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* Posts by John Robson

703 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Virgin Media: SO SORRY we fined your dead dad £10 for unpaid bill

John Robson
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WTF?

Surely....

These things come from a small set of bank systems.

They've seen this kind of thing happen before - so why not map all DD messages, only ones you haven't seen before need a human interaction. That would be busy work for a few hours (to look at the historical values) and then only need to deal with exceptions...

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Eerie satnav boffinry claims it can predict THE FUTURE

John Robson
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10 seconds???

How far do you travel in 10 seconds - even at a sedate 20mph?

I hope it's under 10 seconds.

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

John Robson
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Re: You want to know if it'll work?

Although F1 cars have another couple of pressures (total mass, and total size) which tend to encourage very small flywheels (counter rotating to deal with gyroscopic forces) at very high speeds.

IIRC The Joint European Torus used to use a fairly hefty flywheel to power one of their diagnostic lasers...

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Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

John Robson
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WTF?

Re: RE: There goes the use of in-flight devices....

I always use my kindle during take off, and landing.

Most of the time it's an idle device - when I hit a physical button it reads a little data from memory and pushes it to the e-ink screen.

I'm normally somewhat distracted at the moment of take off (into the clouds at any rate) and from the clouds to touchdown, since I enjoy looking out of the windows - but I've never had a flight attendant say anything to me about the kindle...

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Who wants a smart meter to track'n'tax your car? Hello, Israel

John Robson
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WTF?

Re: We already have a system that you pay more the more you drive...

if only roads were the only cost of motoring.

recent eu study suggested an average subsidy of £815 pa per person in the UK - a little over the EU average of 600.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/25/car-pollution-noise-accidents-eu?INTCMP=SRCH

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Boffins say flash disk demands new RAID designs

John Robson
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RaidZ

Does the variable stripe size not make this a much better approach than hardware raid anyway?

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Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

John Robson
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Anyone else still considering installing WinXP systems?

I know we're still installing them at work, but I'm seriously considering doing so at home...

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LOHAN must suck juice while mounted on rigid rod - but HOW?

John Robson
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Conductive rubber - or even just copper tape contacts on top of the rubber?

Why does this prevent the contact based approach?

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Rocket boffinry in pictures: Gulp the Devil's venom and light a match

John Robson
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Kerbal Space Programme....

I can't believe it doesn't even get a mention...

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Syrian hacktivists hijack BBC Weather feed

John Robson
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Re: But, But

From a consumer perspective it's probably nice to have a single reference for all of your "alerts from".

So an idle account which follows all your software providers emergency patch people etc could be handy. Of course you could put it together or use that good old fashioned "e-mail"...

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Lenovo: Windows 8 is so good, everyone wants Windows 7

John Robson
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Why this past tense talk about migrating to Win7?

Still on XP at work (one of my employers is on Win7) and "post PC" at home (i.e. tablets/phones only - I have a linux VPN endpoint and a FreeNAS box, but they're not PCs - despite the hardware)

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Reg readers reveal MIGHTY DOMESTIC DATA CENTRES

John Robson
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Alien

Re: Seti@Attic

I never did get a visit from the police, although I think they might have been confused - I used to refer to it as "the farm" (as was the custom with SETI clusters at the time).

"Yes officer the farm is up in the loft..."

/me hears click of handcuffs, despite the carpet suddenly muffling my ear.

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AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

John Robson
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FAIL

free advertising

i might need to go and download...

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Earthquake killed your network? Satellite-over-balloon to the rescue!

John Robson
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Stratolites?

I thought we were at the point where we could launch unmanned solar powered craft which would soar to the stratosphere and then stay roughly in the right place to provide a broad coverage...

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Malware devs offer $100 a pop for 'active' Google Play accounts

John Robson
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Granular controls on the phone...

And a couple of "Ad server" applications so that freeware only needs to slurp an advert from a local service, not have full unfettered access to my network interface, would be a really good start.

But that's too obvious.

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Canonical announces Mir display server to replace X Windows

John Robson
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Go

Re: Huh ?

And over a high latency network use NX from NoMachine.

Works brilliantly at scrapping the (multiple trip) latency associated with home broadband to remote server networks...

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Brit firm PinPlus flogs another password 'n' PIN killer

John Robson
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Timeouts?

Given the number of times my RSA token code has expired by the time I've finished typing it in and the machine has spent a few round trips getting authenticated...

I hope this is not a time limited process.. OTOH it looks really good for things like ATMs

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Boffin shows pics of germs grown on SPOTTY STUDENTS' MOBES

John Robson
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Go

But can we infer the pattern lock from the distribution of bacteria/fungi?

'cos that would be cool - gross, but cool.

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Dell takes aim at iPad, uncloaks enterprise-level Win8 tablet

John Robson
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WTF?

Re: "Dell takes aim at iPad, uncloaks enterprise-level Win8 tablet"

Dell did smartphones?

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Fondling again: HP slates new tablet for April

John Robson
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Re: Looks like a Nexus 7 clone...

Then get a cheap chinese tablet.

If you're looking for a browser then they work well...

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Ubuntu's Shuttleworth embraces tablet terror: Our PC biz will survive, too

John Robson
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WTF?

Keyboards....

My tablet(s) use them.

They don't define a PC though.

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The cheap 3D craft pen that scribbles over 3D printing hype

John Robson
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3D? - I only see 2D

And if the plastic is cold on laying will it actually allow you to build layers?

I presume there is some fiddling going on here, because the plastic did stick to previously laid plastic in the video - which implies that it isn't quite cold as it's laid.

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Hard Man of Facebook: We might just eat those cheap TLC flash chips

John Robson
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Why remove them?

Just add another rack (and optionally power them down)

Besides with cold storage I suspect that the lifetime of most of the cells in the TLC will be good, they'll be read alot (eventually), but rarely written to.

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Own a drone: Fine. But fly a drone with a cam: Year in the clink

John Robson
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Facepalm

Or just....

legislate against that which you want to restrict - looking into people's bedrooms.

Of course, that's already illegal, so they'd have nothing to do.

The devil finds work idle hands.

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Satanic Renault takes hapless French bloke on 200km/h joyride

John Robson
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Re: Assume it was an auto box.

Some cars DO lock the steering if the ignition is off - non powered steering is OK at speed though, it's the slow speed manoeuvres that require strength

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John Robson
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WTF?

Gears?

Move gear selector to neutral - which in my renault can be done whilst coasting.

In our old renault my wife (hen fiancee) managed to knock it into neutral at 70mph on the A1 - that was interesting (i.e. "oh, has the tranmission failed")

I'm always sceptical of these stories - there are normally a good number of ways to at least limit the speed of these vehicles...

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WTF is... IEEE 1905.1?

John Robson
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Redundancy

Is nothing without warnings...

So the Ethernet fails and everything is routed over WiFi. That's fine, but who knows the Ethernet has failed?

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Doped nanotubes boost lithium battery power three-fold

John Robson
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Re: Charge time of ten minutes?

And we have at least 20 years to beef up the supply lines to those stations. At the moment we only need to add one charging unit to most stations to provide sufficient infrastructure.

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John Robson
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Re: Charge time of ten minutes?

Not a problem - most current petrol stations have 3 phase supplies already.

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Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa

John Robson
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It's not physics in this case - it's chemistry.

Personally I can't tell the difference well enough to care when someone else is making the tea - but I can quite understand that the difference is there.

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Any storm in a port

John Robson
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Not 100%

But I reckon I get it wrong about 75% of the time. That's why I leave the cables plugged in an disconnect the OTHER end...

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Apple: iOS 6.1 network overload caused by our Exchange SYNC OF DOOM

John Robson
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So it's self correcting?

It drains the battery - which causes the phone to switch off.

When you charge it and switch it on it will stop behaving in this way

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Opera joins Google/Apple in-crowd with shift to WebKit and Chromium

John Robson
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But if IE uses chromium/webkit as well then

it might actually render pages correctly...

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Vertu-alised Android revealed at an all-too-real €7,900

John Robson
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Stop

Re: <probably mistaken pedant>

NM = torque, so presumably they mean you can use it as a really short lever?

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Linux Foundation ships UEFI Secure Boot workaround

John Robson
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WTF?

Re: a thought occurs..

@AC 08:56

This isn't about the desktop (which is being abandoned in favour of slabs), it's about the severs (which do actually use motherboards) - and that is where *nix dominates (particularly in remote servers).

Linux has anything but failed.

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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

John Robson
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Coffee/keyboard

Tea needs tea in it

It should be warm, and (if available) it should have a splash of milk.

Sugar is an abomination unto Nuggan.

I often find that my tea is darker in colour than many peoples coffee (also an abomination unto Nuggan)

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Electric cars stall in USA, Australia

John Robson
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Re: EVs are so impractical

So how many days a year do you do more than 100 miles - very few people answer more than 1 or 2 (I used to answer 250, because my commute was insane) - and you don't have a few hours in the middle (where the vehicle can pick up some more juice (e.g. at the office or the house of family/friends).

The "limited" range is rather nullified by the convenience of recharging when you park up for the night (yes I know not everyone has off road parking)

For the rare occasions you need longer range you might also want a larger vehicle (e.g. to take the whole family to the other end of the country for a holiday) so you can easily hire an appropriate vehicle. I've very rarely drvien a vehicle which is appropriate for the journey I'm taking - they are a compromise between the "long heavily laden" journey and a "nip to the supermarket".

The EV serves the bottom 99+% of those journeys really well, so you buy one in a form factor that serves those journeys well (and those are now covered *much* better than they were before.

Then on the couple of occasions a year when you need something outside those parameters you hire something for the day.

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Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

John Robson
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Stop

Re: best buy a couple

Problem is that recovery would likely take out the remaining disk - copying 4TB at a sustained rate of ~100MB/s will take how long?

40,000 seconds ~ 12 hours of SOLID activity

Assuming a more realistic continuous rate it's going to take a long time to recover that data. I'd go for at least Raidz2, if not more...

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NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

John Robson
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Cloud cover....

I'd imagine the comet to be travelling slowly enough that we might get more than a few hours to view it, so clouds should break eventually - and if it's at the full predicted brightness it'll probably show up even in daylight.

Having said that I'm now doomed.

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

John Robson
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Re: More to the point...

"And I also had the fold-up (Ordnance Survey style) map of Sodor... Does that make me a geek?"

Only if you still have it

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Schoolgirl's Hello Kitty catonaut soars to 93,000ft

John Robson
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Very nearly a very wet landing....

Pretty good shots of the thin blue line...

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Ten 3D printers for this year's modellers

John Robson
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Re: Will someone think about the nozzles?

The nozzles are big enough to heat and then poke with a needle...

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Sea Launch comsat rocket goes titsup 40 seconds into launch

John Robson
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Re: Why not launch from altitude ?

The two miles aren't important in terms of final distance, but they are the most expensive both gravitationally and ,most importantly, aerodynamically.

It's not a daft idea, until you work out where mistakes land. The Russians just happen to have a whole pile of empty ground (and/or a disregard for anyone who lives there) over which they can fire stuff.

The Americans dismembered a spacecraft over a few thousand miles of the southern states 10 years ago...

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Facebook's Google, Bing events snub: It's a BUG, NOT a FEATURE

John Robson
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Re: I woud rather

Isn't that what "-site:facebook.com" does?

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Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?

John Robson
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They need to be available

for most existing frames.

That's the issue with them. I'd happily have a discreet clip on my glasses (which I wear anyway) to provide useful information in a convenient location.

Of course a couple of coloured LEDs would be sufficient to tell me about emails/sms/missed calls/incoming calls etc. Not sure I need much more most of the time. Either I'm using my hands (driving, cycling, whatever) or I can hold a phone/tablet for the detailed info.

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

John Robson
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Are the libroffice crew working on a port?

If not they should be...

I find Polaris/KingSoft OK for most things, and it should certainly suffice for bashing out some copy, but libre office (supporting a BT/USB mouse and keyboard) would be rather useful.

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Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

John Robson
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Re: There are these things called...

Well, you can - but only for a limited subset of strorage

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John Robson
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But...

Yes, you can - but that isn't as nice as inserting an SD card.

Heck, I'd settle for having to open the case to insert it - yet I still want to get one later this month (hoping I can do a deal with my mobile comms provider)

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Brit 2.5-tonne nuke calculator is World's Oldest Working Computer

John Robson
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FAIL

BogoMIPS (or mBogoMIPS?)

We're interested.

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