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* Posts by John 62

958 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

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HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

John 62

OBE == sir?

I thought it was just KBEs who got to be called sir.

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GOTCHA: Google caught STRIPPING SSL from BT Wi-Fi users' searches

John 62

Re: Like opening your mail

If you read Simon Garfield's lovely book To The Letter, you'll find out that the various postal services around the world have always been very keen to open people's mail. The difference now is the sheer volume of post makes it very difficult for them to do it except on a very targetted basis.

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

John 62

Re: moonraker

Oh, you mean the crappy film. The book is very different and much better.

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John 62

Re: Panic!

Turkey is not dirty. Stupid when alive, maybe, but roast it is delicious. And a cheap alternative to chicken for stir fries.

When cooking goose, though, don't forget to put it in a very deep roasting pan, or put it on the wire rack, with a very deep roasting pan below it. My mum cooked our own geese one year and vowed never again because of the flood of goose fat that came out of the oven.

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FALL of the MACHINES: How to KILL the Google KARATE BOT, by our expert

John 62

Jujitsu, eh?

My sensei when I got my yellow bet in Tai Jutsu* said he laughed at Jujitsu because the stance was too narrow (I think for throws, specifically) and Tai Jutsu would help you be more stable.

* I'd never heard of it either, but the class times suited me better than the other martial arts.

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What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

John 62

Re: If the Beatles weren't paid so excessively they'd have stayed together

If you look at the histories of most of the most successful acts, like the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and others, excessive amounts of money did contribute to their downfall, usually in terms of inflated egos clashing and drug problems, but I'd say the money only amplified the problems and their celebrity made it more apparent to the rest of us. Is the longevity of the Rolling Stones merely an accident? They got rich and wanted to stay rich, but they also were able to work together. Other bands wanted to stay rich, but couldn't work together.

ABBA, on the other hand, had the same intra-band relationship problems as Fleetwood Mac (most of their best songs are about break-ups and divorces they experienced in the band), but the money was far less of an issue. Mark Steyn has a great history of the band here: http://www.steynonline.com/5577/waterloo

On the other hand, a band's longevity can work against it. After all, if they keep producing new stuff, concerts will always have a tinge of disappointment if they don't perform your favourite song.

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John 62

Re: Let us face, top musicians and movie stars are now "The Man"

twas ever thus. The guilds protected the jobs of their members and made sure no-one else could do that job. Great if you were in the guild, but difficult to work in that field if you couldn't join or were kicked out. It's why big corporations often lobby for more regulation, because it keeps others from breaking into their industry. It's also swings and roundabouts. The workers on movie sets I'm sure used to be treated really badly, but now the labour unions in Hollywood control so much that it's often cheaper to shoot anywhere else (usually Canada, which also I'm sure offers tax incentives)

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Piketty-Poketty-Poo: Some people are JUST ITCHING to up tax to capital ...

John 62

Re: There is really only one taxation system that makes sense

Oh, yes! The golden bullet. That old chestnut of a small tax on all things, no exemptions, etc. But it is politically expedient to make exemptions. I don't think churches should necessarily tax free, but you might think charities should be. Best case, someone will write the rules but there will be unintended consequences that hammer the poor or discourage wealth creation. Worst case, the rules will be written by the people in power to enrich themselves and their friends.

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Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to REAL photography?

John 62

On the subject of turning the camera on, my 400D's battery lasts so long* I never bother to turn it off because I'll be sure to charge it before an event anyway. In fact it's really annoying when someone tries my camera or looks at pictures on it and turns it off before handing it back to me. The only problem with this is that is doesn't regularly do the sensor shake thing.

* If I'm away from electricity it will even last almost a week with moderate usage.

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

John 62

Yes, but the Cortina didn't have all the extra gubbins the Focus has. Plus, the Focus is HUGE compared to a Cortina.

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

John 62

Re: Myth Busted

The problem with going into the back of your winnebago to make coffee is that in the event of an accident*, you are no longer strapped to your seat (and there is hot liquid going everywhere, though that may be the least of your worries)

* Granted, with autonomous vehicles, the accident rate may well plunge to negligible

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Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

John 62

Re: There was one big scary moment for me...

I don't know why I read all this stuff, because I have no interest in actually watching Dr Who, but an appearance from Statto would get me watching!

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Vulture takes BlackBerry's Passport through customs

John 62

Why the downvotes? I came here to post this, too. iOS is much closer to UNIX than QNX.

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Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

John 62

Linux <> UNIX

Meltemi/Meego/Maemo: none of these are UNIX any more than Android is UNIX. They may be POSIX compatible, but iOS is the most UNIXy of the OSes.

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John 62

Re: Yeah right

Nokia was the last manufacturer with serious Windows Phone production volume and variety of handsets, but HTC and Samsung have also been chugging along with Windows Phone

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Microsoft and HTC are M8s again: New One mobe sports WinPhone

John 62

Re: One Mate

The Samsung UK site listing all its current Smartphones has a big Windows OS choice right under Android OS. Granted there's only one Windows Phone on there at the minute (Ativ S) compared to 52 Galaxy Android options, but it's there. Not to mention that Samsung has long been pretty OS agnostic. They've got their own in house OS (Bada, which was succeeded by Tizen) and they used to produce phones with Symbian and Windows Mobile.

The only hurdle to Samsung putting Windows Phone 8.1 on a Galaxy is Samsung's branding strategy, which currently identifies all Galaxy devices as running Android.

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Facebook: Want to stay in touch? Then it's Messenger or NOTHING

John 62

What does it matter if it's one app or two?

1) Turf wars. Facebook suddenly has two app icons on your launcher and twice the application storage thus blocking other potential comms systems, like Line/Telegram/etc.

2) Personally I want all my facebook stuff in one place. I only use Facebook private messaging very occasionally and only for email-style comms, not chatting (I don't really do online chatting). I would also like Lync folded into Outlook (the conversation history goes there anyway and Outlook can show presence just the same as Lync, so I'm not sure why they don't just make Lync an Outlook extension - I can't think of many MS customers who would be buying Lync without Outlook).

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John 62

Re: The less they care

Chat heads is one of the worst user interface designs I've seen. I use Facebook messaging for private messages, a bit like email (note I said Messaging, because I haven't installed the messenger app). I generally dislike online chatting.

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New BOMB detect-o-tech 'could give sniffer dogs competition': TRUE

John 62

Re: Curious about the dogs

"As I recall, Drugs dogs do well opposed to bomb dogs because the dogs are actually addicted to the drug(s) they are sniffing for. This is why they have a short working life."

Wasn't that Brian in Family Guy?

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Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

John 62

Well, it doesn't have any other land anywhere round it. Supposedly there's a very isolated grouping of islands in the Pacific, but this is a single islet.

The English Channel services most of Northern Europe, which is a very densely populated and relatively rich area of the world, which just happens to keep very good records of shipping. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1000/busiest-shipping-lane/

As for airports, Heathrow is very busy (busiest in Europe), but Atlanta ATL is by far the busiest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic#2014_statistics

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SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

John 62
Thumb Up

Re: Tall items don't fall intact

+1 for mentioning Fred Dibnah.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

John 62
Black Helicopters

Re: light enters the material, and is absorbed and converted to heat before it can escape

This material is very conductive to heat and is 'grown' on a metal surface (in the photo it's aluminium), so, yes, the heat will have to sink somewhere, but it could be dissipated easily if you have enough surface area on the other side or some other heat sink, like a ground contact, or the jet fuel like in an SR-71.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

John 62
Boffin

Re: Choose better source material

lol! But it depends on the noise floor of the system :)

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Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

John 62

News Feed was dead to me before I heard about this

The official line on Facebook's blog from when they introduced 'Top Stories' was that they were doing it for our benefit or we'd miss the new baby pictures from our aunt! But then again, back then they said Top Stories was only for when you hadn't logged in for a while. Now, while at least the website stays on Most Recent more than it used to, the default on mobile phone apps is for 'News Feed', which is the top stories nonsense. But it is dead to me because it lists posts out of chronological order and I know I'm a masochist, but every time I check Facebook on my phone I deliberately go to More > Most Recent.

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Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

John 62

Re: Fantastic analogy

I tend to listen out for the bass guitarist and am disappointed if I can't hear them!

Peter Hook is the exception that proves the rule that bass players should melt into the background of the song. He's possibly a one-trick musician, but I can't get enough of his bass lead lines! I saw Peter Hook and the Light live last year and they were brilliant, right up there with Pama International* for best concert ever.

* Finney didn't really look up for it that night possibly due to a wrecked knee, but even despite that he's one of the best singers I've ever heard live.

Mr Myslewski, I salute you and wish you all the best for the future.

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Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

John 62
Alert

Re: Missed some

Not to mention that the Highway Code is very explicit, which means the majority of cyclist/pedestrian incidents shouldn't be happening in the first place.

64

You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129

https://www.gov.uk/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82/overview-59-to-71

Though I have seen people ride past police on the footpath with no incident and I've seen police cyclists on footpaths and using Pelican crossings while mounted (bit like police cars and motorbikes cruising down the motorway at 75mph, grumble, grumble).

Sadly even when there are urban cycle routes, they mostly follow the one-way system designed for cars. Then the mixed pedestrian/cyclist areas are often designed in braindead ways to frustrate both cyclist and pedestrian.

Finally, though, I have seen photo evidence of a selfie of a cyclist and a policeman where the policeman was ticking off the cyclist for going through a red light.

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John 62

Re: Missed a few bits!

Road bikes can do anything an MTB can do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhabgvIIXik

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Farewell Felix Dennis, deal-maker supreme of tech publishing

John 62

Computer Buyer

I spent a lot of money on that magazine as a spotty teen (though most of my mag money went to Future: Commodore Format and Edge; and EMAP: Mean Machines Sega, Sega Magazine (I've got the entire collection!)). For some reason I preferred Buyer it to Computer Shopper. Maybe it was because it was slightly smaller or I thought the cover discs (remember those!) were better. The John Diamond columns were a bonus. I always wondered why Dennis had two very similar magazines.

I heard Felix on R4's Loose Ends a couple of years ago, being interviewed about his poetry. He said he didn't care what the critics thought because he was selling loads of books.

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Coulson GUILTY of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006

John 62

Re: Brooks is FOUND innocent

Maybe I'm a bit of a conspiracist (too much X Files, Shadow Line and House of Cards), but someone must have known that the Milly Dowler phone hacking accusations would just be a convenient straw man that would divert attention from the very real corruption going on long enough for the people to forget about the shady stuff after the outrage faded.

Plus, as @DrPizza tweeted: if Andy Coulson could be found guilty under existing law, then why do we need new laws to regulate the press?

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Star Wars museum to land in Chicago

John 62

Re: Mashup time

I'm on a mission from the force. We're gettin' the falcon crew back together. Gotta save the padawan oprhanage.

[I cannot say enough good things about The Blues Brothers. It was amazing in every way (car chases, one liners, cinematography, music, the sheer scale of the thing!) apart from not having enough Blues music. Hopefully SW VII will be better than BB2000, which may have been a worse insult than SW I.]

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Blame WWI, not Bin Laden, for NSA's post-9/11 intel suck

John 62

Re: Mephhead Maphhead All Governments are ...(@ MasterBollocks)

Going back to the topic of the Federal Reserve being the cause of all ills: it was war with the French that meant King William III introduced the first UK government bonds, predating the Federal Reserve by quite some time.

And Jan Smuts of South Africa had wanted less punitive reparations on Germany. Though some historians have said that the treaty of Versaille's treatment of Germany wasn't as bad as many make out.

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NASA uses new technique to snap high-res asteroid images

John 62

Re: “30 times brighter than what Goldstone can produce observing on its own”.

yes, brighter. I'm not up to speed with the maths (I don't have a crossbow in my desk drawers), but the resolution will be dependent on the wavelength of the radar, combined with the fact that even if the resolution is being improved, there's a limit to the usefulness of it because of the signal to noise ratio. A brighter signal means the stuff you want to measure stands out more against any sources of noise, hence narrowing the error bars for each pixel. There's a reason a cheap low-res webcam can give better hobbyist astronomy photos than a fancy DSLR.

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Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

John 62

Re: Nope

Turbine engines are very clean burning, though!

Wrightbus looked into diesel turbines for city-based buses that don't have to go fast. They said the emissions were great, but the fuel efficiency was about the same as a normal diesel engine and with crap torque/power (can't remember which).

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UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: THE TRUTH

John 62

Re: Not happening anytime soon

The very fact you have thought of these things means that engineers will most likely have already thought of them and are working on these things. Things like ambulances/fire engines/police cars are all cases where it will be likely that cars will be communicating via a mesh and advertising their immediate intentions to each other. These things are not intractable.

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Brit lands on Rockall with survival podule, starts record attempt

John 62
Mushroom

All the best to Nick, hope he gets a knighthood, but IIRC last time el Reg went to Rockall there was a bit of a falling out.

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Sony Xperia Z2: What we REALLY thought of this Android fondleslab

John 62

"enough to run Key-lime Pie... If and when it ever gets released"

I thought Key Lime Pie was renamed KitKat. The next release will be Lindt Bunny or something.

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China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

John 62

Re: They aren't all like Huawei

On the topic of inflating to balance the trade books: the Euro was set up for precisely that reason. Italy would rack up huge debts buying German goods, then Italy would inflate its debts away thus indirectly subsidising Italian manufacturing, leaving Germany's manufacturers very cross.

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John 62

History/Economics/Demographics

From the article, lesson the first is that Huawei is not China and China is not Huawei. Lesson the second is that Huawei is succeeding by creating products people want to buy.

That's pretty much it.

China is a vast and diverse nation with corruption problems, colonial disputes (Tibet/Taiwan), poor welfare, a future demographic disaster, both vast reserves of foreign money it can't do anything with and vast debt that could strangle it. But remember, it is a vast and diverse nation. There will be a lot of good going on.

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John 62

Re: The Root Of The Problem

Wow. That's one of the most horrible comments I've ever read on the Register.

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John 62

Re: Interesting

"English has to be taught young, while a child still has the capacity to develop the hearing for it. For older learners, it's a lottery as to whether an individual can discriminate between the nuanced consonants of the language." For evidence: east Asians who grow up with English as a second language and cannot distinguish between R and L.

In fact I am of the opinion that English orthography is not dissimilar to Sinitic, since English has so many rules, you just need to learn them, as phonics can only take you so far.

Mandarin will become a global language when the majority of research and academic papers use it. Which was how English became the global language.

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

John 62

Re: Where's Lewis?

He's the Register's overall editor big cheese now.

War Is Boring at medium.com has plenty good weapons coverage if you need your fix of that.

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JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

John 62

Rediscover the original trilogy?

No. George Lucas won't let that happen because he keeps chopping and changing and won't leave well alone. He won't even include the original cuts in the re-releases.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse back on the bacon

John 62

Re: Rice

Potatoes now get grown in Egypt and Cyprus (Irish varieties 'peated' with Irish or Scottish soil in fact!)

Very little british wheat goes into bread because it's not the right type. Most of our bread wheat comes from Canada (though steps have been taken to be able to grow high-protein wheat varieties in the UK that are suitable for bread).

Beans for baked beans are usually grown in the US.

Supposedly the UK is actually about on balance (maybe slightly under) for food sustainability by some measures.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse crawls towards finish line

John 62

Re: Interesting...

And people say evangelical christians are legalists!

It's only for a week, so try to live in the spirit of the thing. Though the case could be made for allowing bartering because that's what real people living in these conditions do. 'course, then you'll probably be getting rid of your fridge/freezer/storage containers/(even a cooker in some cases) to go properly authentic (many kudos to Lester for going with the big pot on a fire system).

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Asteroids as powerful as NUCLEAR BOMBS strike Earth TWICE YEARLY

John 62

Re: I can live with that!

Saudi Arabia is mostly a vast desert. It has a population of just under 30 million people in a country just a little smaller than Greenland.

It's a fair bet they get lots of meteor hits.

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

John 62

Re: Four words ...

Call me an heretic if you want, but here's my JMJ opinion:

Oxygene is a good album, more listenable overall than Equinox, but I really only want to listen to movement IV. Equinox on the other hand has three movements that are really worth listening to: IV, V and VI. I think every computer game music composer of the 80s must have listened to Equinox at some point!

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IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels

John 62

Re: Skeletons in the closet

I don't think there were many companies from the time that are still around that have a whiter than white record.

The past really is the past. We have to learn from it and move on.

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Amazon buys Comixology for content crossover capers

John 62

"comics are a cheap-ish R&D lab for character development"

The studios want this to be true, but they spoil it all by developing pretty much all-new characters for the movies anyway, such that it seems the only similarity to the comic is the name or perhaps the colour of the costume.

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Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

John 62

Re: And from an actual user of the S5...

Key-clicks are the first thing I turn off on a phone. Like the Apple 'gloop' when changing volume and 'Start Navigation' sound on Windows.

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Samsung unveils fourth-generation Galaxy Tabs

John 62

16:10!

1280x800 sounds good. Not the highest res, obviously, but on a 10" device, it's pretty good. You know the best thing? It's 16:10!

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