* Posts by handle

819 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

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Re: I love Bluetooth

I agree that there are a lot of ludicrous Bluetooth-enabled devices, but for this one there is definitely method in the madness, because it allows the motor to be switched on and off without having to run a very obvious wire from it to the control on the handlebars.

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UberEats into food delivery with new app launch in London

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Destroy the competition

When you're sitting on a huge pile of cash you can subsidise new ventures like this in order to destroy the competition, and then you can charge what you like and the consumer is the loser.

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Flash. Bang. Wallet: Marcher crooks target UK Android users

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Re: If you are using your phone for 2FA

When 2FA becomes sweet FA...

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Verification image

Santander (and probably others) has for a long time shown you an image previously selected by them, and a phrase previously entered by you, after you have entered your customer number, but before you enter your secret information. Assuming the user is awake, this ought to defeat attacks which present the same spoof site to every user.

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Re: why it's Droid-only

Except this isn't, for once, a Flash vulnerability. It appears to be another vector which just pretends to be something to do with Flash in order to get the user to execute it. 99% of Apple users won't know their device doesn't use Flash so would behave in the same way anyway.

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New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy

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Re: In terms of watts per dollar...

@Killing Time: the thing you've overlooked is the much higher efficiency of hot water production from solar thermal than from diverting exported solar PV into immersion heaters. I looked into the latter in some detail as I have solar PV, and besides the relatively small amount of hot water you'll get, you need things like a large EMI filter and a lots of heatsinking. At least in the UK, PV plus thermal is the best way to go.

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Re: Science is a filthy tease...

@Andrew Jones 2: I haven't noticed any efficiency drop in my 5 year old PV installation so far, though I accept the capacitors in the inverter might not last for ever.

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Re: Science is a filthy tease...

@Spit the dog: have you really not worked out that if the energy produced by the installation over its lifetime is far more than that embodied in it by the use of "Mongolian coal!!" (and it is), then the net result is beneficial?

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Re: Barking in the wrong forest.

No (isolating) transformer is required by law to connect solar panels to the grid - is that different for wind turbines?

One thing you can't get away from is large capacitors to store the charge necessary to produce mains AC frequency.

The enormous variation in the power of the wind makes it hard to design something that will produce anything useful at all most of the time without destroying itself in a storm. Turbines also create vibration and noise (you will soon regret bolting one to the side of the house) and require maintenance. A car alternator's front bearing isn't designed to cope with the forces imposed on it by large wind vanes. You would also need to protect the alternator from the weather. People have tried to stick propellors on car alternators for decades with very little success.

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Helium... No. Do you think this is some kind of game? Toshiba intros 8TB desktop drive

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@Len Goddard

Somebody needs to step away from the keyboard...

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Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

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"the stylus became part of the detritus... in the bottom of my laptop bag"

Yes, that was a big mistake - unlike Samsung Notes, there is no holster for the stylus. I'd much rather have a slightly less comfortable slimmer stylus than none at all because it's been lost or left at home. Oh, and as it knows when the stylus is in the holster, it can be programmed to save power by not looking for it when it knows it's not there.

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"the battery discharges even whilst powered off."

Ah, fond memories of the Original EEE PC in 2008 - I sent mine back twice for motherboard replacement to fix this fault and of course as it didn't, then got a refund.

Just opened my "eee" folder on Yahoo Mail to check that for the first time in more than 5 years. Only took it a couple of seconds to retrieve that from who knows where...

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"Why on Earth would a non-responsive bluetooth module stop a laptop from sleeping?"

@Jeffrey Nonken: because it's a hardware fault. You have a broken computer. The OS doesn't know, for instance, if the Bluetooth module is in a mode where it's slurping power at maximum rate and so will flatten the battery rapidly while everything else is asleep. Maybe its designers responded to angry complaints from similarly-afflicted users that their batteries go flat in sleep mode, and decided that honesty was the best policy: the OS shouldn't make promises it can't keep?

You can't blame any OS for not miraculously finding a way to work properly on broken hardware. Who knows - maybe the Surface Pro is being similarly dishonest about a hardware irregularity, leading to the "sleep of death" that people are complaining about?

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'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

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Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

...which is ironic as not so long ago it was Microsoft that was forcing us away from that.

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Re: A: he is not a real musician

Yes, you missed at least four things here (having read the original blog and then checked to see if The Reg had picked it up):

- You can only download it again while you have internet access (obvious but still important)

- The system can conflate different versions of the same song, replacing one with another

- Apple doesn't support WAV files, so the original material has now been compressed

- If you take up the 3 month free subscription to Apple Music and then cancel it, all your music is gone forever, apparently.

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What's wrong with the Daily Mail buying Yahoo?

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Re: Yahoo

TBF, spam does auto-expire and the filtering is of similar effectiveness to other providers in my experience.

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Ubuntu plugs code exec, DoS Linux kernel holes

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Re: Updates issued for still-supported OS version!

Are you new here? Since when has "newsworthy" been a necessary criterion for a Register article?

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Google, Facebook's CAPTCHAs vanquished by security researchers

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Can you solve this Captcha?

"They were also able to spin up a virtual host that assumed the necessary identifying criteria of a legitimate user and could then generate clean cookies to solve CAPTCHAs out of the normal bounds."

I'm trying to make sense of this sentence, and I'm a human being (I think).

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India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

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Re: Dull

They're not necessarily ferociously bright but ferociously focussed.

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What is a "normal" light bulb? Incandescent is distinctly retro even now. But even more retro are clear glass LED filament lamps, which bear a passable resemblance to incandescent filaments but consist of hundreds of tiny LEDs in series in a common phoshor-impregnated silicone rubber coating.

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LED rear lights

"Makes me wonder how you can screw that up if you have a frigging 12 V direct current power supply that you can just connect to those LEDs directly."

Because running them with more current at a low duty cycle generates less heat for the same subjective brightness, which means you can use cheaper LEDs (and also consume less power).

"To make matters worse, some models have it, some don't, and sometimes it's within the same make."

Running at different frequencies I guess. The higher the frequency the greater the switching losses, i.e. heat generated in the driver circuit. Driver circuitry has become more efficient over the years.

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Solus: A welcome ground-up break from the Linux herd

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"One thing that's less clear, is who Solus is really for."

Quite. Especially a new package management system. Package management has lots of subtleties and I'd be interested to know what's wrong with the highly mature Debian or RPM systems.

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Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

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The last mile

"The same "last mile" losses would largeky also apply if generation was decentralized and/or micro-generation became widespread."

Why? I've got plenty of neighbours to use the energy I generate.

But I'm glad that's the only thing you disagree with.

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Clean energy is the result of the subsidy, and its substatial level kick-started the market with the result that prices have dropped so there are still companies offering free solar installations. But I'm sure you are surveying every visible and invisible roof in your area at regular intervals to come to the authoritative conclusion that no more panels are being fitted.

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Who would have thought, even 10 years ago, that the average householder would be able to afford solar cells at the scale required to cover their roof to generate at the kW level? And even when I had mine installed, the prospect of being able to store significant amounts of that at home was a pipe dream, yet it's now possible if still a little bit out of most people's league.

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Re: What we need ..

Lightning strikes would provide a minuscule amount. Don't be fooled by their dramatic nature; the energy available per unit time per unit area is insignificant.

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Re: Electric Cars: Rich People

Not as much massive increase as you might think. Better load management on the grid (even to the extent of getting your fridge to switch off for 5 minutes to shave the peaks), micro-generation (reducing the distance the energy has to be transported), and storage technologies like the ones discussed, which can also be placed close to areas of consumption as they don't emit pollution and don't have to be huge, and can be charged dynamically in response to grid capacity variations.

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handle

"Another thing, where is all of this electricity coming from?"

From renewables producing at the the time, and the same technology being used to store energy from renewables not producing at the time.

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

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I wish people would search for an answer before shooting from the hip

"They keep very quiet about how much of the fee they keep for 'administration'": "The TV Licensing Costs of Collection chart, below, sets out the total licence fee revenue collected and collection costs over the last five years."

How much cheaper do you think it would be to add it to the council tax, given that it would then have to be adminstered by every local authority rather than one central agency, and, as you say, you'd still have to go through the rigmarole of collecting and maintaining the extra information required?

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Re: Is it really about subscription?

The BBC had no choice but to create the iPlayer and other internet outlets or it would have sunk without trace years ago now. The loophole is due to the time it takes legislation to catch up; you could argue that it was the government that created the loophole by not reacting in a more timely fashion to the emergence of new technology.

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The trouble with that is that it takes away any independence, because it is far easier for government to take away the funding should the broadcaster upset them. Russian TV, anyone?

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Re: I don't watch the BBC on any channel or delivery system.

No, you don't have to pay, In the same way that if I never watch any commercial TV, I don't have to pay for it in the cost of anything I ever buy that's advertised on it, or not advertised on it because competitors don't have to reduce their prices.

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Re: Then start showing ads

The TV licence has always been per household, as a moment's research on the internet will reveal.

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Crowd-funded OpenShot 2.0 delivers graphic Linux package

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Blender's still the only one that can do multi-camera natively, I guess!

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"Given the general instability of other Linux video editors"

...or Audacity in the audio domain. It locks up if you press buttons too quickly, rather like a mechanical typewriter.

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Brit uni rattles tin for ultra-low latency audio board

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USB Keyboard

@Hans 1: your USB keyboard controls a software synthesiser running on the CPU, something that this board will not be able to replace. I know jackd has far less latency than ALSA but I doubt you'd notice any improvement over that.

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Surprise! British phone wins Best Product at Mobile World Congress

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Re: Great news

Really? I wasn't aware that we are being flooded with EU-made phones. Never heard of China?

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In this Facebook and Google-owned world, it's time to rethink privacy

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Subtle FB privacy invasion

An example I noticed recently: it used to be the case that when you forbade photo tagging on Facebook, no-one could tag you in a photo. Now, without obtaining my consent, the policy has changed to allow tagging but to notify you so that you can remove it. Result: Facebook now learns what your face looks like.

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

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Re: power consumption nightmare

Not always wasted - just wasted most of the time (like when you're not there) and becoming a nuisance some of the time (like when it's too hot). Still daft to be carrying on in that way.

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Looks like another power consumption nightmare. You could probably do that with a Raspberry Pi with a couple of 2.5" external drives (or even SSDs) nowadays.

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Stanford boffins snuff out li-ion batt blaze risk

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Re: Fixing what?

I guess being actually inside the cell, these will react much more quickly to overheating electrolyte than an external polyfuse.

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Chinese unleash autonomous airborne taxi

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Re: Alternatives

You could always see if Pavegen were interested.

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Re: Wheels

...and "floor" is just that, as opposed to "main road", "side of building", "lake", "school playground", etc, etc.

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Re: "Ahhh.. pedestrians, off with there heads."

Ahhh... those who can't spell, off with they're heads.

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Feeling abandoned by Adobe? Check out the video editing suites for penguins

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Re: Multi-camera edits

Belated thanks for your comprehensive reply - I shall try it out when I next need to do some multi-camera editing!

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Multi-camera edits

I was surprised how hard it was to find a package which would accept files from even two cameras recording simultaneously and allow you to do simple cuts between them. In the end I used Blender, which of course is scarily complicated given all the other things it can do.

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Beyond iTunes: XML boffins target sheet music

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Re: xml to midi

MuseScore and no doubt others can do that.

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Re: The browser is the least of the problems...

And open source.

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Has Voyager 1 escaped the Sun yet? Yes, but also no, say boffins

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It shouldn't take any looking up to know how to spell "kHz".

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O2 joins Virgin Media as member of weak crypto software club

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Weak passwords

Don't forget that Virgin Media insists on both a maximum password length and no special characters. Other security howlers shouldn't come as a surprise.

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