* Posts by Richard Tobin

198 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007

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McAfee dumps signatures and proclaims an (almost) end to botnets

Richard Tobin

Suspicious figures

"100 per cent rating at killing rootkits, compared to 83 per cent for Microsoft and 67 per cent for Symantec". Did they by any chance test exactly 6 rootkits?

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BT in ad slapdown after 'misleading' punters on fibre deployment dates

Richard Tobin
Unhappy

Date ushed back 5 times

My exchange and cabinet were originally scheduled to be enabled in September 2011. The date has since been pushed back by 3 months 4 times and by 6 months once and is currently listed as March 2013.

1
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Lovefilm does a Wii after rival gets loaded on new Nintendo

Richard Tobin

Wii U

The Wii U already has a placeholder Lovefilm application installed when you buy it. But when you try to run it, it says an update is needed, and none materialises. The Netflix application is similar, but something does get downloaded.

1
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NASA: 'Those life-on-Mars rumors? Chill, dudes and dudettes'

Richard Tobin
FAIL

At least you didn't fall for this one...

... like Slashdot did: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/11/29/2331246/nasa-curiosity-has-found-plastic-on-mars

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Cawing retail vultures circle dying Comet, might rip some chunks off

Richard Tobin
Unhappy

Maplin

Well that will be the end of Maplin then. They'd be better off remaining what they are.

0
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Apple must apologise for its surly apology on its website on Saturday

Richard Tobin
FAIL

Maybe more trouble for Apple

The court required Apple to make the announcement (rather than leaving it to Samsung) because it had to come "from the horse's mouth". The newspaper statement does not say that it's Apple who is making it, so they may be in for another hard time from the judge!

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BT to fibre up another 163 exchanges, coy on exactly where

Richard Tobin
Thumb Down

What they don't mention...

... is that they have also delayed many already-announced exchanges. My exchange was due to get FTTC in summer of 2011, but every three months, a week before the deadline, they put it back three months (and yes, today it's changed from 30 September to 31 December). So these 2013 announcements should be taken with a pinch of salt.

0
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Single NFC bonk subjugated Samsung Galaxy SIII and slurped it out

Richard Tobin

NFC off by default

You have to enable NFC explicitly, so most users will not be vulnerable.

4
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Apple CEO: Frothing fanboi iPhone 5 hype screwed our sales

Richard Tobin
FAIL

Entirely Apple's own fault

<Nelson>Ha ha</Nelson>. Apple's uses fanbois' obsession when it suits them, so it's nice to see it hitting their sales. Secrecy is their choice, and those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.

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Strong ARM: The Acorn Archimedes is 25

Richard Tobin

ROMs

0.2 probably came on EPROMs, which could be re-used.

0
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Google in the clear on Oracle patents

Richard Tobin
FAIL

100% record

Has Florian Mueller ever been right about anything?

17
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Solar quiet spell like the one now looming cooled climate in the past

Richard Tobin

Re: Absolute nonsense Zurich graph

The coloured dots indicate missing observations - 200 years ago there wasn't always someone counting sunspots. They have nothing to do with the number of sunspots.

0
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Richard Tobin
Boffin

Absolute nonsense

We have not had any "decades-long trends of declining sunspot activity" as Battsman claims. On the contrary, we have had 70 years of high solar activity. See for example http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/Zurich_Color_Small.jpg which shows the sunspot number for the last 250 years.

I wouldn't put too much trust in predictions of a forthcoming long minimum either. Only 6 years ago many scientists were predicting that this solar cycle would be another big one, for example http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/21dec_cycle24/ which forecast "one of the most intense cycles since record-keeping began almost 400 years ago". On the contrary cycle 24 was delayed and could well be the weakest since the 1920s. The mechanisms of solar activity are becoming better understood, but any long-term prediction should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

3
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Phone-hack saga: Murdoch 'not fit' to run News Corp, blast MPs

Richard Tobin

"split on party lines"

Tories are denouncing the report as partisan - Labour and Lib Dems support it, the Tories don't. In other words, Murdoch can *still* rely on the Tories to protect him. What has he got on them?

13
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WTF... should I pay to download BBC shows?

Richard Tobin
Thumb Down

Unrealistic pricing

The author seems to think that because the BBC can't make all programs available free, anyone who won't pay to download them is being unrealistic. Why? Maybe, like me, they just don't think it's worth the money. The TV licence is 40p/day, so why would I pay more than a few pence to watch a single program? The suggested £1.89 is absurd.

3
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Mac OS X ARM port by Apple work experience kid revealed

Richard Tobin

I don't believe a word of it

It's inconceivable that Apple haven't been building MacOS X on ARM for years, just as they did with x86 while selling PPC Macs. They may well have had a student do a project, but not because they didn't already have a port.

2
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UK punters happy to pay £3 to top up e-wallets

Richard Tobin

Did they understand the question?

Perhaps they thought they were being asked how much they would want to top up each time.

Unless they report the questions actually asked, the results are worthless.

2
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WikiLeaks releases full searchable US secret cable files

Richard Tobin

"Not how PGP files work"

That phrase makes me distrust whoever said it. Of course it isn't how PGP files work, but it's just a smoke screen - the file was only supposed to exist for a few hours, and be on a secure server. That's what makes it temporary.

1
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LulzSec disavows alleged Census hack

Richard Tobin
Trollface

Grammar flame

That should be "stupider than you and ME". Don't these hackers know anything?

2
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Is iPhone data collection legal?

Richard Tobin
Grenade

The dangers illustrated...

They'd have got Bin Laden years ago if he hadn't been waiting for a white iPhone.

1
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Mozilla ships first security update for Firefox 4

Richard Tobin

Garbled

"including one in the XSLT generate-id() function heap"

There's no such thing as a function heap. The actual description is "XSLT generate-id() function heap address leak" which means revealing a heap address in the generate-id() function.

1
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UK is fifth free-est nation on the internet

Richard Tobin

Not the fifth free-est

Just the fifth in a list that doesn't include France, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Greece, ...

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Arcam FMJ AVR400 AV receiver

Richard Tobin

Yes, but...

... what does it do?

5
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Ex-PM blocked Steve Jobs knighthood

Richard Tobin
Thumb Up

Good for Brown

See, he wasn't so stupid after all.

37
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Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs inbound

Richard Tobin

Bug

I would have thought laptops like the MacBook Air could avoid the chipset bug, as two of the SATA ports work and Apply can control which ones are used.

0
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BBC apologises for Top Gear outrage

Richard Tobin
Thumb Down

"Only the insecure take offence"

What kind of argument is that? It's ok to offend the insecure? Sounds like bullying to me.

5
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Richard Tobin
FAIL

Not funny enough

Some people reject a joke because <whatever subject> isn't funny. But it isn't the subject that's crucial; you can have a joke about anything provided it's funny enough. And that's where Top Gear failed. It just wasn't funny enough. It's stretching to call it a joke at all - more a list of insults. Clarkson et al aren't comedians - they're just not good enough to judge the line between humour and unmitigated offensiveness.

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UK a 3D TV nation? Not half

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FBI 'planted backdoor' in OpenBSD

Richard Tobin

NDA?

Does the FBI really use 10-year NDAs for this purpose?

1
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'Superb' Apple 1 on the block for £100k-£150K

Richard Tobin
WTF?

offprints?

300,000 pounds for offprints? These people are nuts!

0
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Clive Sinclair unveils 'X-1' battery pedalo bubble-bike

Richard Tobin
Thumb Down

Remember the "Black Watch"?

If it's up to the usual Sinclair standard you will have to assemble it yourself out of pieces that don't quite fit together, and the battery will stop working after a couple of weeks.

1
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BBC One HD to go live tonight

Richard Tobin

upscaling

It's not just a question of the BBC's upscaling hardware being better; it will be working on the undegraded source material rather than the compressed and bandwidth-limited SD Freeview stream.

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Iran: 'Nuke spies nabbed, but not for Stuxnet'

Richard Tobin

Iran, India, Indonesia

Is it cleverly targeted at countries beginning with "I"?

Perhaps it will turn out to have caused the Icelandic banking collapse.

2
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One For All SV9380 Freeview HD indoor aerial

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Brits not buying into Freeview HD

Richard Tobin

HD in Scotland

It's not true that all of Scotland will have Freeview HD in 2010. The main transmitters already do, but many relays will not until the digital switchover next year.

0
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Panasonic adds iPlayer, Twitter to tellies

Richard Tobin
FAIL

iPlayer on Viera Cast

I mailed Panasonic about this, and they said they have "no plans" to provide it. Which is pretty silly, since they already have most of the necessary infrastructure..

0
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Nominet chief tells domainers to grow up

Richard Tobin

"the respectable end of the domaining community"

There is no respectable end to the "domaining community". They're all just a bunch of parasites.

4
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Researchers: Arctic cooled to pre-industrial levels from 1950-1990

Richard Tobin

So...

... if it wasn't for the fortunate solar influence, human industrial activity would have had a much greater effect on climate? And now the solar influence has worn off?

4
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Miniature Apple display spotted in the wild

Richard Tobin

Perhaps

It's to go on the front of the new Apple TV box, displaying tiny pictures of album covers.

0
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Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

Richard Tobin

You're oversimplifying

If a siphon doesn't depend on atmospheric pressure, why can't you siphon water up more than 10m? Clearly gravity is the source of the energy, but it works by the weight of the long side reducing the pressure at the top of the siphon so that the liquid on the short side is pushed up by atmospheric pressure.

It is reportedly possible to siphon in a vacuum if the liquid is thoroughly degassed, relying on the tensile strength of the liquid, but this is not the main mechanism in normal siphoning.

1
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LHC particle-punisher in record 7 TeV hypercollisions

Richard Tobin
Alert

Don't be too sure

Even as we speak, MICROSCOPIC black holes may be OSCILLATING back and forth through the EARTH ITSELF accumulating MASS as they go. It could take WEEKS or DECADES before we learn the TRUTH.

Meanwhile, look for very small holes in the floor.

1
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BT hijacks business browsers

Richard Tobin

Great idea

I'm sure they'll be doing the same with phone calls soon.

4
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Virgin Media wins Film 4 HD exclusive

Richard Tobin
WTF?

"Blow to Freeview HD"

Was there ever any possibility of it being on Freeview HD in the near future? Isn't all the space on the one HD multiplex already committed?

0
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Slovakian flies to Dublin with 90 grams of explosive

Richard Tobin
Grenade

This doesn't add up

The police raided his flat because the Slovakian authorities contacted them. But then they arrested him and his government had to convince them he was innocent. So what had they told the Irish when they initially contacted them - that he was a terrorist?

3
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A New Year's call to Apple: publish and be damned

Richard Tobin

Apple vs Microsoft

"Stop using undocumented API's in application code. Microsoft did it and got hammered for it. You only get away with it because of all the fanbois around."

No, Apple get away with it because they're not sufficiently dominant in the market.

2
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Plough gives birth to sextuplets

Richard Tobin

You're confused

Castelli and Galileo didn't need to use a telescope to confirm that Mizar and Alcor are separate - that's obvious to anyone with normal eyesight. They in fact made the next discovery, that Mizar itself is a binary.

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Freeview HD goes live

Richard Tobin

Ads on the guide?

I considered buying a high-end Panasonic TV a few months ago, but was put off by the presence of advertisements taking up a third of the Freeview EPG screen. There seemed to be no way to turn them off. Will this be allowed on Freeview HD? Are we going to have to put up with advertisements even to watch the BBC?

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3 to offer iPhone next year

Richard Tobin

Unlocking

According to this page: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/telecoms/article6886886.ece O2 will allow unlocking of iphones after they lose exclusivity. It doesn't say whether they will charge for this.

0
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Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone

Richard Tobin
Thumb Down

No need to change

There's no need to be in the same timezone as continental Europe. For most people it makes no difference at all, and for people who have to deal with colleagues in the US it would make it worse. Currently there's half an hour overlap between the working day here and in California; with the change there would be no overlap at all. Most of Britain is already ahead of its natural timezone; it would make more sense for France to switch to GMT.

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