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* Posts by Dave 126

3885 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

After Sandy Hook, Senator calls for violent video game probe

Dave 126
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Re: @Franklin

Okay, now attempt your best Marlon Brando impression:

"They train young men to rain fire upon people, but don't allow them to write 'fuck' on their airplanes because they think it is obscene".

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Little spider makes big-spider-puppet CLONE of itself out of dirt

Dave 126
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Re: ummm

Spider mech warrior? Where have I seen that before? [ insert JPG of that boss from Doom here]

Alas, mimicry as a survival tactic (birds that look like the plants they perch on, flowers that resemble female insects so that males 'mate' and thus pollinate them, hover-flies that look like wasps, butterflies that have large 'eyes' on their wings, stick insects that look like sticks...) arises from the successive selection of randomly occurring mutations.

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Google can't use finger-fumble patent to poke Apple - Trade panel

Dave 126
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Re: A story about Google....

Happy Holidays!

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Dave 126
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Re: Self-evident wisdom

>Baseball World Series

It seems there were two competing leagues which both allowed their winners to be called "American Champions", so a more grandiose name was required.

http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/baseball/name.htm

It reminds me of the Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth competitions in competition.

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Speaking in Tech: Like Kinect - only a THOUSAND times better

Dave 126
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The Leap device of the headline looks very interesting- I have posted in Reg forums before about the Kinect not fully reaching its potential for content-creation applications, but this Leap device appears to have got a fair few peoples attention, and generated some interesting discussions, from the specific (does it work with X? could it do Y?) to the more general:

https://forums.leapmotion.com/forum.php

For now, they state that their focus in on hand/finger tracking (I've seen 3rd party demos of the Kinect doing similar) rather than the '3D object scanner on the cheap" that have also been demoed using the Kinect. Interesting times if you're into computers and making things.

They don't say exactly how it works at this time, but it seems to do its thing by different means to the Kinect, and with far cheaper hardware.

I was under the impression that MS is considering contact-less gesture controls for future laptops, but haven't heard anything lately due to all the noise around Win8. Oh, re OS choice, Leap say "At this time, our focus is on Windows and OS X, with Linux being on our agenda." It is encouraging that they are still platform-agnostic, and haven't been bought by a big player as FingerWorks (multi-touch gesture-based input devices) were by Apple.

Fingers crossed that it is as good as it seems and it takes off.

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Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

Dave 126
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Re: Winter cleaning?

Google and Microsoft are based in the Northern hemisphere. I think that press statements along the line of "its now time to do some Winter cleaning- that's Summer cleaning for our antipodean users..." would be both cumbersome and patronising, and doesn't take account of users in the tropics, where seasons as we know them don't apply.

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GRAIL orbiters make DEATH DIVE into lunar mountain

Dave 126
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Re: Massive underground dykes!!

Really? I must check my bed...

... nope, none there. Lucky that, I'm tired.

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It's official: Mac users are morally superior to Windows users

Dave 126
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Re: A fool and their money ...

So how is then that these 'fools' still have the money to buy a Mac, then?

No really, please do expand on your reasoning.

(do bear in mind that any price difference between PCs and Macs is no more than a few hundred dollars if that, whereas even the most basic 'upgrade' package on a new car, for example, is far, far more. Hell, in the UK, Ford charge £250 for a wretched DAB radio to be factory-fitted to your new Focus, never mind fancy wheels, leather upholstery or upgraded sound system etc. A slightly nicer house? Thousands. A couple eating out once more per month over a year? One extra pint of beer per week, over a year? Hundreds. You don't need a spreadsheet to get the gist.)

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Dave 126
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Re: The joke icon...

>I personally regard Bill Gates as a modern day Robin Hood

Helping thousands if not millions of unfortunate souls in devolving countries with healthcare, disease-eradication efforts and basic infrastructure, by causing years of minor irritations to Windows users (such as myself). Ah well, I can live with that.

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Dave 126
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Then you get the niches that screw the figures... teenagers with fairly expensive gaming PCs, who haven't yet matured to the point of charitable giving - or of they do, it was because they were 'chatted up' by an attractive charity mugger on the street.

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Dave 126
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Re: WTF?

You give 50p, some flash bugger gives $200 for tax reasons... and hey presto, we're in the rough area of $100. That's how mean averages work. To know much more, we need diagrams...

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Dave 126
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Re: I have a different take...

>This is evidenced by the simple fact that they are paying at least 30% more for their computing devices than an equivalent from another manufacturer

Tom's Hardware would disagree with you. I could take your word for it, but Tom's were good enough to show their working and you weren't. Sorry. Obviously the UK case is different, because exchange rates can up the margins, but this study was done by a US organisation.

Generally though, Mac users are more likely to be baby-boomers with some expendable income, their children are grown up, house is paid off etc... people who probably didn't use digital technology from a young age. Remember- for every objectionable hipster with a Macbook in a coffee shop, there will be a dozen Macs in the homes of perfectly pleasant people who don't get worked up about technology for its own sake, but do whatever they do in one of the myriad other areas of worthwhile human activity besides IT.

>The linux users are the most savvy of they bunch and thus recognize most charities are scams with hugely bloated administration

If the Linux folk are so savvy, wouldn't they be able to differentiate between the efficient charities and the bloated ones, rather tar them both with the same brush? I think that they are, and they can. There are also organisations that attempt to rate charities on their effectiveness, should one want guidance.

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Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists over Sandy Hook protests

Dave 126
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>not very christian, is it?

Rastafarianism seems to have more parallels with Judaism than Christianity.

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Dave 126
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Re: Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.

Wasn't there a case a few years back when the KKK got permission to stage a demonstration march, but near to the time decided to cancel it? The cops had prepared to police the event, and when the KKK called it off, the cops decided to sue them for the cost of their unnecessary preparation: The KKK were sued for NOT putting on racist march!

(I know this because it formed part of my post-doctorate in "What some bloke told me down the pub", so please correct me if wrong)

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Dave 126
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Re: the badly inbred Phelpses of WBC are plain wack

Fair play to US servicemen for their restraint and self-control, is all I can say. When the WBC routinely picket the funerals of dead soldiers- attended as they are by soldiers who are very much alive, kicking and combat trained- I'm surprised that no-one in the WBC has been seriously hurt.

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Dave 126
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Facepalm

@Dave 126

>and institution's to account

Dave, you pillock- how did that blasted apostrophe get in there? (Hangs head in shame)

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Dave 126
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Re: What a shame…

Yeah, if only that wretched, maladjusted nutter had taken time to compile a list of targets based on rational criteria.

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Dave 126
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Causing riots at funerals? Like shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre, no?

Free speech is about being able to challenge your rulers without being banged up in prison or beheaded. It is not about being a prick.

Likewise, freedom of the press is about bringing politicians and institution's to account- it shouldn't be about harassing innocent citizens for the titillation of others.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Protest the funerals"?

Actually, all New Testament bibles have the line "Treat others as you yourself would be treated", and "Blessed are the peacemakers". Kurt Vonnegut, a former head of the Atheist Association of America*, has made a great case for living in a world in which the Sermon on the Mount happened.

Christianity started out as the religion of the poor, under the Roman empire. For much of the last two thousand years, political views and movements have been expressed in religious terms, culminating eventually in the enlightenment, a milestone of the very civilisation that has shaped your views.

You make me embarrassed to be an atheist.

*(in his first speech as president, he says "Isaac [Asimov, the former head] is in heaven now" to howls of laughter)

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Dave 126
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Re: What I wish would happen to WBC

I wish that their prophecy comes true, and they move to Israel. As Loius Threoux (who when meeting the WBC had not long come back from meeting Ultra-Zionist Settlers in Israel- total nutters) noted with sublime understatement: "Oh, that will be interesting..."

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Dave 126
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I noted that Anonymous said they would spare no enjoyment... the WBC's hate videos are a hoot and look they they had a lot of fun making them, using the pastiches of the same popular culture that they claim to attack.

Loius Theroux and Keith Allen have both visited them... Theroux did better, since they couldn't quite work them out.

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Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi open a garage door?

Dave 126
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Sure he would... it would just be a case of blasting himself out of his car door and into his garage, then closing the door behind him before he runs out of air.

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Search engines we have known ... before Google crushed them

Dave 126
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Pamela Anderson was near the top of the list at times, IIRC.

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Samsung, LG 'lose confidence' in OLED TV tech

Dave 126
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Re: Wait and see

I don't know if they use it, but Sony at least have a market for small screens with very accurate colour- until a few years ago, they were still selling $5,000 15" CRTs to the broadcast industry.

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Seagate slips out super-silent 2.5in video hard drive

Dave 126
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>Not suitable for HD recorders then!

I beg to differ... many people use PVRs to watch weekly broadcasts at times convenient to them, and then delete them. If you want to store the recorded footage 'for keeps', then you would have to take steps to transfer it to additional storage anyway, because one day that single HDD will fail. I believe there is PVR firmware which allows content on a PVR HDD to be transferred to other devices on the network.

For 'normal people' who don't tinker with their toys, all a bigger PVR HDD means is that come the day it goes Pft!, they lose more hours of the recordings they have made.

[Disclaimer: I'm not advocating illegal duplication of copyright material, but the above is a technique that allows broadcast material to be retained for reasons that fall under fair use provisions- such as academic use or parody. ]

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Wind, solar could provide 99.9% of ALL POWER by 2030

Dave 126
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Re: Computer Models!

>Environmentalism is a religion, a kind of Doomsday Cult. It is probably the most popular religion in San Francisco.

Do you mean that ALL people who are concerned about the issue are zealous nutters? I'm an atheist, yet I do not kill, do not steal, and keep the clean separate from the unclean (food safety). Similarly, I'm not a member of Greenpeace or whatnot, yet if I were a town planner, I would sooner approve a building that was kept at the desired temperature through the use of design and materials over one that relied purely on fuel heating and powered air-conditioning.

Just as there is a lot of common sense in the scriptures, (on how not to get food poisoning, on how not to depress yourself by coveting your neighbour's wife's ass, or creating ill-feeling over the above) there is some common sense in being less wasteful and at least studying potential alternatives. This isn't faith- how long have aluminium smelting plants been built near hydroelectric plants? For decades.

Trying to tar all environmentalists, or even the the yet-undecided, with the same derogatory brush is like comparing your local vicar with Jim Jones of suicide cult infamy or the Spanish Inquisition. Not every concerned citizen is a Swampy, just as not every climate change doubter is a Koch brother. If your argument can be made on it merits, lets hear more of you, and often; but please don't pollute the discussion with name calling.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swampy

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_family

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Dave 126
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Re: Only for americans

>This study really does need say it's specific to the USA, it really doesn't work elsewhere in the world.

It doesn't need to say that, because it made it clear that the data came from the US grid and weather.

>Air conditioning is considered a necessity and is expensive to run - a situation that simply doesn't feature in the UK or wider

Even termites can construct structures that only vary by 1ºC over a 24 hour period, and they're insects. Can't we build a little smarter? If we looked at Moorish architecture, with courtyards, water features and thick walls, we would be doing better than just erecting another condo with a hundred Mitsubishi air conditioning units hanging out of the windows. I'm not saying we currently have the solution, but we can do better than "we need air con, so let's give up now". Still, what with Florida being filled with AC-dependant senior citizens, and their enthusiasm for voting, it could be a struggle...

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Pentagon hacker McKinnon will NOT be prosecuted in the UK

Dave 126
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Re: How difficult....?

>But it's also not very difficult to mug a defence-less little old lady, however that doesn't mean one should get away without prosecution for doing it.

My above question was not meant to infer that McKinnon was right, or wrong- it was just a question.

Anyway, I'm tempted to up-vote you, just for comparing the US Department of Defence and a proverbial old lady : D

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Dave 126
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How difficult was what McKinnon did? Is there a talent there that can be used by any one?

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NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON

Dave 126
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Re: Thanks for not mis-calling it the 'dark' side of the Moon...

Calling it the Far Side of the Moon suggests that it populated by cows wearing harlequin spectacles, stupid children and smoking dinosaurs.

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Dave 126
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> this seems like mindless vandalism to me...

Maybe it is, but the first thing to do would to explore how likely the following two assertions are to be correct:

-The engineers have a reason to do what they are doing, but subtleties of their reasoning have not survived the journey through a Reg article... or

-The engineers are mindless vandals.

My first assumption was that it was being done to study the resulting impact, but the article says that won't be seen at the time. Maybe it is enough for them to study the crater/ejected material after the event, but they are destroying the second probe soon afterwards. Maybe it is just some house-keeping, keeping junk out of orbit so as not to pose a danger to future missions to the Moon (however small a chance). Dunno.

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Windows 8: At least it's better than ‘not very good’

Dave 126
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Re: Win 8 FTW

Vista would force restart your computer every so often, to install updates, wiping unsaved documents (avoidable) and killing any long tasks like batch rendering or downloading (unavoidable). This behaviour couldn't be turned off in the Home versions. Personally, I consider that to be more annoying that having to bat some coloured squares out of the way on start up.

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Dave 126
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Re: Windows 8 is basically a waste of time

>But there's literally nothing that would make you want to go through the hassle and expense of installing 8 when you have 7.

I'll take your word for it, as I'm happy enough with Win 7. That said, I haven't any USB 3 hardware, or any need yet to explore Storage Spaces. Lots is written about the Win8 UI, (I'd just assumed that technical users will use 3rd party tools modify it to their liking... surely 'power users' have their own pet tweaks they like to make to any GUI?) but less about the 'under the hood/bonnet' new features/bugs.

I kind of get the impression that MS knew many people would be happy enough with 7 not to bother with 8, so they have been more experimental with 8's UI, with a view to implementing the resulting feedback into 9. This view is deliberately optimistic, though!

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Dave 126
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Re: It's working here.

Ohh, thank you for bringing Descent Rebirth to my attention. I had the original on my old 486, and was later happy to see a Mac version turn up at school in a suite of networked PowerPCs, multiplayer fun!

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The 30-year-old prank that became the first computer virus

Dave 126
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Re: You lost me at...

Hehe.... This, from the preface to a summary of the Apple II, and its competitors the PET and TRS 80.:

I was convinced that the Apple II was the best, and even when there were certain clear advantages in the IBM PC platform regarding memory, processor speed, and volume of available software, I stubbornly held to my bias (after all, I had a lot of knowledge and money invested in the Apple II and did not care to change to something I didn’t know as well). This kind of attitude was the source of many of the computer “religious” wars of the 1970s and 1980s

-http://apple2history.org/2010/10/25/the-competition-part-2/

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The best smartphones for Christmas

Dave 126
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Re: Xperia, Sony Xperia...

For those that want it, there is a variant of the T called the TX - it has a removable battery. The official Jelly Bean for the T and TX is said to arrive around February 2013.

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Dave 126
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Agreed- I forgot to mention that as a valid criticism of the Xperia P phone I mentioned above. That said, maybe soft-touch buttons are more reliable than some designs of physical buttons, but I don't know... back in the day when they had keypads, I had a couple of phones that developed a dodgy button or two.

I'm not sure why someone down-voted you, you were merely expressing your personal preference, whilst accepting that not everyone feels that same.

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Dave 126
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Re: Well...

>Too big, far too big, too big, too pricey, Too big and no apps, too big...

Help us help you- what size are you after, 3", 3.5", 4"? I have a 4" model, the Xperia P, and doesn't worry my tailor or give me cramp in my hand, but it may be considered 'pricey' compared to some handsets and cheap compared to others. (I have no Hammer pants)

You want small size AND a keyboard? Hope you've been a good boy this year!

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Dave 126
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Re: No need for Stickmount...

Hi guys, thanks for your responses.

After reading bits of a very long XDA thread, it would appear that whilst the Nexus 7 can be bodged to work with USB OTG, the (LG-made) Nexus 4 can never be - it seems that its hardware can't supply power to the microUSB port. Apparently there are other LG phones that suffer from the same hardware issue.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1966864&page=23

Oh, and I guess that a universally supported, non-propriety file system capable of bigger-than-4GB files is too much to ask for 2012 : D

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Dave 126
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Re: I don't want a big smart-phone!

@AC desiring lots of resolution in a 3.5" phone... who's your optician? : D

The Xperia Go is around 3.5", and yeah, the resolution is a bit poor if photos and web browsing are your thing. I find the resolution on my P (4") good enough, small text in browsers is readable for my eyes but I wouldn't want it to be any smaller! I guess that if you often tether a tablet for browsing, the need for a large phone screen is somewhat negated.

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Dave 126
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Re: I don't want a big smart-phone!

I get on well with my Xperia P (much the same 'footprint' as the iPhone 5, but not as thin) and it doesn't have any annoying idiosyncrasies as my past feature phones have done, but since it is my my first smartphone I may not be the best judge. I would note that the update to ICS has a feature to make the battery last much longer than when it reviewed- it achieves this by turning off some of the data when in standby, so isn't suitable if you need receive an email or Facebook etc notification ASAP. Texts and calls, of course, come straight through.

MiniHDMI cable, 1600 mA charger, and screen protector in the box. Headphones (ear canal type) sounded very reasonable, until the cable broke (pulled out of the microphone junction).

I'm not desperate for Jelly Bean, but a quick search suggests that after Sony roll it our for the flagship models (T, TX, V) around February 2013, it will be coming for the P, S and Go. The same search reveals the Sony Xperia TX, a big screened model that has a removable battery and microSD- I mention it here because it is a feature i know some fellow commentards appreciate, and this model seems to have come in under the radar.

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Dave 126
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Ug?

> Of course, without any sort of storage expansion, the £280 16GB [Nexus] device is probably the preferred option.

Does that mean that it doesn't support USB OTG?

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Punters rate Apple, Samsung more highly than ever

Dave 126
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Re: HTC?

>I'm honestly surprised HP is so high on the list though.

Yeah... though we don't know the questions that were asked of the people being polled. Maybe when many people are asked about 'technology', they think 'printers', though the HP Touchpad gained a lot of attention last year (for the wrong reasons), the HP Microserver has been on sale forever it seems, and they are a brand that have been around for a while. They might also have entered the popular conciousness through news stories- once was a time that HP Labs Bristol were in the press every other week with something odd such as robotic DJs.

I met a young 'un the other week who was doing work towards her PhD at HP, using lasers to measure the angular momentum of gas molecules... she'd used her phone's camera to align a target to a laser (better than her eyeball, I guess) which now only produces images in shades of magenta.

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Worldwide Gmail crash was due to Google Sync bug

Dave 126
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Re: "Was this limited to a specific region?"

I had Chrome crash on Monday (UK) twice, within 5 minutes, glad to have stumbled on this article and that it wasn't an issue at my end.

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Review: Mio Cyclo 300 cycling satnav

Dave 126
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Re: Pretty much useless for long-distance riders, then ...

Maybe you don't need it turned on all the time... there will be stretches where you will either stay on the same road, or use landmarks like hills or church spires to navigate. A compass on the handlebars is a reasonable backup, too.

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Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

Dave 126
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And:

Batteries aren't very nice things to dispose off... not the sort of things you want leeching into your soil.

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Dave 126
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Re: I think that my idea is better

Hehe, we had some fun in the pub beer garden the other month... a couple of the regulars came in with half a bike fitted to a stand, with dynamo, switch and car headlamp unit. You coulc switch between no resistance across the dynamo, the dimmed light and the full headlight- at which point cycling became very hard.

The comedy arose from the effects this concentrated physical exertion had on us, our hearts and lungs being sub-optimal due to being.. well, pub regulars.

Can anyone do a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the efficiency of charging a lead acid battery by this method, compared to the weighted rope method outlined in the article?

(My intuition suggests the rope is more efficient, since it is quieter and doesn't get as warm, but I may have overlooked something)

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Dave 126
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Re: Wind-up Radios

Batteries are expensive.

Batteries are not nice things to have decomposing into your soil when you've slung them away.

Batteries can't be recharged indefinitely.

Batteries may not be as efficient as this method of energy storage (that recharging batteries get warm is a clue)

Batteries are harder to repair than a piece of rope and sack of stones.

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Dave 126
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Re: More western technologies to corrupt their ways of living....

Conrad's Heart of Darkness

- there is mention of different lights being used as markers of status... the officer-classes were allowed (clean) paraffin wax candles, the lower-class Europeans in the camp had to use tallow candles that were unpleasant to work by.

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Review: Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012

Dave 126
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Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

>i have also never tweaked or had the need to tweak a driver.

I've never tweaked a driver for better performance, but have updated them in efforts to improve system stability. My laptop came from a well-known vendor, but it wasn't a mainstream model and the drivers weren't great. YMMV.

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