are hundreds of potential innovations (like auto-power down at a set time each evening for my work phone) and yet Nokia - and the rest of them - just make the same phone over and over again because the marketing departments are cowards.

So if Apple stir things up and make something people actually want, well bloody good show.

Robert E A Harvey

@AC re @mine

"License fee? What makes you think Apple would license it? "

That's the clue, isn't it? If they can't do a deal to do it properly, they should not do it at all.

Robert E A Harvey

For Glod's sake

For Glod's sake, palm, pay the licence fee. Stop behaving like a teenage hacker.

Oh, and let me buy the phone without a contract, you morons.

Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment

Robert E A Harvey

text books

6 months ago various fora were discussing using these things for text books

Fat chance . I was worried then about how you would sell your books at the end of the course. Here's your answer.

Electropulse weapon fear spreads to UK politicos

Robert E A Harvey


You can take my company email system out whenever you want. And the born-again osbourne I have to lug round with me that takes 17 minutes to boot and load windows.

Startup crafts DVD-Rs for the 31st century

Robert E A Harvey

anyone seen the alligator?

>"There are no environmental concerns we've identified at this point,"

where's me steamroller got to?

Is it near the drop hammer?

Meteorite anybody?

Mine's the one with the aerosol of hydrofluric acid in what's left of the pocket.

Tata threatens govt over e-car loan decision

Robert E A Harvey

Send a gunboat!

Hmm. Dodgy manufacturer of iron busses in India threatens sovereign government. Which of the two has armed forces, eh?

I'd tell em to pi** off.

Webcams, printers, gizmos - the untold net threats

Robert E A Harvey

@AC 'Old news #'

I know exactly what you mean.

Some years ago I was managing a heterogenous network on a survey ship, connected to the outside world by VSAT at isdn speeds.

I had a bit of a browse around the universe one night. I discovered I could print documents in my local district council - their print queues were all visible over the internet. I sent them a few quotations for consultancy to stop it happening, including printing them on their printers, but heard noting,

Vulture Central plans Brit-Yank dictionary

Robert E A Harvey

Biscuits and Cookies

There is a technical difference. Britain has always had both sorts.

A Biscuit - apart from the US breakfast scone, which is sort of warm stodge - A Biscuit is cut from rolled dough, while a Cookie is made from a dollop of batter. There is a tool called a biscuit cutter.

Industrially things are similar - biscuit dough is rolled and cut (or stamped). Cookies are dropped from a depositor nozzle, sometimes with a wire cutter to interrupt the stream.

Just to complicate the matter, my Mother-in-law came from Canada with a recipe for anzac biscuits, which are deposited and then rolled. Then the Scots have drop scones, which I understand are a weapon of the besieged, used to drop on incoming armies. At least one scottish scone is made of stone.

In the US, as far as I can make out, all styles are called 'cookies', and you have to shop for a cookie cutter. It seems a shame not to have the distinction.

The definitive biscuit is the ginger biscuit, not available in the US as far as I know. Just to confuse you further, the proper name for it in the bakery trade is a 'Ginger Snap'.

Now, let us consider the products of Messers Carr. Until they were bought by United Biscuits they sold four different versions of Carr's water biscuits (High bake, low bake etc). These appear to be now called Water Crackers - perhaps since Kellog acquired the company. This is probably the correct name. Water Crackers originated in the southern states of the USA before their civil war. Carr adapted the principle and made something less sweet and less salty, more like the traditional Bath dry biscuit. But they are undoubtedly crackers - crackers are moulded and cooked simultaneously between heated irons. c.f. Jacob's cream crackers, where the cream is cream of tartar.

Oh, by the way, the proper name for a Bath dry biscuit is a Bath Oliver. Nothing to do with our civil war, they were named for a Dr Oliver who ran a watering place in Bath. The ownership of the recipe has passed hand over hand to a company called Fort, nothing to do with Fortean Times, although they taste the same.

OpenOffice bug/feature stirs 'horde of angry chimps'

Robert E A Harvey

points of view. Not exactly consistent

1. Why do people assume that a programme that looks a bit like MSoffice will behave /exactly/ like MS office in the odder corners? A VW passat, a Peurgeot 407, and a ford mondeo are all jelly-mould 4-door saloons, driven using a wheel and 3 pedals. That doesn't mean you can expect to fit the same pollen filter to all 3 air conditioning units.

2. Why do the OOo developers still ignore issues going back to 2001 to which long strings of duplicates get added?

Go OO - but please read bugzilla now and again.

Apple ends Palm Pre's iTunes charade

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

Disapointed in Palm

and not only for the carrier-specific tying of the Pre.

If they wanted to sell an iTunes compatible they should have negotiated with Apple from an early stage & paid a sensible licence fee for each one connected. That would probably have been a dollar or so.

Apple would have gained some iTunes customers, some cudos, and an insight into the pre to aid their own product differentiation.

Palm acting like a freeloader was juvenille and bound to end in tears.

Paris, 'cos she understands marketing herself.

HTC Snap

Robert E A Harvey


Said it before - not interested in winphones.

Why is the same hardware not available with a choice of OS?

Sports site sues Facebook for click fraud

Robert E A Harvey


>Instead of taking every instance to court, it seems like when advertisers sign up they

>should agree to let some arbiter make decisions regarding accusations of fraud.

Or bugger off and find someone they trust to place their adverts.

US thesp to attempt audacious tw*tdangle

Robert E A Harvey
Dead Vulture

you started it

"Although comparisons with David Blaine's legendary twatdangle are inevitable, our use of the term to describe 37-year-old Arquette's stunt is a little unfair"

So don't do it then.

Office 2010 tech preview: Expect the expected

Robert E A Harvey

Bugs fixed?

I hated the transition to office2003. The new way to handle styles was horrid. New ways to 'flow' pictures and captions numbered out of sequence. Anchoring pictures to the paragraph horizo- ntally but the page vertically. TOC formatting even more broken than before. Yuk. Did it convert frames to text boxes? No. It just stubbornly put them in stupid places. Page flow that respects footers for text but dumps pictures over them. Ugh.

I doubt any of this is fixed.

Brothel funds NZ lad's Olympic dream

Robert E A Harvey

New sports?

Perhaps he can persuade the IOC to introduce sports his girls can represent NZ at?

(I have to admit my first thought was 'sheep impersonating')

I'll get me goat.

Rosetta Stone rocks Google with trademark lawsuit

Robert E A Harvey

Oh dear

Capitalism red in tooth and claw?

Hey, Rosetta, guess what. I don't care. AdBlock Plus rules all.

Net sleuth calls eBay on carpet over shill bidding

Robert E A Harvey

Then of Dieves

I stopped using Ebay around the millenium, fearing the legitimacy or even the existence of some of the things I saw. How did tinpot traders come to have stocks of motherboards before the manufacturer's wholesalers? Where did they get graphics boards with 4 times the memory of anything on the builder's web site? How could one chap successfully auction a branded chainsaw a week at 25% of the wholesale price? Another Offer multiple instances of a fountain using a photograph from a local paper of a one-off product sold to a local stately home? who on earth sells puppies at auction, or indeed buys them like that? (at least that one seems to have stopped, at least on fleabay)

I reported to ebay the multiple listing of Alfa Romeo service CDs which Alfa said were only available to main dealers, on licence, and not for sale anywhere. Nothing happened.

I had huge volumes of paypal phishing the moment I created the account. It stopped within days of my closing the account. PayPal said their systems were secure. Right.

SUSE 11 takes off faster than 10

Robert E A Harvey

Turning it into money?

I used to purchase every other release of Suse - you got a good quality distro, on DVD, with seriously good printed documentation and a few weeks of support.

Then they got bought up, went 'open' and stopped selling boxed versions. I'd still be giving them 40 or 50 quid a year if they would take it from me.

Too thick to boil an egg? Buy 'em preboiled

Robert E A Harvey


Packs of pre-boiled eggs - de-shelled or in brightly coloured shells - have been a feature of German supermarkets for years.

Phorm phading phast

Robert E A Harvey

A serious comment

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Russians demand flying cars and telepathy

Robert E A Harvey

But But But

I voted for the time machine. Once you have one of those you can arrange to collect all the others as appropriate.

Who would /not/ vote for a time machine?

McAfee false-positive glitch fells PCs worldwide

Robert E A Harvey


Yes, people have rootkitted lnuxes. There have been a few stories of infection.

But there are dozens of distros, there is Solaris, BSD, and perhaps if a few years time HP will rediscover unix.

A diverse ecosystem is always going to have higher natural immunity than a monovarietal monoculture.

Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns

@ Max Watson

Last time I did a system restore from a windows boot disk it rolled back SP3, 2, 1 and all the security updates. It took a couple of days to get the machine anything like working safely.

I own two paid-for backup systems that will make a bootable recovery disk from the current image. Because of anti-piracy both require the windows boot disk to be inserted before they start. On my older machines they reject it as counterfeit.

I have been using Suse since 8.2, and am currently migrating everything to either Suse 11 or Ubuntu and will never, ever, build or buy another windows computer.

'Non-compulsory' ID cards poised for a makeover?

Robert E A Harvey

NI number

When the welfare state was created everybodies National Insurance number was lifted from the wartime ID card scheme. I still have my old ID card - it was required until the end of rationing in 1953.

We would not need a new identity system if the government had not given away free NI numbers like so much confetti. Properly managed, they alone would have been enough to keep track of who was entitled to what.

Since they government undermined this venerable, and once fool-proof, system what faith can we have in anything else they propopse?

UK DVD sales plunge...

Robert E A Harvey
Big Brother

@Mike Richards

>..UK DVDs ... FBI ... dollar fine.

Take it to trading standards and tell them you think it is evidence of piracy. Write to the distributor saying that is what you have done.

Should be a laugh.

Humberside koi carp rustlers trawl Google Earth

Robert E A Harvey
Big Brother

I am impressed

>Gregory explained that the organised thieves arrived "equipped with nets" ...

> She added: "They are either operating in their local area or have

> access to a vehicle."

You can't slip much past Humberside police, can you?

Don't call me Ishmael

Robert E A Harvey

Le Carre names

I've taken to using names from Le Carre novels.

My Fedora server is 'Smiley' because it is incredibly clever, and a survivor. It will be doing what it does when all else is in ruins. The firewall is 'Mendel ', the dependable shadowy friend who watched his back, but is from another world

My home workstation dual boots XP and Ubuntu. Thus it is Gerald or Hayden according to what it boots.

The Suse 11.1 netbook is 'Esterhause' because he is referred to as a dwarf in one of the novels.

The unstable box on which I try out ideas is 'Tarr'

That Digital Britain report in full

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

@Mike 16

>A friend of mine makes her own transistors, in a hobby grade ceramics kiln.

>OTOH, other friends build clocks, trebuchets and steam launches, so perhaps I just have unusual friends?

So at weekends they can bombard riverside homes with electronic timepieces?

Paris has strange friends too.

Robert E A Harvey


First they ruin my pension, so will have to work till I am 90

Next they put cameras in every bodily orifice so they can spy on me all day long.

Now they want to ruin both the BBC and radio, so my last remaining pleasure is denied me.

Evil flipwits (news quiz passim) the lot of them.

Is the main reason they want to outlaw analogue radio the ease with which suruptitious transmitters could be set up? Or just to stop me listening to Hilversum and Berlin?

Jaguar said to have electric XE in pipeline

Robert E A Harvey
IT Angle


V3s make little sense. The V configuration makes the problem of balancing 3 crank offsets quite hard, and if one ot the cylenders is a centre one, then you loose some of the space saving advantages. A straight 3 would be tidier, and easier to balance. A Y3 would be more fun.

Ex-Borland's Delphi owner re-ignites cross-platform dream

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

But but but

They way I read it they are talking about cross-development under windows for the other targets, not porting the IDE to Linux or Mac.

Apple punts batterylicious MacBook Pros

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

1000 charge cycles?

That's about 3 years, surely? And they call that a /good/ thing?

Tube Deluxe 3.1

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down


Every diary I had as a boy had a tube map in the cover. Every platform has 2 or 3.

How well does the GPS work on the Victoria line?

Beeb says sorry after iPlayer network fail

Robert E A Harvey

@Sean Timarco Baggale

well, quite.

All the adverts for broadband told us we could do things lik e.g. stream TV.

Why did it come as a surprise when we did?

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