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* Posts by M. Poolman

64 posts • joined 19 Mar 2007

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

M. Poolman
Coffee/keyboard

Icon

Says it all. I'd add a beer and thimbs up as well if could.

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Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole

M. Poolman

In the interest of fairness

I should make clear that the BBC report I heard didn't actually mention Ebola, but the breathless excitement with which they described the (potential) impact of the "shellshock virus" might lead one to think that the two were comparable.

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M. Poolman

It's getting worse

According to the BBC R4 news it's not just a vulnerability - it's a virus, and judging by the report only slightly less serious than Ebola.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

M. Poolman

Re: A little help required from somebody with a better memory ...

Multiple work spaces (or screens - the concept was pretty similar) were built in, not a third party add-on, at least on the later (A1200ish) amiga models. I seem to remember that it wasn't as easy to jump between as it was on various *nix systems that followed.

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Don't panic! Japan to send nuke fuel rod into MELTDOWN in Fukushima probe

M. Poolman

Technical question

To achieve meltdown you must first achieve critical mass, and a single fuel rod is much too small. Can anyone explain ?

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Los Angeles' weather is just like MORDOR, says Brit climate prof

M. Poolman

Re: Don't think we need a spare planet Earth (@ NomNomNom @ AC)

"If the hypothesis is that increase in atmospheric CO2 causes increase in temperature (the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hypothesis) and temperature fails to increase (over 17 years) despite a continuing increase in CO2, then the hypothesis is falsified*."

No, because you won't know what would have happened had CO2 remained constant. This is one reason why there's so much interest in modelling.

The fact that it's not testable is absolutely not to refute or support the notion. Personally I think that not turning as much fossil carbon into CO2 as quickly as possible is a rather sensible idea.

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M. Poolman

Re: @ NomNomNom @ AC

"That is a grotesque oversimplification of Popper."

Grotesque is a value judgement, but of course it's a simplification - what do you expect - a 4000 word dissertation complete with references ?

"There is no requirement that the theory as a whole must be abandoned the second a contradictory piece of evidence is found"

Please distinguish theory from hypothesis.

"Congratulations, you have just asserted that astronomy, evolution, paleontology, and every other science which cares about past events, is not science at all."

Please re-read the relevant para in my orginal postg.

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M. Poolman

Re: @ NomNomNom @ AC

Popper's philosphy was that to count as scientific, then a _hypothesis_ must be _falsifiable_. A hypothesis cannot be proved correct, we can only fail to disprove it.

For example, I might propose, on the basis of any, or no, evidence whatsoever, that gene X influences phenotype Y. This is still a falsifiable hypothesis, because assuming I (or anyone else) can knock out gene X we can determine whether or not phenotype Y has changed.

In this sense (and this sense only) most hypotheses about climate change are not scientific, it is not possible to perform an experiment whose result would falsify the hypothesis (e.g.) increased atmospheric CO2 will lead to an increase in global temperature (amongs many other things, we don'y have a spare planet earth to try it out on).

The same general problem applies to many other areas study (Anthropolgy, Archeaology and Astronomy all spring to mind). Whether or not we reject anything not meeting these rather stringent criteria is a matter of debate, but I find the idea a useful mental tool to asses exactly how useful a given piece of work might be.

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M. Poolman

Re: WTF (@TheOldGuy)

I dunno, ask him, or maybe write an indignant letter to the universtiy authorities and/or the Daily Mail.

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On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

M. Poolman

Re: Guns won't work, so let's look at alternatives...

The new Robot Wars - in glorious 3D !

(seriously beeb, have a think about it)

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'Ultimate nerd chick’ prompts C64 clone cancellation

M. Poolman

Mutant Camels on the Starboard Bow

All very strange. Guy seeks $150k but admits "he lacks the technical skill to design and build the machine," - what could possibly go wrong ?

And why does anyone want such things ? I (I'm sure like many Vulturistas of a certain age) cut my teeth on a C64, and I have fond memories of it. It's still in my loft, but for some strange reason I can't be arsed to fire it up. What I really would like to see, is some of the genuinely innovative ideas around at the time (ask SID about the title), implemented on modern platforms.

Mind how you go

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Brit horologist hammers out ‘first’ ATOMIC-POWERED watch

M. Poolman

Re: I happen to have experience transporting radioactive material across international borders.

I had a couple of those key-rings, both now sadly defunct. Could El Reg do them again ?

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Hardware hacker unifies 15 retro consoles in format frenzy

M. Poolman
Headmaster

Re: As an American...

"what is this Scart cable you speak of?"

what is this Scart cable \emph{of which you speak} ?

Yeah, the asbestos coated one thanks.

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M. Poolman
Thumb Up

Not only

Proper old skool, but also playing lemmings - the only game that held my attention for more than 5 minutes.

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Boffins build ant-sized battery, claim it's tough enough to start a car

M. Poolman
Boffin

Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

Not quite: cm^2 . μm yields a dimension of volume so overall we get power.volume^{-1} (power density), but multiplying cm by μm looks definitely a bit odd.

However, it's W, not Wh, so we have power, not energy, density that is being described. It's a critical difference, if our ant size battery can only supply this power for a fraction of a second it's a non-starter. If it can sustain that for several hours, then we have something pretty spectacular.

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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

M. Poolman

@zmodem

Yes, very good. Now go and find some water melons to explode, the grownups are talking.

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

M. Poolman

Re: Another example of why Linux fails to gain market share

'Ubuntu is the leader, so everyone please just promote that, even if it's not "best", to try to win some market share, and don't let the zealots and purists and FOSS radicals define the entire movement.'

Ubuntu depends on Debian, by "winning" - as in destroying all competitors, it would be effectively destroying it's own life support. Having said that, I'd certainly recommend Ubuntu to anyone wanting to dip a toe in the water.

Nonetheless FOSS is a bit of an oddity, inasmuch as there is lot of mutual interdependence between players that in other spheres would be seen as rivals: talking about a a distro as being "leader" really doesn't make a lot of sense.

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M. Poolman

Re: "Comfortable with the terminal" (nvidia drivers)

Have to agree with OP on this one. Recently having to install them on a couple of debian boxen recently was the single most horrible task I've ever undertaken, and I'm by no means a noob.

BUT

This is not the fault of Linux, but of nvidia for releasing their drivers with an appalling installation script.

Happily in 99% of scenarios the free (nv) drivers work just fine. To anyone reading this who is wondering about whether or not to give Linux a spin, I'd say "sure, go for it", but if you've got an nvidia card, stick with the drivers that come with the distro, until you've unless you've got access to some local expertise.

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Samsung laptops can be NUKED by ANY OS – even Windows: new claim

M. Poolman

@ mods

Why delete the OP ? He didn't seem to violating posting guidelines, and it make my comments look a little one sided !

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M. Poolman

Re: yawn

"This is the 3rd time this issue has been covered here"

Yes, it's a _developing_ story.

"the problem's ramifications have been clear from the outset."

To some, yes (or at least probably). This story provides provides evidence for what had heretofore been an assumption (ie that it is generic problem).

Are you really suggesting that El Reg should not waste our time reporting it ?

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M. Poolman
Paris Hilton

Re: yawn

If you think a story is boring then don't waste your time, or that of readers, by commenting. Just go to somewhere you think you might have something useful to say. And did you really mean to deploy the IT? icon ? this being a story about computers ?

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Who ate all the Pis?

M. Poolman
Holmes

Re: The vi thing

"I only ever use Linux".

This being a thread about editors for *nix systems and all.

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M. Poolman

Re: The vi thing

"I usually make the point that it's the one editor you're likely guaranteed to have available to you. "

10 years ago I might have agreed with you, but nano/pico has been (IIRC) has been ubiquitous for at least that long, and it's fair to regard it as the basic editor which will always be available.

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China's Android users warned of giant botnet

M. Poolman
Megaphone

Re: And that is why

We need proper technical education in schools, not simply messing about with office to make documents "interesting and exciting" by the use of da-glo orange comic book fonts or whatever.

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Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

M. Poolman
Joke

Upvoted

Cos at least my sense of humour is still functioning. Joke alert for the overly literal.

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M. Poolman

Corrupt their way of living

Yeah, like it was westerners who first thought that having a light source when sun went down was a Good Thing (tm) ?

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MIDI: 30 years old... almost

M. Poolman

the gradual switch to MIDI over USB

shouldn't be a a problem, midi<->usb adapters are only a few quid.

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UK.gov's minimum booze price dream demolished

M. Poolman

@ AC 1239

All well and good, but how do you identify the reason(s), and what do you propose could be done about them ?

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'Inexperienced' RBS tech operative's blunder led to banking meltdown

M. Poolman
Headmaster

Yes, but

That is now a tautology. Something is unique or it is not, hence any qualifier must either be a contradiction or tautology, and so shouldn't be used.

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Surface: Because Microsoft does so well making hardware?

M. Poolman

Re: @AC

What is your point here ? (and who is "they" ?)

Every new release of windows generates pretty much the same stream of pro and anti arguments. If you just modify them to match the current release name/number, they're almost indistinguishable. What really matters is users reactions 6 months or so down the line.

I don't use windows myself, but I know plenty who do. Wasn't Vista the most hated version of windows ever ?

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Met bobbies get CSI kit to probe perps' mobes

M. Poolman

Pah !

Beat me to it. Reg - you may have a red top but this is supposed to be a tech site. Unimpressed.

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Crooks sell skint fanbois potatoes instead of iPhones

M. Poolman

Re: @M. Poolman

The phrase usually implies dire consequences from revealing the secret. e.g. Accidently allowing the wielder of authority (and the cat) to discover some breach of the Kings Regulations deserving of summary punnishment is to let the cat out of the bag.

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M. Poolman

Re: Indeed...

That's one explanation of the saying. The other is that it's nautical. The cat in question is the cat o' nine tails. Thus an action that lets it out of the bag is one that is going to lead to Big Trouble.

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Rebekah Brooks quits - Murdoch accepts this time

M. Poolman

Erm

"... or it pleases some people to think so. I personaly don't consider myself to be particularly niave, but hey - it's all depending on how much you know (or at least, think you do)."

??

"My Uncle gave me one of the most useful (and profound) pieces of advice I ever had when I was young. "The worsth crime in the world, is getting caught". Sadly, it took me a long time to really understand how true that is, and what it really signified about human nature."

How profound that is. I got caught for riding my push-bike with out lights (at night would you believe). I hear about the massacres at (e.g. srebenica, rwanda, etc.) committed by loads of people who never got caught. I 'd look up to them if I wasn't hanging my head in shame.

"I'm not going to waste your time stating the obvious - I'm not even going to bother to vote a certain post down. I"

Good

"I'm sure there are many here as 'clueless' as me who know what I mean."

I doubt it.

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M. Poolman

WTF

Has Assange got do to with whether or not it's OK to access the voice-mails of murdered children, for the entertainment of the Great Britisish Public ?

Back in your hole, troll.

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M. Poolman

I don't want to get into a political row.

Then STFU

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DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

M. Poolman
Pint

And another thing

Some years later I found myself at University and learned C & Unix on DEC Ultrix personal workstations, so I suppose I owe quite a lot to Ken Olsen and ilk.

Raise a glass to his memory !

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M. Poolman

Good 'ol days

I too cut my teeth on a PDP 8. It was the size of three wardrobes, had two mag tapes, a hard disk and hi-res graphics (A total of 600 spots on a B&W CRT). Booting consisted of entering (40 odd ?) binary numbers on a toggle panel (loads of really cool flashing lights) to be able to read a paper tape, then load a paper tape to get instructions off the mag tape, finally load a mag tape, and after an inordinate amount of clicking and whirring you were able to start using the teletype. All long term storage was on paper or mag tape. The disk only held a few k and that was used for the focal interpreter.

It really did look quite impressive when both mag tapes, the teletype and all those flashing lights were going 19 to the dozen.

But you tell the young people today, ...

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Lettuce head e-fit draws a blank

M. Poolman

Please

let us stop all this silly punning

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What’s new and improving about IT today?

M. Poolman
Coffee/keyboard

The best typo in the world

Probably. The mind (amongst other things) boggles. Made my Friday afternoon.

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Welsh mum amazed by Marmite Messiah

M. Poolman

Zappa,

definitely Zappa

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Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond

M. Poolman

title

memcpy(dst, src, sizeof(*dst))

might help. Better to use abstract data types with dedicated copy functions. If done properly problems like this will be manifest at compile time, not run time.

JM2CW

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Kettering to London: 18 hours by rail, bus and pack mule

M. Poolman

@@M. Poolman(s)

OK it's quite a few years since I was drinking at the OGs and doubtless rail service, like so much else in this once fair country, will have declined somewhat. But +/- ~10 mins in comparison to the figures quoted above might appear a little pedantric.

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M. Poolman

King insanity

The picturesqe market town of Wellingborough is about 10 minutes bus journey from Kettering and has direct rail link to the big smoke that will get you there in ~3/4 hr. Northamptom, one time cobbler captial of the empire is about 20 minutes by bus and has an equally good rail link.

Surely this is some bizarre and belated April fool, Really. Honetstly. Can't be anything else.

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DHS offers glimpse into life of its top snot'n'slobber expert

M. Poolman
Coat

Coughs'n'sneezes

Spread diseases, as my old Granny used to tell me. A saying doing the rounds in the 1918 flu epidemic. Good to see medical progress over 90 years !

The one with pockets full of hankies please.

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Boffins build omelette-making android

M. Poolman

Earth to Mars

What do you know of KoenigsEggs?

Only that they go so fast they're likely to ovaturn and you'll end up cracked with your brains scambled. Either that or you'll be pecked up in a speed trap by the coops, and get brought before the beak, which is exactly the sort of eggistential crisis I want to ovoid to have any chance of getting layed.

Oh for the wings of any bird, other than a battery hen - that's just the soth

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M. Poolman
Coat

Egg-citing development in robotics?

Nah,

Just a bunch of eggotistical eggcentrics eggstrapolating eggstraenous eggsperimental eggology without eggonomics, eggscuses or eggcitement.

(all white, it's only a yolk)

Mines the shell suit top.

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Sysadmin admits trying to axe California power grid

M. Poolman
Paris Hilton

Erm..

OK, lets get this straight. A single false alarm costs $14k and 20 (thats what the man said, count 'em TWENTY) computer specialists seven hours to correct it , while the state of California faces imminent melt down.

So thats 140 man ^H^H^H person hours to find the reset switch. And replace the broken glass. Someones taking the peace out of someone here, but I can't quite see who. Hence the gratuituous Paris emoticon.

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Frenchman calculates 13th root of 200-digit number

M. Poolman
Boffin

@RE: Unlike a computer

nth root of x = 10^(log(x)/n)

Most likely done using 2 as the base of the log though,

and a Taylor expansion to calculate the log (iterative, not recursive).

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Gibson plugs in self-tuning roboguitar

M. Poolman

Silly gimmick

Any fule kno that page 1 of "How to play guitar like Frank Zappa for dummies in 24 hours made easy" has "how to tune your guitar" on page 1.

If your going to spend thousands on a real Gibson you'll probably have got the hang of that bit. If not, you just have more money than sense.

...Oh wait, I get it now ...

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