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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2546 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Microwaves thrash fibre on speed... if you like two-nines uptime

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Going Postal

When people "explain" finance to me, I always refer to Going Postal. At the end of that book, financiers enter the fray. There is a brilliant passage which reads (approximately):

And they saved the city with gold more easily than any hero could have with steel. .... But it was not so much gold, or even the promise of gold, but more the dream that gold would be there at the end of the rainbow. Provided you did not go and look, of course. And that is called Finance.

You are a wise man, Terry Pratchett.

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New social network is for DEAD PEOPLE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Has Reg Shoe joined yet?

The one with "Jingo" in the pocket, please

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Microsoft's own code should prevent an Azure SSL fail: So what went wrong?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Just goes to show

The old adage:

Nothing is foolproof for a sufficiently talented fool

still holds true

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Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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One question I have always asked myself

If the flapping of the proverbial butterfly wing has an impact of the weather, how come scientists could claim with a straight face that extracting several tera-Watts of power from the climate system will have no effect?

This scientist seems to be asking that self-same question.

This does not mean I am against wind power, I just think we should not blithely assume it does not impact climate in some way.

And of course, as Mustrum Ridcully would say, lets find those bloody butterflies that are causing all these storms

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Trekkies detect Spock's Vulcan homeworld ORBITING PLUTO

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I would have voted for names like Arthur Dent or Ford Prefect

but then I never was a Trekkie

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Climate scientists link global warming to extreme weather

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

All I want

is for the clouds to sod off and let me see the comet C/2011 L4 PanStarrs in March (and comet C/2012 S1 ISON in November and December).

I do not know why I have had such a dismal run of lousy weather preventing me from spending more than a single night per month watching the stars (or indeed whether this is exceptional), I just want some clear skies!!

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Xyratex thrusts a Lustre cluster knuckleduster at Intel's bluster

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Riposte

Touché!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Lets hope the cluster bluster does not end like Custer

Sorry, I'll get me coat

The blue one with the cavalry sabre, please

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North Korean citizens told: Socialist haircuts are a thing... go get some

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Big Brother

All haircuts are equal, but some haircuts are more equal than others

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Razzie voters drive stake through Twilight

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Love the razzies

They prevent me from accidentally going to films which are as much fun as attaching your hand to the wall with a staple gun ...

repeatedly.

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Quantum computer one step closer after ‘true’ quantum calculation

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Was the answer 42?

Well, was it?

OK, time to go

Mine is the one with the cassette tapes of the radio play in the pocket

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BOFH: Climb the corp ladder - and use your boss as a bullet shield

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Defragging Management

Brilliant phrase, must implement that soon

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Playmobil punts bank-heist set to wide-eyed kiddies

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Uproar?!

Playmobil re-enactment or it didn't happen!

I'll get me coat.

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Curiosity raises mighty robotic fist, punches hole in Mars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Fortunately

Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged is not in control of Curiosity. Otherwise he would use that punch to write a very rude word indeed (like Belgium)

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Bit9 hacked after it forgot to install ITS OWN security product

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Who guards the guardians?

Nobody, it seems

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Dead Steve Jobs 'made Tim Cook sue Samsung' from beyond the grave

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Well I never...

but, but, but.....

WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE LAWYERS!!

Anybody?

...

Anybody?

...

Apparently not

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Review: HP Spectre XT TouchSmart

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Unhappy

No nVidea == no use to me

Me is CUDA user.

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Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

Door handle? Also looks like the flushing handle in our toilet. If Curiosity pulls it, it might find the resulting evidence of water overwhelming

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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Has nobody mentioned water?

It is important! I am very fortunate to have just about the best water possible coming out of the tap.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: The ramsay way

Should that last line not be

F***IN ENJOY!!!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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My versions

Basic work version:

1. Take one wire-mesh tea-strainer spoon, and insert one good teaspoon of Keemun Black tea (Twinings Prince of Wales at a pinch).

2. Nuke water in big mug in industrial-strength microwave oven until it really boils

3. Add tea-strainer spoon.

4. Infuse as long as desired, or alternatively forget about it whilst coding and drink arbitrarily strong

4b) add milk and sugar if you must

Keemun black tea is very dark by nature, and never turns bitter, so forgetting to remove the tea only makes it stronger, but never renders it undrinkable.

On the road version:

replace tea strainer egg by Twinings Prince of Wales tea bags

Working in region with hard water:

Replace Keemun Black by good quality Assam and keep infusion time down. Assam takes hard water better than most

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Now UK must look out for crappy SPACE weather - engineers

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The horror, the horror

of not being able to use twitter, facebook, ......

Oh, wait. I don't have accounts there.

but wait. No REG!!!!

AAAARGH, WE ARE DOOMED!!!!

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Earth-like planets abound in red dwarf systems

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: If there is life out there, they're keeping quiet

Cricket, they do not like cricket at all. They find it very offensive, and are ignoring us for the barbarians we are

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GNOME project picks JavaScript as sole app dev language

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Dear God

And they have added frickin' lasers to the sharks

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: I love programmer snobbery.

I have written well-structured programmes in assembler.

Likewise, it is possible to write good code in Javascript (no doubt, I have not written any)

Whether either of the above is what I would want to do is another matter entirely. This is not a matter of snobbery, it is a matter of practicality. Scripting-based languages are very valuable for quick prototyping, or for portability, when top performance is not required (and JIT compilers go quite a long way to address performance issues). However, C and C++ are still my preferred tools, for development of high-performance code and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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Euro boffins plan supercomputer to SIMULATE HUMAN BRAIN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Devil

or a chartered accountant

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Sick software nasty uses child abuse pics to extort infected victims

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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isn't the official phrase "sexecution" ?

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How to destroy a brand-new Samsung laptop: Boot Linux on it

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Ah UEFI.

Remind me, does UEFI stand for Users Expect a Fuck-up Instantly?

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'Gaia' Lovelock: Wind turbines 'may become like Easter Island statues'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: If your names not down your not coming in..

"I'd much rather we had green energy from nuclear powerplants"

Precisely, you cannot beat nuclear for that nice green glow

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You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Sounds a bit too much like model data being presented as facts, not that I doubt that (feral and domestic) cats cause a lot of damage.

In my own modelling of (microbial) ecosystems I always was suspicious if my algorithm gave surprising results. Almost always I had found something new. In most cases it was a new bug in the code. In rare cases there was something interesting to report. In all those cases I went and checked the literature to corroborate my findings with observational data (or failing that, suggest how biologists could falsify my findings)

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Revealing new pics of galactic princess Andromeda

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Amazing to think ...

"that each pixel in the picture is a sun!"

M31 contains some 1,000,000,000,000 stars. You would need terapixel images to make the above be true.

The universe never ceases to amaze.

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Always wanted a robot: why not DIY?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Nice!

Maybe I should get some students to build one.

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Yay for iOS 6.1, grey Wi-Fi iPhone bug is fix- AWW, SNAP

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Maybe, maybe not

The towel tricks works by calming the wifi chip by protecting it from the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

Mine is the one with the towel

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Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

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

I don't know that

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!

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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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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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