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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2353 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Who'll keep taking Windows Tablets in the iPad era?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

"I can't see Redmond buggering it up this time, but you never know."

I can.

Really, even with my eyes shut.

This is not simply MS bashing, I simply have an undying faith in the ability of people anywhere (and that includes myself) to get things terribly wrong in ways we never could imagine. This is a kind of inverse creativity embodied in Bergholt Stuttley (or Bloody Stupid) Johnson on the Discworld.

However, MS might get it beautifully right.

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Insider says doom looms at RIM

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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If problems are opportunities

could someone please solve my opportunities for me then?

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Do we really want 100Gig Ethernet?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Spot on!

Latency kills distributed computing far more than pure bandwidth.

Still remember coax though, and 300 baud connections to the Cyber 170/760 (AARGH)

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Ballmer leaves investors speechless in Seattle

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Or

I am not as think as you drunk I am

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Magnificent Moon mountain sunrise caught on camera

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Somewhat better images

than with my 8" scope.

Brilliant stuff.

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History's first papal tweet launches Vatican website

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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At least they are up to speed with some things in the world

It's not in Latin, after all.

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Blow to the head makes people feel good about religion

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Is there an award for best Terry Pratchett reference in a comment?

This should win this year's award

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Still a candidate for an IgNobel prize

You know, research that first makes you laugh, and then makes you think.

I could well imagine that church-going people get more help from their surroundings, from those who practice what they preach, and apparently understood the bible better than certain raving fundamentalists. I remember attending the wedding of friends of ours in the US, and after the exchange of vows, the congregation was asked to rise and promise they would do all they could to make this marriage work. I thought that very touching. That is a practical side of Christianity (and many other faiths) that is very valuable. I did get some puzzled looks from some church-goers when I told them I was an atheist. I almost felt they wondered how that could happen to such an apparently nice man, and anyway, where were my horns and cloven hooves?

The researchers should check whether there aren't stronger correlations between well-being and the degree of care or conversely social isolation of those with brain trauma.

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Gambling companies must be extra careful with personal data

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Rest assured, your data are safe with us

Customer: Wanna bet?

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Proper scientists: Old folk should drink MORE, not less

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The Goddess has spoken

evidently

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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A doctor I know has a very interesting opinion:

If you have survived to the ripe old age of 80, relax and don't worry too much, you are probably hard to kill.

That's the kind of science I like to hear (as does my dad)

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US Navy invents 'Zero-Power Autonomous' ocean probe

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

So it does use power

it is just generated by bacteria.

Neat, that.

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Hackers pierce network with jerry-rigged mouse

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

It was more of a case of

it didn't fit, so we forced it,

it couldn't be force so we used a bigger hammer

it broke, so it needed replacement anyway

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Headmaster

Actually

Jury-rigged comes from for "injury-rigged", a phrase used for any lash-up of remnants of masts spars and sails allowing a ship to creep forward after damage. Jerry rigged seems derived from the same. However, this mouse is hardly a crudely made (though it is improvised), it is pretty cunning.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Mini-computer inside a mouse?

Calling the microcontroller a "mini-computer is a bit curious, as the last mini-computer I worked on (PDP11-70) was rather too big to fit inside the mouse (or even a rat)

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Some detection possible?

Various presenters input both mouse-like and keyboard-like commands, and you would not want to prohibit them. In the end, if someone really really wants to break in, it is almost impossible to keep them out.

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Boffins take REMOTE CONTROL of HUMAN HAND

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alien

May I

be the first to welcome our digit manipulating Borg overlords?

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'Robots can save America', says Obama

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

But robot beancounters

could show more signs of humanity

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NATO site hacked

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

It was so top secret

even their ads were classified

mine's the one with the Dr Strangelove DVD in the pocket

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Violin tunes up for billion dollar flash gig

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Larry Ellison might brush up on zoology

The cheetah comparison might just mean blisteringly fast, but no good in the long run. This might actually be a good description of current SSDs, when compared to spinning disks.

Race horses only cover short to medium distances at high speed. All servers should really aim to be camels: excellent average speed in the long run, heavy load capacity, don't break down under extremely difficult circumstances.

Besides, turtles live much longer than cheetahs, and the latter have previously nearly gone extinct.

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Woman dies of heart attack at own funeral

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

I don't want to go in that coffin

Don't be such a ninny

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So, how many rhinos does a tram weigh?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

see reference to swallows

African or European (in terms of coconut carrying capacity)

Really should have a Monty Python icon

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Fridge-sized war raygun for US bombers gets $40m

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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You do wonder

whether really thick blocks of cooled, highly polished, solid aluminium would do (can reach 95% reflectivity, going up to 99% in infrared). They might last long enough to do serious damage.

Now that would be a cool set-up.

Having said that, scattering by dust and vapour droplets (clouds, steam) hinder lasers, though infrared is much less affected.

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Women's gaydar (for men) improves when ovulating

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Something for Annals of Improbable Research?

or even an Ig Nobel prize (for research that first makes you laugh, and then makes you think)

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Top500 founders talk big

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Agreed!

I would love to test drive my giga and terapixel image processing routines on that beast. 93% efficiency is particularly neat, and I should consider these sparc processors for our next machine.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: and it's rubbish

this is why the Blue-Gene here really hasn't much of an OS at all (on the compute nodes that is, the front-end does have an OS). This does generate a new set of problems (OK, challenges) for programmers.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

But will it run

Crysis?

I know, I know. I'll get me coat.

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MeeGo and the Great Betrayal Myths of tech history

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: *nix is almost as silly with its messages

Never got that one. I did see someone so irate at Cyber-NOS that he typed in the command

> F**k off

which got the reply:

Task not in system

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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So we can get mobile guru meditation errors?

thumbs up to a system that can make you smile at a system error message

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US plan to hold EU passenger data for 15 yrs 'unlawful'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

I have said it before and will say it again

Adding hay does not make finding needles easier. Indiscriminately adding data (especially when including fingerprints) concerning ALL passengers to a database which is intended for analysis of crimes will lead to a disproportionate number of false positives, as anyone with any knowledge of pattern recognition should know.

I suggest we follow Brazil, and take the finger prints of ALL US passengers visiting our shores (and not with fancy scanners, use ink!!)

BTW, HOLLAND is not an EU member; The Netherlands is. Calling Groningen where I live Holland is like saying Glasgow is in England.

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Sputnik retro PC puts bureau back on the desktop

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Nice idea

but the finish on some of the woodwork seems a bit sub-par for the era it attempts to mimic.

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Tilera throws gauntlet at Intel's feet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Sounds interesting

Given the speed-up we get on 24 core machines, I would like to pit them against these machines

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The KILLER MUTANT FUNGUS in YOUR DISHWASHER

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

I may not be the first to post,

but still seem to be the first to welcome them

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Definitely

(more letters)

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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May I be the first to

welcome our fungal overlords

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WTF are... connected appliances?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Can't you just hear

the last sausage whimpering in its package because it is all alone

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pirate

Share and enjoy!

This stuff always reminds me of Sirius Cybernetics' GPP feature (Genuine People Personality, thank you, Douglas Adams). As I told one "ambient intelligence" guru at a conference, I don't want chatty (and smug) doors, fridges that order beer for me (and thus have access to my bank account!!) and least of all a Nutrimatic Machine (which, despite its intelligence, only makes cups filled with a liquid which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea). A system that automatically puts on "my favourite" music when I get home is likely to get a reprogramming it will never forget (with a very large ax) if it gets it wrong (yet again).

</rant>

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Oz alkie gets hammered on hospital hand sanitiser

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Simon Travaglia, is that you?

Elephant laxative, just brilliant!

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30,000 Shreks besmirch BeautifulPeople

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Beauty may be skin deep

but ugly goes to the bone

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

average != median

see title

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Kindle Store awash with auto-generated crap 'books'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Spam books could be called

Bookalikes?

Mine's the one with the hardback Terry Pratchett

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Apple iMac 27in

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Expensive?

My first PC (386 @ 25MHz with a (then) staggering 4MB of RAM, 1MB of video RAM, 88MB SCSI hard disk cost something like 5000 euros in todays money.

Will still be going for a PC upgrade rather than a Mac now. For that price I can get a compute beast with latest NVidia board and HUGE memory and a pretty serious 27" monitor. Not for gaming, but GPU accelerated volume rendering and analysis. We are getting more and more macs in our institute though. A lot of people like them.

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BOFH: CSI Haxploitation Cube Farm Apocalypse

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

"reverse polarising the bit pattern"

Trek-speak applied to (CSI-)IT!! Brilliant stuff!! I should try this here some time

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Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Of any film

really

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pirate

Still better than U571

otherwise it would have been an American squadron of B17s or the like, and Barnes Wallis would be from MIT.

Where is a bomb icon when you need it?

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World IPv6 Day fails to kill the internet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Hey, psst,

wanna buy an IP address?

Can't you just imagine shady types approaching you in the street?

Coat, well, because, the shady types will be wearing them

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Netherlands first European nation to adopt net neutrality

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Calling the VVD liberal

is like calling Margaret Thatcher a moderate conservative. On the other hand, they are probably as liberal in practice as Nick Clegg is today.

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Psychology graduates remain poor for life, study shows

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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But the highest paid academics are

software architects and engineers.

Tell this to potential students and you suddenly have their attention.

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Engineering students design tent for camping on Mars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alien

And for the kids

an inflatable bouncy castle?

Seriously though, nice idea!

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Wake up, Linux hippies: No one 'morally obligated' to give back

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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What is the price of goodwill?

For any company, being seen to be a "good guy" in the (often simplistic) public image is worth a lot,even if it cannot be expressed in money. Ethics and corporate responsibility are becoming more and more important in shaping that public image, if nothing else. This too may be seen as selfish, but it is not expressed either in terms of money or contractual obligations.

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