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* Posts by John Robson

737 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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Brits take iTablet moniker for 12in iPad rival

John Robson

Camera

Can'#t see it on this side,. which means it's on the back - useless for skype... (surely the main use of such of a webcam on such a device)

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iPad forces operators to shave their SIMs

John Robson
WTF?

It's size

The iPad is so small it nee....

Hold on that's not right is it. The iPad is HUGE cf+ modern phones, so it could easily take the cc sized model, although they're basically obsolete nowadays.

The "normal" SIM size doesn't seem excessive, but I can't recall if they found space for an SD card either?

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Michigan man in DIY rocket sled explosion

John Robson
Grenade

Youtube link

Someone videoed it - please

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Airport scanners go live today, kids included

John Robson

Security Theatre

No - security pantomime nowadays...

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Who ate all the iPies?

John Robson

Isn't music

The only thing Apple do let you multitask on an iTouch or an iPhone?

And tbh - it's about the only thing I can see wanting to multitask, the iP* do sufficiently fast task switching that I couldn't care less.

Of course I like having skype in the background, but if I look at the task manager on my HTC hero it's mostly stuff I'd be happy to have hibernated in some fashion.

So long as it checks for mail every few minutes I'm fine and dandy...

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Entire UK will be on ID database sometime in next 3 millennia

John Robson
Alien

Fingerprints

""Where an individual is unable to record a full set of ten fingerprints (eg due to an amputation), they will be able to register as many fingerprints as it is possible for them to record". Excellent news."

Maybe I should soak my fingers in vinegar for a few hours before registering ;)

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Church of England takes on Ofcom

John Robson

Capital Depreciation Periods are the problem

OfCom is assuming 3-5 years, churches generally have lightly used mics and therefore expect them to last 15+ years.

It's a case of all cars must be scrapped, we reckon on replacing our car every year, so we'll recompense everyone (who has bought and registered a car within the last year)

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FCC evicts wireless mics from future 4G band

John Robson
Megaphone

compensation for users

Churches in particular tend to have 15+ year replacement cycles for this kind of kit - even the theatre I work with reckons that our wireless mics will last 10-15 years.

OfCom are proposing compensation based on a 3-5 year depreciation cycle, which is probably appropriate for a hire company (where the mics are in continuous (not particularly careful) use, but is woefully inadequate for many amateur societies / churches etc.

What's the state of play in the states? Who is compensating all those users who have bought kit in the last n years?

PS - bullhorns on stage don't look good.

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One second-hand space shuttle: Yours for $29m

John Robson
Boffin

Really:

"Let's evaluate this based on the test of "seeing it in action for the first time"

OK - not a perfect metric, but I'll run with it...

Concorde:

"it looks like any other airplane. An oddly shaped one, but not that different."

No, it really doesn't - Massive delta wings, no tailplane, dipping nose, afterburners. I used to live under Heathrow flight path, Concorde never ceased to fascinate and impress.

Nothing that size had gone anywhere near mach2 before - remember that this was also 40 years ago!

Harrier:

If you think that a gliding return capsule is innovative then VTOL is certainly innovative - the idea was French, but the invention was British.

On seeing a plane hovering you think "WTF is going on - how does it do that!" When you think about it you get even more confused and impressed.

Shuttle:

Reusable - don't make me laugh, the three largest sections are jettisoned early in flight and are recovered; That's no better than adding a parachute to the Saturn stages, certainly derivative.

The actual shuttle is a reusable capsule - it lands on wheels rather than splashdown (Apollo style) or bumping to land (Soyuz style), but the innovation is that the heat shield can withstand multiple entries and be repaired.

Otherwise to draw an analogy with your dismissal of Concorde: It's just a space capsule crossed with a glider.

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Latest Asus Eee Keyboard desktop demo'd

John Robson
Go

Linux?

What drives the dual screenage?

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Integrated tube tickets not on the Olympic menu

John Robson
WTF?

VISA fail

That's just daft - I think I'll take a cheque book ;)

Mind you I'm glad that there'll be no mobile coverage underground, although I can't see how issuing "free" oyster cards can be *more* expensive than other options...

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Lenovo joins the smartbook gang

John Robson
WTF?

why no corners

why not fit a decent height screen and have corners on the thing - there is a massive amount of waste at the top.

Otherwise it's a nice looking product idea - assuming 10 hours includes wifi/3g being on and possibly btooth for a keyboard

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Ofcom sets 60GHz free

John Robson

Bandwidth will be....

6.8GHz, as stated in the article.

Or are you asking about data transfer rate - a different beast entirely ;)

For that you need to check modulation etc, but it should be pretty high, even if you assume you can only use one frequency, and can cram no more than one bit per cycle into the data stream then 60Gbps.

Of course you actually have 6.8GHz to play with, if you can use 1000 different wavelengths without interference then 60Tbps is the basic assumption.

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Honda goes NUTs for future micro-car

John Robson

Good concept

Lousy design

I've been thinking about an e-commuter with a similar layout for a while, but it doesn't need to be the ugliest thing on the road.

I'm no Bertone, but that means I stick with a classic design, like the mini, in my head...

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EA exec punts 96,000rpm e-car engine

John Robson

Jet engines

Have long been the way to do this - glad someone's worked it out...

Servicing a jet is fairly simple - they're effectively only one moving part after all...

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BOFH: Made of win

John Robson
Boffin

it's

The formula for the locus of a circle centered on the origin (or will be when the radius is squared too)

Basically - draw this graph and you've drawn a circle.

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NASA to develop haptic air-typing spacesuit gloves

John Robson
Boffin

Gravity

Still works at that altitude - the issue is that they are in freefall.

But actually someone else has pointed out that it's not "up" that is needed, but acceleration of the fingers. If you are just doing acceleration based measurements then you need to be pretty sophisticated, I'd go for some sort of visual tracking hybrid else the haptics will trigger the motion detectors, triggering the haptics....

PS - Yes I know you specified orbit, indicating more understanding than most of the population

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ICANN condemns registry DNS redirection

John Robson
Go

Browser hijacking???

That's the least of the issues - it's everything else which uses DNS that's really screwed up by these things. In a browser you get to see the crapy html they've decided to send you, if you are running any sort of a script then there's no telling what you'll get, or give, them..

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Microsoft hit with lawsuit over Xbox memory card ban

John Robson

By which time

you'll be out of business and they can ignore you...

Oh what a surprise...

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Ofcom talks to spook firm on filesharing snoop plan

John Robson
FAIL

encryption

have these guys heard of it?

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Mobile phones - fighting cancer, causing car crashes

John Robson
WTF?

podestrians

"Music-listeners were able to navigate traffic as well as the average unencumbered pedestrian"

"Talking on a cell was in fact a distraction, while trying to cross the street but that listening to an iPod was not."

Err, not around here - especially not if that traffic is quiet (yes I cycle alot)

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Appeal Court: Mod chips infringe game copyright after all

John Robson

effective

Clearly this isn't an effective technological barrier - so the mod chip can't be breaking that law...

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DNSSec update deadline penciled in for 2011

John Robson

About flippin' time

WooHoo...

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First ever supersonic stealth jumpjet starts hover tests at last

John Robson

balance...

I know how the harrier can balance, it has 4 exhausts, so can vary the trust to each of them to deal with the problem of balancing.

From what I can see this thing has one fan (possible vectored) and one jet (certainly vectored)

Balancing on two points is generally considered more difficult that doing the same on 3 or 4 points isn't it?

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Mancunians finally get to open bank accounts, go to Europe

John Robson
WTF?

Secure

How can he vouch for the "fact" that it's secure?

Does he know where his data is now?

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Home Office accused of sexing-up mobile phone rescue

John Robson
Grenade

Facts

What are they?

Never needed them before in politics...

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MPs prepare to beat off phantom Olympic hooker invasion

John Robson
WTF?

To be fair

The 40k was an estimate of what they expected, the 5 is what they could confirm.

I expect the truth lies somewhere between these values (I expect that criminals are vaguely competent at trafficking), but to try and categorically state any figure is just moronic.

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Loud sex a human right, says loud sex woman

John Robson

Time

Maybe this is actually about timing - at 10pm 40dB isn't too bad, at 2am however...

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El Reg's LHC visit - Deleted Scenes

John Robson
Boffin

head-on at almost light speed

Thought they were colliding at more like twice light speed (from our reference frame of course)

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UTIT IT touts titillation

John Robson
Stop

lol @ both

Excellent examples of rebranding ;) OGC should be included in their list of business contacts...

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Chronically ill people 'happier if they abandon hope', say docs

John Robson

Colostomy bags...

Are cr*p, but you can carry on with one.

Attitude, rather than the lack of hope, is the key here. The others could quite easily have got on with their "bagged" lives until such a time as they might have the reconnection.

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Creative whips out e-reader at AGM

John Robson

Finally

A more useful tablet - now, can I hook it up to my machine as a spare text terminal?

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Westminster readies 'wave and pay' parking meters

John Robson

Fraud?

"The council was losing over £100,000 a week because the machines were targeted by Cool Hand Luke-style thieves. The gangs used power saws and angle grinders to cut them in half and helped themselves to the coins inside."

That's not fraud - it's plain theft.

It's also quite funny...

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Watford council punts parents from playground

John Robson
WTF?

Playground != Nursery

If they are offering child care then thats one thing...

If it's a play facility then parents are kind of essential part of play - or are we aiming for automons nowadays rather than people...

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Google navigates Android to turn-by-turn directions

John Robson
Thumb Up

@davidcbull

"Isn't this the sort of thing that Microsoft used to get into trouble for? Giving away apps free with an OS"

Well, Microsoft were actually done for abusing a monopoly in one market (PC OS) to prevent competition in another (Browsers)

Since I don't think google has a monopoly position on the OS, bundling things is merely a differentiator...

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Shuttleworth stretches Ubuntu from netbooks to heavens

John Robson
Jobs Horns

Not for profit

Just to see the look on Balmers face - that's priceless!

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Toyota at Tokyo: micro e-car on display

John Robson

MIB

"a steering yoke that does away with the need for floor pedals"

Why not just fit a playstation controller?

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Japanese algorithm 'can tell if you're about to die'

John Robson
Go

Great idea

But only as an indicator - last girl I had to call an ambulanbce for (would have survived for a good while, but that's not relevant) was finding breathing sufficiently difficlut that she couldn't phone.

The "this isn't the patient" button on the operators screen would be useful.

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Micron's new flash dies live longer

John Robson
Go

PCI connectivity and ExpressCard format please...

Please - How hard can it be (to quote Top Gear)

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Robert Crumb begets Book of Genesis

John Robson

Sex and violence in the OT...

Wow, seems on a par with "dog bites man"

The bible does have quite alot of behaviour illustrated*, not condoned. But read the bible if you want to read about some pretty poor behaviour.

It's not necessary to be so graphic* in your descriptions, if I need an image my brain is capable of providing one...

John

* Puns deliberatly left in place (A good pun is it's own reword)

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Robot nuclear windjammer to sail patio-gas oceans of Titan

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Airport rethinks strip-scanner for kids

John Robson
FAIL

elreg

Oh ffs - can I object to being made a porn star then?

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iPhone saves woman from bear

John Robson
Linux

Or did it just get frustrated by the interface?

Title says it all.

PS - penguins are more ferocious than bears

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Hubble snaps aftermath of galactic pile-up

John Robson
Boffin

@Richard81

I imagine the sky might get quite interesting, assuming of course that we haven't drowned it out with streetlights...

Although "high speed" wrt galactic collisions is still a pretty slow collision in our timescales.

The paper on the ESA website indicates (after a very brief skim) that many of the "new, young" stars are between 1 and 100 million years old...

For reference our galaxy is ~100,000 light years across, so a pair of milky way's colliding at .9c would still take 60 thousand years to have a "midpoint" collision...

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Subaru set to show stylish hybrid

John Robson

Bet that door

is heavy to shut - As my wife can't manage the boot very easily, that door'll be difficult from inside - unless of course it's motorised.

Then yuo'll get 30mile range (unless you shut the doors, which takes 10 miles of battery power)

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Michael Dell: Netbooks go sour after 36 hours

John Robson
Stop

Netbooks are brilliant

But they aren't primary machines - I use them in server rooms, around the home and on the train.

My issue isn't the screen though, it's the keyboard, just fractionally too small. The psion5 was SO compact that the keyboard was a good compromise, the netbook needs a bag, so I kind of expect to be able to type.

Maybe a fold out extension of some sort?

or should I just grab one of these? http://www.gadgets.co.uk/item/USBRK/USB-Flexible-Portable-Rubber-Keyboard.html

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Colt quietly offshores network ops

John Robson

Long time? Two weeks was it?

Ever since the last outage

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EC considers web accessibility legislation

John Robson
FAIL

Doomed to

Fail....

Without any understanding of the issues they will legislate that we need to use friendly electrons...

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Eurocrat demands MP3 player volume limit mandate

John Robson

And they monitor volume by what mechanism?

After all I can switch the headphones for a pair of active PA speakers at 500W each..

100db (or dbA even) is useless without mentioning some distance...

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VelociRaptor users bitten by false error bug

John Robson
WTF?

Again?

Have they at least managed to increment the firmware version this time?

We faced a similar WD bug with their RAID edition drives, which would drop out of a RAID array when they decided to run a self test.

WD eventually fixed it, but failed to increment the version number of the firmware. Took a long time to try and convince them that:

1) DOS only firmware updates were bad (especially in globally distributed data centres)

2) Firmware version numbers had to be incremented, else we can't tell which drives we've updated...

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