* Posts by Richard 12

2010 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD

Richard 12
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Re: better than 28 backspaces ...

And how many in Windows? And OSX?

There's no way of knowing how many accidental bugs or deliberate back doors exist in any closed-source software.

It is at least theoretically possible to find and fix them in open-source.

Both of them will contain bugs - they're written by people.

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Lower video resolution can deliver better quality, says Netflix

Richard 12
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There's plenty of silicon to do it

Including relatively programmable silicon that can be configured to handle a variety of source and target encodings.

Or just go for commodity GPGPU, which is slower but much cheaper.

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Richard 12
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They're trying to deal with the lack of customer bandwidth

Pixel resolution is a fairly meaningless quality measurement in video anyway.

If the video is 3840x2160 but breaks up into clearly visible encoding blocks at any point, the video is unwatchably bad.

Even if it doesn't break up, the sustained bitrate you can actually get from your ISP will probably wipe out any possible extra detail.

At 1280x720 the same bandwidth can probably encode a much better looking video, and your 4k screen can upscale the result to give something objectively and subjectively better.

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How to build a real lightsabre

Richard 12
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@Ian Michael Gumby

JET.

The Joint European Torus does produce more energy than it consumes.

The current trouble is that they can't fuel it while it's running, which means it only burns for a minute or so before it runs out.

Refuelling while running is the current technical challenge for fusion.

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Seagate wears dunce's cap in hi-cap disk ship slip

Richard 12
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Re: These drives float right into their racks, like magic

The way to separate out the N2 from the air is to liquify it by cooling.

This freezes out all the water, so an N2 tank is going to be almost perfectly dry.

The trouble with helium fill is that any gas fill will leak out, and the drive will fail once enough of it has escaped.

He also leaks out relatively quickly compared to most other gas fills in common use (eg GS or halogen lightbulb)

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US House okays making internet tax exemptions permanent

Richard 12
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Re: A tax by any other name.....

As Worstall said - anything you tax will be harmed.

That has to be balanced against the need for tax revenue to pay for the things everyone needs to exist (physical infrastructure, law and order etc)

So you should tax in such a way as to do the least harm to things considered "good".

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Richard 12
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Re: What's so wrong with tax?

You mean like VAT in the EU?

The idea of that is every member state must charge VAT on the final transaction where the product goes to a consumer, for most goods and services.

Businesses (above a certain size) don't pay VAT, but must collect it from their customers and give it to their state.

So they pay it when they buy stuff and claim it back, by offsetting against the VAT they collected.

The rules get pretty complicated once a business is buying from another member state and selling to a third.

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Adobe: We locked our customers in the cloud and out poured money

Richard 12
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Meanwhile, in another industry

There was a piece of software with basically no competitors. It was the only thing that did the job and had a huge range of 3rd party plugins from all the major players in that market.

They started charging an annual subscription of around £1000.

There are now five competing products, all of which are both better and cheaper - and offer perpetual licence options with free updates.

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Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre

Richard 12
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Re: 1% chance?

With a good plan and good people, it can be done.

If either of those are missing, it cannot.

I know of one site that moved over 500 circuits from old system to new during an overnight shutdown, with no faults. The new system took over in the morning, and the site ran perfectly. Still is.

And another that moved two circuits and literally vaporised the contents of the electrical cabinet.

One was planned, rehearsed and undertaken by very good electricians, the other wasn't.

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Richard 12
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Re: As an ex industrial Sparky, I have to agree.

What? You believed that pulling a fuse isolated something?

1) Test that it's live.

2) Pull the fuse/breaker and lock.

3) Test that it's dead.

If someone tells you it's dead, do not believe them!

On the bright side, you clearly have good "No touchy shiny bits" skills on account of not being dead yet.

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Richard 12
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Re: Do you get paid the same money as a professional?

A single 3-phase supply?

The actual phases don't matter, only the phase rotation.

So if Neutral is correctly identified, you have a 50% chance of getting phase rotation right.

Get it wrong and the motors spin backwards - bad for aircon and lifts for obvious reasons...

If neutral is swapped with any of the other three, instant boom.

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US government pushing again on encryption bypass

Richard 12
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It would be the most valuable dataset that could ever exist

So all criminal and terrorist organisations, and all "rogue" states will immediately try to get hold of that register.

Once any of them do, every related encryption is broken, forever and ever, past and future.

It would be the literal end of the Internet and mobile telephony.

And they will definitely get hold of it eventually. Some of these are people who would be willing to torture a keyholder to death in order to get access to this type of register.

That is why it is a fundamentally stupid idea.

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Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves

Richard 12
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Don't touch the walls

They'll eat you.

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Lenov-lol, a load of Tosh, and what the Dell? More bad holes found in PC makers' bloatware

Richard 12
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Re: Build your own or White Box

Last time I bought from a smaller custom-build place.

It came with exactly what I'd asked for, and the only thing they did to the Win7 install was to add their logo, name, address and phone number to the About screen.

That is as it should be.

I will never understand why any OEM adds so much of their own crapware. At least they got paid to install 3rd party crap, but stuff they wrote/rebranded themselves?

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Alert after Intel Skylake chips, mobo sockets 'warp under coolers'

Richard 12
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Holy war time!

Personally I prefer the liquid coolers, as they are usually quieter systems overall - the radiator fan is the case exhaust fan.

Though I do worry about the pump lifetime - it's easy to tell when a fan is dying, but hard to tell when a pump is failing.

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Microsoft encrypts explanation of borked Windows 10 encryption

Richard 12
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Decrypted :

**** off, we don't care.

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Bitcoin cloud miners a '$20m Ponzi scheme – there was no cloud at all'

Richard 12
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Re: This might be a stupid question.

Quite a lot.

Plus the electricity bill.

Bitcoin mining itself has more than a passing resemnlance to Ponzi schemes, so perhaps they decided to skip the volatility of the middleman.

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Sued for using HTTPS: Big brands told to cough up in crypto patent fight

Richard 12
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Re: Personal Liability

Or just give judges the power to debar lawyers for being involved in bringing a "bloody stupid" case to court.

More seriously, this is why software patents are bloody stupid and should never, ever be granted.

This is a patent on basic maths. It should never have been granted.

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Estonian vendor sparks Li-Fi hypegasm with gigabit demo

Richard 12
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Re: Where's the back channel and back haul?

Very funny.

Nobody is going to run Cat6 to their existing light fittings, and PoE is the wrong solution to the wrong problem. Even assuming they actually use copper and not CCA, the cable and switch PSU losses are ridiculously high. Might even burn down the building.

Yes there is a company trying to push PoE for powering and controlling light fittings, fortunately almost nobody is that stupid.

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Richard 12
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Where's the back channel and back haul?

Sure the lamp in the ceiling can transmit 1Gb/s.

But my device has to get data back to it. It can't be that bright and line-of-sight implies directionality.

Aside from that, the lamp needs to get the data in the first place.

Powerline would get forcibly killed due to the RF interference it creates if it ever became genuinely popular, while wifi is better sent directly to the end device.

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Research: Microsoft the fastest growing maker of tablet OSs ... by 2019

Richard 12
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Re: Useless prediction

Indeed. "Fastest growing" within a filled market is damning with faint praise.

Even if the prediction is true, they aren't notably touching the incumbents or expanding the market.

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VW's Audi suspends two engineers in air pollution cheatware probe

Richard 12
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Re: Hands Up.

The PR fallout from a public unfair dismissal lawsuit and tribunal would be interesting.

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Mobe-maker OnePlus 'fesses up to flouting USB-C spec

Richard 12
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Re: This is what happens when you couple Chinese design to Chinese manufacture

I believe their products have to meet the same H&S standards as everyone else's in order to sell in, for example, the EU.

While true, a lot do not.

The liability for ensuring compliance lies with the entity that imported it into the EU.

Unfortunately, Trading Standards apear to only be interested in going after fake handbags, and have no time for dangerous electrical kit. Possibly not even after someone gets killed by them.

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Ofcom asks: Do kids believe anything they read on the internet?

Richard 12
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Re: Untrue stuffs on teh intarwebz

Several well-known news sites with "proper" journalists have republished The Onion stories (in some cases without permission) multiple times in recent years.

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Richard 12
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I wish the "page must contain this" and "page must not contain that" methods still worked.

Google became a lot less useful and a lot more frustrating when those ceased.

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Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station

Richard 12
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Cargo doesn't need life support!

Even pressurised cargo.

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Richard 12
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Those frequencies are too high

IIRC, the broadcast audio bandwidth is 50Hz to 15kHz.

So TV broadcast will distort and alias that to buggery - not entirely convinced this can actually work at all.

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£2.3m ZANO nano-drone crowdfunded project crashes and burns

Richard 12
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Facepalm

Re: Convertibles

Damn - you're absolutely right.

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Richard 12
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Re: Bah!

Not really.

It is possible to build a quadcopter that does all that. You can even do it for that money.

No profit margin in it though, and you do need to know what you're doing and how to design for cheap manufacture.

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Richard 12
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Re: So let me undersand this correctly...

But Kickstarter has nothing whatsoever to do with VCs. It doesn't resemble that relationship in any way, shape or form.

If the company becomes wildly successful, the KS backers will never see any return on their 'investment' at all - if they are lucky they get their trinket, at the very most.

It is simply a risky way of pre-ordering.

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Richard 12
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Re: Investments

Kickstarter is not and never has been an investment - and sooner or later a regulator is going to take them to task over it.

Investment means that you take a risk and own some portion of the proceeds - or losses.

Kickstarter is a pre-order payment processor where if there aren't enough pre-orders, you don't pay at all. If there are enough pre-orders, you pay but might not actually get %thing% anyway - which puts it on fairly dodgy ground as the payment processor.

I have backed a couple of Kickstarter things - however these have been friends where I'd happily have given them the cash in person anyway.

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Identifying terrorists: Let's find a value for needle in haystack

Richard 12
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Re: Half a dozen cases where access to bulk communications datasets have produced results

So six cases since 1984?

That's such a miniscule hit rate that psychics can beat it.

Or darts thrown over your shoulder at a UK map. While blindfolded and newted as a piss.

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Lithium-air: A battery breakthrough explained

Richard 12
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Indeed

If by "significant chunk" you mean "at least double what we currently generate".

Transport uses a heck of a lot of energy.

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Cell networks' LTE-U will kill your Wi-Fi, say digital rights bods

Richard 12
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Re: "listen-before-talk"

Indeed, listen-before-talk obviously cannot work.

You can demonstrate this quite easily with three walkie-talkies.

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Voting machine memory stick drama in Georgia sparks scandal, probe

Richard 12
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He claims to have found an actual ballot box.

It might be un-used, "empty", "filled" with fraudulent ballots or still "filled" with uncounted cast ballots.

There's no way to tell without a public investigation - and this would be necessary with a paper ballot box as well.

It's just that checking the state of a paper ballot box is much easier to do and to prove.

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Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup

Richard 12
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Re: Set Top Box - new acronym

These boxes are under the TV, so perhaps Box Under Television?

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Richard 12
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Re: Sacrebleu

To force the rhyme I read "view" as "v-yer".

The things I do for a cheap laugh.

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Richard 12
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Re: Youtube is not just for kitten videos

Those idents need epilepsy warning!

I've not seen anything so genuinely painful since the last art-house film I accidentally caught in the the corner of my eye.

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Here's how TalkTalk ducked and dived over THAT gigantic hack

Richard 12
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Re: Why Is Dido Harding Still in a Job?

Sounds like you already got "socially engineered", as ID protection isn't even worth the paper it's not written on.

What do they do to "protect" your ID?

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Windows 10 is an antique (and you might be too) says Google man

Richard 12
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Re: Note on Windows 8

I quite like Win8 on a touchscreen tablet with removable keyboard dock! It seems like the use case the OS was designed for, to the detriment of everything else.

It was.

The Win8 UI was exclusively designed for the Surface Pro, and worked pretty well there.

Unfortunately, most PCs are not Surface Pros.

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In-a-spin Home Sec: 'We won't be rifling through people's web history'

Richard 12
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Re: Eyes bigger than stomachs (as my mum used to say)

Everyone knows that the best way to find needles in haystacks is to make the haystack at least a billion times bigger.

The only possible use for any of the proposed mass-collection of personal data is to make targeted fishing and phishing expeditions easier.

It's so much easier to frame or defraud someone when you know their communication history.

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Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

Richard 12
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The Linux kernel is the most compiled thing anywhere

It has to be 100% compatible with every single C compiler on the planet, because they're all going to compile it.

It is not a place where you should - or even can - use funky compiler features.

It matters if it doesn't compile using the esoteric C compiler developed for a specific rare CPU, or causes unexpected side effects due to rare compiler bugs - or difference in interpretation of the C standards.

The Linux kernel is probably the only large library that is used on every CPU currently manufactured - as well as many that aren't.

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The story of .Gay: This bid is too gay! This bid is not gay enough! This bid is just right?

Richard 12
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Re: @AC Religion really has become a very "special" form of politics....

Homophobic much?

62.1% is a resounding result, and 60.5% turnout is very high.

Ireland showed far more interest in and support for same-sex marriage than most other democratic questions. For example, the current president of the US had a higher than usual turnout at 57.2%, with 51.1% for Obama.

Yes, the Irish are far more interested in allowing equal marriage rights to all their citizens than most Western democracy are in who governs them.

PS: If two strangers love each other and want to, WTF shouldn't they get married? It cannot possibly have any negative effect whatsoever upon you or anyone you know, so why stop them?

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller special: The WHO bacon sarnie of death

Richard 12
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Re: As to the danger of bacon

Indeed, and it's also important to round up the percentage change, preferably to the nearest positive hundred.

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Richard 12
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Re: Going hannibal with the weiners...

Given that 100% of hot dog factories are staffed by humans, that simply means they occasionally touch the produce.

Or forget their hairnets.

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Richard 12
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Re: Replace technology drudgery by automated life-cycle convention.

Compilers can never produce code as efficient as hand-optimised assembly.

In most cases, this really doesn't matter in the slightest.

But sometimes it does - albeit very rarely these days.

Even in modern embedded hardware you can end up needing to hand-optimise (or even hand-write) assembly segments.

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We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Richard 12
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Re: A Lot of People..

The Dyson Airblade is an interesting hand drier.

Impossible to use if you're short or in a wheelchair.

Rather hard to justify given disability discrimination legislation.

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Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Richard 12
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Re: Bayonet? - Why not a bayonet cap option?

Extra low voltage halogen is a lot more efficacious than 230V halogen. The filament is also a lot stronger so handles shock better.

And extra low voltage LED is usually more efficacious and lasts a lot longer than the 230V versions as well. It's the power supplies that die on those.

Unless you're switching to Florey tube, you're better off sticking with the 12V halogens and just making sure you get the really wide beam angle lamps.

The narrow ones are very common, and utterly pointless!

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Richard 12
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Re: I agree with all of the posts so far (which is a first)

Indeed. My truly ancient smoke detectors have built-in lights.

MR12 halogens in fact.

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Richard 12
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Re: cart before horse

We've been selling those for years - cheaper than these lamps and last much longer as well.

Including genuinely wireless and batteryless light switches to control them - yes, you can buy a stickyback light switch.

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