* Posts by John Robson

1494 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Wait a minute, Doc! Are you telling me that you built a self-driving car ... out of a DeLorean!?

John Robson
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That's the best...

description of rally driving I've heard in a while, and an excellent piece of research - I can't wait for autonomous vehicles to start drifting round mountain hairpins that currently take a three point turn for most people...

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ITU rubber-stamps '3D' audio format

John Robson
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Mono

A single driver cannot be coaxial - because it has nothing to be coaxial with....

Of course it would also be a massive compromise in terms of frequency response - a decent multiple driver coaxial mono speaker with good crossovers is a nice bit of kit though ;)

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Some like it hot ... very hot: How to use heat to your advantage in your data center

John Robson
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My "data centre in my loft" used to get so hot...

...that the rubber feet on the keyboard melted into the top of one of the PC cases.

Only occasionally the CPU temp alarms went off (set to 85) despite all CPUs being maxed out by SET@Home, and the loftspace was seriously toasty!

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Bug-hunt turns up vuln in LibreSSL

John Robson
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It doesn't stop - because the bad guys don't stop either...

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How do you create an SLA and status page for the whole internet? Meet IANA: Keepers of DNS

John Robson
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Root hints...

...file is even smaller and more useful - although the root key is also useful at that point.

I've *never* had to use the root zone file - because root hints gets me to that information without having to update it any time elbonia decide to update something...

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Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars

John Robson
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Re: this issue will get solved eventually

Surely the only way premiums wouldn't drop is by cartel?

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John Robson
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Re: Risky strategy at first

The record will become longer than a typical human will ever manage within months, maybe faster.

A typical human might drive for 70 years...

So if you sell 12*70 cars = 840 cars...

Then they'll take 4 weeks to accumulate a lifetime's experience - in fact the test program has probably already gained more than a lifetime's experience!

Added to that is the fact that the early adopters won't be the elderly ladies who run them down to the shops once a week, but the salespeople who do 35-50k miles/year, and want to make phone calls on the journey - the time taken to get HUGE experience will be trivial.

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John Robson
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Re: How do these cars cope with motorcyclists?

They are MUCH better at doing so, pedal cyclist, pedestrians and other cars as well.

Horses, concrete bollards, ambulances with Blues and Twos going - all more likely to be spotted by a self driving car than a meatbag

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John Robson
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Re: Questions that bugs me....

How do you tell? You edge round iff safe and stop if not.

Of course with more driverless cars the one that is stopped, defending a collapsed person, it can tell the car behind...

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John Robson
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Not all that brave...

They know what their cars are doing - and can therefore insure against that.

Their first insurance policy will be quite pricey - but it will rapidly come down in price...

As for theft - how do you steal a car that will drive itself back home?

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WIPO punts Cambridge University over attempt to grab Cambridge.com

John Robson
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Re: Land grabbing

Meh - There'll be a cambridge there as well - co.ms.us - or whatever the mass 2nd level domain is.

com isn't appropriate for a huge number of the domains therein.

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John Robson
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Re: Land grabbing

Why should one random Cambridge in the US get the "commercial" domain - why should the UK cambridge have a company domain?

Surely there is a .co.us for the larger Cambridge in the US (although again - why is it considered a company), and maybe there should be a reversion to type for domains - there is no reason that everything has to be a ".com", not everything is commercial.

maybe cambridge.council.uk

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El Reg keeps pushing Apple's buttons – its new Magic Keyboard

John Robson
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4/5 - maybe

Does the key marked "1" produce the number "4" when pressed - that's the only excuse I can see for this score...

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Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

John Robson
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Re: The bigger problem:

I sometimes try to build one of the "official" designs of lego that we have, but it never lasts long... about 5-6 pieces is a good run (excluding when *I* get bought lego, in which case it gets completed at least once before being distributed into the kids lego box...

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John Robson
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The bigger problem:

"He was excited when he recieved it and *I* spent all weekend putting it together"

Surely that should be a "we" spent half an hour putting it together and the rest of the weekend playing with it?

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Tiny Robot Smartphone: Invasion Earth 2016 – prepare to be facially recognised humans

John Robson
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It looks really fun....

Completely impractical for a phone, and with the projector and all those motors I'm reckoning a 3 hour battery, but how much fun.

I'm not surprised they haven't decided on a sales channel yet - it looks like a proper "10% time project"

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HP won't squeeze itself into 3D printer consumer market

John Robson
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Buruea printing...

Where is it?

I've got a couple of things I'd like ot print off, I'd happily pay for a timeslice/materials at the local library, or a shop/stall in town.

But there doesn't seem to be the market?

Actually - I think I've answered my own question - there isn't a market - because I can only think of a couple of things I'd like to print...

My issue with the online versions is that postage is invariably multiple times the value of the item being printed - whereas I could go into a shop and be fairly happy to have a rough print after I'd finished my shopping/jobs in town.

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Apollo 15 commander's lunar timepiece goes under the hammer

John Robson
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@ Woodgie - now I have to raise a meelion dollars?

Easy - Kick Starter

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Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

John Robson
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Re: Nuclear Power Generating

@AC - Cars also kill birds and bats. Would you suggest taking up a bicycle as an alternative?

Why yes I would - although not because of the birds and bats - but because for the vast majority of car journeys in the UK a bike makes a more sustainable, and far healthier, form of transport - as well as reducing externalised risk and being significantly quicker, much cheaper, and alot more fun.

Yes I have a car - but I tend not to use it for short, single person journeys - which make up the majority of the journeys made by car.

I'd like to take the train to visit family 300 miles away - but it costs more than 5 times as much (and my car is NOT efficient), and takes longer - even if I ignore getting us to the station, parking whilst there and the same at the other end...

The car also gets used for most "multiple person" journeys of significant length (for a child), or journeys with significant load (a half tonne trailer load to the tip, or a full PA setup for a gig)

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John Robson
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Re: Nuclear Power Generating

No - but their construction and maintenance aren't exactly death toll free are they...

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Safe Harbour ruled INVALID: Facebook 'n' pals' data slurp at risk

John Robson
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Re: Monolithic global companies

Maye a touch premature - but I notice in the next ElReg article on the matter:

"No matter how much Brussels bureaucrats want their latest Safe Harbour fudge to work - the cat's out of the bag. US companies that export data are fundamentally illegal in Europe."

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John Robson
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Re: Monolithic global companies

@Vimes

No - they cannot, see Dr Mouse's respone.

US law directly contravenes EU law in this area - you cannot comply with both.

MS are in court at the moment for trying to comply...

What has the world come to - I'm supporting MS business practices?!

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John Robson
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Monolithic global companies

Simply can't deal with multiple sets of legislation...

When was that a surprise?

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GCHQ's exploding doughnut threatens to ooze into innocent field

John Robson
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Just insist that they all bike to work - far easier to fit in the bikes...

Motorbikes or pedal bikes...

Or more realistically - just insist that they do the multistorey car park at the same time

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If the Internet of Things scares you now: Cisco's CEO is bent on hooking up robots, everything

John Robson
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Because rushing a project

Always means that testing ans security get given as much time as they need... right...

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Rise of der Maschinen: Daimler trials ROBOT LORRY in Germany

John Robson
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He's there to fill the tank and drive between the depot and the motorway slip road. Then from the slip road to the destination...

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

John Robson
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Careful

Even the trees have ears in VR

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Rocketeers aim for the Moon with first-stage £600k tin-rattle

John Robson
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Re: Honesty?

Yes - but there is a serious chance they won't even launch (and I don't mean failure at aunch, I mean they won't get to the launchpad....

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John Robson
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Honesty?

"Chris added: "I said right at the start of this project, if we take other people's money to do this, it's probably OK if we fail, as long as we genuinely try to do it and show people that we're trying properly along the way and not just coming up with a lot of waffle.""

Crikey...

You also need to have said up front that there is a real chance of failure, which you just did I suppose...

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Asus ZenPad 10 Z300C: Cheap tab, dock combo you can turn up to 11

John Robson
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Transformer...

They had it so right - no physcial connection (and therefore no battery boost), no USB ports/SD cards in the keyboard? No touchpad?

Oh well, another device I won't buy.

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Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid

John Robson
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Re: Carl Sagan.

Like the dolphins - So long and thanks for all the fish...

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Bezos battery-box bomb beef brouhaha begins as UK watchdog hauls Amazon to court

John Robson
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Re: Not being able to ship electonic devices conitaining batteries is a joke in 2015.

@MacGyver - Pressurise the cargo hold with an inert gas...

There is often live cargo in the hold, so this might not be a great plan...

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Intel doubles capacity and speed of PCIe flash card

John Robson
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You don't - you hotswap the server

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Elon Musk unmasks Tesla's Model X – the $132k anti-bioweapon SUV for the 1%

John Robson
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Re: When I heard about...

What door handles...

Well, it does have door handles, although given that the door just opens as you approach (how much of a pain might that be on a drive - "no I just wanted to walk to the corner shop") and the falcon doors appear to be touchscreen controlled, I'm not sure why they bother with handles at all...

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Verisign opens up its DNS

John Robson
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2620:74:1b::1:1 / 2620:74:1c::2:2

Hmm - this is another reason IPv6 is a PITA - configuring DNS servers in the first place...

At least the addresses are reasonably abbreviated, but 8.8.8.8 is far easier to remember, and type

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AF-FIR-MAT-IVE: Second suspension for robot-voice helldesker

John Robson
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Hello, Bank of England

Works well, I often answer the desk phone as such.

It's not a helpdesk phone though, and the number of people who call me on it is rather limited.

Unfortunately I have to credit it to the jokers who did all the glass blowing at university - I needed a couple of bespoke flasks for an experiment, and that response is really offputting - even when you know you dialled an internal number.

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MACAQUE ATTACK: Monkey plunders Florida resident's box, gobbles contents

John Robson
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Re: Love the alliteration....

That's rhyme/rythym, not alliteration

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Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

John Robson
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Re: While these vehicles may all have the code installed

@Bronek Kozicki

Indeed, although I think the politrikians might be shouting "errorist" more loudly even than the greens could shout, whatever it is they would shout...

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John Robson
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Re: While these vehicles may all have the code installed

@AC - Shipping

Maersk large ships (they have 8) take 15,200 containers

Engines produce well over 115k bhp (including heat recovery etc)

burning 16 tons/hour

travelling at 29.3mph

For crude: 1 ton is 307.86 gallons

So: 29.3/(16*307.86) = 0.006mpg

But that's spread across 15,200 containers: 90mpg/container

A standard container will take between 3 and 5 cars, so that's going up to 360mpg per car. The fuel isn't particularly clean (understatement of the millenium) but it is a single journey for each car, with a pretty good fuel efficiency.

Of course if they transitioned to nuclear powered container ship we'd be in a much nicer place - but the panic would be hilarious.

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John Robson
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Re: Never mind the fines, think of the SAVINGS

@petur - Give me any good reason why you need such software in testing?

For testing purposes. Although I'd expect the "IF" to be a hardware switch, not an "if steering isn't used, and we go full throttle"

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Overheating iPhone 6S+ BLINDED my cam, cries flashgate fanboy

John Robson
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Re: The iPhone?

I stand corrected - seems like a slip of corporate imaging somewhere...

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John Robson
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The iPhone?

I suspect that this error message isn't quite right - I don't think the Jobians ever use the definite article.

The other messages (linked in article) say:

"iPhone is..."

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Astroboffins snap BREATHTAKING, WISPY Veil Nebula supernova debris

John Robson
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Incredible...

"Astronomers are comparing these new images to ones taken by Hubble in 1997. This comparison allows scientists to study how the nebula has expanded since it was photographed over 18 years ago."

That's the killer sentence for me. There are a myriad of beautiful things that Hubble has shown us, but it was launched in 1990, and had it's "glasses" fitted in '93 - that's more than twenty years of breathtaking science...

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Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

John Robson
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Re: Great achievement?

@jgarbo

Because this project will improve the world.

No - I don't know how, but research on the bleeding edge inevitably brings discoveries which we then use to:

a) Blow stuff up

b) kill other people

c) improve the world

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John Robson
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Re: "it's unlikely we'll see much return from all this"

The educational return is already probably more than worth it - of course teh gubbinment can still encourage all those people offshore to work...

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BOFH: I'm not doing this for the benefit of your health, you know

John Robson
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Re: H&S fail

I'm intruiged - how does one use a mouse wrongly?

I can think of several things, but none of them really come under the term use - nore misuse (things like tying the cor round an H&S bod's neck...

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Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses

John Robson
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@pompurin - Why couldn't they have used commas or semi-colon instead of the colon?

And why move to hex?

The number pad is a really nice way to type in addresses, only takes one hand.

A-F are all left handed, so that's kind of OK, until that pesky colon, which moves the right hand back again - and it leaves you tracking the address with eyes only, not a finger.

Of course the idea is to DNS everything, so we never need to type an IPv6 address - which is fine, how do I log in to fix the DNS server?

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John Robson
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Re: Despite this, IPv6 adoption probably won't increase.

@PM - In your example, you would have only provided for growth of ~65000x, but there's more addresses than that already in use worldwide based on the massive oversubscription associated with RFC-1918 private addresses. The much larger, 128-bit address space of IPv6 guarantees centuries of address growth without another redesign of network addressing.

Well - no. He's actually defined a system for extension that could be reworked in a few years as well - just add another pair of octets up front with a "if not present assume 00.00".

I thought the intent was to allocate everyone a /64 subnet - so the IPV6 space is only 64 bits in terms of public facing addresses anyway (internal networks should be fine, reducing the oversubscription factor, but we are only doubling the length of public end points).

It's probably fine, but who saw the growth in mobile devices - what is next? I don't know, you don't know.

Solve the problem you have now...

Every time I've looked to try and do IPv6 I've been hindered by the complete lack of useful things to interact with - to the extent that I can't be bothered any more.

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PEAK FONDLESLAB: Fewer people will use tablets next year – claim

John Robson
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Still don't like touchscreen phones...

They're either too small to properly browse or too large to use as a phone.

I'm pondering a Pebble to go with the iPad mini (similar sized Android devices exist, but I need iOS for remote control of certain audio hardware), and a "feature" phone*.

Nexus7/iPad Mini sized tablets hit that sweetspot - for me - of being pocketable (easier for the N7 than the iMini due to aspect ratios) and yet large enough to be properly useful.

* It's a phone - that's the "feature" I need... Currently using a 'smart'phone as a feature phone - until it dies anyway.

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