142 posts • joined 7 Jan 2008
My favorite IT acronym is the scanner interface, TWAIN
Technology Without An Interesting Name
Yep, that's it's real name!
"We lose on every customer…"
…but make it up in volume."
This article was well-written
It was so well-written that when I glanced at the byline I fully expected to see the name Ray-something or something Ray, the chap who usually writes the RF-related articles in which an abstract concept is clearly explained. Simon Rockman, eh? That's another name I'll gladly look for. Paul
Brainstorm (Re: Re:Footage is stored for on the cloud for five hours)
Exactly! Watch the 1983 trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNiZP2G-nEM
If a phablet is no wider than 86mm, It can slip into a man's standard shirtpocket. The 1520 measures 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm, so it's pocketable. In fact, so is Huawei's Ascend Mate, which sports a 6.1-inch screen.
And its radio bands include 1700 MHz
T-Mobile users, rejoice.
They need to practice docking
Is that what they're calling it these days?
Re: Quiet news day? El Reg?
The accused has been charged. Whenever that happens, we can expect to see highlights from the original story.
Re: Why won't someone sell me..
Not only that: Google ebooks can't be read on the best book reader, Moon Reader Pro. Once I discovered this, that was the end of my Google ebook purchasing.
Re: Do it right
I agree. CRT displays hit a wall at about 130 dpi (2048 x 1536 on a 22-inch diagonal display). LCDs surpassed that, with 150 dpi 20-inchers from IBM, Iiyama, and others around 2001. But since then, we've regressed, settling in at about 100 to 120 dpi, with 30-inchers hovering around 100.
It's not as useful as a direct attachment
Many U.S. government agencies block FTP, DropBox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box, and all other file-sharing and cloud sites. For workers there, there's still no easy way to quickly send or receive a file larger than perhaps 20 MB using their government account or 25 MB using their Gmail or Yahoo account.
Don't resent the Reg's snark; embrace it
That's what my colleagues did at the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) in 2007. Shortly after DHS published my article about S&T's LED Incapacitator (http://www.dhs.gov/enough-make-you-sick), The Register dubbed the device a Puke Ray. Within 24 hours, the blogosphere lit up. Big-name news outlets interviewed our developer. Our Under Secretary embraced the nickname. And the device went on to win one of Time Magazine's 35 Inventions of the Year for its ability to spare lives.
Watch Apple sue Samsung for calling its new phone..
Lenovo "wants to position its ThinkPad range as an Apple-level premium brand"
That's funny; it already is.
Enough! already! with! the! Yahooesque! exclamation! marks!
It! was! funny! the! first! jillion! times!
I like the screen on my Lenovo ThinkPad W500 from 2008:
It's not IPS, but the resolution is a thing of joy.
Well, that must have provided a pleasant diversion for the prison proctologist.
great...unless you're firewalled
Great! I'll finally be able to get large video files to collaborators from work. Oh, wait: In the vast organization where I work, all file-sharing sites are blocked.
We'll always have Communicator...or WILL we?
What will become of the company's corporate chat client, Microsoft Office Communicator?
tapping on a laptop
You're not the only commuter who is annoyed by loud users of portable electronics. Listen to the song "Tapping On a Laptop" in my musical play Tracks the Musical: http://www.tracksthemusical.com/synopsis/ .
Re: they came back in my office
laptop + docking station > desktop
My home setup: four 1920x1200 LCDs (2x2) and an external keyboard, all driven by a ThinkPad W500. Hell, I don't even use a dock anymore; three of the monitors are driven through DVI-to-USB adapters connected to USB 3.0 Expresscard.
Samples of one tell us nothing
Lewis Page doesn't fit the profile of his fellow believers. Well, neither do I. I'm a rare bird: an animal-rights vegetarian who favors nuclear power. But unlike Page, I don't try to claim, "I don't fit your profile, therefore your profile is invalid."
an inconvenient truth
Check out The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science - and Reality by Chris Mooney (2012). Disbelief in climate change and its manmade causes correlates highly with belief in conspiracies and distrust of government.
Fire the flack who wrote this; S/he has made the public hate you more, not less:
"We are working to improve our execution and financial performance and to align our cost structure with our revenue and margin profile," HP stated."
Someone came up with Googly modesty glasses in 2009 (video)
For an augmented reality approach to Modesty Glasses, check out this prescient video:
Recently I had to call my credit union to have my password reset. I was asked the most basic of questions, then told, "OK, it's reset." I replied, "Are you kidding me? I don't WANT it to be that easy!" Every site should include challenge questions whose answers not every your twin would know. Paul
PayPal works in China, but...
Two days ago, I bought a smartphone from a Chinese site, using PayPal. I had to pay the 4.5 percent fee. Does Paypal allow Chinese vendors to pass the feel to the buyer? They don't in America.
Gene Roddenberry's daughter learned a similar lesson the hard way
In his will, the late Star Trek creator stipulated that anyone who challenged their inheritance was to receive nothing. Roddenberry's daughter was awarded "only" $10 million and no residuals. She felt she deserved more. Acting on what must be the worst legal advice in history, she challenged the will. The judge wasted no time in awarding her nothing.
Whitman's samplers? Fast chance
Puh-LEASE, someone, ask Meg Whitman whether she'll be sharing her bonus with HP's Little People, and if not, why not. Oh, and make sure the videocameras are rolling.
For the true meaning, look no further than "European Vacation"
Stonehenge is "a thing of glory for a million generations to see":
They picked Sorkin? Really?
Did anyone imagine any other screenwriter would be tapped?
BTW, his teen daughter was the cutest thing at the 2012 Oscars. I'm just sayin...
As a science writer, I strive to write this lucidly and humanly. Unfortunately, I work for the U.S. government, whose public affairs folks delight in turning science stories like yours and mine into dull press releases. In any case, about once a month I forward a science article to my colleagues as an example of the best science writing. Tag, you're it.
"Yes, but if you did like cars, what would be your favourite?"
When I was 11, my classmate Jeff came over to play. When he left, my sister, then 7, remarked, "I still don't like boys, but if I did, I'd like Jeff."
What a pleasure to see "literally" used correctly:
"PC makers forecast shortages nearer to Christmas as the deadly flooding disaster in Thailand literally wrecked the hard disk supply chain.
There's a simple way to end queue jumpers
Hand out numbered tickets. When I've found myself in a jumbled queue, I've worked with others in the queue to write numbered tickets on the spot. It worked like a charm.
"Why is there something rather than nothing?"
The question was answered decades ago in a paper in the American Scientist: There's something rather than nothing because "nothing" is unstable.
Nice pun in the main title
"Drug cops log Nigerian star's 24 bowel movements"--Nice work. I imagine that if the article had been about William Shatner's bowel problems, we might have read, "Captain's log..."
in his defense...
Er, where can I contribute to his defense fund?
I'll take none of the above
It's SoftMaker Office 2012 for me. MS, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice should ask themselves how a small team of 20 Germans could quietly create the best office suite in existence.
Nice writing, as always
Great job, Bill Ray. Among the many scribes who aim to clarify the what and why of wireless, "No-o-body does it better."
Yes, "The Box"
By mistake, I recommended a different book. Yours is the title I was trying to think of. I read about 20 pages of it online. It's riveting.
There's a book about it
The box that changed the world: fifty years of container shipping - an illustrated history, by Arthur Donovan, Joseph Bonney (2006)
Also, a Scientific American podcast (2007), in audio and transcript: How Cargo Containers Shrank the World and Transformed Trade.
If either of these was your source, give credit where it's due.
It's not about whether I like an expression
Very clear? I think not.
Under your definition, if I write 'reduced it by a factor of two-thirds,' readers will think I mean 'multiplied it by 3/2, making it 50 percent larger.' Do you seriously believe anyone will think that? Is that your intent?
Under your definition--but not under mine--to 'reduced unemployment by a factor of zero' would be impossible, since you can't divide by zero.
Under your definition, if you leave a value unchanged, you're reducing it by a factor of 1 (100 percent divided by 1). by your definition, reducing by a factor of 1 = increasing by a factor of 1 (100 percent x 1). That's jarringly counterintuitive.
Under your definition, if you reduce unemployment by 1 percent, you're
reducing it by a factor of 1.01 (since 1 divided by 1.01 = 0.99). Not at all obvious.
I completely agree with you that journalists who write 'increased by 1%' when they mean 'increased by 1 percentage point' are guilty of ambiguity and worse: stupidity or contempt for accuracy. Ditto for journalists who write '3 times greater' when they mean '2 times greater' or '3 times as great.'
20 times smaller???
The innumeracy is going from bad to worse.
To quote from 'factor change' at zonelandeducation.com:
'If a speed changed from 40 m/s to 20 m/s, we would say that the speed changed by a factor of 1/2.'
Need further evidence? From Common Errors in English Usage by Paul Brians:
'Mathematically literate folks object to expressions like “my paycheck is three times smaller than it used to be” because when used with whole numbers “times” indicates multiplication and should logically apply only to increases in size. Say "one third as large” instead.'
If Brians is not sufficiently authoritative, there's always the New York Times Style and Usage ('times less, times more'):
'"And do not write "times less" or "times smaller" (or things like "times as thin" or "times as short"). A quantity can decrease only one time before disappearing, and then there is nothing less to decrease further. Make it "one-third as much" (or as tall, or as fast).'
How the hell can something be reduced by a factor of 20?
When something is increased by a factor of 20, it's larger by 20 times, or 2000 percent.
If something could be reduced by a factor of 20, it would be smaller by 20 times, or 2000 percent.
Yet once something is reduced by 100 percent, it no longer exists.
He meant to say that the new subsystem would draw 1/20th the power. In other words, its energy demand would be reduced by 95 percent.
When someone tells me, "You'll have to ask the press officer..."
I reply, "Do you mean I'll have to ask the press officer because you don't know, or because you refuse to tell me?"
The drone then carefully repeats, with surprise and irritation, "You'll have to ask the press officer." To which I reply, "That won't be necessary; you've just answered my question."
Verizon tried that tactic on me
Me: Will Verizon be getting the iPhone next month, as reported in the Wall Street Journal?
sales guy: I've read the same reports. Stories like that are nothing new.
Me: But according to the Journal, Apple has placed an order for millions of CDMA chips. That clearly points to Verizon, wouldn't you say?
sales guy: People have been asking us that for years. Verizon will never get the iPhone.
me: Then if the story turns out to be true, will you personally buy me an iPhone and a two-year plan?
It failed as a phone, not as a tablet
So callers don't want to hold a $500 5-inch brick against their ear. That doesn't mean that a $200 5-inch WiFi tablet, with Android 3.x, would fail.
Will someone please get the message the the U.S. government?
In too many of Uncle Sam's offices, XP remains king, together with Office 2007 (not 2010), Sharepoint 2007, and Internet Explorer 7 (not 8, much less 9).
: "I'll be leaving McAfee in great hands"
Four of them, to be precise.