* Posts by Charles King

133 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007


'No Office 14 this year,' says Ballmer

Charles King


This is a tech website, so you all should know that indices start at 0.

Adobe Flash vulnerable to remote-execution exploit

Charles King
Thumb Down

For IE 8

Running IE 8.0.7000 on the Win 7 beta I was unable to get Adobe's download page to install the new version (the ActiveX installation from their download page simply wouldn't start). WTG Adobe!


1) D/L the flash uninstaller from


and uninstall the old Flash ActiveX control. (IE 8 in its infinite wisdom offers no way to uninstall add-ons /rolleyes.)

2) D/L the update for Flash CS4 Pro from


unzip it and run the Flash ActiveX installer from the Release directory.

3) Curse the fact that you need to keep IE hanging around to check compatibility issues (/bitter laugh).

Amazon pulls Japanese rape simulator from shelves

Charles King
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Keith Vaz

The fact that the sorry excuse for an MP Keith Vaz has jumped on the predictable outrage-train almost makes me want to condone selling this. Almost, but not quite. Despite the low regard in which I hold Keith Vaz and all his opportunistic bullshit I have to admit that this sort of stuff needs sanction.

Frankly, my only reason for submitting this comment is that I saw Keith Vaz's name in the article. Sorry, but I can't help myself expressing how much I despise his complete disregard for fundamental principles. He represents the very worst that New Labour (or any party) has to offer.

Ok, it's late and I'm rambling, feel free to moderate this out.

Kaspersky breach: No user info lifted, auditor confirms

Charles King
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SQL-injection vulnerabilities are [i]always[/i] the result of poorly-written code and have been known for [b]years[/b]. This is pure incompetence on Kaspersky's part. This represents a serious blow to their reputation, even though they do consistently rank among the top AV-providers. What were they doing, trying to cut costs by hiring collge students?

Wanna see how to use Win 7 UAC to pwn a PC?

Charles King
Gates Halo

Wow, Clueless Outrage Britain strikes again

Despite the fact that anyone who follows MS news in the most casual manner knew that MS was going to fix this exploit [b]a week ago[/b], most of these comments still show the sort of Daily Mail outrage that's used as an excuse for discourse in this country.

Reg-readers, I'm disappointed in you. True, MS tried to defend its idea at first, but rapidly abandoned that and issued the pledge to change UAC-prompting [i]hours[/i] after the initial attempt to defend it. MS's ability to change direction on this in a very short time-frame is exemplary and exhibits a commitment that very few other companies would have the courage to take.

But still, we have clueless MS-bashers weighing in with their ignorant opinions. I'm disgusted. And John Leyden, if you want to be a reporter, you should try, uh, reading the news from time-to-time. (God alone knows how this got past whatever passes for editorial control at El Reg.)

Charles King
Gates Halo

Uh, guys...

This is hardly news at this date.

What's funny is that youve *already reported* on the fact that MS has decided to alter UAC prompting to prevent this exploit.


Vatican endorses Darwin, slights intelligent design

Charles King

I'll take that continence now, thanks

'I believe Augustine actually said "Give me chastity and continence - but not yet" '

So Augustine was happy wearing a nappy? Well, you learn something new every day I guess.

Beeb borrows copyrighted Flickr image

Charles King

Yeah, he could have pushed for more, but...

Firstly, there's a LOT of images out there that have been placed in the public domain or CC-licensed as available for open use, and flickr is a great source for them. Secondly, flickr has a much-abused API that allows other sites to display those images that are supposedly PD or free-use, but the API often mixes in copyrighted images as well. Anyone who follows the photo trade would have read about the mess that happend back in July:


Thirdly, only the original size image on flickr retains all the exif information that, among other things, indicates copyright status and owner.

Should the BBC have been more careful with how they used this image? Of course, absolutely. From a news perspective, the greatest emabrassment is the revelation that the supposedly 'live' news image was actually just a stock picture.

The BBC might have been wrong, but the real problem here is flickr. Put your pictures up there and your chances of having them ripped-off without your knowlege or consent is very possible. There are a lot of photo-users out there who know they can rip stuff off flickr and not get caught 99% of the time, and when they do get caught the chances of being sued are minimal. (Though is does happen:)


This guy got lucky. He made a fuss and managed to embarass the BBC into paying up. He could have pressed for more, and if he were a pro (who could demonstrate damages) certainly should have, but the BBC will have known that any threats of a lawsuit from an amateur photg would have been empty. The lesson here is simple: if you care about the copyright of your images don't use flickr, and certainly don't post anything there without a BIG watermark on it. Otherwise you're just looking to get ripped-off.

Microsoft SKUs Windows 7 clarity

Charles King
Gates Halo


"why wouldn't these customers want BitLocker to secure their machines?"

Uhh, perhaps because they're using the free and superior Truecrypt instead...

You've missed the real news here, though. If MS are to be believed, Win7 Pro will include all the media shinies from Win7 HomePremiumSuperUnleaded. This removes the false choice between media shiny and halfway-decent management tools that existed in Vista and means that the 'Ultimate' SKU is only aimed at the crowd who wants to rub $100 bills on Steve Ballmer's head.

Starter, Basic and 'Anytime Upgrade' are there to do the same job they did in Vista - tempt the cheap shits who don't want to pay for an OS away from the evils of Linux.

Why the US faces broadband price hikes

This post has been deleted by a moderator

eBay changes anger smaller sellers

Charles King

None of these moans add up

Let's look at an actual example of some fees:

Say you're a small-time seller and have an expensive book that sells at £100. You put it on eBay with a £50 reserve and it sells for £100.

eBay takes out £6.40 for listing fee +FVF. The remaining £93.60 then goes to PayPal, who take out £3.38, leaving you with £90.21(rounding down).

Sell the same book on Amazon and they'll only give you £81.89. In addition Amazon will charge you a fee for passing on the money for delivery.

That's quite a big difference in eBay's favour.

The problem with eBay is small sellers who know little about the costs and realities of doing business. The fact that people are *still* whining about the changes to buyer feedback shows how unrealistic these people's expectations are. All these sob stories from hobby sellers who thought they could make an easy buck on eBay when they know nothing about retail just make me laugh.

Hasbro kills Colonel Mustard in the corporate office with the marketing ploy

Charles King
Dead Vulture

more pedantry

Revolver is obviously a reference to the classic album by the Beatles. Except kids these days haven't heard of them, so obviously it had to go.

Amazon Kindle set to go massive

Charles King

More res please

I've been reading books on my ancient Palm T3 for years now. Even though it's just a small LCD screen I prefer it to dead trees. Unfortunately the current generation of ePaper isn't quite good enough for me to justify plunking down a wodge of cash for a dedicated ebook reader. If the next gen can do 100msec page turns and has a resolution of at least 300dpi I'd be queuing up with my wallet open (would prefer higher res to colour).

BT slams bandwidth brakes on all subscribers

Charles King

Another + from me for Be Internet

I've tried various broadband providers over the years and finally moved to Be a few months ago. I'm *very* satisfied.

The lack of fancy telly ads using brand-name actors means they can actually spend the money you give them on providing a proper service. I spend a bit of time on an MMO and have to feel sorry for the poor suckers locked into BT and Virgin contracts who are constantly lagging and crashing.

Jobs in 'Apple not perfect' shock

Charles King
Dead Vulture

Remember all the hoo-haa about Jobs' health?

Well here's the confirmation. He's obviously seriously ill, or has been taken over by an alien mind-control device.

Privacy watchdog hoists Google by its own petard

Charles King
Thumb Up

WTG I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects!

Yet again it's proven that the best way of hijacking a thread on El Reg is to post something that will bring the pedants out en masse. A third of the comments so far (including this one) have absolutely nothing to do with the article, instead pointing out something known by anyone who stayed awake for more than three minutes in high school.

Well done!

Extra-heavy minicopter 'Jetpack' astounds world+dog

Charles King

What really worries me...

is people who look at the NYT article and then say, 'Ah, but the Gen H-4 is lighter!' Presumably while enjoying a glass of Real Ale through their beard.

Then again, my own reaction was, 'Cor wizzard! James Bond!' So I guess I'm not one to talk.

Mine's the battered old one that the wife keeps trying to throw out.

Microsoft Mojave 'outs' secret Vista lovers

Charles King
Paris Hilton

And I thought I was a bit of a nerd...

Clueless Joe on Mojave/Vista: "It represents a lot of things that you could only dream of..."

I used to think that dreaming of teaching an ex-girlfriend to make goats-milk cheese was pretty weird, but obviously some people have more serious problems.

Paris, because the best way to combat odd dreams is to keep your brain in standby all the time.

China readies Blu-Ray competitor

Charles King

We don't need no studios

Am I the only one who thinks that the Chinese are putting copy-protection on their CBHD merely so they can say to the rest of the world, 'Look at the copy protection! See how we're fighting piracy! Really! Now sod off and stop bothering me, I have a load of disks to copy before the shop opens.'

VCD was a huge format in China as the players were dirt-cheap and it was easy to transcode movies onto it. How many movies were officially released on VCD?

CBHD is obviously designed to fill the same niche but with better quality to support the aspirations of China's growing middle class. Whether the studios support it or not is completely immaterial.

UK ISPs agree to menace their filesharing users

Charles King

Re: Libel

It's a tricky one, as the libel is originally committed by the BPI accusing an IP address of downloading files. With all the vague threats of sanctions floating around it would be easy to show that this is harmful defamation which has been communicated to a third party. The ISP, however, are the ones who actually put a name it.

Still, since IP addresses are coming to be considered as private information, you might have a case against the BPI on the basis that accusing an IP is the same as accusing a person.

eBay Australia ditches PayPal scheme

Charles King

No Sympathy

No Sympathy here.

eBay is already crowded with professional sellers (most from Hong Kong) who offer prices that are artificially low and inflated by shipping and customs charges for the unfortunate buyer. PayPal does at least provide a measure of buyer-protection from the multitude of scammers out there.

eBay has had to pay out huge sums recently because it failed to filter out the scammers posting counterfeit goods. I can't blame them for being anti-seller right now, as those are the people who are causing all the trouble.

Is it safe to download al Qaeda manuals yet?

Charles King
Paris Hilton

Easy to fix

Rename all copies of 'Al Quaeda Manual' to 'SAS Anti-Personnel Explosive Manual' and you automatically join the side of the good-guys. Now you can join Ross Kemp and the rest of Red Troop in their fight to rid the world of nasty forrin types. Oh, and if your name is Samina Malik, change it to something nice and Anglo-Saxon already.

I can't see the difference between downloading an Al Quaeda manual and downloading one of the numerous 'Special Forces' terror tracts floating around the Internet, many of which can be purchased and whose authors could easily be rounded up (oh, wait, their friends would be the ones arresting them).

Labour has so completely and utterly lost its way that I can only hang my head in shame. I'm beginning to think that a Tory victory may be the only way to force Labour to regroup and burn out the corrosive, authoritarian demagoguery that is Blair's real legacy.

Paris, because she weeps for the way that Labour allowed power to corrupt it.

Lesbians like straight men, researchers find

Charles King

Backs to the wall

One can only imagine the glee with which this will be received by the brass in the armed forces. As another commentator ([url=http://neurocritic.blogspot.com/2008/06/dr-suzanne-corkin-gay-brain-skeptic.html]Suzanne Corkin[/url]) pointed out though, they failed to match the groups properly for a range of factors, including measures of depression and anxiety. This makes the findings rather weak.

Malware not man blamed in child abuse download case

Charles King

no sign that any user had viewed or attempted to access this content

What does this mean, really? Did they just check that none of the images were listed in his MRU caches or is there some other method of determining this?

Sony pooh-poohs Amazon PS3 PlayTV pre-order posting

Charles King

surely not

What's the betting that the reason for the delay is related to Sony trying to put in place some sort of DRM for the recordings?

P2P searches touted as tool against child abuse

Charles King
Paris Hilton

Anonymous P2P is harder than you think

1) P2P encryption neither hides your identity nor hides the file content from the person downloading it (would be pretty useless if it did). Repeat after me: ALL P2P encryption does is attempt to hide the packet protocol from ISPs that are trying to throttle bittorrent. Even then it doesn't do that good a job, and many throttling solutions in use today can easily defeat it.

So let's stop talking about P2P encryption (as currently practised) like it's some sort of magic wand to stick it to The Man.

2) Tor and other 'darknet' solutions are intrinsically poor at large file transfers (eg video) for obvious reasons. Fully-anonymised P2P transfer is a tedious process. Partial anonymity is possible (and much faster) in which your IP address is hidden from the tracker, but not from the person with whom you're sharing data. This would not defeat diligent investigations in which the incriminating material is downloaded and verified as opposed to the lazy method of simply firing off a bunch of writs to every IP returned by the tracker. But then I would like to think that police investigating child abuse take more care about these things than MediaSentry does.

3) Yes, pr0n on open P2P trackers is predictably garbage. I would hope that any investigators working in this field focus their efforts more on penetrating the underworld of private trackers that are probably used by these scum.

Paris, because even she knows that P2P encryption won't save you from the lawyers.

Virgin Media mops up CEO's 'boll*cks' outburst

Charles King

iPlayer competes with subscription IPTV

Both Virgin and Tiscali sell IPTV packages, which are large revenue generators for them.

Co-incidence? I think not.

No, Chris, Net Neutrality is not a bust, it's more important than ever.

How the BBC plans to save your ISP

Charles King

Re: Boring

Chris, are you trying to pretend your article titled 'Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?' wasn't an attack on iPlayer? /rolleyes. Sadly, a couple of months after the launch at Christmas iPlayer has proved to be massively successful, rather than the "multi-million pound failure" you claimed last November. Now it's become a "doomsday scenario".

The real story here is that BT and the ISPs still have to get their act together to meet the real demands of consumers. The BBC is providing a service that people want, and is doing it very well. It's been obvious for several years that higher net capacities will be required, BT is the problem here, not the BBC.

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/apr/25/citynews.broadcasting1]£70m of public money[/url] went into subsidising Channel 4's digital switchover at the time they were setting up their 4od service, and now they're asking for more from the public purse. Yes, I think coverage of their activities is warranted.

Charles King


I'm getting tired of your constant attempts to attack a service that has not only proved immensely popular, but trounces similar efforts such as 4od. Of course, now that iPlayer has been shown to be a success, the attack has shifted to trying to claim that success is a bad thing. I suppose we should write this down to typical El Reg amateurism.

BTW, I note that you haven't bothered to comment on Channel 4's lamentable 4od service, which only manages download speeds a tenth that of iPlayer while using the same technology. While the BBC's legal team has a lot to learn from 4od, which freely serves up a range of older programs, at least their technical department is able to encode their programmes to a noticeably higher quality using the same VC-1 codec.

Blade Runner replicant checks into rehab

Charles King
Dead Vulture

@Mr Chris

"You think anyone reading Heat would know who she was?"

Wins a prize for actually making sense: Heat magazine's Celeb search hasn't heard of her, lol.

I don't know why, but MLP was far hotter in WW than Weeds for some reason.

Charles King
Dead Vulture


WTF, I click on a Reg article and get redirected to the website for Heat. Better scan your scripts for trojans.


Lindsay Lohan packed off to morgue

Charles King
Gates Horns

Web 0.1

I'm getting sick of the rampant factual errors in what passes for 'journalism' on the web. I mean, "talented"? Come on guys!!

Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?

Charles King

wrong on several counts

I've been using iPlayer for several months and there are several factual errors in this report.

1) Downloads are close to full PAL resolution. TopGear, for instance, is presented at 672x544 with a bitrate of 1.2Mbps, resulting in a file that is just as watchable as a freeview MPEG2 stream. The BBC's offerings certainly have higher quality than the artifact-prone fare from Channel 4's 4od.

2) Downloads are typically extremely fast, I can easily saturate my 6mbps connection using iPlayer.

3) I monitor my connectivity and have not fond the Kontiki service to use any upload bandwidth at all once my download has finished. In the latest version of the software there is an option to turn this off completely.

iPlayer is actually very good, and certainly provides a superior experience to streaming solutions. The project may have been mismanaged at times, but the current offering is very good and provides solid value for the licence-payer.


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