Feeds

* Posts by Pete 2

2254 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Brit boson boffin Higgs bags Nobel with eponymous deiton

Pete 2
Silver badge

Mr Blue Sky

> I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research

I hope so, too. But given the hopelessness of the BBC's "explanation" of what the HB does (a video insert on their coverage of the award) I think trying to get the media to explain abstract ideas - and physics in particular - is a lost cause.

2
0

Digital 'activists' scramble to build Silk Road 2.0, but drug kingpins are spooked

Pete 2
Silver badge

Go with it

Possibly the biggest lesson for anyone comtemplating a secure or anonymised internet (dark or light) for any sort of transactions: legal, financial or various shades of naughty, is to design it such that no part of it touches the USA.

If 5% of the world wants to build a wall around themselves, the other 95% should let 'em.

5
1

Young? Been online five years? Congrats, you are the ELITE MINORITY

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: FIVE years?

> Hell I had already had email in one form or another for 10 years by that point!

Eeee, them 'twere the days.

When you could tell a person's true status by the number of hops they were from ucbvax

0
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

The "experience" experience

> five or more years' experience using the internet

That seems to be to be measuring the wrong thing.

A child who's spent the past 5 years goofing around on Facebook and Twitter is incomparable to one who started using a computer at age 13 and now runs a successful web business. Just as a brit who's been living in Spain for 5 years, red-nosed from the cheap booze, too much sunshine and days spent reading the Daily Mail in a bar all day is no match for one who has spent the same duration in the country and is fluent in the language and is a fully functioning member of the local society.

When you start looking at skill-level or achievements, duration or time spent is misleading. It's results that count.

6
0

Police constable 1337 stunned by Lego lookalike

Pete 2
Silver badge

I told you ...

> Police constable 1337 stunned by Lego lookalike

... to be careful where you point that TASER

1
0

The life of Pi: Intel to give away Arduino-friendly 'Galileo' tiny-puter

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: On board flash means it can be bricked, unlike Raspberry Pi where all storage is on SD

> Would those who have downvoted Daniel care to explain

He wrote something that could be construed as criticism of the RPi.

Around here that's an automatic downvoted from the Look Mum, I can make a LED flash on and off brigade. (As mother silently weeps into a hanky: 14 years of education and 10s of thousands of £££'s in raising the child, all for that ...).

Even worse, in the very next thread he intimates that something else could possibly be better.

1
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Two stools

So what is it?

It runs "sketches", so is it a more powerful (overly-powerful) Arduino competitor with rather high power requirements

It's got an x86 instruction set, 256MB of DDR3 RAM and PCI, so is it a PC - no mention of windows or Linux

It seems to me to fall between both.

If you're just going to run embedded code with no O/S, there are better, smaller, (probably) cheaper and less power-hungry ways of doing it. If you are going to boot an O/S, there are smaller, more powerful, more capable (e.g. the dual-core 1GHz/1GB, SATA Cubieboard2) and (possibly) cheaper alternatives for that, too.

With either of these propositions, it's going to be the user created support that makes or breaks it. I wonder if anyone would port BeOS/Haiku to it?

6
0

Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

Pete 2
Silver badge

The media always hype this stuff

Every year we get some breathless pundit squealing with delight about a meteor shower with words like "fantasic", "spectacular" and whatever superlatives still have some life (if not credibillity) left in them. The same goes for comets, eclipses, conjuctions andall the rest. One budding journo picks up as astronomical announcement and exudes awe about it - that's picked up by another who embellishes the first's work - then another with more exaggeration and finally it hits the TV and we're all exhorted to view this "sight of the century" (which seems to occer every few years).

Almost all of them are a damp squib.

Whether that's because the uncertainy and qualifications that the original bulletin contain get left out for reasons of making the news "public friendly", or astronomers genuinely thought it would turn out better. However in the UK the main reasons seem to be the weather, the light pollution and TV presenters (and their script writers) who have no concept at all - none whatsoever - about how bright, or dim all of these events are.

We were "promised" a comet earlier this year - FAIL! Sure: it turned up on time, but it was a huge disappointment. Same goes for all theother ones since Halley, 25 years ago. Maybe the media should learn their lesson and just let it all go - though then they'd probably be inundated by calls from scared and ignorant viewers about "strange lights inthe sky". You can't win.

1
0

You're either mighty brave or mighty stupid. So which is it, Twitter?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Can a fail whale float?

Most web "phenomena" last a few years. They grow and grow, become the darling of the online press - then the wind changes and all their users desert them (sometimes helped by unpopular changes, managerial incompetence or the next "big thing" being bigger and thingier than they are). Twitter has had a good run and round about now you'd expect it to start sliding as the next generation of internet users dismiss Twitter as being "for old people".

So why go for an IPO? Possibly to staunch the slide. Buy up the competiton, or expand by aquisiton - or maybe just to cash out while there's still some money in Twitter as a going concern.

Either way, given the current climate there's no good time to float (or sink), but on the presumption that the financial situation won't be getting any better for some time, and that Twitter's shelf-life could be coming to the end, this would seem like a good time for them. Whether it's a good time for investors? No-one can say.

3
0

British support for fracking largely unmoved by knowledge of downsides

Pete 2
Silver badge

What was the question?

It would be handy to know what question gave rise to this result.

Was it a non-specific equiry about the abstract principle of extracting oil and/or gas - or was it a direct question about whether individuals would be "happy" to have this carried out withing ½ a mile of their homes, or their childrens' school?

I suspect the answers may vary considerably.

2
1

Twitter IPO rumour-gasm latest: Sugar daddies told to not flog shares just yet

Pete 2
Silver badge

Floating on the QE

At present the USA is keeping share prices high by "printing" $1Tn a year for quantitative easing - buying up their own bonds and keeping market prices high.

One assumes that Twitter want to dump as many shares as possible get their IPO done before this fount of artificially high prices dries up. So while they might be able to get $15Bn at current valuations, I don't need to take a bet (as all share dealing is, is a posh phrase for gambling) on whether or not it will stay high.

1
0

All rivers flow into the sea: Apple holds TEN PER CENT of corporate America's dosh

Pete 2
Silver badge

Is it just me ...

> American corporations held a total of about $1.48tn in cash as of June this year

So american businesses hold about $1.5 tril of cash, but america owes about 16.7 terabucks

Anyone else see a potential problem here?

6
0

A £30,000, 295bhp 4G MODEM?!? Must be the Audi S3 Quattro, then

Pete 2
Silver badge

Height of stupidity?

> lets you access Twitter, Facebook, email and texts while you are on the go,

We all thought that trying to send SMSs while driving was so dumb that nobody would need to be told not to try - but no, apparently the limit of human intelligence is lower than we thought.

Will we now need to be reminded that tweeting while driving is so blindingly stupid (for the driver to do) that each text should be automatically forwarded to the Darwin Awards assessors?

13
1

Scientists to IPCC: YES, solar quiet spells like the one now looming CAN mean ICE AGES

Pete 2
Silver badge

Mark Twain was right

> The current 11-year peak in solar action... may presage a lengthy quiet period

And like everything to do with climate change, nobody can say for sure.

It seems that the quote attributed to him turns out to have some substance after all. For those who missed it::

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjectures out of such trifling investment of fact

or should that be his other one:

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please

Either way, it's a great spectator sport, just so long as I don't have to do anything until we *know* what is actually happening - and whether it is turning out good or bad.

0
1

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Devils advocate: Why should anyone care?

> because a hell of a lot of work was done to mitigate the risks.

Indeed. I was one of the people doing it. However you don't get rewarded for problems that never happen - only for fixing the ones that do.

11
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Devils advocate: Why should anyone care?

We had Y2k: lots of talk that aircraft would drop out of the sky, that the financial system would crash and burn, that shops would be emptied of food, that utilities would stop working. None of which happened.

Now people are being told that something as small as Microsoft no longer pestering them with updates to some old piece of software - updates they never bother applying, anyway - is a bad thing?

I expect that a lot of individuals won't even be aware that the end is nigh. I expect that a lot of companies simply consider PCs to be a commodity, like chairs or employees and will need to actually see something catch fire before they are willing to consider an abstract concept such as a lack of bug-fixes to be anywhere on their priority list.

On top of that, it's not as if they could just take a PC, apply some "stuff" to it and voila! the problem has gone. No, the hardware will need to be upgraded, possibly the software too - maybe even the peripherals (now many modern PCs have VGA ports, or parallel ports). So given that this lack of "support" won't actually stop anything running, whereas mitigating it will be (a) expensive and (b) disruptive, then sitting with your thumbs up your bum waiting to see what (if anything) happens, is a rational strategy.

That's certainly what I intend to do with the 3 "retired" XP computers that are now just instances that run under VirtualBox, if I need one of their applications, like Photoshop. I'm definitely not planning on spending £££'s upgrading that (legal copy). Or dropping cash on a copy of W7 or 8 to upgrade them, either.

4
3

Ubuntu 13.10: Meet the Linux distro with a bizarre Britney Spears fixation

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Reversing Moore's Law

"Tell me what you want to do?"

"Email Susan and tell her I'll be 20 minutes late because of traffic".

That, 1000 times, that! (but who's Susan?) - though the email part becomes redundant, the "smarts" would just record your voice, filter out extraneous background noise and send that as the message.

You are absolutely correct though: even Google's voicey thing (can't speak for Apple, never seen/used it) has trouble - but I have used it to translate We skipped the light fandango/Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor/I was feeling kinda seasick/But the crowd called out for more into spanish. But in 20 years time, they won't have trouble doing what I envisaged. And it probably won't matter what your native language is, either.

Back in the mid 1970's there was a machine called the PERQ. It was marketed in the UK by ICL and did pretty much everything that users want from a machine today: GUI, mouse, networking, running stuff. If development into voice & face recognition had progressed as much as graphical software has and audio cards kept pace with graphics hardware - you could probably stare at your computer screen now it it would read your mind.

Instead we're bogged down with eye-candy written by some very clever programmers with extreme technical skills, but bugger all utility so far as designing a user interface goes.

3
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Reversing Moore's Law

I guess the answer to "Why do all this?" would be "because we can".

After all, if Linux interfaces just stuck to the basics of running an application in however much (or little) of the user's screen it needed - possibly with a little cut'n'paste, there wouldn't have been the need for any interface development for the past 20 or more years. Though we might have machines that boot in a couple of seconds and will run off batteries for days on end.

But since all the new, wizzy, capabilities we get in desktops - and also appearing in portable devices have the power, memory and graphics ability to do all these things (irrespective of whether anyone will use them), that's what we get.

Personally, I'd much prefer a user interface that contained one simple question and a box for the user to type, write or speak the answer. If all the power and ingenuity that the UI guys have expended on X, Wayland, Mir and all the other stuff had been focused on the average user, that box might just say

Tell me what you want to do?

And it would then go off and (accurately) start up all the stuff necessary to service the user's request.

Wouldn't that be better than all this eye-candy - though it would certainly be duller.

7
4

GCHQ's CESG CCP 4 UK GOV IT BFFs? LOL RTFA INFOSEC VIPs ASAP

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Obscurity for security

> If some project manager is insisting on unnecessary levels of paperwork & meetings, I suspect they're just making work to justify their existence rather than to benefit anyone.

Oh, without a doubt, yes.

But that's the beauty of "best practice", so long as there's always more you can do or ask for, you haven't achieved it. Hence organisations that are addicted to the idea of B/P (because they are so clueless) are so inefficient, slow and expensive.

1
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Obscurity for security

So, a branch of government has a group. That group creates a scheme. That scheme identifies 3 levels of competency (OK, let's pretend they map onto knowing what the hell you're talking about - with some sort of positive correlation). Within those rankings, there are 6 roles. And on top of that, another bunch has another programme for certification, that's different.

Then after 3 years yo have to do it all again.

This seems like an excellent plan for identifting both individuals who value letters, titles and accreditations and also for identifying organisations that are so lacking in real-world direction, experience and judgement that they would value such confused and surreal web of qualifications.

Having seen ITIL (another government initiative, that assumes an infinite amount of manpower, time, meeting-rooms and budget to get anything done) at first hand in a couple of organisations I can only assume that goal behind this announcement is to put a stop, once and for all, to anyone having any hope of matching a competent worker with a security requirement.

3
0

Hundreds of hackers sought for new £500m UK cyber-bomber strike force

Pete 2
Silver badge

How many hackers does it take to change a lightbulb?

> protect critical infrastructure and data stores were the country to come under electronic attack.

Or in this case, to unplug "critical infrastructure" from the source of all evil?

Seriously, you'd hope - against all common sense and reason - that anything that was actually critical would be a long, long way from being accessible over the internet.

> "cyber weapons" could be used along with regular munitions in future conflicts.

Excellent idea. Collect up all the computers and throw them at the enemy. Especially in an assymetric warfare theatre (the defining type of war in the 21st century), where one side has a great big target painted on its arse and the other is coming at it with a pitchfork.

2
0

IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having

Pete 2
Silver badge

Let's decide.

Defn: Science. A process whereby observations are made, theories are drawn up and tested by means of experiment. The experimental results are then used to gain a consensus regarding the accuracy of the theory in question.

Religion: A belief system where faith and doctrine are formulated, depending on various factors: real or imaginary. That doctrine is then promulgated by an appointed (or self-appointed) leadership. The lack of a testable foundation makes refuting the articles of faith very difficult for the non-beleiver, but acts to strengthen the resolve of the true followers.

10
1

French data cops to Google: RIGHT, you had your chance. PUNISHMENT time

Pete 2
Silver badge

Fines are fine

Jail is better.

To a company like Google, slapping a fine for non-compliance (or "law-breaking" as the traditionalists might call it) means very little. Even confiscating the advertising revenue they make in France would only be a minor annoyance.

However, their stance that "your law does not apply to us" needs some serious attention. Flinging a few americans into a french jail until the company makes itself legal would certainly have a direct and personal effect on the decision makers of the company. It would show Google that they cannot take such a patronising position and above all else, it would be wonderful theatre for the rest of us to watch.

You never know, you might even get a few brits saying "Go, Frenchie!"

26
5

Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

Pete 2
Silver badge

Stars to stars

> forced a youthful Stephen Hawking out of Physics and into Tap-Dancing classes

You never know, it could have freed up the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics thus giving someone otherwise doomed to appearing on X-Factor something to aspire to.

Though we might have ended up with A Brief History of Time being written in txt spk. Would smileys have made it easier to understand?

3
0

Reg readers! You've got 100 MILLION QUID - what would you BLOW it on?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Sack the lot of them

> Ofcom is ... looking for suggestions about how it might direct its considerable resources

Hmmm, £100 Mil.

Well, they've got all the policies they need to give us an excellent communications structure, they're just absolutely useless at implementing and enforcing them. So how about sacking all of its existing management and replacing them with effective individuals, instead?

I'm sure the redundancy payments (even at the civil service's vastly inflated, self-serving rates) wouldn't consume all the money. Even if it did, it would be money well spent.

With the remainder they could buy a dictionary, so they could look up the real meaning of the word "unlimiited".

5
3

Apple: Now that you've updated to iOS 7... YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Title is too long.

> its saccharine colour scheme

Does that refer to the (yellowish) colour #FBBE18, or the artificial sweetness?

0
0

Google's boffins branded 'unacceptably ineffective' at tackling web piracy

Pete 2
Silver badge

Ask one back

And why can't copier-paper manufacturers create paper that "knows" when you're trying to make a photocopy of something you shouldn't?

To the to the truly ignorant, everything has a simple solution.

32
0

British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

Pete 2
Silver badge

Easily fixed

> people only spend six minutes a year thinking about their energy bills. Naturally, Brem thought this was a bad sign

So that's why they continually jack up the price of gas & electricity. So that people think about their bills the whole time: worrying about how to pay them.

P.S. No need to crank your heating up with a remote controlled app in order to get out of bed. Just put on a dressing gown, like a normal person does.

4
1

EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

Pete 2
Silver badge

The real moral of the story

Tweet away, be as rude to and about airlines as you like.

Just don't make the newby mistake of using an account with your real name. Surely everyone (everyone who uses twitter, or any other social media for that matter) has many, many accounts under different names, guises and personas (wot! it's against the rules? Oh no! what shall I do) so just use one of them, instead.

Be prepared.

4
0

UK's Get Safe Online? 'No one cares' - run the blockbuster ads instead

Pete 2
Silver badge

Blaming the victim?

> If you lose money from your bank account the banks give it back to you.

But is that what really happens?

The way I see it is that a bank has a duty to put in place sufficient security for it to keep our money safe. That's safe from (traditional) theft, safe from internet theft and safe from themselves being unable to give it back to us when we ask for it.

So far, cash machine security measures haven't evolved much beyond the PIN-code systems that were around in the 1970's - though my PIN in those days was 6 digits, instead of the 4 we have today. Is that really progress?

Although for home banking I now have a nice little card reader, courtesy of my bank, that "proves" I am in posession of my card when I log on to their computers, I still feel that the onus is on the banks to make sure their security is up to scratch to protect our money. There will always be some crime, the goal for security measures is to reduce it to a level that we customers are willing to pay: both in terms of losses from theft and the cost of the measures to prevent it.

2
0

Michael Gove: C'mon kids, quit sexting – send love poems instead

Pete 2
Silver badge

I suppose it *is* possible

Let's see, Stop sexting and send a love poem instead ...

There was a young man from Cape Horn,

who wished he had never been born,

he wouldn’t have been,

if his father had seen,

that the end of his condom was torn

Yup! 156 characters. It will just fit, as the actress said to the proverbial.

7
0

Knock, knock. Hello, delivery person: I am this building's SKYPE OVERLORD

Pete 2
Silver badge

Small detail

The delivery guy could leave your package, but how do you sign for it?

2
0

I, for one, welcome our robotic communist jobless future

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

> As living standards rise, birth rate drops

Quite. That's an observation that appears to be universal. However, it just tells us the "what" not the "why". The reason birth rates drop seems to have something to do with city life. The other side of rising living standards is that more and more people live in cities. They / we need to do that, as that is where the jobs are (don't talk about telecommuting, see later) and most people are pressured for living space in cities - as well as not having many child-friendly open spaces, facilities and a fear of letting their kids near strangers.

However, take away the restrictions of cities, whether by letting people work where they live, not having to work at all or doing their job remotely (there's that telecommuting bit) and all those limitations regarding children and wanting a nice environment for them to grow up in, they all go away.

Therefore it's reasonable to assume that once we are free to leave the cities behind, there WILL be an explosion in the birthrate (esp. if we have lots more free time ;) )and the number of children and therefore the population WILL become limited, as Malthus predicted, simply by our ability to feed all those open mouths.

2
1
Pete 2
Silver badge

Free time! And then what?

Okaaay, let's wind this scenario forward.

FF to the time when we have all we need in terms of physical stuff. Hungry? press a button and a robotic shopping cart will deliver the hot pizza of your choice. Thirsty? Same cart will bring you whatever carbonated beverage you desire. Repeat from age #1 to age #99, daily. Every day. For your whole life. For ever. All the friggin' time. Just press the button. That's it. All you do is press the button.

Next to "the button" is another button labelled "Kill me now". You can press that one any time you please, too. Maybe that one would just about help us avoid a Malthusian disaster.

The basic problem is human nature. To start with, we only value what we earn. Whether it's the satisfaction of standing back and thinking "I made that", Whether it's the knowledge that you're a "provider" and other people respect and depend on you. Whether it's saving up to go and see that band you like.

We also earn a status from being in work, whether it's productive work or merely IT (which, truth be told hasn't really improved the quality of life much at all. It certainly hasn't done a simgle dam' thing to get the country, or the world, out of its current recession). Meet a stranger and one of the first questions they will ask you is "what do you do?" Hands up anyone who hasn't embellished their answer, even just a little bit.

So, work is necessary. Not just to get us the stuff and the mental state that we value. It also sets our standing in society. Even if work became unnecessary in orer to get us the pizza de choix, we would still wish to fill our time, just to give ourselves something to talk about at all those soirees that our excessive free time would require we attend just to fill the empty void before bed.

Plus work allows us to get away from our children (and them from us).

1
1

How to get a Raspberry Pi to take over your Robot House

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

> The idea of light triggered curtain closing/ lighting activation is pretty cool too.

The Swish AutoGlider has been available for 20 years. We got ours in 1996, still going strong.

0
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

it's 3D TV, again

> the impression lurking of it not being 'quite' ready.

The basic problem is that it's *not* home automation. It's (merely) remote controlled switches for electrical goods. And not very good r/c, at that.

Messing about with key fobs and the like was great in the 1970s, but these days you'd need something like EasyVR (speaker independent voice recognition) to get even the slightest twitch from the "that's cool" meter. Even so, who gives a hoot about switching your lights on or off, that's what LIGHT SWITCHES are for.

No. If you want true home automation, it's got to be more. Just like 3D TV failed because it wasn't actually 3D (a necessary prerequisite for all, except the marketing department). So it is with H/A. Until a home automation thing can fill the coffee pot, take out the rubbish and clean the bath - then clean the coffee pot, bring in the cat and fill the bath (and do these things when necessary, not when someone tells it to: the "automation" bit) it's going to be more trouble than its worth.

1
2

Massively leaked iFail 5S POUNDS pundits, EXCITES chavs

Pete 2
Silver badge

What IS new

... is that there's been so little innovation from Apple for such a long time.

It does appear that they managed to launch their ballistic [ used as a technical term here ] trajectory with the early products, when there was little or no competition. Since then the curve has been sustained by the F*bois who are still living in 2008/9, the inertia of big business and the lack of anything better from the Android-ers: who are *still* playing catch-up and who's idea of innovation is aping what Apple have done in the past.

However, like all ballistic trajectories, at some point the upwardsness flattens out and gravity starts to exert its influence (as it does on us all!). Sooner or later that "meteoric" rise does what all meteors do and falls to earth in a firey spectacle. The only difference between Apple's ballistics and ordinary ballistics, is that you can usually plot, very accurately, the where and when of the descent and ultimate crash. With Apple half the fun is spectating and wondering when the historians will say "they finally lost the plot". Oh, and try not to be underneath, inside, or invested (financially, or in the products) when it does hit.

0
2

Moving from permie to mercenary? Avoid a fine - listen to Ben Franklin

Pete 2
Silver badge

Looks up, checks calendar.

Wasn't all this stuff done to death and reached the same conclusions over 10 years ago, when IR35 was a "live" issue. These days there doesn't seem to be anything new, except the Jimmy Carr reference and the inevitable few contractors who still think they can get away with it (or their lawyers, who really should know better by now - surely it's wandering into the realms of professional misconduct for them still to be advising clients that they can avoid their taxes in this way?).

Most contractors of that era just did what I did: go "legit" and bump your rates up to make up the difference. Job done.

2
3

French ministers told to use only secure comms post-PRISM

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: France and secure communication

> Verlan is a technique in which the french reverse all of the sylables in a word.

So you're advocating that politicians speak in incomprehensible ways? A fine tradition that already goes back 40 or 50 years. (Though, admittedly, one that american presidents seem to be particularly good at, so maybe they would understand what was meant - even if it boggles the rest of humanity.)

However considering that we're talking about keeping comms safe from american spies, surely all that's needed to confound and confuse them are a few kg's, cm's and the odd è or é scattered through the text.

1
0

Twitter announces it's going public, via Twitter

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: How can they print money?

> convincing the gully-bird public to buy shares

While hoping that twitterers' memories are as short as their tweets and that they've forgotten what happened with the Facebook floatation.

As for long-term growth: how does 150 characters sound? (100 for you, 50 for the advertisers)

0
0

Tell me why I don't like Moon days: Bob Geldof heads into SPAAACE

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Tell me why I don't like Moon days

... and probably the only BTR hit that most people could name. [ scrabble for Wiki ensues, followed by "what about ...." ]

Although there was the intriguingly titled (I Never Loved) Eva (von???) Braun on Tonic for the Troops. Maybe after this, he will feel better about the family name?

0
0

Startup claims 1W wireless charging at 10 metres

Pete 2
Silver badge

That burning smell

You would hope there would be some sort of regulations about how many of these could be installed within range of each other. While the article talks about 1 "charger", what happens if your premises puts one in, the shop next door installs one, too - as well as a utility device in the shopping centre and possibly another in the offices above the public area.

A few of these, close together could give the Walkie Talkie building a run for its money in the death ray charts if multiple chargers all locked on to your (pocketed) iPhone at the same time.

1
0

Should Nominet ban .uk domains that use paedo and crim-friendly words?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Quite the opposite

> considering rejecting registrations if they feature keywords linked to criminality

As anyone who's worked with Microchip's PIC processors will know, doing a web search for "pic" throws up millions of pages of garbage [ using the standard internet definition, garbage: anything not related to what I want to see ] and makes the name PIC a positive pain to find stuff for and presumably a liabilty for their marketing department.

So maybe instead of banning words that, at present have an association with dubious activities, but which tomorrow could have changed their meanings completely and been replaced by other "naughty" words - maybe Nominet should be positively encouraging as many people as possible to register sites with those words, close spellings or them, combinations and other possibile dodgy terms. That way the baddies, to some extent, be thwarted in their quest for naughtiness and might accidentally stumble upon something that's pure and good and right and might learn to mend their evil ways.

The only problem might be if you find that your mum has logged on to your honeytrap website ...

1
0

Bin half-baked Raspberry Pi hubs, says Pimoroni: Try our upper-crust kit

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: The least of its problems

> You're forgetting/ignoring RPi was designed for a specific purpose

Nope, nothing forgotten here. It's important to understand that this is a suggestion for a model C (per. the post) and not as a replacement / substitute for the existing boards.

Since the hardware is open source, there is scope (though nobody has taken it up yet) for any other manufacturer to produce the current board or any future improved Pi - even with their own custom additions. As it is, pretty much all the later hobbyist SBCs have gone for bigger, better, faster processors and beefed up I-O, memory and facitilites. While the Model-B fills a niche, you'd kinda home the original developers weren't resting on their laurels and had some plans for a refresh.

1
7
Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: The least of its problems

> You can pry my ethernet port from my cold dead hands.

You could still stick to the model B (superglue is an additional cost)

2
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

The least of its problems

> one of the tiny ARM-based computer’s signal limitations: too few USB ports

In my experience, the number of USB ports on the Pi is a small matter. Ther are other design points that are more important to improve.

If anyone was planning on designing a "model C", I'd suggest dumping the Ethernet port, in favour of a Wifi device. Moving the ports around so they don't come out of all sides (possibly start by changing the SD card for a micro-SD), thus making it easier to integrate into other equipment. Adding some onboard flash, to obviate the need for an external card - though keeping the option for one.

It would also be nice if the board had (at least) a reset button, or, better, a header to break one out to a front panel. Do the same for some user addressable LEDs, so that the embedded version of "Hello World" doesn't need any hardware hacking and add an audio input port and you'd get to compete with the current best hobby SBC products like Cubieboard-2 and Olimex's A13

1
23

Shop-a-suspect web security system: 'We've helped cops nab 100 suspects'

Pete 2
Silver badge

Innocent until ...

> They had no numbers on the number of convictions that arose from those arrests

Which is a shame, as that is the only statistic that matters.

Being arrested is not an indication that you've done anything wrong

Getting charged is no indication of guilt

Going to court doesn't make you a criminal

The only two possibilities for being classed a "baddie" is if you either plead guily (or accept a caution), or if a court finds you guilty and any appeals don't exonerate you.

I realise there is a huge "There's no smoke without fire" contingent who will naturally assume you're a fully paid-up member of the underworld is a police-person (or even the cheap plastic variety) so much as looks at you, but these individuals need to have their biases adjusted.

13
0

Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

Pete 2
Silver badge

Mathew 7:7

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you"

Or: Only open a can of worms if you plan to go fishing.

The "news" here isn't so much that the Beeb has a particular political leaning, it's that the BBC Trust chose to pay an organisation that would find that they had such a bias. I'm sure that if they'd chosen another organisation to review their output they could have obtained a completely different outcome.

The legal profession has a saying: Never ask a question unless you know the answer. I would hope that the BBC Trust has at least that much political nous, and that they got no surprises at all with the results that they paid for.

The only other question that comes to mind is: why would they have done this? Charter renewal coming up in a few years. perhaps?

10
3

Now we know why UK spooks simply shrugged at SSL encryption

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: The code-ring on the golf course

> messages sent between foreign powers and their embassies

Don't *all* governments use one-time-pads for this sort of crypto. Definitely not the commercial quality stuff that you or I ever get to see.

It would be nice to think that the more sensitive commercial stuff was sent that way, too. However I'd be amazed if more than a few multinationals had the ability or security to operate at that level.

s/2223/2023/ ?

0
4

OK, forget the 3D telly fiasco: 4K is gonna blow you away - say tech giants

Pete 2
Silver badge

Too small

> an oversized and overpriced digital photo frame

Wouldn't be any use.

A quick calculation shows that a 16:9 "4K" (i.e. 4,000 horizontal pixels) screen would only have a resolution of a piffling 9 MPix. Anyone who's willing to splurge the cost of this on a screen will certainly have a state of the art digital camera (or even phone) that has a far, far higher resolution than this screen could ever display.

0
0