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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2527 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Last moon landing was 40 years ago today

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Trollface

Re: I'm amazed there's no sceptics out there...

Please refrain from feeding the troll!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I watched all the moon landings as a kid

That is what made me choose astronomy. I since switched to computer science, but happily I am working on astronomical image analysis (among other things). The Apollo programme was the most inspirational research programme bar none.

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Apple's iOS 6 maps STILL muddle Mildura

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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How many RPM

is Steve Jobs doing in his grave?

There is a Dutch saying, which translates to:

Reputation comes on foot, and leaves on horseback.

Apple always prided itself on high quality, easy to use, well designed products, and this was the image it successfully created in public. Whether the reader agrees is another matter, I pass no judgement as I have limited experience with Apple hardware (the Apple II our school bought, and some Mac(book) Pros at an institute I visited). A few more screw-ups like this and that reputation may start to slip seriously.

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This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: not a patent, a trademark

Using a leaf as trademark for Apple makes perfect sense if you remember the original Golgafrinchan settlers of planet earth used leaves as money.

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Tor node admin raided by cops appeals for help with legal bills

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Headmaster

Just a minor point

Any Landeskriminalamt (a state bureau of criminal investigation) is not an equivalent of the FBI, that would be the Bundeskriminalamt (federal bureau of criminal investigation).

</pedantry>

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Australian Police say don't use Apple's iOS 6 Maps

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Less likely to kill

I thought the only safe things there were some of the sheep

or was that the place which had very few dangerous snakes because they had all been killed by the spiders?

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Behold ATLAS, the fastest computer of 50 years ago

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: All together now!

Most likely: no, but it might have played pong by tele-type

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2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Fully automated?

Is the on board system called HAL 9000 by any chance?

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that"

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'Facebook is completely undreamt of even by the worst spying nation'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I had quite a few interesting experiences when working at the university hospital as scientific programmer for the image processing system we had developed. This was a DOS system with monochrome text monitor, equipped with a frame grabber and an extra colour monitor to show the image from the camera and ant processed image. One day a user came to complain that since my last software update, the mouse was behaving in reverse: move left, the cursor goes right, move up, the cursor goes down, etc. I explained that I had not changed anything in the mouse-handling, but agreed to come and have a look. It turned out she was holding the mouse with the "tail end" facing her. After rotating the rodent 180 degrees I invited her to try again. Rather red-faced, she went to work.

Five minutes later she comes into my office complaining that the image was upside-down (again blaming the software upgrade). Completely baffled at this, I went and had a look. I found everything looked normal (all text readable without putting a crick in your neck). I suggested all looked well. She then said that it was the colour image on the monitor which was upside-down. This image just showed some bacteria, which looked much the same in any orientation. The text on that screen also looked fine. I asked her again what the problem was, and finally it dawned on me. I went to the microscope, rotated the camera (which she had mounted) by 180 degrees, and asked her if this was better. Very red-faced, she went back to work.

I think she would not have dared come to complain about anything that month, even if the system had caught fire.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Re: Really?

The nuclear option is always best

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Motörheadphönes Overkill earphones review

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Megaphone

Re: Volume Control ?

EXACTLY!!!!

<-- ONLY SUITABLE ICON!!!!!

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Hero Playmonaut lost at sea as SPEARS ditches in Channel

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

An epic saga indeed

Just epic!

I shall follow this continuing saga, forgetting not those who fell in the pursuit of glory.

I do not doubt the playmonaut was taken (by Valkyrie) to a place in the great hall of Valhalla, the only fitting place for a hero of his stature. I shall raise a horn filled to the brim with my best mead this evening, or failing that a tot of finest Usge beatha!

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Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Real BOFH fans will remember the lusers password "maggot"

luser: "But I like the word maggot"

BOFH: "And I like the words 'Grievous bodily harm,' but do not use them as a password..... Yet"

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‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

@MacGyver

Moire patterns (properly aliasing artefacts) occur when a semi-periodic pattern below the limit of resolution of the CCD occurs in the image, not in random noise patterns. Thus the signal needs some semi-periodic component to get these artefacts. I have seen hundreds of astronomical images taken below the resolution limit of the optics, and have never yet seen Moire-like aliasing artefacts.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Neat images

Auroras are often magnificent, but this adds a whole new dimension (38 actually, from 3D RGB to 41D hyperspectral)!

I wonder if the airglow wave pattern is in some way similar to ionospheric waves seen by the LOFAR antennae. Those seem to occur at higher altitude, but I wonder if similar mechanisms trigger them (or that there is some coupling between ionospheric waves and the low altitude wave pattern seen here).

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Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Appl$

Should Appl$ not be Appl€

(yeah, wrong currency, but it does look better)

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BOFH: Cannot terminate PFY instance... ACCESS DENIED

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Nice one

Extra points for messing up the legal eagles!

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Crooks inject malicious Java applet into FOREX trading website

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

For a moment

I thought they had hacked the FourEcks trading site (operated from Didjabringabeeralong no doubt (or was that Bugarup))

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Annual reviews: It's high time we rid the world of this insanity

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Should be mandatory declared

Good idea. Some appraisal systems I have seen could very efficiently be replaced by throwing darts. You simply take the score modulo 5 and there you are!

Some employees might prefer throwing darts at senior management, however.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Ironic

This might be taken as meaning that you are taking these badges FAR too seriously

OOH! Shiny!

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Belgian finds missus was born a MAN after 19 YEARS of marriage

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Hear, hear!

The tone of the comments is a good deal more measured than the tone of the article. Go commentards!

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Astrobioboffins seek funds to search for ALIEN HAIRSPRAY

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

But our future scaly lizzard overlords don't need hairspray!

do they now?

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Antarctic discovery: ALIEN LIFE may be FOUND ON MOON of Jupiter

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Nasties from beyond

"But consider it in reverse: What's the likelihood that we discover something on a moon of Jupiter that turns out to be SIMPLY DELICIOUS?"

I thought they all tasted like chicken.

I bet some of them even taste more like chicken than some "chicken" sold by some elderly colonel here on earth.

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Badges for Commentards

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Quite simple

Nepotism

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Oh bloody hell.

I allways ploof lead before hissing subvert!

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Second PAC-MAN orbiting SATURN: Local absence of dots explained

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Inspiring!!

I must write a grant proposal to search for a complete "space invaders" themed set of moons!!

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At LAST: The BRAIN-CONTROLLED helicopter

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Am I the only one?

Seeing the image of this odd-looking helicopter, I immediately got this image of some geek with the thing on his head as a very high-tech propellor-head

And, no I do not want one for my kids!!!

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Phone with Facebook hardware button lobbed out by Nokia

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

If they were really serious about the pink look, they would have labelled all the pink buttons in pink on a pink background and have a little pink light light up pink to show that you have pressed it.

(makes a changes from black in the Haggunenon battle cruiser)

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Acid oceans DISSOLVING sea life

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: They'll evolve

If the "earth system" is self healing, might it not want to get rid of us, like an immune system gets rid of pesky little parasites?

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Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: 9 years old

"9!

Pooh to the thugs from the Copyright Stazi."

I have never heard someone 9! = 362,880 years old referred to as a kid. A stiff, yes, a fossil, more likely

Please pass me the one with the elementary algebra book in th epocket

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'Mount Doom' rumbling ominously

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Did the warning read:

Cautioussss, my precioussss! Musssstn't risssssk our neckssess, musssst we?

Mine is the one with the three volume edition in the pocket

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Sellafield's nuclear waste measured in El Reg units

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Can you give the conversion from Swatch to Becquerel?

We need to know

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ALIEN DETECTION was SUPPRESSED by the BBC - top boffin

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Bureaucracy = Cult of Cowardice

'nuf said

Should get a T-shirt printed

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Cray scales to over 100 petaflops with 'Cascade' XC30 behemoth

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Hands up everyone who wants to over-clock this machine

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Edible iPhone case goes on sale in Japan

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Going there shortly. I will ask if there are similar cases for android phones, just for fun

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The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Equally importantly, once the button switching a human being into an orangutan has been pressed, they result ape DOES NOT WANT IT TO BE SWITCHED BACK!!

EEEEK!!

as the librarian tends to say when this is suggested (either that or he bounces your head on the cobblestones a few times).

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KDE 'annoys the hell of' Linus Torvalds

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Featurism?

wasn't that creature feep?

Mine is the one with the "dyslexic's dictionary" in the pocket

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Apple must apologise for its surly apology on its website on Saturday

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Contempt of court parts 2 and 3

So in addition to the entry

Recursion: see Recursion

we can now add

Apology: see Apology

to the IT dictionary

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El Reg acquires wildly dangerous laser cannon (with lightsabre option)

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: And I thought Q-Beam's were usefull...

Absolutely. The BOFH for one would love to wave one around in the boardroom.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Where on earth can you still get a spare 500 MB drive?

If you want one like that, maybe you can also use my 8" floppy disk (128 kB storage!!) with CP/M2.0 on it (official copy).

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To Russia with Love? Georgia snaps 'cyber-spy' with his own cam

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Sir

"Not much of a black hat if he still hasn't taped up his webcam ffs."

Unless he was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask

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Mysterious galactic glow caused by Hitchhikers' Krikkit style stars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Or maybe these are stars surrounded by a fleet of black Haggunenon battle cruisers (the ones with the black instrument panels, with black buttons which are labelled in black on a black background, and whenever you press one of them a little black lamp lights up black to show that you have done it), which blot out the light of the star.

Either that or

Dark Matter = Hactar

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Surface tablet's touch cover is ZX81 REBORN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I must say I am curious, but the ASUS Transformer series still seems to fit my needs a bit better (that and a fast 13 or 14" notebook with good graphics grunt)

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ESO's nine-gigapixel galactic image has 84 MILLION stars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Asked in jest

Astronomers use FITS = Flexible Image Tape System. It typically uses 80 byte records called "card images". That alone shows its age.

We are just adapting our code to handle FITS. I would love to put our parallel code through its paces on this image (biggest we have done so far is 3.9 Gpixel).

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Noisy whales made FAR MORE oceanic racket than humans do

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Of course the whales were making a racket back then!

So would I if there were strange beings with harpoons chasing me

Mine is the one with "Moby Dick" in the pocket

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Publicity Stunt of the Week: Ten bizarre phone insurance claims

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Tedium

Tedium? Well yes, I suppose. "Inserted into a cow's vagina" might well be the result of near terminal boredom (but not on the part of the cow, I presume)

I am somehow torn between to emotions, i.e.:

1. HOW ON EARTH DID IT GET THERE??!!

2. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW how it got there

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Apple unsheathes MacBook 13-incher

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Games are not the only reason for wanting graphics clout. Physics simulation and 3D visualisation of medical data (MRI and CT scans) require more grunt. For many people the HD 4000 might be OK, but there are those whose work depends on graphics power.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: The only snag...

"Most people use wifi or do not see an issue leaving a small and relatively cheap adapter on their Ethernet cable."

The problem is not that I mind having an adapter on my ethernet cable at home (though it is a potential problem when someone detaches it to use their native port, the adapter can get lost). My problem is when I want to use ethernet elsewhere (visiting other institutes, e.g.). It is just another thing to pack, no deal breaker, but still a bit of a hassle. If the things had a decent graphics card, I could certainly live with an ethernet dongle.

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Black hole spews out 2-million-light-year-long stream of WTF

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: 'kin huge Mach diamonds...

Should that not be macho diamonds?

Sorry, I'll get me coat

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Gaping network port with easy-to-guess password? You ARE the 79%

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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A colleague of mine at first logged all (failed) attempts at getting through his router, but gave up full logging because the log file started to grow alarmingly fast. Generally attempts by script kiddies at that point in time, plus some more concerted efforts to break in (usually eastern Europe or Far East). And yes, neither his nor my home router's settings are the factory defaults, only the bare minimum of ports are open to allow internet access. And then there is still no reason for complacency.

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