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* Posts by Steve X

506 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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UK shamed in high-speed broadband study

Steve X
Facepalm

Netherlands

This surely isn't much of a surprise. Is there anywhere in the Netherlands where it's even possible to live as far from an exchange as one can in rural England or Scotland? Take any small, modern,homogeneous densely-populated country (NL has 2x population density than UK) and you'll find better availabilitiy of services than in a big equivalent.

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This just in: Brussels shatters CRT cartel

Steve X
Stop

actually no

> lower funding requirements for the EU, which will mean lower taxes -

No, it will mean even more EU bureaucrats, to soak up the extra cash. Lowering taxes would send entirely the wrong idea.

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ITU heralds ultra-high def TV progress

Steve X

Why does UHDTV need a new standard?

I think that the new standards are more likely related to newer compression systems, so that the next UHVSDTV won't require everything from MW to visible light just to get one channel in.

Sadly it is probable that no new standard of decency will be introduced to prevent that channel being the latest series of X-factor :(

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Steve X
Thumb Down

21" PC monitor

> I can clearly see the difference between 720p and 1080p on my 21" PC monitor

Of course you can, you're probably sitting 50 cm from it! Plan to watch your 52" screen from 1.25m away? The human eye has limited resolution, based on the number of rods/cones it contains, so inevitably there is a practical limit. The BBC have researched this, they have whitepapers on the engineering website.

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Ballmer disses Android as cheap and complex

Steve X
Devil

cheap and complex?

So, if cheap and complex is bad, does that mean expensive and basic is good? That could explain a lot about Microsoft's business moidel...

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Wireless industry bows to 'bill shock' rules

Steve X

Nothing to do with small antennae. GPS just tells you where you are on (or above) the planet. If you want that position shown on a map, you have to download the map, which is nothing to do with the GPS satellites.

When you start the Nokia maps application (at least on my N95) the first question it asks is "Go online now?". Just say no. If you preload the maps from a PC you'll have no phone charges.

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It's official: Microsoft, Skype marriage consummated

Steve X
Thumb Down

consumated?

so skype has been well and truly fucked then?

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Sony asks for 1.6m LCD TVs to be returned

Steve X
Coat

Fire?

I reckon it's just a sting operation to catch the folks who looted TVs in last month's riots...

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Win 8 haters are just scared of change, say MS bosses

Steve X
Coat

Toying with Gnomes

It's OK, no-one could mistake an El Reg comment forum for polite company...

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US rocketeer thunders to 121,000ft

Steve X
Thumb Down

Too complicated

An RPG fired from across the Thames would be cheaper, more accurate, more spectacular, and more worring due to the simplicity of it.

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Laptop shoots spike into owner's hand

Steve X
WTF?

I smell a scam

Who in their right mind is going to leave a jagged spike of metal in their hand while they look for a camera to get a suitable photo? Wouldn't most people's first instinct be to just swear, yank it out, and run for the first-aid kit?

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Gas bill climbed £13,000 after correct online reading given

Steve X
Facepalm

Well...

Anyone remember the 1200bps modems that used to drop carrier when listing Fortran programs? Turned out that a long series of "C"s generated a bit pattern that the modem didn't like. Of course no-one ever writes long series of "C"s. Except when a Fortran programmer wanted to delimit a comment, and after putting a C in column one, they just held the key down to repeat for

71 times....

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

C This is a comment block

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC{{}NO CARRIER

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News of Steve Jobs' death causes market jitters

Steve X
Thumb Down

hardly *market* jitters

Just jitters in the share price of one company. Apple isn't the whole market (yet).

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BBC One and bureaucracy spared in Auntie cuts

Steve X
Thumb Up

I think you meant "that *don't* have zero as the baseline". 100% agreement.

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MS names Nokia WinPho models in compo blunder

Steve X
WTF?

"marriage of the world's best handset maker with the world's finest mobile OS is a match made in heaven"

Undoubtedly true. What's it got to do with Nokia and Microsoft?

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500 jobs threatened as Virgin Media shutters Liverpool call centre

Steve X
Thumb Down

obvious really

They were the guys who knew what they were talking about, so took the time to fix customer problems. Which of course meant that they took longer to fix things than the folks who followed the scripts and never got past "turn it off and on again". Clearly less efficient, so they got the chop. Typical beancounting helldesk management, really.

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007's car outdrives iPhone in battle of the brands

Steve X
Stop

I hate to say it, but...

I think Aston Martin's showing this year might have more to do with a certain "Just Married" drive down the Mall than with Jimmy007.

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Sonex calls in administrators

Steve X
Thumb Down

"MP3 is a lossey format."

MP3 may be lossy, but it takes advantage of the physiological characteristics of the human ear so that it only looses the bits you can't hear anyway. 320kbit/s VBR MP3s are not, subjectively, "low" quality.

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Steve X
Unhappy

Sony Brand

True, the brand is all that's left. So much of their kit is cheap badge-engineered stuff that the reputaton they once had for quality is fading. No-one is going to pay Sony prices for something when you can't tell whether it is "real" Sony or just rebadged junk.

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Power cut knocks Miliband off-air mid-speech

Steve X
Coat

Seemed like a pretty standard Labour message to me, completely devoid of content. He should be congratulated on its length, though. Hard to beat.

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'Delayed' Facebook iPad app claims lead coder casualty

Steve X
WTF?

Junior programmer?

If I quit my job every time I finished a program and then found that the project had been cancelled, I'd have to set up a tent outside the JobCenter.

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Online government services would exclude many Welsh

Steve X

not all phobic or stupid

> miss out because they are technophobes, or because they think it might be difficult.

Or because they just aren't interested. My Dad used my Mum as an email proxy for years, he saw the advantages of email from the golf club, but had absolutely no interest in using it himself.

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Ancient auto: still running, up for sale

Steve X

Nice

What chance a prototype Tesla or Volt from today surviving until 2138!

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TalkTalk still the most whinged about telco

Steve X
WTF?

telecoms regulations

"stop breaching telecoms regulations by issuing bills to consumers for services that have not been provided. "

Sorry? Is "breaching telecoms regulations" Ofcom newspeak for "fraud"? . Maybe instead of asking them nicely to stop, they could have hauled their CEO into court? Or would that have been too much like hard work for that bunch of regulatory incompetents?

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Mars trips could blind astronauts

Steve X

I'm not an opthalmologist, but

Isn't it also possible that 6 months in a box where you never need to look further than about 10 feet in front of you might have an effect on eye muscles as well?

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Blighty's slow-crawling broadband streets revealed

Steve X
Facepalm

slow urban areas

Amazing. Places with lots of people using the internet have the slowest download speeds.

Isn't that a bit like discovering that places with the most cars tend to have the biggest traffic jams?

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BBC website ditches modules in facelift

Steve X

eeek!

Waaayyyy too cluttered. Dump half the stuff in the top slidey-wipey thing, and use a decent serif font for other bits.

Still, it could be worse. Anyone looked at the Radio Times site recently?

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NASA: Beam me up some power, Scotty

Steve X

190 gigawatts to power the first stage of a Saturn V rocket

But isn't most of that used to lift the as-yet-unburned fuel, which won't be required if the laser is ground-based?

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AMD spills secret to World Record clock speed

Steve X

I remember university science days where people were invited to dip their hand into (and rapidly out of) a dewar of liquid nitrogen. If you do it briefly you'll come to no harm, and the feeling of having your fingers in boiling liquid is weird, to say the least.

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PayPal to move into the shop - without cards or NFC

Steve X
Stop

Scan the barcode, pay for it via an app, and trigger the security alarms as you leave because a checkout operator hasn't cancelled the security tag? I can see that working. Not.

PayPal thinks it can do this cheaply because it doesn't have the overheads of a bank, but those overheads are there for security and protection. As usual, when the new boy thinks it can solve a problem better than the folks who've been doing it for 50-odd years, it generally means that they don't really understand the fine details of the problem. Wait until the first time someone gets conned, and discovers that theyt have no legal protection, because Paypal isn't a bank.

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LOHAN to suck mighty thruster as it goes off, in a shed

Steve X
Alert

> It would be a good idea to tether the metal top to prevent unwanted damages

and to be careful when re-admitting air if it doesn't ignite. Never return to a lit firework, and all that.

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Steve X
Angel

Clever Lester's Impressive Test Of Rocket Ignition System ?

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BT to fibre-up another 114 exchanges

Steve X
Stop

"passed"

I think you'll find that BT, like most other service providers (gas, etc.) uses the "passed" terminology to indicate the number of *potential* houses they can supply. i.e. if they cable a street with 50 houses then they have "passed" 50 houses, i.e. 50 houses which can get a connection if they want, no matter how many are current customers. It has nothing to do with copper/fibre differences.

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Glow-in-the-dark kittens to help produce cure for AIDS

Steve X
Coat

The Dong!--the Dong!

So in future, before we have sex with someone we'll have to see if they glow in the dark?

Maybe Edward Lear was right all along, and I thought luminous *condoms* were weird.

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Google greedily goobles foodie guide Zagat

Steve X
Thumb Down

Ah well

I used to trust Zagat. I suppose it will now rate based on advertiser clicks :(

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NASA releases stunning new moon-landing snaps

Steve X
Joke

Any new drinks at the bar?

Wouldn't matter, that bar has *no* atmosphere.

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Bloody Moon stuffs the Perseids

Steve X
Alien

Well....

Where's the Kaboom??

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Cabinet Office allocates £1.6m for single government domain

Steve X

.co

is "commercial"

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Steve X
Coat

gov.gov.uk

These days "gov.co.uk" would be nearer the mark.

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iPad racketeers' high wire exploits falter

Steve X
FAIL

At daybreak?

Smugglers waiting for daybreak? Lazy sods, what is the world coming to. "the darkest night is the smugglers time".

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Lightning strikes cloud: Amazon, MS downed

Steve X

dark bulbs

3 phases (red, yellow, blue) from the grid, three phases from your local source. Lightbulbs between grid "red" and local "red", ditto for the other two. When all the bulbs go dark together it means there's no significant voltage difference between grid and local on any phase, i.e. you know that your local source is in sync with the grid, and can be connected.

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Reg readers ponder LOHAN's substantial globes

Steve X
Coat

when it bursts it will launch

and when it launches it will burst. Win-Win.

If the ballon were filled with hydrogen it would be an even more spectacular launch.

(OK, OK, I know)

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Fanboys find way to NFC an iPhone

Steve X
Coat

Magic Wand

Hitachi? That would make for interesting travel experiences (and odd looks)...

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Post Office banking collapses in computer fail

Steve X
Thumb Up

Bletchley Park

Yes, that was Tommy Flowers, unappreciated (unknown) for far too long. RIP.

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Koreans produce $3m glow-in-the-dark dog

Steve X

Fluorescent?

But will it lase if you hit it with a sufficently bright flash? *That* would make a helluva guard dog.

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Cellular network hijacking for fun and profit

Steve X

Been done

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Midnight_(HBO)

is one of many such.

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DARPA project seeks immortality, suspended animation

Steve X
Black Helicopters

Super soldiers next?

What next, overclocked squaddies? They only last for a war, but get so much more done...

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World's first turbine powered Batmobile hits roads

Steve X
Coat

atomic battery powered turbines?

It's called a hybrid...

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The Queen visits Bletchley Park

Steve X

I know what you mean

When I saw the Colossus rebuild running a few years back it was quite incongrous to see, sitting among the test gear, some modern laptops.

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McAfee head vanishes, replaced by two more

Steve X
Thumb Down

Ms James?

> I believe Ms James would object to being called chairman

Unlikely, since

a) It's how she's described in official McAfee press releases

b) The fact that the word ends in the three letters 'm', 'a' and 'n' has no connection with the sex of the person holding the office. She would be correctly addressed as Madam Chairman.

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