* Posts by Alastair Smith

45 posts • joined 10 Aug 2007

Tories ask: Why BBC3, BBC4?

Alastair Smith
Heart

Yes!

Only Connect is the best quiz show on TV. Fact.

Sony and BBC clash over PS3 problems

Alastair Smith

And what is 12500 units out of 2.5m?

Half of one percent.

Angelina Jolie spied with Palm Pré

Alastair Smith
Go

Pics or it didn't happen.

'nuff said.

Ad watchdog gives thumbs up for female TV orgasms

Alastair Smith
Coat

@Steve

...and it brings a whole new level of meaning to The Queen of the Night :-D

Microsoft: Vista desktop key to life fulfillment

Alastair Smith
Linux

Bad Science

Sounds like a candidate for a Ben Goldacre investigation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/series/badscience

BCS accuses UK.gov of grabbing 'draconian' data powers

Alastair Smith
Flame

Less benevolent government?

> "could have disastrous consequences in the hands of a less benevolent government"

That assumes, of course, that our existing glorious leaders are considered benevolent.

El Reg pays tribute to father of Playmobil

Alastair Smith
Happy

A fitting tribute

And it's nice to see you got ol' Optimus in there too at the end.

Obama may militarise NASA to save money

Alastair Smith
Coat

Watcher satellites

> watcher satellites designed to spot attacks on existing US sats

Who, or, more realistically, *what*, will watch the watcher satellites?

Mine's the one with "Mine's the one with "Mine's the one with "Mine's the one with ... on the back" on the back" on the back" on the back.

BNP list hunters bring down Wikileaks

Alastair Smith
Stop

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but...

> "We don't keep logs, for obvious reasons, but we were receiving approximately 70 requests per

> second to "wikileaks.org" for most of the day, most of which were related to the BNP story, so

> somewhere between two and six million for the 24 hour period."

If they don't keep logs, how do they know that they were receiving 70 requests/second, most of which were related to the BNP story?

Tron sequel already in production

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

I nearly wet myself

When I saw that slow-motion jump onto the light cycle that appeared out of nowhere. I love the way the lightcycles are sleeker but not *too* sleek, and they turn graceful corners now. It does take some of the edge off race because the super-sharp 90-degree turns they did in the original are now gone, but they're so elegant that I can easily forgive that. And I was still watching that ride on the edge of my seat.

I simply cannot wait - this is one of my favourite childhood films (along with *Batteries Not Included [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092494/] - I think my parents knew I would be a geek long before I did).

Spooks foils fictional Russian plot

Alastair Smith
Stop

Fibre optics

And aren't fibre optic cables un-tappable, due to the essential property of total internal reflection? Maybe technology's moved on since I was at school. I spent most of Tuesday night's episode laughing...

Top aero boffin: Green planes will be noisy planes

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

NIMBYs

Apparently NIMBY is out and BANANA is in: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

BOFH: Fine detective work

Alastair Smith
Heart

Love the little touches

> "When do you expect him back?" the Boss asks furtively.

> "Back? Oh, right! Um, in an hour?”

Genius :-)

El Reg in Street View drive-by snooping

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

@Jamie Kitson

...you beat me to it.

El Reg is obviously doing well for itself. Good on yer!

Without typo-squatters, how far would Google fall?

Alastair Smith
Stop

Show me...

> provide valuable and relevant content on their parked pages

Show me a domain parking page that provides valuable and relevant content. The sites are a nuisance, no question: they feed off someone else's name, potentially damaging the reputation of that brand, and they are another hurdle for surfers to get over before finding the information they really want.

Ofcom confirms three Freeview HD channels 'by end of next year'

Alastair Smith
Flame

FFS

*Another* TV upgrade for those of us using integrated tuners! This is getting as bad as that flipping HD-DVD/BD format war.

I vote we get rid of all the crap on Freeview (shopping channels, etc.) that no-one watches and use the now-available bandwidth to broadcast HD over regular DVB-T Freeview.

Alternatively, the TV manufacturers should standardise around a plugin-type system for the tuners so you can *easily* pull out your existing DVB-T tuner and insert a new Freesat/DVB-T2/whatever arrives next six months later tuner in the same slot using the same aerial. Something like a PCMCIA card or USB dongle, but more discreet. That way we wouldn't be forced to buy a new TV every few years.

Google UK honours Queen Liz 2.0

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

Google Doodle?

"Goodle", surely?

UK crypto boffins turbo-charge quantum cryptography

Alastair Smith
Coat

All very well...

... but quantum cryptography was recently cracked by shining a bright light ("LA-ser") on the equipment!

http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/dn14866-laser-cracks-unbreakable-quantum-communications.html

Mine's the one with the subatomic particles in the pockets.

Martin Sheen backs Paris for president

Alastair Smith
Heart

Martin Sheen

is a total legend. And I loved the cameo at the end.

Texting worse for drivers than drink or drugs

Alastair Smith
Go

El Reg in "no sh*t, Sherlock" shocker!

Carried off with your usual panache! :-)

But surely you meant "ability to juggle is *a*ffected"...

The Hadron Collider: What's it all about, then?

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

Engineering

This machine is an incredible feat of engineering, and perhaps the single most inspirational thing man has done so far this century. I hope the relevant people can do the sensible thing and use this as a way of making science more popular in schools and colleges. Maybe that's too much to ask.

Did you know that the chamber containing the ATLAS detector is so massive (35m high) that it actually has buoyancy in the Earth's crust?! It rises at a rate of 0.02mm per year, and so the floor had to be set to a 5m thickness to prevent warping.

I'm a bit of an LHC geek, despite having only a basic grasp of the physics...

Ubuntu zoo preps for new arrival

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

Alphabetical

So clearly the release following Jaunty Jackalope will be Kinky Kingfisher.

Mozilla pushes out second Firefox 3.1 alpha

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

Errr...

I can already drag and drop tabs between browser windows. Maybe I'm already using the alpha without realising it.

Facebook - The Movie! Exclusive storyboard peek

Alastair Smith
Heart

Yay!

The Playmobil's back! It's been too long...

I'm lovin' the endin'.

BCS to review NHS IT for Tories

Alastair Smith
Coat

Oral evidence

Two tablets, three times a day.

Mine's the one with the prescription in the pocket.

Acer Aspire 8920G 18.4in laptop

Alastair Smith
Paris Hilton

I'm sorry...

But WTF?

> A cylinder at the rear of the laptop incorporates the screen hinges and a sub-woofer.

A sub-woofer in a laptop? I can't imagine it being that effective, even if the laptop is this ginormous!

Paris, because she knows all about sub-woofers.

Microsoft to protect furtive web searches

Alastair Smith
Happy

Other use cases

> Privacy can help if you want to research ... a "medical condition" ... [or] the purchase of, say, an engagement ring. Also, you might want to take precautions when sharing a PC with complete strangers in an internet cafe.

Or downloading "The Anarchist's Cookbook" or the Al-Qaeda Training Manual, or "Mein Kampf", "The Communist Manifesto", etc., etc., etc., whilst studying for a Political Science degree or similar.

I remember when I was studying for an A-Level in Government and Politics about 6 years ago, I had to research anarchism and was unable to do so on the college computers because all the anarchist organisations' websites had been blocked by the "inappropriate sites' filter". This was before Wikipedia, unfortunately.

Finally, a reason to *contemplate* using IE.

Researcher gives Elvis and bin Laden fake e-passports

Alastair Smith
Alert

Praise be to the Dutch...

...for they seem to be the only people that are actually researching this stuff. Can we fund them to -pull apart- research the entire Labour government's technology platform?

Microsoft promises SP 'milestone' for Visual Studio 2008

Alastair Smith
Flame

Versioning

Having had to deal with detecting the various different versions of .Net around these days (specifically .Net 2.0 SP 1, .Net 3.0 SP 1, and .Net 3.5), I wish Microsoft would stick to a more traditional versioning system. New features = new version number. .Net 3.0 was a big enough advance on .Net 2.0 (with the introduction of WCF, WPF, etc.) to warrant a full new version number, but maybe .Net 3.0 SP1 should have been called 3.1? .Net 3.5 SP 1 would be better termed 3.6. And what happened to .Net 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 anyway?

Cuil confesses 'serious file corruption'

Alastair Smith
Coat

Oldest one in the book...

An atom turns to his mate in the bar and says, "I think I've lost an electron!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm positive!"

Mine's the one with four full electron shells. Or am I just being Iron-ic?

Taxi!

Greens: Abandon economic growth to beat CO2 offshoring

Alastair Smith
Paris Hilton

Loose interpretation

> nuclear-fusion power, so far harnessed only in the form of H-Bombs.

That's a fairly loose interpretation of the word "harnessed", isn't it? As in, "not really harnessed at all".

Paris, because she knows all about loose interpretations.

Misheard song lyrics blamed on technology

Alastair Smith
Go

Blimey...

Anyone would think it was Friday or sumfink!

Home Office minister gets tough, then gets stuck

Alastair Smith
Joke

Must be a slow news day...

It's tough finding things to write about!

Is Apple readying a MacBook redesign?

Alastair Smith
Thumb Up

Re: Sounds more like Pro

Doesn't the Pro already sport the multi-touch mouse pad (as well as the aluminium chassis as you mention)? Surely this announcement wouldn't be much of an update to the Pro line at all.

Climate protestor claims glued self to UK Prime Minister

Alastair Smith
Coat

@AC

> Paris H would use soap and water to remove Super Glue and still be stuck to Gordon Browns ugly suit.

Is that like a birthday suit?

Google releases serialization scheme

Alastair Smith
Dead Vulture

El Reg hacked

Has El Reg been pwned by the Twat-o-Tron?

MS DNS patch snuffs net connection for ZoneAlarm users

Alastair Smith
Happy

Works on my machine...

...which is Windows XP SP 2 with ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite (the full antivirus, firewall, etc. shebang).

Thanks for the heads-up, though; I'll know what to do if things start going arse-over-tit.

Meet the UK's most spammed man

Alastair Smith
Unhappy

Orange anti-spam is rubbish

I used Orange for many years and switched to GMail two years ago for precisely this reason. Orange have a spam folder, but I was still getting 50-100 spam a day into my inbox. I get ~2 spam per day in my inbox with GMail.

What's with the sales pitch, anyway?

T5 Transformers t-shirt bust: Shock snap

Alastair Smith
Boffin

Hooray for the Playmobil!

Them pesky Al-Qaeda types get more cunning by the day.

Wasn't Optimus Prime one of the good guys/robots? Mind you, I can well believe that Megatron runs T5, and then OP would be well-justified in blowing the cr*p out of it.

Thus spake the Moderatrix

Alastair Smith
Heart

Confused

>The Arctic rodents were in fact fitted up as mammalian Cobains by Disney, whose photographers actually drove a herd of the helpless creatures over a Canadian cliff for the wildlife "documentary" White Wilderness in 1958.

Why can't I tell if you're being serious or not? Have I really descended to such levels of cyncism that I can believe The Mouse is EVIL? What happened to the <irony />?

Fantastic piece - more please!!

Broadband big boys waiting on data pimping

Alastair Smith
Stop

Re: Here's how it works...

And presumably you ticked the "please do not sell my details to third parties" box when you signed up...

Why is this sort of behaviour not covered by that little checkbox?

BT preps 2000 per cent evening call price hike

Alastair Smith
Flame

Cable theft

Maybe this will go some way towards paying for all the replacement cable they're having to lay around Cambridgeshire...

Looks like I might be upgrading to Option 2.

Opera CTO: How to fix Microsoft's browser issues

Alastair Smith
Boffin

@Get your browser tested for damage.

FF3b3 - agreed

IE7 - agreed. *And* it wants to run MSXML 3.0 SP9 as an ActiveX control (which makes bugger all difference to the rendering or the score)

FF2.0.12 - 50/100

Opera 9.25 - 46/100.

So I agree with the Anonymous Coward too.

Why can't the rendering engine(s) be patched like other parts of the browser (e.g., security holes)? I.E., back-port standards compliance via a hotfix. Given sufficient warning to un-break their websites, I think developers would welcome such a move...

Patch Tuesday update triggered Skype outage

Alastair Smith

Is this a new form of network attack?

Looks like Skype is the first service in history to DDoS itself... It reminds me of the Judean People's Front Crack Suicide Squad!

China to map 'every inch' of the moon

Alastair Smith

They missed a step...

1. Fly them to the moon.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019