* Posts by Ian Johnston

595 posts • joined 28 Sep 2007

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IN YOUR FACE, Linux and Apple fans! Oculus is Windows-only for now

Ian Johnston

Is the underlying message here that they have given up trying to make a proper VR headset, and instead have cobbled together a couple of displays and few accelerometers, with a Windows programme to do all the actual work?

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Oculus Rift VR bucket will be seen on noggins near you in 2016

Ian Johnston

Sounds like a desperate attempt to keep a bit of momentum as far bigger and better funded competitors move rapidly towards launching products.

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Ian Johnston

There are other suppliers of li-on batteries. Mastervolt, for example, do 2.5kWh (12V) and 5kWh (12V & 24V) batteries at broadly similar prices per kWh.

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Microsoft HoloLens or Hollow Lens? El Reg stares down cyber-specs' code

Ian Johnston

Is this another blow to the twitching near-corpse of the Oculus Rift?

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Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

Ian Johnston

He fixed the ethernet cable?

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The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

Ian Johnston

The solution to that problem seems obvious. Design an iron equipped with Bluetooth LE, linked to a smartphone, running an app that uses its camera to scan a QR code printed on a fabric care tags. This QR code contains all of the care information for that article of clothing, so every time that dress or dress shirt goes under the iron, the app adjusts the iron to the ideal temperature.

Neither "obvious" nor "solution" seems quite the right word here. At the moment you look inside the garment (the labels are not outside, obviously), see whether it's one, two or three dots and set the iron accordingly. A slight improvement might be to have a finer scale, with degrees rather than dots.

Finding the tag, finding the smartphone, starting the app, scanning the QR code and getting Bluetooth working is not an improvement in any conceivable way. It simply adds stages for no benefit at all.

This is why people laugh and point at those who promote the internet of things.

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Apple Watch: We ROUNDUP the ROUNDUPS. Yes, Roundup-squared

Ian Johnston

Re: What about the following options?

Spot on, but you forgot the prototype "left" in a bar to be "found" by a friendly tech blogger and retrieved by Apple after bloodcurdling "threats" of legal action which curiously don't seem to come to anything.

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Saturn's rings, radio waves ... poetry? At home with Scotland's Mr Physics

Ian Johnston

Maxwell's real breakthrough in electromagnetic theory was positing the displacement current, which is the rate of change of electric flux density , dD/dt. There was no empirical reason to expect this, but it made the equations nicely balanced by adding a term analogous to dB/dt. Everything else in the equations predated Maxwell, but he unified them and, by adding displacement current, git EM radiation to pop neatly out. It has - rightly, I think- be described as one of the greatest intellectual leaps ever made.

Incidentally, Maxwell's own house, Glenlair in Galloway, is regularly open to visitors. The main part of the house was destroyed by fire years ago, but the surviving bit is under restoration. While in the area you can also visit Maxwell's grave in Parton kirk yard and see a memorial window in Corsock kirk, for which (the building) he paid. It's claimed to have the only stained glass representation of Maxwell's equations in the world.

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Stress me, test me, vex me ... boffins seek Hall Effect in frustrated magnets

Ian Johnston

I strongly suspect that article to have been written by the editors of Social Theory, getting their own back on Alan Sokal.

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

Ian Johnston

Re: HiFi vs Premium

Excellent find, and directional too:

IMPORTANT: Please observe the correct cable orientation during installation. The cable is marked with an arrow "→" which indicates signal direction. e.g. Bluray/DVD → AV Receiver→ TV/Projector

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Ian Johnston

To force-click on an item, you simply click on it once as normal, but then maintain the pressure with your finger until you feel a second click.

It has only taken Apple five years to catch up with Android, then? How nice.

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By Odin, Parallels thinks cloud service providers should buy Odin

Ian Johnston

Odin is, or perhaps now was, also the port of wine to OS/2.

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AUTOPILOT: Musk promises Tesla owners a HANDS-OFF hands-on

Ian Johnston

Re: Navigation Needs Update

Or when he goes of on a screaming rant about "big oil shills" at the slightest criticism.

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Adobe lifts sheet on Dropbox-style doc sharing cloud

Ian Johnston

Re: Subscription dystopia

LibreOffice Draw edits pdfs surprisingly well.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Ian Johnston

Five hundred quid for a tiny secondary display for your iPhone? What a bargain.

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Ian Johnston

Re: Presumably....

...the same people are behind the Graun's recent web disaster, which converted a reasonably useable news web site into a ghastly disorganised mashup of blogs spouting cack, reposting of "news" from fourth rate journalistic sources, confusion over what counted as opinion and what as news, confusion over when material was originally published, etc etc.

Trying to recreate the spirit of the printed paper online, then?

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Ian Johnston

Very entertaining. I don't know which bit I like best, the claim that every single HSBC customer who owed taxes has paid or the claim that call-me-Dave's meeting with Vodafone didn't happen, and that everything was settled through a curiously unreported court case.

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M0n0wall comes tumbling down as dev throws in the trowel

Ian Johnston

If it's good, and since it's open source, why doesn't someone else take it over?

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Ian Johnston

Re: One born every minute

I think the phrase you're looking for is "It opens up the sound stage".

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They've finally solved it: Schrödinger's cat is both ALIVE AND DEAD

Ian Johnston

If a single scientist enters the room with the box in it, opens up, looks inside and then dies of a heart attack before telling anyone how the cat was, what happens? Does the cat's state uncollapse itself until someone else has a shufti?

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Brain-train kid game settles with FTC over 'unsupported' claims

Ian Johnston

Re: Research

It really is depressing how bad most educational research is. The Clackmannanshire farce is a prime example: all it proved was that when you give a fairly small number of children intensive coaching their scores improve. Well whoop-de-flipping-doo.

Meanwhile in the real world, as synthetic phonics becomes mandatory and the publishers laugh all the way to their banks, reading ability at the end of primary school is deteriorating measurably. So much for the "all children will be three or four years ahead" guff the Clackmannanshire enthusiasts sell us.

Brain Gym is discredited. Can someone please do Mindfulness next?

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'How a censorious and moralistic blogger ruined my evening'

Ian Johnston

Re: What this world needs is more organizations like The Guardian and The Register

The Guardian? You mean that bunch of trust-funded, nepotistic private school alumni who have form for revealing their sources without a qualm if the alternative is any sort of personal inconvenience?

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Ericsson boss sticks a pin in Google’s loony Loon bubble

Ian Johnston

What precisely is the Google plan for dealing with the wind where their balloons are? Blimps are fun, by I doubt many of them can do the 100kt+ which would be required to maintain station in many places.

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REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff

Ian Johnston

Feeling a bit hormonal today, are we?

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Ian Johnston

Re: Be nice to shop workers

Be nice to people, full stop.

It's a long time since I did customer support, but I do remember going out of the way to look after the people who treated me decently.

Did you spot the inconsistency there?

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BYOD: don't let the dream turn into a nightmare

Ian Johnston

Re: BULLSHIT

That is the professional advice and best practices of REAL network admins and directors. Not snake oil salesmen.

Nah, it's appropriate advice for a very small number of companies and paranoid, will-nobody-think-of-the-child job-preserving bullshit for most. The average university has upwards of ten thousand privately owned devices connected daily, and nobody dies as a result.

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Antares apocalypse: Orbital points finger at turbopump FAIL

Ian Johnston

Before getting too sneerily superior about 1960s Russian rocket technology, it might be worth remembering where and when the only spacecraft currently capable of taking people to the ISS was designed.

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Gov.UK doubles IT outsourcing to £20bn

Ian Johnston

As little as that?

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ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff

Ian Johnston

There is no excuse for not listening on channel 16

Marine VHF is very limited in range, both by power and by curvature of the earth. There is no reason at all to have a VHF set switched on forty miles offshore - it's for inshore and intership use only.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Ian Johnston

Re: Nuclear

Not terribly effective for temperatures under several thousands degrees. You need to make the bloody thing glow to radiate heat.

Care to guess why the surface of the moon, and indeed the Sahara, get so cold at night?

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Does this float your boat? Dead Steve Jobs to hijack yachts from BEYOND THE GRAVE

Ian Johnston

Re: Avast, there

http://www.raymarine.co.uk/view/?id=3939

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SHIP OF FAIL: How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

Ian Johnston

Railway risk

Various inland lines that could have been put into service had been closed and taken up by people who were unable to assess risk

No, they were closed and taken up by people who realised that there was no sense in keeping a railway line open in order to provide a diversionary route which has been closed once, for a few weeks in fifty years.

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Don't bother with Apple's 9 Sept hype-day: Someone's GONE AND BLABBED IT ALL

Ian Johnston

Innovative

According to some of the paper's sources, Apple has tweaked the iOS user interface to include a "one-handed mode" that can be switched on and off, for those with short fingers but who still like the idea of a phone with a larger screen.

Wow. What a stunning, ground breaking idea. Only Apple could ever come up with such a stunning breakthrough. Well, not counting Samsung, who had a one-handed mode on the original Galaxy Note three years ago.

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Ian Johnston

Re: Biting on the Apple

My original Galaxy S does everything I want it to do, as fast as I want it to do it. Much as I would like some new shiny, I haven't been able to find any semi-rational reason for splashing out a few hundred quid on upgrading.

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Firefox 32 moves to kill MITM attacks

Ian Johnston

New features are all very well

But I do wish they'd get round to dealing with that whole "being a bloated cycle-sucking RAM vampire" thing as well.

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Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

Ian Johnston

Any sign of the promised education version?

It's only two years late now.

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Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST

Ian Johnston

I was beyond fuming

He points out that cheap tablets are often bought for children and by selling on a tablet which has the child’s social network data, the parent might be unwittingly aiding a stalker who could use the identity of the child to stalk other children

He appears to be channelling the collective mind (using the term loosely) of Mumsnet.

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Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

Ian Johnston

Re: Inefficiency is irrelevant

People aren't prepared to spent money on pointless techno bling? Haven't met many Apple fanboiz, have you?

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British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Ian Johnston

Re: Good work

At which time the Boots instore advert for photo processing was a life size free standing cardboard cut-out of a child, seen from behind. A naked child.

Somerville was shopped by a presumably hypocritical Boots employee, and her arrest details were flogged to the press by a Metropolitan police officer.

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Anti-snoop Android 'Blackphone' sees the light of day

Ian Johnston

Am I the only person assuming that the NSA is behind this?

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Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Ian Johnston

Re: 16-page document I was working on last night won’t fit onto a floppy

I have a hard-sectored 8" floppy for a Philips WP system, ca 1984. It has some useful stuff on it, and I dream of one day reading it. I'd be mildly surprised if there is a working system of that sort left, and astonished if it could transfer data to anything else.

Obscure note: the disk was used on Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

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Tim Cook: Apple's 'closer than it's ever been' to releasing new product range

Ian Johnston

Here we would be going again

If Apple really were about to release something, wouldn't we be getting the usual "Apple engineer accidentally leaves prototype in bar, prototype mysteriously finds its way to Apple-friendly blogger/magazine, Apple claims to sue Apple-friendly blogger/magazine and retrieves prototype after just long enough for plenty of details to be leaked" routine?

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Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Ian Johnston

History of Art at Cambridge, eh? The traditional degree for well-connected but dim girls.

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Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS

Ian Johnston

Re: @asdf The desktop deadend.

I've been running Ubuntu since 6.06 and current have it on about ten machines. I have never, ever managed a successful version upgrade.

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Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run

Ian Johnston

Re: Say what?

The usual suspects? Is this Big Oil Shill paranoia? Perhaps Mr Musk should have charged his rocket for longer, instead of relying on what the customer support person (suesequently sacked) told him to do.

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NSA's TURBINE robot can pump 'malware into MILLIONS of PCs'

Ian Johnston

Oh yeah?

"All of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight," the British intelligence agency said in a statement.

A statement which they make so often that I expect it's a keyboard macro in the press office there. Does anyone seriously believe that they would tell the truth about this?

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

Ian Johnston

Re: I have looked

Code should not cause compilers to issue dozens of warnings.

Meh. If you're not getting compiler warnings you're not trying hard enough.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Ian Johnston

Microsoft Word? Oh-so topical

What will Mr Stross think of having a zany, up-to-the-minute pop at next? How about those teenagers and their transistor radios? Or perhaps he could turn his gifted pen to military strategy and explain why so called "tanks" will never replace horse on the battlefield.

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UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

Ian Johnston

Re: Maybe they should teach maths

How's progress with the proper education version? You know, the one we were told would be out in September. Last year.

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Ian Johnston

Re: They've done more than you ever will to promote some classroom coding, sunshine

Have you seen many classrooms with enough HDMI-input TVs lying around for every child in a programming class? 'Cos I haven't.

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