* Posts by /dev/null

236 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

/dev/null

Re: Are Men Really More Intelligent Than Women?

"You have to be courageous, naïve or stupid to talk about sex differences in intelligence or indeed sex differences in anything."

Courageous, naïve, stupid or IN DRINK. I suspect Sir Tim may have been the latter at this "lunch".

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Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

/dev/null

"Concorde was a joint Anglo-French project that ran between January 1976 until ..."

Actually... the Concorde project started in 1962, the first Concorde flew in 1969, and the first scheduled service was in 1976.

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VirtualBox 5.0 beta four graduates to become first release candidate

/dev/null

Ah, but...

When comparing VB with VMware or whatever, it's worth remembering that while VB itself is GPL'd, the VB Extension Pack is not open source and it's licence says it's only free of charge for personal use or product evaluation.

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That EVIL TEXT that will CRASH your iPhone: We pop the hood

/dev/null

Re: Amiga coders lecacy, perhaps?

Well you'd HOPE you'd find something useful in the 68000's reset vector location... ;-)

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Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

/dev/null

"You sure this was down to the keyfob? IIRC VW Group cars (SEAT, Golfs, etc.) can do that by putting the key into the driver's side, and then turning and holding the key one way."

VW remote locking fobs work the same way - holding the button down has the same effect as turning and holding the key. As I proved when I found my car's windows down one morning after I had been crawling about under the floorboards with the car key in my pocket the previous evening...

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Volkswagen Passat GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190 PS 6spd DSG

/dev/null

Re: Heated steering wheel???

You obviously weren't driving to work in central Scotland in the winter of 2010/2011...you'd be surprised how cold a steering wheel can get.

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/dev/null

Re: the illusion of choice

Well, actually the latest Golf, Passat, Octavia, Leon, A3, and this year's new Superb (among others) were all designed using the MQB "modular transverse construction kit" (probably the best translation of the German), so the old distinction between different VW Group "platforms" is becoming quite blurred.

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Crowdfunded ZX Spectrum revival just days from shipment

/dev/null
WTF?

Those keys...

Still trying to think of ANY Spectrum game that could be played with just the keys 1, 2, F, R and S...

I mean, you need J and P just to type LOAD "" for a start (hence the name of the original DOS-based ZX Spectrum simulator, "JPP").

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Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual

/dev/null

Re: Rockets... no really...

You're spot on there, I have a distinct memory of seeing Mr Bond on the telly, when the HOTOL project was in the news (1986?), using a ZX Spectrum at home to crunch some kind of numbers for it. Proof, if proof were needed, that the Spectrum was a REAL computer!

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Citroën C4 Cactus BlueHDi: A funky urban crossover

/dev/null

Re: No rev counter

Various reasons. I like to limit the revs while the engine is cold. It's useful sometimes to have an accurate indication of idle speed. Sometimes you forget to change up to 5th (or 6th) until the tachometer reminds you. On some cars the engine can be so quiet, the tachometer is the best way to ascertain whether it's actually running. I once had a car which developed a crankshaft position sensor fault - I now know that erratic tachometer behaviour that doesn't match what you can hear is a symptom of that (pity the RAC guy didn't know this at the time though). And I just like machines that give me information on what's happening inside them.

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/dev/null

Re: No rev counter

I'd rather have gauges for stuff instead of indicator lights too - and some of that "stuff" is how fast the engine is going round!

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/dev/null

Re: On mirrors on the left and the right

TFA mentions *vanity* mirrors, not door mirrors - the car clearly has two of those in the photos. I presume only one vanity mirror is one of the Cactus's weight/cost-saving measures, like not having a split rear seat.

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Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

/dev/null

Re: IOMMU?

Perzackly. IOMMUs (in the classic sense, as described in the Minix paper) combine the concepts of virtual memory and DMA and have been around for yonks. VT-d/AMD-Vi, on the other hand, does the same thing for virtual *machines*, and is rather newer.

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DRONE ALONE: US Navy secretary gives up on manned fighters

/dev/null

That's all great in theory, but AFAIK, nobody is seriously talking yet about UAVs with air-to-air capability that could mix it with a manned fighter in a dogfight.

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/dev/null

Err, it's the F-35B that's the VSTOL/STOVL variant, the F-35C is the CATOBAR one.

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Android lands on Microsoft's money-machine island fortress

/dev/null

Never understood why they used Windows (and OS/2 before that, and DOS before that) on ATMs. There's always been far more appropriate approaches to driving what amounts to a screen, modem, keypad, card reader and cash drawer.

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All Mac owners should migrate to OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 ASAP

/dev/null

Actually, OS X Security Update 2015-004 (see https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204659 ) which includes the CVE-2015-1130 fix, has been released for 10.8.5, 10.9.5 and 10.10.x, so in theory all these releases are still supported. However, not all of the fixes in it apply to all these OS X versions, so in practice, maybe not?

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Microsoft goes cloud KERR-AZY, chops Windows Server to bits

/dev/null

No GUI?

Server Core still had a desktop, it just had Windows Explorer and most of the desktop apps removed. Is Nano Server the same or does it REALLY not have a GUI? (Or in other words, a windowless Windows?)

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Android SDK nonce flaw lets hackers fiddle with your Dropbox privates

/dev/null
Headmaster

Yes, really...

"for the nonce" (idiomatic) For the time being, with the expectation that the situation may change.

1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 16:

"For the nonce he was rather nonplussed but inasmuch as the duty plainly devolved upon him to take some measures on the subject he pondered suitable ways and means during which Stephen repeatedly yawned."

(from Wiktionary)

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

/dev/null

Re: Pascal ? Really ?

Yes, really: as TFA states, the original Photoshop was a MacApp app, and MacApp was based on Apple Object Pascal, which was basically the "native" language of the Mac back in the days when MacOS was just called "System"...

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May the fourth be with you: Torvalds names next Linux v 4.0

/dev/null
WTF?

“So on the whole, I wouldn't read too much into the number.”

That's a shame... proper, rationally thought-out version numbering can be very useful in conveying information. See, f'rinstance, the NetBSD release glossary for how it should be done.

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

/dev/null
Devil

Hawking services and products...

"what passes for an agile community seems to be largely an arena for consultants and vendors to hawk services and products.”

I think you'll find most methodologies/processes that have a name generally exist to serve as "an arena for consultants and vendors to hawk services and products."

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

/dev/null

Gakken Denshi blocks?

Anybody else have one of these circa 1980?

Gakken EX-System

An electronic experimentor set with each component encased in a Lego-like block and inserted into a chassis incorporating various "peripherals".

Learned a bit about electronics as I worked my way through quite a few of the experiments described in the sometimes baffling Engrish manual, though it did spend quite a lot of time as my bedside radio...

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Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

/dev/null

Re: A very poor legacy

Indeed there's not a lot of actual aircraft design/manufacture in the modern BAE Systems - only one division ("Military Intelligence & Air") really does much of that any more (although Regional Aircraft at Prestwick could possibly in theory design you a new aircraft). After various acquisitions, there are now many and varied lines of business including armoured vehicles, guns, ships, submarines, electronics, "intelligence services", etc etc. Hence why "BAE" doesn't stand for anything any more...

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/dev/null

Re: Hunter

Ummm, you mean Hunter, not Hawk?

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So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

/dev/null

"Prior to the personal computer, spreadsheets were the purview of mainframe systems"

Actually, the interactive, full-screen spreadsheet concept we understand today didn't exist before microcomputers, it was invented with VisiCalc on the Apple II.

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

/dev/null

Wasn't that long ago when novels were written using a typewriter, or even (as CS Lewis recommended) with a pen. Didn't seem to stop plenty good stories being written and published. What's changed?

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

/dev/null
Facepalm

Re: £999

You're a bit behind the times there... the big cats are old hat, it's Californian place names nowadays.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

/dev/null

The amazing .uk domain: Less .co and loads more whalesong

/dev/null

Re: .GB vs. .UK

No, yes (.je) and yes (.gg) respectively.

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/dev/null

Re: Finally catching up?

Because bl.uk started off many moons ago as the JANET NRS name UK.BL, back in the day when organisations that were considered to be neither commercial (UK.CO...) nor academic (UK.AC...) simply got NRS names of the form UK.<name>.

Of course this was before org.uk or gov.uk (or even their short-lived predecessors orgn.uk or govt.uk) were invented...

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

/dev/null
WTF?

Payload???

What's the point of being able to attach a payload of 64k of arbitrary data to a heartbeat message anyway?

What's wrong with a simple sequence number?

Did they think the case where the other end was sufficiently functional to interpret and respond to a protocol message, but somehow incapable of copying a block of memory correctly was worth detecting?

Did this Request for Comments actually get any comments?

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Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

/dev/null

Re: TSR2/Concorde

D Sandys didn't cancel TSR2, Denis Healey did. He was Secretary of State for Defence at the time. See CC(65)20 and CC(65)21, CAB/128/39, TNA.

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You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

/dev/null

"a small doohickey comprising 32KB of battery-backed RAM to hold the firmware ..."

Odd, why didn't they just use good old-fashioned EPROMs (the UV-erasable kind) like everyone else?

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AMD tries to kickstart ARM-for-servers ecosystem

/dev/null
WTF?

Huh?

AMD have just announced a chip based on a completely new (to them) architecture, and they called it... Opteron???

I'll never understand marketing people...

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Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

/dev/null

Re: There is one big leguacy with the QL...

Actually, Linus was a Minix hacker for a few years in between his QL tinkering and starting Linux. Hence early Linux's obvious influences and dependencies on Minix.

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/dev/null

Great article, some interesting new stuff there, but a couple of minor errors: all QLs had the BS6312 (BT phone-plug) type sockets for the RS232 ports, except for the ones built by Samsung, which were only for export markets; and the ultimate CST Thor model was the Thor XVI which was a complete hardware redesign using an MC68000 (the Thor 20 had some kind of daughterboard on the QL motherboard for its MC68020 CPU).

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

/dev/null

Nothing new under the sun...

Rick Dickinson (Clive Sinclair's equivalent of Jony Ive) came up with a design for a second-generation Sinclair QL in the mid-80s based around vertical air flow, complete with a "chimney" on top, that never saw the light of day. You can see a photo of a mock-up of it in this interview.

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US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

/dev/null

Re: How about deploying one of these right now

...and the Russians: see the Strait of Juan de Fuca laser incident.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

/dev/null
Boffin

But which?

PERQ-1 or PERQ-2? Or PERQ-3 for that matter? Not sure any of them were particularly sexy (unless you have a thing for chocolate-brown fascias...)

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/dev/null
Boffin

Re: original cray was better

There were quite a few Cray machines that were visually quite striking, before they ended up in plain ornery 42U racks like everything else.

Check out the C916 or the T916 for instance.

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/dev/null
Boffin

Re: you forgot!

According to this page, the super-sexy Commodore CBM-II series cases weren't actually designed by Porsche Design, but by a chap by the name of Ira Velinski.

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Prime Ministerial exploding cheese expert to become 'entrepreneur'

/dev/null
Coat

Re: BONG!

Don't you mean ¡Bong!?

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Tech is the biggest problem facing archiving

/dev/null
Facepalm

Re: Won't somebody think of the history?

...and then lost all those photos because they only existed in the digital domain, and nobody really does backing up (never mind archiving) properly...

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The Lynx effect: The story of Camputers' mighty micro

/dev/null
Boffin

Re: Geography is a bit screwed

Incidentally, Sir Clive's last computer company, Cambridge Computer Ltd, had their HQ down the road at 10 Bridge Street.

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Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

/dev/null
Boffin

Re: Speed benefits when compared to tapes?

Well, it took 7 seconds for a Microdrive cartridge tape loop to complete one pass, so loading a game from Microdrive shouldn't take much longer than that (unless it was a dodgy cartridge and some sectors needed more than one attempt to read). A lot faster than cassette, and probably quite comparable to a floppy disk.

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/dev/null
Boffin

Re: Fascinating story

One of my most satisfying bits of hackery I did on my QL was reducing the number of cartridges required to load The Pawn from three (two "working copy" carts plus one original for copy protection) to one - I worked out I could squeeze the the contents of two cartridges onto one, which I formatted with the same magic ID code as the original cart using some Microdrive "utility" software. Playing the game was almost as much fun...

Must power up my QL again and see if the Microdrives still work - they did about 4 years ago...

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Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

/dev/null
WTF?

"stereoscopic sound"?

I think you mean stereophonic sound, unless you're one of those rare people who say they can see sounds..

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Samsung laptops can be NUKED by ANY OS – even Windows: new claim

/dev/null
Boffin

Re: Poor Apple.

EFI was invented by Intel to be the standard boot firmware for Itanium systems. It was only afterwards that someone thought it porting it to x86 would make a good replacement for the old PC BIOS, something which was well overdue.

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/dev/null
Boffin

Re: Recovery...

I think notionally the MS-DOS BIOS was split between the ROM BIOS (which would be customised to the particular hardware configuration of the PC) and IO.SYS (or IBMBIO.COM if you had PC-DOS) which was intended to be generic. The term "BIOS" is now so closely associated with boot firmware that we forget it used to be an integral part of a PC's native OS....

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