* Posts by TWB

158 posts • joined 19 Feb 2010

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

TWB

Re: So if you wrote a book...

I'd be pissed off but I don't think you'd need to go to prison.

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

TWB

How IT are you?

Can you remind me again what IT stands for?

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Australia's Dick finally drops off

TWB

Re: Next on the list

The thing is with real shops like Maplin is that you can get the item in your hand and see if it seems OK, so I will stuff form them I need now (like others have said), but also stuff I can have a damn good look a t from all angles, checking stuff you cannot see in an online catalogue.

But I do wonder how long they might last as well.

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TWB

Re: Never knew Dick Smith existed, back in the day ...

@Jason, interesting point(s) - I wonder if you are right (seriously)

I grew up wanting to be an electronic engineer designing things like radios and 'hifi', and although I scraped a degree in electronics, I was never that good at component level - I've met many technicians who are much better than me at fixing things but don't have the academic qualifications. I still have a box load of components languishing in the the workshop - mostly old 7400 series chips and Z80s. Every now and again I think of putting them on ebay or giving them away but then think I should keep them for some obscure reason e.g. I might need them one day...

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TalkTalk broadband customers continue to flee

TWB

Re: Not tha cheap

@Doctor Syntax - I have my own domain and separate email and it is giving my problems and Mrs TWB does not want an email address with the same domain.

But I agree with you completely.

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TWB

Not tha cheap

TT took over (consumed) the virgin.net ADSL business and knocked a whole 4 pence per month off my bill. I currently pay £17.24 per month for 16Gbs ADSL. I'd change if Mrs TWB was not so attached to her virgin.net email address. I keep warning her it will fail soon.....

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South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

TWB

North Korea is a Utopia

It's just they don't want you to know and neither does the rest of the World (according to a bloke I overheard in the pub)

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Bloody Danes top world happiness league

TWB

As a Brit.

We're never going to be 100% happy, that is what being British is - or at least one aspect of it, just like we don't have a Consititution (sort of - please argue elsewhere) and how being British is by definition indefinable, but we all know what it means.

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Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

TWB

I've love a sit-stand desk

There are 6 of us in my role using a couple of desks 24x7 and we like things in slightly different positions (oo-er!) - I'd love to be abel to easily adjust the desk and monitor heighta for periods of standing and sitting. Sadly I think I am the only one who likes the idea of standing up once in a while.

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Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

TWB

Re: Mini Moke link

Thanks for that - our family had an Australian Moke for years - it became my first car and I used it for years. It was the most fun car to drive and even though not that fast, it felt fast as it was close to the road and open and you could see each corner and squeeze through small gaps. It was my only car for many years.

I sold it eventually as I now like sedate comfortable travel (got married!)

Anyway - back to the Land Rover.....

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

TWB

0.3 of a plane?

"The company previously announced plans to slow production from 1.3 planes a month to just one a month, with the new and lower capability expected to kick in from March 2016."

I think I can see where Boeing have been going wrong, making one whole plane and then 0.3 of a plane I suspect is very wasteful and I doubt they get many orders for the 0.3, but I've been wrong before....

[sorry]

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Friends Reunited to shut down. What do you mean, 'is it still going?'

TWB

Well done the founders

For selling it when they did, I'm no great whizz at business but even at the time I thought it had had its day and I thought ITV were daft buying when they did. Maybe Facebook will go the same way.....(never joined, smug git etc etc)

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Brit 'naut Tim Peake thunders aloft

TWB

2 Tims ? - is this a good idea?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU-tuY0Z7nQ

"No not you, the other Tim...."

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Green rectangles are the new rounded rectangles

TWB

Sunday night homework

Sounds like last minute Sunday night homework - you know the sort, where the deadline overrides the quality.

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Apple's design 'drives up support costs, makes gadgets harder to use'

TWB

All UI

I am finding all UI seems to be getting worse on all sorts of devices. I am happy to find my way around stuff and explore, but often older non-technical people are finding TVs, PVRs and similar so difficult to use.

Trouble is that UIs tend to copy each other as that is what we have got used to, and we are unlikely to change now. It's a bit like cars, clutch, brake and accelerator - complex to use and you have to take your foot of the accelerator to apply the brakes - in that time the car can travel several human widths. Anyway - point I am making is that people get stuck in their ways and good new functional design can be difficult to implement due to inertia to learning new stuff even when it is better.

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TalkTalk boss: 'Customers think we're doing right thing after attack'

TWB

Re: Customers think TalkTalk is doing the right thing

'Virgin got out of the DSL business and sold it to TalkTalk.' - and that's how some of us ended up being TT customers - I'd leave if I could take my wife's virgin.net email with me/us (I've tried to get a domain name for her but her resistance to change is very high - other suggestions welcome - divorce too extreme)

Still, TT do save me 24p a month compared to Virgin!

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Lithium-air: A battery breakthrough explained

TWB

Re: Recharging time

When this issue is mentioned I find it odd that no-one thinks that maybe electric cars will run on standardised rechargeable batteries which get swapped at charging stations - probably replacing the petrol station network over time.

So you drive up, the charge in your batteries is measured, a machine removes them, puts in new ones and you pay for the amount of top up charge that you have just been given - less what you had removed. Could be done in less time it takes to fill a petrol car. Obviously this would not work with current EVs as the manufacturers are still experimenting with vehicle design, but if the battery mounting/compartment(s) was standardised on every new EV, this should be straightforward. Lots of problems, but nothing the reg readers could not imagine overcoming (this is what proper engineers do)

The charging station itself would be automated and slowly charging all the depleted batteries (or maybe collecting them for sending off to much larger automated charging stations. In either case grid power consumption could be dynamically controlled to help control demand to the generators and grid (maybe by dynamic pricing! Ughhhh...) Maybe you could have up to 100 batteries on charge at a time, but if demand needs to be reduced that would get signalled and it can be reduced to 50, 20, 10, none etc.

With a standardised battery, manufacturers could 'sell' their vehicle as having 1, 2, 3 or more slots. 1 battery for small economy EVs. 2 batteries for general use (small hatchbacks). 5 batteries for show offs (high performance willy extensions)

Also as battery technology improves (I am an optimist) new better/higher capacity would filter down, older 'worn out' batteries could be serviced/recycled by large efficient factories.

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We can't all live by taking in each others' washing

TWB

Re: First time I have to totally disagree with you, Tim

Thanks itman for that - I hate to say it - I am sure I'll be in a minority - but I found your comment was much easier to read and follow than anything Tim has written here. I'm not sure I fully agree but I'm getting so philosophical these days I cannot make my mind up.

Having said that I have enjoyed reading TIm's articles here over the year and challenging my preconceptions and wish him well.

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Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

TWB

The attempt to shrink the first webcam backfired.

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Boeing builds British Airways 787 Dreamliner in 4 minutes

TWB

Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

When I fly, I enjoy the flight but hate the airport parts*, so for me a direct flight would be worth it - but then I count flying as a luxury that I only do every few years, so I like to make it as stress free as possible.

* getting to/from the airport, worrying about mislaying my tickets/passport/luggage, checking in, security (do they have to be so unpleasant? I am always polite and helpful), going through the airport, having to wait at the gate for so long etc etc.

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Transport for London’s new crash map immediately crashes

TWB

Beds also dangerous

Many people die in bed,

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Did GCHQ illegally spy on you? Now you can find out – from this page

TWB

Re: Putting a target on your back

Exactly how I feel.

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Apple downgrades iPhone 6S with wimpy 1715mAh battery

TWB

Same voltage?

You really should state your batteries capacities in Watt-hours if you want to compare energy capacities or state the voltages of the different batteries are the same - you are supposed to be a tech site.

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Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts

TWB

I'd get one

If I did not already have a Moto G.

Now, could they make a decent 7 to 8 inch tablet.?.....

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

TWB

Following over-production of smartphones, manufacturers are desperate to find any buyers who do not have one.

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Will the PC glory days ever return, WD asks as its finances slip

TWB

KIA vs Ferrari

Ferrari don't make any hatchbacks or what I consider practical cars, but otherwise I know what you mean.

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Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

TWB

No more loading of apps?

I wonder if this will allow apps to be run in-situ as it were - no more loading them into RAM, just a add a pointer in the active running list.. RAM would be the computer's scratch pad for stuff it is working on.

This could really have a dramatic effect on what we think of as the typical architecture of a PC* - or maybe we are too set in our ways - interesting times ahead if it takes off.

*I mean, CPU+RAM+STORAGE+I/O

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Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

TWB

Why is the onboard computer able to control the brakes and steering?

Forget the computer security issues here - when I drive a car, I control it. I don't mind the computer knowing what I'm doing with the car but the controls systems for the brakes, engine and steering should NOT be controllable from it. The engine, ABS and stability controls systems should be separate. This is completely possible - if I monitor the output of something it does not mean I can control it.

Poor cheap design I say.

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Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

TWB

Re: You lucky poeple who sleep on planes

I'm 49 (thanks for asking) and have never been able to sleep on planes, in fact I'm not very good at sleeping in a chair and they don't allow you to lie down in the aisle for some reason.

My FIL 'learnt' how to grab naps anywhere while he did his national service in the RAF - I've never been much of a napper - drives my wife mad - but then she is a light sleeper at night.

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TWB

You lucky poeple who sleep on planes

Never been able to and yet I sleep quite well in a bed.

I once even had a nice 9 hour flight set for after a night shift, LGW to Vancouver. 'Great' I thought 'I'll finally get to sleep on a plane'. No....I stayed awake for too many hours and was a zombie for most of the week I was there.

I have since vowed that anything over 3 hours we go business or at least upper class or similar - so we hardly ever fly....

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BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard

TWB

Re: All of our updates are on a Friday

I guess your business is not 24 hour....

We usually find changes on a Thursday prior to a bank holiday weekend only start to show as problematic at 5pm on Friday, when all the people who know the details and how to roll them back are generally escaping and uncontactable.

We are getting new procedures soon....

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

TWB

I wish I could help out

I don't live nearby and don't have the time but would love to help out if I could. I have joked for several years about buying replacement gates/pixels/ccd cells etc for stuff at work [TV engineering] (no one laughs for some reason...........I know, I know)

I wonder if you can step-by-step the clock for debugging?

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Apple CORED: Boffins reveal password-killer 0-days for iOS and OS X

TWB

Re: Worrying @Boltar and @AC

Well I feel a bit of a dunce now - but better informed (so thanks in a way), I had a look in Keychain (never opened it before) and saw that there are some passwords there. I did not realise that for some systems (typically Apple stuff) it stored them there whether you liked it or not. When the pop-up had appeared in the past 'Do you want Keychain to store this password' - I had always said no.

I guess my browsers store some passwords - I do occasionally reset them clearing certain logons but I type in passwords for things like online stores and banking when I need them - don't know how risky it is being logged into the register often - I tend to have different passwords for everything.

Being a miserable git (or whatever term takes your fancy) I've not really got into the social media stuff

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TWB

Worrying

I have never used Keychain - I've never felt it was safe 'leaving' my passwords 'in the computer' even if they are encrypted and supposedly locked down somehow. Having said that, like most people my email password is stored within my mail client and I don't want to have to type it in every time I want to check for email.

OSes eh? Is it going to be linux next time for me or give up the computer time wasting.

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British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015

TWB

Mr Tony Hancock

Sadly whenever I hear 'Magna Carta' I always think of this first:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNZosqiJISs

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Putting your schlong into the reel-to-reel tape machine is a bad idea

TWB

Self deprecation

I do the same - saves others having to insult or offend me.

I think you came across really well in case you need to be told.

What I find difficult to imagine is what technology will be like in the 15-20 years, bearing in mind I have been playing with it since the late seventies. Do we need computers/cellphones/TVs that are any faster or smaller? Maybe I am lacking the imagination I once had.

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Tim Worstall: Metals, mining and my heavyweight book

TWB

Re: Location/Venue?

Just seen 'Clerkenwell' - did I miss that earlier? - apols if I did and for the poor typing/proof reading

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TWB

Location/Venue?

I know you assume all your readers to know those things, but might t be worth mentioning i the article the approximate location of the talk (or any of these talks)

Having to click through to book* just to find the location is as annoying as websites that don't tell you delivery costs until you register and almost place an order. (*even then to only says 'London' which somewhat vague)

A line like - "as usual the venue will be [whereever it is]" would suffice

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UK safety app keeping lorries on the right side of cyclists

TWB

Re: Common Sense

Upvote because you seem to be the first reasonable post I have read here.

I am a cyclist and a driver. As a cyclist I sometime pass on the inside but only if I can see it is going to be safe:-

Vehicle not indicating left.

Vehicle's steering wheels are not pointing left.

Vehicle not about to move off - look for traffic lights, queued traffic ahead etc

I will not pass a moving vehicle on the left - feels too unsafe to me.

As a driver and cyclist, I consider all road users might do something daft any moment and make allowances - eye contact - if available - tells you a lot.

I remember an aquaintance once telling me how fast he got to work on his new fixy - no wonder - he never stopped at lights unlike me.

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UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

TWB

How do they know weight of HMS Belfast?

Are there set a of scales big enough? (and how do you lift it on? - I see no lifting eyes)

Or did they weigh all the bits as they assembled it? - what about all the extra stuff that people took on board while no one was looking?

Ok - I guess they measure the displacement with a giant Eureka jar....

I reckon someone looked at it and made up a number and no-one has ever questioned it.

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The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

TWB

Re: Your cringeworthy article implies

I did not read unstinting praise in the article - I felt the writer bought it for himself because he wanted to get one and try it out. I did not feel this article 'sells' it much at all, in fact I cam away thinking the reviewer felt it was 'not that great'. I was a doubter about the watch before and I still am.

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TWB

Re: "E-flat string? Certainly sir -- now, is your haptic recessed or prominent?"

Glad to see ISIHAC word-meaning-clarification is nerve far away.

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

TWB

Re: Obligatory comparison with non-Apple laptop

Upvote from me as this seems a much closer match.

I get the impression that MacBooks are about the same value for money spec-for-spec as other manufacturers.

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Man hauled before beak for using drone to film Premiership matches

TWB

Can't think of a title

As someone who would not notice if all football disappeared from the planet tomorrow - I really liked the footage, makes it look quite exciting.

BUT I am with the law on this one, I think flying a small drone over a built up area like this is too risky unless it has loads of built in safety features. I hope he gets a knuckle rap but somehow gets to do this kind of thing professionally in the future.

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Are you clever enough, and brave enough, to give a Register lecture

TWB

Re: Location, location, location?

I live in London and love it but do not think it is the centre of the universe and so fully agree with your point/question. I hope it happens - I also like Manchester mind you......

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Want that awesome new Apple TrackPad? Don't get a MacBook Pro

TWB

Any similar sized laptop good for repair?

Honest question, just wondered if any manufacturer makes similarly sized/spec'd machines easy to open and repair.

(I'm too lazy to go searching or put another way, this is my way of searching)

I agree with what others have said, stuff is just becoming so compact and clever that the reliability goes right up when you reduce the number of separable connectors and therefore modules. Sadly the failures are very sudden and often irreparable. But maybe it is time to build a laptop out of discrete components - "hello RS, I'd like 10 billion BC108s..."

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

TWB

Suggestion

To anyone who does not like the new watch* or laptop** - you don't have to buy either. Watches and Laptops are available from other manufacturers which may suit you better.

I am sure you can also tell Apple what you think as I don't think they read Reg comments or take any notice of them.

*Personally could not care less, I'll be interested to see if smart watches really take off.

**I like it, I think it's a great machine for many laptop users - I doubt you'll find a similarly spec'd, svelte and elegant laptop much cheaper - that's counting all the features (resolution, weight, backlit keyboard, battery time, trackpad/pressure pad, thick/thinness, fanlessness etc)

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