* Posts by Vometia

17 posts • joined 23 Feb 2011

UK student faces extradition to US after piracy case ruling


"It'll be interesting to see (if he's extradited) what crimes they'll charge him with"

The crime of being foreign, I would imagine.

Ford unwraps '2013 Mondeo'


Like others here, I can't help noticing the Aston Martin-esque features. I like it rather a lot, actually.

Concerns over plan to boost pharma by releasing NHS data


Based on past form, I'm convinced that "robust" is governmentspeak for "broken".

New plastic telescope ammo machine gun is light as a rifle


@Bumpy Cat

Right you are, I hadn't quite grasped that all important M240/M249 difference, so a big fail to me in that regard. Darn numbers, why can't they give them nice-sounding names instead!

So my point still stands, but it'd be nice if I could make it without introducing a gaffe of my own just for once... :(


"the current M249 (a version of which is also used by British troops)"

Er, no. They're both versions of Belgium's FN MAG: in fact the British Army adopted the MAG-based L7 GPMG in the 1950s to replace the ageing (though still well-liked) Vickers gun, whereas it's only recently that the Americans finally adopted a MAG variant as the M249 after decades of stubbornly sticking with their bloody awful M60. We're all used to the "American military is awesome" rhetoric here, but it's a bit misleading to imply that the L7 GPMG is a version of the American gun.

C and Unix pioneer Dennis Ritchie reported dead



A very clever and influential chap, and a thoroughly nice guy too. Very sad to hear this news.

HP dumps Apotheker for Whitman


"I've known HP was toast since we got new PCs"

You get new PCs? Blimey, things have actually improved since I was at DEC where we had to hire our own equipment from 3rd party resellers or go without.

I hasten to add that by saying "improved" in one respect, I'm not implying that things are good; everything I've heard about HP suggests they're an absolutely bloody awful company to work for.

MPs: 999 HQ revamp FAIL cost £469m


I think you're making the key mistake of assuming that the people in question have any integrity: I've puzzled over the same thing until I realise that they don't, then it suddenly makes sense.

Romanian NASA hacker fights 'inflated' damage assessment


Re: Charge?

"I say a lengthy prison sentence and a cell with a roomate named Bubba is what he needs."

Are you really suggesting that rape is an appropriate punishment? I hope I've simply misunderstood what you mean.

Bug-Byte Manic Miner


Re: Always looks wrong in colour to me anyway

Probably just as well the Dragon's version was black and white: the Dragon's approach to colours was such that the manual's official description of white was "buff". I seem to recall that the red was more of a mud brown, and green looked rather radioactive. And then there was the aliasing... They were good times, but I'm glad graphics quality has moved on just a bit!

Budget airlines warned over 'hidden' debit card charges


Can we add "customs handling fees" to the list, too?

Talking of last-minute surcharges, online shopping has also seen an increase in buying stuff from abroad, and whilst paying VAT and duty is a fact of life for orders outside of the EU, the assorted "handling charges" and similar euphemisms for the hidden fees imposed by the couriers after shipping often exceeds what you pay customs themselves. It's rather hard to argue it's not a normal cost of doing business as paid for with the up-front postage charges considering they deal with imports as part of their daily routine, and a minimum £10-20 fee is certainly is certainly way in excess of the cost to the courier. I've found they'll generally refund the charge if you insist (though it often takes a lot of persistence) but it would be preferable if they weren't allowed to try it on in the first place.

I wouldn't object so much if these costs were shown up front so I could make an informed decision, but being billed after the event and having my parcel held to ransom until I pay, only to discover that they've miscalculated the charges anyway isn't really improving my "customer experience" or whatever they call it these days.

Oh, and the "foreign transaction fee" that so many banks are keen on imposing is something I'd also like to see the back of.

Pixmania users report scam-spam bombardment


Re: Pixmania spam

Same thing here - I yanked my Pixmania address years ago thanks to the otherwise unstoppable torrent of spam they sent me. In spite of how much time has passed, I see from my mail logs that it was still amongst those that the spammers targeted yesterday.

I've had a number of vendor-specific emails that have been spammed over the years. I've pretty much given up contacting the company responsible since it nearly always meets with denial or defensiveness; one of them got really pretty stroppy with me in spite of it being my details that were compromised, but they went out of business shortly afterwards. With customer service like that, it was of course entirely unexpected.

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


The silliest, you say?

Has to be "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians". It was certainly the most *something*, at any rate.

Email compromised at Epsilon


EA Games too?

Apparently EA Games is also a customer, which might explain why my EA-only email address started getting spammed last week. What's a bigger worry is that I changed my email address for a fresh one with also started getting spammed after a couple of days, so it wasn't just a single incident.

Is it expecting too much for anyone to realise that this is a good example of why it's bad to forward customer details to third parties...?

Play.com spam points to malware downloads


Re: I got the apology email from play

"I don't recall what options there were for marketing when signing up with play (I signed up a long time ago), but I'm always careful to opt out of marketing when signing up to things in general."

I've noticed that whether or not the options are given, as often as not they subscribe you to their newsletters anyway: as someone pointed out a few comments back, unfortunately the smaller etailers seem to be worse for doing this sort of thing.

As for Play, I complained to them when I received the GSN email and received an apology of sorts for their apparent marketing gaffe, but nothing to say that the contents were a bit dodgy. Just as well I binned it in the spam folder anyway, I suppose...

Dragon Age II


Nice game, shame about the EULA

Although I've been looking forward to this game for months (and have therefore rather skimmed this review for fear of spoilers!) it does seem to have been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding EA's "account bans" (see links below). I guess those of us who wish to be able to play without interruption should be careful what sort of opinions are expressed on their forums... So much of EA's bold claims that its days of restrictive DRM are behind them. :(

RockPaperShotgun article:


Relevant Bioware thread:



Cornish pasties awarded protected status



I love pasties with carrots* in, so this is definitely good news.

* this should be pointed out to handy Cornishmen at any opportunity, since they appreciate it so much.

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