* Posts by Jan 0

731 posts • joined 14 Dec 2009

Page:

Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Pint

Re: Some fabulous pictures...

Somewhere... I have some nice pictures that I took on a tour organised via Usenet in the 1990s. I can't remember the name of the organiser, just that it was probably done via uk.misc. What impressed me were the stacks of wheel pairs on massive axles, nicely ground and finished with red paint. The miniature trains made you think that we'd stumbled on a aliensubterranean civilisation. A long owed beer for whichever kind and industrious soul organised our free visit. I'm so glad that I saw this before it became a relic.

0
0

Give BAE a kicking and flog off new UK warships, says review

Jan 0
Bronze badge

You are Lewis Page AICMFP!

1
0

Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Oh wow

Yoda you are and pounds five mine I claim.

1
0

Mozilla hackers audit cURL file transfer toolkit, give it a tick for security

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Many thanks guys!

Those 20 days must be some of the most useful work days of 2016. Excepting those in medical, other life preserving professions and educators. I know there are other people who've done something useful for the human race, but my thoughts are just overwhelmed by the outrageous waste of most human talent.

4
0

Space crap: Flap, zap or strap? $30k from NASA for your pooper scooper

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Shit happens: It would only delay the problem.

If all your nourishment is liquid you will still defaecate, at a lower rate, to eliminate dead cells from your intestine and bile. That would still be true even if all your food and water intake was intravenous.

Nonetheless, your suggestion might make an anal pl^H^Htampon viable for 6 days.

1
0

Debian putting everything on the /usr

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: I don't like change

There is also good reason for /sbin to contain statically linked executables so that you can fix your system when the libraries have gone awol.

3
0

Here's how the missile-free Royal Navy can sink enemy ships after 2018

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Coat

Truly Splendid!

Local joineries and engineering workshops could churn these out by the thousand, funded by a whip 'round at local workplaces. They could take off* from the nearest road, although hundreds of small agricultural businesses seem to have their animal sheds dotted around what look suspiciously like runways.

*to land on our aircraft carriers.

11
1

Race for wireless VR headset heats up

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Still "ten years away"?

Display resolution, colour fidelity, weight, comfort and power requirements are alll unsatisfactory. The only sensory input that could be satisfactory with current technology is acoustic. Touch and acceleration aren't being addressed at all with headsets.

For a first person view in a storyline or game, a better approach (which wouldn't make much money for a hardware and software manufacturer:) might be to do some serious research into lucid dreaming. Could psychologists find techniques to make lucid dreaming very easy for everyone. Could lucid dreamers be led by external cues so that a plot could be followed without having to learn it first? If so could you also cue arbitrary incidents for real time gaming? Are there any trick cyclists reading this thread who'd care to comment?

2
3

What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: The question I have seen neither asked nor answered:

Thank you for asking the question that has been worrying me too.

The money can't have gone into a sack behind a hedge somewhere, so is the destination bank account subject to a digital stakeout? Alternatively, was this just a prank in which someone zeroed 9,000 accounts without actually stealing any money?

2
0

McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: I haven't been to Florence

Well, Pizza isn't local* food either! It takes a little more effort, but it's not that hard to eat a plate of murex from the lagoon, sarde in saor, fegato, bigoli.., etc. when you're in Venice. Maybe try walking away from St Mark's square for 10 to 20 minutes?

*Venice is in Northern Italy, an entirely different country to the one where pizzas originated and spread. Sadly, due to tourism(?), real pizza is increasingly hard to find. P.S. I found this explanation just before the edit period expired: http://christinejwarren.com/the-blunt-truth-about-food-in-venice/

6
0

New Relic: Turtles? No. It's cloud infrastructure all the way down

Jan 0
Bronze badge

That server monitoring sounds fine,

but if that's what New Relic does, why do I find New Relic scripts eager to run via my web browser?

0
0

Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: How on earth

> how is hardware gonna help abyssal software ?

Hmm, I think the best choice is to use fluidic logic hardware at the bottom of oceans.

0
0

Hitler's wife's lovely lilac knickers fetch £2,900 at auction

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Why is the monogram on the front?

Clearly BBC Radio 4 newsreaders wouldn't understand the joke.

Is it really 'brawn' in the BBC pronunciation guide?

Where's the brown coat icon?

2
0

Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: electrical buss

> At least the asbestos laden water wasn't going to catch fire.

Oh, I dunno, try adding a little Chlorine trifluoride?

3
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Die Hard VII: Sysadmin

> is there ever going to be a sequel to The Matrix?

Errm, I knew there was one, but a quick surf shows there are two. However, I'm sure you can guess why you've never heard of them:). How come you haven't come to dread the prospect of sequels, do you long for disappointment that badly?

Note: a well thought out series is not a set of sequels in the Hollywood sense.

0
0

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Alert

Some celebration due.

Let's hope that the temperature profile from the impact and explosion was sufficient to sterilise the probe. However, we've already dumped enough microbes on Mars to make it certain that we're going to find life somewhere on Mars.

I know that great care is taken to try and build the landers aseptically, but since they're not prepared to actually sterilise them*, it's inevitable that Mars is being inoculated with Terrestrial microbes. Maybe we shouldn't be dropping landers on Mars until we've thoroughly thought through the consequences? Well, we're just human, so I don't think that's going to happen.

*Okeh, it's a hard call to build a working lander that would allow you to sterilise the whole caboodle, no matter how inaccessible the interior. For example, you could use steam for 15 minutes at 121 C, dry heat for 3 hours at 160 C, a high concentration of ozone or ethylene oxide for a couple of hours, or tens of kGy of gamma radiation.

1
5

Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Yes, the younger "adult" set seems to have become over sheltered as a whole.

> It's like they think this is normal.

What do they think is normal? Parents attending a job interview without the interviewee, or that parents should be there at all?

Are you telling us about advertised jobs where you have invited candidates, speculative interviews at job fairs, or something else?

1
0

US reactor breaks fusion record – then runs out of cash and shuts down

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Quotation from the article: "the high pressures required for burning plasma"

It seems that Riccardo Betti is unable to distinguish physics from chemistry. As he's the "the Robert L McCrory Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester", maybe that's also relevant to the parlous state of US science?

1
3

BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Huge Array?

> We now have a huge array of micro-payment platforms

If we have such a huge array, how come I can't browse an online tabloid without being deluged with advertisements?

(OK, adblockers are available, but won't keep El Reg afloat.)

0
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Well come to Norwich then...

> What's your view on the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre?

As Mahatma Gandhi said: " I think it might be a good idea". However, we've been waiting for its completion for over 50 years. (We have three streets that claim to be pedestrianised, but strangely manage to have cars and delivery vehicles on them all through the day.) If Venice can manage without cars, why not Norwich? Oh, is there really a shortage of handcarts in Norwich? Why not try load carrying bicycles?

0
0

Kodak teases smartphone

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: "Exceptional" Kodak cameras?

I think that Kodak could make more money by bringing back Kodachrome 25. (Admittedly not much money, but I'm probably not the only digital camera user who'd love to carry an additional camera with K25.)

0
0

Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: John Smith

I guess you're not drinking Sam Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout at those prices.

Where's the dark beer icon when you need it?

0
0

It's Pablo Pic-arsehole: Turner Prize wannabe hits rock bottom

Jan 0
Bronze badge

You don't undertand?

Vic Reeves made it all very clear last Wednesday: BBC 4 "Gaga for Dada"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07w6j9h/gaga-for-dada-the-original-art-rebels.

4
0

Hubble spies on Europa shooting alien juice from its southern pole

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: How did Clarke know ?!

> This is just the first bit of proof that there may be water there

No, this is the second bit of proof that there are water volcanoes. The existence of water has been known for a long time.

2
0

Turing, Hauser, Sinclair – haunt computing's Cambridge A-team stamping ground

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: For the true Sinclair aficionado...

The A14 existed, but was still called the A45. It can't be much more than 10 years since the "formerly the A45" signposts disappeared from the A14.

1
0

Unlucky Luckey: Oculus developers invoke anti-douchebag clause, halt games for VR goggles

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Headmaster

Trump Trolls?

Ahem, if they're trolling Ms. Clinton then they're either Clinton Trolls or Trump's Trolls, not Trump Trolls.

Frankly I'd hope that the Communist Party of the USA has a good candidate for this demented election.

7
0

Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Simples...

While they're at it, maybe they could change into a ball gown as well.

(Yes, I know, it's only a missing apostrophe:)

2
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Handling the G's

> "Altitude" ..."I'm a former door gunner, Vietnam era."

More like 'Attitude': you must have been either extremely brave, or totally reckless. To the FNL* on the ground YOU, yes that body in the doorframe, were the TARGET.

* aka NLF

2
0

MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Frikkin lasers

> "It can never be 100% reflective"

So how does the mirror in the LASER survive?

0
0

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Do you ever shop at an Apple Store?

I suspect that none of the, so far, commentards have experienced the ridiculously over engineered plastic gym bags that they try to wrap your stuff in. All their small items fit straight into my shoulder bag, bigger items come in cardboard boxes with a carrying handle. Now, if you take it, all their packaging can go in the recycling bin rather than landfill. What's so bad about that? (Well they could have been doing it since 2001:)

Sent by wrangling recycled electrons on an Apple thingy.

1
0

Conviction by computer: Ministry of Justice wants defendants to plead guilty online

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Ive got a solution...

Just because they've changed the name from Employment Exchange to Job Centre (note the capitals) doesn't mean that it isn't still an employment exchange.

0
0

Radar missile decoys will draw enemy missiles away from RAF jets

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Luton?

How did illustrious names like Aermacchi and Agusta get associated with Luton*? Where's John Hegley when you need an explanation?

*The Petaluma of the Home Counties.

1
0

Nvidia: Eight bits ought to be enough for anybody ... doing AI

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: 8 bit sound

I was wondering why anyone with an Internet Connection would need to use Fax, then I realised it's so that the third world scammers can send you fake invoices and bank payment details from their PSTN 'phone lines.

Carry on, while I doze again.

0
0

Upstart AI dreams of 'disrupting' digital marketing – with sex

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

No sex please ...

> "Sentient Ascend uses the same concepts to “breed” together the individual changes in a design layout in a “million potential combinations across multiple pages” to determine which is best."

Ok, so they're using genetic algorithms. Been there, done that - the easy bit.

> "Poor combinations don’t make it through the selection process."

Ah, now there's the hard bit. Imagine you're using a genetic algorithm to generate a system to control the velocity and course of a payload so that it docks with the ISS in a specified time. It's a finite problem, you can exactly specify the starting conditions* and you can build a simulator that the selected programs can be tested on. After a lot of iterations, you'll start seeing programs emerge that can control the docking procedure. Given long enough, you may find that the selected programs can deal with a larger range of starting conditions, than the human generated programs that the ISS collaboration uses.

However, in the case of website design, we don't know the right answer. There probably isn't one correct solution and we certainly don't know how to specify it and select for it. I'd guess that they've just coded a system that uses expert recommendations to generate the selection rules. As long as the experts are HCI experts rather than pointy haired bosses, the resulting website may be an improvement.

So my guess is genetic algorithms selected by an expert system.

The pointy haired boss will, of course love it, use it to generate a website, then use a team of developers to tweak it so that it "looks and feels right". Oh well, at least we keep our jobs until AI can replace the pointy haired bosses.

*Newtonian physics and engineering data will suffice.

Icon: let's leave sex to the experts.

2
0

US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Elephant in the room

This isn't news. Of course they're going to be flying from our ships. After 71 years we automatically gloss over the fact that we live in Occupied Europe. We accept the lies that we have RAF airbases even though they're staffed and run by the USAAF. It's no more of a surprise that USMC jets will be flying from "our" aircraft carriers, than to find Italian seaports stuffed with USA navy ships. The EU will remain a sham as long as its members "invite" USA occupation. The USSR has relinquished some of its satellite states, but the USA hangs on.

NATO - just say NO!.

4
22

Really – 80% FTTP in UK by 2026? Woah, ambitious!

Jan 0
Bronze badge

The only spanner?

Considering the ludicrously low rate of new builds in the UK, isn't that another spanner?

Also before we get too carried away with fibre to the home, how quick and cheap are repairs to accidentally cut fibres? (When a scaffolder snags my "wire" to the pole down the road, a repair is easy.)

1
0

Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: cant see much

Oh No! Not the Molemen. Where's Captain Marvel when you need him?

2
0

Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: How sad

> it hasn't got torpedoes.

Not torpedos, but I presume that the helicopter might carry an atomic depth charge (assuming we only lost one in the Falklands)

2
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Speaking of Meaningless Comparison Measures ...

If you shape the pool carefully enough, a thimbleful of water would be sufficient to float it in*. I guess that a thimble is about 0.0043 Bulgarian Airbags or approximately 0.000000001 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

If you really wanted to push the boat out, you could easily manage to float it in the volume of a British Standard Egg Cup (a defunct official British measure that predated elReg standards by a few decades).

*I assumed that I could use a massive, but precise, 3D printer to create a boat shaped pool around it.

1
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

"River"-Class?

If it pops its prow into the sea, how well will this perform against a man, in an inflatable boat, with a shoulder mount anti-ship missile or an Iranian style air swarm? Come in Lewis, over...

5
1

Waze to go, Google: New dial-a-ride Uber, Lyft rival 'won't vet drivers'... What could go wrong?

Jan 0
Bronze badge

What a shame.

Yet another Not Invented Here tragedy. Why can't all those Google Geeks innovate? This is just copying Liftshare.

Besides, instead of cludging this into Waze, their efforts would be better spent on getting Waze to work reliably. For example, why doesn't Waze know about roadworks, road closures and diversions? It's all available via the WWW where I live. Why doesn't Waze incorporate Google's live traffic data to give better predictions of journey times instead of relying on the tiny proportion of drivers sending updates to Waze? Oh, and how about actually recording the routes that real cars take, to avoid silly mistakes like trying to send cars the wrong way at side entrances to dual carriage ways? There's plenty more examples, but I'm getting a long way from the Liftshare hijack.

3
1

Das ist empörend: Microsoft slams umlaut for email depth charge

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: English is wonderful

> Simply because all our characters fit nicely into 7 bit ASCII (or 8 bit EBDCIC if you prefer).

Nicely? Errm, only for small values of "English". Where are the diphthongs, superscripts, fractions, etc? Also, haven't you noticed that we use diereses in English? Naïve?

3
0

Boffins tout The Li-ion King

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Plea to manufacturers:

Please give us 'phones that last twice as long, not 'phones that are (nearly) twice as thin.

4
0

The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Ah. (Guilty of having a remote control).

That's like the remote controlled light switch! All the vauum cleaners I can remember using have a simple button on the handle that opens a valve to allow air in at that point. I have always thought of them as the device that allows you to retrieve socks or twenty pound notes from the head before they disappear into the dust collector. Loose ruge are best beaten on a washing line.

3
0

IP mapping hell couple sues

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Eh?

"the coordinates 38.0000,-97.0000 if no location was defined. That's rounded up from 39.8333333,-98.585522"

What is this "rounding" that you speak of? How does it work and what is it used for?

4
0

Watch hot 'stars' shower ... again. It's Perseid meteor showtime

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Up to 200 meteors per hour doesn't sound very impressive!

Back in the days when my eyes could still focus on infinity, I could always see about 1 meteor per minute if I lay on my back on any cloudless night without light pollution. (Three examples out of many: on a Norfolk beach, up in the Pyrenees, on a boat in the Ionian sea.) Nowadays I always seem to be in the wrong place and haven't seen much Perseid activity. If somebody with good vision and a dark site does get a good view this week, please do some counting for us and see if you can't comfortably exceed 200 per hour.

0
0

Jovian moon Io loses its atmosphere every day

Jan 0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Cognitive dissonance?

The difference is indeed due to the lower pressure of Io's atmosphere. Have you never seen water boil at room temperature in a partial vacuum?

3
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Sudden loss of atmosphere

Well, of course, "trump" is synonymous with "fart" in my part of the UK.

1
0
Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Sulfur

I see a trend here. While we in the UK are busily contracting words, the US has also replaced the simple word "start" with "get go". (How long before they're talking about the "ready, get set, go"?:)

1
0

VMware: We're gonna patent hot-swapping your VMs' host OS

Jan 0
Bronze badge

Re: Ksplice

No this isn't prior art. As described they want to push a new kernel across the hardware. Ksplice is hot patching the running kernel and adjusting the filesystem to match, so Ksplice is prior art.

I remember patching a running SunOS kernel on a Sun 4 back in the 90s to allow a WAN application to continue running without interrupting the flow on the WAN. It was a bit hairy as I did it from the command line using adb, rather than by running a patching program. It was only a modest set of kernel changes and I could hardly have altered all the (450KB?) kernel by hand in a reasonable time, but a suitable program could have. I imagine that people did similar things with mainframes in the 1960s, to avoid downtime.

There will be limits to what you can alter in a running kernel, on current hardware architecture. This is a different way to approach the problem, but will also have practical limits.

0
0

Page:

Forums