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* Posts by Dave 126

4074 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Manning was 'illegally punished', will get 112 days lopped off any sentence

Dave 126
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Re: His only realy crime

I think Danny was referring to the Eleventh Commandment.

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Dave 126
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Re: Along with

Would be great of those who inflicted the illegal punishment were represented in court by Jack Nicholson, a la A Few Good Men. I'd pay to watch that.

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Report: Tablets to outsell ALL PCs by 2016

Dave 126
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Go Yoga!

Ergonomics. The area in which the desktop PC still excels, even though most people don't require a tower-sized enclosure any more- especially if they have a NAS stashed in the broom cupboard. A good number of people are happy to trade desktop ergonomics for portability and convenience, in the form of a traditional laptop, and of those most don't bother with a separate monitor and keyboard when at their desk.

The Yoga form-factor, when in 'tent-mode' looks ideal, since it can be placed on a pile of books to get the screen at the right height, and a separate keyboard be used. This is a trickier to do with a conventional laptop.

One thing to watch is 'Kinect-like' devices... maybe. Either in place of touchscreens, or as a wider move towards some form of 'ubiquitous computing' - "PC- turn the heating down", "PC - where's my phone?", "PC - give me the dimensions of this thing I'm holding up [I want to make a box for it]"

Current OS GUIs seem a bit backward... I'd always assumed that the good thing about Linux was that people could bend it to their will, but all the current discussion about GUIs suggests otherwise (though at least competition between GUIs could be a good thing). There used to packages that allowed teenagers to make their video games without doing too much programming... I wonder if an application that let users develop their own UIs is workable? Even if their efforts are incomplete, it would get developers thinking. Surely we are past the point where OS GUIs are (unsuccessfully) geared towards someone who had never used a computer before?

[Sorry, that was all a tad unfocused. Thank you for your patience]

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Sony PS3 extends lead over Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a cool million

Dave 126
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I prefer the PS3 controller for games like Tekken (D-pad), and but prefer the 'mushroom' analogue sticks of the XBOX for first-person shooter games.

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Dave 126
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Re: Santa

>Why oh why did they get rid of the PS2 compatibility?

I think it was something to do with the PS2's 'emotion engine' chip (so called because it was used for rendering faces in cut-scenes).

The have been a few game developers who have said they find the Cell architecture of the PS3 tricky to program for... and other parters who used Cell chips seem to have gone elsewhere. Current rumours (pinch of salt, but not unrealistic) suggest the PS 4 will be x86 architecture, possibly from AMD with an AMD GPU.

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Dave 126
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Re: downloads -"none of the associated costs on a physical product"

>I don't know why there aren't more games available as direct downloads.

Maybe because the first versions of the current generation of consoles didn't have too much storage space. The original Xbox 360 had 20GB for the HDD version, but the 'arcade' version didn't even have that. MS later updated the 360 to allow generic USB storage to be used, but I don't know if there are any limitations to it compared to the HDD.

My mate's PS3 has a fair few downloaded games on its HDD, but they are mostly either 2D games, or older 3D games such as Club GTI, though since the PS3 has WiFi as standard, its HDD doesn't contain any movies or music since they are on his NAS.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Dave 126
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Re: Only applies to excess drinking of the pop kind?

Quite right, I don't think anybody needs to drink pints of anything a day, except for water and beer of course. Orange juice is good for you in moderation, but it can be to easy to quaff the whole carton.

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Dave 126
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Re: @Greg J Preece

Yeah, but it is actually healthier to eat something fatty at breakfast, since it 'sets' your body to deal with it throughout the day. Carbs are good at lunch, but in the evening just stick to meat and veg (you don't need carbs to sit back and relax). Easy.

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Dave 126
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Re: The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate

Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour had an episode called "Coffee", well worth a traipse across the interwebs to find... Apparently, one Pope liked this new-fangled drink so much that he baptised it.

Speaking of mathematicians (Russell, not Dylan), it was said of Paul Erdős by his colleague Alfréd Rényi "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems".

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Dave 126
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Re: Thanks, Ace.

There is a very simple principle to the making of tea and it's this - to get the proper flavour of tea, the water has to be boiling (not boiled) when it hits the tea leaves. If it's merely hot then the tea will be insipid. That's why we English have these odd rituals, such as warming the teapot first (so as not to cause the boiling water to cool down too fast as it hits the pot). And that's why the American habit of bringing a teacup, a tea bag and a pot of hot water to the table is merely the perfect way of making a thin, pale, watery cup of tea that nobody in their right mind would want to drink. The Americans are all mystified about why the English make such a big thing out of tea because most Americans have never had a good cup of tea. That's why they don't understand. In fact the truth of the matter is that most English people don't know how to make tea any more either, and most people drink cheap instant coffee instead, which is a pity, and gives Americans the impression that the English are just generally clueless about hot stimulants.

-Douglas Adams

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Dave 126
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Re: Lost empire...

Douglas Adams, How to Make a Cup of Tea:

http://www.h2g2.com/approved_entry/A61345

Tea is good for you. The function of gut bacteria is an area that is still yielding new discoveries, but green tea has been show to encourage good bacteria (more so than any 'pro-biotic' yoghurt drinks). It's one of those things that has been known in China for thousands of years. Even we know that a good cup of tea after a full-English breakfast is good for cutting through the grease, making the back of our throats a less bacteria that might give us 'strep-throat'.

There is an Chinese saying that "Vegetable soup makes you calm and happy" and I remember reading about ten years ago that scientists had only just got around to confirming that empirically: they discovered that eating vegetable soup for a fortnight resulted in marked drop in stress hormones in the blood.

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Dave 126
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Re: "12oz cups"?

>In a country like Italy, where they understand coffee, a cup of coffee will be small and strong (even if it's >cappuccino).

And they serve it with glasses of water.

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Dave 126
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Re: Deadly

Kids aren't free, they are still in the process of learning. Schools act in loco parentis. My parents wouldn't allow me sugary breakfast cereals every day, would only allow me two biscuits at a time- nor would my mum allow me to use my toboggan head-first when it snowed. My grandmother slapped me once when I started to cross a road without looking. These sorts of things are the job of parents.

My dad did try to encourage me to drink beer from a young age, but after he gave me a couple of pints as a toddler, I didn't touch it again until my late teens (I think my palette changed from sweet to bitter). Beer is good for you, as the malt has long chain sugars, cheap UK lager has added sugar and is piss.

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Dave 126
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: So...

>Why doesn't El Reg have a coffee icon yet?

They do: What do think this brown stuff on the keyboard is? : D

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Potty-mouthed Watson supercomputer needed filth filter

Dave 126
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Naughty computer! Do not use the following words:

F***, C***, C***, S***, B*******, W*****, A**, A***, B******, S**, B*****,

unless your talking about beasts of burden, illegitimate children, male chickens, Scunthorpe or soil.

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Panasonic pitches Ultra HD 4K x 2K monster tablet

Dave 126
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Re: Nice

http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-4k-20in-lcd-screen_TV_review

suggests Panasonic are aiming at certain business sectors first, before rolling it out to the man on the street. CES is happening as we speak, so if you keep your eyes on reports your wish might come true!

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Dave 126
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Re: The future

Last summer my old school was hosting a county manufacturing thingy in its sports hall, and I popped along. I bumped into my old Design and Technology teacher and he showed me around my old workshop and classroom. The room in which I had learnt to lay out engineering drawings by hand was now full of Solidworks workstations. I'm only 32. When I got to uni, we were taught parametric CAD on a Unix mainframe... only one workstation in the suite had a graphics card powerful enough to rotate a shaded model view.

I personally don't think we will come full circle completely, in the way you suggest... because things like connected laser measures, 3D scanners, and Kinect-like devices will allow some scope for CAD to advance. CAD can become something that the designer uses whilst walking around the workshop.

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Dave 126
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Well, there is that classic hip hop film in which one of the characters carries a ridiculously big ghetto-blaster- was it Wild Style? And the spoof of it in Star Trek V when they go back to the 20th Century and Spock silences a sodcasting commuter with, what else, a Vulcan nerve pinch.

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Dave 126
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Re: 200 percent

>I've seen programs where dialogue boxes and pop ups are impossible to do anything with it as the buttons have >been pushed out of the fixed size window due to increased text percentage on Vista / 7.

I've seen that in some XP applications in Win 7 when the text size has been at 125% or 150%. I've also seen users set their output to be less than the native resolution of their monitor, so that text is bigger.

>Apple have the right idea when it comes to the high res screens, why can't Windows do the same?

My understanding is that it was one of the things that was dropped from Vista along the way... but I'm fuzzy on the details.

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Toy train company bids for West Coast Mainline

Dave 126
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Re: Human after all!

>I think you mean they record factual notes from a wide menu of choices

Humphrey: I don't think the treasury accepts valuations written on the back of menus

Bernard: Oh, but it is a very fine menu

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Texas schoolgirl loses case over RFID tag suspension

Dave 126
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St Trinians?

I would have thought that if there were 200 other students who objected to the system, they could merely swap tags whenever they passed each other, or before popping outside for a cigarette (or making a rendezvous with Sid James to place a bet on the horses). What happened to a teacher making a roll-call at the start of each class?

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Faster-than-disk 1TB USB on sale soon... but if you lose it, you've lost £2k+

Dave 126
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Build your own with an mSata SSD:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812186155&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10440897&PID=3332167&SID=u00000687

You'll have to work out the power supply, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: From the movies

Using, of course, some mock up of a UI that doesn't exist in the real world. Of the top of my head, Swordfish, The Echelon Conspiracy, Minority Report and Jurassic Park come to mind... though common components include windows with lots of numbers scrolling by, and a nice big status bar.

Hmmm, I could see a sister-article to the Reg's Top Ten Sci Fi computers coming on.

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Review: Vodafone Smart Tab II 7 budget 3G tablet

Dave 126
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Re: Google Play and SD card!

[EDIT]- Not all recent Android devices support USB OTG in hardware, so check first if this something you are interested in.

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Dave 126
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Re: Google Play and SD card!

If you do as AC suggests, do check this thread first:

"The USB OTG that Do and DO NOT work with Nexus 7 Thread"

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1812609

I'm in the process of making one right now, just as soon as I find where I put my solder. Most male microUSB plugs are a bugger for this as the pins are so small, but I've found one that helpfully has a small PCB attached to it. Instructions are online, but you'd probably be better off just buying one.

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Dave 126
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Re: Slightly off topic query

I use it occasionally, in a limited way, for doing Google searches on Andriod. I do sort of second-guess what phrases it will understand immediately, and which I should just type in.

For example, "Cinema listings near Cardiff" I would expect it understand on its first try... something more obscure less so, so I would just type it.

I first tried speech recognition back in 2000 (and remember forecasts of it being the next big thing, even then) and it was entertaining but rubbish, but what is different now is the huge amount of data Google have to refine their system.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why 3G?

Most 7" tablets offer 3G only as an option, not a baseline.

If you do have a 3G Tablet for internet and maps in your car or briefcase, you might find you don't require an expensive smartphone in your pocket, and will be perfectly happy with a clamshell 'dumbphone', with long long battery life.

This is a good option for older folk who identify themselves as having poorer eyesight and and less dexterity.

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Guitar-playing keys enable extremely thin keyboards

Dave 126
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Re: He might be on to something

>I tried one of those projected-on-a-surface laser keyboards... oy vey. My fingertips pretty much called a strike >after 20 minutes,

Superglue some marshmallows to your fingertips, problem solved. Next!

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Dave 126
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Okay Dougal, one more time:

For two devices of the same external dimensions, the one with the thinner keyboard can have a bigger battery- or room for a microSD slot.

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Razer uncages Core i7, GeForce megaslab for hardcore gamers

Dave 126
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Re: Does the thing run WOW?

Have a look at Tomshardware... they give the impression that multiplayer games like WOW are more taxing on the CPU than purely action games, but you'll have to chase down the details.

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Dave 126
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It just seems to me...

...that the better solution would be to have it just act as a display and controller for a desktop machine on your network. Okay, it wouldn't then be mobile... but then its limited by its battery life anyway.

Still, good to see it available; people can make their own minds up.

For really muscular forearms, there is a Nofan (nee Nofen) passive cooler good for CPUs up to 100W TDP (a bit overkill for this processor, I'm sure), that weighs 1KG. I imagine it protruding from the casing like a an air intake does from the hood of a 1970s American muscle car. Though be careful where you flash that quantity of copper... buggers thieve it round here.

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Making apps for touchscreen mobes? YAWN. Try a car instead

Dave 126
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Re: Or they could actually fit the Focus with something useful

Not just touchscreens... a silly number of car stereos have two buttons for volume, instead of a knob. The knob is safer, as it can be located by touch, and its quicker to use.

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Scientists snap first film of giant squid in action

Dave 126
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Or when they decorated maps. Google maps is lacking in this respect. Maybe someone has already created a "Here be monsters" overlay for Google Earth...

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Apple may debut low-cost iPhone for emerging markets in 2013

Dave 126
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>Oddly, one source claimed that the new iPhone actually has a larger screen than earlier models

Well, making it bigger could make it cheaper. Maybe if it had a larger chassis, a larger battery could be used to run less efficient and cheaper chips. Or maybe a larger screen easier to manufacture, since the pixel density is lower. Maybe a larger device would easier to assemble.

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Segway daddy unveils DIY weight-loss stomach pump

Dave 126
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Re: Wow, just wow!

>Anyway, proper clothing/shielding from the wind and rain is probably most important.

Don't even need that for as long as you keep moving. Nothing beats changing out of wet clothes into dry, and then sitting next to a pub fire / eating tea and toast.

I think my favourite singletrack has turned into streams this year, though, so might take up kayacking.

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Adobe offers free trip to PowerPC era

Dave 126
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> There are far more secure options out there as an alternative to almost every Adobe product.

Names please!

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Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

Dave 126
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He tried:

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/james-dysons-bath-academy-scrapped/1892461.article

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Dave 126
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Re: We have a more fundamental problem to address

Okay, eugenics aside:

Its the same issue- we no longer have the high quantity of agricultural or industrial jobs that traditionally employed the low-skilled. Some people will never be too bright- not their fault, doesn't make them bad people with no feelings- but the bell curve on this issue is something that no politician can point out ("Never call the electorate stupid!"). Instead, New Labour had this strange idea that everyone could be educated into intelligence (it doesn't work that way) and play a part in 'a knowledge economy'.

Rather than just addressing the incentive for the benefits system gives for having more children, we do need to look at why smart women have fewer children- or even leave it too late to have any. The French model is that women tend to have children in their early twenties before embarking on a career- in Britain, women try to reach some threshold level of career advancement before taking a break, and then struggle to get back into it. Economically, I can't work out why childcare is so expensive- surely four women can look after two children as well as one-on-one... I mean, everybody needs to take a toilet break from to time.

Ultimately, designing new vacuum cleaners (or cars, or microwave ovens) to sell to people who already have vacuum cleaners isn't sustainable either.

Bertrand Russell- "The case for a leisure society"

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Dave 126
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Re: I appreciate some os his arguments, but hes also full of shit....

> It has filters instead of bags.

Bags do act as filters, but they also catch the larger particles of fluff, dog hair, lego blocks etc, a job which in cyclonic vacuum cleaners is done by the cyclone cylinder, not a filter. It is irritating to be using a vacuum cleaner with a bag and then have to stop because the bag is full and the cupboard is bare of spares.

Henrys work well, with a large surface area of 'filter'. It does benefit from being able to take it outside and whack it, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: When

>robot programmers and skilled engineering technicians

I know one- he troubleshoots the CNC machines that Airbus use. He says he absolutely loves his job.

>who actually build and maintain the assembly lines so much stuff is made on.

And then there is Renshaw based outside Bristol, who make metrology equipment, used in manufacturing when you really need to put a component in the correct place. Privately owned, the millionaire owner is still a hands-on engineer, its the only non-Japanese company to win certain Japanese manufacturing awards, the first company to be awarded Investors in People, numerous Queen's Awards for Industry, it employees engineers, programmers, assemblers, and six full-time patent lawyers, and recently expanded its operation to a massive former-Bosch site in South Wales, for the neurosurgery and dental divisions.

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Hey Lenovo, want to kill Apple? Look to Samsung hitman for tips

Dave 126
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Re: thinkpads?

>1920x10280

Ooops! That was a typ... no it wasn't, it was my design for a monitor that can display graphs of hugely varying dependent variables without using logarithmic scales!

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Dave 126
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Re: Linux is the answer!

RE Lenovo, Linovo...

Cute, but runs the risk of confusing consumers who don't spot the difference, or think Linovo is a knock-off! : D

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Dave 126
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Re: Apple & Lenovo

>In my son words "I hate it when people touch my screen, i don't want to do it all the time, it's rubbish".

I eat my words: I've suddenly decided that I DO want a touchscreen on my laptop... purely so the next time someone prods it whilst discussing whatever its displaying, it flashes up a messages saying "Please don't touch the screen". That is all.

My last boss took a permanent marker to one of his monitors, and he was then surprised white spirit wouldn't shift it. I managed to find a can of deodorant before he laid his hands on his tub of acetone.

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Dave 126
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Re: Who's the Innovation Leader Now?

Yep: Rather than alienate existing users with a new UI, a la Win8 TIFKAM, Apple just added gestures to the trackpad, and retained keyboard shortcuts, context menus and, shock horror, menus. If you have a application that benefits from prodding a screen (a virtual mixing desk?) either use it standalone on an iPad, or use the iPad as a control surface for a Mac (Wireless MIDI was implemented from the first iPhone onwards).

Apple may yet be shown to be smart in skipping the touchscreen laptop fad if the Leap Motion device is half as good as everyone says it is:

https://leapmotion.com/product (like a tiny finger-friendly Kinect device for £50)

MS were talking about implementing Kinect technology in laptops, but it seems they may have missed the boat to do it themselves... still, it seems they have given thought to integrating this tech with future versions of Windows ("Buy Windows 9: You DON'T have to smear your monitor!")

The Leapmotion forums are an interesting place to have a look at, since they are still collecting ideas and application-specific dev teams.

(I'm not an Apple user, but I like new things implemented well. In the meantime, I'll hold onto my mouse with lots of buttons)

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Dave 126
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Re: Segmentation and bundling

>buy something cheap and replace the LCD panel.

A link to an Instructables.com tutorial please!

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Dave 126
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Re: Simle: make a genuinely high-end laptop and people will buy it.

Yep, that would be nice. At the high end, there was the Lenovo w700ds with two screens, a trackpad, nipple, and a Wacom digitiser. I wanted it, but it was never mainstream!

http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/21/lenovo-thinkpad-w700ds-dual-screen-laptop-details-and-pics-unear/

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Ten affordable mid-sized Full HD monitors

Dave 126
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Re: No portrait-mode?

>our field of view is wider than it is tall,

Yeah, I was having this argument with a mate who wanted a circular display like he'd seen in some 1960s TV spy series. "But our eyeballs are circular!" he said.

I decided to look it up, and all I found was an old NASA document, with a diagram that looked like the mask film-makers use to denote "protagonist is looking through binoculars" showing sharp areas, with a different shade of grey around the edges to denote more peripheral vision.

They say that the sharpest area we can perceive is equivalent to a thumbnail at arms length, so the solution is clear, gentlemen: We need a small sharp monitor that moves around according to the position of our eyeballs! (Joke, obviously!)

Of course the Xerox Alto had a portrait display, trying as it was to replace the paper office.

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Dave 126
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Re: Multiples of 1080

1200 vertical pixels is fine for films... you just get black bars top and bottom- not a bad place for your media controls to sit, as it happens.

You are often going to get black bars anyway, because some films are wider than 16:9. Plus, older TV content is more 4:3.

(smug, sat a laptop with a 17" 1920x1200 screen)

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Dave 126
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Re: Suggestions for next monitor article

I've just being trying to track one down on the net.. about a year ago a brand - can't remember if it were Hanns G or Hanspree or neither- released a monitor that used the same panel as the 27" (or maybe 30") Cinema Display for half Apple's asking price, but I can't find it. It was said to be good, but the backlighting was quite as consistent as the fruity one.

Can anyone jog my memory?

>Ones with win8 touch certification would be a bonus

Consider this, perhaps: Leapmotion.com/product a £50 Kinect-like controller, that traces your fingertips. Just an idea, wait for its release and in-depth reviews.

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Nokia chief Elop: 'Android? Hey, anything's possible!'

Dave 126
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Re: either

>Unfortunately just like the RX-100, none of these items is a phone so they don't make for a very good comparison.

You're quite right. However, both are on a sliding scale of compactness vs image quality, the optimum compromise along this scale varies for individual users.

There are some people for whom Nokia's Pureview is a suitable compromise along this scale for them, but other people won't mind more bulk if it allows them to take better quality images.

My point was that though the Pureview camera is good, it won't be a 'must have' feature on everyone's phone, especially if they carry a compact camera (side-by-side tests suggest the Pureview more than equal to the LX-5, impressive, but if casual wildlife photography is your thing neither have enough zoom to cut it).

Anyway, I'm still working through a lovely big truckle Godminster chedder at the mo... it ought to be a controlled substance it's that good!

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