* Posts by Annihilator

2984 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Movie review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Annihilator
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Re: Benedict Cumberpatch may be good, but ......

You'd think if someone was going to do a sharp-tongued review of a film, they'd get the actor's name right?

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Scramjet X-51 finally goes to HYPER SPEED above Pacific

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Re: @Sulehir (@ Annihilator)

And "inert lump of metal" falling uncontrolled at high speed into our atmosphere would most probably burn up long before it got to the ground, was my point.

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Boffin

Re: @Sulehir

"a de-orbiting completely inert metal telegraph pole would impact at about Mach 10 with no help at all"

You'd probably find it wouldn't get anywhere *near* the surface.

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Re: "It was hoped that the X-51A would break Mach 6"

I would assume that all Av Week knew was that it went hypersonic and translated that into "speeds in excess of Mach 5" for excitement. I'm in agreement that it could well have done Mach 6.

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Star Trek: The original computer game

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Re: Listings printed in magazines.

Did he not have a scanner with some OCR software to scan the code listings? ;-)

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Re: The good old days of type-in listings...

Even swankier, gosubs a go-go! The attempt by BASIC to reach the dizzy heights of procedural programming! Think my first stack overflow was caused by a mistakenly looped gosub!

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Quid-a-day nosh challenge hack in bullet-hard chickpea drama

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Inputs documented...

I hesitate to ask, but any update or report on what happens at the other end? I imagine that a predominantly pulse-based diet would mean you are able to turn the heating down, admittedly off-set against needing to leave a couple of windows open to create a fairly hefty draft.

Then there's the added expense of having to re-paper the walls.

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Science of the lambs: Boffins grow GLOW-IN-THE-DARK sheep

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Re: This is going to make...

Touché! :-)

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Re: This seems familiar.....

And other boffins did it before him in white mice, and evolution (or $deity_of_choice) did it millions of years ago in various marine life.

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Boffin

Re: This is going to make...

Only if you bring your own UV torch with you

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Peak txt: 1.5 BEELLLION more chat app msgs sent than SMSes a day

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Boffin

True, but they'll still be assigning value to them (along with minutes and data). It's just a gradually outdated model which will evolve over time.

I doubt the Telcos are worried - they'll merely adjust their formulas. The basic cost of the network doesn't change, and text usage may go down, but all it will do is alter the weightings of the £15/month a customer will continue to spend.

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Review: Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

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Meh

Re: @Annihilator

I know RAID's not backup, but I also know that anything worth its salt will tell you if an array member becomes dodgy, which FreeNAS failed to do (and doesn't offer the option). RAID gives you some level of contingency, FreeNAS's implementation of it gives you that but with no warning if it disappears.

Disclaimer, this was nearly 2 years ago - it may have been modified since, but the experience has scarred me into never going back.

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Re: £1580 ?!?!

"No dual gig ethernet, no Starwind iSCSI, no redundant power supply, no USB 3, no easy configuration."

And no hardware RAID (though there's a pseudo RAID0/1 card)

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Headmaster

Re: £1580 ?!?!

It's not Windows, it's the NAS Tax. Google "16TB NAS" and you'll find they're all similarly priced, regardless of Windows base.

A homemade NAS is fine, and I've used one. But I wouldn't trust anything business critical with it. The thing that killed FreeNAS for me (not least because you need some form of boot drive in addition to your data drives) was when it entered a degraded state - and didn't feel the need to email me an alert.

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PEAK iPHONE? Apple mobe growth slumps to ‘lowest in its history’

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Re: Android dominance continues

"We see a lot of 'bad' news about Apple yet they shipped MORE phones - sure their market share has slipped as they do not try and sell a £50-100 phone and make no money on it and the market for smartphones is growing at the low end as people upgrade from old non-smartphones"

A great point, funny how the article is never headlined "Apple fail to achieve greatest market share with non-mass-market product".

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DARPA looks for a guided bullet with DEAD reckoning navigation

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Re: "Jackal" eat your heart out.

"Sniper rifles can already hit people over a Km away and have been able to do so for years, and yet politicians aren't being gunned down by them in droves. What makes you think that increasing that range to maybe 3km will make a lick of difference."

Fair point, but the ability to hit what you want to hit at that range is quite a specialist skill (and requires very well known and constrained atmospheric conditions). Give a sniper rifle to Joe Bloggs and he's be lucky to hit a multistory carpark at that range, let alone a person in it.

But yeah, I agree with you, preventing DARPA from coming up with such a thing doesn't keep Pandora's box shut.

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Mosaic turns 20: Let's fire up the old girl, show her the web today

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Happy

"Error 500 whatever that means!"

Internal server error from memory. Probably a really old or deprecated GET method that the server balks at.

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

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WTF?

" A rumour had gone around before they set off that one spoilt little sod was taking a grand with him, so we wanted to be sure ours had enough to at least buy himself a reputation-saving music tech gadget if he happened to pass an Apple Store."

That's a joke, right?? Giving your child money for a trip, fine, but giving it to them just because you've heard young Tarquin is being given money? A new level of keeping up with the Jones' I have to say..

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Virgin Media: SO SORRY we fined your dead dad £10 for unpaid bill

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Boffin

Re: Outstanding

"There's a 'dead person' identifier on the letter, in which case Virgin's systems ought to have recognised it and passed it to a human to deal with. Unless, that is, they don't have any humans doing humane stuff."

But their systems can't recognise it as the account holder being deceased, they can only recognise it as the bank account holder being deceased. The person owning the bank account and the person owning the Virgin account can be two different people.

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Galaxy S4 radiant, but has black holes

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Re: Understanding what is Android and what is not

Agreed, if anything the opposite is a criticism of the fruity phone - "share via Facebook" is a kludge to try and pretend there's social network integration. What you'll find is that the iPhone has a "share via FB" option, regardles of whether you have a FB account tied to the phone - so unnecessary clutter.

Even worse, you can have the FB app installed, but you need to link the account through the phone's settings too. So clicking the "share via FB" options prompts the error message "no FB account associated" instead of doing what you'd think would be the sensible option of passing through to the FB app.

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Apple slips Antennagate victims $15 each. The lawyers get $16m

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"The Cupertino idiot-tax operation" does seem like a next leap forward in fanboi-baiting.

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Personal touch

"Very truly yours, Apple iPhone 4 Settlement Claims Administrator"

Got to love the personal touch!

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BitTorrent offers file sync tool for PCs and NAS

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Marvelous

I've been looking for a solution to this for a while now, effectively using my NAS as a backup target for my parent's PC 500 miles away. Rsync is powerful, but far from a "just works" solution.

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It's official! Register hack is an alcohol-flushed cave dweller

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I wonder if this could be expanded

Forget about the DNA test results, I'd pay $99 for the rights to flob into a tube and post it to, say, some politicians?

Maybe a price sheet could be knocked up?

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T-Mobile UK ordered into humiliating Full Monty strip

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Wait, what?

So you can cap all traffic and call it "unlimited" but you can't cap *some* traffic and call it "unlimited"? The world's gone mad...

As for SMTP, they usually just block port 25 in an attempt to stop you running your own mail server. 587 usually works just fine.

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O2 tries something completely new: Honesty

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Paris Hilton

"I have a £15 a month contract."

This. I'm not sure how this is a fabulous new launch from O2, they already have the Simplicity tarriffs which I thought pretty much did that? Calculating the subsidy wasn't exactly rocket science.

Here's a thought though - does this mean that O2 et al will eventually be forced to declare APR rates? Essentially you're getting a loan for the value of the phone and repaying it over 2 years.

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Sonic the Hedgehog

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Re: Water levels...

I remember the terrifying moments of sitting by the water bubble source, waiting for one to generate while the perilous music started counting down to Sonic's death, followed by the blessed relief of the "bwup-wep!" sound of a bubble being breathed in.

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FAA: 'No, you CAN'T hijack a plane with an Android app'

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"But in poweroff mode, I just have to bump the power button. So airplane+locked is safer."

I've never met a phone that doesn't require at least a second of holding the power button to turn on, so I don't buy that.

As for the airline chat at the beginning, they've just gotten wise to flight-mode and updated their chat. It was always "turn all electronic devices off", now they clarify "and we don't just mean flight safe mode".

They also tell you to put it in flight safe mode and then turn it off if you're planning to turn it on again later. None of this is particularly new though - even cassette walkmans had to be turned off on takeoff/landing.

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Another 170,000 Freeview homes to be freed from reality TV - possibly

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FAIL

Re: Why don't you...

Dammit, missed the cultural reference :-( Fail on me - if I could downvote myself, I would.

I'm clearly jaded by the comments on here that post that literally!

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Annihilator
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The short answer is that there's no such thing as a perfect filter.

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Facepalm

Re: Why don't you...

For example you could post sanctimonious comments on web sites...

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Bitcoin gets a $100 haircut on rollercoaster trading run

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Happy

To paraphrase a tweet I saw yesterday (Rob Delaney I think?) "I'm not sure what Bitcoin is, but I'm jumping off a 45-storey building just to be safe"

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Finance bods probe RBS over bank-crippling IT cock-up

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Meh

Re: Loyalty and experience

"If it's tangential to the primary purpose of the organisation, outsource it. If it's mission-critical, don't. Is there really anything else needs to be said?"

Except in this instance they didn't "outsource it", they hired cheaper, inexperienced staff - and offloaded more expensive, experienced staff.

Presumably the Reg (and any other online rag) is failing your test too? Their mission critical things that I can tell are "host web site" and "generate ad revenue". Their solution? Rackspace and DoubleClick.

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Re: Not outsourced

"This is not a failure of outsourcing - these people were/are RBS employees, just in India - it's a failure of off-shoring."

Yup, you'd think an IT rag would understand the difference between offshoring and outsourcing. Think I've made a similar comment in pretty much all the RBS outage stories on here.

If anything I'd wager that part of the problem is that RBS *didn't* outsource their offshore work. Outsourcing can work, offshoring can work. For a company to decide to work out its own recruitment policies across two continents and put the management practices in place to cope with it is pretty brave/foolish. It's cheaper than getting someone to manage it for you, but it means you have to develop your own expertise in managing it.

Never though I'd say it, but TCS et al exist for a reason and as such cost more than hiring directly. But you also have the fact that *they* would be on the hook for any such fines and as such have a vested interest in getting it right.

Outsourcing is generalised as a "bad" thing (this article being no exception) despite pretty much *every* company doing it to some extent (from cleaners to IT host). IT is often cited as a core service for banks and as such should remain inhouse. By the same token you could argue that IT is crucial to any web news site (el reg being an example) but I'd bet heavy money that the hosting is done by Rackspace, the search by Google CS and the Ads by DoubleClick.

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

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Paris Hilton

Re: For those just knowledgable enough to be dangerous.

I crunched those numbers and came up with similar, but ran into some problems. Using yours (100g pellets, effective recoil of 0.02m/s) lets still consider that this jolt is happening in a microsecond apparently, or 10^-6s. So the acceleration would be 20,000m/s/s at the point of impulse. So it would certainly be an odd sensation.

Then there's the "pulsing every minute or so" part. The ship is gaining 0.02m/s each minute. So it's average acceleration would be 0.00333m/s/s. After 15 days of constant propulsion (or 1,296,000s) it'll be travelling 4320m/s which sounds pretty nippy, but this is halfway through the predicted journey and we'll only have covered 2.5M km. Somewhat short of the distance to Mars, given the closest known approach is about 22x that.

What am I missing?

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US Air Force reclassifies 6 cyber tools as weapons

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"This is my cyber-weapon. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My cyber-weapon is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My cyber-weapon, without me, is useless. Without my cyber-weapon, I am useless"

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Climate change set to bumpify transatlantic flights, say researchers

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Boffin

Re: This result is trivial, obvious, and almost certainly wrong

"That one needs an explanation relative to the anthropic principle that explains how it is we were in the magical era where flight was possible and yet a 1 - 3 degree warming will make flight intolerable to aircraft and passengers."

It's not that we were in a magical period, it can be considered instead that we had a relatively stable environment that we developed flight capable vehicles to suit that environment. If flight had developed in the suggested "new" environment, you can assume it would have developed differently and been able to cope. In the above reply, there was talk of such severe flight that an over-G assessment was required. Presumably if turbulence were more intense when our planes today were developed, the airframe would have been built to withstand greater forces.

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Major blow for Apple: 'Bounce back' patent bounced back by USPTO

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Bouncing Back

Am I the only one who read "Bouncing Back" and immediately thought of Alan Partridge's autobiography, heartily endorsed by Shakin' Stevens?

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ROBOT COCKROACH SWARM unleashed in Sheffield lab

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Re: Always looks cool but probably more flexible to do this in simulation

That's what's strange - I recall doing this sort of thing during behavioural AI lectures at Ed Uni in software/simulation back in 1998. So I'm not sure what's "new" exactly?

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Re: This looks awesome, BUT...

http://dilbert.com/fast/2013-03-28/

Nuff said

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USA's H-1B skilled worker visa applications open

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Headmaster

"you can always spend the year between now and the next round of H-1B applications making yourself as physically attractive as possible "

You sure you mean "physically attractive"?

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Why does our galaxy spiral?

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Re: I think I hear a clock

Black and white fractal generator took hours to run on C64, let alone a colour one. When CSS was first cracked, it took 36 hours to rip and encode a DVD to divx.

And now my phone does realtime HD h264 encoding. Kids these days, etc...

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Net neutrality? We've heard of it, says Ofcom

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Unhappy

Er, what?

"While some mobile operators are blocking access to some services, the free market will sort that out"

If it *were* a "free market", then yes. But it's not. There are only so many mobile telcos (4?) out there and they all have a vested interest in offering a slightly limited service. As long as no-one breaks ranks, nothing will change.

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Review: Jabra Revo Wireless headphones

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Re: Gapless = correct

Not to mention live albums. Or any album where two tracks are related (off the top of my head, Green Day's American Idiot has Holiday and Boulevard of Broken Dreams)

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How the iPad ruined the lives of IT architects

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Boffin

Re: 100% availability?

Can't tell you about the others, but online banking and ATMs certainly don't come with a 100% availability. There are maintenance windows and just general failure from time to time.

Users may *expect* 100% but the reality is very different. Highly available services (the stuff you don't want failing, ever) is only usually rated to what was previously the holy grail of "five 9's" (or 99.999%), which equates to about 5 minutes outage per year as I recall.

There's also the question of whether availability even means anything. It's a very crude tool to measure outage impact. A 30 minute outage on the ATM network is more costly to a bank at 5pm than 4am, but availaiblity stats will show the same figure.

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Patent shark‘s copyright claim could bite all Unix

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Meh

Re: April Fools!

Please Register, in the future, moderate your April Fools comments to remove any pointing out it is a joke, so we can have a laugh at all those comment posts that have taken it seriously."

Sadly in this case we couldn't have laughed too hard given how close to reality this was :-|

"Patent troll attempts to patent blatantly un-patentable thing" is a recurring theme these days.

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Smartphone running 'Facebook OS' said to debut this week

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Meh

Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

Why do people install apps on their smartphones that replicate a web page? There are many bizarre choices that users make.

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Reg man bested in geek-to-geek combat - in World War 3 nerve centre

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NWB

Noted to go make a trip. The phrase "somewhere less expendable" did remind me of Springfield's designation of NWB, or "Nuclear Whipping Boy", meaning that in the event of a nuclear war all friendly nations will first calibrate their missiles by bombing Springfield.

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How to survive a UEFI BOOT-OF-DEATH on Samsung laptops

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Re: @Annihilator

AC with the long response - it was clear it was a Samsung problem. For *any* hardware to irrevocably brick itself due to the software running on it is a faulty bit of hardware, regardless of what the trigger point was.

My point is that if this were a laptop that bricked while running Windows, the story wouldn't even mention the OS. Even if it did, it would take a special kind of leap to blame Windows.

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Stop

Re: @Pete H - "Garrett was able to demonstrate an application on Windows could wreck a machine."

"Yeah. 'cos if the problem had been seen in Windows first Linux users wouldn't have been gloating."

Not to get into a game of who started what, but the entire blame and cause of the incident was Samsung and their bodged implementation of UEFI. This was patently clear to anyone reading the original article and yet it invited claims of "ooh, Linux is crap!" for spurious reasons.

This was never a Linux thing, and the only people who thought otherwise were ardent Windows fans.

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