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* Posts by Alister

3222 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Boffin quests for, finds 'earphone Holy Grail'

Alister Silver badge


"I spend more time attempting to fit their rubbery tips snugly in my lugs"

FPA "lungs" for some reason...

I was going to suggest not breathing so hard...

DARPA wants weapons-grade military cloud computing

Alister Silver badge

Come on, own up Lewis...

"DARPA already has a project intended to provide secure hosts, perhaps rather unfortunately dubbed Clean-slate design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts (CRASH)." made that up, didn't you?

...didn't you??


That's as bad as Microsoft Danger. (well, nearly)

O2's southeastern crash caused by 'well-organised theft'

Alister Silver badge


Gives a whole new meaning to "dropped packets"

Alister Silver badge

dark net

so... hypothetically, could someone set up a "private" mobile network using this kit (plus a radio mast or two)?

Shuttle mission: SPAWNING of the SPACE KRAKEN

Alister Silver badge

I for one...

Welcome Lewis' ongoing mission to expand and embigginate our language.

"we're talking here, basically, about some kind of glowing stealth assassin hyperbloboloid shapeshifter creature even before the hideous warpening and embulgenation effects of space come into play"

At least one Pint for that...

Jaguar hybrid supercar gets green light

Alister Silver badge

Is this the one...

...that the Williams Formula 1 team did some design work on?

Nutter preflames El Reg 'cockheads'

Alister Silver badge

preemptive strike

Obviously the gentleman had a point he wished to make, and was upset that you didn't give him the opportunity to use his impressive commentard skills in the usual fashion.

Maybe he'll be along in a bit to further abuse you...

Apple floats iCloud for 'email, music, and beyond'

Alister Silver badge

i-patch - the security software supplier

I'd have thought i-patch would be the perfect trademark for a piracy website...

Thank you, the one with the cutlass in the pocket...

Alister Silver badge

next week...

Apple sues the world for using the term "Cloud".

(prior art? Naah...)

HP ProLiant power supplies 'may die when dormant'

Alister Silver badge

Oh come on...

"It's hard to tell what actually caused the issue, but HP believes it was environmental – that the power supplies or the servers were stored in an area of high humidity, water, etc."

From what the article suggests, the servers were in racks in a data-centre, not on the floor in a cellar. Are Parisian data-centres really likely to be any more wet or humid than any other data-centre??

What rubbish.

Internet child porn investigators net South Aust MP

Alister Silver badge


"If we listened to the pedants, we'd still be going ug ug"

Shouldn't that be ug ug?

The comments on El Reg would be fun to read though, wouldn't they:

ug UG ug, ug ug ug.

UG, ug ug /ug/ ug.


Ug. Ug ug, ugugugug...

Alister Silver badge

Standard English???

WTF do you mean by Standard English?

Decimate means to remove one tenth... what's so hard about that?

From the Latin "decem" : ten

As in Decimal.

Lasers set to replace spark plugs in car engines

Alister Silver badge


You're talking about engines...

I was talking about Paris.

Believe me, you don't want to start that cycle in the wrong place...

Alister Silver badge

Middle Management

will soon have us down from

"The Shark Tank of Fear"


"The Goldfish Bowl of Mild irritation"

Doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

Mind you, Goldfish with LEDs on their heads... Hmmm...

Alister Silver badge

wrong order...

for best results, as I'm sure she knows, it should be Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow.

Alister Silver badge

Budget cuts

Can't afford Capex for sharks, so we're looking at pike or barracuda instead to populate our new, efficient "dangerous swimmy thing" tank in the Fortress OF Doom...

Alister Silver badge

Enquiring minds want to know...

as these new "frikkin' lazoors" are deemed hardy enough for automotive use, are they now small enough and tough enough for reliable piscene cranial applications?

Skilling up the cloud: What it means for infosecurity pros

Alister Silver badge

must get my eyes checked

First parsed the title as Skiing up the Cloud...

Thought it was another DARPA story

Short domain land-rush coming to .uk

Alister Silver badge


Why was American Airlines awarded a domain - surely it should have been the Automobile Association which is at least a UK based organisation. (Or Alcoholics Anonymous, but they're international aren't they?)

FTP celebrates ruby anniversary

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Still used here

We still use FTP (over VPN) as the quickest method of uploading large chunks of data to remote servers, no other protocol we have tried is faster or consumes less bandwidth, so I'm quite happy for FTP to continue.

Assange™ says Guardian claims 'completely fabricated'

Alister Silver badge

New unit of measurement

...the Google hits count.

That's a far more accurate measurement than reality.

Avast alert finds WHOLE WEB malign

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t i t l e

What?... You mean it hasn't already??

Upgrade-hungry office drones ponder PC prangs

Alister Silver badge

Thanks a bunch

I've now had three users forward me this article, along with varied inventive suggestions as to how their PC / monitor might "accidentally" break.

I haven't got the budget - so I'll pass the bill on to Vulture Central, shall I??

Can Bing ride IE and WinPho to Google triumph?

Alister Silver badge


"One is Internet Explorer. Though IE has been losing market share, the browser is good business for Bing. Analysis by comScore shows that Microsoft sites get a higher share of searches from IE compared to Chrome and Firefox, while Google gets it's lowest per centage of searches from the Microsoft browser."

I don't think these statistics support an interpretation that there is an informed choice - such that users of IE "prefer" Bing or users of Firefox / Chrome "prefer" Google.

Is this not just a consequence of the overwhelming majority of clueless users sticking with the default start pages their browser comes with? So IE has BIng as it's default, Firefox and Chrome have Google, when first installed.

Record Patch Tuesday with 17-bulletin bumper crop

Alister Silver badge


Because this plethora of Microsoft updates is likely to cause lots of Windoze boxen to fall over, so it's a warning to all Windoze Admins to book their holiday now (w/c 11th April - don't forget)

Mozilla ditches Messaging wing, eyes social webby sweetshop

Alister Silver badge

lost its way

IME Thunderbird has been going downhill since before 3.0 - I gave up on it as it would no longer run properly. Replaced it with Postbox - a fork of Thunderbird which works well.

HMS Ark Royal goes under the hammer

Alister Silver badge

novel idea

Dear sir / madam, I wish to purchase your vessel the HMS Ark Royal, to use for home defence and the projection of force abroad, for a small island off the coast of Europe which currently has no naval air presence.

I understand that you may also have some suitable VTOL / STOL aircraft going cheap?

Lindsay Lohan ditches her surname

Alister Silver badge
Paris Hilton

What above Earth are you doing at 60,000ft???


This is the P.A.R.I.S section, did you not get it?

Paris... well... as above, really - she always gets it

The Professionals set to abseil into cinema

Alister Silver badge

You just know...

...It will bare no resemblance to the original except for maybe a name or two, and it will be set in America.

Capitalism killed the Martians, suggests Hugo Chavez

Alister Silver badge


you're slipping, I nearly understood most of that... (and joking apart, agree with most of it).


How can you post a comment to this particular story and manage to completely ignore the central point... You are dead... killed by capitalists!!

Saab-spotter blogger poached by the company

Alister Silver badge

not likely...

You can't even spell the name right :-)

Patent-pimping pair attacks Apple, PayPal, Victoria's Secret

Alister Silver badge

and I thought...

...after I'd posted, that maybe you were gently hinting that it was your birthday soon :-)

Alister Silver badge

don't need no steenkin' title

Why would you link to the Victoria's Secret site??

Are you getting click-through revenue or something??

Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up


"As one who earns his living in the media these days, I can only apologise on behalf of my profession for the unbelievable levels of fear and misinformation purveyed this week. I have never been so ashamed to call myself a journalist."

Well said, Lewis.

Vince Cable to cut training and flexible work rules

Alister Silver badge

decisive action

"Asked by the FT about what the progress was with Clegg's promise to extend parental leave, Cable said: "We're talking about consulting." "

or "Go away and leave me alone" to put it in English.

Fukushima situation as of Wednesday

Alister Silver badge

A lone voice crying in the wilderness

Thanks again, Lewis, for another calm, dispassionate look at the risks and outcomes of the Fukushima incident. Unfortunately, I think you will be drowned out by a chorus of doom crying commentards, as usual.

Emergency declared at second quake-wracked Japanese nuke plant

Alister Silver badge
Dead Vulture

Insensitive much?

Although i know it's the standard image used for "nookeler disaster (TM)" I think, on this occasion, the use of the mushroom cloud image to illustrate this story in your highlighted headlines banner (or whatever you call it) at the top of the page, is a bit insensitive, given Japan's previous historical association with things nuclear.

Google man opens curtain on cloud apps firewall glitch

Alister Silver badge


"we need to set up a virtual private network (VIP)."


Virtual Private Network = VPN

Vrtual IP address = VIP

...or has google decided to redefine current usage?

Balanced, neutral journalism is RUBBISH and that's a FACT

Alister Silver badge

Cart before horse

I would be inclined to think that this study proves that the average student's reading and comprehension skills are of a low standard, and that they are unable to draw their own conclusions from a balanced report, rather than that there is anything wrong with balanced neutral journalism.

ASA rules BT Wi-Fi service works with invisible routers

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Down

Oh, well that's all right then...

Let's not let real world performance impinge on the artistic licence of an advert.

How languages can live together without killing each other

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Romanes eunt domus

I snorfled at the image you used to illustrate this story...

Thank you :-)

Neighbourhood watchers in Reading get speedguns

Alister Silver badge

think of the badgers

Actually, I do live in a small rural town...

Alister Silver badge

other issues

Yes I agree, there are lots of other ways that people drive dangerously, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse to ignore speeding. Indeed, there is a case surely to have the neighbourhood watch types report drivers for these other offences too.

In answer to your question "Is the safer driver the one who occasionally hits 35 in a 30 limit or the one who drives as 20 because they are concentrating on something else?" then I would say they are equally as dangerous, for different reasons.

Alister Silver badge

a good thing

Why is there this perception in the UK that you should be able to drive as fast as you want, where you want, and exceeding the speed limit is OK, and therefore that anyone who tries to enforce the speed limit is wrong?

The argument against fixed speed cameras has always been that they are purely used as income generation. Well, with the majority of these schemes, it is not about income, it's about getting people to drive safely, as it should be.

I think these schemes are a good idea, and I don't see why they would lead to "village feuds" either, if you live in a village or small town it is unlikely you would speed through it anyway. Peer pressure to get people to slow down seems to me to be a much better idea than blanket fines.

Discovery poised for final homecoming

Alister Silver badge


Discovery will have "spent a total of 365 days in space" in 39 flights

Seems a suspiciously convenient number of days...

Shirley NASA didn't plan that? mind you, no, they would have got it wrong by forgetting leap years or something...

Storage sale SHOCK: WD to buy Hitachi GST

Alister Silver badge

opposite view

@Graham Lockley

...And yet in my own experience, we have had terrible reliability problems using WD drives (MTBF < 2 years), and no problems at all using Deskstar / Travelstar, in a range of desktop and laptop applications, so from my perspective, I hope they don't lower the standards currently held by Hitachi drives, to those of the Western Digital range, as I won't be a happy bunny.

Amazon outlines Android bill of rights

Alister Silver badge


To me, this doesn't seem to be any different to the iTunes Store model already well established by Apple.

So why would people be going "huh, not using that then!" as if it's some new kind of imposition?

iPhone 'Death Grip' effect is real, plastic cases don't help

Alister Silver badge

VHF is different

VHF radio uses radio frequencies which are much much longer wavelength than those used by mobile phones - and therefore behave differently when a big bag of water gets in the way.

However, you can still upset the antenna matching even at VHF wavelengths if you grab it in the wrong place.

The other thing to bear in mind is that a radio receiver is not as sensitive to a miss-matched antenna as a radio transmitter is, a receiver will continue to function quite well or even improve slightly, whereas a transmitter will lose lots of effective power - or in extreme cases fry itself - when attached to a badly miss-matched antenna.

As a mobile phone needs both a transmitter and receiver to function, it is the transmitter bit that suffers.

Ambulance dispatch system hit by virus: reports

Alister Silver badge

talking to the internet...

If the software uses real-time mapping for ambulance dispatch - so they know from GPS signals where the ambulances are in relation to the jobs, then the system pretty much has to talk to the internet, and probably uses one of the available APIs like Goggle or Bong to get the map data.

Can't see them re-inventing the wheel by writing their own mapping stuff from scratch.

Google exec 'missing' amid Egypt protests

Alister Silver badge

Not thought this through...

"The company has unveiled a service that lets people tweet via a voice connection. Anyone can tweet simply by leaving a voice mail at one of these international numbers: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855. No internet connection is required, and the service will automatically add the hash tag "#egypt"."

That's a very good idea, now, how do we let people in Egypt know about it?

well, they can see it on the Interweb... ah... no... maybe not then...

Or I can ring someone... beeeeep... beeeeep... beeeeep...


Carrier Pigeons!!

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