Feeds

* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2555 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Forget the $2499 5K iMac – today we reveal Apple's most expensive computer to date

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Never had an Apple 1 but we did work on an Apple II for a while (with Motorola 68000 board to do the heavy lifting). We actually did image analysis on that piece of kit. I think the Apple II is much more of a Ford-T equivalent (though not fully) than the Apple 1 (though many other machines would be contenders, like the IBM PC, the ZX Spectrum or ZX80/81, and a host of others). The Apple II was produced in much larger numbers, and had the expansion slots which allowed third parties to add stuff. THAT was an important step (not so much that the expansion slots were there, but much more that they were open to all). The IBM PC took that to another level again. Expansion slots were a way to stave off obsolescence (for a few months more ;-)), and to increase flexibility.

4
0

DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Tried and True

Nice one! I now have this vision of malware popping up a message:

Unsupported Windows Version! To run Steal All My Credentials (SAMC) V 7.0 and above you must upgrade to Windows 7.0 Service Pack 1, at minimum. SAMC V7 will now terminate, we apologize for the inconvenience

3
0

Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Another thumbs up for a badge.

2
0

Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: OTT

Agreed, just about the last thing I want to watch when I do have time to watch a film is something like "Transformers". Each to his own, of course, I just do not seem to get the hang of films with more explosions than dialogue (not that I mind the odd explosion, hence the icon)

2
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Neat technology, nicely reviewed. Given my living room (and other expensive technological hobbies) not for me, alas, but interesting from the point of audio technology nonetheless. After working on phased-array data from radio astronomy for whole-sky imaging, I cannot help thinking that the ultimate solution must be a phased array of tiny speakers all around you, and the recording must be done by a similar phased array of microphones. That could record and recreate the sound field (similar to light-field recording by certain advanced cameras). Totally over the top of course, but a man can dream.

2
0

Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: What...the...fuck....

I get this feeling that somebody out there has got themselves a white Persian cat.

2
0

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: When archeologists aren't quite sure

Very true. In the "Cave of the Shaman" in southern France there are many carvings on the wall depicting women with exagerated figures (T & A), and a man (definitely a man, no chance to mistake him for a woman, especially in braille, as Terry Pratchett might put it) with a HUGE erection. The local guide explaied this probably had to do with fertility rituals. She was not amused by my alternative theory that this might have been the local communal men's room, and these were just the usual graffiti you might expect from adolescent men (of all ages).

The burnt chariot might have belonged to a much hated landlord

16
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Top Gear iron age? Intruiging

so was this the iron age Stig's helmet?

2
1

Protesters stop ground breaking on world's largest telescope

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Religion or Extortion

Maybe they are Yen Buddhists, the ones who recognise that money is the root of all evil, and so want to save us all from its seductive effects by selflessly hoarding as much of it as possible, at great personal risk to their own salvation.

Doffs hat to Terry Pratchett

1
0

Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

The announcement makes me wonder

Will it blend?

OK, OK, I am leaving

2
1
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Here we go again..

A life-support system running windows gives a whole new dimension to the term blue screen of death.

Sorry, couldn't resist, shooting fish in a barrel time again, it seems

14
3

Supercomputers: The Next Generation – Cray puts burst buffer tech, Intel Haswell inside

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Permission to drool, please?

Lovely computerssss, my preciousssss.

Sorry, sorry, I have taken my little pills, won't happen again. Now where was that advice form to send to our HPC centre for suggestions what to buy as the next big supercomputer.

2
0

Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

It will be very hard to promote any paid-for service now users are so used to have their social network for "free" (free as in beer, not free as in not-having-everything-you do-or-click-on-analysed-and-sold). Any "free" item will have to be paid for either from ad income or from selling analytic results, or both.

0
0

'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Triassic Park

Don't let anybody in Hollywood get the idea of 3D printed archeosaurs living in a park.

0
0

Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

I can see plenty of jobs for 32 x 32 cores with masses of RAM (just mopped up some drool after reading the specs), but unfortunately not all in DB territory. DB acceleration has much the same pros and cons as any specialist accelerator (like a GPU). Great for some tasks, suck big time on others. I must wait and see how these processors would perform on the tasks we have in mind.

5
1

Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Re: it makes sense

Is this why I have often felt like saying

THERE'S BEER IN THEM THERE HILLS!!!!

when in Belgium?

1
0

Indian MOM just LOVES it on Mars, tweets fave holiday snap

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Methane?

"Since most politicians talk out of their arse, I would expect their "hot air" to have a high methane content."

But only in such quantities that it cannot be extracted usefully, I fear

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Methane?

It can be both, althoug most politicians produce more hot air than methane

1
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Well done MOM!

Great work from that team, great effort for very little cost (comparatively speaking, of course, I gather it boils down to less than a cup of tea for each person in India).

I'll raise a glass to them this evening (and it won't be tea)

19
0

US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Pilot?

Interesting point. They clearly don't have enough room for a playmonaut, although they may have had place for a legomonaut (does not look like they had, however)

0
0

GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

I thought I had come to the right place for an argument

but I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I went to a Jesuit school, and had frankly exhilarating discussions on life, the universe and everything with the (very few) priests who taught religious education. They greatly encouraged our setting up an astronomy club, and I was in my turn honoured to be invited to a (voluntary) extra class on "religious and philosophical matters" as one Jesuit put it. He said he knew I was an atheist, and that I had very good arguments, so wanted me on board "because I like people to think about their beliefs," as he put it. Hats off to the attitude of respectfully differing in opinion of those particular priests.

Hats off too to the scientists behind both BICEP2 and the follow up. Science is about presenting your findings, warts and all, and to encourage others to scrutinize your work. You should not fear losing face because you might be found out to be wrong. Most of the time, all you produce is not the next piece of the puzzle, but a glimpse of what the next piece might look like.

3
0

Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: The Russians are still the best evidence...

Given the spate of downvotes I see on even the most innocuous comments, I can only conclude:

Houston, we have a conspiracy theorist!

10
1
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: about that International "Space" Station...

The ISS is real, I have seen it with my binoculars (solar panels visible), but then maybe I am part of the conspiracy too (wish NASA would pay me, in that case).

20
1
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Alien

Good effort but alas

nVidia will not convince the conspiracy theorists, because none are so deaf as those who do not want to hear.

22
2

Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Am I the only one...

I have started to use it in moderation, and found it quite OK. There are some useful groups on it, and I do not get bombarded with loads of idiocy. I also like to post the odd solar image on it. Not a Facebook or Twitter user, but I find G+ tolerable.

To make it more geeky, they should have called it Google++, of course, but that plan might have offended g++ users.

0
0

Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Well deserving of an Ig Nobel prize!

Isn't that a BLT without the L and T? Very relevant in the context, nobody has tried lettuce to stop nosebleeds. Or tomatoes.

Roughly. It is a Blt sandwich. the subliminal lt are a vain attempt to keep Sybil happy

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Well deserving of an Ig Nobel prize!

Not only does it work, but it smells nice and therefore is also good for the appetite

I mean, I am getting hungry just reading about it. Hmm, a Vimes Special BLT sandwich with a pint of Winkles Old Peculiar, just the ticket

5
0

Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Very interesting read. The unknown source might be something other than dark matter, but whatever it is, it is new (unless it is Dr Who reversing the polarity of the neutron flow)

5
0

Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Pedantry alert

Vielen dank!

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Headmaster

Pedantry alert

Given that "Panzer" (short for "Panzer Kampfwagen") is German for tank, Panzer tank sounds a bit over the top. I bit like river Avon, actually.

5
2

Boffins: Searching for ALIENS is like looking for PIZZA among students

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Has anybody worked out

the spectral characteristics of superintelligent shades of the colour blue yet?

I'll get me coat. The one with the HHGTTG radio play casette tapes in the pocket (yes I am that old)

4
0

Sun's MASSIVE solar storm belch to light up Earth's skies

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Might get some aurora activity here. Will be watching for it.

0
0

Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: That side-on picture of the phone looks just like...

"I thought the thing looks remarkably like a Galaxy."

Nah, most galaxies are more elliptical or sport nice spiral arms, you rarely see any remotely rectangular ones (although the Small Magellanic Cloud is a bit rectangular).

I'll get me coat. The one with "Turn Left at Orion" in the pocket please

11
0

TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Interesting story

However coral trout != trout. They are hardly related (OK, both are fish), and I would certainly not prepare them in the same way. Both are delicous, however.

5
0

What the BLOCK? Microsoft to gobble Minecraft-maker 'for $2bn'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: It was fun while it lasted.

It's death knell (as in bells ringing to announce death), not death nail. I think you are confused with a nail in the coffin.

7
0

NASA said a 60ft space alien menacing Earth wouldn't harm us: Tell THAT to Nicaragua

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: 107,200

Actually, you need to calculate the relative velocity of 2014 RC with respect to Earth. According to NASA this figure is 10.95 km/s. Assuming the mystery object was traveling in the same orbit, it would be a "mere" 512,460 km behind 2014 RC. They could be related of course (if they share the same orbit, they almost certainly share the same origin).

I think the most telling bit is that nobody spotted the lights in the sky. An impact like this comes from a very bright meteor, so if somebody was sitting on their veranda and heard the explosion, they would have seen it with their eyes closed.

1
0

Beer in SPAAAACE: Photographic PROOF

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Let's raise a glass to his raising of a glass to the stratosphere

Not that an excuse is needed on Friday

4
1

Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Weigh the customers

Were these Americans perhaps asked to sit on the wings? That might explain it

6
0

DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: With incredible uptake of IPv6

Given the vitriolic comments I have seen about the design of IPv6 (don't ask me about the validity, I do not know enough about networks), I am not sure if there aren't people who would embrace NDN because it isn't IPv6 and we need something better than IPv4 at some point.

9
0

You are here => Earth is in 'the suburbs' of an IMMENSE HEAVEN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: just one guy created all this in six days, 6000 years ago ...

HERETICS!!! We are all just the result of a sneeze of the Great Green Arkleseizure!!

Repent sinners, the Great White Handkerchief approacheth!!

18
1

Uber alles... nein! Deutschland imposes NATIONWIDE BAN on taxi app

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Didn't they also do live organ transplants?

0
0

BOFH: We CAN do that with a Raspberry Pi, but think of the BODIES

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

And where had my quicklime gone?

4
0

Vampires and Ninjas versus the Alien Jedi Robot Pirates: It's ON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Ninja's?

"Are you a ninja? Or a ninjaaarrrgh! ?"

How dare you call my wife a big hippo!!

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Ninja's?

Send in Cohen the Barbarian, and the Silver Horde!

I trust all the vampires will be black ribboners

17
0

Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Nope: te IAU has a standard naming scheme for comets: Fairly boring C/ for non-periodic comet P/ for periodic, followed by year of discovery, a letter indicating the half-month in which it was discovered, followed by a number indicating the order of discovery. Prefix X/ is used for comets without reliable orbits, and D/ indicates a comet that has broken up. This boring designation is followed by the names of the discoverer(s) (usually no more than two or three.

1
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Well done Terry!!

I spotted one of his previous finds through binoculars, very nice one, which keot us amateurs entertained for weeks and even months. I see from the data it is too far south for us northern observers to spot it yet (and too faint to be visible in my scope), but as it swings round the sun it may become visible here

Good on ya, mate!!

1
0

Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

A maths teacher worth his salt can pose question in such a way that a regular scientific calculator is as useful as a paperweight of the same dimensions and weight during the exam. It can actually be fun to do this. In my exams I try to keep the answers fairly simple numerically, but tough in terms of algebra and insight required.

Calculators with symbolic equation solving pose more of a challenge to ensure you are testing for insight rather than skill at entering the equations and pressing "solve". The symbolic calculators are most certainly banned at maths exams at our uni.

2
1

Microsoft Azure goes TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance)

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP)

One tea-soaked keyboard at reading that acronym

Will include this as mandatory vocabulary in my upcoming "Introduction to Computing Science" course (along with classics like BOFH, PFY, and PEBCAK)

4
0

Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

I thought this had been answered by Terry Prattchet

Just read "Hollywood Chickens"

Cogito ergo cluck

11
0

Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: I'd call it "Spinal Tap"

"Aren't spinal taps very, very painful and unpleasant?"

And you point is?

17
0