* Posts by Neil Barnes

2697 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

BBC post-Savile culture change means staff can 'speak truth to power'

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: staff won't be punished for "speaking truth to power"

It's not that the staff were punished for speaking truth to power. It's just that power didn't listen to what was spoken.

I know; I was there - and very briefly working on DMI.

1
0

Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: I feel left out....

I have a single VM with W7 in it for some diagnostic software that can't run on Linux, so it's never connected to the network.

I thought I'd play... cloned the VM, fired up the cloned W7, no W10 request.

Ah, do the updates. 171 of them. Couple of hours later, now I have the W10 request.

Request it.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

VM restarts, announces it failed...

Try again.

VM ums and ahs for a while, then drops back to W7.

Delete clone VM.

Seems I can't catch it either.

0
0

Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Wild Python?

After being tied to a door, and then having its face taken to bits, I bet it was bloody furious!

2
0

Hooves in spaaace: Goat Simulator goes galactic

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

(cloven meaning "split in two")

Or even 'cleft in twain'

0
0

Facebook's turbo-charged Instant Articles: Another brick in the wall

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
WTF?

Google and Facebook <...> they're both great at providing users with fast experiences

Can't speak for Facebook - but have you hit crtl-U on the Google homepage? On this machine, it pops out 268 lines of text totalling 175,623 UTF-8 characters... which is no doubt why I can frequently type half a sentence before it rebuilds the page display.

No doubt ignoring that half sentence is a mere courtesy detail. Because there is *no* way I should be able to out-type a text entry field on even the most feeble of modern computers.

1
0

Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Be glad you had not chosen to fly, for the sake of argument, from Khojand to Dushanbe on Trajik Air.

0
0
Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: Big jets are boring and stable

Try a paraglider; probably the only aircraft in which the wing is not only flexible but liable to tie itself in knots in severe turbulence... though most of the time it will put itself back together for you, with a little help.

On the other hand, huge fun :)

2
0

The underbelly of simulation science: replicating the results

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Boffin

Why do you need reproducability?

Surely "Scientists say X" is all that's necessary? Are these scientists not the outstandingly trustworthy and intelligent people on the planet, with nothing more than the good of humanity in mind?

Or have I been reading the wrong sort of Golden Age Scientification?

4
5

Google Chrome deletes Backspace

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Is this more a Windows thing ?

In twenty-five years, Windows has *never* understood the difference between keyboard focus and mouse focus (e.g. trying to follow along with some example on a web page, scrolling the web page in the background with the mouse scroll wheel *without* sending your work to the back of the pile.

There are an impressive number of posts complaining about this, but not one of the suggested solutions actually works, and certainly not as well as (e.g.) Linux Mint. Apart from the suggestion to install Mint, of course...

1
0
Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Don't care about backspace

@AndrueC - definitely didn't delete itself; it wasn't there to begin with. I know, because I counted it, twice!

1
0
Neil Barnes
Silver badge
FAIL

Don't care about backspace

I want a bloody delete key! Alt-backspace is *not* an acceptable substitute.

1
0

Oculus backtracks on open software promise

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

So presumably...

the guys who wrote software for free will be submitting *large* bills for their time, and pointing out any applicable t&cs in the licence?

11
0

NASA's stadium-sized sandwich bag overflies Oz

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

I hate it when spectrometers fall on me

Should've gone to spectrometersavers, I guess.

3
0

Boffins achieve 'breakthrough' in random number generation

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: I'm no Mathemagician...

Easy. Put all the ones together at one end, and all the zeros at the other.

What could possibly go wrong?

3
0

Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Pint

Hat off. Beer raised.

It turns out I can still remember 6502 assembly op-codes...

7
0

When the reach-around goes wrong. Or is that right?

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

"Why didn't we think of that?"

Because the dilithium crystals will never tak' it, cap'n!

Obviously.

0
0

Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Notifications... Off

Herself is from Brazil. Herself regularly fails to mute notifications. This morning, it all went wild at 04.48...

4
0

We're calling it: World hits peak Namey McNameface

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Coat

Posty McPostface

Someone had to do it...

I'll get my Coaty...

1
0

Laser-zapping scientists will save the Earth from meteorite destruction

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Or cut them in half with a laser.

Oh, wait...

8
0

Google kneecaps payday loan ads

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Coming soon...

GoogleLoan - just 35% APR

1
0

Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: 404 : This title does not exist.

And therein the point.

The majority of advert-plagued sites on the web are there for one reason only: to sell your eyeballs to the advertisers.

You don't see adverts on commercial sites like computer makers or washing machine makers or grocery stores or furniture stores other than for the things they are currently selling - usually directly from the store/maker in question. You don't see adverts on some sites - e.g. the BBC or NASA and no doubt others.

You see adverts on the clickbaits of this world, where the people running the sites have found a way to get people to keep coming back by offering some other service for free. The service *isn't* the raison d'etre of the site, it's just the bait - whether it's a gossip site or a news site or facebook or twitter or blog sites or porn sites. The reason the site is there is because they want to make money from advertisers. To be fair, I suspect most have tried charging and found it didn't work - or if it did, it didn't make anyone a zillionaire... and now they're starting to find that advertising wasn't quite the golden goose they thought it was.

There is no difference between a site relying on adverts (absent the commercial sites I mentioned earlier) and commercial advert-funded radio or TV - and if they can't find a way to make me and everyone else pay for the service they provide, that service will cease to exist. And for the majority of sites, that will be an issue why?

For curiosity - anyone at El Reg care to give a rough idea of the advertising income divided by the number of users in a month? A year? I bet it's in pennies a month... I did the sums on facebook a while ago and it looked under forty dollars a year.

8
0

Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Headmaster

But, but, but...

if you want to include an image in your writing, include a bloody image. Don't mess around defining the image as a character.

Emojis? Stop 'em at the firewall. Bah.

1
0

Researcher arrested after reporting pwnage hole in elections site

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: Breaking into computers you don't own..

Knock knock.

"Hi. I noticed your window is open. You might want to close it; there are burglars about."

(a) "Thanks, I'll sort it."

(b) "You're nicked, son!"

54
3

Facebook image-tagging to be tested in Californian court

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

And presumably if you are *not* a facebook user, but have merely been identified by a third party, facebook will do the honourable thing and seek your permission before including you in the database.

So we can sleep safely, untracked and anonymous.

3
0
Neil Barnes
Silver badge

How does this work?

Presumably, there must be some user input to identify people in the images? Might it be possible to poison the database if enough people are identified only as famous people from the past - Gottfried Leibitz or Isaac Newton, perhaps?

Or is the software doing something smarter and mining comments for references and cross-referencing against other named comments with the same faces, and working it out for itself?

0
0

Linux Mint to go DIY for multimedia

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

No Evince or Gedit?

First installation then...

(Actually, as what I have on this Acer works fine out of the box with 17, why would I change it? And on the Tosh Chromebook II, it was quite hard to get it all working so I think I'll leave that alone, too.)

0
0

You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

So, a couple of months into a bureau refit in Paris

We arrive one Monday morning to discover the place three inches deep in that which is normally all over the Parisian streets when the dogs have been by... Turns out a cast iron pipe had a right angle bend before running across our hung ceiling, and sometime over the weekend, the pipe had cracked and the poo had failed to make the bend.

The icing on the cake, so to speak, was the discovery, during rectification of the issue, of a couple of square feet of asbestos sheeting - which required another fifty or sixty thousand quid to dispose of in the approved manner.

2
0

'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Cloud?

To be honest, I care less about the gaucheness of my CD collection than I do about the truffle hunting season in the Loire valley.

The mechanism is irrelevant: they're *mine* to do with as I will, and they will not evaporate into the fog...

1
0

ZX Printer's American cousin still in use, 34 years after purchase

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Sinclair MK14

I fired mine up recently but to no great effect. Did a little research - including building a widget to read the proms - and discovered that the proms are suffering from bitrot. Kind of to be expected after nearly forty years, I guess - but now I need to either find some replacement proms, and build a programmer, or (more likely) build an interface for a modern eeprom.

1
0

The Lonely Pirate MEP's Holocaust copyright stunt backfires

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Copyright

What do you think all those ghost writers do?

1
0

F-35's dodgy software in the spotlight again

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Anyone seen the rabbit hole?

Indeed. It's a complete smorgasbord of functionality, everything in one packet. What idiot even *considered* that sticking mission planning and analysis in the same package as spares ordering?

Surely there are perfectly good systems out there to manage spares and repairs? Even if not off the shelf, I'm sure whoever supplies the airlines or the Fedexes of this world would be very happy to help the US government out. Mission analysis? Handful of GoPros scattered around the airframe and a black box logger - we've been analysing missions since the 1940s...

This is something that needs the Unix approach: lots of little packages doing one thing each and doing it well. What they seem to (nearly) have is systemd for the air.

18
0

A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: Linux is good but boring as shit

Got it in one.

It should not matter what the OS is - it's just there to provide a mechanism to let me execute my software. For me, Ubuntu has been a no-go since the launcher; I can use it, but damnit I *prefer* a hierarchical menu for applications. Equally, I prefer the window controls on the right - it's a little thing, but it's enough to make me choose Mint over Ubuntu.Though of late there have been many other things...

1
0

Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
WTF?

My work, my copyright... my decisions

There's a lot to be said for a concept of copyright which is (a) automatically vested on creation (or perhaps registration); (b) time limited to something sensible, say twenty years (seventy years after the death of the original author is *ridiculous*); and (c) applicable *only* to people. Companies may not apply.

Google et al have done a wonderful job in persuading people that having their rights stolen from them is a public good...

2
0

'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: Swingers

Two coupled pendulums (penduli?) might have a chaotically moving centre of mass, but there's still a constant momentum; they'll stop eventually from friction.

A swing moves because the rider puts energy into it by flexing and extending their body to move their centre of mass and thereby provide an impulse: they supply it on one side and collect it on the other.

Or in my granddaughter's case, it moves because she yells 'higher' at me.

8
0

Vinyl LPs to top 3 million sales in Blighty this year

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: No herby

but the very existence of an MP3 indicates that somewhere there exists a no loss source.

No, it indicates that somewhere there *existed* a no-loss source.

But anyway, the argument is redundant: as with most things audio, the whole thing is basically a question of 'which distortion do you prefer'. Don't even get me started on 5+1 tracks 'remastered' from stereo tapes...

1
0

Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
WTF?

It is like a dog's walking on its hind legs.

It is not done well, but one is surprised to find it done at all.

Samuel Johnson: critic, dictionary compiler, and apparently futurologist also!

Seriously: what's the point, other than huge fun for the guys trying to do it? As pointed out by others above, if you wanted a Linux environment, it's best on the bare metal. If you want to test an occasional program, then a VM is your thing. But why on earth would anyone want to have a system that doesn't work, sat on top of all the potential nastiness of Windows? What were they thinking?

19
9

Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: I know a few people who put in their orders.

@JeffyP - yup, 'cos I only drive one at a time, and if I've got 'em, no one else can drive 'em.

5
0
Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: I know a few people who put in their orders.

Nor mine - but it does meet my commuting needs, which none of the current competition do, and I have other cars with IC engines for longer journeys.

With any luck this might encourage both competition and fast-charge infrastructure (not to mention generation/distribution infrastructure) and bring nearer the point where it's worth buying one. I'm just puzzled as to the wagon-wheel sized wheels...

9
0

Elon Musk takes wraps off planet-saving Model 3 vapourmobile

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: @Neil

@Gordon - of course I do; there's no need to increment faster than you can use, though we regularly hear about how close we are to overloading the existing system, so I can't help feeling we need something fast, soon.

But at a replacement rate equivalent to current new car purchases, if every new purchase were electric, you'd have swapped most cars out in ten to fifteen years. Given the timescale of even a *little* nuclear power station, that's an issue that needs addressing *now*.

0
0
Neil Barnes
Silver badge

The problem still remains that the amount of energy used by cars in the UK is approximately that available in the generating and distribution system of the UK. Which doesn't leave a lot of electricity left for little things like industry, lighting, heating, and making sure we can all see the latest edition of Eastenders.

Unless we double both the power generation and distribution systems, of course, but I can't see that happening overnight. And when the government notices that it is no longer receiving £26B a year from fuel tax, we can expect to see that appearing on the electricity bill, right sharpish.

Don't get me wrong; I think electric cars are a great idea. I'd have one tomorrow, at the kind of price Tesla are promoting (though my commute would still require me to charge daily!). But I don't think they're a panacea for everything until the infrastructure is in place.

5
2

Blighty starts pumping out 12-sided quids

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: counterfeit pound coins

Gresham's Law taken to the extreme: when they're all as bad as each other, there is no good to drive them out.

1
1

The Register to publish Mindful Sysadmin adult colouring book

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

@Caffeine addict - they did, you know: check the price...

0
0

Reddit's warrant canary shuffles off this mortal coil

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: re. The picture

Bluetit. Must be the cold.

7
0

Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Rock? That's not a rock.

It's barely a grown-up pebble.

0
0

Got a Toshiba laptop? Get it off your lap, then read this recall notice

Neil Barnes
Silver badge
Happy

Hmm.

No mention of internal batteries (no user serviceable parts my elbow!) on Tosh Chromebook II then. That's reassuring...

0
0

Sick to death of mighty rocket launches? Avoid these dates

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Launch Kardassian's arse

I'd pay to see that one on a one-way trip...

1
0

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

My biggest concern

is that if the Aussies act upon their right to arm drop bears, there could be serious consequences... or have I misunderstood something?

8
0

Go nuts, brother: Ubuntu 16.04 beta – no more auto data-spaffing

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

Re: Out to Launch

.04 is the April release; .10 is the October.

3
0

Oculus Rift review-gasm round-up: The QT on VR

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

So...

You need some goggles, two LCD screens, and an accelerometer? And after you've paid six hundred bucks for that, you need to pay twice that to get a computer that can drive it fast enough... amazing what people will spend money on.

Mind you, it's obviously a mature technology: the basic stereoscopic view theory was first discussed at the Royal Society a couple of years before photography was invented, round the 1840s.

4
2

Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone

Neil Barnes
Silver badge

I'm sure we've all opened the box and found bits missing...

To get to Tajikistan in the nineties, you had to fly to Tashkent, then get a taxi across the border to Khojand at dark o'clock, then fly from Khojand to Dushanbe where the office was (unless, as it happened, the plane didn't fly for complicated reasons and you had to get a taxi for two hundred miles across the mountains... but I digress).

Arriving at Dushanbe, one waits and waits and eventually the freight comes in via Moscow. Built the radio studio, no problems, but then we installed the computers. These were some of the first general purpose audio editing machines, running 486s at something like 25MHz - real state of the art at the time.

Pushed the power button. Nothing... investigated a bit closed and discovered that some miscreant along the way had chosen to remove the covers, the processors, the memory, the discs...

7
0

Forums