* Posts by Stuart Gray

68 posts • joined 30 Apr 2007

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Windows 3.0 turns 20

Stuart Gray

John - wrong way round on Windows-OS/2

OS/2 wasn't an offshoot of Windows, it was the other way around. In fact, the box for Windows/286 (the precursor of Win 3.0) proudly proclaimed that the "Program Manager looks and feels just like the one in OS/2". Windows was originally just a way to get people with legacy DOS machines ready for the switch to OS/2, which was being jointly developed by IBM and Microsoft at that time. OS/2 2.1 had Win 3.0 built in, and OS/2 Warp had WIndows 3.1 running in it's own memory space, making it a better operator of 16-bit Windows software than Windows 95.

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Blighty to get mobe-download barcode rail tickets

Stuart Gray
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Works well in Switzerland

But then, we don't have barriers before we get to the trains. The only time it needs scanning is when the inspector comes along. Since all the public transport is managed under the same umbrella organisation, it works on buses too.

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Rogue iPhone dev unmoved by App Store spin

Stuart Gray

Coincidence?

Shill, Schiller/? Too close for comfort, methinks...

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V-22 Osprey, stealth jumpjet 'need refrigerated landing pads'

Stuart Gray

1 inch thick heat resistant stuff?

I think the material already exists - plastered to the outside of the Shuttle.

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Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone

Stuart Gray

Geographically, there should be a Western Europe Time Zone

Given that time is a measure from when the Sun is highest in the sky - named Midday, and dependent on longitude. Since the difference in midday is one hour with every 15 degrees of longitude, al of Europe from Ireland and Portugal in the West should be on GMT until one reaches Poland and the Baltic states. There may need to be some shifting slightly, as the "heel" of Italy would be in GMT+1 if the line was strictly delineated. Sweden would be in GMT+1 (since most of the country is further East than 15 degrees), but Norway would be GMT. So physically it is Spain, France, Germany, Benelux and Denmark that are wrong.

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Obama embarks on car emissions cutback

Stuart Gray

Emissions, or consumption?

If the standard is for emissions, that would rule out plug in electric cars, since the electricity requirement would boost emissions at the power station enormously. If whoever it is simply mpg at the vehicle, then everything would be roses. Except of course at the power station...

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Doro PhoneEasy 338gsm

Stuart Gray
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Ideal in schools

As a teacher, I am extremely wary of phones with cameras (and I know of several places where they are simply banned). This would be an ideal solution to that problem.

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Apple Mac Mini (Early 2009)

Stuart Gray

Two monitors?

Does that mean you can have different pictures on both, or is it just the same screen duplicated?

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Apple restyles iPod Shuffle

Stuart Gray

Thanks

For clearing that up - like I say, no iPod of any sort, so I was genuinely puzzled.

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Stuart Gray

Dock port?

I don't have any model of iPod, so I am just going on what I have seen of friends' units, but isn't the normal docking port wider than that? How does one get the tunes in to the player - a mini-USB port?

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ASA indignates prematurely over billboard sex ads

Stuart Gray

Forget giving offence

Why are they bothering to investigate, when the ads are already in clear breach of the "no prescription drug" rule?

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UK scientists hit by lack of brains

Stuart Gray

Just open up more Brain Depositories

"After 5pm, please deposit brain through door"

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2008's top three touchscreen phones

Stuart Gray

Readers either love the iPhone or hate it?

Not entirely true. I couldn't care either way. I won't buy one, but that's because I don't need one. If you gave me one, I'd very happily use it.

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Grove: Intel should make electric car batteries

Stuart Gray

Produces less carbon?

The only way a car running on battery power can move whilst producing less carbon is if it is powered by a nuclear power station. Assuming it lasts long enough to compensate for the extra carbon required to make the batteries, that is.

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Microtune boots up for in-car TV

Stuart Gray

@Martin

Damn, I didn't think of that, digital TV on the Shuttle for teh win!

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Stuart Gray

km/h please

"kmph" is too clunky, and not a usual measure (at least, not on any speedometers I have read)

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FCC plan for mobile contingency fails

Stuart Gray

How useful would 8 hours be anyway?

During the first 8 hours of a power outage due to a natural disaster, isn't it likely that the hurricane/tsunami/whatever will still be happening, and so people will still be sheltering and trying to stay alive. It is surely in the 24 hours following the abatement of said hurricane/tsunami/whatever that communications are most needed?

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US Justice Department free to track mobile phone users

Stuart Gray
Coat

If every there was a reason to buy a 3G phone

there it is.

Mine's the one with the coin in it, to use the pay phone on the corner.

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BOFH: The paperless cafeteria

Stuart Gray

Nice nod to Xerox at the end

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

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Vintage IBM tape drive in Apollo moon dust rescue

Stuart Gray

Is it really so hard

to recreate the hardware from scratch? The engineering drawings must still exist, or at very least the data storage specification. we hear this kind of thing all the time - the BBC Doomsday project, this kind of tape archive, older picture formats. Surely, since the archives are on magnetic tape, as long as one has a read head wide enough (or in the case of the Doomsday, a laser travel assembly long enough), the rest is in the software?

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Spooks foils fictional Russian plot

Stuart Gray
Coat

And not merely from an Internet café in Ealing

but from a USB key, left in a rear facing port of a computer in an Internet café in Ealing, ready to be triggered by the next login.

Mine's the one with the "Knighthood for Q" campaign badge on it.

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Mozilla security chief: Apple should open up

Stuart Gray
Coat

Odd that no-one has noticed

That the person quoted in the article is called Window.

The one with the OS/2 logo, please. Yes,the one you can't reach into and steal anything from, thanks.

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Nokia pays 8 2* years' royalties in advance

Stuart Gray

@AC re. N810

I said DECENT keyboard, not half-arsed mobile phone push pad. And yes, Agenda please.

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Stuart Gray

PDA anyone?

Will this mean that finally there will be a new "Psion" PDA? One integrating WiFi, Bluetooth and decent media applications, with a decent keyboard? One can only hope. As mentioned, there are plenty of apps waiting, just no-one wants them on a phone.

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Phoenix eats dirt

Stuart Gray
Alien

The real reason?

amanfromMars poked it through...

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A quarter of UK adults to go on child protection database

Stuart Gray

So its goodbye to Scouting

The Boys Brigade, Church Lads and their ilk. All that will be left will be "yoof clubs" run by paid members of the social Services. And of course, we know they are ALL trustworthy - just ask children's home residents in Jersey...

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Undercover teachers to track gang members online

Stuart Gray

Great - another absorber of time

So when exactly will I have time to prepare and mark lessons, given that when I am in front of my class I am 100% focussed on their education?

Once again, teachers being expected to take on another social responsibility that parents should have, rather than performing their specific role - i.e. imparting specialist knowledge and preparing children for examinations.

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Botnet sics zombie soldiers on gimpy websites

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French punters offered petite Eee PC rival

Stuart Gray

=.33 "Donation"

Actually this is more likely to be the required "green tax" to offset the cost of recycling your old equipment. It's a French thing, you wouldn't understand.

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'Extreme porn' law could criminalise millions

Stuart Gray
Coat

One bright side

It might cut down on on the spam, and streaming traffic from certain websites, making t'Internet a faster experience for all.

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Biologists track down elusive lungless frog

Stuart Gray

Reminds me of the Kevin Bloody Wilson song

"I've got a tongue, that's ten inches long, and I've learned to breathe through me ears"

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How big an eco-hazard is IT equipment?

Stuart Gray

Power consumption CRT vs LCD?

Can someone point me in the direction of the figures showing that CRT screens consume less power than LCD? I am surprised, given that CRTs need hefty voltages in order to liberate the electrons from the cathode, and then steer them across the screen.

Is it to do with the backlight necessary on an LCD? Presumably the phosphor screen on the CRT glows without any further electrical input, whereas LCDs need a fairly hefty light source in addition to the "trigger" current that turns each pixel on or off.

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Ten years old: the world's first MP3 player

Stuart Gray

@Glenn

Because sony already had their digital player, the MiniDisc, which was a higher quality sound than MP3. Of course, the file format was proprietary (ATRAC), and although it was licensed quite widely, Sony never really marketed the idea, not made it simple for users to download from the Internet (although ripping CDs is simple). Now of course, the Sony Connect Store is closed, so the only easy way is to rip CDs again.

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Village shaken by GPS-driven tank invasion

Stuart Gray

@Alex \m/

Wrong Donington mate - the festival is in Leicestershire, not Shropshire.

Stuart

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Bluetooth's coming home

Stuart Gray

At last, a sensible advertising model

I like this idea - unobtrusive, obviously opt-in, targeted and ubiquitous - and, it seems, easy. Apart from having to switch to visible, I don't see many problems with this idea.

Stuart

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Gates kicks off farewell tour in Vegas

Stuart Gray

@Deep Tank

Because he made his cash by illegally squeezing out legitimate competition, and pushing substandard software and services on a public which had little choice, due his illegal monopolistic practises.

Stuart

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Asus dropped hard disk from Eee PC at eleventh hour

Stuart Gray

Not the only find & replace cock up

Back in the day, there were many more British exam boards than the "big three" that now exist in England. One, the Midland Examining Group (or MEG) was responsible for many Physics papers. This board amalgamated to be become Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (or OCR), and all the old syllabi were duly converted to the new name. So we Physics teachers had to teach (if we were to follow the syllabus to the letter) that electricity was counted not in Megawatts, but Ocrawatts....

Stuart

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Mozilla rubbishes IE Firefox security study

Stuart Gray

@Mark

Mozilla, running on eComStation. What are you using?

Stuart

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US judge debenched for jailing entire courtroom

Stuart Gray

@Walter Brown

Oh come on! WMD found "in small amounts scattered throughout iraq, [sic] to the tune of 3 times the amount initially reported to congress", and you say "they refuse to report this though, that would make them look bad!". I am sure that Fox News, Sky News would LOVE to report this, if it were true, so close are they to the Republican opinion. Even the BBC would report it, as they are (still) fairly unbiased. The fact is, NO weapons of mass destruction have been found, in any kind of quantities.

And what exactly is a "rouge" country? One that has turned a little red?

Stuart

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Stuart Gray

Another lift from the BBC News website

Has anyone else noticed the "special relationship" that seems to exist between the BBC News and El Reg? General news starts on the Beeb, ends up here, tech news appears here first, pops up on El Beeb later the same day?

If I didn't know betterm I'd say there was a conspiracy...

Stuart

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Brown pledges to be greener than greens

Stuart Gray

Electric/hybrid cars are NOT the answer

Basic Physics (Fleming's left and right hand rules) should indicate to anyone the wasteful nature of generating electricity from raw fuels, and then using that electricity to generate motion. Optimistic calculations give the overall energy transfer rate for these two processes to be 10%. Electric powered motion only makes sense with mass transport - trams and trains - and for reducing LOCAL pollution (i.e. within a town). The overall pollution, and global warming due to energy use (which nearly always ends up as heat), rises overall in all cases.

The best way to reduce energy loss is to use mass transport, or individual transport (i.e. a bike or a motorcycle, where you only cart around enough "deadweight" to carry yourself). In terms of energy used per passenger (the best comparison), my diesel Long Wheel Base Land Rover when carrying my whole family (7 of us) beats a hybrid car carrying one person.

Stuart

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Lifelike, sexy robot infiltrators influence Belgian mobs

Stuart Gray
Paris Hilton

@Slaine

With leather?

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How I wrote an iPhone application

Stuart Gray

Ah! A blast from the past

In the spirit of the "retro" PET article, finally a code listing that we can type somewhere, and then wonder why it doesn't work. Do we get a "corrections" section in next month's issue?

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Jordan mulls mamtastic epitaph

Stuart Gray

In honour of El Reg

I've gone titsup

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Storage Virtualization: A Register survival guide

Stuart Gray
Coat

If I could walk that way...

...I wouldn't need a guide to Storage Virtualization.

Virtualised taxi called, virtualised coat retrieved.

Stuart

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Boeing, Ford in hydrogen engine fanfare

Stuart Gray

Aerovironment?

"It has a bit of special tech sauce, too: rather than coupling its propeller mechanically to the car engine, like Orion, it seems to use a generator and electrically-spun props."

So it loses 70% of the stored energy in the fuel converting it to electricity, and 70% of the electrical energy converting it to kinetic energy? Very fuel efficient... I guess that the generator is a backup to solar cells, but even so, they are carting a lot of mass in the fuel, generator and motor for a 10% (theoretical maximum) conversion rate.

Stuart

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US law on age proof in explicit images is ruled unconstitutional

Stuart Gray

Minority report...

First, I agree with the findings of the court - child pornography is despicable, but forcing people to record the ages (and, IIRC the addresses) of anyone photographed, whether naked or not, whether for commercial purposes or not, is the wrong approach.

However, and only slightly related to this, has anyone else noticed the tendency for these decisions, when made by a panel of judges, to be made by the smallest majority? Two in the case of three judges, three in the case of five, four in the case of seven. It seems that the attitude is one of bet-hedging: we'll make a decision, but in the event of that decision being later shown not to be the correct one, the judges can say "oh well, we were nearly right. If only X hadn't tipped the balance" etc. etc.

Stuart

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IBM patents making money from patents

Stuart Gray

Thge next filing will be

"A method for restricting the use by an unlicensed third party of an idea or business process with commercial value, for a defined and agreed period of time, whilst allowing the details of that idea or business practice to be published."

In other words, I wish to patent patents. I should make a mint - there are millions of them, and of course I shall request that the patent apply retroactively. I'll just have to remember to pay myself the fee for using my own patent.

Stuart

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US trade body knocks up disk drive, PC vendors

Stuart Gray

@Chris

It means the same in British too. I don't understand the title, either...

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MP warns against Microsoft monopoly in e-gov services

Stuart Gray

Security and quality? Hmm

"Some open source projects cannot meet our needs for quality or security,"

Given the insistence on MS products, obviously HM Gov needs poor quality and shoddy security. She's right then, open source won't meet those needs.

Stuart

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