* Posts by Richard 12

1597 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Devs get first look at next Visual Studio

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Compiler as a service?

Hasn't CLANG been doing that since inception?

0
0

Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Unlikely..

And all radio jamming devices are absolutely and definitively illegal to operate throughout the EU, and most other countries.

Technically they usually aren't illegal to own but turning them on will land you in court.

0
0

Samsung, Chipzilla in 4K monitor price cut pact

Richard 12
Silver badge

Quiet you!

I'd really like decently high resolution monitors on my computers, and if Intel are willing to bankroll Samsung to bring the price down to an affordable level I'm happy to let them think it'll mean buying better Intelgrated, rather than a better GPU.

Sssh!

1
0

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

Richard 12
Silver badge

I have to reboot my iPhone quite often

It regularly decides that the "telephone" function is beyond its ken, and the only way to change it from being a very small WiFi iPad into a telephone again is to power off, wait then power it back on again.

This happens at least once a month, possibly more often.

I'm not alone, it does seem that iPhones genuinely do have unstable GSM radios.

0
0

Quantum teleportation gets reliable at Delft

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Star Trek Transporter

It was "invented" as a plot device to avoid spending many minutes every episode tediously getting onto, off and flying a shuttle craft every time they wanted to get the characters on or off the spaceship.

It's a time saving device.

1
1

FORGET OUR PAST, 12,000 Europeans implore Google

Richard 12
Silver badge

But it'll be well-hidden

People will only be able to find it if they already know where to look.

Or if they use Bing.

2
0

Facebook wants MORE EXPLICIT SHARING

Richard 12
Silver badge

Now if they can only make it usable

And by that I mean chronological.

I, like most semi-sane people, only use Facebook to keep up with people I actually know.

Having the posts in such a random order means I often miss important things, like "X just died, funeral next Wed" under the deluge of old posts that leap to the top for no reason whatsoever.

11
0

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Boeing is not too bad at moonshots...

It's easy when somebody else is paying the bill no-questions-asked. You can do whatever you like because it really doesn't matter - the company will not get in trouble no matter what you spend.

That's why Government projects always go over budget and are always late.

Budgets only get proper control when the risk is on the company itself, and overspend reduces its bottom line profit rather than increasing it.

So no, the B29 isn't comparable.

1
1

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

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Ahem. @ BlueGreen

No magic is needed.

Unlike previous centuries, the replacements for coal, oil and gas are already clearly visible on the horizon.

Nuclear fission already works, and nuclear fusion is relatively close - we know how to make that work, but can't scale it up yet. That's coal replaced - and we could do that today if we wished.

Many energy uses of oil and gas are already easily replaceable by electricity - heat pumps, trains and trolleybuses. Other forms of transport will still need some form of oil, and battery technology is unlikely to change that, due to the energy density needed for lorries, aircraft and shipping.

Various forms of solar power already work but are too low efficacy to be economically viable, this can also change if funding switches away from the current insane subsidies for solar PV across to actual research into various forms of solar power.

- One interesting angle of solar power research is the engineered microbes that use photosynthesis to create artificial oil and gas. It is likely that one or more of those could be scaled up, so that's oil & gas replaced.

Even solar PV could be improved, along with the HVDC interconnects needed to get power from the good places to put solar PV and solar furnaces to the locations where the power is needed.

It is true that there will almost certainly be an energy crisis very soon, however it will be caused by the politics that have made it impossible to build appropriate generation capacity, and the decision to subsidise building and operating large numbers of white elephant installations of technology that simply isn't ready yet, rather than the research and development that would make some of them economically viable.

13
0

BRITS: Wanna know how late your train is? Now you can slurp straight from the source for free

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Good Thing (TM)

Indeed, it's cheaper to drive as long as you buy the car - the purchase price is amortised very quickly. (Car hire is a lot more expensive.)

A lot of the time it's cheaper to fly than to take a long-distance train.

London to Edinburgh/Glasgow flights are usually cheaper and always take less time (including check-in).

The train only wins if you need a long taxi ride from an airport and for some reason don't need a taxi ride if you go by train.

0
0

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY: Boffins to turn PURE LIGHT into MATTER

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Stop using Boffin's puhlease

No, no the Register has proper journalists who are careful to only Boffinry to describe actual science.

The Dail Mail, Fox News etc tend to report on trick-cyclists as if they were actual boffins.

Don't confuse it with boffo though, that's neither boffinry nor trick-cycling.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Yes, matter is hammers and nails and cars

There is also anti-matter, which is exactly* like matter but opposite*, and the anti-matter version of an electron is a positron.

If a positron touches* an electron, both are destroyed* in a burst of photons.

The proposed experiment is to do the opposite - take a burst of photons* and turn it into a positron and an electron.

The smallest stable* type of matter is an electron, so should be easiest to make. Bigger types of matter will be much harder to make.

As to "is that one of those physics things?" - Everything is physics. Dropping a hammer on your foot is physics in action.

* This is a lie-to-children. It's more complicated than that.

1
0

Chap rebuilds BBC Micro in JavaScript

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Then again

I have two and a half.

One working Model B, a working Master and a 'break up for spares' Model B.

If I remember correctly, the dead B had a failed PSU (very common) and dodgy keyboard, probably some other faults as well but I forget.

That said, I haven't actually powered either of them up for ...some... years, so I might actually have three break-up-for-spares now.

0
0

Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: You've got it all wrong

Blaming the cloud doesn't get the bills paid.

Ask the Daily Mail how much money they lost due to being unable to publish one of their publications.

How many projects were late because they'd just got back from the field and Adobe would not allow them to use their paid-for software until Adobe's servers came back up?

How many other projects would have been delayed if this had happened at an inopportune moment?

How much compensation are Adobe paying out to cover this loss of business?

How many lawsuits will be started to recover this?

It was obvious that something like this was going to happen from the moment Adobe announced this new business model, and now that the first failure has happened, businesses are going to be scrutinising their SLAs and many will realise that using Adobe is a risk they cannot afford to take.

It's just incredibly bad business to be utterly reliant on a single-source-supplier who can just stop all your work at any time without any notice.

2
0

Apple updates OS X Mavericks, iTunes, Podcasts for iOS

Richard 12
Silver badge

Played episodes can now be automatically deleted?

Great, so they've actually completely destroyed an important feature I was using, and called that a "new" feature.

There was an option "Episodes To Keep" in several previous versions, which had values including "All", "last 5" and "Only keep unplayed", where it would delete episodes sometime after playing them.

The "new" one has only got the options "All" and "Unplayed".

Thus isn't a new feature, it's removing choice.

If only they'd fix the things that are actually broken instead of removing existing, working and useful features.

I suppose I should expect that of Apple though, they really are a "You shall comply" company.

2
2

LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: an endless spiral of bad choices here

It's not controlled airspace.

Controlled airspace has a top, once you get up that high you're on your own.

1
0

Amazon granted patent for taking photos against a white background – seriously

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: If you read it

So the thing my camera does, the one I bought a decade ago?

7
0

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

Richard 12
Silver badge

You've got it the wrong way around

It's "Use stock without any overlay changes and Google will pay some of your marketing costs"

So not only do you spend less on R&D to create an (almost always) trashy interface overlay that most people dislike, you get some extra cash.

Bad for the companies who were making a good overlay as they now have a hard choice to make, but good for everyone else as there is a direct incentive not to screw around with the interface.

3
0

Please work for nothing, Mr Dabbs. What can you lose?

Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

You think it's bad in journalism?

Try the performing arts. Too many productions expect most of the people to work for free.

The worst case is the chorus.

Everybody expects dancers to dance for free. You know, because dancing's only "fun" and not "real work". Never mind the gruelling hours, the risk of injury, and the years and decades of continuous training...

Especially the promoters for big names who are raking in millions, because "exposure" is apparently enough to put food on the table.

- For example, Kylie Minogue's production team decided they'd pay the dancers nothing because "exposure".

- Don't blame Kylie, the big name knows nothing of the contracts and terms of work for the cast and crew. She is reported to be very upset at this!

Then there's all the smaller productions where half the cast and crew are expected to work for free, either outright or effectively due to excessive hours and unpaid expenses, the others (including some pretty big events and tours) where invoices are never paid (and the few where the producer never intended to pay them either) etc...

2
0

Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Still beats the alternaives

No Windows developer in their right mind uses .NET.

We tried it once, for one project. Never Again.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Still beats the alternaives

OSX is only stable because Apple have just broken EVERYTHING so nothing works.

Broken is stable.

I support some OpenGL applications that run on Win32 and OSX since the days of Windows XP and whatever OSX it was that ran on both Intel and PPC around that time.

So far almost every 'named' OSX update has broken something, Apple's support of OpenGL in particular is horrendous.

The only thing that's ever broken in the Win32 version are the drivers for external hardware, which have had to be x64'd.

(Although Windows 8's driver model is a complete and total screwup. We are NOT paying MS to 'certify' a bloody INF that points straight to a built-in driver!)

4
3

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Maybe I'm naive,

What makes you think this isn't one of the methods they were using?

They aren't going to list descriptions of vulnerabilities in use on PowerPoint slides meant for the higher ups.

Basically, if the NSA did not know about this before public disclosure then they are incredibly incompetent because it's something they claim to be doing, and if they did know about it, then how long do they sit on vulnerabilities like this before nudging someone else to disclose?

0
0

Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight

Richard 12
Silver badge

Rather surprised by the lack of full autopilot.

Given that a proper one-CPU autopilot capable of long and complex missions can already be found on sub-1kg drones, I fail to see why a triplet-set of the same hasn't been installed.

The pilot only needs waking up if the autopilots disagree or have confusing/missing data (pitot frozen, GPS fix jump etc).

13
0

Time is on their side: NIST's new atomic clock accurate for 300 MEEELLION years

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Serious question @Stratman

You just *know* it's right.

More seriously, you know (or can measure) the tolerance of every component and thus can calculate the possible range of the total error.

In some cases this can even tell you the direction of the error - for example, car speedometers are (supposed to be) designed so they don't read lower than the actual speed. This does of course mean they nearly always read higher than the real speed.

The other way to tell is to build several and compare them, which was how it used to be done. That doesn't really work for very high accuracy clocks though because you have to wait too long before you see them diverge by a measurable amount.

(As opposed to other instantaneous physical quantity measurements, where it doesn't take too long to check.)

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Synchronous Power Grids

The grid will pull a small generator into sync almost instantly, accompanied by a loud BANG as the rotor is yanked around and the coils try to leap off the stator.

It's a very, very bad thing to do.

3
0

Annoying adverts on mobile site

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Annoying adverts on mobile site

Thanks! Will bear with.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

Annoying adverts on mobile site

This morning the advert at the top of the mobile site became so HUGE that it pushed all the content off the bottom of my mobile (iPhone 4S) browser screen.

I think it'll be more than 1/2 the screen on other phones.

It's now so ridiculously large and annoying that it genuinely made me think the site had been defaced!

Can you get it squashed back up to being a simple bar again?

An advert that size makes me certain to scroll away from it as fast as possible - or use an ad blocker.

I've always turned off my ad blocker for El Reg as you normally ensure the adverts do not annoy. However, this one for an MSCloud service is incredibly irritatingly huge, and now my impression of MS Cloud is that it deliberately gets in the way of what users want to do.

0
0

How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Richard 12
Silver badge

Computers are easy.

Machines are not.

A single production line tends to start at £10 million and up, with an expected lifetime of 20 years and often a payback period of 5-10 years, bought via bank loan.

If the line still works and makes the product, what company is going to blow another ten years profit on a new line?

That money comes from the workers pay packets. Are you happy to forego a pay rise for the next few years simply to upgrade from XP?

41
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: This is the fault of Trevor's clients

No it is not!

At the time these machines were bought, there was no other choice.

It takes at least two to three years to bring a machine like that to market.

If you were starting to build a CNC machine a mere ten years ago, the only possible OS for the host control machine was Windows XP.

I know a company that tried to use Linux back then - it failed miserably due to the poor to nonexistent driver support in the 00's.

That's no longer the case for drivers, Linux support is now very good.

However, it is still the case for much of the proprietary 3rd party software that such machines need to talk to.

- AutoCAD does not run under Linux, and won't unless Autodesk decide to port it, while Solidworks only added a Linux version in the last year.

(Much as I think AutoCAD needs to die, it's still an industry standard.)

35
2

Nvidia unveils Pascal, its next-gen GPU with hella-fast interconnects and 3D packaging

Richard 12
Silver badge
Joke

Can I write in Pascal for Pascal?

Or would that cause an infinite loop of headdesk?

2
0

TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: @ John Brown

That said, most domestic wall plate dimmers effectively lie about their rating. If it says 100W, it doesn't mean it'll actually run a 100W lamp continually.

They tend to be very low duty cycle.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

@ John Brown

Bzzt! Absolutely wrong, brimming over with wrongability.

Halogen lamps ARE incandescents.

The difference between those and "normal" GLS lamps is the gas fill, which uses the halogen cycle to deposit evaporated tungsten back onto the filament instead of staying on the glass.

- If you've ever been to the theatre, >90% of the lamps you see dimming so nicely are halogens. Bigger ones than you can get in Tesco, but still halogen.

1
0

UK.gov! frets! over! Yahoo! exodus! to! RIPA-free! Dublin!

Richard 12
Silver badge

She's a Home Secretary

It's job requirement to be evil.

- And if you aren't evil enough when you start the job, the civil servants arrange for the ethicectomy to be performed while you're sleeping.

2
0

Microsoft alters Hotmail policy amid blogger inbox probe outcry

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Never happen here

The housing/landlord thing had specific laws about it.

The tenant may "enjoy the property without let or hindrance".

But then business to business relationships have always been less stringently policed than business to consumer.

Businesses are more or less expected to write contracts to cover this sort of thing, and only rely on the law to enforce that contract.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Are they really sure they can do that?

Given that they have customers in practically every legal jurisdiction, some of which have very strict privacy laws?

I'm absolutely certain they can do this with US customers emails, but I suspect probably not EU customers due to Data Protection legislation.

While that won't stop them, it would tend to make cases built on the data fall to bits and cause a civil complaint to be met with a criminal counter suit.

Regardless, it was bloody stupid to make such a mockery of their own anti-Google adverts. I wonder how much money they wasted on those, and if US customers can now sue for false advertising?

6
0

MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

The cell data is an odd omission

It doesn't matter whether or not any passenger has a roaming contract as the phone has to connect to the basestation before it can be fobbed off with a "no contract". Even then a GSM phone can still make an emergency call.

So if the plane went through a strong enough region of cellular coverage - over land - and if somebody on the plane had left their phone on then yes, there should be a record of cells it touched. It probably wouldn't touch a continuous trail, but there should be a few cells.and thus eliminate some possibilities.

More importantly, if the plane did land intact anywhere you can be absolutely certain that damn near everybody would try to turn their phone on almost immediately. Even if they were somehow being actively prevented from doing so, some of them would have succeeded.

4
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Accident or Malicious?

> they would require a runway of c1.5km to land a 777

You can 'land' in a little over the wingspan - depends on the debris scatter.

If you want a "good" landing then a couple of hundred metres - like that 777 incident at LHR, where everybody walked off.

You only need the 1.5km for a "great" landing - ie one where you get to use the plane again.

2
0

GRAV WAVE TSUNAMI boffinry BONANZA – the aftershock of the universe's Big Bang

Richard 12
Silver badge

"Mu"

The question makes no sense, because the Big Bang was the beginning of time itself, and thus there was no "before" because there was no time for it to be in.

This is based on the Big Bang being a "perfect" singularity, so if we were to find evidence of a "before" it would mean that the Big Bang was not perfect - which would be very exciting indeed.

Nobody has found any evidence at all though.

4
1

Straight to 8: London's Met Police hatches Win XP escape plan

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: from experience...

Except that the set of touch hardware supported by both Windows XP and Windows 8 is miniscule and may not in fact exist.

So they'll have to replace ALL of their hardware, not just the desktops but the displays and touch overlays, at Government-procurement rates.

6
1

Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: All I want...

How much money do you have?

I saw the LG 77" OLED in John Lewis last week. Looked gorgeous.

Ever so slightly more expensive than I could afford though, you may need to sell a couple of small children as spare parts.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: EPG not so hot, requires work

That is very odd, as my Humax does genre-searches, and the EPG data stream itself contains that genre information.

It's often wrong, but it is there.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Once bitten

It's not just Panasonic, all the TV manufacturers do the same. It's the nature of the TV industry.

They gain nothing by updating extant TVs, because all that will do is delay the time when the customer buys a new panel.

Which is why I do NOT want a "Smart" TV, just a really good panel - and the less onboard processing the better.

1
0

Tiny heat-sucker helps keep Moore's Law going

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: 24% bah!

Those heat pipes are already being used.

The reason this is interesting is scale - heat pipes are physically many orders of magnitude larger, what with all the tubes and flow, while this works on the nanometre interconnects which are already there.

That said, it does rather sound like another, cheaper process might give the same result. Is this simply due to the annealing effect of the application process, or does the graphene itself do the work?

4
0

Slash tuition fees for STEM students, biz boss body begs UK.gov

Richard 12
Silver badge

When I finished my STEM there were no jobs

Or rather there were no companies willing to pay a decent wage for a recent graduate, so I left the country.

The real problem is the complete lack of respect for scientists and engineers from politicians and society at large.

In other societies the title Engineer commands respect. Not in the UK.

20
0

Mastercard, Syniverse target holiday payment security with mobile verification system

Richard 12
Silver badge

Why do you still have this card?

If any of my banks did that they'd be dropped like a hot brick.

As far as I'm concerned, a bank gets up to two chances - one annoying screwup is forgiveable, two might be ok as long as they apologise and compensate properly, three is an immediate goodbye.

So I don't have an RBS account anymore.

1
0

MtGox, that bastion of unregulated e-currency Bitcoin, turns to Texas judge for protection

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Perhaps someone can explain to me...

The variety of cryptocurrencies now in existence doesn't really matter.

While I could easily start up "Richard12Coin" in my shed, it would have zero value unless a critical mass of people agreed that it had a value and began to accept it as payment.

It's the same as if I printed out notes with my face on.

Currencies work because people accept them as payment.

Bitcoin itself may or may not be doomed, but if it dies it'll be replaced by an alternative crypto currency because it's clear that there is a market for these.

It may be that a small number survive the next couple of decades and become at least as dominant as some smaller countries' "real" currency, or that they rise and fall in quick succession, with speculators losing big each time.

Who knows? I'm not going to put my money behind any of them, but others will.

3
0

Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Richard 12
Silver badge

Microsoft said it was

They explicitly stated that Internet Explorer was "an integral part of the OS as their get-out-of-jail argument during the monopolist abuse lawsuits.

United States v. Microsoft Corporation, for committing monopolization

So don't blame people for believing them.

4
0

Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Matrix Broad?

I learnt wire wrapping just last year.

Was a lot faster and much less error prone than stripboard, I quite enjoyed it.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

No, PoE's a very bad idea for this.

The problem is that there aren't enough sockets, so replacing something that can be daisychained (multiple BS1363 four-ways) with something that's purely radial (so massive bundle of cable) is going the wrong way.

Aside from that, PoE is only 13W anyway, and even the new PoE+ is only ~20W after cable losses. As the wattage increases the efficiency drops rapidly due to the thin wires in Cat5/5e/6.

10W USB sockets could actually replace most of the adapters in an average home.

You can already buy a big block of 'fast charge' USB sockets for not very much - eg This one from Maplin. (Oh no...)

That EU idea of standardising laptop PSUs is basically the only hope of more-than-10W supplies. Once you have a standard voltage and connector the market cna provide.

2
0

Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: The follow-up.

There are a lot of other human activities that have a vastly greater effect than any amount of CO2 emissions.

Deforestation, desertification, building on flood plains, draining swamps, paving over soakaways etc.

Some of these are being actively encouraged by the climate change policies - eg palm oil plantations created for biofuels are likely to destroy entire rainforests in the coming decades. Goodbye orangutans, you were sacrificed to the altar of climate change policy.

Desertification or flooding tends to follow the above.

None of this is climate change but all of it has a much greater effect on the ecosystems and indeed humans.

2
0

Forums