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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2529 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Romans, Han Dynasty, kick-started climate change

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Greelanand?

I am dyslectic Borg. Your ass will be malted!!

(Thanks to Mr. Spock on Stargazers Lounge)

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Boffins prescribe SNAKE VENOM as future pain killer

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Take zis pill, it will take ALL ze pain avay, I perzonally promise!

This really sounds like one from Igor (or Junior Postman Groat, for that matter). Mamba poison does kill all pain (quite quickly), along with the rest of you.

It also reminds me of the proposed surgical treatment for migraine (amputation of the head)

Still, kudos to the scientists if this works well.

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Boffins get black hole double-vision

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Interesting stuff. M22 is magnificent in my 8" scope, as my son (10) also agreed to when we observed it from France this summer. I will tell him he has seen the home of a black-hole binary system. I bet he will be excited.

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Adele's Skyfall poised to fall from sky

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Bondfest?

Now that is a phrase which could easily be misunderstood

No, mine is not the black leather one.

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Oregon farmer devoured by own hogs

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Tragic, however...

it reminds me of:

Ravenous bugblatter beasts of Traal often make a good meal for visiting tourists

versus

Ravenous bugblatter beasts of Traal often make a good meal of visiting tourists

The bacon sarnie that bit back.

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Pastafarians: Get your noodly appendages off that Facebook suspect

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Childcatcher

Deary me

Those "Golden Dawn" ultra right wingers and the church are taking themselves WAY too seriously,

Oh, wait.....

Maybe it is mandatory to undergo a full humourectomy before joining either

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Simon Cowell plans X Factor for Tech

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Can't you just see people vote

One a really nifty new way to handle loads of database transactions 10 times faster on the same hardware?

You're right, I can't either.

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HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Intel Graphics == No use to me

I like to do some CUDA stuff on my laptop. There are some pretty decent 13" laptops out there, with nVidia graphics, and a lot more processing clout, for less money. OK, they might not be quite as thin, but they are still quite light (I have seen an ASUS of just 1.78kg). Much more useful to me.

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Draft UK libel law forces websites to axe mudslinging comments

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

One whole load of foetid dingo's kidneys

Will that still be OK?

After all, it is just a quote from the great Douglas Adams

And at least I didn't say Belgium

Whoops!

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Japanese boffins unfurl banner above newly-discovered Element 113

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

If they really wanted to create an explosive atmosphere

Sukakuium would be the name of choice

In Chinese textbooks that would have to become Diaoyuium

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Space Station ready to SWERVE sat junk hurtling towards it

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Navigational Deflectors?

And what about jet-packs, I want a jet-pack! It does not even need antigravity, for goodness' sake (or slood for that matter)

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Hobbyist star-gazer cops amazing eyeful of Jupiter's space ball

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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It's an 11" Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain

Even without the image on his website, the aperture of 11" tells you it is the Celestron C11, one of the only 11" scopes out there (and the big brother of my C8). Excellent planetary imaging scopes. You do not want a DSLR for this work, a decent webcam (CCD-based for preference) or a specialized planetary camera, which can maintain 30-60 FPS at VGA resolution is generally best.

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Blazing new comet may OUTSHINE THE MOON in 2013

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: "Or not."

Same here in the Netherlands.

Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake were pretty good though. And anyway, a comet like this would be visible for quite a long time. Time to get that astronomized DSLR ready.

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NZ bloke gets eel stuck up jacksie

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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At least it wasn't an electric eel

That would have been shocking

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Berkeley Lab proposes 4D clock

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Infinity is a very long time indeed

The authors do assume the nuclei have infinite life span. This might not be correct. And anyway, some klutz in a lab coat is bound to drop it at some point (he might even be called Ponder Stibbons).

Interesting work, otherwise

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Google promises autonomous cars for all within five years

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Future consequences

I have this sudden sense of deja vu

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Brave copper single-handedly chases 'suspicious' Moon

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Calling Sgt. Angua

Mine is the one with "The Fifth Elephant" in the pocket

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Samsung slams Apple patent jury, wants new trial in US

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Jury was fatally flawed.

Interesting reads. At the end of the first, the phrase "Sulk Hogan" sprang to mind,

I wonder why?

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Half of Milky Way's mass found in million-Kelvin gas cloud

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Interesting.

Similar clouds have been known to surround galactic clusters, but not around our own. That is of course hard to do, and has been likened to "drawing up a map of the city whilst standing in the market square." A more accurate analogy would be "drawing up a map of the city whilst standing on a playground somewhere in the (unfashionable western) suburbs"

Thumbs up to the scientists for attempting perhaps not the impossible, but at least the very, very improbable!

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Christian footie match ends in almighty brawl

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Maybe they were followers of the Holy Shoe and the Holy Gourd!!

HE IS NOT THE MESSIAH, HE IS A NAUGHTY BOY!!

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NTT demos petabit transmission on single fibre

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Cool, seriously cool!

I visited their lab with two dozen students eleven years ago. They do a lot of seriously cool things there (like transistors that switch based on a single electron on the gate: talk about low power). The students were suitable impressed, even the guy who tried to do a limbo dance underneath a manipulator arm of a vacuum chamber set-up. Needless to say, our host was seriously relieved that I grabbed this student by the shoulder and gave him a very severe reprimand (think sergeant-major Shut-up Sahib).

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Ig Nobels 2012: Physics of ponytails, chimp arse-cognition and more

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Proud!!

I am proud the Dutch managed to get another two IgNobels!

Here's to research that makes you think and laugh (I am not picky about the order)

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'Apple's iOS 6 maps app is SHOCKING, rushed and half-baked'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pirate

Biggest thing??

"Windows 95 was certainly the biggest thing in the last 20 years until now. I think Windows 8 certainly surpasses it."

What is Balmer smoking? Windows 95 the biggest thing in what? Computing? I would think other things in computing have been bigger (or at least better) in the last 20 years. The world-wide web, for one. OK that made its first wobbly steps in 1990/1991, so outside the time frame, but it only really took off the years after. The Mosaic Browser (1993) was a seminal event in computing. Windows 95 was not.

In my view, Windows 95 improved upon Windows 3.1(1) in that it camouflaged the fact that it was a graphic shell overlaid on MS-DOS rather better. It did a bit more than that, and popularized the WIMP-style (windows, icons, menus, pointer) GUIs still with use today. Yes I know MS did not invent them, but W95 did bring them to a big audience, and took the MS-DOS crowd away from the command line.

Pirate icon because I was ill on "Talk like a pirate day"

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'Programming on Windows 8 just like playing bingo' - Microsoft VP

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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On the photograph

Soma seems to be doing an impression of a flounder. Is this to suggest Microsoft are floundering?

Darn, I'm hungry now

Mine is the one with Rick Stein's "Seafood" in the pocket (OK, in the backpack).

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Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Seriously?!

Absolutely! Can anybody explain to me why an $800 device (including keyboard) with Windows RT would be better than the latest incarnation of the Asus Transformer, with its much higher resolution (1920x1200) and roughly the same price point down here (just shy of 700 euro)?

OK it has a version of office. Big deal!

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Memo to openSUSE 12.2: More polish, less angst

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Neat!

I'll upgrade my home system shortly!

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Microsoft bod dreams up 'Star Trek holodeck' games console

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The description of a device or method is enough for a patent

The US government patented ships with nuclear propulsion before they got it working. The description as to contain enough technical detail to show it is inventive.

Countless patents have been awarded on perpetual motion devices (now no longer allowed), and there are patents for algorithms that compress any bit string (including its own output) by at least one bit without loss of information. This is clearly impossible, but it has been patented.

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Opportunity finds new patch of 'berries' on Mars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: It depends on whether you can get it to stay onna stick.

Jam will stay "inna bun"

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Get your Martian Blueberry Jam right here!!!!

Lovely! Rich in iron!

C.M.O.T. Dibbler would try that.

These old rovers (hopefully) never cease to amaze. I once pointed out Mars to my kids, and added: there are two robot cars driving about on that planet. Now they want to be space scientists

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I spy: Drug drops and foxy couples

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Of course

Real men carry binoculars like these

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Reg hack uncovers perfect antidote to internet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: BTW, what is a diving rod?

Oh really?

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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BTW, what is a diving rod?

I cannot find any in the nearest scuba shop.

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HTML5 isn't Facebook's 'biggest mistake'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: HTML5 is actually a mistake

MInE is tHe oNE WitH The booK ON ProPeR raNDom CApITALiZatiOn

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BT gets postcode knickers in twist, plants Shoreditch on Mount Everest

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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This was brought to you by

The expedition to scale both peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46btEgKmCTo

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One more try: Metro apps are now 'Windows Store' apps

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Ikea catalog[ue]

"HAHAHAHA!"

No that is a lamp, not a chair

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Ikea catalog[ue]

Alternatively as

Bålmer Prøjektil

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Humanity facing GLOBAL BACON SHORTAGE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Doooooomed!

As you were, private Fraser!

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Hate the Windows 8 touch UI? Try Kinect-like finger shaking instead

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I have given various programs two-fingered salutes

Not that they respond

But then I usually give the salute when the %$#@ software is not responding to keyboard and mouse either.

I also think that gesture-controlled, just like voice-controlled software, is a really good idea for open-plan offices. Methinks the BOFH would have a field day.

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New guide: Bake your own Raspberry Pi Lego-crust cluster

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Lovely idea!

I think I will show this to my students when next I lecture on parallel computing

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The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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People doing irrational things with money?

Shocking

Makes you wonder what fashion is all about

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Sony focuses on full-frame snappers with tasty tech

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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SLT?

Does this not mean that the amounts of light reaching both the viewfinder and the sensor is cut roughly in half? In dim light, this would be a drawback. Though we do not need a bright viewfinder to focus any more, framing an image nicely in dim light might be a problem. Less light hitting the sensor lower the signal-to-noise ratio.

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Facebook wunderkind admits share price Zuck-up on stage

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: "Facebook's troubled float onto Nasdaq was "not the first up and down that we ever had"."

Facebook floated? I thought it sank?

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Dreaded redback spider's NEMESIS: Forgotten Captain Cook wasps

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: The list of non-dangerous creatures in Oz:

"X X X X

Good on yer, Mate!"

Thanks!

But unfortunately, my name is Michael, not Bruce

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The list of non-dangerous creatures in Oz:

Some of the sheep

Or maybe that was another place which just happened to be very, um, Australian?

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LOHAN straps on satellite comms capability

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Cheers to them!

Anyone who contributes to LOHAN deserves a pint!

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Dutch unleash intelligent robot bins: No ID, no rubbish

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

May I welcome

our intelligent rubbish-bin overlords?

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Swedish cops contain fermented herring menace

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Sounds even worse than durian fruit

Eating durian fruit has been described as being like eating the food of the gods with your head over an open sewer.

Normally I am quite happy to try local dishes, but some local dishes are local for a very simple reason: nobody else in their right mind would consider eating it. Alternatively, the locals are masochists on a diet (to quote Arthur Dent speaking to a nutrimatic machine). I think I will give this Swedish "delicacy" a pass.

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Airbus predicts catapult takeoffs and formation flying by 2050

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Catapults

Darn, my kids would have loved a high G catapult take-off, judging by the sizes of their respective grins the first time they took of in an airliner (cries of "COOL!!!" clearly communicated to other passengers it was their first time). A really high G take off would have had them hooked.

A low-G catapult would leave them very disappointed.

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Judge: Apple not liable for dropped, broken iPhone screens

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Should that not be iDiot

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I'll get me coat

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Edgy penguins test-fly Ubuntu's Quantal Quetzal

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Linux

Re: am I a luddite ?

I think it is quite an irony that Unity is so divisive. Clearly people either like it or hate it.

I have never used it (we use KDE at work, and therefore I use it at home just to have the same environment), so have no opinion on its merits (or lack thereof).

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