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* Posts by Scott 1

77 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

Scott 1
Coat

Giant golfer? Not likely.

A giant golfer's divot would probably result in a shallower depression with a soil/debris spread generally in only one direction.

Now, they may have been creating a hole for a game of giant *golf*, but that wouldn't necessarily involve giant golfers.

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NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

Scott 1

Surely this means that all whistle blower interviews will now be held in a remote location, miles from any nearby AC electrical sources, using only equipment run on DC provided by a battery?

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You know what today's movies need? MORE DRONES

Scott 1

I hope they're successful

There are a lot of potential uses in Civil Engineering circles. Structural inspections, aerial mapping and photography, watershed studies, geologic hazard investigations, environmental investigations, etc. etc. If these film guys make some headway, maybe that'll open some doors for us, too.

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Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Scott 1

Re: Not so smart; desperate housewife is desperate.

"I don't seem to recall Jobs presenting snake-oil-merchant slides to diss the competition;"

Really? Almost every one of this major keynote speeches had at least one slide to that effect. He has snubbed the names of the Android versions, high percentages of Android devices on old OS versions (like Cook just did), the smaller number of apps available for Android vs iThings, build quality of Android devices, etc. etc.

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USA! USA! ... Aw, screw it. Motorola to close Texas smartphone plant

Scott 1

One trick pony

The problem here seems to be the fact that this facility existed solely for the purpose of producing a mildly interesting, under-powered phone (relative to the competition) with a few quirky features and customization options that didn't really catch on.

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US citizens want stricter CO2 regulations by two to one – Yale poll

Scott 1

Begging the question

The major problem here has to do with fallacies in the survey question. It states that the policy would "reduce climate change and improve public health" as a foregone conclusion. While we have all had the debate about the causes of climate change ad nauseum, I cannot find any credible evidence that increased levels of CO2, in and of itself, would negatively impact human health. The question also ignores the major negative impact on public health and the environment that higher energy costs, via impacts to the economy, would cause.

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Philips lobs patent sueball at Nintendo in US: Seeks to BAN Wii U

Scott 1

Patents take a long time for approval

The patents were initially filed in 2002 or something like that, but were only approved a couple of years ago. That would explain the delay.

As I said in another post, though, please don't mistake this observation as a defense of Phillips in this matter. I think the patents should be invalidated because they are taking a throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks kind of approach. They don't really describe a specific means for accomplishing anything. Also, I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could probably find prior art.

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Scott 1

Re: "a user interface system based on pointing device"

Mind you, I'm not defending Phillips on this one. However, they do also mention in the second patent actions triggered by gyroscopic or accelerometer inputs. Button inputs are also depicted in their appended drawings.

However, the whole patent reeks of a throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks approach. I thought the object of these things was to protect *specific* inventions and innovations.

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Indian climate boffins: Himalayan glaciers are NOT MELTING

Scott 1

Re: Alarmists, get in line!

If the IPCC is correct, it might not be a particularly "cold" war this time.

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Scott 1
Coat

Re: Alarmists, get in line!

I guess we'll need to get away from the "global climate change" and back to the "global warming" moniker, first. Nothing too terribly difficult. I'm sure we could have it sorted within a week or so.

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WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Scott 1

"Some 89 per cent of Americans have a choice between at least two broadband companies - so why not switch?"

I currently have a choice of 5 or 6 different broadband providers. The two best ones mostly don't suck, and one of the two charges outrageous fees based on the amount of data used. You could say that I have a choice (and in reality I realize that I do), but it's really not much of a choice.

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How Google's Android Silver could become 'Wintel for phones'

Scott 1

No, but it might put Google in their place (if all the hardware manufacturers participate). Of course, corporate politics and the "tragedy of the commons" being as they are, this is very doubtful.

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Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete

Scott 1

Re: Why bother with...

You're new here, aren't you?

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Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

Scott 1

Re: WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION....

Considering how old Chewie's supposed to be, this might work out better than you think.

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Scott 1

Re: "BuzzFelch"? WTF?

You don't think The Register knows the definition of a slang term describing a deviant sexual act?

Are you new here?

I wouldn't be too surprised if The Register *invented* the act.

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Our irony meter exploded: Apple moans ebook price-fixing watchdog is too EXPENSIVE

Scott 1

Re: Monopoly Power

True, but considering that U.S. Judges consider "precedent" set as far back as the late 1700s in their rulings (and sometimes precedent set during the Roman empire), I would say that it's both relatively *very* recent and quite relevant.

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US senator asks: Will Bitcoin replace Swiss bank accounts?

Scott 1

The point?

I thought one of the points to bitcoin is that it's a non-national currency, so it will make it easier for *everyone* to conduct business across state/provincial/national lines, both the savory and unsavory characters. The ultimate question is whether we want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater in this case. I would argue that we do not. Surely there must be other, less "Orwellian" methods of tracking down criminals than monitoring everyone's bank accounts and currency transfers.

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Call yourself a 'hacker', watch your ex-boss seize your PC without warning

Scott 1

Re: So nobody told this judge that the word 'hacker' has several different meanings?

I think he means that in a Big-Brother, 1984-style manner. In other words, "liberal" = communist/socialist. Let's face it, many liberals are (whether you realize it or not).

Note that I said liberal, not Democrat or Republican. There are many Republicans that are quite liberal and several Democrats that are not.

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Anatomy of a killer bug: How just 5 characters can murder iPhone, Mac apps

Scott 1

Re: Signed lengths

"It's also useful to have -1 available to represent 'no such number'; for example, the length of a file that doesn't exist. Use 0 would be wrong because it's a legitimate value. More generally, having invalid representations adds redundancy which can help error checking."

Wouldn't this be a good case to use the humble "null" value rather than resorting to signed integers?

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Village-swallowing MUDCANO was no accident, say boffins

Scott 1

Re: Voting iregularities?

It's also odd how stories involving wells and fracking bring out so many mining and drilling "experts" eager to enlighten us with their "knowledge."

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Scott 1
IT Angle

I work with drillers every day in a Geotechnical engineering firm. You're right that there is no way for us to know what's underground prior to drilling, so drillers pretty much have to expect the unexpected all the time. In my opinion, they're culpable since their actions led to the disaster -- this is what insurance is for. Our drillers do things by the book, and we still sometimes (very infrequently) have borehole collapses that cause damage to houses, sidewalks, roads, etc. It goes with the business.

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Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

Scott 1
Stop

Re: Are you telling me...

Hey, we sometimes let the Canadians come down and play with us :P

(Yeah, calling it the "World Series" is kinda dumb).

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Obama weighs in on NSA surveillance imbroglio

Scott 1
Stop

Re: I agree completely

From my point of view, here's what you essentially just said:

Sure, Mr. Obama is a jerk with no respect for individual liberty, just like all my other elected representatives, but at least he's a liar who breaks his promises, too!

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Greenland ice SIMPLY WOULD NOT MELT in baking +8°C era 120k years ago

Scott 1

Fuel is licked

At least the fuel thing is licked. Fracking in the U.S. has found enough energy reserves to last a very long time, and new nuclear designs can take over from there.

As for water: Desalination would work for people living near the coast (thanks to abundant energy supplies), but ultimately you're right. The people living inland will eventually need to start trucking in their water or find another solution, if one even exists. One solution is to use economics to balance water usage. Right now in the U.S., water is being sold at insanely cheap rates in locations that have dwindling water supplies. This leads to high consumption and no immediate incentive to conserve. You can use this to restrict consumption down to a level more closely approaching the replenishment rate of the aquifers.

As for food, scientists and researchers are working on it. They already know how to raise lots more food using much smaller plots of land than what is currently used. I don't know why they don't do it yet, but I'm sure there's a reason (expense, scalability, etc.).

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Humans becoming steadily STUPIDER, says brainiac boffin

Scott 1
Pirate

Re: Well,

That only holds true if you believe YouTube commenters are a good representative sample of humanity. If they are, we're doomed.

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Scott 1
Stop

Me fail IQ test? That's un-possible!

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Foxconn: THESE child workers were NOT making Apple products

Scott 1

Re: Long "working" hours, unhealthy conditions, disgusting dorms

Apple now employs far more workers in the US today than it did when manufacturing of its products was done in the US. The reason is because the labor cost savings were put to R&D, which led to the development of the top-selling iProducts. With that money, they were able to open the fabulous Apple stores, leading to them employ thousands more employees in the US alone. This was a case where outsourcing seems to have created jobs here.

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Motorola's Germany Xbox sales ban castrated by US judges

Scott 1

Re: So the US are saying that.....

"Well I say sod off to them, how dare a district court in the US that can't enforce all its decisions inside the US due to different state laws think it has the right to dictate to another country."

The district courts are Federal courts, and Federal law trumps state law. The idea that federal court filings can't be enforced due to state laws is false.

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Governments block YouTube over that video

Scott 1

Re: Jesus-H-Christ

The largest mass-murders in modern history killed innocents in the pursuit of atheistic social philosophies (Lenin/Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Ho-Chi-Minh, etc).

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Profs: Massive use of wind turbines WON'T destroy the environment

Scott 1
FAIL

You rather missed the point. The authors were talking about meeting 1/2 of the energy demand *in 2030.* How are the wind turbines supposed to do that when:

a) They would only meet about half of today's requirements

and

b) World energy consumption is going up, not down?

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Ocean-seeding experiment re-ignites geo-engineering debate

Scott 1

Re: Your Byline

Sorry, that should be subheading, not byline.

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Scott 1
Mushroom

Your Byline

I take extreme exception to your byline.

"Destroy the planet to save it…"

This is a clear slander of the scientists and engineers who are working toward an engineering solution to maintain an optimal climate for humanity and the natural systems that are important to us. Maybe their research will be fruitful and save thousands of lives, or maybe the whole idea is garbage, but how the hell will we know unless someone studies it? The last thing those scientists need is some know-nothing snarky reporter making snide comments clearly designed to poison readers' attitudes against the research. Watch it in the future, please. Your biases need to be kept to yourself and should *never* be reflected in your writing.

By the way, if I misunderstood you (which I sincerely hope is the case) I apologize.

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Hitchhiker shot while researching 'Kindness of America'

Scott 1

His research

Just led to a very prominent data point.

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Climate scientists see 'tipping point' ahead

Scott 1

Re: I like the sound of the homebrew...

"We live in a fine balance between ice age and global warming, either of which will have a devastating effect on our species. And we're definitely not in control of what happens in a geological time-scale sense, but maybe we have some ability to control it in the short term?"

Agreed. I like the idea of looking for ways to control it in the short term. Maybe it's time for the engineers of Earth to get the creative mental juices flowing about possible technological solutions to the potential problems. Maybe we can "have our cake and eat it, too" so to speak.

Before we can get the necessary conversations going to start this process on a global scale, we must build upon a foundation of respect for one another (as was previously suggested). This begins with understanding:

- The scientists are correct that we will hit an environmental tipping point at some time in the future (whether man-made, completely natural, or a bit of both) and the human species probably will be greatly impacted by it.

- On the other hand, the "skeptic" / "denier" (or whatever you want to label them) crowd has a good point that the solutions proposed thus far appear untenable and could very well cause more death, destruction, and general human misery than the environmental catastrophes they are intended to avert.

- The vast majority of both sides are honestly concerned and truly want what's best for themselves and for humanity in general.

- There are evil elements on both sides who are interested only in advancing an agenda that benefits themselves or something they care about at the expense of all others.

At the heart of this discussion will two essentially conflicting viewpoints: The anthropocentric philosophy and the Gaia philosophy. The anthropocentric philosophy holds that the advancement of humanity is the highest goal. To this philosophy all other things, including nature, are only important in so far as they help support and advance humanity. The Gaia philosophy holds that nature is the highest goal, and to most adherents it has a "holy" status that is defiled by human contact (hence the phrase "unspoiled nature"). To this philosophy humanity is only important in so far as it helps to support and protect nature.

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US space programme in shock metric conversion

Scott 1
Stop

Re: Not likely.

Does the U.S. government require that:

- all our scales read in pounds?

- our food containers are measured in ounces and pounds?

- our drinks are usually measured in ounces, pints, quarts, and gallons?

- our meteorologists report the temperature in Fahrenheit?

- our sports teams measure their fields, courts, and arenas in feet?

- our construction industries primarily refer to feet and inches when specifying material sizes?

(side note: many government construction contracts use metric)

- our sportscasters talk about a linebacker's size in feet and pounds or a baseball pitcher's speed in mph?

AFAIK, the only thing our federal gov't can do is *recommend* that the states label their highways and roadways in kilometers and KPH.

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Japanese operator to test quake-proof floating phone-mast BLIMPS

Scott 1

RE: Andrew Burt

I think the point of this is to have a reliable backup in case the existing buildings and cell sites that you speak of are no longer -- um -- existing.

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SpaceX sets new blastoff date for Dragon: 19 May

Scott 1
Trollface

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

Would you rather a space doo-hickey designed by a government bureaucracy and built by the lowest bidder using only parts and technologies available in the 1970s and early 1980s?

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550,000-strong army of Mac zombies spreads across world

Scott 1

I'd shed a tear but it'd be crocodile-flavoured (is that kinda chicken-y?).

I can't say about crocodile, but I've had alligator on several occasions. That is indeed rather chicken-y.

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Google shows off Project Glass augmented reality specs

Scott 1
Go

Processing power?

Apple's Siri (and several other imitators) work by shifting the voice processing off to the "cloud," meaning that your device just needs wifi/cellular to work. Of course, even with all the seemingly supernatural capabilities of the "cloud" (if the marketing folks are to be believed), my Android phone using Google's voice recognition services only gets it right about 25% of the time, often with comedic results.

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Arizona bill makes it illegal to 'annoy or offend' online

Scott 1
Trollface

"Rough-and-ready westerners or dainty shrinking violets?"

As a former Arizonian, I would like to point out that this law was probably the brainchild of some pansy Californian immigrants, likely from San Francisco. You know the type. They usually have a common first name, but omit a redundant consonant -- typically the letter "c" from a "ck" combination.

;-P

P.S. Have I annoyed you enough? I'm glad I don't still live in Arizona, then.

P.P.S. It's a good thing I moved, because I'm sure at least half of what I post online would land me in jail under this new law, and I'm relatively nice compared to most :)

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Disappearing bees mystery: Boffins finger regicide pesticides

Scott 1

Consequences

"...it seems reckless to do anything other than place a ban on the use of the these agents in farms and gardens while their affects are more closely studied."

So they can switch to the more toxic alternatives?

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Angry Birds in spaaaaace beamed to fandroids by NASA

Scott 1

Re: "Us" winphone owners?

Wow, both win phone users read el reg!

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Google tramples over Euro data protection law – French watchdog

Scott 1
WTF?

What?!

Do you mean that Google will make use of the information that I willingly give them while I voluntarily use the typically very good (but admittedly crappy, on occasion) services that they provide to me for absolutely no charge?! How dare they! Government bureaucrats worldwide *must* unite to quell this evil and vile threat to my anonymized privacy!

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Melting Arctic leads to snowy winters

Scott 1

Re: another topic for hateradio

"Science is now determined not by truth or experiment, but by politics"

Funny, that's what the right has been saying for at least the past two decades...

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Texan TSA crew accused of nude scanner ogling scheme

Scott 1
Big Brother

Re: Re: Re: On the upside

"I avoid travelling through the USA now, preferring to do UK to Aus/NZ through Asia. Nicer people, nicer food, and they don't force my luggage open."

A wise decision. I live in the U.S. and have had things stolen from my luggage, too, including, of all things, the guest book from my wedding (we got married about 1,800 miles from home so my wife's grandmother could attend the wedding). On top of this, several other expensive, fragile gifts were broken because of them. They were originally wrapped and placed in the center of the suitcase, surrounded by padding, but after the TSA thieves rummaged about in my bag, they tossed the fragile stuff on top -- practically guaranteeing that they'd be broken.

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Apple's Chinese labourers get 1.6 per cent of iPad loot - report

Scott 1
Stop

Re: Really?

Maybe Apple should just go ahead and rename the iPad 3 something else. Then, The Chinese government will have no legal reason to block sales or exports of the iPad 3, or whatever Apple chooses to call it. Maybe it's time to rethink the whole "i" thing now?

Let's not forget that El Reg has already claimed "Fondlestab" (or is that a general British thing? -- it's tough to tell on this side of the pond, sometimes).

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An NT-powered Windows Phone? Not so fast...

Scott 1
Pint

I'm not sure why you got down-voted twice. What you posted is 100% accurate, and (if my memory serves me correctly) was one of the selling points of the original iPhone to the geek/developer crowd.

Also, fwiw, I remember when the common usage of IOS was in reference to Cisco gear.

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MasterCard joins Visa in pushing PINs into America

Scott 1
FAIL

The merchants actually win in this case. Right now, they are the ones who pay the most in cases of fraud.

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Scott 1
Coat

The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it! </Grandpa Simpson>

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America abandoning DSL in favour of faster cable

Scott 1
Black Helicopters

"Unfortunately telephone companies are afraid they might have to rent those out to competitors, so they install the dead-end of passive splitter networks."

From what I understand, this fear drives a lot of what they do. Yet another reason the government regulation B.S. needs to go away now.

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