* Posts by Martin-R

17 posts • joined 21 Jun 2010

Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer

Martin-R

Re: brewed coffee from the command line

Error, wrong Cambridge...

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At last: Ordnance Survey's map wizardry goes live

Martin-R

Re: Best of British

Find the 1:50k of the Isle of Wight (Bing Maps will do), look for Blackgang Chine and Whale Chine (southernmost tip of the island) and look carefully at those cliffs. I wonder if Bill and Mike post-date Slartibartfast or are perhaps the inspiration?

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Lights, power, action! Smartplugs with a twist

Martin-R

Re: @Kieren McCarthy

I've just replaced a prehistoric heating clock with a Hive unit and smart plugs are on their list of add-ons, but I still can't see much use case. For me the biggest missing piece with all of these is a (secure!) API so people can start to extend things. For example, Hive lets me set what time the heating comes on and the target temperature, it knows the (forecast) outside temperature and it logs the inside temperature. Why not join up the dots and model the "thermal inertia" of the house so I can have what I really what, which is a toasty bathroom at 7am by firing up the heating at the appropriate time according to the actual temperatures. Similarly I want an easy way of telling it that I have to get up an hour earlier than normal tomorrow, rather than having to change the schedule then change it back...

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Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms

Martin-R

The link provided wants $35 for 48 hours access - not very open :-(

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Has the UK Uber crackdown begun? TfL opens consultation on private car biz

Martin-R

Isn't this just another example of disruptive technology going up against the incumbents? Surely the sat nav has long since done away with the need for The Knowledge, and yet it persists as a barrier to entry.

I support the idea of reviewing the regulations, but many of the proposals seem to be deliberately aimed at clobbering Uber rather than providing an improved service to the public. Yes to ensuring minimum levels of insurance, vehicle safety, criminal records checks.. but how does the requirement for a confirmation five minutes in advance actually make the service better, or allowing drivers to only work for one operator?

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Things you should know about the hard work of home working

Martin-R

I've worked mostly from home for much of the last 12 years, as has my wife (she actually started doing a couple of days a week at home to ease the child care when I was working away all week, and 'forgot' to go back to the office when finished that gig!) We got the kids used to the idea of when they can and can't disturb us (for non-urgent stuff!) very early on, and it's worked very well for both of us. We're both good at going to see seeing colleagues when we need to and Skype etc mean people can get hold of us easily when they need to. The family benefits are huge - we actually see each other for lunch most days, we both see the kids in the morning and after school, we get to parents evening on time and relaxed rather than after the two hour dash home... The only major downside is it's too easy to end up working long hours or checking emails late at night - but I'd still rather be working at home till late than in the office till late then having to travel home

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Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

Martin-R

VM does have a call centre password which the staff obviously have some access to; this is separate to the password you use to login to their website.

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CERN: Build terabit networks or the Higgs gets it!

Martin-R

Fibre has its own problems in high radiation environments - basically it goes cloudy

See eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_on_optical_fibers

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Apple fanbois make it 'official', hook up with Internet of Fridges Things

Martin-R

Modern cars already have all this info floating around on the internal network so you'd think it wouldn't be hard; the problem is that beyond the basic emissions related stuff available through the OBD-II port it's all highly specfic to each vehicle and encrypted to boot. I've seen a lot of work done on the Discovery 3 that had to be completely redone for the not-obviously-radically different D4; a cynic might suggest the manufacturers do this deliberately so each garage has to buy that manufacturer's own diagnostics kit for each model :-(

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At #guardiancoffee, we can now TASTE THE FUTURE through a PRISM!

Martin-R
WTF?

Surely someone at the Grauniad hit publish too early (late?!) on an April Fool article? This can't be for real, can it...?!

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EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

Martin-R
Stop

Re: Define "crash"

I *think* the existing BMW version defines crash as "airbags deployed", which seems like a pretty good starting point. Even if the car is still drive-able, I imagine the shock of being inside when they go off probably means you're not in a fit state to do so for a little while!

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IBM insider: How I caught my wife while bug-hunting on OS/2

Martin-R
Thumb Up

Oh what memories this brought back - especially that random crash when exiting a subroutine. I was working on Person to Person for OS/2 as IBM were working on a point release (1.3 I think?). Fortnightly drops of the OS had to be installed from floppies - what fun! The desktop video conferencing element was probably a bit ahead of its time - 4Mbit token ring in the office was bearable, but ISDN down to Hursley was a tad painful Mind you, if you know where to look, you can still see some of that code running in today's descendants of P2P, so it can't have been too bad :-)

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Army to deploy jumping robots in Afghanistan

Martin-R
Thumb Up

Fallable?

Watch the whole vid! It does snow, ice, being kicked, mud, piles of blocks... very impressive bit of kit. If you poke around their site, it's one of a number of designs; this one's obviously intended to be a modern take on the mule, to carry extra kit for a squad - though it'll need to be a bit quieter before it goes on any special ops missions

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Mac Lion's breath causes Celerra NAS storage to die

Martin-R
FAIL

Not a bug

but a deliberate upgrade with no obvious back compatibility options. Time Machine backups to most NASs and WHS shares now fail, which is, to be blunt, bl**dy annoying!

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Virgin and Spotify: A step forward for digital music

Martin-R
Thumb Up

Well done VM (for twice)

What with this, and the rebate on the Tivo box for early adopters, I'm really starting to wonder what's going on at VM - they're in danger of becoming positively customer friendly!

But what's still missing is the ability to play back content recorded on the tivo elsewhere in the house. On one of the two V+ boxes in the house would be a good start, but on any device in the house (PC, mac, iPad, Android phone...) would be even better!

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Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service

Martin-R
FAIL

Actually getting 20Mb would be nice first...

4Mb was about tops over the weekend, apart from when it was down altogether :-( When it's good, it can be very good (18.5 on speedtest.net) but it'll have days at a time where it's up and down - is upgrading to 30MB going to help that?

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iPhone mag-stripe reader stalled

Martin-R
WTF?

But why?

About all you could do is hook up a PED that does all the encryption on the device and then just use the iPhone as a modem back to the authorising software - but by then you're lugging around half a brick, plus its power supply, which rather cuts down on the portability aspect! I rather feel this falls into the solution looking for a problem category...

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