* Posts by Dave 126

4976 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Shields up! Shields up! ASTRONAUTS flying to MARS will arrive BRAIN DAMAGED, boffins claim

Dave 126
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Re: How to fix your Mars mission in 2 easy steps

>Throw away the ascientific EmDrive, then we will talk.

How is it not scientific? They observe results that they can't explain, so it is tested by other teams, and then tested again but less room for error. By following this path, eventually either the physicists will have learnt something new, or the engineers will discover what they have overlooked in the experiments (i.e an explanation for the observations that doesn't give the physicists such a headache).

There is still room for error, but less since the most recent tests in a hard vacuum.

I'm not saying that it works, but we don't yet know that it doesn't work.

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Dave 126
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Re: Not really equivalent

>All of which leads me to the only sane conclusion: in order to get to mars safely, we need to use the moon as a spaceship.

There is also the Mars Cycler concept promoted by Buzz Aldrin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_cycler

As I understand it, you get a bloody great rock into a cyclic path back an forth between Earth and Mars, and then human craft hop on at one end and hop off at the other. The mass of your rock isn't an issue, so more shielding can be used.

As regards going faster, do you remember those tests of an Electromagnetic Drive the Reg reported on? Last year thrust was observed without the expulsion of any propellant. Last month, it was tested in a vacuum and thrust was still observed.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/04/evaluating-nasas-futuristic-em-drive/

Please note, despite the linkied article jumping enthusiastically to potential spaceflight applications, this isn't yet a prototype engine; engineers still may have overlooked some alternate cause of the observed 'thrsust', or physicists have some retrhinking to do.

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

Dave 126
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Re: Not tried an induction hob

Fires after earthquakes when gas mains have been ruptured.

Releasing combustion fumes at power station, instead of in heavily populated areas.

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Dave 126
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Re: Fires

A conventional boiler can kill you with Carbon Monoxide. You could keep it in a brick out-house, but making it safe is an engineering solution that has been solved. So now we have them inside our houses.

Making sure that a Tesla Powerwall doesn't kill you with fire is also has an engineering solution. Unlike the Li-Ion batteries used in aircraft, any cooling system or fire-protection system can be made without having to worry about its weight too much. Details at the moment are scant - a liquid cooling system is mentioned - but the design is due to be open-sourced.

There hasn't been a Tesla car battery fire since 2013 - though I don't have the figures required to put that into context.

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Amazon boss Bezos' Blue Origins declares test flight 'flawless' ... if you overlook one snafu

Dave 126
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Re: Twig minus berries

I'm normally dubious of people who claim that rockets and towers are always phallic symbols, referring back to Freud himself who said "Sometimes a big cigar is just a big cigar". However, in this case they have a point!

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Burger me! Microsoft's chainsaw rampage through sacred cow herd

Dave 126
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Re: I've been expecting Apple to do this for a couple years now

>Plug your iPhone into a monitor, use a bluetooth keyboard/mouse, start the "OS X" app and there you go!

There are lots of things Apple could do, but choose not to.

1. Apple would rather you buy a second device from them, be it a Mac or an Apple TV, and continue your work session through their 'Continuity' framework.

2. You've plugged your phone into your TV, settled back into your couch and .... somebody rings you up. Bugger.

3. You've connected your device with wires?! That is not the Apple iOS way!

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Apple Watch WRISTJOB SHORTAGE: It's down to BAD VIBES

Dave 126
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Re: So to summarise

Would it work on Zune Guy?

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Dave 126
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An ow standard is also known as an ouch standard.

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Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

Dave 126
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J.J Abrams recruited some amateur but skilled members of an R2D2 club to create props for the new film, so there is chance these guys will get something.

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Dave 126
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Re: Here's an interesting poser that I have posed elsewhere.

As other posters have noted, if you have enough thrust you don't need wings to fly. So to answer your question, I'll quote Han Solo in the guise of Indiana Jones:

"fly, yes. Land, no!"

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Microsoft: It's TRUE, you'll get Android and iOS apps in WINDOWS

Dave 126
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Re: One OS to run them all ? Or all to run the one

You're right. In a way, this has already happened: using webmail is OS agnostic.

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'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

Dave 126
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wine in reverse

GRAPE

Grape Runs Android Programs Executables.

Recursive element in name? Check

Program name gives no clue as to function? Check

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Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

Dave 126
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Re: Remind me how this works

All GSM compliant phones will use any available network to place an emergency call - not just your network. The phone doesn't even need a SIM, either.

Most people at some point will have seen the 'Emegency Calls Only' message on their phone where the name of the network operator normally resides.

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LG slaps SIX CORE Snapdragon 808 in LEATHER G4 dog&bone – not overheaty 810

Dave 126
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Cancelling my subscription

How come the headline joke was on a 1960s Velvet Underground song when the article was about something called an 808? 1980s Roland synth-pop fans demand to be told etc

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Tencent introduces slimmed-down wristjob TOS to swollen market

Dave 126
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>The new OS is targeted beyond watches at micro-gaming, VR products and smart tellies,

Internet of Things? What size of Things? As the article points out, the above categories are already have a choice of OSs, and aren't so power-constrained that they can't use a phone-grade ARM SoC.

Smaller, simpler Things (I'm thinking door locks, thermostats and lightbulbs) would benefit from a small, more reliable OS such QNX.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/18/qnx_hypervisor/

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Close encounter: Apple Macs invade the business world

Dave 126
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Re: really!

You neglected to calculate the effect of resale value on the Total Cost of Ownership.

You point may very well be valid, but do show your working!

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Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

Dave 126
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Re: Dust accumulating

>use a pin or other small rod to stop the fan spinning

That is an important step to take - I've buggered the fan bearings on a desktop by making it spin too quickly with a vacuum cleaner.

Is there any truth to the idea that fast flowing air can cause enough static to fry components?

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Dave 126
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Re: All in 1366x768!!

>I think the 16:9 ratio is due to the panels being mass produced for TV use, which makes them cheap to procure

Maybe. I just found it odd that the only non-16:10 laptops are made by companies who also make their own OS.

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Dave 126
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Solution number 3: Shoot the cat.

I just added that to be completist. The other options are better on balance.

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Dave 126
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My Dell does that... and it takes about a dozen small screws to get the panel off to de-fluff it. An easy to pop-out fluff catcher - like that found on tumble dryers or vacuum cleaners - would be handy!

Still, in a few years a good number of laptops will be fanless and thus without vents.

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Dave 126
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Re: Little Willie

Catapillar tracks, PC mod?

Star Wars Sand Crawler PC:

http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/mod-of-the-month/2010/06/07/mod-of-the-month-may-2010/7

If you like sculpture, or sci-fi film props in your house, then buy sculptures or props. Not my scene, I guess.

That said, I've pinned a Gravis Ultrasound card to my corkboard.

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Dave 126
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Re: ew Acer.

>always loaded down with shitware... ...I'll take a Thinkpad

Um.... Okay. I can only assume that in the wake of their shiotware scandal, Lenovo have re-thought their policy.

Still, Lenovo, like Toshiba and Macbooks tend to score well in the independent measures of reliability that I can find on-line.

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Dave 126
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Re: All in 1366x768!!

Bizarre:

If you want anything other than 16:9, your new laptop choices are:

Apple, Microsoft or Google.

Various Macbooks: 16:10

Surface Pro 3: 3:2 (15:10)

Chromebook Pixel: 3:2 (15:10)

If anyone here can add to this list, please do! :)

Still, my old 17" 1920 x 1200 Dell keeps chugging along on its Core 2 Duo T9550. Really though, it's so heavy that it doesn't usually travel, so I could replace it with a desktop and a large 16:10 monitor (still available).

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MONSTROUS iPhone sales are CANNIBALIZING iPads, gabbles Apple CEO

Dave 126
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Hehe, they were fun times! All he Turbo button ever did for me was make a little orange LED turn on.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cool

>Get a Surface Pro. Far better product, and the best music notation software runs on it.

That depend upon exactly what he wants to use it for. Yeah, the Surface Pro might be better for some, but iPads are very well supported by music software developers, and by hardware peripheral vendors (guitar effects, microphones etc). iPads are also silent in operation - so would be more suitable for displaying sheet music (a pedal can be used to 'turn' pages) in a live performance scenario.

I'm sure that he will look at the pros and cons of both, and make an informed decision. :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Cool

>I suspect iPad lifespan is significantly longer than that of an iPhone due to not being tied to an airtime contract.

A lot of iPads rarely leave their owner's house*. This means that battery life and weight aren't as critical as those of iPhones because they aren't carried as far.

* The Reg reported some study a couple of years back.

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Dave 126
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Sorry, I didn't mean to dodge your pin about 1994 Macs - I used them a lot at school and found them always running out of memory. It is also true I didn't see their price tag!

However, when they weren't displaying a spinning beachball, their sound capabilities were better than my PC, they were all networked and keyboards and mice could be hot-swapped.

Yes, they were beige, but sat unobtrusively below the monitor, and they retained some of the 'snow white' design language originally developed by Frog Design for the Apple IIc (and which Sony would later deliberately pay homage to with the Sony Playstation - Frog Design had also done work for Wega televisions before they bought by Sony.)

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Dave 126
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@ jason 7

You're absolutely right - I had my start trying to get games to play on an 8086, and its successors through the nineties! I was also exposed to Archimedes Acorns and later networked (beige) Apple LC-IIIs at school, and to Atari STs by people who had coveted MIDI keyboards.

I fell asleep before I developed my point, which was at that time faster CPUs and more RAM dramatically improve the user experience. Therefore, buyers would buy a new machine on spec against price, and money spent elsewhere was a 'waste' - so PC vendors would naturally put together the best components and sell them in the cheapest box. This meant there wasn't any incentive to make machines with the 'rough edges' taken off.

And that is fine. There is no reason for a company to make machines that are more highly priced than their competitors, unless that they are adding something that helps to sell it. In the PC market at the time, these things would happen but required collaboration from various parties. Therefore, genuinely helpful technologies (Remember when 'Plug and Play' was a selling point? Amiga and Apple already had it) took a little while to filter through.

The disorganised PC market had advantages, though... what became standards tended to start as a propriety solutions to genuine user needs. Lots of sound cards were sold as being 'SoundBlaster-compatible' for example, and later 3D video cards had to convince game developers top develop for their platform.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cool

@CrosscutSaw

The reason that iPads and iOS are suitable for musicians is that because corners were not cut in their development. Latency in iOS has always been very low, and Wireless Midi has been baked in since the first iPhone. The reasons are historical - Apple only survived the nineties by appealing to niche groups - graphic designers requiring colour accuracy, and musicians requiring the low latency of Moto or PowerPC. These areas lead tio FireWire, and it was FireWire that made the first iPod a practical idea.

The point is, someone in the company remembered their recent history and went with it. Someone in Apple thought it would be idiotic to not support muscians, who enjoy a certain standing with young consumers.

Companies put that extra effort in because they wish to get a return on it.

Anyways - before the iPad, dedicated DAW control surfaces cost silly money because they were made in hundreds or thousands. The iPad did more, did it better and coast half as much - because it was made in the millions.,

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Dave 126
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Fair does!

I don't own any Apple devices or APPL stock, but I'm glad they are doing well.

We are technology-using animals. None of us would be here without fire, many of use would soon die without clothing or shelter. Our environments are often full of man-made creations, so a badly created object feels akin to littering.

Now, i remember when the main frustration with a computer was that it wasn't quite fast enough. At that time, it was clear that easiest way to make the thing less irritating was to have a faster CPU and more RAM. Adding these things would clearly make ifor a better user experience. Also, these things would be easy to sell: "66 Mhz, 4Mb RAM, 200 MB HDD, 4x CD ROM, only £999". All of them with the same cheap, sharp-edged stamped mild steel chassis, many if them with a hideous fascia of beige ABS plastic when they could simply have been powder coated. That's mere looks, fine - but these machines insisted on a restart every time a peripheral was added, and this user didn't take that as a friendly trait.

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

Dave 126
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Re: I don't get it

In response to your question, I shall refer to the post that immediately pre-dates yours:

Arnaut the less

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What do we actually need?

I keep my phone in a shirt pocket and with a coat on I sometimes don't hear or feel notifications. Some people have a similar problem with phones in bags.

I can see a use case for a proper watch that has a simple vibrate feedback and is linked to a phone, so it vibrates one way for a message, another for a voice call, and a third for other notifications. It would also help if it had the phone unlock function of the LG. It really doesn't need a display (other than the obvious one) or a blinkenlicht. Even the Pebble is overkill.

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Dave 126
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Re: Navigation use case

That sound a bloody good idea Petur - which Android navigation app is that, may I ask?

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Dave 126
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Re: Objectively gorgeous??

Too true, they will be worth more than scrap in a few years / decades time.

For balance, Omega make some more restrained watches too, as do their competitors.

I'm actually inclined to like companies who put a crazy product from time to time.

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Dave 126
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Re: Your cringeworthy article implies

>14 down-votes (so far). Must have been a recruiting drive on Apple fan fora.

You don't have to be an Apple fan to down-vote someone who is quite obviously misrepresenting the article, and making themselves a hypocrite at the same time.

And shit, if you really thick this Reg thread is a Apple fan forum then you really have lost your powers of reading comprehension. The pattern has been roughly:

Commentards who say its not for them: Upvoted a lot.

Commentards who seem not to have read or understood the review: Downvoted a lot.

Commentards who express cautious interest: Upvoted a bit.

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Dave 126
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>"...I'm normally a early adopter but so far I've not seen a single wearable that appeals... "

I've seen a few that nearly appeal, largely because they look like standard analogue watches. Casio, Citizen and a company called Martian make some in this form-factor.

The thing is, since my traditional watch was chosen by me from a selection of thousands, I'm not likely to find a smart-watch from a selection of dozens that looks as good to me as my current watch does.

I also like my handed-down watch, a 1968 Omega Chronostop with the Milanese strap... Apple have got that right, at least.

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Dave 126
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Re: That is massive.

In the traditional watch market, watches have got a lot bigger in the last 20-odd years... 38 mm used to be the norm, but now 43 mm and bigger is common. Partly it is to do with the resurgence of the mechanical watch market in the late eighties - as it was a given that quartz was more accurate, functional and cheaper, it meant that mechanical watches were largely status symbols, so may as well be large.

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Dave 126
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Re: Driving

That's a good point. It may be that it is selective about the axis and magnitude of rotation / translation that turns it on. Otherwise, it could be mitigated in software - i.e if the master phone is connected to a car system, it won't turn on.

The concept is far from new, some Casio G-Shocks could have their electroluminescent back-lights activated by a twist/jerk in the late '90s - and it could well pre-date that.

Off topic:

Check out the Citizen Scientific Calculator Watch:

http://www.digital-watch.com/DWL/1work/citizen-scientific-calculator-watch/

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Dave 126
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Re: Objectively gorgeous??

Not to mention the idea that some of Omega's best known watches (besides the Speedmaster) boast a very 1970s design.

Take this Seamaster, for example:

http://41.media.tumblr.com/4389014dc8c8b6c8c48c28d78fe27cf7/tumblr_mmjyw4Dvyu1royoxho1_1280.png

Or Omega's Project Alaska, for those who just need more anodised aluminium iun their life:

http://www.watchlinks.net/Basel08/Basel08/omega11.jpg

Or this, based on a 1969 design (or based on a Cylon's head, it would appear):

http://www.ablogtowatch.com/omega-spacemaster-z-33-watch-review/

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Dave 126
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>So basically after many pages we all find out what we knew anyway. That its a piece of overpriced cr@p

Is that genuinely what you understood the bottom line of the review to be? You have an opinion and that's fine, but misrepresenting the views of someone else is disrespectful. A normal person would parse the review as being more like:

Useful for some people, comes across as a version 0.9 product, software needs some tuning and that will probably happen... if it's your sort of thing then maybe wait until hardware MKII, and even then it won't suit everybody - and that's fine.

Really, no iDevice ever came into its own until at least version 2.

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Dave 126
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If we can't have fewer notifications, I'd rather the process of finding out whether I can ignore one doesn't involve digging my phone out of my pocket.

The Apple Watch is overkill for me, as is Google Wear and even Pebble. Martian Watch are on the right track, a small functional module that can be incorporated into a traditional analogue watch without too much of an aesthetic compromise.

I don't mind the Reg coverage of the Apple Watch too much, but it would be nice if they gave some time to non Apple, a Google or Pebble watches.

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Console makers game the EU Commission to avoid energy-use law

Dave 126
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Re: They are computers

> Developers countered this by being more and more creative, and rising to the challenge by optimising their coding.

Nowadays, the game developers tend to use an off-the-shelf game engine, or an existing in-house game engine, so they aren't in the position to tweak it as much. However, game engines and drivers (and the line between them is blurring) do improve a bit over time.

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Dave 126
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Re: Obscure knowledge got me a job ....

copy con reply.txt

Of course you could also do this

And when you had finished, you would

Ctrl-Z

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Citroën C4 Cactus BlueHDi: A funky urban crossover

Dave 126
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Re: It's nice to see...

I've heard that said by some French people - "We don't look for parking spaces - we make them".

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Dave 126
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It's nice to see...

... a car that doesn't have bumpers matched to the body colour. The vast majority of cars on the UK roads do, and it is a silly idea - since the idea of a bumper is to shrug-off small knocks, bumpers that are easy to damage cosmetically are just daft.

I think the UK's Consumer Association looked into the issue a few back, and found far too many cars had bumpers that were damaged at collisions of less than 5 Mph, and that said bumpers often cost in excess of £300 to replace.

The cost is born not just by the person who chooses a car with unfit-for-purpose components, but by all motorists through their insurance premiums.

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Oh Em Pee! Giant Android tinkles on Apple in Google Maps graffiti

Dave 126
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Re: The Apple logo is an apple...

The Oxford English Dictionary has Android as meaning 'having the likeness of a man'.

The rough convention in technology and science fiction is: Androids are robots, but not all robots are androids. I say 'rough' because of course the fun of the genre is that writers can make their own rules and play with boundaries

Androids are robots designed to look human or near enough, so: Simulants from Blade Runner, some Cylons from the new BSG, Ash and Bishop from Alien, Data from StarTrek, and R. Daneel Olivaw as examples.

The middle ground would be C3PO from StarWars - not designed to pass for human, but to operate well in human environments. Of course 'man-like' is open to interpretation.

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Bloke, 22, in knockoff Microsoft Xbox ring gets 18 months in the cooler

Dave 126
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Thank you Dan 55 for that link. It makes things clearer - the accused accessed information destined for 3rd party developers. These developers would have used fairly standard x86 AMD machines to develop the XBOX One games. This makes sense - they start developeing these games many months if not years before the actual console hardware is finalised,

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Apple Watch RIPPED APART, its GUTS EXPOSED to hungry Vultures

Dave 126
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Re: Rolex

True, Rolex are the go-to watch for people wanting a status symbol. However, they are very well made. Here's a look inside Rolex's manufacturing facilities, from a popular watch blog:

http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/inside-rolex

For juxtaposition, here's an Industrial Designer looking at the processes used in the Apple Watch. You don't need to be a Apple fan to find it interesting, a passing interest in manufacturing will suffice:

http://www.core77.com/posts/34524/Industrial-Designer-Explains-Production-Methods-Shown-in-Apple-Watch-Manufacturing-Videos

Due to Apple's volume of production (and their confidence in their projections) they can use processes that others probably wouldn't.

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Dave 126
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Re: Rolex

>If you get a high end watches it'll last forever and go up in value*

*Disclaimer: investments can go down as well as up in value. Investments are undertaken at your own risk.

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Microsoft to offer special Surface 3 for schools

Dave 126
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@Terry

How well does that work for your son? Is there any obvious room for improvement, if so is it on the hardware or software side? I ask in the context of upcoming tech, such as eye and hand-tracking sensors from Leap, Intel and even Samsung, and improved speech recognition systems.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cloud?

Yep, when I was in school in the mid-nineties, we each had our own storage on the server, and it was drummed into us that we only use local storage for the duration of a session before moving our files to the server. We would have had no need for a single Gigayte, let alone 20 - admittedly we weren't using video, but most school classes won't require that.

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