* Posts by bozoid

27 posts • joined 6 Dec 2013

Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable


It says a lot about our society that politicians try to keep kids from seeing sex, but are totally onboard with them seeing multiple murders every 30 minutes on film or TV.

Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists


I love my Pebble Time Steel. The battery lasts for over a week and I can read it in daylight. (The color display isn't great, but it's pretty damned good.) I keep my phone on mute, trusting the Pebble to tell me about incoming calls/e-mails/texts, and can answer or dismiss them right from my wrist (including voice responses to texts). It's got a stopwatch, it counts my steps, it's reasonably attractive (with a 3rd-party band), and it's not too big to wear. What's not to like?

Would it have killed those Fitbit bozos to continue making Pebbles? Are they afraid that keeping the Pebble hardware alive would cannibalize sales of their own overpriced battery-sucking tech?

Haz sad.

Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry


Tracking is the issue here

I don't mind being served ads in exchange for real content -- that's the standard "magazine" model -- but that's not the issue here. Many sites that complain "you're using an ad blocker" don't really care about ads, because they make a lot more money selling your tracking information.

If you're a Firefox user (for example), try whitelisting Wired.com in AdBlock Plus. They'll still refuse to show their content until you ALSO turn off NoScript and Ghostery. Sorry, Wired -- your content isn't worth my privacy.

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos


Here's hoping that Classic Shell will hide this "promotional" crap, as it hides so much of the other BS in Windows. For me, Classic Shell and Classic Explorer have been the only things that make Win7 and Win10 usable.

It's time for a discussion about malvertising


I'm willing to turn off my adblocker and be served all the ads on good sites (e.g., Wired), because I value those sites. Unfortunately, most of those sites aren't satisfied with ad revenue, because they get a significant amount of revenue from trackers. I DON'T want to be tracked by their stinking affiliates.

So I can whitelist Wired (or many others) in AdBlock Plus, but I still can't view their sites -- they see Ghostery, they be hatin'.

Bees with numberplates will soon be buzzing around London. Why?


An old Tom Digby song comes to mind...

So we got an expert genius and he rewrote all the programs

But we always got results that looked like these:



SpaceX: We'll land on Mars in 2018 (cough, with NASA's help)


Surely a Moon landing would be an easier test? Half the gravity, no pesky atmosphere, and a cruise phase that lasts three days instead of eight months.

The case for ethical ad-blocking


As long as the bandwidth required isn't too onerous, and the ads don't flash or animate, I don't mind when sites request that I turn off ad-blocking -- I'm getting content for free, so the least I can do is download ads and ignore them.

But nowadays sites like Wired and Forbes hide their content if you're blocking *trackers*. That's a whole 'nother animal. I'll read your ads, but I'm damned if I'm going to let you and your affiliates track me all over the Web.

Prof Hawking to mail postage-stamp space craft to Alpha Centauri using frickin' lasers


Re: No return

In Robert Forward's original 1980s-vintage "StarWisp" proposal (which was for a maser-driven sail), the probe would include actuators in the sail. When the probe was due to pass through the target system, the driving lasers would flood that system with laser light. The sail would return data by using the actuators to modulate the reflected light.

Chinese fire up world's 'most powerful' drone brain


Re: Eh....

I'm wondering why a drone needs a non-realtime OS like Ubuntu...

Radio wave gun zaps drones out of the sky – and it's perfectly legal*


Of course, this gadget will *also* disrupt communication with model aircraft which have no autopilots -- competition sailplanes, pattern ships, model warbirds, and all kinds of (sometimes large and heavy) aircraft whose only guidance system is a pilot on the ground with a 2.4GHz transmitter.

Who will be liable when the idiots try to "disrupt" one of those?

ICANN taking over the 'net from Uncle Sam? Ted Cruz to the rescue!


I was on the fence about the whole ICANN/IANA transition -- everything seemed to be working, so why change it?

But now that Ted Cruz and his xenophobic knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing buddies have come out against the transition, I'm for it.

Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes


Re: They are mad the lot of them

> In comparison Windows 7 looks so dated, and navigating

> the menu structure is is inefficient...

It's instructive to note that no 3rd party ever developed a Windows 8-style Start Screen to improve our user experience on Win7 or XP. Wisdom of the marketplace?

Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times


Re: How does it compare to human-only surgery?

Typically, a surgical "robot" isn't some autonomous knife-wielding monster. Instead, a "robot surgeon" (like the Da Vinci) is what the rest of us would call a "waldo" -- a way for a human surgeon to see and manipulate things that are too small or too inaccessible for his/her hands. I'll bet there are some common human errors included in these "robot" statistics.

The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all


Re: Spelling Police

While we're being picky, what's with this modern trend to always use hyphens after numbers?

...and who two-years later co-founded Intel...

The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY


"Then the answer is clear, turn the BBC into a private company, make products people want to actually buy."

Um, that's what we've got over here in the US, and it's dreadful. Turns out that what "people want to buy" is almost exclusively dreck.

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability


That was fast

The Mini Glowring (the only one I can order from over here in the Land of the Free(TM)) is sold out already.

I haz a sad.

Expired router cache sends Google Cloud Engine TITSUP


"Total Inability to Support Usual Performance" is now my favorite acronym.

Chunky Swedish ice maiden: Volvo XC60 D4 Manual EE Lux Nav


Re: So, just how big is this car?

Sorry, but I know how to find dimensions. That's not the same as knowing how big the vehicle actually looks/feels in person. And if I can't see it in person, it helps if I can at least see it in context.


So, just how big is this car?

I enjoy El Reg's auto reviews, even though we get different vehicle models here in the States, But this review of an allegedly large auto frustrated me more than usual. I mean, this *might* be a large car, or it might be a small car. Who can tell? All cars look the same size on my screen; they're just sleek, shiny jellybeans of various colo(u)rs and shapes. I can't tell from the pictures whether this is a big car, or one that can be used as a lifeboat by a big car.

I hereby introduce a rule for your consideration:

Every auto review should contain at least *one* picture that includes a human being standing next to the car. For bonus points, use the same human being in every review. (Selection of that "standard" human being is left as an exercise for the reader -- I'm sure you all have ideas.)

Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP


"Then there is the fact that it would go against the very underpinnings of the internet: the network was built and run and is owned by private companies connecting together. The amount of government-owned internet infrastructure is minimal, not just in the US but globally."

Um, that's a fact, but it's not a problem. The US electrical grid is (successfully) regulated as a public utility, even though essentially *all* of it is owned by private companies. Likewise, "common carrier" rules kept the railroad barons from running the entire country in the late 19th century.

Would it be bad if the Amazon rainforest was all farms? Well it was, once


Re: duck...!

> I took a picture of one when visiting a friend at Virgin tech.

I first saw a Muscovy duck (and took a picture) at Virginia Tech, too, about 10 or 12 years ago. Truly the weirdest bird I've ever seen.

FCC mulls two-speed internet, axing net neutrality ... unless you convince it otherwise


Great. "Content providers" can pay for fast lanes. How much do you think Comcast will charge NBC Universal (which it owns) for a fast lane?

Boeing, Cupertino to 'explore weaponisation of Apple technologies'


You had me going for a couple of paragraphs, and then I realized it's already April on your side of the pond.

Nice try!

Mozilla takes a page from Google with sync-friendly Firefox Accounts


> ...other commentards may be right about it being time to switch to a new browser.

The Mozilla folks say the Australis interface "eliminates clutter". To paraphrase a poster over on Ars, "clutter" is apparently developer-speak for "features I really want".

Firefox doesn't compete on performance, so they have to compete on features. How can they do that by removing features?

Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK


Five bucks says the final link leads to a message that says "BESURETODRINKYOUROVALTINE".

Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action


Re: No, Liam, I won't be using a fondleslab as my primary computer.

> what can a desktop PC or laptop do that a tablet with a bluetooth keyboard can't?

Well, I have fifteen windows open right now. Seven of them are code (gvim), since I'm coding, three are PDFs (specifications and reference material), two are file browser (on two servers) and the rest are Web browser windows (StackOverflow et al). Each browser window has multiple open tabs. I shuffle everything around as needed to minimize eye travel and alt-tabbing to support my thought process.

Can your tablet OS show this many things at the same time? Can you resize each if necessary to show just the bits that are relevant at a given moment? If not, I'm not interested.

I *do* have a table, which I use for YouTube, e-reading, and e-mail. I can't imagine doing REAL coding on it.


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