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The Register Email Address Blunder

Peregr1n I've got the list. (70 comments)

I was one of the 3,521 who received the email with all 46,000 addresses in the CC field.

It was followed up by an apologetic email explaining what had happened and asking me to delete the original email; and another email sent to all 46,000, again apologising and explaining, and linking to the press release. The Register also promptly reported themselves to the ICO.

My first question to them was 'What mass mailing software or service do you use, and why did it allow this?' Considering the (assumed) IT literacy of The Register's staff, I hope they're at least using some semi-competent service, and not some home-brewed PHP script running a SQL query. They haven't answered this yet.

However, at least they have been honest and apologetic about it - this isn't the first time I've received mass CC'd emails from legitimate businesses, and usually they're a) unaware of it and b) don't really care even when I point it out. Always surprising considering how tight data protection laws are in Europe. (Maybe it's one of those pesky interfering European laws that the Tories want to get rid of, to let good old honest British spammers return to their traditional methods)

Anyway, I haven't deleted the email yet, but will be soon. While I have NO intention of sharing or using the 46k addresses (and have been impressed so far with the lack of replies from any of the other 3,521 along the lines of 'LOLZ!! EL REG FAIL!'), I might do some data analysis (eg. how many use each popular email service, what proportion use throw-away or site-specific addresses, how many apparently use real names) - any suggestions?

more than 3 years ago
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The Most I'd Pay For a Good Tablet PC Is:

Peregr1n Re:Missing option: more than $500 (257 comments)

The "tablet" thing is going to be a multitouch-screen netbook without a keyboard.

$500.00 is way too much already for this

Uh, so you're saying that the hardware cost of a multitouch screen should be less than that of a keyboard? I'm not sure if I follow your logic...
I guess you're saying that you value a keyboard more than a multitouch screen. In that case, I don't think you're exactly the target market.

more than 4 years ago
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Does a Lame E-Mail Address Really Matter?

Peregr1n Judging (1049 comments)

Yes, people will make snap judgements. Whether that is moral or not is subjective.
People make snap judgements on ethnicity, sex (admit it - how many times have you turned down a girl for an IT position?), name (which might denote ethnicity or class), accent, disability, sexual orientation, looks, smell... all kinds of things which probably bear no relation to how well they might do a job. But... these things CAN be an indication - chances are a guy who turns up smelly to the interview won't get a public relations job, or a slim girl won't get a construction job.
This is why when sorting through applicants, we keep personal details separate from experience details. A lot of UK based universities and employers do this. Applicant A might seem perfect for the job, and I won't be influenced by the fact that Applicant A is an ugly fat black lesbian wheelchair-bound African immigrant. With an AOL address. Even if I had a prejudice against any of those facts.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Faces Deluge of Nexus One Complaints

Peregr1n Re:Market Research using Google... (329 comments)

Also bear in mind that T-Mobile and Vodafone are also extensive brands in Europe, but as far as I know Verizon and AT&T are only used in America. I don't know about other parts of the world, but you see what I mean.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Postulate Extinct Hominid With 150 IQ

Peregr1n Blue Whale (568 comments)

The Blue Whale's brain is around 6kg. Following this groundbreaking research by Discover Magazine, this must mean Blue Whales have an IQ of 430!

I, for one, would like to welcome our genius blubbery overlords.

more than 4 years ago
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Pieces of stamped mail I sent in 2009:

Peregr1n Re:all those cards (297 comments)

90 x Christmas cards?

Lets say you bought packs of ten for £3.00 each (and you're British!)
Stamps, second class £0.30 each for 80 British friends, airmail £0.56 each for 10 overseas friends.

That adds up to £56.60 for the chance to communicate "To you, Happy Christmas, love from Me".
Maybe worth it for the non-techy oldies and lonelies who like having cards up; but for pretty much everybody you know, what else is Facebook/Email/Twitter/SMS/Skype/etc for?

more than 4 years ago
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Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki

Peregr1n Good thing it wasn't a Blackberry Storm (249 comments)

It's a good thing he didn't have a Blackberry Storm to mash his query out on, or he would have been confused by the instructions on "how to slither a navy"

about 5 years ago
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Swiss Geologist On Trial For Causing Earthquakes

Peregr1n Re:Damages? (258 comments)

Some parts of the world are more used to earthquakes than others, and plan accordingly. I'm guessing (from a quick glance at your blog) that you're in the USA - western? Your houses are probably designed to be quake-proof, and a 3.4 quake will do nothing but rattle your plates. Here in Europe most housing is traditional stone, and earthquakes are something that happens in far-flung corners of the Earth.
Disclaimer - I don't know how severe a 3.4 quake is, maybe it really is inconsequential - but my point still stands in that it probably caused the residents of Basel to shit themselves. (Far from villagers, too, BTW)

about 5 years ago
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Broadband Rights & the Killer App of 1900

Peregr1n Re:Suddenly, everything is a right (565 comments)

This is what amuses me about America. In one post, you argue without a hint of irony that a) rights are endowed by a creator, and not inventions of man; and b) you have the right to bear arms.

But more seriously, I would take exception to your argument that rights are not given by man. It is only by becoming civilised that we can share equal rights. No matter how loudly you shout about your rights, they only exist if others recognise and respect them.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has not only rights to free speech, but rights to housing, food, clothing and clean water. These are commodities. The right to express yourself politically (vote) is also critical; as is the right of equal access to public service in your country. These require a communications network. This means broadband to me. Sure, you don't have to FORCE broadband on somebody; plenty of people don't invoke their right to free speech, but are very glad they have the right should they want to. In the same way, I'm fine with the fact that my parents live in the back of beyond and don't want broadband, but I'm glad that they COULD get it if they need it.

about 5 years ago
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Typewriters, Computers, and Creating?

Peregr1n Douglas Adams (227 comments)

I can think of plenty of (perfectly sane) people who would happily bid for Douglas Adam's Mac. Especially if the files were left intact - some of them were used in constructing the Salmon of Doubt, the novel he was outlining at the time.

A collector's item only needs to be unique - it doesn't matter what it is, physically. Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat is just the same as any other bowler hat - but worth a lot more.

about 5 years ago
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The Cloud Ate My Homework

Peregr1n Yeah (305 comments)

I repeatedly encouraged my girlfriend to store her PhD documents in Google Docs, rather than on her laptop (that she takes everywhere). Eventually she complied; then, after a week or so, all her Google Docs vanished without trace.

No previous versions, nothing. I was at a loss to explain it, and have you tried contacting Google with a tech support request? Not a chance.

She's reverted to her low-tech solution (keep on laptop, occasionally email self with document attachments as a backup). I can't blame her.

I'm not saying this WILL happen to anyone else, but it completely destroyed my faith in 'cloud' storage. I'm quite happy storing documents remotely, when I know where they are, but cloud storage by definition could be anywhere - or nowhere.

about 5 years ago
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iPhone 3.1 Spotted In Field Testing

Peregr1n It'd be bigger news (136 comments)

...if Apple WEREN'T bringing out a new iPhone sometime next year. An annual cycle is predictable; some manufacturers would consider it TOO long between launches.

about 5 years ago
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Google Apologizes For "Michelle Obama" Results

Peregr1n Correction (783 comments)

The site showing the image has removed it. Google don't appear to have 'removed' it from their index, just promptly re-indexed the offending site.
However, I don't remember Google (/youtube) being this proactive when offensive Thai royalty videos appeared. Or the 'Bush chimp' images (although those were funny*)
*IRONY

about 5 years ago
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Linus Torvalds For Nobel Peace Prize?

Peregr1n Bill Gates (541 comments)

I know this is contentious, but I quite like being the devil's advocate. Isn't Bill Gates more suited to the Nobel Peace Prize?
His philanthropy is unparalleled (by monetory value alone, anyway). His influence on the world of computing is undisputed. I'm not saying his influence has been good or bad... just that he's had influence. The world wouldn't be the same without Windows. Regardless of which operating system you favour (for me, it's a tie between OSX and Ubuntu), you cannot deny that Windows has been an important component in the spread of information and education across the world, and enabled all kinds of communication.
A lot of this stuff would have happened anyway, without Windows... but then I could argue that the US civil rights movement would have happened at some point without Martin Luther King (a previous Nobel Peace Prize winner).

more than 4 years ago
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Chinese To Supply 600 MW Wind Farm In Texas

Peregr1n Re:The US should control the technolog (453 comments)

What, because the Chinese are only interested in subverting the American way of life, and couldn't possibly be looking at it from an investment point of view!

I'm fully aware I'll be modded as a troll, but I find American's suspicion of Chinese investment ironic, considering the amount of American investment, development and exports worldwide in the last century.

more than 5 years ago
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UK Copyright Group Tells Cinemas to Ban Laptops

Peregr1n This is very irritating (438 comments)

I don't have a car. I commute by bus and ferry. There's a Cineworld on my way home that I frequent, but now cannot as I carry my laptop to work every day (I use it to get in a bit of work/browsing on the 2 x 30 minute ferry crossing daily commute).

Cineworld Southampton have therefore just lost my business. This is particularly stupid of them, as quite often (even with newly released films) I can count the audience members on my fingers.

more than 5 years ago
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10/GUI — an Interface For Multi-Touch Input

Peregr1n Re:Overhyped (344 comments)

Why? Because you can buy a USB keyboard for five dollars. Where's the profit to be found in that?

more than 5 years ago
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Yet Another Premature Declaration of Email's Death

Peregr1n Outlook for work, Facebook for play. (266 comments)

Most people I know (non-techies) use Outlook for work communication and Facebook for friend communication. I can't help feeling that if Sharepoint was all that Microsoft promised it would be, we'd be using it for work communication like we use Facebook. But when people have to call IT support to ask how to move a document from one folder to another, it's not going to get that far...

more than 5 years ago
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Candy Linked To Violence In Study

Peregr1n Class? (205 comments)

I don't know how relevant this theory would be to America (I know class boundaries are not as evident as in the UK), but here the most obvious cause of this evidence would be class lifestyles. Poor, lower class, under-educated children are more susceptible to criminal influences; while well-educated middle class parents are more likely to obsess over their children's diets. As goes the popular tag, correlation is not causation. You could equally theorise that wearing trainers cause crime, as children who wear Nike trainers are more likely to offend than children who wear Hush Puppies shoes.

more than 5 years ago
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Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

Peregr1n Cracking success? (275 comments)

I'll admit Sharepoint is a success when it works with browsers other than IE. After evangelising the benefits of alternative browsers around our company, I looked distinctly silly when we started rolling out Sharepoint and had to admit everyone had to revert back to IE.

I would also warn people against believing Microsoft's hype about Sharepoint. It's a good tool for a specific purpose, but it won't solve every problem you have. Make sure YOUR company is suitable for the way Sharepoint works. Don't expect Sharepoint to be flexible to your requirements.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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London buses to get atheist advertising

Peregr1n Peregr1n writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Peregr1n writes "In a response to advertising threatening hell for unbelievers, the British Humanist Association is launching a bus-side advertising campaign in London; the adverts state, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." Financing for the campaign was from public donation, including from famous humanist Professor Richard Dawkins. They only originally planned to raise £5,500, but have been donated £32,000 and rising, and are considering extending the campaign to other cities."
Link to Original Source
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Peregr1n Peregr1n writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Peregr1n writes "My brother and his wife are home educating their four kids (aged between 0 and 5). I've been tasked with providing their IT education. What free or cheap resources are there around for this purpose, aimed at such young ages? Most books I have found concentrate on Microsoft skillsets (using Windows and Office) but I'd like to give them a more rounded education."

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