* Posts by Simon Harris

1338 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

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UK's first 'DIY DAB' multiplex goes live in Brighton

Simon Harris
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Coat

Re: Was the picture necessary?

"A picture of girls on a beach"

I think it was supposed to illustrate

The Internet Of Thongs.

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This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

Simon Harris
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Laser bacon

Finally something to make vegans see the light!

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Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

Simon Harris
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Joke

"Kickstarter is another culprit and just kills the battery on my tablet."

That's not actually the website killing the battery - it's a protection mechanism built into your tablet to power it down before you've had time find your credit card and blow a wad of money on some improbable project.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Ads? Flash? JavaScript animations?

Phone?

The article says 2013 Retina Macbook Pro. Wouldn't fancy holding that up to my ear.

A retina laptop screen (2560x1600) will have a lot of pixels to animate. It would be interesting to see if the same ratios between power consumption of website renderings applied to a bog-standard 1388x768 laptop and across different browsers.

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John McAfee: Ashley Madison hack may ‘destabilise society’

Simon Harris
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Article illustration...

A somewhat optimistic view of the kind of shenanigans to expect after signing up to Ashley Madison?

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Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Simon Harris
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Childcatcher

Re: Moving "users" folder

Using letters to refer to drives was inherited from CP/M, so I think you mean

'How very 1970s!'

CP/M - back when people used to dress like this ---------------------->

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NASA briefing in HOURS: 'We are upon the CUSP of finding ANOTHER EARTH'

Simon Harris
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Alien

Re: How much like?

Equally screwed if it turns out to be LV-426, in which case I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit..

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How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden

Simon Harris
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"many hours in Cheltenham are spent filling out forms."

Sounds like nothing's changed since the days of Harry Palmer.

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An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one MEEELLION miles out

Simon Harris
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Boffin

Re: Eclipse.

Distance from L1 to Earth 'De'~ 1,500,000 km.

Distance from L1 to Moon 'Dm' at closest point ~ 1,100,000km (approx.)

Diameter of Earth 'E'~ 12,742km.

Diameter of Moon 'M'~ 3 475km.

Moon's relative size to Earth when viewing from the perspective of L1:

M/E * De/Dm ~ 0.37

You are mistaken about a camera on the sun during an eclipse. The distance is so far away there would be almost no perspective and the moon would not appear to cover the earth. The moon does obscure the sun from the earth because:

Distance from earth to moon: Dem ~ 385,000 km

Distance from earth to sun: Des ~ 149,600,000 km

Diameter of Moon 'M'~ 3 475km.

Diameter of Sun 'S' ~ 1,391,684km.

Moon's relative size to the sun from the perspective of the earth:

M/S * Des/Dem ~ 0.97, so the from the earth the moon appears about the same size as the sun.

(exact proportions will vary depending on where in the orbit things are relative to perigree/apogee).

Feel free to work the numbers from the perspective of a camera on the sun!

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Simon Harris
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Re: Wow!

Looks like your gutters need clearing.

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Simon Harris
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Eclipse.

A shot from there during an eclipse should be pretty spectacular, and give us a good shot of the far side of the moon appearing to cover a little over 1/3 the diameter of the earth.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Simon Harris
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Alert

Re: Wot?

"I can't remember the term for leaving bits of equipment inside a patient but I'd imagine that bits of surgeon are unlikely to be included"

I'm not sure that they ended up inside the patient, but body parts of members of the surgical team have been known to fall off during surgery. Consider the case of Robert Liston, a Georgian/Victorian surgeon reputed to be 'the fastest knife in the West End'. In his most famous case:

"Amputated the leg in under 2 1⁄2 minutes (the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene; they usually did in those pre-Listerian days). He amputated in addition the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright.

That was the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality."

Edit: I just noticed Allan George Dyer got there first with the story of Robert Liston, but I'll leave this one here to keep the context of bits of surgeons dropping off. Send any upvotes to Allan for being first!

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Reg top tip: Don't have the same name as someone else if you use Facebook's Instagram

Simon Harris
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Re: One wonders ...

"Either both [Jj]akes are you..."

Didn't you know, jake was a pioneer of self cloning. It started off as just the extra leg, but now there's a whole extra persona.

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Russian billionaire: GET me the ALIENS ON THE PHONE. Do it NOW

Simon Harris
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Re: 'Expert' Alien Hunters?

Maybe if you decouple the tasks of hunting and actually finding.

I'm an expert at hunting for components that have fallen under my desk. Not such an expert at actually finding them again though!*

*At least not until I start looking for something else, or have already bought a replacement. Maybe the answer to finding extra-terrestrial intelligence is to stop looking for it, and to look for something else instead - then it's sure to turn up.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Intelligent alien life?

Either that or we'd just find the phones and no bacteria,

the telephone sanitisers having got to them first.

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FEMALE BLOOD-SUCKERS zero in on human prey by smelling our BREATH

Simon Harris
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But wouldn't the BBQ provide a bigger CO2 + heat signature anyway?

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Netflix profits plunge, but streamer still plans global domination

Simon Harris
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Pint

Re: Netflix charges too little

Equivalent to about 1 1/2 of these a month. ------------------------------------------>

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PLUTO FLYBY: Here's your IT angle, all you stargazing pedants

Simon Harris
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Re: Slow interstellar internet

Surely that depends on how long the plutonium power source lasts.

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Asimov's ghost! Oil and gas rigs could be taken over by robots

Simon Harris
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I really want them to look like Huey Dewey and Louie, and for them to spend their time playing poker.

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Simon Harris
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Argos challenge.

Is that giving it fingers and making it dexterous enough to turn the pages in the laminated book of dreams?

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On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

Simon Harris
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Re: add audio-comments/updates/street names

"I've always found vehicle noise useful"

Except for the bloody Prius that silently sneaks up on you!

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Simon Harris
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Thumb Up

Re: Isn't TO-2015 a power transistor package?

+1 for the backronym.

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Robot SHOOTS into the air with hot gas from its soft round behind

Simon Harris
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Music by Jingle Punks...

They should have got Van Halen.

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PLUTO: The FINAL FRONTIER – best image yet of remote, icy dwarf planet REVEALED

Simon Harris
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Re: Just for a laugh...

I vote for Elves, that'll put those who redesignated it a Dwarf planet in their place!

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Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

Simon Harris
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Re: Meh

How many washing machine programs does a person usually use? My washing machine remembers my preferences by virtue of the program knob being in the same place as where I left it from last time.

Do I sense a certain amount of a solution looking for a problem?

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Pluto probe brain OVERLOAD: Titsup New Horizons explained

Simon Harris
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Deadline detector.

There's one built into every CPU to ensure things go a bit screwy just before the critical phase of any project.

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Microsoft dangles $500k cash wad over boffins: Please, pleeease write some HoloLens apps

Simon Harris
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Unhappy

Grrr...

Restricted to residents of the United States :(

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Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Simon Harris
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The timing wasn't just coincidence.

Saturday 13th June: Philae wakes up.

Monday 15th June: The Clangers start broadcasting.

I think we've found our alien organisms.

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Soyuz source replenishes international space station

Simon Harris
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Pint

Re: Mixed units

As long as my beer comes in pints, I'm happy.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Question for El Reg's space cadets

"Additionally you have a meatsack on board who can try changing things..."

Of course you could always sneakily disconnect all those knobs and buttons, so they only think they can change things.

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Simon Harris
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Re: El Reg units...

Is this water Evian or Lidl own brand? - the volume you'd get for 926 pounds is quite different.

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Facebook unveils SECRET logo furtle – in a TWEET

Simon Harris
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Re: ??

"...and why does it appear to be printed on a rolled up towel?"

Because if you want to survive a corporate identity rebranding meeting, you've got to know where your towel is.

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

Simon Harris
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Re: Islands

"The best bargaining position has to be the Germans still owe us x BN from WWII"

Listen, don't mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right.

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Get READY: Scientists set to make TIME STAND STILL tonight

Simon Harris
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A completely preventable situation.

If only there was an El Reg unit of time we could all use instead!

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LG's six-sided battery to take smart watches into new timezones

Simon Harris
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Re: "not a symmetrical hexagon, sadly"

and are those chamfers on the top two corners, which would actually make this an octagonal battery?

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Giant male member spontaneously ejaculates over Norway

Simon Harris
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Re: insidious ejaculation

"It was intended to plant a mental seed in the lucky victims."

Oops.. I misread that as 'plant a metal seed in the lucky victims' and immediately Julie Christie's image popped into my head.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Simon Harris
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Re: Totally brilliant, but not exactly "transistor by transistor"

All the logic that does computation is done transistor by transistor.

The only place that LSI has been used is on the 7-segment display boards - apparently it was too complex decoding hex (octal?) digits to a 7-segment display in transistors for something that is there 'for debugging purposes'. To quote Newman...

"I spent a bit of time trying to work out how to do the 7-segment display using discrete transistors but the answer is vast. Really, really big. It would have near doubled the size of the thing and the circuitry for the display would have obscured the circuitry for the processor which would have undermined what I was trying to do. As its only for debug and not proper function I went for chips. This is definitely NOT cheating, it is just for debug. It is irritating though."

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Simon Harris
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Re: Quite a challenge

Here is an interesting piece on how the 6502 decodes instructions:

http://www.pagetable.com/?p=39

It explains how the instruction decode causes undefined opcodes to do the strange things that they do.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Beat the clock

He found out that a state transition takes about 1uS to propagate through a gate, and to work right through an adder was about 40uS (change on the LSB through to carry out) - it's this that sets the maximum clock frequency.

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Simon Harris
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Re: I wish I could help out

"I wonder if you can step-by-step the clock for debugging?"

Apparently, yes.

http://megaprocessor.com/VitalStatistics.html

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Simon Harris
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You might want to read the creator's web pages, particularly this one...

http://megaprocessor.com/progress.html

where he explains the limitation.

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Simon Harris
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Re: That's cheating - he should do it in Minecraft.

Minecraft? It would be cheating to do it as a simulation.

Why not get back to reality and do it with Lego?

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Simon Harris
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Re: Kudos and beer

If you're still interested LittleDiode claim to have some of the HC variety in stock.

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Simon Harris
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Re: 3,500 LEDs

The memory appears to be an array of bistable flip-flops with a density of approximately 1 bit per square inch.

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Simon Harris
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If you look at his website, where the pictures are bigger, you'll see there are PCBs for the modules, mostly linked together via ribbon cable terminated with IDC connectors.

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Simon Harris
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I'm waiting for the FORTRAN compiler.

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Simon Harris
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Drum storage...

Will he be 'repurposing' the washing machine?

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Simon Harris
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"Would be better using discrete logic surely?"

Nothing wrong with doing it with discrete logic, or valves for that matter, if that's your own preference - the challenge of building it with discrete transistors is his.

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