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* Posts by Neil Barnes

1892 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US

Neil Barnes
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Re: So, when can I have the one I need?

@Benjol

Good call, but unfortunately sixty quid a fortnight for the sensor, unless I can persuade my GP to prescribe one!

I saw a stick-free one in development, and lost the link, and google is not helping... google are developing a contact lens for the job.

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Neil Barnes
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So, when can I have the one I need?

Blood sugar without making holes in me, please.

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NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Tsk.

Litter louts!

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Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android

Neil Barnes
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Stop

Let me get this right?

Mozilla want me|you to install an application on a smartphone which will, as we wander around, sniff any wireless points as we pass, and hand that information off to Mozilla?

Hmm.

It strikes me that it's often very good for me to know where I am, and an extra method of finding out is probably not a bad idea, but that it's very bad for anyone else to know where I am and where I've been.

Dear Mozilla (and everyone else who feels this is a good idea), no. Mind your own bloody business.

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BONFIRE of the MEGA-BUCKS: $200m+ BURNED in SECONDS in Antares launch blast

Neil Barnes
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Re: Nitrogen more important than oxygen

Thanks Cray - I'd assumed that the main use was atmospheric. Now I'm wondering just how big the leaks are... I knew that the 02 was recycled/recovered on the whole, but hadn't thought of N2 just leaving while no-one was looking!

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Neil Barnes
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Nitrogen more important than oxygen

Educate me: what's going on here? Something to do with the breathing department, or something cryogenic? Enquiring minds want to know!

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Swedish 'Future minister' doesn't do social media

Neil Barnes
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Go

A country not controlled by the twitterati

How do I join?

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Rise of the machines: Silicon Valley hardware store to deploy ROBOTS for customer service

Neil Barnes
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One might expect

that with all the big data flying around about past purchases, the robot would be able to extrapolate the customer's needs more closely than might be desirable:

Visit 1: "I'd like some paint." "Certainly sir, please follow me to the paint aisle."

Visit 2: "I forgot..." "A paintbrush? And some brush cleaner? If sir would follow me?"

Visit 3: "I, er..." "Contract Decorator to aisle three please!"

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El Reg spends One Night in Hell with Queen's Brian May

Neil Barnes
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Re: That image, along with most 'Magic Eye' (autostereogram) ones

Easiest way with side-by-side images like these is to shrink the images somewhat (ctrl-scroll) and let your eyes *un*cross. You're looking to see three images; the middle one overlays the left and right and pops up in stereo.

Once you get the hang, you can increase the scale up to about 62mm wide for each picture (the average eye separation). Some people can manage even wider, but I find it difficult.

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Neil Barnes
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Thumb Up

Excellent!

One more to add to the collection. I already have his 'Village Lost and Found' and can recommend it.

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LOHAN avionics survive 27,700m stratospheric ordeal

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

One thought on the servos

They were working, but at no load. Which is fine on the way up, there will be aerodynamic loads on the control surfaces which the servos will have to work against on the way down.

I wonder if this should be repeated with, say, a spring for each servo to work against? It's going to take a lot more current that way, as it probably will in the flight, and that's kinda critical...

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Caption this: CERN needs pic tags. Serious answers only, kids

Neil Barnes
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May 73

Is on his knees, so either he's sticking something to the floor (a high-tech prayer mat perhaps?) or gravity does stranger things at CERN than we have been led to believe.

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Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring

Neil Barnes
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Re: Narrow tyres and low power

Heh. I had the delight of watching a Chain Gang Frazer Nash at a filling station recently. It was occupied by two rather large people, with a total width about 50% greater than the car, and a lot of luggage in there with them. The FN has no doors, and the gent driving it had a stiff leg.

His reentry process involved removing everything from his seat and piling it on his missus, removing the steering wheel and placing it on the bonnet, clambering (stiff-legged) onto the seat, after removing the external handbrake from his trouser leg, and dropping into the cockpit. His missus then returned all his goodies, which took some time to redistribute, and then he reached for the steering wheel... which was out of reach.

Return goodies to missus, stand on seat again, lean over to get steering wheel, be dragged back to vertical by missus, collapse into cockpit this time clutching steering wheel, fit steering wheel, collect goodies, start engine, look around trying to remember where he left the handbrake, and finally, ten minutes after he started, pull the car away.

Only to park twenty yards away and engage in further gymnastics for some reason I was unable to ascertain...

Character, that's what these old cars bring.

(My choice of steed: a kit car weighing 800g, with a fiat coupe 20v turbo lump in replacing a 1300 ford engine. It moves quite quickly.)

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Neil Barnes
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It is, however, an MOT failure.

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SKYPE has the HOTS for my NAKED WIFE

Neil Barnes
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Re: I just use Linux...

The camera on this Linux laptop doesn't work - because it's buggered!

(It was buggered when it was the Mrs' Windows laptop, too.)

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Breaking records: Google exec in terrifying SKY PLUNGE DRAMA

Neil Barnes
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So when

is he being invited to join the Special Projects Bureau?

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

Neil Barnes
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Re: Pulled off on MS Office?

Upvoted for insufficiently abusive adjective.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

Bit of a straw man argument there, Neil? The fact that Linux isn't as mainstream as Windows has a lot more to do with the fact that the average punter buys a computer and it comes with Windows on it, unless he goes into an Apple store.

I'm just proposing a mechanism that could have been used to offer W8 without the apparently largely reviled UI; the fact that the UI and the OS are so deeply intertwined makes it difficult to run a different UI.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

And therein the problem: the UI is too deeply embedded in the OS. There isn't the equivalent of the Linux trick of 'don't like Unity? Try Cinnamon. Or KDE. Or...'

With an OS separated from the UI, or even delivered with a choice of UI, or just come with the W7 UI, it would probably have flown - at the very least it would not have crashed and burnt the way it has. But MS seem to believe that the punters won't believe it's new unless it looks different - and so everything has to look different and work differently and a lifetime's learned reactions go out of the window... I mean, 'windows S' for search, when everybody and his granny have been using ctrl-f for find since the year dot?

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Would you blow $5.6m to own a dot-word? Meet a bloke who did just that

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

And just what is wrong with

.com, or .co.uk (other countries are available)?

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Neil Barnes
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Re: wait a sec

Perhaps because it's a damn good place to start going somewhere else from?

At the very least, there's 18km/sec less delta-v required starting there.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: What a timid bunch you lot are!

Added advantage - can also fight off Traveller Fithp, if necessary.

Before flight, first check the rings of Saturn for unexpected braiding effects.

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No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer

Neil Barnes
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Re: Erm... what about braking?

All you have to do is dive straight at a star. The nearer you are, the better the braking gets.

Of course, you have to pick the right sized star...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Rumours are untrue

Definitely Moties. Pak come in sneaky and then kill you if you don't smell right; Moties are oh-so-friendly and then outbreed you.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Rumours are untrue

The Mote in God's Eye. Niven and Pournelle.

Fyunch(click).

(Also, I think I meant 0.7%C)

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Neil Barnes
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Rumours are untrue

that scientists have detected an anomalously bright object in the outer solar system, decelerating from 0.7C. It's also untrue that the object has the same spectrum as the sun, but blue-shifted...

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Watch live! NASA video streams Orionid meteor shower – or go outside and look yourself

Neil Barnes
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Re: There is a astronomical thing to see...

I have found that by pointing my telescope at the night sky, I can collect fresh rainwater from the mirror end. From that, I can make tea.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: I guess I'll step out and look

I'd have gone and looked, but there's a hurricane remnant in the way.

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Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes

Neil Barnes
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Re: They should have gone with hovertoasters...

Ah, these young folk... I bought half a k - two chips of four bits by 512 - in 1978 or 1979, and it cost me a tenner a chip.

Which is two million quid a gigabyte.

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That's PROFESSOR Woz to you from now on, young whippersnapper

Neil Barnes
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brickmakers and bricklayers, among other tradies

I think the reporter may have misspelt 'tragedies'.

There's a reason for straight lines.

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GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

Neil Barnes
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Re: No one should be allowed to opt out...

Perhaps I'm being the idiot.

I don't have a problem with system whereby data is anonymised and used by the medical profession. I do, however, have a massive problem with the ability to deanonymise the data - I hear that it includes a post code in the data, and I'm absolutely certain that there is no-one in my postcode with the same issues I have. I - and I have little doubt my neighbours - am uniquely and unequivocally identifiable from my medical record.

But there's a deeper objection. I object to people selling data about me, without asking me to whom I might permit that data to be sold (hint: at present, no-one). I particularly object when said data requires an opt-out rather than an opt-in in the first place .

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Neil Barnes
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No one should be allowed to opt out...

No - provided that the data is used - and *only* used - for medical research purposes.

But the minute that data is sold - anonymised or not - the kindly include me out. Insurers are the last people who should be allowed such data; for some reason, when they say 'we want to reduce your premiums' they never remember to say 'and increase somebody else's, unless that somebody else is you'. Insurance is supposed to spread the risk, not focus it on a particular person or group.

And as for advertisers getting it? 'Dear patient xxxxx, we notice you've been prescribed a lot of gliclazide lately. May we interest you in our new publication, 'Diabetes made easy'?'

Bah.

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'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

Neil Barnes
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we do not need MORE laws

Upvoted for that line alone.

If it's already an offence, making a new offence to cover the same behaviour is nothing more than political dancing.

c.f. anything to do with terrorism.

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Neil Barnes
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As I have a horrendously long commute

I amuse myself trying to reduce my consumption as much as reasonably practical... one thing I note is that modern turbo diesel is incredibly sensitive to both road surface and weather.

Even a damp road will drop the economy by a mile a gallon; a belting down soaker will drop it five. Obviously the pumpling action of the tyres shifting water, and the rolling resistance of the car, change when it's wet. I note also that it's sensitive to wind speed outside the car, again, driving into even a mild headwind does nothing good for the economy!

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Fuse wire

Beware Lucas, the prince of darkness...

With regard to Petur's comment regarding screening; yes, if one were to design something using canbus perhaps (though a twisted balanced drive would remove the need in most cases) but for a rewired old Jag, where you're more likely just to be replicating the existing 12vDC signal with a driver or relay at the far end, you're still looking at very low frequency 12v signals. I'd have *no* worries about using ribbon cable, given adequate cable support at the ends to prevent the cable suffering from vibration issues.

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SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

Neil Barnes
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Re: Don't often find myself praising the BBC

@jonathonb

There's an interesting side-effect here. She is named because she was named in the broadcasts prior to the event, while she was a 'missing person' and considered at risk. Once it became clear that she had eloped with the teacher, she, as a minor, became protected by the court and it was no longer permissible to name her.

He has been subject to public record by a court; thus he is and should continue to be named. This is part of his record, even when his term is complete. He will have completed his sentence, paid his debt to society, but the fact of his action remains; he will not have miraculously undone his actions. So why should this be hidden by/from a search engine?

The young lady is unfortunately associated with a search for him from the pre-arrest times. Allowing a judge to require that all previous records to her be expunged would be foolish; if nothing else, it would provide the precedence that the judiciary can modify history. But that ignores the simple practical fact of locating every internet and written reference and removing them - an obvious impossibility.

So if one has the material existing, it is equally foolish to try and prevent its indexing, lest we return to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

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Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

Neil Barnes
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Re: ereaders

Crap proofreading is there, I suspect, because even the main publishers, who you surely expect to be typesetting electronically, don't seem to be able to transfer these files to their ebook versions. You'd expect this to be not beyond the wit of man, but it's apparent that many commercial ebook versions I've seen - and indeed as indicated above - are laden with OCR errors... which rather suggests they're doing it the hard way. And proofreading is expensive. Just give to the trainee for a quick flick through.

I've done a *lot* of work looking at proofreading issues; it's a non-trivial task. It doesn't help when you get ridiculous CSS files which allocate a new, identical, style to each paragraph...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Reading in the bath

I just read in the bath anyway - Kobo Glo. It doesn't seem to mind getting steamed up.

I also have a 'reserve' Kobo touch, and a Kobo Mini with XCSoar and a GPS module added for both aerial navigation and those unavoidable 'waiting for the wind to get right' moments.

I'd argue for the Kobo for one simple reason: it reads ePubs, and you can grow your own without being tied into shops and DRM. And of course Calibre for the book management.

Minor grumps: the desktop Kobo software refuses to accept anything that you haven't bought from the shop actually exists; and that even with the welcome addition of shelves, there still isn't an automatic 'would you like me to arrange all your books on shelves, in alphabetic order by author?'.

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On Nov 12, a human-made space lab will try to HARPOON a COMET and land on it

Neil Barnes
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Actually, I think you're right. It's a long time since I read it...

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Neil Barnes
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So... Ice cream sundae

is on a Wednesday this year?

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

And her point is?

She's obviously unaware of such luminaries as Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper - who while not directly responsible for the interwebs, certainly advanced its timing. Probably it's some phallocentric plot to keep her from knowing, since she's such an expert on the subject.

I'm not even going to comment on her thoughts on voting security. I have to buy my own keyboards and bile spilt all over them does them no good.

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A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers

Neil Barnes
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Re: Ignore the licence requirements

Note: the licence is only required for 'air work' - commercial work using an aircraft. The general model flier's insurance would cover normal use... provided that you're a member of the association and obey their rules. You don't need a licence to fly a quad; you do need to follow the rules.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: 400 feet rule

Nice to see I'm not the only one here with a wing, Stu.

Doesn't FPV require a second person to be with the pilot and in visual contact with the plane? Which would carry the same limits as CAP393 anyway.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Ignore the licence requirements

There's a reason steam gives way to sail, and it's nothing to do with the inability of the drivers thereof.

You *can not* stop a glider in mid-flight; you *can not* turn on a sixpence; and while I *can* land on a metre target most times, on a final glide you *can not* make unplanned changes in speed or direction without potentially unfortunate consequences.

Don't forget the paraglider is not just the pilot and the wing; there's a few hundred metres of finest line between the two in a ten metre fan.

(I have had exactly one mid-air collision - that was with a pheasant which came out of cover as I launched. It's about the size and weight of a small quad, I'd guess - I know it was bloody painful!)

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Ignore the licence requirements

@Phil W - I may have been intemperate in my opposition; you are quite correct that the journalist only suggested ignoring the licence. I'd like to acknowledge that the other suggestions are all mine - though they are not suggestions, merely a list of things people might also choose to ignore.

I'm a paraglider pilot.

I'm *terrified* of these things. Too many are driven by people who either don't realise the potentially fatal result of bumping into them - they'll cut the lines I depend on, or at best tangle them; either results in wing deformation and loss of control. They're invisible; daft as it sounds it can be difficult to see another paraglider in the wrong place, and they're ten metres across and usually in bright high-contrast colours. They're capable of flying at high altitude, autonomously, and out of sight of the pilot (er, launcher? Handler? I dunno). They can't see me and take avoiding action; even if they're visible from the ground by their pilot it is notoriously difficult to judge course and distance - and if I'm close to the ground then I have extremely limited options; I'm probably either about to land or have just launched; both are dangerous and unstable phases of flight.

Over the years, model aircraft flyers (usually RC) and paragliders/hang glider pilots have negotiated agreements whereby they keep out of each other's airspace to reduce the risk of accidents - though the still occur occasionally. RC aircraft flyers are well aware of the issues and their managing body includes insurance and operates a structured training regime. But for some reason, these things are - as you point out - not seen in the same class; perhaps because you can pick them off the shelf in the high street (though you can do the same with a ready-to-fly electric RC plane) or perhaps because there is no publicity about it.

One thing to remember - the ANO has to be obeyed by all pilots - from commercial to GA to gliders to models. The rules are there to save the lives of the pilots (and passengers) and of the people they fly over.

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Neil Barnes
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Ignore the licence requirements

Ignore the air Navigation Order.

Ignore the fact that you're the pilot in command.

Ignore the rules.

Ignore insurance.

Who needs them?

That would be the people on the ground and the people in the sky.

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Ancient Brits 'set wealthy man's FANCY CHARIOT on FIRE' – boffins

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

When archeologists aren't quite sure

It's always 'a ritual object'...

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This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Re: I have to say...

Indeed. A shot like that is not only a marker for the abilities of man, but a cracking photo in and of itself.

Kudos to the folks that planned it, designed it, built it, and flew it.

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Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says

Neil Barnes
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Re: Kitkats and Jelly Beans are not desserts

Liqourice Allsorts would seem to fit the bill. Can't wait to see Bertie Bassett on the first page...

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Beers all round as Vulture 2 lands in Blighty

Neil Barnes
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Coat

Oh, c'mon. Give 'em a break.

They had to get rid of the stuff somehow.

My flying suit now has a mission patch --->

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