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* Posts by Daedalus

174 posts • joined 15 Oct 2009

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Why has sexy Apple gone to bed with big boring IBM?

Daedalus

Re: In a world...

Just for fun I pasted the article into Word and ran the checker. A lot of tech-ese got flagged, as you might expect, including iPhone etc. The "three" didn't get flagged directly but the adjacent verb "exists" was flagged for inconsistency with "here three". Certain dangling phrases were caught, as were Mr. Clarke's neologisms. Maybe the last items, all too frequent on the Reg, were the reason for not bothering to run a checker.

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Daedalus

In a world...

...where spell checking is built into everything but the fridge, you'd thing taht three would be no possibility of publishing an article that mis-spelled "that" and "there".

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Hi-tech Fagin couple used Apple scam cash to fly pickpockets to UK

Daedalus

Pity they didn't live on...

...Mornington Crescent

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When the robot rebellion comes, this Jibo droid will BORE you to death

Daedalus

I have heard the future

And it sounds like David Sedaris.

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Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

Daedalus

In memoriam

So farewell Emily Pankhurst

You were born

on the 14th or 15th

of July or some other month

and your name was Goulden

but my friend Keith's friend Adam's Mum

says you were born on Bastille day

(whenever that is)

and Keith's Mum says she's an expert.

- E.J. Thribb (59 1/2)

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German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

Daedalus

On the dropping of trousers

"Letting down your trousers" is an old German espionage expression for revealing yourself as a spy. But that doesn't mean you tell the truth about who you are working for. Maybe this guy thought he had been recruited by the Yanks, but there's a good chance his intel went elsewhere. There is actually no way for the Germans to prove - short of getting pictures of him handing stuff to Embassy staff - that he was actually working for the USA.

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HESS-II scope spots its first pulsar

Daedalus

Oh dear

HESS is not a radio telescope. It's a Cherenkov radiation detector, which means it picks up a flash of light when a gamma ray dumps its energy in the high atmosphere. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IACT

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Amazon offers Blighty's publishing industry 'assisted suicide'

Daedalus

Poor little publishers!!

In times gone by, the "Net Book Agreement" allowed UK publishers and booksellers to collude and fix prices. It lasted in some form or other till the 90's! Look it up.

So when the bigger bully comes along and beats up the flabby old bully, it's hard to feel sympathy for either side. And remember that W H Smugg is known for putting the screws on publishers and authors, so not much changes.

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BBC: Bumpkins, hobbits need fairer coverage

Daedalus

It ain't just the yokels in the UK...

BBC reporters in the US routinely pontificate on US matters while sitting in cafes in NYC, DC, LA or various other acronymic cities far from the actual events taking place in ND, SD, TX etc.

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Expulsion from Garden of Steven: Apple staffers tossed out of Fruit Loop

Daedalus

Re: They can't all be engineers and designers

The trouble is that finance, marketing, and admin, the political heart of the corporation, tend to cluster around the fireplace and shunt the productive people to the cold parts of the room. Fruit Loop Central will therefore be where powerful people do nothing worthwhile except pursue their own interests.

This is where Apple becomes Just Another Big Corporation.

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Activist investors try forcing Google to pay more taxes

Daedalus
Thumb Down

Classic nonsense

1. Buy one share of company (or however many the company bylaws require to put up a shareholder proposal)

2. File controversial proposal.

3. Bask in glow of publicity.

4. Achieve nothing else.

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WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Daedalus

Pretty standard, but don't blame the FCC. It's the local govt officials who granted these monopolies. Most of the "broadband" providers are still cable TV providers using their original lines. The monopolies were granted in the 70's.

The main choice just about anywhere is cable broadband or ISDN with the phone company.

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

Daedalus
Childcatcher

The answer is yes, and...

...this is what it will cost.

Consultants are told that the answer to a client inquiry is always the above.

Perhaps Mr. Dabbs should say "Yes, and every two minutes I will be running a video commercial for Millett's Milky Marvels. I will also have a crawl running along the bottom of the screen promoting online gambling."

That way the talk will be as "free" as a typical web page.

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Target finally implements chip and PIN card protections

Daedalus
FAIL

Meet the new cards...

...same as the old cards.

Just got a new card here in the USA, and..

Yes!

We have no

Chip contacts

We have no chip contacts today!

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And! For! Yahoo!'s next! trick! ... Making! two! new! TV! comedies!

Daedalus
Unhappy

Misfits in another universe?

Smeg! That sounds familiar!

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Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

Daedalus
Devil

The last seven-way split I heard of....

...was Voldemort's soul.

Ya know, that might explain this....

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Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc

Daedalus

Gives a whole new meaning to...

...giving somebody a ring sometime.

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Is tech the preserve of the young able-bodied? Let's talk over a fine dinner and claret

Daedalus

What happened to contrast?

Even the most sharp eyed have to find grey text on a white background hard to read. And don't get me started on light blue text.

Oops, here's the Reg using grey text...

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

Daedalus

Not the programmers fault!!

Too many companies roll out software without dry runs and offline testing. It's Co-op's fault all the way!

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Raised £350bn in crowdsourced funding? Tell me about it (not)

Daedalus

Re: 沖縄国際映画祭 日本語 メールニュース

@Cynic: very nice. Now I know what "May-Ru Ni-Yu-Su" is a mangling of.

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Daedalus

Re: 沖縄国際映画祭 日本語 メールニュース

And indeed he is not. The first "word" is indeed to be found as the title of the Japanese Wikipedia article on said festival.

We will now contemplate the awesomeness of having readers of Reg, and Dabbsie in particular, who also read Japanese...

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Daedalus

Re: 沖縄国際映画祭 日本語 メールニュース

The second and third words are respectively "Ni hon go", meaning "Japanese language" and "Me-Ru-Ni-Yu-Su", meaning unknown. Just in case this guy is having us on....

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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

Daedalus

Blue sky thinking

Only Microsoft would name a cloud product with a word usually used to describe a clear blue sky!

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Inmarsat: Doppler effect helped 'locate' MH370

Daedalus
Boffin

It's got a beat!

You make the mistake of thinking that a frequency shift of 8 parts per 10,000 is somehow difficult to detect. In fact it's easy because, when combined with the reference signal, you get a difference signal in the megahertz range. That's what makes good old British fine-you-for-1-mph-over radar work. The effect is exactly the same as the one that creates "beats" when two musical notes that are close in frequency sound together.

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

Daedalus
FAIL

Correction, Mr. T

Inflation doesn't explain why we have detected temperature differences. It explains why the temperature of the universe is uniform (that's "no differences") in all directions.

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Relief when urine trouble becomes latest capacity-sharing service

Daedalus

Lirpa loof strikes again.

Is it April already?

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SpaceX set to try HOVER LANDING for re-usable rockets on March ISS mission

Daedalus
FAIL

Chasing rainbows

Every tonne of fuel that the rocket expends in a soft landing will require 11 tonnes of fuel to get it into orbit, and then more fuel for de-orbit, just so that it can be used in the soft landing. Why waste fuel for nothing? That tonne of soft landing fuel could be a tonne of payload in orbit.

If these guys have any sense, they will design an air-braked system that has at worst subsonic velocity coming in to land, then does most of its late braking using parachutes followed by a last-second rocket firing, just like Soyuz.

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Boffins hose down fiery Li-ion batteries with industrial lubricant

Daedalus

Hardware bloat

Nobody in the process seems to have noticed that PFPE is over twice as dense as typical hydrocarbon polymers. There goes the weight advantage of Li-ion.

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Apple pushes back release date for 'dustbin chic' Mac Pro

Daedalus
Pint

And under his nightshirt could clearly be seen...

A brand new cylindrical MacPro machine!

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Trials of 'Iron Man' military exoskeleton due in June

Daedalus
Thumb Down

Re: power source will be a amassive problem for these

>>I would have thought ultra compact, high efficiency generators would be the way to go

Just one problem: they don't exist. Batteries are "efficient" but don't give much energy per kilogram compared to liquid fuels, and the better they get the more they are like incendiary bombs. Internal combustion engines are at most 50% efficient so for each useful kilowatt you get a kilowatt of heat that you have to deal with. Try wearing an electric bar heater on your back all the time. Fuel cells have the potential to be more efficient than engines, but they run hot just to work. Same problem.

I'm always amazed that Iron Man is thought to be a realistic example of technology. There isn't a single thing about that suit that is vaguely plausible, unless you count being mildly bulletproof. Thor is the most believable Avenger - he's a god. 'Nuff said.

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Tech giants CAN disclose US spooks' data demands - but with heavy restrictions

Daedalus
Megaphone

Accentuate the negative

They can always announce from time to time how many requests they did not get. Then if they go silent at some point, it's not like they are squealing - but we'll know.

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'You win, Kanye': Coinye creators throw in towel after rapper sues

Daedalus
Boffin

Re: Trademark?

Under US law if you don't actively protect your trademark you can lose the right to enforce it, just as if your neighbour maintains a piece of your property that you neglect, you can lose it under "adverse possession". Hence all the "cruel" lawsuits against nursery schools with Disney characters painted on the walls etc. It's just how the law has to work.

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Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule

Daedalus
Happy

Quinones?

These guy have some cojones!

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Naked Aussie gets wedged in washing machine

Daedalus
Happy

In a whirl

Is it true that washing machines spin in the opposite direction Down Under?

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BlackBerry nabs 'The Sims' to head up crucial Services unit

Daedalus

da da da dum da da da dum

So now he's the Master....

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On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

Daedalus

Oh deer!!

In certain parts of the USA deer hunting is only allowed with shotguns firing "deer slugs". These were once single large ball-like slugs with limited accuracy, since the barrel is not rifled. However modern ammo features sabot rounds where the slug gets its spin from the detachable plastic housing that contains it as it proceeds down the barrel. These rounds are supposed to be almost as accurate as standard rifle rounds.

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BLUSHING asteroids lose their red space tan when they visit the Red Planet MARS

Daedalus
Facepalm

Re: Bah!

Yeah yeah yeah. I've heard about Forward and his anti-matter rocket. Guess what? It's no different in the end from NERVA, except that you heat the hydrogen by annihilating anti-hydrogen instead of running it through a nuclear reactor. You still wind up with a rocket that throws hot hydrogen out the back. You can get a lot out of a hot-hydrogen rocket. You can start in Earth orbit with 75% hydrogen fuel, 25% payload, visit Mars and an asteroid or two and come home. But you won't be doing it in hours or even days. You still have to use slow orbits not much different from the ones that the Mars probes use today.

Robert L. Forward was a highly respected engineer and writer. He could do the math and the physics. But he couldn't rewrite the laws thereof.

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Daedalus
Thumb Down

Re: Bah!

If you want "ships that get out there and back in reasonable time" you need to move to a different universe. Preferably the one inhabited by James T. Kirk.

Using the standard "throw stuff out the back to move forward" kind of space travel you can't even get good results from super-duper-unobtainium-fueled megarockets if you fire the rocket continuously. Example: your rocket exhaust travels so fast that its equivalent temperature is millions of degrees (modern rockets are a few thousand degrees). You try the old "accelerate at 1 gravity for some time, flip over and decelerate at 1 gravity", using up say 90% of your starting mass. That gets you about as far as the moon, maybe. It's the physics, folks.

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Daedalus
Boffin

Re: Bah!

There have been plenty of schemes for getting out there, most of them cheap (by cheap we mean costing less than the total annual beer consumption in the US). The NERVA nuclear powered rocket could have made it: the preliminary work was done and it only needed the will to continue, which Congress did not have. So don't blame the scientists and the engineers, blame the pols.

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Daedalus
Headmaster

Failure of astronomical proportions!

"Mars is quite close to the asteroid belt".

Sure, it's only farther from Ceres than Earth is from the Sun! The inner edge of the asteroid belt is about 45 million miles from Mars, about half the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

The boffins are clearly talking about "Mars crossing" asteroids, those that have strayed out of the main belt and come within, say, a few hundred thousand miles, just as there are "Earth crossing" asteroids that we hear so much about (Near Miss at 2 million miles!!).

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Autopilot guides Texan plane home from a dizzying 30,000m

Daedalus

Ah, Texas....

Gotta be nice to live somewhere where you can do this kind of thing without getting advance permission from ye powyrres above and without having the plods show up to nick you for breaking a rule they made up five minutes before...

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Behold, the MONSTER-CLAWED critter and its terrifying SPIDER BRAIN

Daedalus

Ooh scary

The beast was actually about 6 centimetres long. Most of the "great claw" species were, er, shrimps by comparison with even a small modern crab. Betcha all these photos are cropped to remove the size ruler.

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METEORITES, not MEN, are FROM MARS: NASA rover's shock discovery

Daedalus

And the answer to the Ultimate Question...

...turns out to be 4.2. You can't make this stuff up. Sorry Dougla, you were off by a factor of 10.

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US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

Daedalus

Yawn....

There were about 3 million kids born in the US in 2012. So a few thousand have funny names...

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Investor lobs sueball at BlackBerry, says it 'misled' shareholders

Daedalus

S.O.B.

Lawsuits like this are routine. Some law firms will file suit A if the stock goes up, and suit B if it goes down. The object is to garner settlements, "get lost" money, and fees fees fees. Any shareholders actually involved can expect pennies in return.

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Daedalus

Which is worse...

...using your engineering skills to navigate a buggy self-service till, or standing behind a woman buying 50 fiddly objects who finally realizes she actually has to pay for it all and proceeds to dig through a bag the size of a duvet for a purse containing dozens of cards that she carefully peruses to choose which part of her ballooning debt load will get added to?

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Washington Post officially sold to Amazon's Bezos for quarter of a Tumblr

Daedalus

Some deal

Bezos paid something between $250 and $500 per reader. You'd think that a nationally famous newspaper would sell millions of copies but you'd be wrong. The post sells less than 1 million at best.

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WHY didn't Microsoft buy RIM? Us business blokes would have queued for THAT phone

Daedalus

Forget the iPhone

The iPhone was designed to milk money from the great unwashed. It's a super simple device for super simple people who like to chatter inanely, text incomprehensibly and post pictures in flagrante. For business users you need something outside the fenced-in iPhone application environment, so it's going to happen on Android or WinPhone, probably Android because MS are such tossers.

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Blighty's great digital radio switchover targets missed AGAIN

Daedalus

Nearly there....

Hey, if more than 51% of the country has DAB sets, then OfCom can order the termination of analogue broadcasting and claim that a majority of the population will be unaffected.

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Tracking the history of magnetic tape: A game of noughts and crosses

Daedalus

Re: Sound-On-Sound

>> Bing Crosby gave Les Paul an early production model and the musician went on to invent sound-on-sound recording.

>Les Paul did his first sound on-sound-recording using a pair of disc cutting lathes he'd built himself before Bing Crosby ever gave him the tape machine.

Exactly right. The lathes were based on flywheels from Cadillacs. Les went on to "invent" the "Les Paulverizer" which he claimed could multiply anything or anybody, allowing him to play many parts at once (and, in typical 50's humour, allowing his wife to vacuum all the rooms in the house at once). Later still he made the Les Paulverizer part of his stage act, using some offstage wizardry to let him record what we now call "loops" and stack them up. A great individual, a real American one-off. Sorely missed.

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