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* Posts by Spiracle

173 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Spiracle

Re: Flash

As for the lighters, nobody smokes any more,... hence no lighters. Besides, if you lit one at a gig undoubtedly some health and safety nazi would command you to extinguish it immediately under rule 47 section C sub-paragraph a14,......

Virtual Zippo® Lighter

Problem solved.

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Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

Spiracle

Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

if you have to change to one, and your boot is full, you don't have room for the full sized one you've taken off.

You could put it on your lap, but that has its dangers.

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El Reg is looking for a new London sub-editor

Spiracle

Top-flight tech tab flagship in babel-blabbing self-supporting sub search

Do I get the job?

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Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

Spiracle

Re: Forget Scottish Independence

...we don't need a reclaimed swamp in the remote south east to keep us going

Singapore; Hong Kong; Brunei; Bahrain; Taiwan; they all have the advantage of being islands. If London had been founded on the Isle of Wight it would have declared independence years ago.

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Han Solo headed for lengthy stay in bacta tank after Bay Door Control cockup

Spiracle

Re: They managed to finish Gladiator after Oliver Reed died

Surely they can get Vic Armstrong to finish it off, like he did on The Temple of Doom.

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How Bitcoin could become a super-sized Wayback Machine

Spiracle

Waiting is better than not at all, and one would hope that not all blocks were on the equivalent of a memory stick in rural Lincolnshire.

As you correctly point out, though, the 'value' of any crypto-currency (especially BitCoin) is entirely in the efficiency of the network. You might not mind waiting 15 minutes for confirmation if you're BCing some chewing gum or a pint, but if you were waiting that long for the price of your house then you'd sweat.

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Spiracle

..the limiting factor in practice would be the end user's storage space though, network bandwidth is going to make the practicalities of accessing TB-sized data sets distributed on home user's PCs a challange.

I think that the idea is that it would be a backup of last resort rather than primary storage. Multiple replication would mean that some sort of BitTorrent-style peer protocol could mitigate the problems caused by wet-piece-of-string ADSL connections somewhat.

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SpaceX 'Dragon V2' ROCKET PODULE can hover-land on Earth - or MARS

Spiracle

Marketing challenge

No doubt the SpaceX people have worked through all of the connotations of calling a rocket the 'V2'.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

Spiracle

It's eyeballs, not safety

All of this safety stuff is desirable but it's just a side-effect of what Google's really after. Data-slurping and consumption devices are reaching saturation point so the only way to increase eyeball-time is to free up hours currently spent doing important but, from Google's point of view, unproductive things like driving. They'd much rather you took your eyes off of the road and fixed them onto a Google movie or updated G+. If that also happens to result in you hitting fewer pedestrians, that's great!

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China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

Spiracle

Investment in the long term.

The article is spot on as regards Tech City.

Importing the worst of Silicon Valley’s cut-and-run VC culture hardly helps build long-term businesses. It places greater incentives on short-termism.

Luckily there are some counter-examples. One of the factors contributing to the current success of Cambridge (where Chinese graduates have been in attendance since before Xu Zhimo) is that the University's geological-style timescales leak out into it's investment culture and planning.

The field next to Addenbrooke's Hospital on which the new Biomedical Campus (to which AstraZenica are about to re-locate), for example, was earmarked for the purpose of a medical tech park in 1962 when the LMB built their first new lab at the end of Hills Road. Having been there 800 years or so the University was quite happy to wait another 50 until the moment was right to send in the JCBs.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Spiracle

Re: I've tried Lubuntu 14.04

Or you could open the Security and Privacy box and flip the 'Include online Search Results' switch to off.

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Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'

Spiracle

Rotatable?

Would I be right in thinking that this screen tech would only be 3d in one orientation? I would imagine that it'll be 3d in landscape mode and conventional in portrait.

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Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

Spiracle
Pint

I got a Moto-G, which seems to do 95% of what the iPhone does, for £99 outright and £7/month for a 1GB contract. Over 24 months, compared to a similar £29/month iPhone contract, this seems to save me a shade under £430, money that I shall spend on beer. That's two years of FREE BEER for not using an iPhone!

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Amazon sets FIRE to your living room in bid to shake up TV streaming

Spiracle

I don't know why Amazon haven't made it possible to run their Love Film app on all android devices and not just their android-based kindle fire OS.

Amazon have let me know that my Prime next-day delivery subscription has gone up to £79 and now includes Instant Video. Having Linux PCs and stock Android phones and tablets this means that they've added a compulsory surcharge to my next-day delivery service to pay for videos that they won't allow me to watch. I shall let the Prime subscription lapse when it runs out.

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Facebook, you fools! Forget Oculus, you could have bought TRON-type headsets

Spiracle

Add a semi-transparent overlay from the rear-facing camera and you're good to go for wearing it all day a la Google Glass but with none of the problems of looking like some sort of sad hipster. Win-Win!

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NASA: Vote now to put FLASHY LIGHTS on future spacesuits

Spiracle

The Right Stuff

Did they consciously design the 'Technology' option to resemble a flying jockstrap?

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Hidden 'Windigo' UNIX ZOMBIES are EVERYWHERE

Spiracle

... I really don't think that a case can be made that GNU/Linux is more secure because it will take a user two more seconds to type a password before doing something ill-thought out

I'm not so sure. You have to remember that the average* Linux desktop user will only have cause to type in the sudo password when either the system update triggers or they're installing something new from the repository. If something outside of those events asks for more authority they're much more likely to think something along the lines of 'hang on, something's asking to go into God-mode and muck about with the workings of my computer and it's not one of the regular things.'

It's true that the Windows confirmation box is both big and yellow but it also pops up whenever, say, a browser needs an update, which is regularly. The answer to the question "Do you want to allow this program to make changes to this computer?" is usually 'Yes, now get out of my way' - Click.

If MS did something as simple as popping up a similar big yellow box whenever Windows Update runs it might go a little way towards reinforcing in user's minds the fact that something serious is happening

*I'm basing this average user behaviour on a sample of one: my wife.

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Spiracle

And if GNU/Linux had the same userbase WIndows had, the same number of people would go "okay" and grant it access.

You're correct but only up to a point. On a Linux desktop such a script would result in the user having to type in their su/root password into a box, giving a vital extra couple of seconds to engage brain. On Windows all that's needed is a reflex click on an 'OK' button. Later versions of Windows have tried to make this more obvious by making the box modal and blanking the screen background, but it's still just one mouse click.

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Spiracle

Quite. I've been thinking the same. Analysis of the other 6 arcs would provide a better idea of general heading if mosaiced together.

The rings/arcs would be concentric so you would be unlikely to be able to extrapolate a heading from them. What would be key would be the distance (as in number of arcs) traversed between pings. If the plane flew at 90deg to the arc the 1hr period would carry it the maximum possible distance from the previous arc. If it flew at a true tangent to the previous arc the distance from it to the next arc would be the minimum. If you took a good guess at likely airspeed you could infer from these intervals whether a straight or deviating course was flown.

A deviating course would imply zig-zagging to the north while a straight course would likely put the aircraft somewhere at the bottom of the South Indian Ocean.

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MtGox to customers: Your call is important to us … NOT!

Spiracle

Re: Hello French polishers?

The currency may not technically be a Ponzi scheme but the technologically baked-in anonymity means that it's easy to operate a BitCoin market in a very Ponzi-reminiscent fashion.

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Spiracle

As I have suggested in comments elsewhere, the real problem here appears to be lack of proper regulation fo companies that are holding coins on belahf of others. There are a whole bunch of such regulations in most countries for fiat currency, but as yet such rules for Bitcoins are few and far between.

The one thing that many BTC users/speculators seem to have missed is that an unregulated free market is in practise impossible. The regulation may come either via either bureaucrats or Yuri with the tattooed knuckles applying a baseball bat to the kneecaps, but it has to come from somewhere.

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'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

Spiracle

Re: Wow

Look for the little blue arrow in the bottom left hand corner. You'll need to remove your mouse from the video window to avoid the control bar covering the action.

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Silk Road admins: Sorry for the hack, we're sorting out refunds

Spiracle

Very true. You could say, for example, that all of those computers at Pixar spend a couple of years 'mining' their next movie - a set of 0's and 1s that many people value highly enough to exchange money for.

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Russian cybercrooks shun real currencies, develop private altcoins

Spiracle

Re: Honour amongst thieves

Exactly. A Mexican Standoff is a form of trust after all.

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MtGox fallout bogs down Bitcoin traders as malleability issue goes mainstream

Spiracle

Leave them attached to the bottles and you might be onto something.

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Syrian Electronic Army: We hijacked FACEBOOK ... honest, guv

Spiracle

2 factor saves the day?

According to Graham Cluley FB used a registry lock with 2 factor authentication. I'm assuming that the second factor may have been as simple as phoning them up and asking them whether they were really relocating the business to Damascus.

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Twitter avoids IP face-off with Big Blue, will buy 900 IBM patents

Spiracle

900?

I would have trouble identifying 90 unique elements of the Twitter interface and service let alone 900.

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Lenovo reveals convertible Chromebook

Spiracle

Re: US education sales

"Now what's needed is a Pi desktop for Chrome, so that a Chromebook/Pi/Arduino environment can be created."

Chrome has a VNC viewer already in the store and VNC server is in the Raspian repository. Works well after a little fiddling but shouldn't be beyond any suitably motivated schoolkid.

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

Spiracle

Re: What the...

The ZX80 keyboard was still better than changing the capacitance of the switches by licking them with your bare tongue, but only just.

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Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

Spiracle

Re: I'm mining Litecoins as we speak...

Personally I think half of the current alt-coins will fall by the wayside

Half? Read up on the Network Effect. Think 99%.

I think that the thing most likely to kill BTC is its own success. Should it ever get to a position where World+Dog is buying their beer and gum using it then the blockchain may well be so silted up that the verification lag per transaction will become unacceptable for larger sums.

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Prof Stephen Hawking: 'There are NO black holes' – they're GREY!

Spiracle

Re: "I know absolutely nothing about the black holes..."

'human minds cannot be replicated by computers'

because

'human minds have some features where quantum phenomena may be able to occur'

on the same level as searles chinese room example - good for provoking argument in class, but does not hold up once you think a bit.

Penrose hasn't spent the years since 'New Mind' sitting on his hands. He and Stuart Hameroff have a well worked out theory of quantum conciousness (Orch-OR) that's just recently been getting some interesting scientific attention.

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UK smut filter may have sent game patch to sin-bin

Spiracle

Re: Heaven help you ...

My wife comes from Scunthorpe. She was in the Scunthorpe and District Schools Orchestra which gave every member a T-Shirt with the name written in a circle around the logo on the front. They all quickly learnt never to wear it under a V-neck jumper.

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Ninten-DOH! Japanese giant slashes Wii U sales forecasts by 70%

Spiracle

Re: Shame

As you say, great bit of kit. It's ideally suited to younger kids in a multi-use family room.

Many of the games are designed for playing together (as opposed to against each other) and the ability to hand off the kid's games to the gamepad mid-play so the rest of us can use use the TV as a TV (without banishing said kid to his bedroom or shelling out an additional £200 for a Vita) is worth the purchase price alone.

It works best in a social context. Unfortunately it seems that you need to aim at the solitary gamer to sell consoles in any significant numbers.

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MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines

Spiracle

Volatility

"Customers who paid in Bitcoin were promised on the Bitcointalk forum that if Hashfast had to issue refunds, it would do so in Bitcoin. However, as the contract said refunds would be in dollars, it is now only offering that currency. Since $2,000 worth of Bitcoins in October would be worth $10,000 now, this has unsurprisingly ignited the ire of those who pre-ordered".

...and therein lies the problem for anybody using BTC for any purposes other than speculation.

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KER-CHING: Backers hand Nutanix $101m

Spiracle

Nutanix?

They may be a textbook example of how to start up and grow a company but they're no good at picking names.

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Bitcoin blasts past $1,000 AGAIN after Zynga accepts cryptocurrency

Spiracle

Re: Gimmick

The pub 5 minutes' walk away from me accepts Bitcoin. Its usage is still low, but hardly to the extreme you claim.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to the blockchain if world+dog start paying for their pint in BitCoins. As has been pointed out earlier it's already tens of GB. It'll be acceptable it there's, say, a 4 hour wait for authentication before the landlord gets his £3 (as long as the BTC price isn't too volatile over that period) but each trivial transaction silting up the system means that it gets less useful for the big stuff. There's a good chance that the day it starts getting useful for everyday commerce is that day that it starts to strangle itself.

The 'value' in BTC lies entirely in the speed and processing power of the network, speed and power which will have to increase along the upward curve of BitCoin usage for it to succeed.

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Unlocking CryptoLocker: How infosec bods hunt the fiends behind it

Spiracle

In that case translating the payload into Russian and spamming Kremlin addresses might be more effective than running a sinkhole?

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HP’s ENORMO-SLAB: The Slate 21 MONSTER tablet

Spiracle

Kitchen niche

The optical tracking/wooden spoon trick would be its most useful feature in our house.

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BBC's 3D blunder BLASTED OUR BRAINS – Doctor Who fans

Spiracle

Re: simple solution

Watch it twice, once with each eye.

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SCRUBBED: Technical oopsies halt SpaceX's bid for the Money Ring

Spiracle

Re: Unfortunate but the satellite is still safe and ready for re-launch

Exactly. Success, in launching circles, is defined as "we didn't blow up". All the mechanisms and procedures designed to prevent the destruction of the vehicle worked perfectly.

On the pad without having blown up is a success. In the correct orbit without blowing up is a great success.

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PANIC OVER DROOPING house prices hits MEMBER-shaped estate

Spiracle

A possible solution...

... would be to re-develop the surrounding area on a Cerne Abbas Giant streetplan.

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Ultimate Doctor Tom Baker REGENERATES, RETURNS to WHO

Spiracle

RT

So that'll be why they used a contemporary photo on the front of the Radio Times then?

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Reg hack fondles a sexy Pro: An Apple MacBook 13in with Retina display

Spiracle

Yep, Linux on a £300 eBay ThinkPad corporate refurb. Comes apart with one screwdriver, Lenovo handily give you a free Haynes-style manual with it and the bits are easily available and relatively cheap. I had to change the screen on my last one after a teenager left a couple of thumb bruises in the original. It took me about half an hour including tea-making time.

These days I shall be spending the close-to-a-grand saved on heating and food. The only downside is that people in coffee bars assume that I'm an accountant.

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JESUS battery HEALS itself - might make electric cars more practical

Spiracle

Never mind Tesla, is there any interest from Durex?

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ULTIMATE ELECTRIC driving machine? Yes, it’s the BMW i3 e-car

Spiracle

Re: Finally an electric car I may want...

"Until the cost of electric cars rivals the price of diesel they will not be as viable an alternative."

You have to remember that the i3 is designed specifically to fleece Shoreditch hipsters. The technology'll go into the Mini version for the masses.

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Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

Spiracle

Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

"you clearly don't have a large family sucking your broadband dry like a crack pipe."

Mine sit on the sofa next to each other watching the same show on iPlayer three minutes out of sync.

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Falkland Islands almost BLITZED from space by plunging European ion-rocket craft

Spiracle

Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer

Currently exploring the circulation of the South Atlantic.

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Feedly gets Greedly: Users suddenly HAVE TO create a Google+ account

Spiracle
FAIL

Footshot

As G+ is blocked as part of my workplace's Social Media policy I can no longer log in to Feedly at work. Time to go round the RSS reader audition loop again.

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Berners-Lee: 'Appalling and foolish' NSA spying HELPS CRIMINALS

Spiracle

'Granddaddy of the World Wide Web' might have been more accurate.

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Big Beardie's watching: Alan Sugar robots spy on Tesco petrol queue

Spiracle

Re: Motorcycle Helmets

No need for helmets/burkhas/tights over the head. All you probably need to do is wear a t-shirt with something like this printed nice and life-sized on the front. Tesco's data will then show a high number of short grey-bearded pensioners visiting the pumps and put the pile ointment/viagra ads on heavy rotation.

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