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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2362 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Answer me these questions three, before your passport you will see!

1. What is your name?

2. What is your quest?

3. What is your favourite colour?

OR

3. What is the capitol of Assyria

OR

3. What is the average airspeed of an unladen swallow?

I know, I know! The one with Monty's Encylopythonia in the pocket, please

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Stanford super runs million-core calculation

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Quite impressive in term of size but am I alone in wondering.

Dead right. Getting a million cores running effectively is very hard!! It is not just Amdahl's law that can get in the way (i.e. the max speed-up is limited by a section of the code that is sequential), it is communication overhead. We are working on a problem that, if implemented naively, would required O(N log N) communication, with N the number of pixels, which in practice means that the largest data set we have to work on (1.5 Tpixel) requires in the order of 120TB of data traffic. We are trying to get that down to O(G √N log N), with G the number of grey levels, which boils down to in the order of 240 GB of traffic in our case. Still a lot, but it should bring the algorithm into the realms of the possible.

I do not see compilers take over this sort of redesign of the code automatically any time soon

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Spammers joyride Doctor Who's Twitter TARDIS, turn man into Shirley Temple

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Shirley not?

And stop calling me Shirley!

Mine is the one with the Naked Gun DVD in the pocket

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Brit 2.5-tonne nuke calculator is World's Oldest Working Computer

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Yeah...

More likely it will crush the blender!

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‘That’s not art’ says Apple as it pulls nudes from AppStore

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

But I thought it was OK as long as there are urns, or cherubs in the picture?

Shows it must be art, dunnit?

That's what Sgt Colon told me

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Priorities

"Guns are granted by the constitution, tits - no so much.

The sheer truth is that porn lobby is just too weak."

Should the porn lobby give stiffer opposition?

Sorry couldn't resist

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Liferay's not dead yet - but what's keeping it alive?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Nice to hear about a company that tries to do good and not just "not do evil". If you can pull it off, not taking venture capital and going public is a very good way to keep control of a company, and staying true to your goals. It is not easy of course.

Well done to Liferay

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Foxit outfoxes fiendish flaw to fix foxed-up Firefox PDF plugin

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: I had almost expected

I see the Firefox headline flaw has fortuitously been fixed

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I had almost expected

Firefox to feature in the fantastically fanciful headline

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Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

I think it is called unobtanium (or was it narrativium?)

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BEST reiterates ‘no solar forcing’ claim

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Exactly!

I mean, I haven't seen the sun for MONTHS and it is still not that cold! How could a ball of hot plasma 110 times the diameter of the earth affect us at a distance of 149 MILLION kilometres?

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Entire Reg readership would fill 205 Olympic-sized swimming pools

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Regarding the "liquid output"

doesn't that depend heavily on the liquid input?

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First Google wants to know all about you, now it wants a RING on your finger

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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How many rings to rule them all?

One for each board member

So, that is the LOTR joke settled

Sorry, couldn't resist

Mine is the one with the three volume edition

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Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Am I bothered?

That or the "Scientists Now Know" section of Annals of Improbable Research

I should send them my paper on Creativity - Bureaucracy Decay Studied by Pasta - Antipasta Collision Experiments, but I haven't yet got round to making up some data to put in the plots

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: *facepalms*

It is equally typical for non-engineers not to get these jokes

Engineers and non-engineers are simply two nations separated by a common language

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: *facepalms*

"Please express the force of your facepalm in kilopascals."

I think Norrises per nanoWales is the accepted unit here

Not that I care

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NRA: Video games kill people, not guns. And here's our video game

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

The NRA clearly need no lessons in shooting themselves in the foot

Next they will complain about restrictions on weapons like those on the left

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Patent trolling surges, but righteous cavalry on the way

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Nice article!

"I know a troll when they sue us."

That almost cost me a keyboard

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Google denies smacking Botswanan ass

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Just taking a dust bath to remove ticks

Did the presence of the google operatives give the creature the impression of being infested with bloodsucking parasites?

Intelligent creature, in that case

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Mysterious Facebook product plumps up shares on Wall Street

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Whatever the product, this will not entice me

either to buy Facebook stocks, or to join Facebook

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Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Death by X-Ray?

That, or you just reverse the polarity of the neutron flow (seems to work for Scotty and Geordi La Forge, and Dr. Who (or was that the flux))

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Lasers in space

Yes, indeed, once you see the light of a weapon-class laser, you can't any more (ever again!)

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IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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@S4qFBxkFFg

Agreed, but some people do get it aesthetically right and functional, like this telescope, which I think you might appreciate.

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Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: not just the old..

I have this image of these two confused (and for some reason blond) women asking directions from a bemused Billy Connolly or Rab C. Nesbit lookalike.

"Ach nea! Ye've come a wee bit too far north, ya stupid cows!"

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Non-information

Simply typing in the wrong name of the city will not cause this in general. On all satnavs I have used (Garmin and (long ago) ViaMichelin) you must first actively select another country. Otherwise Frenchmen would be sent to Paris, Texas by accident. ;-)

Remaining question: Is there a Brussels, Croatia? ;-)

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

And people wonder why the Dutch make jokes about Belgians

Quite besides being distracted, having to refuel a few times on an 80km trip should be a give-away that something is rotten in the state of Belgium.

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Titsup Windows Phone 8 orders user to cram 'boot disc' in mobe

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Lol.

Software re-use often has these side effects.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: installation disc?

So he did not make the "recovery discs" most laptops ask you to make? That is much safer than a recovery partition (in case the hard drive goes titsup). Machines with windows pre-installed often come with a product code on the underside of the machine. Could this be used to get a reinstallation disk from MS (not likely I guess, but perhaps worth a shot)?

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Microsoft flings out emergency patch for Iatest gaping IE hole

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Unfortunately,

And the problem with kids today is that if you tell em they don't believe a word you are saying!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Unfortunately,

<Yorkshire accent>

MS-DOS? Posh bastards! We would give our right arm to be able to use MS-DOS, we would!!

We are forced to run old CP/M machines (the very lucky bastards get CP/M 68K!!)

We have to compile our browsers, then store them on 42 floppy disks, and like it!!

</Yorkshire accent>

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Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Why does this debate remind me of a Monty Python sketch?

I came here for an argument, this is just plain contradiction

No, it isn't!

Yes, it is!

No, it isn't!

Yes, it is!

Whether you consider him guilty or not, the point is the man took his own life under a situation that anybody would find very stressful.

That is a tragedy.

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Review: HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 handset

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Market share drop not surprising

I must say I still like my new Desire X (Android of course, not WinPho), a lot. I used to have an HTC Desire, but unfortunately put my foot on it at night during an observing session with the telescope in France, so maybe the UI appealed to me more than the Samsung offerings. I cannot comment on battery life, however. The Desire X is definitely a much better phone than the cruddy little replacement phone (cheapest non-sim-locked android phone available in that French town at that time) I got (though to its credit it did have a dual SIM capability). The same holds for the Samsungs I had a look at recently: touch screen much better to look at and in terms of responsiveness than the cheapo phone I got.

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Panasonic pitches Ultra HD 4K x 2K monster tablet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Holy Moses! How commandments fit onto that tablet!

sorry, could not resist,

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Potty-mouthed Watson supercomputer needed filth filter

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Re: Seems like this would be a teaching opportunity

"Fuck" most likely derives from the same root as Dutch "fokken" meaning to breed. This is Germanic.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Immature is as immature does

Profane? Nah, it was just amateur fane

Deary me, coat time again, I am afraid

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Faster-than-disk 1TB USB on sale soon... but if you lose it, you've lost £2k+

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Size problem

So, our 1.5 Terapixel image (aerial image of entire (undisclosed) country) will not fit on that usb-stick?

Darn!

Mine is the one with the 2TB disk in the pocket

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Oracle, Dell, CSC, Xerox, Symantec accused of paying ZERO UK tax

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Go right ahead...

Like, they wouldn't want to sell stuff in the UK any more?

If stiffer taxes are introduced, they will not take their business elsewhere, I would guess they will rip customers off more than they already do. A bit like tax on fuel here in the Netherlands, where taxes are higher than in Germany, and the oil companies happily pass 150% or more of that difference on to the customer.

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5.6TB helium disks could balloon, lift WD onto enterprise throne

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Scene from the Hitatchi factory canteen

I just thought all your MP3s would go up in pitch.

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Microsoft burgled, only the APPLE iPADS stolen - cops confirm

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Yep, me too. And it makes me wonder: were these thieves out for profit, or did they really want to salt into some people's wounds.

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Bendy screens are the future, screams maker of bendy screens

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

I can think of an application: Dynamic posters for CS Conferences

I would love to have one of these in A0 size that I can put into a standard roll for posters, so I can show off my image and 3D medical volume processing and visualization algorithms on the poster itself. That would be seriously cool. All I would need is to hook it up to the laptop (for the required computational oomph) as a huge external screen. You could even support touch-based interaction.

I could even remove any typos I left, or let viewers supply their own images

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Now you can control ANY Win 8 kit with your EYEBALLS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

But I always glare at my windows box

Doesn't achieve much, I must say.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg enters trials

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: niche

It does rather remind me of the nickname of LSTs (Landing Ship Tank) used during D-day: Large Slow Target

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Nothing heroic or disaterous

Besides, Operation Market Garden was not a complete failure. It did not achieve all the objectives, and Arnhem was indeed a bridge too far. The bridges over the Waal and Maas rivers were captured intact, by paratroops. The southern half of the Netherlands (including me mum and her family, who lived in Nijmegen at the time) were liberated much earlier than the rest of the Netherlands, thanks to Market Garden.

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

In academia, students get to see PLENTY of bad code

They write quite a bit of it themselves!

Not all the code they see is in books. A lot of it is ill-documented scientific code written on the spur of the moment to check out a new idea. If it works, write a little MatLab wrapper and release into the wild. FUN!!

Yes, we teach our students how to gather requirements, write documentation, carefully craft the code. However, quite a bit of our own code is written quickly, and the scientific paper serves as the documentation. One reason we get away with it, is that many of our programmes are really rather small snippets reading data, applying the new algorithm to it, and writing some output. In many cases, the code does not get released as production code. Only in larger scale efforts do we apply any thorough software engineering skills.

So, us academics often don't abide by our own rules.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

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Do users have enough power?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Whatever the outcome

New options mean new material for BOFH episodes

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End of days: Possessed POWERPOINT predicts Mayan Apocalypse

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

DARN!!

Another application not available for Linux, or Mac!!! I feel left out!

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Little spider makes big-spider-puppet CLONE of itself out of dirt

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Brilliant

"Like when atheists point at parasitic wasps as 'proof' there is no God? Equally weak arguments."

Agreed, I never said there is no God.

You would need a babelfish to prove that ;-)

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Brilliant

Now let's hope the creationists don't start using this as "proof" that evolution does not work

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Japanese firm lifts lid on Android-controlled toilet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Does it have a button "Old Faithful"?

If so, look for the Bergholt Stutley Johnson label

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Baby got .BAT: Old-school malware terrifies Iran with del *.*

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Frightened by del *.*?

wait till they see

rm -rf /

(= F1 on BOFH keyboard)

or

shutdown -h now

(=F2 on BOFH keyboard)

And there is the even more powerful command for HEX:

+++ reinstall universe +++

+++ redo from start +++

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