* Posts by TonyWilk

24 posts • joined 4 Nov 2008

Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

TonyWilk

The Doctor had to forget

After 'going too far' I think the Doctor realised he was the one who had to forget, turned the neural block device around and held the 'business end' leaving Clara to push the button end.

Up to that point he'd been holding it by the button end and was very doubtful about being able to 'reverse its polarity'.

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Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

TonyWilk

Re: "Been a Long, Long Time"

I reckon you're spot on with Brothers Grimm. Looked it up, the Doctor's dialog is pretty much taken from The Shepherd Boy... https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/g/grimm/g86h/chapter153.html

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TonyWilk

"Been a Long, Long Time"

Likely the 'bird' reference was to the above-titled R. A. Lafferty's short story wherein time is measured by the wearing away of a granite block a parsec on a side by a small bird coming to wipe its beak on it every 1,000 years.

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Meet ARM1, grandfather of today's mobe, tablet CPUs – watch it crunch code live in a browser

TonyWilk

Re: Variable record format

George 3... sheesh, you just reminded me how old I'm getting. As a lowly student my files were mostly stored in 'on the shelf' format - as piles of punch cards or tape.

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UK.gov launches roadmap for Quantum of Something or other

TonyWilk

Quantum budget

Gimme a couple of million an I'll maintain it in a superposition of 'spent' and 'not spent' states.

Note that trying to count it would collapse the state, so best not do that.

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Oz regulator warns VW: cheatware scandal could cost you millions

TonyWilk

Mind the gap

Looks like this is just a small part of a much wider problem... interesting report:

http://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/mind-gap-2015

(link to the pdf report is at the bottom of the page)

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WATER SURPRISE: Liquid found on Mars, says NASA

TonyWilk

Good news and bad news

Perchlorate brine sounds like a useful source of both H2O and O2, at a pinch you could make a solid rocket from the stuff if you had some fuel.

Bad news for any ancient life-as-we-know-it, perchlorate would've 'eaten' it long ago. So, apart from any extremophiles living on the stuff, the only hope for other life remnants would be deep in CO2 permafrost - maybe.

I hope we go there and find out.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

TonyWilk

Snake Charmed By El Reg's Wit and Innuendo

Not a trouser snake according to boffins.

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crackup verdict: PILOT ERROR

TonyWilk

Seems little margin for error...

Given the article states:

... catastrophic structural failure at "just above approximately Mach 1.0".

and

... the system must be unlocked prior to reaching Mach 1.8.

It appears there's little margin for error there - I wonder what the actual safe unlock speed was supposed to be? Mach 1.7 ?

I also wonder if it was known that the actuators would be overridden by aerodynamic forces to cause such a movement at Mach 1.0

Unless there was a very specific procedure: "Thou shalt only unlock between X and Y speed", then it should not be classed as Pilot Error.

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PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

TonyWilk

Oh oh...

That's no moon dwarf planet !!!

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AI pioneer reckons China's where the Rise of the Machines will start

TonyWilk

I , for one...

拿我来说,欢迎我们的新“ AI ”霸主

(best I can do with Google Translate :)

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Poseidon's Wake, Naked at the Albert Hall and Farewell Kabul

TonyWilk

Re: Ouch!

Autotune turned up to 11 and (while I'm moaning) using Beats headphones to listen to it on are not the sort of technologies that deserve any celebration IMHO.

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The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

TonyWilk

Re: More Moore

Interesting to imagine if the hardware rate of change had been much less... would we have better software tools to cram functionality into less memory and/or cpu speed ?

Is there an equivalent 'Bloat Law' for software which has kept pace with Moore's?

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Google throws a 180 on its plans for Dart language

TonyWilk

One to avoid I think...

With AngularJS 2.0 having changed to TypeScript, the future doesn't look too rosy for Dart.

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NASA: Give us JUST 0.5% of the federal budget and we'll take you to MARS and EUROPA

TonyWilk

Fundraising

I would like to think that raising a few $billion for space exploration shouldn't be too hard if you can scam up $5m+ for some bits of cardboard with cartoons of exploding kittens on 'em.

Sadly, I think I do live in a dreamworld.

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EVIL US web giants shield TERRORISTS? Evil SPIES in net freedom CRUSH PLOT?

TonyWilk

A Turing Test for the 21st century

Behind all this lies the technical question of whether some AI could read a thread and decide, at least as well as some level-headed human, that a 'terrorist discussion' is taking place.

If that were possible, reliable and well-controlled, I reckon there would be a good argument for snooping on lots of communications.

Practically, that is simply not the case.

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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

TonyWilk

Security questions...

I definitely don't trust any organisation like Experian which asks that highly-secure, only-that-individual-could-know question: "Mother's maiden name?"

(I did have a bank once ring me to complain that my answer to security question: "Place of Birth" being "Jupiter" must be a mistake on my part)

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Sandisk breaks 128GB barrier with new $199 MICROSD card

TonyWilk

RAID would be nice

Having had a uSD fail on me, I'd be *really* interested in a 64GB mirrored SD card (oh, and the phone OS support for that too)

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

TonyWilk

The basics

The problem seems to be that the non-coders making the decisions want fast'n'fancy results, which will end up with some framework being used so Johnny can just type in "My Website" and choose a colour... Hey look - this 9yo just built a website! Film at 11 !

What is really needed is to get across some of the real basics (no, not BASIC), for example - codepad.org have an interactive C editor/interpreter. At the same time, you do also need to give 'em some flashy stuff to keep them interested and to demonstrate the breadth of 'coding'.

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Firm moves to trademark 'Python' name out from under the language

TonyWilk
Facepalm

" ... the alphabet sues everyone?"

- entirely possible: http://www.alphabet.com/

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WTF

TonyWilk

Not famous enough or simply too long ago?

You may or may not have heard of Paul Lutus; he wrote "Apple Writer" way back at the dawn of time.

I happened across his arachnoid.com website, looking for HAM radio stuff as it 'appens, then did the Wiki on him to find he's just been deleted ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Lutus ).

WTF ?

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Google faces WHOPPING FTC fine for Safari privacy gaffe

TonyWilk

Re: Remind me: What is/was Google's motto?

I think it was: "Do no evil that people can find out about."

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Ten exabytes wedged into a rather large box by Cleversafe

TonyWilk

Take a while to fill that...

I reckon if you had a 100Gbps line to your shiny new 10EB-worth of disks, it'd take over 3 years to fill it.

With my current ISP's speed (4Mbps) it'd take c. 75,000 years.

Anyhow, 3 years down the line we'll have bigger pendrives.

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Forcefields will guard Mars ships from solar ion storms

TonyWilk
Paris Hilton

Self-powered forcefield generator

For a Mars trip, you're mainly worried about just one source of radiation - you only need to protect against particles from the sun... so just tow a large Halbach cylinder of magnets. Nasty charged things headed for you will veer off as they traverse the field.

Not quite so useful against killer krenon-ray wielding aliens tho'

Paris? attractive and highly charged.

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