53 posts • joined 7 Feb 2010
Missing the tactile joy
I'm not into tape nowadays, but in the 80s and 90s there was nothing more satisfying from a tactile standpoint than threading a nine track tape onto a tape drive with mechanical tensioning, starting the tape on the takeup reel with a couple of spins, then hitting the "Load" button and seeing it balance the loops and find the start of the tape. The most exciting tape of the year was the one that brought back the latest goodies from DECUS of course. A nerd could feel cool walking down the hall in sneakers while spinning the tape reel in hand and catching it after exactly one revolution. Brings tears to my eyes. Jay doesn't know what he is missing.
Just to clarify
Please be aware that those of us who shop at Target regularly pronounce the g as a Voiced palato-alveolar sibilant.
This works for me
I ride the train fairly often, and they allow cellphone use. I have found that a good way to quiet a motor-mouth is to simply show an active interest in their conversation. Open a pad of paper and start taking notes if they don't get the hint. Write down what they say and underline it for full effect. Nod your head in agreement. Toss in an occasional verbal "Amen!" for emphasis.
Have they tried turning it off and on again?
Wheel vs. Treadmill?
Would it be possible to make the desk more efficient by having you walk/jog inside of a big wheel instead of on a flat surface? This would greatly reduce friction and you could rock it back and forth when you stopped walking/running. Another advantage is that the wheel would clean the cedar chips off your shoes.
Speaking of SSDs in general
I have been disappointed in the reliability of SSDs that I've purchased (not from Apple) over the last five years or so in general. The advertised MTBF is very optimistic, I would say. I think the part I like the least is that they will go from working perfectly to not working at all just like a switch was thrown. In the old spinning drives I usually got a warning in the form of bad sectors as a signal to replace the drive ASAP, but you had time to order a replacement drive and copy your data off in most cases. If the system wasn't so fast booting up with the SSD, I would go back to spinning disks in a minute.
Pot, meet Kettle
Excuse me? The US visa system discourages travel? How about the UK's exorbitant Air Passenger Duty?
The old rotary dial phone I have hooked up in the basement would score 75 and beat them all based on these criteria. Not bad for 1950's technology. Cognitive Load: 100, Efficiency: 100, User Experience Friction: 100, Customization: 0 (Fail). Average: 75.
Re: He did that!
If I were designing a cooling system for a spacesuit it would circulate Beer. The alcohol could substitute for iodine as a disinfectant. Then if there was a leak there would be a positive side to the situation and no funny iodine taste. How many liters could one drink (in an emergency, of course), 3, 4, 5? All in an evening's work for most Reg readers, yes? Which brings me to a follow up question, is there currently Beer on the International Space Station? If not, why not? Also, can they smoke indoors or must they step outside? I have to say, this article has piqued my interest in space!
Given that it is a one way trip for the buoyant gas in the balloon (great video of the bursting), why not use Hydrogen? I'm not complaining, mind you, just curious what the trade off is.
As cool as the video is to watch, I can't help rooting for the rocket to straighten up and fly right each time I watch it. In the old days I worked on satellites, and I can say from experience that it is just a terrible feeling when you are in the control room and you realize with horror that half a billion dollars and several years of your life have just turned into scrap metal. At least launch failures like this, with a big ball of fire, leave no doubt. The ones where something goes wrong later in the mission and all you have is telemetry to look at, or maybe no data at all, are even harder, I would say.
Trip planning will be hard
Planning any non-trivial trip with the constraints that you have to visit all of your destinations without running out of charge AND also finish up with your original battery pack is an NP-hard problem. I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: Fifteen years earlier
The shuttle wasn't designed to need that much refurbishment between flights, it just happened somewhere betweeen design and reality. I wish Elon all the luck in the world.
Check the compliance label on the back
If it doesn't comply with DO-160G then it should be stowed for takeoff, landing, and taxi.
The Surface RT is pretty slick in person
My wife ordered a barebones 32GB RT last weekend and it arrived just 5 days later here on the East coast (of the US). It really seems to be a decent unit. Nicely packaged and has lots of expansion ports (compared to her iPad 2 certainly). Windows 8 seems to suit it (as opposed to how 8 seemed on non-touch equipment). You don't need to buy a stand for the RT because the back folds out into a stand. I would say you can skip the expensive keyboard too as a standard Bluetooth keyboard works fine with it. You can tell it is Windows because when you first get connected to the Internet it takes a break to install updates. Having seen the RT close up, I think the product might actually do OK in the market. I'm not praising the RT because I'm a Microsoft fan (I'm a dyed in the wool Linux fan), but because the folks that engineered it and built it deserve a tip of the hat for a competent job.
But the War of the Worlds really happened
I've been to Woking and I've seen one of the Martian fighting machines. The other films are based on fiction as far as I know.
Both ends of the call?
I wonder if Ethiopia will seek extradition for the folks at the far end of international VOIP/SKYPE calls. I can see the states going along with that in exchange for the extradition of Ethiopians who "pirate" videos and music.
Re: Linux and OS X
I'm just curious, why is it that I can have my pick of half a dozen desktop environments on Linux, selecting one at log-on, but each Windows version only offers one desktop? It would seem an obvious advantage for Microsoft to offer choices as well, so why don't they?
Floating Wanda (the Fish)
Wanda the Fish who has been swimming happily in my Gnome panel for years suddenly was still and floating belly up (not sure a fish has the tits required to go tits-up). When clicked upon, instead of a random fortune, I got a message that the water needed changing. Once into April 2nd, GMT?, she resumed her normal swim. That was scary.
Yet another Sun Tzu quote?
Did he really say/write all those stupid things? He must have been a remarkably annoying fellow to have around. If Hollywood ever films a Sun Tzu biography I'm seeing Rowen Atkinson, Adam Sandler, or maybe Larry the Cable Guy in the role.
If 46 percent are doing it
I suppose it is too late to reclaim the word Piracy to mean hijacking ships and their cargo? Arrrr!
Go for it
I would back a permanent blackout of Wikipedia to US IP addresses. It would be interesting to see what evolves in a US-only Internet where content corporations rule. We would still have the Internet to use for shopping and for reading carefully regulated non-infringing official news releases, of course. There will probably even be a US only replacement for Wikipedia that will give more balanced coverage of international topics such as censorship in China. I do love new clothes.
It would be nice (for future reviews) to point out which printers support printing from iOS via AirPrint. With the iPhones and iPads taking over the household, I went for the wireless version of the HP CP1025 to get that capability.
Get a Mac?
I'm a Linux user, myself, but I've had good results with convincing my friends and family to replace their Windows PCs with products from Apple. I could never get them to keep their Windows systems patched and virus signatures up to date, and I could never stop them from clicking on the most ridiculous attachments. Then there were the drive-by downloads from banner ads. Once they switched to Macs, the problems just went away and did not come back. I can't imagine that they all got smarter. I'm surprised that SANS didn't include a recommendation to stay away from those easily infected Windows boxes as a one-step security solution.
As long as it is open, like Apple products.
My MacBook is running Windows XP, my Dell Mini 9 is running OS X Snow Leopard, my "designed for Windows Vista" Gateway PC is running Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, and my Nook Color is running Android. If PC makers lock me out, I will just have to switch to Apple hardware to retain the ability to run whatever I want on whatever hardware I purchase.
Good old days
Back from 1986 to 1991 I worked on the flight software for UARS. The onboard computer was a NASA Standard Spacecraft Computer-1 that I think was made by IBM. It used magnetic core memory, which was great because you could turn one side off for years and when you powered it back up, not a single bit was flipped. Memory words were 18 bits, so we did everything in Octal, not Hexadecimal (since 18 bits made 6 octal digits). The design language was FORTRAN 77. Once we got the FORTRAN running in simulation, we converted it to NSSC-1 assembly language manually (no compiler). Seems to me it ran about 150K instructions per second. UARS was a good satellite and worked for a long time.
Flawless record - easy!
If I was Google, I would spend far less money perfecting the autonomous driving part and about five minutes ensuring that searches for "Google Robo Car Accident" produced either zero results or else a full page of sponsored ads for auto insurance.
How about a compromise?
I would be willing to go along with 64 bit IP addresses, but 128 bits is just plain silly. Can we get an IPv5 that preserves all the stupidity of IPv4 but simply doubles the sizes of the addresses? I'd be willing to bet that we could get away with just 48 bits for the next 20 years or so.
Beer logo because we obviously would need an Internet Draft for this.
OK, ready, set, DOWNVOTE!
Keyed by the vendor?
Regarding: Why would you use a system like this whereby the vendor issues the keys?
I know you will find this hard to believe, but over here in the USA, we buy automobiles for many tens of thousands of dollars that are keyed by the manufacturer, not the purchaser. Oh, and when we spend half a million for a house, the keys are furnished by the builder.
I would be willing to pay $3 a month (same as Pandora Radio) for reading NYT online. $15 a month seems high to me.
Yes it can
and don't call me Shirley.
I can empathize with the chicken
A few months back I had reason to climb into one of those really big dumpsters (tossed something in by mistake) and I was shocked to discover that they only weld steps onto the outside. The inside is smooth as glass (and a bit slimy). Thought I was a goner! Fortunately I was able to pile up enough trash to climb out before the trash truck arrived. I'm thinking it likely that the chicken made the same mistake that I did.
Not getting one for Dad
I want one to keep my Furbies entertained. That should be a riot to watch!
It is pointless to discuss a new image compression algorithm without side by side (uncompressed / compressed) pictures of Lena for reference.
Would this work?
I wonder if the shareholders could be counter-sued for funding the CEO's alleged escapades!
p.s. Do you suppose we could have a Barrister icon (with international "not" slash) for these "I am not a lawyer, but..." topics?
Microsoft needs the geek army
Windows is only usable if you have someone to fix it when it breaks. Businesses have paid IT departments. Everybody else relies on the billions of unpaid hours donated by the geeks that they know. When I get a crashed Windows PC to fix nowadays with XP or Vista, it goes back with a fresh Ubuntu install. No way I'm spending 40 hours looking for Windows drivers and coaxing all those hundreds of Windows updates to install themselves. When Microsoft loses their army of unpaid Windows repairmen (and women), they will no longer be viable. That's why Microsoft needs Linux, because they need the geeks that come with it.
I've a Gateway laptop that would not load its video driver under XP SP3. I had the latest drivers and the latest BIOS, but even with clean installs, SP2 was fine and then SP3 gave a black screen. I finally gave up and installed XP Service Pack 4, a.k.a Ubuntu 10.04.
The statement that "their systems will start to accumulate attackable vulnerabilities" is nonsense. The vulnerabilities have been present for the last 10 years and were attackable during the entire time. It would be more accurate to say that they "will be running systems with an increasing number of vulnerabilities which are widely known to hackers."
Not the most respected testing lab
Not by Engineers, anyway. I believe that would be MythBusters. At this point they are the only folks I would trust on this.
Seen it a lot
I estimate that about 1 in 10 ebay auctions that I have bid on smell of shill bidding. Someone bids up in small increments until they outbid me, then they cancel their last bid for "entered wrong bid amount". I complained to ebay a few times but nothing came of it. Nowadays I either stick with "buy it now" sales or else make darn sure that I don't bid an auction up beyond the price at which I will be delighted to win it.
missing htonl ?
I'm thinking that code ported from big endian processors like Motorola to small endian processors like Intel explains the 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. On big endian machines you can omit the htonl macro and you still get Network byte order. There are lots of code examples available on the Internet that do just that.
This might be something worth test marketing
How about a special version of the iPhone for the states where they add Flash (more crashes) but make it work on Verizon's network (fewer dropped calls, better 3G)? Give it 6 months then drop the line that nobody is buying any longer.
It's Friday evening and I'm too sozzled at this point to think of what is wrong with this idea. Just thumb it down if you must, but have a good weekend regardless.
OK, if they support it
My beef with Windows current embedded offering, Windows CE, is that support for the development environment is non-existent. To the best of my knowledge, there hasn't been a release of a manual for Platform Builder since 2002. When Platform Builder is working, it is great, but when it isn't, you are really screwed!
Tattoo: Great Idea!
I don't currently have a pacemaker, but it might be worth it to get a tattoo of my router's WEP key just for convenience. It would be cool thing, in a geeky way, to show off at the beach! If they increase the key length down the road, I can just add extra hex digits at the end.
Here in Middle Earth, we keep the wizards around in case the dragons, or worse, return. Profit counts for nought if you are being dipped in catsup by a Balrog! My buddy Gandalf here, he works for beer.
That's it for me!
I give up. Routing is just too difficult to secure. From now on it's circuit switched data and point-to-point protocol for me. I'll just sign off here with a +++, AT OK?
Bigger can required
Regardless of the intent, each generation of IE is simply a bigger can to hold the worms from the last can plus the recently added worms. No risk of less developer work being required going forward.
... Slower Gigabit Ethernet?
I realize that this article has a marketing slant, but that oxymoron woke me up!
<Mines the one with the pocket full of BNC T-connectors and 50 ohm terminators.>
Can't trust anyone? Nonsense!
You can trust me.
Nobody would have suspected a thing...
if they had been losing money.
- Vid Hubble 'scope scans 200,000-ton CHUNKY CRUMBLE ENIGMA
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Google offers up its own Googlers in cloud channel chumship trawl
- Interview Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON
- Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad