Feeds

* Posts by Mage

2869 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

IT'S ALIVE! ISEE-3 responding to commands

Mage
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Fantastic

I may come across as a negative, cynical person. But really I just try to call it as it is.

This is great.

0
0

Brunner does a runner: Beats designer must hand the brand to Apple

Mage
Silver badge

Easy Job

Copying £10 'phones and sticking "Beats" labels on them?

I wonder anyway was it:

Plastics design 100%

Acoustic & Driver design 0%

Do Beats Headsets really use custom or off the shelf moving coil earpiece inserts?

But everyone keeps telling me it's not about the headphones but the Streaming!

5
0

Google TOO WHITE and MALE, says HR boss, looking in mirror

Mage
Silver badge

Self sustaining

Google famously has process for hiring people.

In general people will hire people like themselves.

0
2

ProDesk colour 3D printer's secret: It gives hot models great head

Mage
Silver badge

Re: 3D capture?

Yes,

I don't want to spend a week on 3D CAD drawing. I have maybe one original object and I need only one replica. Using latex or 2 part Silicone Rubber is a problem to replicate. Mechanical strength is needed too. I'm not replicating figurines but broken items not made for 30 to 90 years.

I need the high resolution 3D scanner too.

The "printed" parts need to be as smooth and resolution of cast, also as strong as Milled parts.

1
0

Rap chap tapped for $3 BEELLION: Apple buys Dr Dre's Beats

Mage
Silver badge
Alert

2.5mm and Baffled

There is a 2.5mm stereo jack that some gear I have inexplicably uses.

1) No cost saving

2) Plenty of space in gadget for 3.5mm

3) They supply "Free" a 3.5mm to 2.5mm stereo patch cable.

Phones are often too thin already. Make them a little fatter so the battery lasts longer please!

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

Regulator

I can't imagine any "Regulator" will care.

It's not their money being wasted on a Streaming service and Record Company deals that Apple could easily do. Or indeed any other large company can do.

Even BBC was having difficulty explaining the value of this on the News. They even risked an uncomplimentary comment about the "quality" of Beats Headphones and significance of the Streaming service, though they stated the deal was "really" about the Streaming.

0
1

Jade Rabbit nearly out of hop

Mage
Silver badge

re: Stolen, Sputnik

By time of Sputnik the Russians had "sent home" their German Rocket Scientists and USA was doing Navy rockets that didn't work. So the USA let the Army and their German Rocket Scientists have a go. The 1st USA orbital satellite was a fraction of weight of Sputnik, not because Sputnik used valves (it did, but about 1/3 size of a pencil) and USA used transistors, but because the USA with Werner Von Braun was still figuring out Rockets.

So the USA (particularly) and USSR initially "imbibed" German Rocket Technology but by 1958 heading off in different directions. The Russian, Chinese and USA designs are quite different. No one at all wants to use the fuel the Russians used successfully for many years.

India, Israel, Japan, China, Russia, USA and European Space Agency (which isn't exactly EU, and curiously has their Spaceport in South America and provides Launch Pad for Russians, who now find their Spaceport is in a "foreign country", Kazakhstan) are all in the Club. Why did UK give up just as they about had it figured out?

I think it's a long time since the Chinese or Russians slavishly copied anything. The USA spy agencies DO help their large Industrial companies. Presumably everyone does this.

3
0

Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Mage
Silver badge
Facepalm

Daft!

This is such total nonsense.

Especially if you watch the same title more than once or are not on Fibre.

Also "Streaming" is really rental. I do not wish to go back to rental. Who paid for the study? Netflix, Lovefilm etc?

Also Quality is generally poorer and lacking subtitles on Streaming, but this of course could be remedied.

I'm building a collection of the Music, TV Series and Films I like. Potentially my Grandchildren may appreciate some of it.

Streaming, Broadcast and Physical media are three complementary technologies. One can't replace the others. No matter how much this would benefit Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google.

0
0

Tesla's TOP SECRET gigafactories: Lithium to power world's vehicles? Let's do the sums

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Grid losses < 10%

8% grid but can be over 10% Depends on country and Region.

8% to 15% on Charger electronics

10% to 15% battery charging losses

All that is only irrelevant if you have cheap Fusion power or live in a country that doesn't mostly depend on Fossil Fuel. Wind often isn't there when you need it. Interconnectors don't help as that can be the case over all of Western Europe at same time.

Universal Electric cars only better than LPG if we have much cheaper and cleaner to produce Electricity Generation distributed across the countries.

Totally forget Hydrogen cars. Lithium batteries are far more sensible.

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Synthetic LPG

Synthetic LPG is MUCH easier to transport & store than hydrogen.

Can use waste carbon and Electricity at a location cheap to make it.

Refilling "tank" is fast.

Can retrofit to petrol engines. 1979 I drove a Volvo running on LPG.

Can use fuel cells (not as easily as Hydrogen admittedly).

A demo PSU small enough for a laptop has been demonstrated.

Counter-intuitively it's cheaper to transport LPG large distances than Electricity.

Electricity Grid, Charger Electronics and the Battery recharging all lose significant percentage of Energy.

LPG fuelled has maybe x5 range of Lithium battery pack.

Lower production cost than new batteries + charge.

I think purely battery powered vehicles will remain a niche market. At the minute the "subsidies" (which include less or no Road Tax and no fuel duty) are benefiting only very rich people that can afford these Battery powered cars.

13
2

LG G3 fights off screen-res war rival Samsung with quad-HD cutie: In pictures

Mage
Silver badge

Re: 2560 x 1440 on a 5.5" phone

I was giving a simplistic explanation. You are correct, there is advantage to smaller than 1/2 resolvable. I was trying to explain that "maximum" is 1/2 of resolvable. It's also complicated by sub pixel addressing and layout

traditional sub pixels are same height and 1/3rd width

RGBRGB

RGBRGB

RGBRGB

RGBRGB

RGBRGB

Often now a basic colour cell is two rows (I think but may be wrong)

RG BG

GB GR

A "real" Blue, Red or Green LED is near monochromatic direct light source. An AMOLED display is really a kind of Electroluminescent panel and uses a mixture of phosphors and dye filters to get the desired R G & B. The life of AMOLED is thus poor compared to CRT or LCD.. Sony apparently has a real LED TV. Most "real" LED displays are very very large as they are not integrated panels. So called LED TVs in the shops today are just LCD with LED lighting instead of CCFL. The LED can be edge, back and using "nearly white" (Actually violet LED with phosphors) or most expensive are R G & B LED back lights.

3
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: 2560 x 1440 on a 5.5" phone

No, we had better than 1080 lines in 2002, actually 1600 x 1200 on 15", which is 1920 x 1200 @ 16:10 and about 2134 x 1200 for a 16:9 screen.

If you read review of HP Mobile Workstation, you'll find that people are scathing of "only" 1920 x 1080" on a Laptop.

It's about aliasing and readability. if an image is high contrast, sharp edges or there is small text you'll find that "normal" resolutions are too low. At 2560 x 1440 it's not about seeing pixels. Ideally you want a screen resolution twice as many pixels in each direction as you can see finest detail. Then there is no anti-aliasing required and you can show detail as fine as the eye can see without it having to match pixel layout exactly (which is obviously impossible except for local text and vector graphics).

So it makes sense.

I can't see the dots on my Laptop normally (133dpi) or Kindle (about 200dpi but only limited shades) but real printed text (say even 600dpi laser) that I can read easily is very tiring to unreadable at same size if it's a small or complex font.

At 2560 x 1440 on 5.5" you can use ANY font, you don't need PC optimised ones or even hinting.

Once your pixels are 1/2 the width and height you can resolve, then there is no advantage to more resolution unless the pixels are limited in shades. (for example you can have 5 or 6 times as many shades / hues simplistically with a 2 x 2 cell. In practice you can do better with more complex dithers over a 3 x 3 cell). The claims of contrast and colour for LCD are hyped. For AMOLED, the contrast is good, but colour rendition can still be improved as it often doesn't use true R & G & B like real LED can use.

7
0

A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

Mage
Silver badge

Cheaper solution

A cheap small phone and a cheap tablet only Android?

3
1

It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Mage
Silver badge

Re: But, but, officer . . . .

"Yes you filthy non-consumer" The Car Avatar chips in "You were using email instead of Twitter, very selfish. That's why I called the cops."

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

Looks a bit like a Henkel Kabine Though I think it has 3 wheels.

But there were some 4 wheel bubble cars.

Some others

The British version of the Isetta was built with only one rear wheel instead of the narrow-tracked pair of wheels in the normal Isetta design in order to take advantage of the three-wheel vehicle laws in the United Kingdom.

i.e. 3 wheels (still?) counted as a Motorcycle + Sidecar for road tax and driving licence.

3 & 4 wheel Isettas

I think my Dad had the 3 wheel Isetta for a short while.

The Googlemobile looks like a micro car.

I think comparing to a Sinclair C5 is very unfair. Most like this 1984 effort?

Bamby

49cc petrol

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

25mph (about 40kmph),

No mentioned that speed cap so far?

Surely 25mph (about 40kmph) would cause congestions and tailbacks. Or is normal traffic near Googleplex / Choc Factory slower than 25mph (about 40kmph)?

Or don't they trust it to keep to Speed Limits?

2
0

US DoJ to appeals court: Haha, no, seriously – Apple totally inflated ebook prices

Mage
Silver badge

---->

Ha ha!

That's all.

0
0

Still using e-mail? Marketers say you're part of DARK SOCIAL

Mage
Silver badge

A good wake up call.

Obviously we should promote this "Dark Social"

Get BBC & RTE to promote it instead of the COMMERCIAL Twitter & Facebook they promote.

I also share links, comments etc on Skype Text. I think only the NSA reads that apart from the intended person.

Eventually perhaps people will catch on that Twitter & Facebook are of no value and just exploiting them. They are not free. They cost.

1
0

Four-pronged ARM-based Mac rumor channels Rasputin

Mage
Silver badge

Re:Giving up x86

I think out side IT circles, i.e. most of Mac user base, running Windows or Linux on Mac is very very rare. It's anecdotal, but none of the Arty types I know have ever run other than Apple's OS X. Or in the case of very long term users, previously OS 9.

2
3
Mage
Silver badge

Maybe it's not true now.

Perhaps this is some other product, a large iPad with keyboard cover?

But eventually Apple will leave niche "high performance" users in the lurch. They will aim for volume market, iTunes lock in etc. So eventually the ARM will replace x86 for Apple. Unlike MS, they switched before. 68000 and then Power PC. So they have no loyalty to a CPU ecosystem and certainly the possible deprivation of rebooting to windows will be low priority.

Nothing new, it's been said before. I've said it before. But I think 2015 - 2016 more likely.

0
0

Watch: Kids slam Apple as 'BORING, the whole thing is BORING'

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Olden stuff

Apple II or Apple ][

I was conned into buying this due to hype. Had to add a card for 80 columns and lower case.

Had to add a Z80 card to get a real OS and a better selection of applications.

Had to add 8" floppies. Even in 1980 / 1981 the Apple Floppies were slower and 1/2 storage or less than others.

Lisa was under powered and not enough resource. I guess they got it right with Mac.

I think even for people in late 1970s the only useful reason for an Apple II was Visicalc.

We switched to Supercalc on CP/M.

3
2

Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Mage
Silver badge
Thumb Down

What a waste!

1920 x 1080

We don't need yet another heavy portable DVD / BD player.

1600 x 1200 on 15" (@ 133dpi approx) was March 2002! TWELVE Years ago

So if it MUST be 17" it should surely be at least 1920 x 1200.

Admittedly the 2010 resolution 2560 × 1440 was on stupidly large screens for a desk (27").

At 200 dpi a 15" 4:3 screen is 2406 x 1804 (Kindle eInk and Fax resolution). Not sure what size that would be at 16:10, 2886 x 1804, possibly not far off 17" (Or at 16:9 about 3207 x 1804)

At same height as 1600 x 1200 15" screen you only need 160dpi for 2560 × 1440.

This has wrong screen to be called a Workstation. Thus everything else is irrelevant.

7
1

Samsung WRISTPHONE – for those who wanna whisper to strap-ons

Mage
Silver badge

I can't remember

How long ago was the first GSM watch phone? Long before even iPod.

TV (using belt pack on first model), Radio, even Walkie Talkies have been done. None successful.

BT earpiece and Wrist BT monitor to an existing phone seems more useful, esp. on battery life.

Rather than links contain batteries a solid flexible fat strap can contain a single more efficient LiPo cell. Though I suppose if it goes wrong you may be in queue for a Bionic hand.

1
0

Bondi shark alert systems beams warning to nobody on Google Plus

Mage
Silver badge

Social Medjya

Why use these at all?

What is wrong with a web site that has RSS, SMS or Email. Or all three?

2
0

Watch this! How to use OS X Server for mobile device management

Mage
Silver badge

Hardly any schools waste £600+ on iPads?

Really?

Actually I'm suspicious of iPads or Android Tablets or Kindles for General Educational use. The Teachers aren't clued up enough.

Has there been a trial not funded by a Computer supplier that properly proves any claimed advantage other than Anecdotal Evidence?

Why should Schools fund a single "single source" & "proprietary solution" gadget?

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

Profiles on an iThing

Surely such local 3rd party control is anathema to an iThing owner. Only Apple is holy enough to interfere.

1
2
Mage
Silver badge

$1000 buys a Mac Mini Server

A mere Fruit fan toy.

Apple stopped making real servers some time ago.

I suppose you can put appropriate software on a netbook, Apple TV or Raspberry Pi and call it a "Server".

The "Mac Mini Server" is a small overpriced appliance.

2
6

Intel cutting prices, taking on all comers in fondleslab market grab

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Intel can buy market share for as long as they want

Nearly true.

But Intel are NOT subsidizing their x86, just reducing the margin. The Intel Tax has ever been higher than Apple or Microsoft Tax on PCs. Otherwise AMD couldn't have got to market at all.

0
0

E-cigarettes help you quit – but may not keep you alive

Mage
Silver badge

Who is selling them?

At least one International Tobacco company is selling them.

I don't know if this is good or bad.

0
0

You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Mage
Silver badge

Disruption

Coal in UK maybe hasn't been Globally competitive since early 1900s. During WWI and WWII it was important and production increased as fuel was hard to import. In 1920s a lot of miners unemployed. Mines have closed not because coal is exhausted but it's not competitive and not the demand there once was (Town Gas used to be made from coal).

There might even be several 1000 years of coal in UK. It depends how badly it's wanted. Coal now is out of favour. If there was no oil and gas you can be sure non-polluting Coal power stations and Gas production would be built. Meanwhile the Arab strangle-hold on Oil and Russian on Gas in Europe may be broken in a year or two as more shale & fracking comes online. USA may be net exporter rather than importer.

DISRUPTIVE TECH

Maybe solar energy will be deployed on African coast to make LPG from sea water and waste carbon, which can be then more easily/cheaply transported long distance than Electricity or Hydrogen. Or the problem of harnessing Fusion will be solved.

I don't think we are due to run out of anything even in our Grandchildren's life.

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: You can recycle energy as well

I'm not sure that's true about glass. Also factor shipping to one of few glass factories vs a nearer hole in ground. But Re-use of glass is certainly good?

Also unlike doors, window frames and floors etc, trees for paper are planted especially to cut down later. Not all paper comes from trees though.

Paper rots quite quicky. Glass never does, but you can crush it.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: I divide recycling into three types

Also sometimes we recycle when re-use or dumping is better.

Glass:

We are NEVER going to run out of sand etc.

It is no harm to fill a hole in the ground.

It may take more oil etc to recycle than make new glass.

If colours are mixed in the waste glass it's a problem.

Reuse can save energy.

Paper may also be problematical. It's interesting that you have to now pay paper factories to take old paper. Also there are different kinds of paper made:

Kleenex / Kotex type stuff isn't really paper

Wood pulp based paper

Rag based (presumably it matters if Cotton, Linen, Wool etc and if a mix)

Paper with surface finishes (glossy magazines, inkjet photo paper).

I presume this why unsorted waste paper has negative value.

It makes sense to recycle Lead Car & Truck batteries. Possibly in recycling Lithium batteries (but primary are 4 technologies and rechargeable are different). But is there really value in recycling an unsorted mix of Layer, Alkaline, Zinc Carbon, Zinc Chloride and Zinc Air batteries?

I don't know but I'm suspicious.

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: I would argue the situation was even worse

You must vote for the least bad.

Otherwise the Extremists will get a majority, as they get near 100% turnout of their supporters.

11
0

Apple vows to squash iMessage SMS-KILLER

Mage
Silver badge

I for one

Didn't think it was a conspiracy to block people switching, just a piece of arrogant stupidity,

It's good their ego isn't too inflated and they can admit it and now address it.

0
4

Report: Samsung joining virtual reality race with Galaxy headset

Mage
Silver badge

Re: So

Mmm, not last ever exactly, but way after first few

8bit "PC" with I/O slots and keyboard (Apple II)

Bitmapped GUI desktop (Lisa, Mac)

Newton PDA

Pippin Game console

MP3 player

Phone with touch screen

Tablet.

Skinny stylish laptop

Media Streaming box (Apple TV)

Other products ...

iTunes may have been first legal one of it's kind? Not sure as I have zero interest in buying music and games that way.

6
2

eBay slammed for daft post-hack password swap advice

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Password strength

A password Cracking program doesn't try all shorter than 16 letter combinations 1st.

It check all the words in dictionary and Celebrity names.

Pairs and triplets.

Versions with letters replaced by visually similar numbers

Versions of all above with various prefix and suffix numbers.

Probably alphabetic sequential and keyboard layout sequential such as ABCDE and QWERT

This all very much less than testing EVERY possibility and gets the majority of passwords quickly.

(No I've not done this, I'm sure a regular miscreant though will do it well).

I do let Firefox remember non-critical passwords. I wouldn't trust anything involving money to any password manager.

I do write them ALL down in a safe place with user name, site name and email used. Whoever survives me may need them.

0
3
Mage
Silver badge

Re: ebay's password policy ...

Write it in a little address book you never keep in same bag as a computing device.

If you have an accident etc you'd want people to be able to access your computer & websites, so do note site, email, user name etc and tell someone trustworthy where you keep it.

1
0

Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

Mage
Silver badge

Re: ambient listening

Only if you have installed some stupid app. I worked in Telecom / DECT / GSM/ 3G etc for 20 years and never heard of such a feature on Public Networks.

It can be fitted of course by miscreants. Such as "infinity bug" on Landlines. Or Facebook app.

0
0

EE boffin: 5G will be the LAST WORD in mobe tech – literally

Mage
Silver badge
Facepalm

Obvious!

Some people are victims of Marketing, Wish full thinking or are Employees of Mobile Companies or Infrastructure Companies.

Basic economics, mathematics and physics seems to escape some voters and commentards.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Whats the point of super fast mobile broadband..

Then when they get more customers you'll be lucky to get 0.5Mbps. It's happened in some Three markets already.

All you can eat only works if you are massively under-subscribed.

1
2
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Whats the point of super fast mobile broadband..

The caps are because it doesn't have capacity. They are actually too high for the current mast density.

If you want x2 higher cap in reality who pays for about x4 as many Base Stations? The higher the cap the slower on average the network.

Mobile infrastructure can only cope with a tiny percentage of customers connecting at the same time, unlike Broadband which has to cope with over 75% connecting at the same time (that will rise to nearly 100%).

4
1
Mage
Silver badge

Walkie Talkies

Tetra can do it now.

So can a pair of smart phones with WiFi.

It's of very limited value. Mesh based connection to eventual back-haul is staggeringly slow speed and high latency, would encourage Operators to have a few less masts. Better performance needs more masts.

3
0
Mage
Silver badge

Speed

5G will generally be no faster than 4G. Just more flexible.

If 3G hadn't used an older more obsolete "Air Interface" than GSM due to US Companies political pressure to make it an incremental upgrade of CDMA-1 (inferior to GSM), we would hardly have needed 4G.

The physical limits are the handset / modem having an omnidirectional ground level or indoor aerial and amount of spectrum economically viable for one user to have. Much speed improvement needs about x10 more masts. That's not economically viable. If there is fibre to each street and every other lamp has a Wireless Base, then you get more speed and capacity. But that's probably not economically viable and not applicable to Rural.

2
1

Robotics pioneer: Intelligent machines are 'scary for a lot of people'

Mage
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: ATM language

I was demonstrated ATM picking language based on card in 1987 or 1988. They have done it for years. Perhaps in USA Spanish vs English is a problem if by default people are issued English tagged cards and are Spanish speakers. I think in a few years it might be a Majority language in USA.

Point is it's a bad example as ALREADY the card can simply tell ATM what language to use. Nothing personal stored on ATM and a minimum of information on the Card.

2
0
Mage
Silver badge
Facepalm

Terminator

These are not real:

Terminator

HAL in 2001

I Robot

AI

etc.

I've never encountered a machine even approaching Intelligence.

I agree, given poor track record on Privacy I don't want more personalised Computers. There was actually an item on BBC R4 this morning about it. Stupid Enthusing person and Interviewer appeared to think it would be GOOD if a coffee shop greeted you personally based on automatic interrogation of your phone or whatever.

I don't have many friends. But I prefer real ones to fake and don't want my personal information in open access gadgets or machines that might be hacked.

Which is worse in your house? Marvin or the Sirius Cybernetic Corp Doors? I don't want either thanks.

1
0

China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

Mage
Silver badge

Interesting

Why did School waste time teaching Latin and French as if we lived in 19th century? Of course only about a 1/3rd I think in China actually speak Mandarin.

We needed companies like Inmos, not ICL and Thorn. By the 1960s most UK electronics was either only interested in UK Defence/Aerospace (Plessey & Ferranti previously in Consumer, though Plessey was OEM for most Big Names from 1920s to 1950s, Co-op, Ever Ready, Cossor, EMI/HMV/Marconi) or medical (Cossor) or outsourcing. Poor Quality Control. Asian makers setting up in 1970s in UK couldn't use most UK parts (quality too poor).

1
0

JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Getting cancelled has little to do with a show's worthiness.

Usually ...

1
0

iPhone-stroker-turned-fandroid sues Apple over iMessage text-slurpery

Mage
Silver badge

Re: I had this

Typical Apple Arrogance.

Apple created this problem with their buggy implementation of iMessage. Either Apple are incompetent or it is a deliberate attempt to make it hard to switch.

I suspect it's arrogance and incompetence.

Most phone users are not IT experts. Many have never used email or internet other than on phone. In Many Developed Countries as high as 33% have not used Internet.

8
4

Bitcoin blockchain allegedly infected by ancient 'Stoned' virus

Mage
Silver badge

Re: 2,000 thumbs down can't be wrong

As another has said, the MS AV is free and I'd argue it's probably not much different to any Paid AV.

The whole history of paid AV products is false positives that cripple machines. I'm no MS fan, but I wouldn't single them out on this.

Not when there are bigger targets of MS stupidity like one GUI for everything (CE era Desktop WIMP stupid on 320 x 240 PDA, today Zune GUI stupid on Desktop PC). The Ribbon. etc

0
1
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Bitcoin Bomb?

"yet we have put as much, or more, trust in them than we have in buying REAL gold and silver coins which have inherent value"

Who are these "we" you refer to?

Also I don't think real Gold & Silver coins are used any more for trading. All trading currencies are "fait".

1
0