* Posts by Peter Bradshaw

13 posts • joined 18 Mar 2008

No wireless sex please, we're American

Peter Bradshaw
Gates Horns

Whose "Family" Values?

If it allows the family values of my family, it might be fine. So the exclusion/inclusion criteria have to be rational: no nonsense about "marriage is only for pro-creation" (so after her last troubled-but-successful pregnancy, when my wife had her tubes tied, we should have divorced?, and if not then, now when she is in menopause?; definitely not MY family values!), or not letting children know that homosexual people exist (the only still-married of my kids is the lesbian one, a fine family in my book), or that contraception is available (I CERTAINLY want my grand-daughters to have access to data about that, and my grandsons also), or that only Christian values truly exist (Jefferson among other US founders appears to have been an atheist, and the current rash of Islamic martyrs was preceded by similar Christian ones a few centuries ago, etc.)....

But I suppose I am just dreaming...

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Google gives GMail always-on encryption

Peter Bradshaw
Happy

Google Security

First, thanks for this useful tip. I just changed my settings (and my wife's) to ensure we can sent items such bank info data to (for example) our son without being concerned about it being intercepted. (Google specifically says it is both to and from their servers). I notice that now my Documents and Calender data also go through a https: URL, so I assume these are encrypted as well. Very nice.

One curious thing: after I changed my Gmail account to https:, I logged out, opened my wife's (to fix it also), and got an https: connection there too. I checked and changed the setting anyway, but it seems that it did keep the secure connection once set on the other account.

I have no problem with the account NAME being transferred un-encrypted, that is closer to a public record anyway, and I don't get much junk e-mail on the account anyway, compared to my other accounts (work and an ISP).

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Japan kicks off electric car format war

Peter Bradshaw
Thumb Down

I love my hybrid

..because the discussion seems so anger-filled, and often inaccurate.

My Honda Civic hybrid gets about 48mpg (US gallon, so 60 mpg UK; yes, the UK gallon is 25% bigger) by accurate measurement; the fuel by county-agency-tested pumps, the distance by comparison of the odometer in the car with roadside-maintenance mileage markers. The mpg indicator in the car is about 8% too high. The savings over a non-hybrid come from several things:

1. the regenerative braking (slowing down or running downhill charges the battery), 2. the engine stops while waiting at traffic lights etc.

3. although the batteries and motor have some weight, this is compensated by a smaller engine weight.

4. the engine is able to spend more of it's time nearer an optimum efficiency condition.

I avoid jack-rabbit starts and screeching-brake stops, and have no interest in competing with a Pontiac Vibe or whatever (once, on a very crowded downhill two-lanes-my-way highway, in an old VW bus, in the "fast" lane at 54 mph, I inched past a Porsche in the "slow" lane, which was doing maybe 52 mph; the Porsche-drivers reaction at being passed by a VW bus was so strong, he nearly rear-ended the car in front of him).

I would like a bigger battery in the car. I regularly go over an 1800 ft pass (visiting a daughter and two grandkids) and by picking the optimum transmission setting (yes, a manual), I can use almost the full battery charge on the way up, but it is fully charged again before I am all the way down the other side, so the recovery is incomplete. But otherwise it is really great.

No, I have no interest in helping to eat that cooked foot.

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Scottish gov OKs Europe's biggest onshore wind farm

Peter Bradshaw
Flame

Solar Cell Manufacturers giving them away?

"... the environmental damage from manufacturing solar cells far outweighs the input you get from them in the UK, (and certainly in Scotland FFS) and they will decay to a point of non-usefulness far before they have produced more energy than their production consumed."

I am curious about the environmental damage from solar cell manufacturing. Although early semiconductor plants often dumped their waste inappropriately, today the waste treatment is much better (I should know, I have worked in the industry in Silicon Valley for nearly 40 years). The probable time to decay to non-usefulness is certainly many decades, and probably centuries, and since the payback time is now under 20 years, the energy consumed in their production must be very cheap if it is less than their lifetime production! Unless the manufacturers expect to lose money on them.

Even Scotland is sometimes sunny.

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Unpatched Windows PCs own3d in less than four minutes

Peter Bradshaw
Unhappy

So I have under 4 minutes?

My wife's HP machine came with XP and SP1, and ran for years without problems. Recently it has crashed repeatedly and often all the way down, and after many re-installations of the OS, assisted recently by my (fairly cheap but not free) SP2 disk from M$, I decided the problem has to be the hard drive going south. The machine is capable of doing all the things we need, and much of our software and even hardware is not Vista-compatible, in particular the HP scanner for scanning her artwork is no longer made, and had compatibility problems with SP2 until I got patched for that, and our WordPerfect is not Vista-ready.

Yes, I am over 65, but first used a computer in 1963/4 (paper-tape input, printed output, no graphics, wrote my own near-machine-code programs), have designed ICs for decades, both before and with computer software assists, but now I am wondering if I am just not getting the OS updated fast enough on the re-installs. My ISPs assign an IP when I connect (yes, I have been involved in IEEE 802.3 committees, so I know what an IP is), but how do I protect against being "own3d" before I have the updates downloaded? And if I go on a business (or other) trip, how does my (non-techie) wife handle it?

I do like the idea of M$ providing an updated installation disk, since they originally put the holes in the OS. But would they do that for XP? Moon$Hine dreaming!

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Green-loving California may dodge utility bill bullet

Peter Bradshaw

Let's put the blame wjere it belongs.

The California Electricity deregulation bill was actually passed during the previous Republican administration. By the time it came into effect, and the "smartest guys in the room" figured out how to get rich off it, Gray Davis was governor, and got hit with the resulting flak.

By the way, some Republicans think Arnold is a closet Democrat. Just remember the family his wife comes from. He certainly ranks higher on my list than just about any other Republican in years.

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Vodafone presents punter with £500k phone bill

Peter Bradshaw
Happy

Early Computer Billing Problem.

My father used to work in accounting to the SW Gas Board. One time, soon after computerization of the billing system (circa 1960) a customer paid his bill twice, and the next month his bill showed up saying that the SWGB owed him something like UKP 9,999,973 14s 12d (sorry, my US keyboard does not seem to have have a Pound symbol). He asked politely when he could come and pick up the money.

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Deutsche Telekom mulls Sprint takeover

Peter Bradshaw

GSM for International Use PLEASE

The original reason I went with DT was so that I can easily use my phone when traveling abroad (mostly Europe). If they take over Sprint, I hope they keep GSM active. And why can't ATT & DT combine to offer good rural coverage in the US? It works fine in Europe, where the actual carrier in use can change every few km without problems. And I can buy a local SIM card to avoid/reduce roaming charges.

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Colliding galaxies mark Hubble anniversary

Peter Bradshaw

Not-so-fatal collisions.

As to "A Very Bad Day", remember that galaxies are mostly empty space. Colliding galaxies tend to merge or rearrange themselves, but the great majority of the stars within them will survive these collisions, even though they may be moved from their original orbits within their original galaxy, and even end up in the other if the result is not a merger. One can expect most planetary systems (such as ours) to survive such a collision with only minor effects. The collisions take many millions of years in any case (galaxies are typically many 100,000 light years across, and their relative motion is a small fraction of the speed of light).

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Peter Bradshaw
Happy

How can we let it fall apart

Even though the Hubble telescope was originally flawed (the main mirror was incorrect), the fixes and improvements made by the Shuttle since have led to it becoming the best instrument for this kind of astronomical picture. The results alone justify the expense of maintaining a fleet of Shuttles. How can we (I suppose as NASA) even conceive of letting it fall into disuse?

My cynical side wonders if this is a part of Shrubs attempt to replace science in American culture and policy with (mis-guided) religion. Let us hope the next president, whoever that turns out to be, can and will reverse this Luddite policy!

Meanwhile, thank you for steering me to these FANTASTIC pictures.

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Comcast proposes P2P 'bill of rights'

Peter Bradshaw
Coat

Comcast as a fox

Brer Fox would sure like to go the Comcast route, and be put in charge of guarding the henhouse. Perhaps he needs to get the right lobbyist.

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Dubai impounds cable slicing ships

Peter Bradshaw
Paris Hilton

Poor PH

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/paris_hilton_32.png

Paris Hilton

Congratulations, all the comments with pictures of PH and nasty comments have finally made me sympathetic towards her.

Only for 30 seconds or so, but still...

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Skype blames eBay for killing 'our innovation buzz'

Peter Bradshaw
Happy

OldFartPeter

I am mostly with "Anonymous Coward" here. I use a VOIP service in America, where I dial a local number, whose equipment recognizes the calling numbers (home phone, cell phones, etc.) (or I give it the key account information), and I can call my relatives and friends in Europe for between 2.5 & 5 c/min, or elsewhere in the US for <2c/min. I no longer have long distance service from AT&T, which is way more expensive. Only problem is when I go visit Europe (or elsewhere abroad), I am still paying exorbitant roaming charges on the cell phone, for a direct call, or to call back to my VOIP service in the US. If some company comes up with a way to do that better (JahJah?), I will use that. The olde telephone companies will go the way of the commercial sailing ship if they don't catch up!.

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