* Posts by Graham Marsden

6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Smart metering will disrupt weather forecasts, warns Met Office

Graham Marsden

Re: Owl?

I got given a "clamp round the mains cable" meter by Scottish Power when I switched to them a couple of years ago.

After a week or so of checking, I found that, unsurprisingly, I was already using pretty much the minimum amount of electricity I needed because I do incredibly clever things like *switching stuff off* when I'm not using it!

PS @ AC, you'd let the electriicty company remotely switch off your fridge? I hope you enjoy food poisoning...

Will Google's rivals swallow the 'labelling remedy' pill?

Graham Marsden
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'BEUC called for an alternative remedy -

'an "even-handed" principle, in which Google "must hold all services including its own to exactly the same crawling indexing ranking display and penalty algorithms".'

I do believe that this was what I was talking about in the recent comments thread about Google Maps.

If you're going to offer your search results as if they're "fair and balanced", that should be the same for *all* results, not "all results except ours". Otherwise it should at the least be made clear that some results are being prioritised above others the way that they already do with ads and sponsored results and they should provide a link to alternative mapping services.

PS And this is *not* the same as expecting Tesco to advertise ASDA's products, see the previous comment thread for details.

British designer builds $15m iPhone for Hong Kong mogul

Graham Marsden

I bet...

... that voided his warranty...!

Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

Graham Marsden

"Climate Central openly confesses to being engaged in social engineering...

"as much as anything else. The organisation states: We use proven social science methods to determine what messages resonate with our viewers"

Well damn them! What a sneaky and underhanded method of getting their point across.

Isn't it incredible that nobody has ever thought of this before...?

Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court

Graham Marsden


In your desperate hurry to show how clever you are by lecturing me about what the law says (not to mention creating ridiculous Straw Man arguments), you appear to have overlooked such things as anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws which are intended to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by abuse of a monopoly (or near-monopoly) position.

It seems that you're in favour of totally unregulated free market capitalism which doesn't operate for the good of the customer, but only for the good of the shareholders and directors (aka "fuck you, I'm alright Jack") but I prefer to look at the slightly bigger picture.

In any case (not least given that you've implied that I'm a "nazi" for wanting to do this) I see little point in trying to carry on a reasonable discussion with you, so feel free to enjoy the last word. (Try not to sprain your arm patting yourself on the back...)

Graham Marsden

Re: obnoxiousgit @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

Oh dear, obnoxiousGit, you're really trying to live up to your self-chosen moniker, aren't you?

I had a bet with myself that you'd try to pick nits by claiming "Haha! You said 'map'" not "map of somewhere" and claim a pedantic victory point, so congratulations on living down to my expectations. And calling me names is just sad.

As for "users who have all choosen Google as a search provider", that's like Microsoft claiming that people "chose" to use Internet Explorer, so please stop with that tedious nonsense.

If you want a better example than the tired old ones that you're repeating, consider this: What if you ran a butchers or a green grocers in a town centre and then Tescos or some other large chain decide to try to get planning permission to build their supermarket on the main road coming into town. Are they offering customers a better product? No. What they're doing is making sure that anyone who comes to that town is presented with TESCO right up front so other businesses are much less likely to get a look in.

This is not ridiculous, this *has happened* such that many shops who were offering higher quality products have been put out of business because most people don't bother to look any further than the first big shop they come to.

That is what Google are doing.

Graham Marsden

obnoxiousgit Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

"Post us all up a picture of what Google shows you when you type map into Google search engine, then make that claim again."

Certainly. I searched for "Map of Portsmouth" and this is what I got...


What is right at the top of the search results? A nice big map from, oh, look, it's google. Sure, there are other ones "below the fold", but which one is the average user most likely to click on?

Please feel free to downvote me anyway...

Graham Marsden

Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

Sigh, I knew I should have written the rest of this in my post, but I was in a hurry, so, unsurprisingly, people came out with the same tired old "why shouldn't google prioritise its own products" and "I can't buy ASDA products in Tescos" nonsense which, as usual, completely misses the point.

Imagine you come up with *the best* online mapping service ever. It's fast, it's accurate, it shows everything down to the nearest pillar box, it's the most wonderful map in the whole world.

What do you think your chances of getting it to the first place on the most widely used search engine in the world? What do you think your chances are of it immediately showing your map at the top of a search page? Even if loads of people link to it, will it ever come above Google's Map? What do you think?

So you're always going to be forced into second place by a product which is second rate to yours because *Google* holds the keys and most people aren't going to bother looking below the first result which is presented to them and clicking on that.

Google claim to "do no evil" and say that they rank sites according to popularity and how useful they are, but when they exploit their power to prioritise themselves no matter how good any other product will be then they are abusing a monopoly position.

What they *should* do, just as Microsoft was forced to do with browser choice, is, when someone searches for "map", take them to a page which shows them *all* the online mapping services and then let the *consumer* decide which one they want.

Graham Marsden

@JetSetJim - Re: I remember streetmap...

"Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though"

Once again I have to point out that if you search for a map of a town on Google, at the top of the page, prioritised before any other results, is Google's own offering. That will immediately stop most people from every looking for another mapping service.

There are many other online mapping services, but they are simply not getting a look in because of Google's anti-competitive behaviour.

Facebook Home gets SMACKDOWN from irate users

Graham Marsden

All your smartphone...

... are belong to us...

... bitch!

Dubai splurges on 700hp, 217mph Lamborghini police cruiser

Graham Marsden


... IIRC one UK force did try a Sierra Cosworth, but that's not really as cool...

Anons torn over naming 'n' shaming of 17yo's gang-rape suspects

Graham Marsden

Those accused of rape and similar crimes...

... should be given anonymity unless and until they are proven guilty, otherwise this just panders to the lynch mob mentality of the readers of certain Tabloids amongst others and they will most likely be "tried in the media", have their lives torn apart and their (potential) careers destroyed such that even if or when they are found not guilty, they'll find it incredibly difficult to recover.

"Naming and Shaming" like this will have the same sort of effect from those who think that "there's no smoke without fire" because if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick.

Imagine if you were one of those people but were innocent, yet every time someone looks for your name (such as a prospective employer!) it came up "suspected rapist"...

Windows 7 'security' patch knocks out PCs, knackers antivirus tools

Graham Marsden

Re: I'm confused.

Good question.

I had more problems with the latest update to Skype which caused the machine to freeze (but not BSOD) after booting.

Eventually after restarting in Safe Mode and stopping Skype trying to run on startup I was able to uninstall it and roll back to an earlier version which fixed the problem.

Geolocation tech to save 60 Londoners from being run over next year

Graham Marsden

@Nuke - Re: @Madra - Harsh but fair...

"Many a time I could have pulled out of a junction if only I had known that an approaching car was going to turn into it."

You mean you actually *trust* people to do what they're indicating?!

Bitcoin gets a $100 haircut on rollercoaster trading run

Graham Marsden

What word is missing from the following sentence...?

"A ____ and his money are soon parted"

Chemical-dipped TRANSPARENT BRAINS bare all for science

Graham Marsden

Reminds me...

... of those old anti-drugs messages:

This is your brain.

This is your brain on Clarity...!

Boffins propose photon-swapping entanglement experiment on ISS

Graham Marsden

Re: Well at least it's almost science

To quote Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"

Hard luck lads, todger size DOES matter: Official

Graham Marsden

Sounds like...

... a load of bollocks to me...

Graham Marsden

More than a handfull....

.... is where it starts to get really interesting


Or so I've been told...

New rules to end cries of 'WTF... a £10 online booking fee?'

Graham Marsden

"We received an invitation in the post one Monday morn'

"To attend our cousin's wedding in the town where we were born..."

- Cheap Flights by Fascinating Aida.

German ransomware threatens with sick kiddie smut

Graham Marsden

@fearnothing Re: Very dangerous indeed

"The acts involved in this do specify that intent is a necessary component for it to be a criminal act."

Whilst that is technically true, the fact is that the Police and CPS in cases like this act on the principle of "Presumed guilty unless you can prove your innocence".

Meanwhile all your computer gear, DVDs, CDs, videos, mobile phones, memory sticks and anything else have been confiscated for analysis (which means you'll not see them again for at least six months to a year and they'll often be buggered by the time you do get them back), some "concerned copper" will probably have leaked the story to the press and told your neighbours that you're a suspected kiddy fiddler. and you'll end up with a huge legal bill...

Brit musos now trouser more crumpled fivers from online music than radio

Graham Marsden

Re: Hmmm...

I work from home and had one of these calls saying they were from the PRS and asking if I listened to music whilst I worked.

I replied "Hear that sound...?"

"What sound?"

"Exactly!" and put the phone down.

Graham Marsden

Re: Oh

Yes, they have been ever since the advent of the Cassette Tape prompted claims that "Home Taping is Killing Music!"

Lasers capture 3D images from a kilometre away

Graham Marsden

Looks like...

... The Stig could end up being targetted by this...!

ICANN under fire as Verisign warns of rushed domain-name expansion

Graham Marsden

Nice Brand you have there, Squire...

... Be a shame if anything happened to it, know what I mean?

Now all you need to do is sign up to our Protection Package and register twenty domain suffixes just to make sure that it stays pristine...

Veiny green 'scum' meteorite may be first visitor from Mercury

Graham Marsden

This meteorite...

... will be code-named "Andromeda"...

Boffins probe into moons – and associated rings – 'beyond snow line'

Graham Marsden

Is that...

... a Monolith I see...?

Orange is the new TalkTalk of the broadband complaints league

Graham Marsden

Just about to leave Orange...

They've decided to "simplify" my mobile charges which means that instead of a call to an Orange number being cheaper than one to another network and my getting free calls to my voicemail etc, *everything* is going to cost 25p a time which means that some things have effectively gone up in price by 500%!

Goodbye, greedy bastards.

Angry commentard mobs to feel Facebook jackboot in site tweak

Graham Marsden

No chronological order

I've just found a big problem with the new system: Comments no longer appear in chronological order.

So if A posts a comment, then B replies, but B's post gets more likes, it gets bumped up above A's post, but C's reply to B might appear below A's...

This makes any discussion style comments virtually incomprehensible.

Bravo Failbook!

Graham Marsden

@heyrick Re: Commercial Nonsense


Entire internet credits snapper for taking great pic while actually dead

Graham Marsden

"It's illegal, but...

"...the authorities (as so often in copyright cases) are on the side of the offender, not the victim."

So it's ok to be a "Freetard" if you're a big company...?

CERN re-opens 'Animal Shelter for Computer Mice'

Graham Marsden
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@A Known Coward - Re: Good one...

Thanks for posting the correction.

Under the Consumer Protection Regulations you can say "If you want you can collect your goods at your expensive and at my convenience, if you don't, I'll keep them, thank you".

Graham Marsden

Re: Good one...

@frank ly

Why throw them away? Under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act they can be treated as gifts and you could flog them out on eBay :-)

Swedish linguists nix new word after row with Google

Graham Marsden

Reminds me...

... of when McDonalds threatened to sue the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for including "McJob"!


Google improves Chrom’s spel checkr

Graham Marsden

Dew knot putt...

... awl yore trussed inn spill chequers...

West Virginia seeks Google Glass driving ban

Graham Marsden
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@Larry F54

"Where is the war on car traffic?"

A good question. I recall when there was the rail accidents at Potters Bar and people were saying "Ooh, I won't go on trains again", completely failing to realise that there was the equivalent of a Potters Bar *every two days* on the roads!

It's already been proven repeatedly that using a mobile device at the wheel is as dangerous as driving whilst at the legal blood alcohol limit, so, in this country at least, it should already be covered under existing legislation if only we had enough Police on the roads to actually *enforce* those laws...

Furious Stephen Fry blasts 'evil' Reg and 'TW*T' Orlowski

Graham Marsden
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@Thomas 4: Re: Umm, I'm not sure how cool I am with this

Why am I waiting for someone to day "But it's just a bit of fun!"

(PS it wasn't much fun from my POV at school either...)

Chinese graves use quick response codes to recall the dead

Graham Marsden

I tried one of these...

... but it just downloaded a Zombie Trojan...

Schmidt calls China's attempts to take over internet 'egregious'

Graham Marsden

@AC Re: Are any Reg readers also employees of Google?

There's always BeefTaco, Better Privacy, FlashBlock, Ghostery...

Graham Marsden
Big Brother

Re: Are any Reg readers also employees of Google?

I'm not a Google employee and I don't know the answer to your question, but I don't worry either, because I use NoScript and block Google Analytics completely!

Give Google a COLD HARD SLAP - web rivals' plea to Euro watchdog

Graham Marsden

@AC Re: @Graham Marsden

So your argument is "Well every other search engine is also doing it, so that makes it ok"?

Now try going to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_online_map_services and see how many of those mapping services are likely to ever get a hit off *any* search engines...

Graham Marsden

@Dave Dowell

Go to Google.

Put in a town or city name or post code.

What comes up? A bunch of links and, more importantly, a Google map.

There may be other mapping services available, but who's going to look at those when they can just click on the first offering available?

*That* is a clear abuse of Google's power to stifle the competition.

Stop excluding vulnerable Brits from digital agenda - MPs

Graham Marsden

Pensioners! Want to know more about getting online...?

Then visit this Government website...!

Boffin road trip! The Reg presents Geek's Guide to Britain

Graham Marsden
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Re: Excellent

Well it lets you get revenge for all those shopping trips where you have to make a choice between the red outfit and the brown one (Who cares? Just pick one!) or trying not to get tripped up by "Does my bum look big in this?" questions.

Young model ruthlessly fingers upskirt iPad petshop pervert

Graham Marsden

If he had done this in England...

... he could have been facing jail time...

Sexual Offences Act 2003 - Paragraph 67

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years


Caught on camera: Fujitsu touts anti-terrorist pulse-taking tech

Graham Marsden

Re: So, you can defeat this by being late?

"lets make it so that there are a 100 different things the terrorist has to get right every time in order to not be caught."

Please look up the following words: "False Positive".

How many people might also fall foul of those "100 different things"?

As for "unfounded distrust", perhaps you should look up "diminishing returns" too...

Supreme Court silence seals Thomas-Rasset's file sharing fate

Graham Marsden

What's next...?

... Are the RIAA and MAFIAA going to try to bring back Debtors' Prisons??

Drones with freakin' CLAWS grab objects like eagles

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters


... Ride of the Valkyrie...!

Boeing outlines fix for 787 batteries

Graham Marsden


... actually it was just the Magic Blue Smoke (that all electronic equipment has inside) escaping...

Drunk driving: No more dangerous than talking on handsfree mobe

Graham Marsden
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@Steve 13 Re: Concentration

"automatic, unconscious competence is the highest level"

Yes, but that is *not* what the majority of road users have. They do things automatically right up until the point that something goes wrong, then they slam on the brakes or swerve or freeze up in panic because their skills are only good enough to let them cope with every day situations.

What they do *not* do is use good observation and planning to see a situation *before* it develops. They're mostly just watching the back of the car in front or giving a casual glance in their mirror if and when they think about it rather than considering what other vehicles may be doing.

Remember that the Driving Test only ensures that someone has the *bare minimum* of skills to be allowed out on the road in charge of a vehicle and once you've passed that Test you will almost never need to demonstrate that your skills are still up to scratch.

Unfortunately when youy couple that with being under the influence of alcohol (even if not above the legal limit) or being distracted by using a mobile phone on the move, what you get is a recipie for disaster...

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