* Posts by Erroneous Howard

103 posts • joined 13 Aug 2010

Browsium rescues HMRC from IE6 – and multimillion-pound bill

Erroneous Howard

Re: Extended support

Yes, it does. It was due to end in 2012 previously but they extended it further.

The iPhone 4S in depth: More than just a vestigial 'S'

Erroneous Howard

@AC 08:50 GMT

"On the other hand, 64gb micro SD is not yet available at all"

Well, this looks oddly like a 64GB microSD card, and is available and in stock. Although I do agree with the pricing comment, and it seems much better value when you take the 32GB to 64GB jump.


Google+ chases MySpace for second place

Erroneous Howard

Re:Does anyone in the real world care?

No, no they don't.

Dead Island

Erroneous Howard

Fun but...

My biggest issue with the game is that I have basically lost progress when quitting. I am sure that I reached another checkpoint (in fact several) after the point it sent me back to, but basically lost about 2 hours of progress. Redoing the same missions confirmed a number of "checkpoints" which seem to have been lost in the save game.

To be honest, I can ignore a lot of the bugs as I love the open nature of the game and the satisfaction of mashing zombies with a variety of violent weapons.

TouchPad sales doubled after it was discontinued

Erroneous Howard

A title is optional?

If staff are going to get "first dibs" on these devices coming into the UK then there should be measures in place to discourage reselling.

TomTom fights falling satnav sales with iPad app

Erroneous Howard


Now instead of people going around with a third of their vision blocked by a TomTom in the middle of their windscreen they can effectively block even more of their sight by somehow mounting an iPad in the window.

I've only tried using an iPad (original) once for navigation, and the satellite reception was so poor I had to give up. The newer ones might have better reception - I couldn't say - but it couldn't be much worse.

Google points finger at human after robo car accident

Erroneous Howard

Re: Re: Re: Humans

"Humans have vision, senses and reactions far in excess of any machine."

As others have said, no they don't. What (some) humans possess far in excess of any machine though is cognitive thought. The ability to analyse a growing situation before it becomes dangerous, rather than react to a pre-programmed routine when a danger appears. Of course the programming can get smarter, but at present the humans still lead on this count.

To be honest, the biggest concern I have about robocars is the fact that the programming is only as good as the people who made it. I don't know of many applications that don't have some sort of bug and encountering a bug at 60mph is significantly more dangerous than when sitting at your desk - unless of course you have a life-critical desk job.

I'm also not sure about how useful the human "failsafe" will be once they are used to the car driving itself. Sure, the first time you go in one of these cars you'll be watching everything it does, but by the 100th time do you really think you'd pay as much attention as a "decent" driver (by this I mean someone who actually uses observation during driving)?

Microsoft man saves drowning woman

Erroneous Howard

Re:I know I'm going to sound really old...

Sound leakage from headphones is more often a case of shit quality headphones than pure loudness in itself. A decent set of phones, particularly in-ear ones, would allow them to listen to music at deafening levels without being audible from the outside. They also have the advantage of allowing you to listen to the music at a quieter volume as they cancel out some of the background noise. Although I'm completely with you on the fact that it sounds shit anyway.

Sony pains pre-owned game punters with PSN Pass

Erroneous Howard

Re:Bad Sony....(yawn)

"This is good news, as it means money is actually getting back to the companies that CREATE the games in the first place, rather than staying with the retailers, who already make money on the original sales, and then double-dip."

Wrong. What it means is that you will get even less for your pre-owned games when you sell them back, and the companies who trade them on will likely still make the same profit. Essentially they will hurt themselves as quite people buy games with the express intent of playing them, then selling them on while they still hold some value (to trade in against another new game). As the trade-in value for even a week old game will now be lower, people will simply have to be more picky about which games they buy.

You can tell this to be the case by the number of almost new games that are available "pre-owned" within the various game retailers. So if people are forced to either spend more or buy less, my guess is that the overall spend will not change too much.

UK will obey Euro unisex-insurance rules from 2013

Erroneous Howard

Re:Lawyers are the problem

I've been hounded by one of these personal injury claims companies due to a non-fault accident I had about a year ago (someone not paying attention hit the back of my car in a queue of traffic). I was not injured and therefore decided I need not claim anything other than to fix the damage to my car. However, on the one occasion that I actually spoke to one of these people they made me feel like I was missing out by NOT claiming. In fact, although I told them I was uninjured, I was told that "everyone else claims anyway", and "nobody could prove I did not get whiplash" if I decided to claim for it. I was practically being told that I should be dishonest and make a fraudulent claim for an injury I did not get.

It's this sort of shit that puts everyone's insurance premiums up and you can tell by the falling profits of insurance companies that it is hitting them hard (Direct Line for example swung around £450 million from £200m profit to £250m loss). If it were my decision, I'd make everyone attempting to claim from insurance take a lie detector test (or perhaps a random selection) - it'd still be cheaper than the payout on the false claims, and especially these no-win, no-fee type claims.

I've always objected to women paying lower insurance prices than men, and even thought about trying to get insurance from Shiela's Wheels and then taking them to court based on their blatent sexism. Every day I see women driving like idiots, either aggressively (one this morning almost took out another lane of traffic trying to veer between lanes queue-dodging) or "without a clue" - the latter of these cause plenty of accidents while hardly every being "at fault". Last Friday, three (yes three) separate women drivers almost caused accidents at roundabouts within my sight (one directly in front of me) by cutting across deciding they wanted to turn right from the left-lane.

So I agree that insurance should not be gender-based, just like it should not be race-based. At the same time, something needs to be done about the "injury" claims which are becoming more commonplace as I think it's ridiculous to seek a couple of grand based on having a slightly sore neck for a few days (or at least saying you did.....).

Apple site hacked 'by LulzSec' - report

Erroneous Howard

Re:If this was Google

If this was Sony.......it'd be down for a month about now.

Terrafugia flying car gets road-safety exemptions

Erroneous Howard

Pie in the sky?

I certainly hope not, although as much as I would love to see us all flying through the air "Jetsons style" I think we're still a good few years away from a useful and affordable solution. This, as you say cannot lift two average size men and that does not account for briefcases, bags etc. making it an expensive toy.

Really it's just a plane that can be driven on the road rather than a viable flying car. I don't think a true flying car - which can carry four people (2 adults, 2 kids) plus light luggage, and will not cost hundreds of pounds/dollars in fuel every trip - is possible with the current propulsion technologies in use.

Good luck though.

'Robots can save America', says Obama

Erroneous Howard

Of course they seem peaceful...

....that's what they do right before they attack! Gain our trust and then strike while we are weak.

I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

Rockstar shoots LA Noire onto PC

Erroneous Howard


Stop falling off the roof then....

Infamous 2

Erroneous Howard

Not sure about this one

I've only played the demo of Infamous 2 whereas I had played the original through a couple of times (good and evil) but my immediate feeling was that the controls felt like they had been overcomplicated. I didn't like the way that at least a couple of the buttons now seem to have dual functions (L3 I think is one - depending if you are in range of a power source or not?), and they seem to have done away with the standard attack lightning "bolt" and gone for some sort of ball of electricity.

I was going to buy the new version, but based upon the experience of the demo I decided to wait until I can get it cheaply, probably as a preowned copy.

Sony teases tablet fans with bizarre 'mousetrap' vid

Erroneous Howard


And not even a good ripoff of the Honda ad. It looks like it is entirely CGI anyway, which makes it less impressive even then some of the tech demos I recall seeing when buying new Nvidia and ATI graphics cards.

If you're going to take off someone elses idea, at least do it better.

Boffins brew up formula for consummate cuppa

Erroneous Howard


So how does this account for people with different tastes? I like my tea much stronger than quite a lot of people I know, some of whom barely want the teabag dipping in the water. One man's ambrosia is another man's poison.

EA: early Battlefield 3 buyers will gain no advantage

Erroneous Howard

Double negative

"EA has denied claims that gamers who pre-order Battlefield 3 will not gain an advantage in play over those who don't"

Denying they will not gain an advantage surely would be confirming that they do? Perhaps the article should have read "EA has denied claims that gamers who pre-order Battlefield 3 WILL gain an advantage in play over those who don't"

Cloud iTunes DESTROYS music business FOREVER!

Erroneous Howard

Not even a new concept

Qriocity already does pretty much the same thing - adding any existing music in your collection to your "cloud available" collection. I don't get the fuss really - if anything it discourages making copies as your music should already be available to you on any enabled device.

Chinese teen flogs kidney to buy iPad

Erroneous Howard

Re:Cue bullshit accusations of Apple fanboi...

Indeed - after all he only sold ONE kidney.

Earth receives picture postcard of Milky Way

Erroneous Howard


....it's a parallel dimension. Best ask Magical Trevor if that's where the cow went.

164XXX jubs shake Middle England

Erroneous Howard

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"Some people think I'm a freak"

Change "Some" for "Practically all" and you're just about there. Give me a real pair any day, big or small they'd still be far more attractive than these sideshow attractions.

BT fibre-to-the-premises trial takes 7 hours per install

Erroneous Howard

40GB cap

Well yes, if you choose the broadband contract with a 40GB limit. They DO sell an "unlimited" service as well (certainly for infinity), which of course is "subject to fair usage". Quite what fair usage entails on a trial of "up to" 100Mb fibre is anyone's guess.

Patent row gets Playstation 3s banned from Europe

Erroneous Howard

One other thing to bear in mind

Not entering into the "Sony are great/Sony are arseholes" debate, or even the legality/morality of the patent war, there is one point which may have no legal value but is of definite relevance:

It is mainly down to Sony and to the PS3 that Blu-ray won the format war with HD-DVD. Had the situation been otherwise then the chances are that HD-DVD would now be the favoured format upon the high-street and LG's patent would be for a technology that had about as much retail value as a bag of frogs - as it would be almost impossible to topple a statistically similar tech once it was already established.

I don't like Sony, or their attitude towards their customers, but I do think that is relevant.

Photo loss blogger to Flickr: You're f*cking kidding

Erroneous Howard

"The Cloud"

And thus highlights the problem with storing your data in the cloud, and therefore under somebody elses control.

I see potential for the same issues with other cloud-based services, meaning that essentially you still need to keep a backup of your entire data-set even though you have supposedly offloaded the cost of doing so to the third-party. Granted, he probably doesn't have a corporate agreement with Flikr along with SLA's and agreed support/backup, but still it's one of the things the beancounters do not consider when looking at the attractive costing of cloud-based services.

Videogame TRAINS TERRORISTS, yells pundit

Erroneous Howard

No comparison really....

If the real terror attacks were modelled using experiences from MW2, I'm pretty sure that at some point before the explosion the terrorist would get "pwn3d" by a 12 year old who would then repeatedly tell them how badly they had been beaten.

Ten... fitness gadgets

Erroneous Howard


...that you did not include a GPS running device such as a Garmin or similar but did manage to include a foot massager and a puzzle. My Garmin has a heart rate monitor and a cadence sensor so is really useful for both running and cycling, a free website to upload all of my exercise as well as a standard export format which many other running and fitness websites accept.

The GPS is also accurate and there are a variety of options such as virtual training partner, courses (with route map), auto-lapping, auto-multisport, pace and heart rate zones and the 400 series have heartrate-based calorie calculation.

I have used one for a year now and wouldn't be without it for a long run or race.

Duke Nukem Forever release date revealed

Erroneous Howard


Is it really April 1st already?

*looks at date*

Sorry El Reg, but you have to wait until April to start with the April Fool jokes.

Beastly Android will batter Apple's iOS beauty

Erroneous Howard

Re:So - RIM and "others" are losing at the expense of iOS and Android...

"It looks like RIM was the big loser and it's market share was split fairly evenly between iOS and Android"

Not really, when iOS ganed 7% and Android gained almost double that, not really "fairly evenly" - only if you liken it to me running a 100m against Usain Bolt and considering we'd be "fairly evenly matched"!

Although I was going to say something similar as it's not really iOS losing in favour of Android as the article suggests, but rather it looks like RIM are the big losers during that time period. I'd like to see that graph continued a little further back as the jump in iOS sales is probably along with the release of the iPhone 4 and/or iPad (which makes sense) so I'd be interested to see what happened prior to June.

I think the big factor in Android growth is simply the number of new devices from various manufacturers being released whereas of course only Apple make iPhones and iPads. So if you DON'T want an Apple device (but want a smartphone) then there are plenty of droid devices to choose from.

To the person near the beginning of the comments who suggested all Android devices are buggy, I haven't experienced this problem with my company phone - no more than with any other smartphone I've owned anyway. Maybe not quite as aesthetically polished as iOS but I enjoy using it as much as my iPhone now. When I next replace my own phone unless the situation changes I'll probably end up basing my decision on cost so may well end up going for a Droid-based device as I can get better hardware for the same money.

BT fibre-up-your-exchange poll in 6-way Mugabe style pileup

Erroneous Howard


Well two of the exchanges in my area are going live with Infinity very soon but apparently my exchange is special, trialling FTTH (or FTTP if you like) in my area. All this really means for me though is that it will be longer before a decent connection is available.

We get 1-2Mb on a good day over DSL.

Cuckold computer tech faces ID theft charges over Gmail 'hack'

Erroneous Howard

@Craig Foster

"A tenner says every jury woman sees a conviction as punishment for the beating"

What beating? It was her previous husband that she was having the affair with who was also the one whom she left for beating her. I didn't see any suggestion that the "hacker husband" had beaten her.

The precedent set if the woman wins this case is a frightening thought.

Intel unveils itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny SSDs

Erroneous Howard

Unit change

Instead of using the various different measurements for shock tolerance (which means we have to work out for ourselves what it means) can you not just describe them in terms of how many bulgarian airbags it would take to safely arrest the fall of each drive?

Double-clicking patent takes on world

Erroneous Howard


Pretty much the worst example of prior art that I can recall. I had expected to look at the patent and see an issue date in the 80's or even earlier.

World+Dog says 'no thanks' to 3D TV

Erroneous Howard

To echo what a few others said

As others have said they "would" buy 3D if their current TV broke I've actually just had that exact situation, with my (just over) 5 year old TV going tits up. I did also look at 2D plasma and LCD screens (one of the plasmas even from the same point in the panasonic range) and there was a noticeable difference in the quality of the display even with a 2D stream. I went for plasma ultimately because they are still generally accepted as being better for gaming.

So 3D ended up being a sort of bonus on a screen with a better display quality than its 2D sibling which I was originally looking at.

The thing is, if you'd asked me even 6 weeks ago whether I would buy a 3D TV then the answer would have been no, but then situations can change.

Sony PlayStation Network vs MS Xbox Live

Erroneous Howard

Sort of agree

I actually own a PS3 but I do have to agree that the games comms stuff in particular is much better on the Xbox - it's still sadly quite lacking on the PS3. Being able to have chat channels started outside of games, grouping and the like and still use them when within a game so you can carry on chatting with your mates whan on a public server.

That said, while the Xbox has Sky Player, the PS3 now has BBC iPlayer, the ITV player and 4 on Demand all built into the XMB, and you don't need to pay for any of the content to use them.

It's probably a fair rating comparatively, but if you actually take into account the cost of online gaming on a 360 then I'm not sure if I'd be willing to pay for that "privilege"

US Army 'to issue every soldier with a smartphone'

Erroneous Howard


....although our military may be undersupplied with the tools they need to actually do their jobs, at least we'll be able to hold our own in an Angry Birds conflict.

Critical IE update in biggest ever Patch Tuesday

Erroneous Howard

Re:Internet Explorer? Is that thing still around?

Err...yes, unfortunately.

Apple iPhone 4 vs... the rest

Erroneous Howard


Yes, but then I'd have had to also say "and some people will vote this post up because I DON'T prefer the apple device" - and I was too lazy to type that in addition :)

Erroneous Howard

Droid vs iOS

Personally I think on terms of useability the two OS' are on pretty level pegging. I don't believe that iOS gives you anything particularly special these days and on terms of the hardware there are devices out there with better kit than you get inside the iphone 4.

If it's a toss-up between the iphone 4 and a technically superior device with android on it for about the same price (which quite frankly it is in a lot of cases now), I'd side with the droid phone.

Of course, some people will vote this post down because I prefer something other than their beloved apple device, but this is based on personal experience and preference. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for another person.

Gran Turismo 5

Erroneous Howard

Here's hoping.....

With any luck they can (and will) patch some of the flaws, such as the game invite system and allowing you to have privacy on a race so your friends can actually get in to it!

I must admit, after so long in development I was a little disappointed that it was not perfect in every way although it is a very enjoyable and playable game. The little niggly-type issues are actually really annoying as you would have expected it to be a bit more.....polished.....after so many delays.

I almost chucked my controller (and it's a wheel) across the room while being repeatedly disqualified on the Top Gear challenges for the most silly things. Being disqualified for hitting a cone which was knocked onto the racing line by one of the CPU controlled cars was one step too much.

Unfortunately Sony, it just came too late.

Google sued for scanning emails of non-Gmail users

Erroneous Howard

This complaint cannot be upheld

To do so would essentially open up possibility for similar cases to any ISP or mail provider who uses a spam filter (i.e. pretty much all of them) as at the end of the day they will use similar algorithms to scan mails as these targeted ads.

Besides, once a mail is sent to another party, it is no longer the property of the sender but becomes the property of the recipient - making this claim completely pointless.

No one needs Blu-ray, says Microsoft exec

Erroneous Howard

Streaming......not yet

I, like a previous poster, struggle even with iplayer on my current broadband connection. In fact my area has JUST had fibre installed although I cannot yet get it through my provider (it's still undergoing the last few checks before going live). If that proves to provide a decent stable speed then I might begin using it more often, but I suspect that at peak times it will still be slow as unfortunately most of the country tend to settle down to watch films at around the same time of the day.

While my own personal connection might be fine, I think the countries backbone infrastructure will still struggle for a good few years yet. And after all, who wants to be dictated to as to when they can view full HD content according to how busy the net is?

They just need to reduce the price of Blu-Ray titles to be approximately the same as the DVD equivalent. After all, the same work went into making the film, it's just the marginally more expensive media which might add an extra pound or so onto the production cost.

Sony PlayStation Move

Erroneous Howard


Yes, it's a review of the hardware and not of the various games. Otherwise they'f have to change the review score potentially every time a new game came out.....

I borrowed a Move setup from someone and had a go last night. I was especially impressed with the table tennis as I used to play a bit and could quite nicely replicate the various spins using the controller. There's very little lag (not really noticable) and it really is very accurate - you can see this from the representation of the bat on screen which changes with every minute detail of your hand movement.

The sports game is pretty decent but I can't wait for some of the upcoming titles. I can't think of much that would top a good hack and slash if it was done right.

Erroneous Howard

If it's accurate then it's the one for me

I've been waiting for a review of this on a site I trust. Having played the Wii many times I have also been frustrated by its lack of accuracy, even with the "Motion Plus"(tm) controller the console lets itself down, not to mention the dated graphics and some very tired-looking game franchises.

Recently I also had the opportunity to have a go on the Microsoft Kinect system as it was being demo'd at my place of work. Although I should point out for fairness that it is not yet the finished retail product and subject to bug-fixing.

If Kinect can be described as anything then that thing would be very clever. It can recognise people so that it knows who is playing (I can't speak for how accurate it would be if you gained/lost a few pounds) and can recognise the position of your limbs without any controller. However, while it was quite good fun in games which encompassed general movement, anything that needed more than a slight degree of accuracy was somewhat disappointing. Certainly on the system we played on, it showed even when just using your hand to select a button on the screen that it jiggled and moved slightly rather than being steady like my hand (I don't believe I had the alcoholic shakes that day....). We also saw that in some cases, perhaps based on clothing (one guy was wearing all black) it didn't properly recognise limb positions.

Of course, some of this may be fixed or improved by launch, but I still don't see how it can compete on an accuracy basis without the benefit of a motion sensitive controller to back up the image-based tracking.

For me, this means that I will gravitate towards the Move as I think the lack of accuracy may limit the applications of Kinect. However, if I am proved wrong upon the full Kinect release then things could always change.

Swedish far-right party defaced on eve of general election

Erroneous Howard

Re:the cake is a lie!

The cake is not a lie. Now please remain where you are while someone comes to transport you to your party. If you leave then you will miss your party and not get any cake.

Road test: putting the iPad to work

Erroneous Howard

Seems pointless

If you have to use a separate keyboard to even come close to the functionality of a laptop, doesn't this kind of defeat the object of having a nice slinky device like an ipad? Now you have to carry several items to do the job of one.

I am impressed with the battery life though.

Email worm wants to party like it's 1999 (almost)

Erroneous Howard

@Kevin Bailey

Your analogy of a doctors surgery isn't really accurate. Nobody expects users to have an intricate knowledge of the software available, or the workings of their PC, just like your doctor doesn't expect you to have the same knowledge as they do. After all, if every user shared my level of knowledge I'd be out of a job.

However, with regard to your own health you are expected to understand certain things, like sticking your arm into a meat grinder is a bad idea, or poking yourself in the eye with something sharp isn't particularly good for your health. Or alternatively, sexual intercourse with many partners can give you a nasty infection.

Likewise I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the majority of people should be given an idea of general good practice around computer use. The problem is I'm not sure whose responsibility it should be to give this advice - perhaps companies should do this, at least for their own users, but for home users?

As with anything, you are always going to have people with more or less in terms of common sense.

Android app secretly uploads GPS data, warns Symantec

Erroneous Howard

Lots of apps use GPS

Plenty of apps use GPS data even for things as simple as uploading scores along with an approximate location. I came across a number of these on the iPhone as well. Most of these though use "coarse" location data, which is only an approximation of the position - I suspect that this other app uses "fine" location data which is much more accurate.

I'd be suspicious of any app requesting "fine" location data aside from the obvious navigation-type applications.

btw JaitcH, I can hear the black helicopters.....they're coming for you!

DARPA funds Mr Spock on a Chip

Erroneous Howard

How long?

...before we see an improbability chip? Then all we need to do is plug it in to an extra hot cup of tea and we can invent the improbability drive, which will revolutionise space travel.

After all, the only thing you really need to know is exactly how improbable an event is....

Chair maker punts $6,000 iPad recliner

Erroneous Howard

You fail!

"During the design process, our goal was to design a chair that blended the sleek styling of a European sports car with the clean aesthetic lines of the iPad itself,"

Uhh....fail and fail. It looks like a few boxes covered in leather with an attachment for the iPad that completely fails to match (or even compliment) the rest of the chair.

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