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* Posts by Colin Brett

193 posts • joined 7 May 2008

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SAP: It was our Big Data software wot won it for Germany

Colin Brett
Pint

Motion capture?

While watching a couple of games with a few beers and good company, I noticed the brightly coloured, almost day-glo, boots most of the players were wearing. I wondered if tapes of the games could be analysed to predict, or at least simulate, movement of players on the pitch. In video games, the player would control one team member (the one with the ball), while the game's AI would move the other players to tactically important places on the pitch.

Sounds like the SAP software could be used to improve the AI of games like FIFA. Given that Sony were one of the World Cup's major sponsors, a Sony/SAP tie-up seems possible.

Colin

Beer Icon because several were involved in formulating this idea :-)

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

Colin Brett
Joke

Paranoia

"The Computer is your friend!"

"Will all REG sector troubleshooters please report for termination immediately."

"Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice day."

At least Paranoia gives an IT angle to this story.

Colin

PS: I am well aware of the big overlap between IT and RPGs. Hence the joke icon.

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

Colin Brett
Joke

Will this be open to non-Scotland-based businesses?

A famous race course, for instance, might be interested in a.scot .

Colin

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British and European data cops probe Facebook user-manipulation scandal

Colin Brett
Paris Hilton

Quick question ...

I don't know if this has been answered (or even asked) elsewhere but exactly which week in 2012 was the "research" carried out?

Was it before or after the 18th May 2012 IPO?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Colin

Paris because she probably doesn't know either :-)

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Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?

Colin Brett
Facepalm

"Or poke fun at things closer to home... try Siri in Welsh, Gaelic or Jordie for weird."

Jordie (*) ... Wasn't he the engineer in Star Trek: The Next Generation? Or did you mean Geordie? The dialect spoken in the Newcastle area.

Colin

(*) Yes, I know it was spelled Geordi

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That's no plane wreck, that's a Google Wi-Fi balloon

Colin Brett
Thumb Up

"spokesentities"

Excellent!

Colin

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Colin Brett

Dammit! Ninja'd

There were similar stories floating about years ago, when the Polytechnics were "upgrading" to Universities.

Newcastle Poly wanted to become City University Newcastle upon Tyne and it took some guy on the print line for the new letterheaded paper to point out the acronym. Admittedly, this might be some sort of urban legend.

The students at Sheffield Poly wanted to rename it Sheffield Hallam Institute of Technology.

Colin

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Come off it, Moon, Earth. We KNOW you're 60 million years OLDER than we thought

Colin Brett
Thumb Up

Re: "Blind, drunken Gods, swaying to the sound of mad piping...."

"Further perusal of Jimbo's Excellent HTML Store™ revelas that..."

Excellent! Have an upvote.

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ICT globalisation survey: UK's tops - 'cos we don't care who buys our firms

Colin Brett

Re: UK company bosses. "We don't just sell out to anyone"

"Is the VC backers forcing them to sell up at the first hint of someone who'll give them anything close to their preferred return?"

Cynical but probably true. However, there is an alternative view: that UK bosses know they'll never get appropriate support and protection from Whitehall and sell to overseas companies who can protect their assets (e.g. IP and patents).

Colin

PS: "Christopher Clague" ... the offspring of Nick Clegg and William Hague? <<shudder>>

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Colin Brett
Headmaster

Standing on the shoulders of giants?

Additional point: a boffin should build on the work of his or her predecessors. They can take the work of Newton, Einstein, Galileo, Oppenheimer et.al and think "wouldn't it be neat if we did this?" Of course, when their new ideas come to fruition, they should credit the original sources and perhaps explain what led to their examining this new line of research.

Anyone who takes someone else's research, builds on it and then claims all the credit is not a boffin. He or she would be a rip-off merchant.

Colin

Grammar Nazi icon because he has the look of a boffin-turned-lecturer :-)

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Colin Brett
Thumb Down

Re: I really, really, hate that word

"I really hate the term boffin. It is too often used by certain publications to describe a man (and it is always a man, women in science tend to go by the term top science tottie) who though clever in a narrow field is incapable of dressing themselves in the morning or finding their glasses despite being perched on the top of their heads.."

That's the whole point of this discussion: to reclaim the word boffin as a term of respect and admiration for those in the scientific community who know their field inside-out and upside-down and can then apply that knowledge to bring about significant benefits.

Colin

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The Force of tax breaks brings Star Wars filming to Blighty

Colin Brett
Black Helicopters

These tax breaks ...

Are they a contributing factor in "24 Live Another Day" being shot in London?

Serious question. Not wanting to start a flame war.

Colin

Black helicopter because that's what's chasing Jack Bauer right about now :-)

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PICS ON GROUND: Cabbies PARALYZE London in Uber rebellion

Colin Brett
WTF?

Re: Meters

"The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association argues that the mobile app is basically just a form of taxi meter, which private cars and minicabs aren’t legally allowed to have."

This point puzzled me. The private cars and minicabs don't have the meter: the customer who wants the taxi has the meter, in the form of the app on their phone.

Colin

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NSA: Inside the FIVE-EYED VAMPIRE SQUID of the INTERNET

Colin Brett
Big Brother

Re: Outrage

"Can anybody suggest a way of spying on baddies while not looking over goodies' shoulders too ?"

They used to call it HUMINT.

Colin

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Forget superstars, this HYPERGIANT star is 1,300 times the size of OUR SUN

Colin Brett
Alien

Life, Jim?

"Let's get that diameter in perspective: drag-and-drop HR 5171 A in place of our sun, and it's good-bye to Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn."

So would that place Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in the Goldilocks Zone? Or would they all be like Daddy Bear's porridge?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Colin

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Roll up, roll up for the Commentards' Ball

Colin Brett
Pint

Re: Attire?

Don Jefe,

Sounds like a plan. Have a beer on me.

All you need after that is for some astro-engineers to fit rocket engines to the base of the pub and then the party will really fly! It can raid the Home Counties for more supplies (but good luck finding tambourine girls in Essex, Kent or Berkshire).

Colin

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Zaphod Beeblebrox style third arm cyborg prosthesis unveiled

Colin Brett
Mushroom

A Plutonium rock band from the Gagralaka mind zones

Didn't Disaster Area have a fully robotic drummer? Their meatsack drummer was on a beach light years away where he "had found a small rock that would be friends with him". DA's manager was relieved that the timing of the cymbalistics would be correct.

Colin

Nuke icon because that's somewhat quieter than a Disaster Area concert :-)

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Colin Brett
Joke

Re: USB was thought to be shorthand for a European country

I was going to suggest "United States of Berlin". I believe it's been tried a couple of times in the past.

Colin

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

Colin Brett

RE: @AC, 22Jan14-01:03 GMT

A prime candidate for Flame of the Week? He missed the RANdoM CapitALs but, other than that, a fine effort IMO.

Colin

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Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob

Colin Brett

Re: Outrageous

"The trademark filing has it covering all kinds of non-software things. Notable in its inclusion is "Headphones," which retroactively makes Skullcandy headphones a violation of this trademark. I'm sure other instances could be found."

So where would this leave the Highlander movie? (there can be only one, two and three don't exist ;)

Hooker: "Hi, I'm Candy."

Kurgan: "Of course you are."

Colin

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Colin Brett

Re: Like taking candy from a public domain baby.

"It's a bit cheeky, copying someone else's game mechanism and then trying to claim it as your own IP!"

Well put. The follow-up question being: who actually owns the rights/IP/copyright/software patents/source code to the original "Bejewelled" game(s)? (Or whatever family of games can trace its lineage back to the first version.)

This is a serious question. I'm not trying to start a flame war.

Colin

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Colin Brett
Coat

Re: Man pages

"history" has been completely rewritten, and is now called "herstory".

The "touch" command has been removed from the standard distribution due to its inappropriate use by high-level managers.

Brought to you by the People's Committee for Democratically Organizing the System (PC-DOS).

Colin

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OMG, Andrex KILLED the PUPPY! Not quilty, exclaim bog roll boys

Colin Brett

Re: Online toilet paper lovers?

You're dead on with the tracing paper thing ...

I remember some grafitti on a toilet cubicle wall at Newcastle Poly. Went something like

"I've been at this place for three f***cking years and only now do they start using bog roll that's worth nicking!"

Colin

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Bill Gates orders HITMAN to KILL right-hand man STEVE BALLMER

Colin Brett

Re: Make The World A Better Place? Microsoft?

"Whatever you do will be more fun."

I think Microsoft's funniest advertising fail was for Windows 95. The soundtrack was the Rolling Stones' "Start me up", which was all well and good when clicking on the Start button was what Win 95 was all about. But that song then does go on to say "You make a grown man cry."

The irony was obviously lost in Redmond.

Colin

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Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2

Colin Brett
Coat

Re: Agreed...

"Have you got any idea how many thousands of letters Lester receives from 4 year olds every day? El Reg would go bankrupt if they sent them all mugs."

Not all Reg commentards are 4 years old. Although the mental age of some of them seems about the same.

Colin

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Fancy some BEER ON TOAST? Italy invents spreadable booze

Colin Brett

Re: SWEET!!

"had a pint of Jollyboat breweries Grenville's Renown yesterday. Sweet and really lovely. So I had another."

You stopped at TWO? Or were you just unable to order the third?

Colin

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Colin Brett

We have to get off this rock

I've upvoted a couple of earlier posters (Dan Paul and Ben Holmes) because I agree with their sentiments.

Where Dan's point is concerned, I'm with Stephen Hawking, who said "I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space". If we haven't left Earth in significant numbers before then, then the human race will be blasted back to the Stone Age. Look at the Shoemaker-Levy comet impact on Jupiter. That's a near miss in spatial terms. If it had hit the mid-Atlantic, where would we be?

Ben's point is the main problem:

"An[d] so the endless cycle of underfunded grandstand projects such as SLS continue, whilst NASA slips further and further into obscurity."

The technology, the brains and the desire (Elon Musk and even Richard Branson) either exists or is on the drawing board right now. What we (as a species) lack is the political will to make it happen.

Heck. Rant over.

Colin

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Ubuntu Edge Linux mobe: 'Made you look,' crows Shuttleworth

Colin Brett
Joke

Re: Operation Extinguish

Errr ...

"Ubuntu Edge was a flop, rebranded as a ¨success¨. Just like MS claims Win8 is a success."

And ...

"MS´s plan must be working our nicely, they have clearly shifted gears into Operation Extinguish and this funding disaster was clearly part of that."

You are Eadon and I claim my five pounds!

Colin

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German engineers demo ROBOT APE

Colin Brett
Joke

Missing from the end of the video

The gorillabot sits down and starts picking fleas off its programmer :-)

Colin

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Microsoft lures buy-curious vixens, corduroys with a cheap fondle

Colin Brett
Thumb Up

Re: MS Learning Fail

"This is the 21st century, and anyone in technical fields or with a smattering of interest about computers ought to be encouraged to learn how to make computers do what *they* want, not just being taught how to operate Microsoft Office."

Well said, Quxy.

Though the follow-up question would be: how do we give those "in a technical field or with a smattering of interest about computers" the chance to learn? I got my first micro back in the Spectrum days because I wanted to cheat on my maths homework and soon learned that the machine couldn't perform miracles just because I switched it on. I had an Oric-1, with something of a dearth of mathematics programs, so to get anywhere I had to program the damn thing. It taught me an awful lot.

So how do we encourage the incoming wave of schoolkids and students, literally, to "get with the program"?

Colin

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Reg hack prepares to live off wondergloop Soylent

Colin Brett
WTF?

Re: keen.

"His plan is to solve malnutrition in one product and it looks like he has it. "

How can this solve malnutrition in famine-struck tracts of the Third World? It seems to need clean water and a means to refrigerate the final mixture to make it drinkable.

Will the maker be funding such developments with the profits from this gloop?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Colin

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Hitchhikers' Guide was WRONG, Earth is not in a galactic backwater

Colin Brett
Go

As a H2G2 Fan ...

I've seen so many quotes from the books in these comments that surely we can come up with a new story? There have been 6 books so far (I haven't read And Another Thing). Shouldn't we commentards be working on the 7th?

Colin

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Colin Brett
Coat

Re: "...beaming out of faraway clouds of water and alcohol."

"This story doesn't need a punch-line."

No. It needs a punch bowl for all that alcohol and unidentifiable bits of fruit.

Time to go ...

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Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Colin Brett
Coat

Re: Pertwee

I've had this conversation before, in a pub after several beers.

If you want a gritty, "gets sh1t done" Doctor, I elect Philip Glenister (aka Gene Hunt). Despite the mass hilarity which ensued, the idea coincides with an older, tougher Doctor with fewer "emo" issues.

Also: the Tardis could become an Audi Quattro.

<<< Mine's the flame-retardant one.

Colin

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Snoopers' charter rests in shallow grave - likely to rise again

Colin Brett
Black Helicopters

NAT, routers etc

Commenters above have mentioned that NAT, routers and other kit make identification by IP address difficult, if not impossible, and not "beyond reasonable doubt" in a court. These commenters are technically correct (the best kind of correct).

But what happens next?

Maybe the government will push for IPv6 rollout? Then everyone can have their own IP address, which would be required to make your mobile, smartphone, desktop, laptop or tablet connect to the internet. Then the police and intelligence services will know who sent the messages (unless the alleged sender can prove their device was stolen or otherwise compromised).

Is that a helicopter I hear?

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Apple fanbois' accidental bonking ruled too obvious by watchdog

Colin Brett

In the words of a very wise geranium ...

"Oh no. Not again."

Colin

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BOFH: My HELPDESK HELL - lies, phones lines and statistics

Colin Brett
Happy

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Says it all, really.

Oh BTW. Why didn't the episode end with Kzzzerrrt?

Colin

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Starlight-sifting boffins can now spot ALIEN LIFE LIGHT YEARS AWAY

Colin Brett
Thumb Up

Re: Anything we can do

" "where the hell are they?"

A few thousand light years away, on average (give or take a few thousand orders of magnitude). "

Or camped out on the planet Rupert, watching us.

Colin

Thumb icon, for the Hitchhikers Guide.

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Colin Brett
Coat

Project 1640

Sounds a bit sinister in a non-descript way. Like Projects Paperclip, Grudge and Blue Book. I know the names don't describe the projects' purpose (because that would give the game away to anyone attempting to spy on said projects) but "Project 1640" sounds like they know more than they are telling.

Or am I just being paranoid? :-)

Colin

Where's my tinfoil hat? In that coat there, thanks!

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BRITAIN MUST DECLARE WAR on Cervinaean menace

Colin Brett
Flame

From Steven Wright

"I love defenceless animals, specially in a good gravy."

Colin

Fire to roast them over, obviously.

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Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII

Colin Brett

I read the book ...

"All fleeing the law and killing people left and right."

In Lucas' original novel (if that's not too flattering a description) of Star Wars, the introduction is in the Journal of the Whills and appended by Senator Leia Organa. It says

"They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally, they became heroes."

MMeier, I understand with what you say. Take a 20 year old farm boy, give him a gun and he'll happily shoot (what he perceives as) the bad guys, then blow up their space station home (presumably killing thousands of other bad guys) without showing a shred of guilt.

Strange morals they have in a galaxy, far far away.

Colin

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Colin Brett
Thumb Up

Ouch!

"Considering that there hasn't been a star wars movie in 30 years (snort), I'm looking forward to the revival."

Claws in, kitten. Or Rancor monster, Wampa or whatever.

I'd like to say you were wrong but, sadly, you're not.

Colin

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Colin Brett
IT Angle

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back ...

... with Carrie Fisher as a nun.

Also, isn't she in one of the Scream franchise as a "down and out actress working in the props department" taking the mickey out of how fame does your head in?

Colin

Icon because Carrie Fisher still has IT :-)

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Colin Brett

@Gavin

"Weirdly I'd forgotten how good looking Carrie Fisher was back in the day"

I hadn't forgotten. Ever. I remember the real and only Star Wars (Episode IV) back when I was 9 and still think ... Wow!

Colin

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Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62

Colin Brett
Terminator

Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

A "phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range", perhaps?

Colin

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Larry Ellison buys airline

Colin Brett
Pint

Beer country @TeeCee

"ISTR a quote that said something like in order to be considered a country you needed your own beer and your own airline."

I've seen this quote attributed to Frank Zappa, which runs something like:

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer." --Frank Zappa

Colin

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British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

Colin Brett
Coat

I'll probably get flamed for this but ...

Will the Hitler's mob return and sue Lucasfilm for use of the term "stormtrooper" in Star Wars?

Oh, sorry. Disney have already bought Lucasfilm.

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Boffins find 17,425,170-digit prime number

Colin Brett

Re: Why are we paying for this research?

"that's funny, 39 certainly used to be prime. I wonder when it changed."

It changed just after they discovered the number 13, I believe.

Colin

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You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

Colin Brett
Happy

Wasn't there a story like this last summer?

Oh ... here it is:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/09/kittycam_discovers_killer_cats/

This garnered 286 comments, many of which I read first time round and many of which are similar to those on this thread.

Now I have to go. I have a cat to worship in an hour.

Colin

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Three years since his Sun gobble, what hath Ellison wrought?

Colin Brett

What if the governments had refused the takeover?

The article says:

"... is that Sun took a huge wonking write-off while the Oracle deal was pending, shedding nearly 6,000 workers and writing off the value of some acquisitions. This was done to gussy up Sun's books before the company was to be absorbed by Oracle, should the governments of the world approve the acquisition."

So what would have happened to Sun if the governments had refused the takeover? Would it have died (whether slowly or in a blaze of disgrace)? Or would it have emerged leaner and meaner, rebranded itself (as Moon Macrosystems) and thrown itself back into the fray?

I'm not a business analyst - just a sysadmin that built most of his career on Sun/Solaris - so I'm intrigued to know if a "new Sun" could have emerged from the ashes of the old.

Colin

PS: Where's the "inquiring minds want to know" icon?

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