Feeds

* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2362 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Don't bake your Raspberry Pi - now you can WATER COOL it

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Obviously

The coolant of choice is raspberry juice

I'll get me coat

7
0

We've done it - we've gone and made LONG-LIFE BEER

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

I'll drink to that!

Who says all researchers live in an ivory tower?

Cheers

3
0

So long, Hotmail: Remaining users migrated to Outlook.com

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Mushroom

Seen from the other side, Hotmail is a pain too

When people subscribe to a forum I help moderate, our software sends an authentication e-mail, with a link to let the user authenticate himself. Hotmail, and hotmail alone, corrupts the url we send, so an administrator has had to programme a workaround. Let's hope and pray that Outlook.com does mess up in the same way.

Standards? MS has heard of them, I recall.

I know, I am an eternal optimist.

2
0

Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Terrorist

Yep, noticed the same. Even the most measured posts are receiving thumbs down from somebody. Not necessarily an American though, there are plenty of idiots on either side of the big pond. Idiocy is very democratic in that sense

3
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Common Sense...

There is still a lot of common sense about, I see it all around me every day. I see morons too, of course, but they are in somewhat shorter supply. Modern communication technology just means you hear about the morons much quicker. Do not forget, people being sensible is not something that sells papers, or generates clicks on adds.

2
1

Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Boffin

Silica <> glass

Silica or quartz is not (often) a true glass. Fused silica is used in optics, but due to the high temperatures needed for glass transition it is limited in its use. Typical glass combines silica (about 75%) with sodium and calcium oxides. So silica is the main constituent in many cases, but not the whole story. Most silica typically has a proper crystalline structure, and is not glass-like in many properties (e.g. thermal conductivity of glass is typically closer to that of certain liquids than that of crystalline silica or carborundum (alumina)).

</pedantry>

1
0

COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO: NASA rovers scrawl giant willy on Mars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

It needn't be intentional, it could just be a cock-up

Sorry, couldn't resist. Sounds like it's time to go already

0
0

Nvidia Tesla bigwig: Why you REALLY won't need x86 chips soon

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Boffin

Not all parallel programs have the same demands

There are many tasks that run like the clappers under CUDA. These are all those tasks that are of a more-or-less SIMD nature, like large matrix multiplications, Fourier transforms, and any other method that has a predefined processing order, preferably with a lot of micro-parallelism in there. Subtasks also need to be fairly isolated, to minimize communication load. For those tasks Kepler and Tesla-like processors are great (we have a couple).

However, there are also tasks in which the processing order is data driven, and where each processor might need to access arbitrary parts of the (large) data set here. I am currently doing multi-scale analysis of 3.9 Gpixel images, and doing that on a Kepler or Tesla board is a nightmare. Our 64-core Opteron machine gets between 32-50 times speed-up, because this algorithm is best using coarse-grained parallelism. X86-64 machines are not going away soon, and GP-GPU-processing is not a panacea (great though it is).

4
0

BlackBerry OS 10.1 leaks its secret goo over all the web

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Mrs F....

I cannot say that the fact that one particular missus cannot understand a phone is the best measure for usability. My missus moans about her android phone endlessly (which my kids understand in the blink of an eye), but at the same time refuses to listen to any advice (like what different buttons/apps do, what gestures are available, etc). In quite a few cases I find that moaning is not about getting help or advice, it is purely about getting attention. If you truly solve the problem, you deny them the chance to moan about that again.

BTW, this is not a female thing: we have several excellent and technically very competent female PhD students here. It is much more of an anti-tech mindset that some people develop.

Sorry, end of rant, it has been that kind of morning. Beer, because I feel I am in need of that.

1
0

And they're off: Hubble, Herschel race for hot pics of space filly

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: That is so, so beautiful

To see the Horse-head nebula you need very dark sites, a big scope, and for preference an H-beta filter. Even with my 8" in the Alps I failed to spot it (did not have the filter though, next winter might be better).

We are lucky to live in a time when we have instruments like Hubble and Herschel to capture such beauty.

0
0

Dark matter researchers think they've got a signal

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

So

even at the subatomic level, being hit by a wimp does have much effect

Yeah, right. I should have gone home long ago

0
0

Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Can you install two dashboards using SLI?

Just to keep back-seat drivers occupied

1
0

Ants have careers; you don't want them

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Maybe the queen just likes having all the hot-looking young ants to herself?

And the young'uns like to be near the queen of course. To paraphrase Loudon Wainwright III

"The cutest ant that I have ever seen

is our own big fat sexy queen!

True she hasn't got such great legs,

but you should see the girl lay eggs!"

Mine's the one with the dead skunk print on the back.

0
0

Malwarebytes declares Windows 'malicious', nukes 1,000s of PCs

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

I patiently await

A virus scanner that identifies itself as malware

At least it will remove itself, or at least file harakiri.dll

5
0

Review: Asus PadFone 2 phone-tablet combo

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Interesting concept. From the same company that produces the transformer stuff that seems like the most interesting tablet to fulfil my needs. Next up, a padphone transformer?

1
0

Boffins: Tireless star spurted deadly jets for half an hour at a time

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Boffin

That is why they talk about the edge of the observable universe. One could also call this "edge" our event horizon. Just because crayons work in 2D does not mean 3-D (or for that matter n-D, for any positive integer n) objects cannot have an edge (or boundary if you like).

0
0

Are biofuels Europe's sh*ttiest idea ever?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Biofuels do have a long history

T34 Tanks are said to have run on vodka or bootleg drink on occasion.

A waste of good drink, perhaps, but it may have prevented blindness.

(it cannot have been scumble, as that would have eaten its way through the metal of the engine)

4
0

Raspberry Pi space jaunt ends in dramatic mountain rescue

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Locals bearing flaming torches and pitchforks

But, but, but,..... was one member of the team called Igor?

Please let somebody say "Yeth, Marthter!!"

0
0

Microsoft brings back Windows watch after Apple seeks 'flexible' bod

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

@Danny 14

"but the battery life will suck. Even with induction charging it will be a pain."

I have this mental image of an induction charger based on a cattle prod

It's withdrawal symptoms from too few BOFH episodes

Really time to go; hat, coat, outahere!

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: meh....

".... a computer on their wrist and a computer on their face?(smart specs)"

I thought face-installed computers were quite old technology, generally available whenever someone ticks off the the BOFH

OK, time to go

0
0

Mozilla devs plotting to put a stake in <blink> tag – at last

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

DARN!!

And I had almost got my special toner to get laser printed web-pages to blink where required perfected!

1
0

NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Vaporware

Of course there are hurdles, that is why research is needed (hence the phrase "if we knew what we were doing it would not be research" ;-) ). There are many ways this can go pear-shaped, but I applaud the aim, and the proposal is plausible enough to investigate further. It is an audacious and exciting proposal.

This scheme will need a rethink when going to the outer planets such as Jupiter, or its moon Europa, given the much lower intensity of solar radiation. Some other source of electric power will be needed.

4
0

Hard luck lads, todger size DOES matter: Official

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Ig Nobel prize nominee

if ever there was one. Also suitable for the "Scientists now know" and "Boys will be boys" sections of Annals of Improbable Research

3
0

MISSING LINK between HUMANS and MONKEYS FOUND

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: ObJoke

Millennium hand and shrimp, I told em I told em, they'd only run out, buggrit, buggrem, doorsteps, I told em, I told em, don't try the blarney gobble on me, juggins, buggrit, buggrit, millennium hand and shrimp

5
1

US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Are they serious?

So the full name of the ship is not USS Ponce da Quirm?

Mine is the one with "Eric" in the pocket

1
0

The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Thinking Machines

Oh yes! We had a CM-5 in our computer centre. That was seriously cool. The Cray J-932 right next to it mainly had an ultra-cool power led (rectangular, 1 x 10 cm or so affair), but the CM-5 looked like it would fit in in the higher budget class of SF movie.

The Elan Enterprise brings back memories, I used to have an Enterprise 128 as a kid. These had a nifty expansion slot at the side which allowed all sorts of people (students too) to build their own extensions (I once saw a working (!!) home-brew 4MB hard drive attached to one). It was a lot easier to get on with than the CDC-6600 (aka Cyber 74) on which I did my first computer practicals.

Is there no nostalgia icon?

1
0

Website which 'could have prevented Rwandan genocide' goes live

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Back in the days . . .

The BOFH had a field day having his boss shout all the forbidden words "to build up a database" of forbidden words for their newfangled speech recognition software, as I recall.

2
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Hate speech not the best indicator

Very true, I do not doubt. You often see people of different ethnicity living side by side harmoniously during good times. It is when the economy goes down the toilet that people like to point the finger of blame to anyone who looks different (god forbid I am to blame, after all). Sad but very human, I am afraid. Much the same happened in former Yugoslavia.

6
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Cue a random word generator.

Like swut, joojooflop, and turlingdrome?

So long as they don't start saying Belgium (whoops)

7
0

Pyongyang to unleash NUKULAR horsemen of the Norkocalypse?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Seriously Dave?

I somehow doubt you could do that unnoticed by any satellite. If anything elongated an of the right size is loaded onto a ship or barge, rest assured something up there will read the serial numbers (OK not quite perhaps, but close enough).

0
0

Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: It's whether the degree is *hard* or *soft*

If we want to be scientific about it, we should have a hardness measure for degrees. Before embarking into a formal definition of this hardness, we could at least devise an informal scale similar to Mohs scale in mineralogy: Hardness scale 10 might be a PhD in quantum physics or cosmology, whereas hardness 1 would be a bachelor in underwater basket weaving.

Furthermore, I propose that very hard degrees must come with a diploma or certificate that is hard enough to be used to whack potential employers around the head. The softest degrees should come with a fluffy pink certificate.

Note that hardness has no repercussion for usefulness in a particular trade or profession. A quantum physicist might be of limited use in a nursing home.

3
0

NASA rules out leading new human lunar expedition

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: It's not the same without Neil anyway

Is it me, or are managers (and politicians of course, always hard to keep vermin out) in charge at NASA, rather than engineers, kick-arse test pilots, and people with vision?

Pity, NASA gave me some of my fondest childhood memories.

Having said that, there are still some awesome projects they do carry off. You have to just love those Mars rovers, to name just one example (OK, three). They show there are still star engineers at NASA.

2
0

How I nearly sold rocket windows to the crazy North Koreans

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Mixed lessons from history?

The story I heard was that the Russians bought one Nene engine (legally) and said, thank you very much, we will copy them, without bothering about licences, but I might well be wrong. Both stories are equally believable: A government cynically copying stuff developed elsewhere or an arms manufacturer cynically selling military gear to anybody with enough cash.

4
0

Hubble boffins: Incredibly old supernova could explain EVERYTHING

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Ever wondered if...

The nearest supernova remnant to you is you, but it goes a bit far to point to a distant (actually, close by on a cosmological scale) supernova in Messier 101 a year or two back and say (in a high pitched voice) MUMMY!!!, as I heard one amateur astronomer do at a star party.

0
0

Pyongyang Photoshop tomfoolery shows wet Norks, skirts blown up

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: That's a lot of eels!

Stealthiest Monty Python link of the decade, methinks.

My nipples explode with delight!

0
0

60-inch Apple iTV to be controlled by iRing remote?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Doessss thissss mean ....

I can marry my TVsessss, my preciousssss?

I'll get me coat

2
0

Kiwi boffins bid up Earth-like planet prediction

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Its an interesting idea...

A problem with bigger stars is that they burn up much more quickly. They also output much more UV. Besides, smaller stars are far more numerous, so it does not make much sense to go for the big ones

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re:"If we did leave the solar system, where should we go?"

And when they find a perfect planet, somebody is bound to say:

Yeah, but you know how it is with travel destinations: they look all shiny in the brochure, but when you get there the landing strip is awful, the customs officers rude, the taxi driver rips you of and drives you to your hotel which hasn't even been built yet, the sand on the beach scorching hot, but the sea is freezing cold for some reason, and it's polluted, and the Germans have taken all the towels and deckchairs, the food is awful and the toilets wont flush, the next-door kids will making far too much noise and the disco next door means you can't sleep a wink!

We might just as well stay at home or go to Southend-on-Sea

Such people should be sent of on a B-Ark to a small blue-green planet at the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy.

Oh, hang on.....

1
0

ANCIENT CURSED RING known to TOLKIEN goes on display

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Alternatively you could name your servers

Ankh, Morpork, Quirm, Pseudopolis, Lancre, Genua, Sto Lat, ..........

Here they used Pallas, Zeus, and Poseidon. I got some blank stares from the CIT crowd (Philistines, the lot of them ;-) ) when I suggested Offler, Om, and Nuggan

I'll get me coat!

3
1
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

"The only similarity is that both rings are round!"

As J.R.R. Tolkien said when a (Swedish, I think) translator drew lengthy comparison with Wagner's "Ring des Nibelungen." I think the museum is hoping to ride on the popularity of the film to draw in visitors (can't blame them).

Magic rings abound in myths and legends, and Tolkien new many (Kalevala, Mabinogion, Edda, etc.), and inspiration has many sources. Also, in the Hobbit, the ring is simply a handy tool, and only in the LotR does it become sinister.

1
1

Why does our galaxy spiral?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Interesting simulation

I have seen spiral arms develop in simulations of collisions of galaxies run by a colleague at the astronomy department, where they appear to be material structures. I must have a look at the paper later.

0
1
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Boffin

Interesting simulation

When I did astronomy at the Kapteyn Institute (in the 1980s), a similar theory floated about, which suggested the spiral arms are essentially a compression wave running through the gas and dust, triggering star formation in spiral patterns, and the hot, short-lived stars lit up the surrounding gas with their UV radiation. Shortly after the wave passed, the bright stars burnt up, and the amount of light decreased, without the total mass density changing much. The theory behind this simulation runs along a similar pattern, although in the 1980s simulating anything this big was impossible, of course.

1
1

Veiny green 'scum' meteorite may be first visitor from Mercury

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: "Almost-planet Vesta"

New keyboard please

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Very interesing indeed

Curious looking stone as well (good-looking scum, one might say)

1
0

Rocket boffinry in pictures: Gulp the Devil's venom and light a match

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Kerbal Space Programme....

Nor does Goddard. He made a few contributions.

The thing we really need is an infinite improbability drive, so if anybody can give me a Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain hooked up to an atomic vector plotter, I will supply the cup of really hot tea and feed in the improbability of the infinite improbability drive.

1
0

I've got a super free multi-petabyte storage box for you: /dev/null

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

I think many of us share the view that we should archive all plans from middle management (and indeed many government plans as well) in /dev/null. It can be done without any loss of real information

5
0

Dragon capsule makes fiery entrance, safe splashdown

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

And rightly so!

I'll see your pint and raise you another one!

That image brings back very fond memories of the Apollo era.

Go SpaceX, go!

0
0

GCHQ attempts to downplay amazing plaintext password blunder

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

The sound you hear

is that of crypto-experts past (Alan Turing included) spinning in their graves

Hilarious blunder, especially coming from GCHQ

10
0

CERN re-opens 'Animal Shelter for Computer Mice'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: There's Comic Sans Again

The Higgs font?

2
0

Experts doubt Anonymous Mossad spy outing claims are kosher

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Facepalm

Members of the Israeli Defense Forces?

Given that military service is compulsory for most Israelis (quite a few orthodox Jews are exempt, despite being very militant), and can be called up at any time as reservists, it might be quicker to list those Israelis not in the IDF.

Just my tuppence

6
1