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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2529 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

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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Coat

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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Thumb Up

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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Coat

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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Coat

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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Coat

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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Coat

Holy Moses! How commandments fit onto that tablet!

sorry, could not resist,

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