Feeds

* Posts by hugo tyson

292 posts • joined 20 Apr 2007

Page:

How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

hugo tyson
FAIL

What's the purpose of the computer again?

So you have a CNC machine controlled by a particular computer. You can see it's a computer; it's a separate box(es) and looks just like a computer. IMHO the problem is that people expect to use that computer for things other than controlling the CNC machine, because they think it's a computer not just a controller for the CNC machine. So they add other software; they install updates other than from the manufacturer of the CNC machine. They network it and connect it to other things; they come to depend on it for other functions. All of which compromises its function as a CNC controller.

Maybe it's that distinction that the 20-year capital equipment amortisation world needs to learn?

0
3

Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage

hugo tyson
Joke

Don't tell them about...

...sticking plasters. They seem available for pinkish-cream folks or them smurfs off of Avatar only....

0
0

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

hugo tyson
Go

Re: What if it was ditched and sunk intact?

"Switch on the underwater landing lights"

- best line from any film, ever. :-)

4
0

Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

hugo tyson
Stop

Maplins real purpose...

Very much NSFW:

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/maplin-is-where-men-meet-for-sex-2014013183134

8
0

Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

hugo tyson

Re: Sort of

...in statistically-significant excess of those which would have occurred anyhow. (Agreeing with you though)

0
0

Microsoft tries to re-invent GPS with cloudy offloads

hugo tyson
Coat

MS-Assisted

Methinks this is the GPS standard known as MS-Assisted in SUPL where the handset (Mobile Station) tracks the satellites but sends the timings to the server for solution. The more usual mode of operation is MS-Based.... decades old. Possibly their new idea is storing a snapshot of tracking data (or raw data?!) for post-processing when you later geotag your picture or graph your marathon...

0
0

Ker-ching...Er, ZZZWIP: Square-alike mobile swipe type scores $96m

hugo tyson
FAIL

Just make a Bluetooth connection?

So presuming your phone is running their app, with which you were just shopping online, it just connects to a device in the store when you come in range? That device therefore knows who you are &c. and can bother you "appropriately". The connection could be the other way round too of course... your phone could be the peripheral and a central at the till could connect to it. The latter is better for your device's battery life...

No advantage for the customer at all, far as I can see...

0
0

Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

hugo tyson
Coat

Netatmo’s June

....for Lensmen!

1
0

Space Station bags extra 10yrs of life as SOLAR STORM scrubs resupply

hugo tyson
Go

Commercial Orbital

I don't think the commercial trucks-to-orbit businesses would exist without the ISS as a pre-existing destination. But they're vital for beginning to live and work and do business in orbit. And that's vital for making the vehicles to go elsewhere, whether for exploration or mining or tourism or what. And that's vital for survival. IMHO. :-)

1
0

TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

hugo tyson
Stop

Plan ahead?

OK, whatever is wrong with stopping for a few minutes to have a look at your map? Maybe even stretch your legs and get some fresh air? People have a weirdly iron resolve never ever to halt no matter how lost.

In reality, if going somewhere new and nontrivial, I plan. Using google maps, and sometimes streetview, virtually "walking" the fiddly bits in advance a couple of times so that when I get there in the car it's already fairly familiar. Being able to recognise a pub or shop or junction heading for eg. a hotel in central Northampton, is massively useful.

All these products seem to be for people who refuse to take any time in advance to make their own lives easier - or are too dumb or lazy to be able usefully to do so. It's all about saving 20 minutes the day before.

But I will concede that online live data is best if there's unexpected congestion; but then if it's really really bad you'll be stationary for long enough to look at that map - and maybe your phablet - anyway....

2
4

Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi

hugo tyson
Go

02 15

I dunno what the 02 is either, but IMHO the 15 is the length of the following data within the manufacturer data field. Presumably 02 is Apple's code for "ibeacon id".

The C5 tx power is a signed 8-bit number, being -59 (decimal) dBm@1m.

1
0

Watch out, MARTIANS: 1.3 tonne INDIAN ROBOT is on its way

hugo tyson
Go

Spending

"some observers are surprised that a country with such visible problems with poverty would spend its dosh on sending a probe to Mars. ®"

As usual, like people who complain about research in this country when they need a new bus shelter or the park has litter, doing the division sum shows that not doing the research would make available 1/10 of one meal per needy person, or 0.001 bus-shelters per parish, or similar. No of course I don't have the figures, but that's how it always is when you do get them :-)

Agree we should stop aid to India tho' - or be honest and admit it's a bribe for trade and good relations.

18
0

Hong Kong underground gets pay-by-bonk

hugo tyson

Love my Lobster Card

Exactly, the Oyster card is brilliant and makes getting about in London a pleasure not a fsckin nightmare like it used to be. And it's brilliant because it has limits on what it can spend every day, and so on. Why change anything?

0
0

Tesco's new fondleslab winks at Apple's stealthy NFC assassin iBeacon

hugo tyson

Lots of companies seem to think this sort of thing is a good idea

For example, I've seen this recently pushed out: http://www.shopone.mobi/ (it's a website out there on the internet far as I know; so it can't be a sekrit, can it?) which describes other ideas in the same area.

I'm not pimping it, just offering another perspective and more info for folks... I too remain unconvinced that people will ever use the app in question, but AIUI the main idea is that it replaces your loyalty card and the paper vouchers you get with it. And indeed it may deliver extra vouchers/offers dynamically as you loiter, depending on where you loiter.

0
0

Sofas with a roof and Star Trek seating: The future of office furniture?

hugo tyson
Thumb Down

My eyes!

I just looked at the show's site. But at least it's windows 8 compatible :-)

0
0

Apple named in criminal lawsuit over Premier League–streaming app

hugo tyson
Facepalm

Wrong sue

They should be suing the UK Premier League for selling them something which doesn't exist: exclusivity. Well, doesn't exist in practice, only in the made-up legal things they invented and paid for resp. Can I sell you a legal right to fly like an angel? Sure. Sign here. Can't actually fly? Sue, um, Isaac Newton? Not me, oh no.

Last time this happened it was Sky here and the footy vs a pub who legally bought a European feed.

3
2

'NSA PRISM spies' shake down victims with bogus child-abuse vids claims

hugo tyson
FAIL

New screensaver image

I'm having that for my screensaver.... at work only, of course.

3
0

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

hugo tyson
Go

Sky Submarines!

That way of controlling buoyancy is exactly what submarines do: suck in and store compressed the lighter-than-outside substance (air resp. helium) and let in the outside neutral substance (water resp. air).

With gasses you can use flexible bags for the buoyant part (instead of open-at-the-bottom tanks) and inflexible bags for the compressed storage (instead of high pressure cylinders). Density of He is 4, density of air is about 30 (molecular mass of N2 + some O2) so you only need squeeze the He to about 8 bar and it's no longer at all buoyant.

Fair enough, subs discard the air when they dive, and use air they stored compressed earlier when they blow tanks; and it vents as it expands as they surface and pressure drops, but.... it's the storage that they have in common.

And yes, it is Thunderbird 2, hurrah!

0
0

Boffin snatches control of colleague's BODY with remote control BRAIN HAT

hugo tyson
Joke

Fantastic.

This is absolutely marvellous. That man in the hat made me write this.

0
0

Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for

hugo tyson
Joke

The Star Wars football results

Are two dee.... two;...... see three pee...... nil.

3
0

Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

hugo tyson
Coat

Last ADFS bug...

I remember an all-nighter getting the last (hah!) bugs out of ADFS for the Electron. *COMPACT would sometimes corrupt the disc. Like on the Beeb, *COMPACT uses the screen RAM as working buffer by default - you get to watch your data flashing by as the disc is defragmented.

This works fine on the Beeb where the screen RAM is just memory, and the cursor is a hardware sprite.

But on the Electron, to save having that hardware, the cursor is written into the screen RAM using software in timed interrupts.... simple fix: turn off the cursor during *COMPACT. But the time it took to work out WTF was going on... you had to be there.

But at least we found it, so it wasn't me personally that cancelled Xmas.

3
0

Tax dodging? It's harder to do - and rarer - than you think

hugo tyson
Go

Re: Fiduciary duty

Exactly. There's no point in them admitting that they take pains to minimise the tax they pay because they are already required *by law* to do exactly that for the benefit of shareholders (for all publicly traded companies).

It's just a no-op, no different from admitting the vile crime of attempting to maximise their profits (or market share, or whatever the strategic goal of the moment is).

I recommend "The State We're In" by Will Hutton for analysis of why UK companies are in an unusually difficult situation wrt attracting investment, BTW: it's because the banks are legally obliged to maximise profit, rather than "helping local businesses".

Government wishes and company law are indeed in contradiction here, unfortunately.

1
2

Now you can be the NSA: Snoop on a Google Glass hipster with a QR code

hugo tyson
Facepalm

Langford Fractal Basilisk!

Excellent, the Langford Fractal Basilisk for teh win! Also used in "The Cassini Division"....

1
0

How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

hugo tyson
Coat

Diesel Bug

It's not just biodiesel, common diesel can grow the slime/mould/bug at an interface with water. As there's often condensation in fuel tanks, that's where it grows. But that only matters if you stir it up, so it blocks filters (before blocking the injectors).

Does the biodiesel one thrive throughout the fuel, or is there water dissolved in the fuel in biodiesel? That would happen if there are any emulsifiers (eg. mustard in salad dressing, detergents) present?

1
0

Hacker who helped find Steubenville rapists threatened with decade in prison

hugo tyson
FAIL

Parallels with the misidentification of not-the Boston bomber?

...might be a cause for concern. But indeed, you would think a sharp talking to by the FBI with the logo jackets and shades and everything would do the trick. So yes, fear conspiracy by the local incompetent biased law-enforcement.

1
0

Reg readers tumesce as they get their tongues round 'podule'

hugo tyson
Coat

Risc PC Podules

IIRC it was Mike Muller who coined Podule for the expansion cards on the early ARM-based development machines. That would make it 1985 or 6, I think. Certainly it was after Rowan Atkinson's sketch at the time.

1
0

My bleak tech reality: You can't trust anyone or anything, anymore

hugo tyson
Coat

7-layered...

Just: love the extension to the ISO 7-layer model. For years in pub talk, we have used the extensions "Layer 8 - Political" and "Layer 9 - Financial" to explain otherwise incomprehensible phenomena, I mean when less-capable implementations win, when laws intended to do one thing rather outlaw everything else, and so on. Government and big business madness in general.....

0
0

Human rights groups rally humanity against killer robots

hugo tyson
Coat

XKCD

http://what-if.xkcd.com/42/

has a nice aside...

0
0

Survey: FOSS biz fans aching for 'enterprise-class' support

hugo tyson
WTF?

Isn't that RedHat's business model?

Paid enterprise level support is exactly what RedHat does.

What's happening here? Do businesses say "they want us to pay how much for free software?", missing the point that they want you to pay that much for professional support with SLAs and all that sort of thing.

Or is this about the bits they don't cover - OpenOffice and all that?

4
0

Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

hugo tyson
FAIL

Does this need a special transmitter?

The article doesn't make clear whether you need to build a special peripheral transmitter for your phone to be able to send the bogus messages. That's quite important don't we think? Looks like you do, from the (truly groovy) presentation - not clear if the software-controlled radios in your WiFi/BlueTooth/FM chip in the phone can be hacked to transmit the trick packets.

That there are code-injection flaws and no authentication for all this stuff is of course unsurprising, sadly.

Same's true of AIS whereby ships report their position, speed, cargo, size &c &c to ground stations. I don't think the coastguard (analog of ATC functions) can automagically redirect a ship, but fake AIS transmissions suggesting unauthorised tankers speeding up the Thames could be a cover for a more serious attack somehow, as well as just disruptive in itself.

1
0

US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

hugo tyson

Is the movie intended to be silent?

is all

0
0

Google offers Adwords deals - but you can't trust their numbers

hugo tyson
FAIL

I hate questions like that...

...precisely because they never state whether each pick is replaced before the next one. But whatever the quizmaster was thinking is "right" even though a crucial fact was kept sekrit.

1
0

Motorola minimum-wage sheriffs ride in to SAVE the HIGH STREET

hugo tyson
FAIL

Re-inventing....

...the pager. How very motorola. How sad.

Still, the things people are working on for your phone, yes you, the customer, are much sillier...

1
0

LOHAN slips into tight rubber outfit

hugo tyson
Thumb Up

Double space blanket?

Have you space for multiple layers of space blanket and heatshrink?

Can you crumple up the space blanket(s) so it's more likely to have small airspaces too? Assuming the heatshrink is strong enough to contain the overpressure air if it's completely trapped - it certainly looks strong enough...

1
0

Fake fingers fool Brazilian biometrics

hugo tyson
FAIL

Hospital expertise

Naturally the hospital prosthetics department will have expertise in making such things; taking a mould, making a cast and all that. I only mention it 'cos you'd think it'd be obvious to anyone putting such a system in a hospital, duh....

3
0

'Mainframe blowout' knackered millions of RBS, NatWest accounts

hugo tyson
Stop

Re: Tandem

Yeah, but the main thing about Tandem/HP NonStop systems is every CPU is duplicated, all memory is duplicated, and for every operation if the two results don't match the (dual)CPU in question STOPS. It's very keen on stopping; it's only a huge mound of failover software and redundant power and duplication that makes a *system* very keen on continuing; individual parts stop quite readily.

Of course, the intended market is OLTP, so the goal is to make sure that the decrement to your bank balance is the right answer; if two paired hardware CPUs and their memory give different answers, that pair of CPUs stops and a whole 'nother hardware set attempts the same transaction.

2
0

Malware-flingers can pwn your mobile with OVER-THE-AIR updates

hugo tyson
Coat

Baseband code is old, but...

...that's mainly because if you change it at all, you have re-do all the certification.

So they're very very reluctant to change anything. At all. Ever.

1
0

Welsh bureaucrats busted for getting political on Twitter, Facebook

hugo tyson
FAIL

Required to be neutral...

Naturally civil servants are required to politically neutral in what they do in the course of their job. That's totally reasonable and sane. In the same way all employees are required to drink the company kool-aid and do what the boss says. But outside of work.... you should be able to have whatever opinions you like, so long as they don't actually influence the execution of your job?

I can see that there's a problem if it's likely that a very senior civil servant has an opinion about a political issue that must be based on inside knowledge; in that case they mustn't publicly comment, that's totally reasonable. But some droid from the council? Nah.

2
0

Mind-melded rats could herald organic BRAIN-COMPUTERS

hugo tyson

The Beeb article said it tool a *lot* of training....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21604005

says: "[It] takes about 45 days of training an hour a day," said Prof Nicolelis.

"There is a moment in time when... it clicks. Suddenly the [decoder] animal realises: 'Oops! The solution is in my head. It's coming to me' and he gets it right."

...so who knows what kind of stimulus the decoder is experiencing; the smell of almonds? Nostalgia?

2
0

Kickstarter project says open source can blast Death Star costs

hugo tyson
Go

Re: Open source would be dangerous

Ah, but open source makes it safe because the management cover-up over the exposed exhaust pipe would not be possible, exactly because everyone would know about it. No security through obscurity with open source!

0
0

Space Shuttle Columbia disaster remembered 10 years on

hugo tyson

"Plombe siegel"

Lead seal, I guess; like on your utility meter.

3
0
hugo tyson
Coat

Article typo - 12-18 *inches*

"chunk of foam [...] 21-27in long and 12-18ft wide" ITYM 12-18 inches wide; "suitcase sized" is a common description.

That aside, good article, I wept too at the time, because of what it meant for spaceflight. ;-(

7
0

Boffins take the temperature of the cosmos

hugo tyson
IT Angle

2.73K

Spooooooky. The average temperature of the whole universe is (to 3 S.F..) exactly one percent of the freezing point of water. More proof that we're in a big simulation with a lazy sysadmin? I'll get me tinfoil hat....

1
0

'End of passwords' predictions are premature - Cambridge boffin

hugo tyson
Holmes

Re: Biometrics?

OK, you(r family member) tested often the "pass" case of the fingerprint scanner, and got few false negatives.

But how often did anyone test the "fail" case?

If I've misunderstood and (for example) it logs in either you or dad or sis or uncle depending on fingerprint, then that's great and I'm impressed. But if it's always the same user, who owns the laptop, who is supposed to pass the login test, then it's not a test of security.

0
0

Happy birthday, Lisa: Apple's slow but heavy workhorse turns 30

hugo tyson
Unhappy

Everyone tried to copy it

Certainly "troubled Cambridge micro-maker" Acorn tried in the early '80s. The first ARM powered machine was supposed to be Lisa-like, but the researchers in the USA treated it like ongoing research rather than a product to be finished (obviously my bit was finished in time :-> ), that it more-or-less caused the "troubled" epithet and the development of Arthur and RISCOS in a hurry and instead.

2
0

Bloke blasts Sprint for fingering his home as phone thieves' den

hugo tyson
FAIL

Cell ID locations

So, er, why doesn't this happen more often? All cellphone positioning systems, if they can't do a trilateration/OTD/timing/E911 type position and fall back to a CellID position, will be positioned at one common location for the cell they were most recently using, the so-called "centroid" of the cell tower transmitter's coverage area (most cell towers have 3 or 4 transmitters pointing away from the tower, these have distinct IDs, so the centroid is not right at the tower).

Might it be that this particular cell is faulty or unreliable at making the data connection or timing observations that are needed for the more accurate methods? So anyone on that cell always get a crappy CellID position in that poor dude's house? This, they should investigate and fix.

0
0

Nuisance calls DOUBLE, Ofcom vows to hunt down offenders

hugo tyson
Happy

SITs

You can always record the Special Information Tone for Intercept as the opening stanza of your comedic answering machine message... many automatic diallers will then flag your number as disconnected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_information_tones#Other_uses

0
0
hugo tyson
Go

Legitimate calls

If we have a voting 1471-type report system, companies who have a genuine business relationship will soon learn not to use the same number for their legit calls as they do for spamming.

And other organisations will learn to present *something* valid eg. the global NHS helpline number, or bank contact number, or supermarket helpdesk, or... rather than anonymous if they want to get through.

0
0
hugo tyson
Go

Re: Fine BT for calls

1471: "to call back, press 3; if the previous call was a nuisance call, press 9"

together with a simple voting system, like "click to label this email as spam".

2
0

Crypto boffins smuggle secret messages in silent Skype calls

hugo tyson
Holmes

Packet formats

(Yes, the story is duplicated)

Um, so they mean that silent packets are 70 bytes of control/timing/keep-alive data, and packets-with-content are 130 bytes, being that same metadata plus 60 bytes of audio data. So a naughty intermediary can substitute long packets for short silent ones, with Steganographic almost-silence in the 60 byte payload.

The listener won't notice. The sekrit receiver software might even undo the change at the far end. The real point is that it gets through firewalls and filters and snoops just like the legit skype data does, surely?

Does that make sense? (No, can't be arsed to go read.....)

0
0

Page: