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* Posts by Dave 126

4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Brit 2.5-tonne nuke calculator is World's Oldest Working Computer

Dave 126
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Re: Yeah...

At what frame rate?

Don't think it blends, though.

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Dave 126
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Happy

I love it... after using computers to fight fascism in Europe, we British then use computing for our second highest priority: ensuring we have enough cups of tea and cake.

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Tiny tech ZigBee harnesses puny power of the press

Dave 126
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Re: Car keys?

But those IDs change, so that thieves don't intercept and then clone them (in theory!).

Car key fobs transmit a 40 bit code, and also have memory to store the rolling code. The car will accept any of the next 256 of the rolling codes, should you press the fob when you are out of range of your car.

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Dave 126
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Re: Emergency buttons

I'm thinking more of one of the fire bells that require you to turn a handle.. you give out an audible and a radio alert!

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Dave 126
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It sounds like you could do with a repeater in the 'elbow' of your L-shaped room... presumably the bulbs themselves do this?

***

The signal from the proposed unpowered switches only has to get as far as the next powered node in the mesh network. Since most rooms in your house have a wall socket or a light socket, that should suffice- though yeah, older houses with thick walls and unusual shapes will cause issues. That the switch doesn't require power just means your can place it wherever is most convenient to you, without re-plastering your wall, dangling cables or having to replace batteries.

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Dave 126
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Re: Car keys?

21 bits won't other the security you would want from your car keys fob. The battery in your car key fob lasts a few years, and when it runs out you can fall back on using your real key until you get a new battery.

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Dave 126
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Re: Am I missing something?

It might just be the illustration (in the same way that speed camera signs show a antique bellows camera), but their diagram shows a lever switch- which has a longer throw than many light switches. Since energy is work times distance, is such a big switch required? I guess what I'm asking is "How small a switch is required to transmit these 21 bits 2 metres?"

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Dave 126
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Re: Am I missing something?

During recent ' Smart watch' threads I was musing on how much energy would be required to transmit a simple control to from a wristwatch to a nearby phone, and whether this energy could be harvested from the button-press.

How small can you go? The only thing I have first hand experience of is the piezo component in 'electronic' cigarette lighters.

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Shiny, shiny! The window's behind me...

Dave 126
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Re: How can you tell?

>How do you tell?

You take a piece of spaghetti that has been boiled for ten minutes, then sling it at your screen. If it slides off, it means you have a shiny screen... or your pasta in not done yet... I forget which.

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Dave 126
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Lack of vertical resolution annoying.

especially when your vertical pixels are swallowed up by ribbon interfaces, title bars, status bar and websites with large banner adverts.

16:9 also causes the centre of your screen on a laptop to be lower down than it would be on a 16:10 or 4:3 display. Not ideal.

For sure, it depends on what applications you use it for. Choice is nice, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: Got both - dont care which is supposed to be best.

Personally, I'm not too fussed by a shiny screen, but specs without an anti-reflective coating do get on my nerves, especially at this time of the year when the sun is low in the sky.

I think that matte screens have a matte texture, but anti-reflective optics have several layers of films with different refractive indexes- as a side effect you see coloured reflections from an angle.

You could place tracing paper over a picture and see it clearly, but your could place tracing paper on your windscreen and expect to see where you're going.

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Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

Dave 126
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Re: long time before they match cost of sugar beet or cane if ever

Trouble is, the world's population is getting bigger, and bio-fuels have lead to a rise in food prices in the past- putting up the price of beer, bread and bacon. Not good.

There is land that is currently not being used for agriculture- deserts, for example- and there have been experiments in using algae and sea water in the desert in glass tubes. Having your ingredients and products in a liquid or sludge form means they can be pumped around- no tractor required. There is also the prospect of genetically engineering (or breeding) organisms to produce the product you want.

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Dave 126
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Re: Energy in and out?

The article mentions that the experiment is to mimic photosynthesis, and mentions "sunlight or artificial light", and also a catalyst. The sunlight is the source of the energy, not electricity- unless it is used to power artificial lights.

Obviously it will require energy to build the device.

It isn't clear from the Reg article what advantage this system has over, for example, growing algae in glass tubes in the desert, other than the energy density of the end product (if they succeed in making ethanol) and the lack of post processing required.

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Dave 126
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Re: Hmm...

>Would that lead to excess O2 in the atmosphere?!?!

No, it wouldn't.

The article suggests these systems will be placed next to conventional power plants, which take oxygen from the air and combine it with carbon to produce CO2. The oxygen released from the CO2 by Panasonic's machine is only that which was combined with carbon by the conventional power station.

Conversely, there was a local brewery which kept having environmental officers turning up and complaining that the brewing process released CO2... until someone explained to them very slowly that the the CO2 being released had only recently been absorbed from the atmosphere by the barley when it was growing- it was merely being cycled. (Obviously the brewery used fossil fuels too; gas to heat the liquor and diesel to distribute the end product)

(Apologies for not being arsed to format sub-script for the 2 in CO2)

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Ministry of Fun builds crack team to juice up bumpkin broadband

Dave 126
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Re: Bumpkins!!!

Alan Partridge gets flattened by a dead cow from a bridge by irate Norfolk farmers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrOBqn0asug

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Amazon: IVONA bevy of 'all natural' blabber babes to beat Siri

Dave 126
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This is a fun article, about how Siri grew out of a DARPA project, was intended to do much more than she does now, and after Apple bought her (snatching her away from Verizon's Android handsets) they curbed her abilities and potty mouth. She seems to have plenty of cousins, though.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/siri-do-engine-apple-iphone_n_2499165.html

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Sympathetic Scots scoff-house offers hard-up Apple fanbois a discount

Dave 126
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Re: He makes Chilli Jam !

Jalepeno strawberry jam (and made with Bennets honey, according to the label) goes a treat with neck of lamb fillets.

Strange thing is, it just tastes like strawberry jam.

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Dave 126
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Are those identical twins in the kitchen?

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Opportunity celebrates nine years on Mars

Dave 126
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Re: Cleaning Crew

As I have been lead to understand, the solar panels on Opportunity were subject to 'unexpected cleaning events' (wind) and provided more power over time than NASA expected. However, it is its li-ion batteries that limit its life.

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Greenland ice SIMPLY WOULD NOT MELT in baking +8°C era 120k years ago

Dave 126
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Re: "so the models are evidently wrong"

>It could plateau by the same mechanism that has caused zero (and even decreasing) population growth of Western societies (excluding immigration). The more education and wealth the lower the birth rate, so the answer isn't to bring Western society down to the level of the 3rd world, it is to bring the 3rd world up to the level of Western society.

Correct. The problem is, however, that we don't have enough planet to give everyone the same quality of life as those of use in the West. For everyone on Earth were to use the same resources as European would require about three Earths.

If could provide healthcare, sanitation and education to all in a resource- efficient manner, then yeah, we're in with a chance- since if women are are confident that their children will survive, they generally choose to have fewer of them. It does pose some problems along the way, both in societies in which parent rely upon their children for care in old age, or societies in which this care is bought (one of the reasons Japan is researching robots).

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Dave 126
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Re: Keep up the good work Lewis!

Er... how is "we wipe ourselves out" not roughly the same as "we're doomed"? Surely the point of highlighting dangers is to avoid them, rather than let them be an inevitability?

This is always fun, an interview of a man who writes for a magazine that exists to prop up people's sense of entitlement to £20,00 wristwatches and Bentley automobiles (The Spectator), by the president of the Royal Society:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36Xu3SQcIE0

The hack has rings run round him and admits to being no more than "an interpreter of [cherry-picked] interpretations" and then whines in his column that the interview constituted "intellectual rape". Aw, diddums.

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Dave 126
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Re: "so the models are evidently wrong"

>But they do. Which is not science, it's politics.

Look at a graph of our population over time... it can either continue but this would require the population of new worlds and habitats- or it could plateau (but by what mechanism?) or it could crash, as the is pattern of organisms that outgrow their habitat. Or indeed, the majority of agricultural civilisations in the past.

What, exactly, makes this difficult to understand? I don't really give a shit if we starve because because crops yields suffer from climate change (by whatever mechanism), or if we starve because there are just too many of us.

Its notable that longest lasting civilisations have not based themselves on continued economic growth- China, for example, has for millennia has placed lower status on traders than it has farmers.

The lessons aren't just in the climate models, but are found in history and biology as well.

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Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Dave 126
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Re: Windows 8 FAIL

>Well the problem with Windows (and OSX too) is that the user interface is an integral part of the OS. Don't like it? You're out of luck, gotta live with it anyway.

It seems fairly straight forward to install a 3rd party Start Menu replacement.

> Then why has the market rejected Windows 8 on both mobile and desktop? Are you correct and the market somehow wrong?

Don't throw stones if you live a glass house, Eadon. There could be plenty of reasons for people not buying Win8 (waiting to see how the hardware plays out / comes down in cost being just one of them) just as there valid reason that not everyone uses Linux on their desktop- and that's free of charge.

By the argument you've just given ("the market knows best") then Linux on desktops must be absolutely awful. Since it isn't, then your argument must be faulty.

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No UK date, no biz disties: Will Microsoft cock-up the Surface Pro too?

Dave 126
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Re: Re I always wanted a Zune

When the Zune came out, there weren't many HDD-based players to choose from... the iPod Classic, Cowon maybe, Archos were still being shabby about their codec support, iRiver had discontinued their H3xx series... I've only ever met one person who has owned one, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: You're missing the obvious

My unsubstantiated gut feeling was that MS reckoned not everyone would bother with Win8 anyway, so they got a little experimental with Win8 and intend to use the user's feedback in the development of Win9.

The 'under the bonnet' features of Win8 aren't enough to make everyone move on from Win7- but maybe hardware will have changed /advanced enough by the time Win 9 is due for it to be worthwhile. By that time, enough real users will have formed their own views about touch-screens and touch-less input.

So I agree with Wardy, more or less.

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Dave 126
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>I can get a Core i7, 16GB, 128GB SSD ultrabook with Win8 for less that £700. Why do I want his Surface Pro bollocks?

With 1920 x 1080 resolution? Where where where?!

(I'm not saying that justifies the extra cash, but just saying)

There is another manufacturer's laptop-cum-tablet that tickles my fancy, but I've already mentioned it enough, and The Reg has already reviewed its WinRT baby brother)

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Boffins take the temperature of the cosmos

Dave 126
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Re: Universe is suffering a heat-death like fate

>Jeez, you're annoying. Your attitude makes me consider dumping Linux from some servers.

That's his intention, I think:

50% chance Eadon is an agent provocateur- claiming to be a a Linux support but actually aiming to discredit it. An age old strategy, akin to governments placing thugs amongst peaceful opposition protests.

35% chance Eadon has learning difficulties. "Linux is so easy that even Eadon can use it".

10% chance - troll

5% chance - agent of El Reg as a click-baiter.

The other day he derailed a thread about 3D-printing by spouting off about WinPho 8, and then accused others of "plaguing these forums".

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Pope: Catholics, go forth and multiply... your Twitter followers

Dave 126
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To paraphrase:

Go forth and multiply >> Go away and procreate >> Fuck off.

thus demonstrating the danger of the meaning of a message getting confused if it is translated and rewritten- or passed down the ages.

Some OT scholars believe the original text, as far as they can tell, is "go forth and procreate responsibly".

It amuses me that the first person to research the role of fertilisation in vertebrates made little trousers for male frogs, and found the frog-spawn didn't develop into tadpoles. Not only that, but he was a Roman Catholic priest!

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Microsoft's Intel-powered Surface Pro to launch in February

Dave 126
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Re: Again, sort of want

Nah, that wasn't what I said.

In this Surface Pro device - which is not being sold as games machine or CAD workstation- the HD4000 is fit for purpose. It plays most games well enough though, is fairly frugal, and can transcode feature-length 1080 movies with hardly any CPU load in 15 minutes.

It might not be fantastic, but it isn't shitty.

The reason I picked up on your comment is that it appeared to be based on your experience with earlier Intel GPUs- which were shit. However, the benchmarking sites reckon the HD4000 is a significant move forwards from the previous generation- though obviously not perfect. .

I've used it in a passively cooled 100% silent machine, and it's good. I'm not saying its suitable for all machines and users (and it isn't ideal for me), since of course they may have greater demands, both in terms of raw power and driver support.

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Dave 126
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@Wardy01

Well said. I don't like MS's past naughtiness any more than the next man, or the thousand little annoyances I've encountered when using Windows. I wish desktop Linux well whilst looking on with interest with Valve/Steam Linux developments, since it might blaze a trail for commercial software to follow.

But I am very tired of the simplistic "Linux is great, Windows sucks" type posts, and the automatic knocking of Windows 8 by people who should easily be able to find a workaround to any UI-related hiccups.

Still, when this article headline mentioned new accessories for this Surface Pro, I did think a set of skateboard trucks and wheels would be cute : D

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Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water

Dave 126
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Re: It won't happen

The micro-spheres are the consumables. You make money by producing, transporting and selling them... and probably some water-purifying kit or system cleaning stuff as well.

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Dave 126
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Re: Desert

Cheers Badvok, for some positive thinking.

Well, once yo make one solar furnace, you can use that to melt glass for mirrors to make further furnaces. You could create other glass parts, perhaps those moisture-recycling enclosures that have been tested in arid deserts for growing food.

It doesn't just have to be the Sahara, there are other deserts to choose from.

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Dave 126
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Re: Fuel Cells

>Get this technology out in to the real world, or shut up about it...

Fuel Cells are already in widespread use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell#Applications

AC fail.

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Dave 126
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Re: Doesn't this defeat the purpose ...?

> But if it generates so much hydrogen when in contact with water, that doesn't sound like the sort of thing that I let the average user handle.

Nor do you let the user introduce a whole tank of petrol to oxygen and fire... the carburetter and the cylinder do that.

It's still safer than having a tank of highly compressed hydrogen in your car.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good thing this is the Reg,

Uses, including but not limited to:

"partially prevent femoral bone loss in the aged ovariectomized rat model, increase collagen concentration in calves..."

-Wiki

I don't know how your ovariectomized rats are doing, fellow readers, but mine are doing just fine.

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'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m

Dave 126
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So Psy can now buy a real horse?

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Chinese boffins crack cloaking tech for camouflage

Dave 126
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Re: 50+ posts ..

He does need his own icon.

The other solution is to get your enemies to wear sunglasses that turn opaque at the first time of danger.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dave 126 / three small bushes

>... Mr E.V. Lambert of Homeleigh, The Burrows, Oswestry ["has presented us with a poser:"]

[Bang!]

[Bang!]

[Bang! Arrgh!]

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‘That’s not art’ says Apple as it pulls nudes from AppStore

Dave 126
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Re: But I thought it was OK as long as there are urns, or cherubs in the picture?

>All it needed was a title that made a reference to the classical world

The Rape of the Sabine Women by Rubens?

(Okayokay, I know that in this context 'rape' means 'abduction', as in the word 'rapacious'. )

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Dave 126
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Re: The American dilemma

Or:

"We're all naked underneath our clothes"

Granny Wheatherwax: "I'm not- I've got three vests on!"

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Dave 126
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Re: offensive

>Apples T&C's mean you can't use your phone for any kind of fun, unless you think facebook updating, twattering or downloading 1000's of fart app is fun.

It's never occurred to me to look at pron - or tasteful erotica - on my Android phone. A tablet, possibly, but it ain't a 'deal breaker'.

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Dave 126
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Re: Only in a Well-regulated militia - 1792 Militia Act defines that

Actually, it's conditional on America not having a standing army- which now they do. And then some.

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Dotcom's Mega smacks back: Our crypto's not crap

Dave 126
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Re: Yawn. Bored with 'Mega' now.

>it a shit name

You must have been a SNES owner : D

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Dead Steve Jobs' patent war threat to Palm over 'no-hire pact'

Dave 126
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Re: A or B?

>Shome mishtake shurely?

>>Wow, Sean Connery reads the Reg!

It's a reference to a magazine called Private Eye, that engages in investigative journalism and a level of piss-taking and cynicism that makes El Reg look tame, and was started long before liquid lunches (and thus afternoon slurring by the editor, on his way to being 'tired and emotional') went out of fashion.

Or it might be a pastiche of Private Eye. Pastiche: n. What Sean Connery eats in Cornwall.

-Bogbrush

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Dave 126
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Re: Sounds familiar

What, if the Pope and the Dalai Lama poach Tom Cruise they'll open a patent suite against them?

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Dave 126
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Re: Wait...

It wasn't just Apple who were up to this. You need more than one company playing ball in order for them all to keep their staff costs down.

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Dave 126
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Re: Jobs

I guess that's why he went into tech and didn't run a hotel in Torquay.

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Dave 126
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Re: "no-poaching" agreements

Well, the phrase 'head-hunting' sounds like companies are pygmies in a Rider Haggard book, and "Brain Drain" sounds like torment inflicted by school bullies. I think you might be reading too much into it.

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UK malls use Google in desperate stab at luring shoppers off the web

Dave 126
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Re: Bye bye...

> I've been wandering round Princes Street and the environs today looking for shirts

Yeah, I find this: If I want a plain coloured T-shirt, all the high street shops have the same sickly yet fashionable colours. They all stock casual trousers of the same ill-fitting fashionable cut.

> but DSR makes returning things far easier

I had a mate who was in the market for a very high res 27" monitor... if he went to the shop that day and later discovered it had one dead pixel he wouldn't be able to return it- since just one dead pixel isn't considered a fault. If he bought it online from the same shop and had it delivered, he would be able to return for any reason he chose.

Waterstones have also lost out on my custom. They had a new hardback book at an introductory price of £15 whioch I would have paid, but that had ended, and their store now wanted £19 for it. Their website only wanted £15, but since they'd encouraged me to go online I got it for £12 from somebody else.

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BT in £52m contract tussle: West Country bumpkins hit with broadband delay

Dave 126
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Faster broadband in Devon? Good news for those live sex-cam ladies that Ilfracombe is so famous for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5RVeQFK0LM

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