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* Posts by John Robson

739 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

John Robson
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Re: @Peter Hoare

See easy - how much easier can you get than "someone else has already done it"?

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Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva

John Robson

Whitelist...

Why do we still try to blacklist?

Surely we can use some ditributed system (DNSSEC maybe) to allow for companies (large and small) to distribute md5 checksums for "approved" releases.

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The year GNOMES, Ubuntu sufferers forked off to Mint Linux

John Robson
Happy

Re: @westlake - A good question

> The fundamental problem here --- the elephant in the room that no one ever talks about ---

> is the lack of compelling programs which are Linux only.

Agreed - but NX comes close for my money...

I run a Linux box which is always online with good connectivity - costs about £5/mo.

I have NoMachine installed on it, and on my work laptop (which is MS).

Fire up an NX connection and I have all my *nix utilities (including the one game I play, which is running under wine because Win7 doesn't support it) available. That's nothing special - but various other family members can do the same thing, at the same time (so that £5/month is getting cheaper) and if my connection drops I can just pick up where I left off later.

I can run either a remote desktop or just run an xterm and fire up other programs on demand.

It's also a secure connection, so work doesn't get antsy about my network usage, 'cos I'm using my own connection.

Had to set up a Windows box recently and I somewhat floundered with various tasks I used to consider "easy and obvious" - I could do them under *nix, not windows any more. Inertia is the main reason most people continue to pay M$

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GE boffins build micro-lungs to cool PC innards

John Robson

Re: Test Cycle

That's four days consuming as much sand/dust as a device could reasonably inhale in several years I'd reckon.

But yes - the sticky stuff does require other testing.

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Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

John Robson

perpetual motion machines do not exist

All you need to do is moderate the speed of the fall and/or the length of the cable pull.

I do suddenly wonder what the efficiency of a block and tackle is....

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Dr Alex Moulton: 'An inspiration for generations of engineers'

John Robson

Citroen...

Practically perfect suspension, particularly when loaded - no need to adjust the headlights (yes, that's what he adjustment is for - not blinding everyone else)

It's overly complex, yes - but it does the job, makes fording streams trivial, and provides amusement at a drive through.

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Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

John Robson

No issue

so long as the previous versions remain available from git for those who need them

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NASA planning Curiosity v2.0 for Mars touchdown in 2020

John Robson

Yes

They are a tiny fraction of your national budget, and provide good science for improvement in various areas of your life.

Just fire a handful fewer missiles at places where you think someone might once have hid who said that the US wasn't a land of milk and honey and you'd save alot more for spending on actually providing healthcare...

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Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

John Robson

Dimmable?

Preferably with existing dimmer switches...

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Microsoft dragging its feet on Linux Secure Boot fix

John Robson
WTF?

"

"How about the possibility of some less than scrupulous open-source developer, fed up with the apparent obstruction from Microsoft, discovering the loophole in the system?"

Then they would be highly unethical because they would be reducing the security of millions of people.

"

No - publicly releasing it without first having spoken to the vendor and given them time to get their house in order would reduce user security. In fact looking for such flaws is going to be done - I'd rather they were looked for by white hats than black.

Things didn't start falling just because gravity had been discovered.

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AARGH! We're ALL DOOMED, bellows UN - right on schedule

John Robson

Why do we hear so little about the other issues caused by the tsunami?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cACVl7gHsPQ

And why aren't we seeing calls for tsunami based wave power generation...

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John Robson

Not really...

We'll just get one hell of a light show at the poles.

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Nokia HERE iOS maps app review

John Robson

Satellite imagery is useful

to those of us with good spatial awareness, we can rotate it ourselves - and that is alot quicker than waiting for the next set of pictures on streetview, not to mention a whole pile cheaper if you are on limited data.

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World's LEGGIEST BLONDE is super-rare millipede living in SF

John Robson

How many pairs of shoes does a girl need?

Well, lots...

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'Spend police USB stick data loss mega-fine on IT lessons for cops'

John Robson

Re: Sounds like revenge...

They didn't make you do speed awareness courses - you opted to do those after breaking the law; they were an "easy option", else you'd have chosen the other punishment available.

I don't necessarily see a problem with this - we all want the police to be properly funded. But the IT dept need a good kicking if they aren't mandating crypto keys...

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Apple bans 'memory' games from iOS App Store

John Robson
Facepalm

Is it only me that sees...

a grid of icons in squares with rounded corners?

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Mobile phone sales slump bites Nokia

John Robson
WTF?

Or a table..

You know - with numbers lined up with the appropriate labels.

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Toyota motors ahead with radar crash avoidance tech

John Robson

And what if...

... not everything on the road is a car?

Will it detect people/horses/trees?

Will it recognise a corner and the associated barrier?

Will drivers just rely on it and therefore ignore anything not wrapped in a steel cage which is easy to detect with mm wave radar?

Get the cars driving themselves, stop faffing with silly add ons.

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What a clockup! Apple's Swiss clock knock-off clocks up $21m fine

John Robson

"just the ticket"

But to where, at least in Switzerland you'll get there...

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Ofcom sets auction timetable: UK's 4G monopoly will end in June

John Robson

Given the scarcity of players...

Why would they not collaborate in advance - keep the auction price rock bottom and then sort out a private auction/exchange themselves?

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Sellafield's nuclear waste measured in El Reg units

John Robson

Re: Rename all things nuclear

"Political correctness can only take you so far. It may feel good for the people affected, but the average person isn't THAT dumb"

Then why are MRI scans so much better accepted than NMR scans?

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Singaporeans get hard token baked into credit card

John Robson

Power?

Why not e-ink as a display - I'd have thought it would be fine for the job.

It could even mean that the location of the numbers changed each time, so that wear was even... (just step across by one every use).

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Torvalds: I want to be nice, and curse less, but it's just not in me

John Robson

Re: "just saying what he thinks"

"Only in some ways... the tyre thing is critical and the driver cant tell the temperature of each tyre, thats why there are all those telemetry engineers. Hence why its a *team* event."

So did the engineer say "your rear right tyre is cooling down" - no he said "keep the tyre temps up" - that's F1 driving 101, and Kimi is a world champion.

If he'd been reminded on a straight rather than in a corner he might have taken it better...

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Pristine WWII German Enigma machine could be yours

John Robson

Re: unbreakable

Really?

My understanding was that by the end of the war we could decode the messages faster than an enigma operator.

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Dry martini, shaken not stirred: Cracking the physics of Bond's martini

John Robson
Boffin

Re: So much nonsense

"there may anyway be perceptible differences between apparently identical alcohol/water solutions, which can nonetheless be different one from another in the way the water arranges itself molecularly around the alcohol"

Scientists that state that probably also believe in homoeopathy. Homoeopathy is also supposedly all about ordering water.

--

Not quite true - Homeopathy is about water retaining that shape after the contaminant has been removed.

This is about the way molecules arrange themselves around a contaminant that was (at some point) introduced, and remains in the liquid.

Personally I'd have thought that and differences in packing (which there could well be) wouldn't be thermally stable.

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Chinese e-cars to turn London cabs green

John Robson

Re: Where will the power come from?

But the point is that the power source will be cleaned up over time, rather than getting worse over time.

Battery tech aside (as that's unknown to me at this time) electric cars will gain all the efficiencies and cleaning options as they are fitted to the centralised power conversion units.

This means that you add scrubbers to one power station and you've improved the efficiency of thousands of cars.

Additionally it massively improves air quality in the overpopulated regions of the country - maybe moving parliament to Manchester (no affiliation, but it's a large city and far enough away from me) would reduce congestion in London rather nicely...

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New Mac mini: Business in the front, party at the back

John Robson

Re: No it can't ...

Focus follows mouse is one of the first things I change on any Windows box I'm forced to use - I can then nudge the mouse between windows with my elbow, no need to remove hands from the keyboard.

Of course focus follows brain would be best ;)

It's really annoying having to click and raise windows in order to do anything when just nudging the mouse and then doing what you want is available.

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Fish skin points to better LEDs

John Robson

Re: Offroad lights

'tis a pity the police won't ticket motorists for having blinding lights (or badly adjusted lights, or failed lights)

Particularly those hateful DLRs which are now compulsory on new cars - and they are REALLY badly dazzling.

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'Hypersensitive' Wi-Fi hater loses case against fiendish DEVICES

John Robson

Re: Think of the Children!

Erm - isn't it just that the evidence isn't needed - after all, once you've detected the telly you then knock at the door and ask what's on.

So easy it's not worth reporting what gave you reasonable suspicion.

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John Robson

Re: Inquiring minds...

There have been enough cases where complaints were made about new mobile masts...

Only to then discover that they hadn't been powered up yet.

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Asus doubles up phone-slate combo's specs with Padfone 2

John Robson

Still waiting for a candybar phone with WiFi-3G bridge

Although bluetooth is an interesting option.

I'm off hunting

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Retailer leaks iPad Mini price list starting at £200

John Robson
WTF?

Re: Off the scent?

IMHO the Transformer series bests the new iPad - has been out for a good while longer as well.

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British car parks start reading number plates

John Robson

elreg

I got really peeved by that at BHam, until I realised that Long Stay 1 is free for up to an hour - has an excellent bus service to the terminal (or a 5 minute walk) and saves a whole lot of trouble seen at other airports.

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Windows 8 pricing details announced as preorders begin

John Robson

System Builder -> VM install

Then you never need to transfer it - you just change the host system.

Given the choice I rarely use a bare metal OS any more (work PCs are forced on me, but one of them I run in a VM, some work servers need serious performance and are single function devices most are VMd)

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Australian boffins have a ball with lightning maths

John Robson

Re: Ball lighning

As a fizzy cyst I approve of your spelling

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Apple files disappearing-feature iPhone patent

John Robson

Samsung Galaxy phones....

Android menu buttons...

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Cloud company foraged for hard drives to stay afloat

John Robson
WTF?

Re: Hmm...

Having used "RAID edition" disks which failed when used with a RAID controller - and then had a firmware fix, which required a reformat, and being booted under DOS, without a RAID controlled AND failed to increment the firmware revision number....

In (unmanned (by us) PoPs all round the world? Thanks Western Digital

Buy consumer grade, it's probably cheaper to watch a few fail and rebuild the data than it would be to buy industrial and watch slightly fewer fail and rebuild the data.

The rebuild the data bit is the expensive bit to get right, so the lower cost of disks is probably a good call.

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Western Australia powers up 10 MW solar farm

John Robson

Re: Well Done Those People

And of course they need more power when: It's dry and hot for extended periods.

This is as good as running office air con from solar power - no need to put any regulators in place ;)

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UK's first 4G network just switched on - and it's not from EE

John Robson

I think it does...

But only 9.6k

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Will you soon be fingering your seven-incher?

John Robson

Audio controls...

Often use 10 touch detection....

On a mechanical devices I can, and regularly do, use all ten fingers at the same time, although the ability to have their freedom restricted by friction on a moving control is invaluable.

I can see "musical instrument" apps easily needing ten touches.

"Mixer" apps (of which there are several) also need highly multi-touch interfaces.

On a 7 inch device I can see limiting to 6 being feasible - certainly for someone with my ape like hands.

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Satellite broadband rollout for all in US: But Europe just doesn't get it

John Robson

I'd have thought that a microwave link would be cheaper than a sat connection....

The only issue being that the licencing is covered by one company for the sat connection.

Of course you can boost vanilla WiFi to get pretty good distances too, that could work well for many rural communities.

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John Robson

Re: Thats your problem right there!

IM is where you think it would be a pain?

IM would be fine - it's VoIP (Voice or Video) calls that would be intolerable.

But then there are often other solutions for Voice calls - even if BT aren't the best broadband supplier they are pretty good at getting voice lines to places. And you could always try phoneing skype ;)

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iPhone 5: the fab slab to grab

John Robson

Re: I must be missing something...

> but the point of the article is that you should really be comparing the maps app on iOS6 to the maps app on iOS1 - or rather, the very first time that google release maps.google.com to the world.

No - Look at what the iPhone1 was - a well engineered device. OK, it had a few foibles (cut-n-paste anyone?) but it came out the gate in a good state.

If Mr Jobs had been alive I don't think the new maps would have made it out of the door.

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Toyota kills city 'e-car for everyone'

John Robson

Re: Gosh. Someone gets it. Finaly

You might not need it.

But I reckon that most second cars do less than 10 miles a day.

The only killer is the cost - and that won't come down until a manufacturer bites the bullet and mass produces something. If they got together and designed batteries that could interoperate then we might see appropriate economies of scale - and the ability to upgrade your battery chemistry as needed.

Then all we need is a "dirty" fuel cell (yes, I just made that up) that will run on petrol.

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Space shuttle to slip surly bonds of Earth one last time over California

John Robson

Why not inspire a new generation by, you know, doing something new and difficult.

Not by trotting out some pretty old* tech.

*Yes I know it's impressive old tech, but really - we're relying on 30 year old tech to inspire - what have the kids who were inspired by the shuttle first time round done?

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China plots 2017 mission to plan MOON COLONY

John Robson

So we'll end up with three designs of wheel....

four if you count apollo as well...

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Apple iOS 6 review

John Robson
FAIL

Re: Only for some though .....

You're not a long term customer - you're a one off customer.

A long term customer would have upgraded each year....

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Hacker uses Kindle as Raspberry Pi screen

John Robson

It's fun!

This person might not have done it before, and it provides a nice low power display.

OK - I'm still waiting for a DSI-eInk (or hdmi eInk would be nice) screen for the thing - that would open up all sorts of interesting portable functions.

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Amazon: Pay more for Kindle Fire, smoke ads from slabs

John Robson
Happy

Re: Good

I just don't allow most games internet access.

I'd not have an objection to them pulling ads from an "ad server" app locally - which has limited 'net rights, and be limited to using wifi only (caching a few ads for "offline" use)

So in general I don't see many ads, quite a few blank boxes though...

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Laptop innovator Moggridge dies aged 69

John Robson

Re: "Taken over by Samsung"

...and...grid...of...icons....

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