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* Posts by John Robson

745 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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Google rolls out phishing URL alerts for admins

John Robson
Grenade

Allow scripts

I've written a good number of scripts which don't require XML - they just need a common format.

How does a space separated list sound (Linked%20URL From%20URL)

Grenade because "XML is like violence. If it doesn’t solve your problem, you’re not using enough of it."

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Futuristic Judge Dredd smartguns issued to 101st Airborne

John Robson
Boffin

Really?

"Snipers armed with existing heavy rifles could potentially pick off targets four or five miles away with a single shot - and these targets could be moving unpredictably as well, as it would be easy to hold a laser dot on them"

It's non trivial to generate a genuine dot at 5 miles (rather than a big fat blob)

Additionally atmospheric disturbances also affect light (twinkling lights across the bay anyone?)

I'm sceptical that it's easy - although clearly it's possible

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OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

John Robson
Coat

Multimate

Or does that really date me?

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John Robson

Familiarity

So that's why you've done away with menus and introduced a rhythmic gymnasts ribbon...

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Appro overclocks HF1 server for hedge funds

John Robson

SSD

Surely they'd want either PCIe SSD or at least SATA SSDrather than a feeble 7200rpm spinny disk....

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Official exposes govt IT overlaps

John Robson

Because

public libraries are such difficult places to get to, and even then they have no internet access - nor librarians who would help the technologically dyslexic.

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Trucker pulled with DVD and laptop on dashboard

John Robson
Pint

Professional

Merely means that it's how you earn your living. It implies nothing about skill level.

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John Robson
Stop

Rectification

Would involve removal of license.

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Microsoft sends in the tanks against Motorola, Android

John Robson
Happy

Upvoted

Purely for the discworld reference

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Terry Pratchett computer sniper-scope deal inked

John Robson

More than a million to one

Therefore more than a nine in ten chance

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BOFH: Robot wars

John Robson
Big Brother

Google Ads strike again:

Light-Duty Robot Arm

Humanoid arms for lightweight jobs. Easy to set up. Starting under $3K.

Used Industrial Robots

Fully warranted, used ABB robots from the original manufacturer

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Internet tethering spotted in iPad iOS beta

John Robson
Go

Tethering

should be a default option on all such devices (iOS, Android, RIM etc..)

Or we should be allowed* multiple SIMs on the same contract so that we don't need multiple line rentals for each device.

--

* I mean that providers should be compelled to offer additional SIMs for a given contract at a sane rate (50p/month/SIM?).

Optional extras could then include SIM based call limits (so you can stop kids calling Australia, but still have them on a cheap phone contract)

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Everything Everywhere axes 1,200

John Robson
Badgers

T-Mobile + Orange

T-MOrange

Team Orange?

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Buy your own Batmobile

John Robson
Flame

Flamethrowers

are road legal?

I'm getting me one!

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Google shocks world with unthreaded Gmail

John Robson

Does that mean

that they are going to allow manual threading at some point?

i.e. the ability to add a message to a thread, and to split a thread?

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Nutter repairmen scale 1,768ft TV mast

John Robson
Thumb Up

I didn't have vertigo....

Blimey!

But there is a quick way down if a storm blows through - base jumping!!!

And if I were there I'd check on the storm conditions BEFORE climbing that thing!

Still - respect for those guys.

Now to develop stratellites so these guys can do their job in somewhat more comfort...

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Google data center links shot down by 'bored' riflemen

John Robson
FAIL

Orange animals

Tigers (stripy, but orange)

Orangutan

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General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

John Robson
Badgers

EV1

"GM feels that "range anxiety" is a major reason why its original EV-1 battery car of the 1990s failed"

It failed because you refused to sell it to your customers - who (at least a large proportion) wanted to buy them at the end of the lease period.

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Bye-bye to bizarro bye-laws, says UK.gov

John Robson
WTF?

required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Um - so how on earth do I know what is legal anywhere when councils can just make things up without recourse to central Gubbinment.

At least they had to be bothered before, and the Gubbinment officials had to think it was a good idea.

That meant that I could go about my life without worrying too much, however much we berate them MPs have shown some intelligence and sticking power to get where they are (and then paradoxically displayed a complete lack of both)

I know local solutions are required for some problems, but not that many...

An answer to the "too many laws" issue is to require that all legislation has to have a sunset clause. Max 25 years (for things like murder) down to 6 months (default if not otherwise specified) for things like carrying horses through Fulham.

Then all we need to do is ignore a law and will fall out of use. Important laws will get re-discussed periodically (important) and the total legislation is limited by the time available in parliament (a good thing).

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Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam

John Robson
Joke

Almost as if

ten year old photographs are always a perfect likeness of the current individual.

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Stockholm schoolgirls fined for bugging staff room

John Robson

required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Schools aren't likely to scan for bugs, so a simple FM transmitter was the bug of choice when I was at school - even got to make them with school facilities when I were a lad...

But teachers were able to do interesting things which increased my understanding of a subject, rather than boring stuff I could regurgitate in an exam.

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Perseid meteors 'thrill star-gazers'

John Robson
Boffin

Rain stopped, cloud cleared ...

... and we saw a good number last night, didn't stand out too long as I'd assumed cloud cover and didn't have a sun lounger available.

A couple of beautiful sights of pieces of Swift-Tuttle, loads of satellites, a couple of planes and some ghostly seagulls as well...

Didn't see any non Perseids though, even though that's always a fun possibility.

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Intel debuts hella-zippy optical future

John Robson

Don't rip out

Just run alongside...

Then the fibre is protected by all that copper ;)

I've not had much fibre failure, but then I use it in protected settings - of course toslink *style* connectors for the last metre would probably be acceptable (do we need 1Tb/s to the desktop?).

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UK.gov pledges licence fee 'rethink' over heavy catch-up use

John Robson
Alert

Really?

"A home licence covers users for any watching on a wireless device. If that device is plugged into the mains electricity then the premises must have a licence"

So if I have a portable telly then I'm covered by my home licence, until I plug it in at work to charge it?

Laptop?

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NASA's WISE eyes skies

John Robson

Electronic instruments generate heat

Therefore need coolant.

Space isn't a good conductor, and radiating heat is hard when you are exposed to pesky hot bodies like the sun.

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Linux to eclipse Microsoft's 'all-in' tablet enthusiasm

John Robson

eeePC701

Mine runs xubuntu just fine - always has done (from not long after it was first openned)

Never had an issue upgrading, or using. It starts in ~15-20 seconds, and runs everything I need it to. Even run full screen video from the SD card when I need it...

Now the battery life has degraded somewhat but it's no longer a new machine...

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Distie thief gets 14 months despite CPS 'incompetence'

John Robson

statute of limitations

this is why it should apply...

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Martha Lane Fox to clone 10m copies of self

John Robson

No money needed

According to her on the Beeb this morning.

After all the gubbinment has already got lots of computers in schools and DOCTORS surgeries...

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Lindsay Lohan: The interactive court drama

John Robson

Slap over TCP

or it's not interactive...

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Android slurps market share from Apple, RIM, Microsoft

John Robson

I got othello to crash, sort of....

On my 6310i I managed to get two moves in othello, before the phone moved - so I ended up winning with a bunch of 6 blobs in the middle...

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RAC prof: Road charges can end the ripoff of motorists

John Robson
Pint

Road tax was abolished in 1936

When Winston Churchill said:

"it will be only a step from this for them (motorists) to claim in a few years the moral ownership of the roads"

See The Motor Car and Politics in Britain by Willam Plowden for more information

This is a return to the thought that road tax should only be spent on the roads, which the same great man derided as follows:

"Entertainments may be taxed; public houses may be taxed; racehorses may be taxed; the possession of armorial bearings and man-servants may be taxed - and the yield devoted to the general revenue. But motorists are to be privileged for all time to have the whole yield of the tax on motors devoted to roads. Obviously this is a nonsense. Whoever said that, whatever the yield of these taxes, and whatever the poverty of the country, we were to build roads, and nothing but roads, for this yield? We might have to cripple our Trade by increased taxation of income, we might even be unable to pay for the upkeep of our Fleet. But never mind, whatever happens, the whole yield of the taxes on motors must be spent on roads! Such contentions are absurd and constitute at once an outrage upon the sovereignty of Parliament and upon common sense."

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Motorola advert revels in anti-iPhone schadenfreude

John Robson

There's nothing Apple nor anyone else can do to get around physics, plain and simple

They need to hire Scotty...

"you canna break the laws of physics"

"she canna take it"

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Low-priced home digital media connections promised

John Robson

2Kx4K standard (4096-by-2160)

is it just me - or is that name the wrong way round?

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Hybrid hard drives: what's not to like?

John Robson

10+GB, as a separately addressable partition

Then I'll be interested.

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Council of Europe condemns teen-bothering Mosquito

John Robson
Boffin

95 dB

Shouldn't they be subject to noise regulations.

That's a dangerous volume for any significant amount of time. So anyone who works anywhere near one should get ear defenders etc.

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Vauxhall Ampera extended range e-car

John Robson

big pedal?

On all automatics I've driven the big pedal is for stopping...

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Want Olympic tickets? Better get a VisaCard then

John Robson

I need a few mastercards and maestros

And then see how long I can hold the queue up for ;)

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Google claims Wi-Fi slurp legal in the US

John Robson

Hard discs

Are they so cheap that the great Google didn't notice that the usage was increasing at a faster rate than expected?

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The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

John Robson
Thumb Up

TinyCore

TinyCore linux is my choice.

<10MB - lways runs from RAM.

Easy to add software - it just get's loaded into RAM, replacing an required files, so it's trviail to uninstall as well (just delete the file, and it isn't loaded over the base system).

MicroCore is the same but without X

I use these as rescue systems all over the place, and would recommend a customised version for a nice netboot based school/office layout.

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You think mobile voice is expensive?

John Robson

International companies...

They own networks across europe, so there should be zero excess charge.

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Nokia rides you hard for power

John Robson
Boffin

Alive and well

Dynamos are alive and well. Just because you stopped cycling when you were ten doesn't mean everyone else did.

Alot of dynamos now are built into wheel hubs, and the drag is equivalent to cycling up ~5 feet per mile. That's not enough to be called a slope, even if you live in Norfolk.

Bottle dynamos are less efficient, about 10-15 feet per mile (boo hoo)

Reelights and similar use non contact dynamos - a loop of wire on the frame and a magnet on the wheel - pure induction, no mechanical drag. Yes they also take energy, but at less than 5 feet/mile you'll not notice.

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TwitPic-nicking Mail nicked

John Robson

no title

daily depress

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World+bitch flocking to expose self on Facebook

John Robson
FAIL

Maths?

"The blog adds that Facebook is on track to reach 600 million users and $1bn in revenue by the end of 2010. The social networking site had less than a third that number of users - around 15 million - just 12 months ago."

600m /3 != 15m

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Atlantis 'nauts suit & boot up for bolt release spacewalk

John Robson
Boffin

Left hand threads are useful

For instance ~half of all bicycle pedals have left hand threads - else precession would tend to uscrew them...

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German net crippled by top level glitch

John Robson
WTF?

Emails

Surely the smtp server will have failed to resolve DNS.

They'll either return the email as undeliverable, or retry...

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Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

John Robson
Boffin

Thought experiment

Only 'cos I can't go there...

Two open bowls on the surface of the moon. One (filled with mercury) on a table 1m above the other.

Coil a hose in the top bowl, put a bung in the end and lift that end out

- On earth it would stay full of mercury, even when put upright

- On the moon I'm not so sure. I think it would stay level.

On earth the height difference is the basis of a barometer / manometer, with zero pressure acting on the main surface of the liquid why would it object to zero pressure inside the tube?

If you pumped the mercury up the tube and put the blocked end in the lower bowl...

Then I expect that it would split at the top and each half would fall in the obvious direction. Liquids are not known for their tensile strength, and that is all (I can see) that would prevent this.

Can we please ask the Myth Busters to visit NASA and have a play in one of their really big vacuum chambers?

Variables:

- Atmospheric pressure

- Fluid

- Tube diameter (capillary effect?)

I think that height difference is not relevant to the discussion.

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Rogue admin waits for verdict

John Robson
Coat

BUS NUMBER

of 1 is never a safe place.

He should be commended for illustrating how badly set up they are

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Giant solar-powered aircraft takes to the skies

John Robson
WTF?

5 hops != flying round the world

Or I can jump 7 miles...

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How Labour’s Web2.0rhea cockup helped the photographers

John Robson

Why?

Are they all publishing posters of each other?

Do they not have any policies they'd like to tell me about?

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Dell 1320c

John Robson
FAIL

PC only???

The Dell works fine under Linux - just detects it as a PS network printer.

Never plugged anything into the USB port, but why would I want to?

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