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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2553 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Science fiction titan Frederik Pohl dies, aged 93

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Sorry to hear of his death, but he has had a very good innings, and a "batting average" to be proud of. One of the greats indeed. I shall raise a glass of finest malt to his memory this evening

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Compact Cassette supremo Lou Ottens talks to El Reg

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

'Successful products are created by normal people who just follow their intuition'

Very true, but many a failure is created in the same way

On the other hand, failures may be produced much more efficiently by committee

And, yes, I too have many a fond memory of cassettes. One favourite one was when a friend and I, after crossing many borders in Europe, and never getting stopped (when they still had border control between France and Germany (yes I am that old)), we decided we wanted to get stopped at least once. We stuck an AC/DC tape into the portable player, and as we approached a particularly humourless-looking German border guard, we had "Highway to Hell" blaring out of our old VW Beetle (a 1300). It did not work, we were simply waved through imperiously. Our faces must have looked so honest.

So I will join in raising a pint to those brilliant people who made the cassette possible

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Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Facepalm

Crypto key written down!!!!!!!

Crypto key written down!!!!!!!

ID 10T error code

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Facebook strips away a bit more of your privacy – but won't say why

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Big Brother

Re: Facial Recognition

This is why my kids are not allowed to put a photo up on Facebook, or alternatively should post this one.

I myself will not join (or if I join, it is only to see what the kids are up to). If I do, the obvious mug-shot is the icon beside this post

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Revealed: HUNGRY frosty Arctic cleft that could eat 2 Grand Canyons

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alien

Nah, clearly Atlantean architecture, or my name isn't Von Däniken

....

Hang on

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Vulture 2 spaceplane rises from the powdered nylon

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Great work. Looking forward to the rest of the saga

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NSA: NOBODY could stop Snowden – he was A SYSADMIN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: In response

The NS did it lre dy to my workst tion

De ry me, time for me co t

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Boffins lay bare exotic Lara Croft meteorite element ununpentium

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Were are DOOOMED when they find

element 666 of course

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Google plonks down cash for Foxconn's head-mounted display patents

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: I'm sure I saw

Several planes have similar head-mounted displays linked to the look-down/shoot-down radars and the like.

Usually slightly (or even) less fashionable than google's glasses, however.

Black helicopter for obvious reasons

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Google cripples Chromecast third party replay

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: local media

That mantra should read:

The Cloud exists. We have need for working broadband

The Cloud exists. You have need for working broadband

The Cloud exists. They have need for working broadband

The Cloud exists. I have need for working broadband

....

Not so nice when the broadband connection has multi-hour outages as on my vacation in Italy. Long live my local media.

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Known and used (differently) in Pioneering days

The Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes (1972 and 1973) each had a plaque indicating the position of earth relative to 14 pulsars, s the principle is well known

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Ballmer's emotional farewell to Redmond: I LOVE THIS COMPANY

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Say what you like about Ballmer...

Say what you like about Ballmer...

<stands back with hands in ears for several minutes>

.....

Finished? Good

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

He will be missed for his bouts of .....

unintentional comedy

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Our Vulture 2 spaceplane sprouts sleek pointy beak

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Something in that shape reminds me of Victor

This Victor

Great looking design for LOHAN

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Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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During my holidays the internet connection was very patchy, much to my relief. I did manage to get a message through to some students: don't bug me, I am on vacation. Bliss.

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Never used the Electron, but the lab I used to work in had dozens of the old Atoms controlling various kit, as late as 1995. Neat, durable machine built in the UK.

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Nasty BOFHses. It burns us! It burns...

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Loved it!

"You mean... al Qaeda?" I ask, using the words that can add a zero to the end of a security budget with the flimsiest of supporting evidence.

Loved it to bits

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Bradley Manning is no more. 'Call me Chelsea,' she says

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Really?

Frank.N. Stein, the doctor just called. He says certain parts weren't sewn on correctly, please report to him for urgent replacements and refits

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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WTF?

Re: Not surprising

Lamo? Seriously, the guy's name is Lamo? Did his parents give him that name? If so, did he sue them (the song "A boy named Sue" springs to mind)? If not, did he pick this as a pseudonym or nom de plume?

Anyhow, the name Lamo seems curiously appropriate to me, given that he first suggests the information will be treated confidentially by his words:

"I'm a journalist and a minister. You can pick either, and treat this as a confession or an interview (never to be published) & enjoy a modicum of legal protection."

And then he blabs. Lamo may have felt he was in a cleft stick, of course, but it was at least in part of his own cutting.

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BILLION-TONNE BELCH emitted from Sun to hit Earth this weekend

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Fireworks

I am hoping for that too, but a very large waning gibbous moon may reduce the visibility

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Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: All good points

Buy a computer?

The truly paranoid make their own silicon

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'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Correct

Or the Silly Party. I voted Tarquin Fin-tim-lim-bim-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olè-Biscuitbarrel, last time, although I did consider voting Kevin Phillips-Bong, the Slightly Silly candidate.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Unhappy

Re: brought to you by the same people who want a "porn filter"

"You just don't understand technology do you politicians ..."

As if they fully understand non-technical stuff,

like ethics.

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Marissa Mayer causes controversy after KEEPING HER KIT ON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Re: I think she looks nice.

You, sir, have a very sick mind. ;-)

Now I am infected as well! Cannot get that image out of my head. Imagining that the furniture collapses beneath Balmer's weight helps a bit, I find. Imagining he will throw it at somebody helps more.

Either aspirin or loads of beer might erase the image entirely

Guess what I will try ;-)

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Alien antique show: Egyptians wore JEWELRY FROM SPAAAACE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Daniel Jackson? Sounds more like like Jack Daniel's speaking

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Windows NT: Remember Microsoft's almost perfect 20-year-old?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Ah, good old NT

I installed it at home essentially because it had a clear separation between administrator and regular users. This prevented the missus from removing clutter from the root directory (like command.com, config.sys, or autoexec.bat) as she had done under Windows 3.1 (seriously, she did ! (and she was upset at the fact that I was angry, obviously)).

I did take one look at Win 95 but didn't like it, so decided to go for NT instead. Worked quite solidly (although I would tend to boot to SUSE (6.X I think) at the time.

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Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: You know what the data is don't you

And inside that image is one of a two-fingered salute

After that it's turtles all the way down

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Hello is that I.T.?

But surely they have backups of the backups of the backups?!

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British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: No need for a third runway at Heathrow

"And exactly how are you going to get to Schipol from Blighty?"

Easy: swim the Channel

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

But

why would I be carrying sensitive data around on my electronic devices, knowing it could be confiscated, or at least searched? I could instead store the data using one-time-pad encryption, and hide it steganographically in a bunch of files containing photographs of various tourist attractions and send it to a computer back home (stuck in the back of a disused toilet with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard") using scp or the like. You could even upload them onto the very cloud services PRISM scans, because even the NSA would have trouble with a one-time pad.

Appalling treatment of the guy. It does very much sound like bullying.

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Curiosity looks up, spies Martian double-mooning

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Great stuff by Curiosity

Haven't been able to spot Phobos or Deimos myself (despite observing Mars many times). I need a bigger telescope!

(that's called aperture fever)

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T-Rex tooth find shows dino may have been a pussy

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Re: Spine?

Basic anatomy shows that the spine of a Hadrosaur runs all the way through its tail as well (in line with quite a majority of land-based vertebrates). As the article states the the tooth was lodged in the caudal section of the spine, the article is accurate

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Microsoft lathers up Windows 8.0 Surface RT for quick price shave

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: I just got two nicely working Android tablets for less than that

Yes, indeed.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I just got two nicely working Android tablets for less than that

One for the kids, one for the (alleged) grown-ups in the house ;-)

Both sport 1280x800 resolution, dual core processor with quad core graphics, so quite decent spec for (ultimately) fairly light use. OK, they have a "mere" 16GB storage (and micro-SD slot for expansion), but they run LOADS of useful apps, and I do not need MS-Office. Why should I go for WIN-RT (RT for runt of the pack?), if I can get two android tablets for less money?

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Man sues Apple for allowing him to become addicted to PORN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

But I thought

Owning a gun was legal in his neck of the wood

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Did I create an account just to call this guy a bellend of the highest order?

Rest assured, there are worse reasons for joining ;-)

Welcome aboard

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Facepalm

Somebody

Really, really, really, needs to get a life.

I thought the US ethos was all about citizens taking responsibility (not a bad thing) and small government (the jury is out on that one). This person seems to think responsibility ends when there is a rich company you might fleece. I am not a fan of Apple or its products, but in this case I have no choice but to side with Apple.

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Microsoft biz heads slash makes Ballmer look like dead STEVE JOBS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Devil

Re: In the process of this discussion

He who must not be named is back, hence the down votes

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

In the process of this discussion

some people are going to miss Eadon

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Hubble spots ALIEN NAVY world – and it's pelted with GLASS RAIN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Alternatively, it might be home

to super-intelligent shades of the colour blue

Mine is the one with the cassette tapes of the Hitchhiker's Guide in the pocket

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Giant human-powered quadricopter wins $250,000 Sikorsky Prize

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Brilliant achievement

And now, for a tilt-rotor version

;-)

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US Navy robot stealth fighter in first unmanned carrier landings

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Better landing than Topper Harley

Sorry, time for me coat

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US Congress proposal: National Park will be FOUND ON MOON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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"Now if the UN decided to give the sites protected status, that is a different matter..."

Maybe they could be voted UNESCO (Out of this) World Heritage Sites

That would make a lot of sense (and is not at odds with the National Park idea), as these sites are a monument to one of mankind's greatest achievements.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: @ Don Jefe - Eh??

Images have been made of the Apollo landing sites, not just by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO, from NASA, so "suspect"), but by the Chinese Chang'e-2 probe (1.3m resolution, so good enough). Some of the LRO images show the LEM base, its shadow, and tracks from astronauts and rovers.

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US gov SMASHES UP TVs and MICE to nuke tiny malware outbreak

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

"Someone saw a way to get all their ancient PCs replaced with brand new ones."

Someone who is called Simon, maybe

Pass me the sledgehammer and the cattle prod please

What, no BOFH icon? OK, off to the pub then

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Inventor lobs spherical, throwable camera

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I think in the case of serious fast bowlers you would get some serious motion blur as well

Neat device, nonetheless

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Universities teach us a thing or two about BYOD

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Eduroam is very nice indeed. It is very handy for me to have internet access in the universities I visit.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Alternatively

People bring their own devices because those provided are not up to scratch.

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Star Wars missile intercept fails for fifth year running

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

The BASTARDS!!!

How dare they attack us with missiles without transponders! It's not fair!!!!

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D-Wave IS QUANTUM, insist USC scientists

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Uncertainty about quantum computing?

Well, it's quantum, innit?

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