Re: The BBC science coverage is useless ...
4922 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
>After reading this article I threw away my chair
Mr Ballmer knows it.
Yes, just give me ten years of your life
And I'll trade in that puny flab for living muscle
A physique you deserve!
Chest and shoulders to hold your shirt up!
Five years ago I was a four-stone apology...
Today I am two separate gorillas!
>BUT why does all this technology which can help mankind have to be developed as a spin-off from developing more efficient and more expensive ways of killing and maiming people?
People in power will have actively worked towards gaining power in the past, so we can assume that they will actively work to gain more power in the future. Their power gives them money, which they can use to employ smart people. The smart people produce technologies that give more power to their paymasters. Repeat.
That said, the difference between a tool and a weapon is in the hand of the wielder. John Harrison was the first person to create a timepiece accurate enough to allow a naval navigator to accurately determine their longitude - thus allowing the British navy to make better use of their fleet. Explosives are used for mining and quarrying- essential for the resources our society uses. Spy satellites can be used to monitor one's own agriculture, as well as seeing what the enemy is up to. Methods in treating traumatic injuries in overseas wars have been brought back to home nations.
There's no reason the Sith too couldn't have suffered a hiccup in their lightsaber supply chain.
>What I'm afraid the most of in the Disney's takeover, is that they will turn it back to being mindless "family adventure" and the fans will fall over themselves in orgasmic excitement about pissy lightsabers and crappy pseudo-vintage effects...
The trailer has shown that physical sets and models have been used extensively for this new StarWars film. It would seem that the new director is very aware of the problems with the prequels, and is making an attempt to avoid them.... time will tell if he succeeds.
In fact, the prequels contain more physical effects than the original films, but the slightly ropey CGI, characters and acting distracted from them.
I enjoy political plotting and scheming, but that alone doesn't make a good movie if it is lacking in other areas. Sometimes a classic - archetypal, even - story of good vs evil is more fun, if done well. And let's not forget John Williams' score.
>Seems the Star Wars flicks of late have fallen into the "hey, let's do a sequel" without any regard to making a good movie but just a fast profit.
Don't worry, George Lucas had nothing to do with this movie. He has even said that Disney have not used used any of the story ideas he gave them when they bought the IP. Phew!
For sure, James Cameron and Ridley Scott have let us down in the last decade, but Neils Blomkampf, Duncan Jones and Alex Garland have been more-or-less on the money.
>I don't understand why you would make the light saber more primitive for films that take place AFTER all other events.
Nor me, but hey, let's wait til we see the movie! There could be a dozen 'in-universe' explanations for the spitty look, ranging from a loss of knowledge (just as we lost the secrets of Damascus steel) to merely that the bad guy thought it looked cool!
Anyhows, didn't the spacecraft in episodes IV -VI look more primitive than the craft in I-III?
>That's why pictures and videos of my kid are stored on three different hard drives, replaced/upgraded every 4 or 5 years,
That's a good start. There are still some issues that might affect you, especially if your images are in a compressed format such as JPG. A single bit error can be enough to trash a compressed image. True, if you spot an issue yourself, you acn of course manually recoverthe image from the back-ups - but this can't be done automatically if the file system doesn't know that the file has been damaged. This is an issue that ZFS, amongst other file systems, addresses.
"So," Ash said slowly. "Let me get this straight: you don't know the machine, but it's probably some ancient nameless Apple clone from the dark grey end of the market, almost certainly using reject chips; it probably had a production run that lasted until the first month's rent fell due on the shed the child-labourers were assembling them in, it used an eight-inch drive and ran what sounds like dodgy proprietorial software with more bugs than the Natural History Museum?"
- The Crow Road, Iain Banks
>yeah fine so apple sold 25m of the things, but how many are actually doing what apple wants them to do?
Probably the majority of them... the type of people who are undaunted by installing XBMC on a box are the type who might explore other hardware options. In any case, if Apple do move in this direction their decision will be made based on data, data including the content consumption habits of Apple TV owners.
>A lot of speculation and rumour in this Apple advert.
Speculation is pretty hard to avoid when one is, ahem, speculating about the future - the article was clearly tagged as 'Analysis'.
Because 'Faultline' speculates about the near future of video content delivery, it has featured articles about hardware vendors such as Sony and Samsung, content producers as HBO and CBS, and network companies such as Cisco and Nokia... it would be odd if there wasn't a Faultline article about Apple given that they are an existing hardware player, have form for making deals with content providers, and have a shitload of cash. Yet strangely you accuse the article as being an advert for services that don't exist. Oh well.
>Seems fairly weak journalism compared to El Reg's usual sharp attitude
Pay attention. The Reg is sharp about Apple when discussing Apple hardware rumours (strange that you equate a lack of prejudice with weak journalism) when the article has no real importance. However, the Reg is even-handed when covering Apple in business news and product reviews.
> Look at what happened to Tomorrow's World. They slowly dumbed it down until it was like dishwater and then canned it.
There is a real case for bringing back Tomorrow's World... It could be part of a conversation in society about 'the future'; infrastructure, urban planning, demographics, transport, agriculture, architecture, power etc with perhaps a positive, enthusiastic leaning (to counter the 'doom and gloom' messages so often found in the news).
The BBC does have a role to play in supporting society-wide 'conversations'.
> Apple has something to bring to the computer business - it has nothing to offer the car business.
The origin of the Swatch Smart brand of small cars makes interesting reading. ' History doesn't repeat: It rhymes'.
In the late 1980s, SMH (makers of the Swatch brand of watches) CEO Nicolas Hayek began developing an idea for a new car using the same type of manufacturing strategies and personalization features used to popularize Swatch watches. He believed that the automotive industry had ignored a sector of potential customers who wanted a small and stylish city car. This idea soon became known as the "Swatchmobile". Hayek's private company Hayek Engineering AG began designing the new car for SMH, with seating for two and a hybrid drivetrain.
While design of the car was proceeding, Hayek feared existing manufacturers would feel threatened by the Swatchmobile. Thus, rather than directly competing, he preferred to cooperate with another company in the automotive industry. This would also relieve SMH of the cost burden in setting up a distribution network. Hayek approached several automotive manufacturers and on July 3, 1991, he reached an agreement with Volkswagen to share development of the new project.
1920 x 1200 is my years-old Dell Core 2 Duo laptop... Wish I could get a newer machine with 16:10.
>PC's no. 5k iMac, absolutely fantastic right now today
There have been some 4k-ish Windows laptops around for a year or so... Reviews suggest that these days Windows scales sensibly, but it is at the mercy of applications, especially legacy applications. Stupidly, Photoshop was unusable on high res Windows displays a year ago - though this might have been fixed now.
Perhaps you are overestimating how interesting your dinners are.
The Precise Nature Of The Catastrophe
Death and Gravity
Only Slightly Bent
Funny, It Worked Last Time...
They still do - there was a good BBC documentary on recently "Cosmonauts: How Russia Won the Space Race"*, and the presenter joined the ground crews at they raced to meet the just-landed crew capsule.
However, SpaceX aren't trying to land a relatively inert crew capsule - they are trying to land a rocket stage - with fuel still on board. Landing at sea avoids all sorts of potential bureaucratic headaches and potential PR cock-ups (just in case the rocket stage lands on top of a lone hiker or rare animal), and the rocket stage can be recovered from the sea with less damage - so SpaceX can discover why it didn't land as planned.
*Another highlight was an interview with Alexey Leonov, the first man to conduct an EVA (commentated by Arthur C Clarke in his novel 2010: Odyssey 2.)
Of Course I Still Love You
It is better to be obviously vague than to be incorrectly precise.
>"After increasing the size of the properties array we basically achieved a classical buffer-overflow."
Yeah, it's a heap buffer overflow (achieved by using the UAF), not a stack overflow.
Are you feeling alright this week? The link to further information is in the article, in the customary blue.
The linked article says it is a Use After Free vulnerability, not a Stack Overflow.
It would be interesting to perform a similar study, but after the DSLR images had been messed around with in post-processing.
>By the way, the famous S5 camera gives very nice photos in bright sunshine but is dreadful in dim light.
Most reviews - including dpreview.com's - suggest the S5 camera isn't too bad in low light... but that there is a knack to getting reasonable low light pictures from it.
Samsung might be communicating to its existing user-base that the S6 will not ask them to spend as long in funny menus.
An experienced human photographer will decide what 'human/aesthetic content'* in the scene is the most important to them, and make their compromise accordingly (e.g, trade subject motion blur for lower noise, or trade depth of field for a lower shutter speed). Though a camera will never know what in the scene the photographer want to capture, it can take a fair guess that most of the time a photographer wants human faces to be in focus, and for sunsets to look red and orange. These are normally called 'scene modes', and the next logical step is to have the scene mode selected automatically- Panasonic's compact cameras have an 'Intelligent Auto' mode that is usually well reviewed.
It was good to see the 'Megapixel race' peter out a few years ago, and the rise of 'premium compact' cameras - For the same reason many people choose a DSLR over a Medium Format camera (size), I prefer to carry a good compact to a DSLR. You have to choose your own compromises.
>"Transport minister Claire Perry added....."
>Wondered what happened to her.
James Hacker: But I'm going to be Transport Supremo!
Sir Humphrey Appleby: I believe the Civil Service vernacular is Transport Muggins!
>Personally I hope driverless cars will have taken over the roads before I decide to hand in my driving licence because I am no longer competent to drive.
I can't see driverlesss cars taking overthe roads before 11 pm this evening - I won't be competent to drive by then!
But seriously, driverless cars will allow people to be more sociable in more rural areas.
>By which I mean, what problem or need are they addressing, that couldn't be better served by improved public transport?
Driverless cars will eventually converge with public transport.
-The only public transport that travels from door-to-door at the time the user wants is a taxi - and that is expensive for the user because the human taxi driver needs to make a living.
-Human taxi drivers are known to work until they have made a certain amount of money each evening - on rainy nights they make this amount of money more quickly due to higher demand, then go home - this is why it is hard to find a taxi on a rainy night. (this is explained in the book Freakanomics)
-Driverless cars would allow for traffic junctions that don't require vehicles to stop and start, thus improving fuel efficiency and engine life.
-Driverless cars be instructed well in advance to move to the side of the road, meaning that emergency vehicles can travel faster.
-Driverless cars can improve the capacity, fuel efficiency and safety of motorways, by travelling in networked 'trains'.
>The whole point of having a piece of equipment is that it does its job and you don't need to care about how it's "feeling".
Ideally not. However, many of us here will be attuned to the noises our computers make - whirring fan noise or high hard-disk activity, for example, might alert us to an out of control process.
jake, there is no mention anywhere in the article about Microsoft making any reference to the Lion King - those are references made by The Register. Read it again.
(The Lion King is a Disney property - the largest shareholder in Disney was CEO of a big mobile device and compute company, but that company wasn't Microsoft).
Well, there was that batch of Li-Ion batteries that combusted, used by a few phone vendors... they were capable of boiling a cup of water!
"Cortana: Please order me a Teasmaid and a Roomba from Amazon".
To turn Cortana off, open Cortana's NotebookCortana's Notebook icon > Settings, turn Cortana off Toggle off icon, then restart your phone.
Compared to some settings I've seen in the past, that seems pretty straightforward. No floating around in a red-lit micro-gravity environment required!
Sidenote: Both Kubrick and Clarke thought that HAL's 'brain' would be no larger than a shoe-box, but Kubrick decided to represent it as room-sized purely for cinematic reasons.
This is an area in which Microsoft are hoping they can distinguish themselves from Google - 'filling a gap in the market', so to speak. Certainly the user seems to have more granular control over what information (location, browsing history, emails, FaceBook etc) Cortana uses.
I'm just smiling, thinking about the tin incident:
...there was no tin-opener to be found. . .I took the tin off myself and hammered at it till I was sick at heart, whereupon Harris took it in hand. We beat it flat; we beat it back square; we battered it into every shape known to geometry - but we could not make a hole in it. Then George went at it, and knocked it into a shape, so strange, so weird, so unearthly in its wild hideousness, that he got frightened.
And that is just the first couple of pages!
The narrator just feels a little out of sorts, and so visits the British Library where all human information is available to him (it's easy to see the internet in that). He soon diagnoses himself that he has every ailment known to man or woman - except for Housemaid's Knee. He presents himself to his doctor with "I don't have Housemaids Knee" and the doctor hands him the folded prescription. He only actually reads it after a pharmacist is unable to fulfil it.
Three Men in a Boat is an ideal book to give your sprogs to show them that the Victorians weren't that different from us.
>I'm still at a loss trying to figure out specifically how did he acquire that cache of passwords
The huge pile, collected from caches revealed after years of breaches, was scrubbed clean of corporate information and domain data before its release.
"These are old passwords that have already been released to the public; none of these passwords are new leaks," Burnett (@m8urnett) wrote in a post addressing some received criticism.
It seems that he has merely collated usernames and passwords from past breaches that others have published on the internet.
There are quite a few studies that suggest that spending long periods sat down is damaging to your health, irrespective of how much exercise you take.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888 refers to a meta-study.
In some Scandinavian countries, dual-height desks (use seated, then it rises to allow you to work standing up) have been common for a decade or so.The desks seems quite expensive though - it might be cheaper to just mirror your display onto a second, raised monitor and plug in an extra mouse and keyboard.
That depends upon whether Charlie has had his mental development muddled by parvovirus or not. Here is a video of a one such canine cheerfully eating a police car. With police officers in it! He later shrugs off a couple of hits with a Taser...
Damned impressive; Ray Bradbury's Mechanical Hound required eight legs...
The mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window, touched here and there on the brass and copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber padded paws.
>Their other projects are far scarier.
That depends on whether you have a secret stash of books or not! You should be kitted out with some 105" Samsung TVs like a good citizen ;)
I looked into this very briefly the other day - I'm not a regular Linux user. Reading a bit more, I found a few threads in which Ubuntu users were struggling to use multiple workspaces with multiple displays - where each display was dedicated to a workspace. I didn't read on enough to discover if they had found a solution.
I don't get on well with the GIMP on Windows because its tool palettes hide each other, though I've heard it is much nicer on some Linux distros because it benefits from a window manager.
I was actually prompted into looking into this by the article about two upcoming Ubuntu phones... and again, wondering if 'synergies could be leveraged'* between Ubuntu Phone and Destop.
*Yeah, I know. I deserve some abuse for that.
>Why would you want to drop a tool pallets onto a small touch screen when you could by a full blown touch screen for a fraction of the price?
I take your point - for just displaying tool palettes the screen quality isn't important, so a very cheap 7" tablet would be perfectly adequate.
What I was getting at was more the software integration between the desktop and the mobile OS. In the above example, I wouldn't' want the secondary display to emulate a mouse, because it would shift my cursor from where I want it. (DANG! I've just discovered that Adobe did this four years ago.... sorry for being slow on the uptake - I'm not an Apple user. http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/05/10/adobe_releases_photoshop_companion_apps_for_apples_ipad )
Who has both a mobile and a desktop OS? Google*, Apple**, Microsoft, and possibly Ubuntu.
For MS, having what will be a very common desktop OS should be an asset to help push their phone OS. It could be something as simple and convenient as including a suite of polished phone apps for controlling media playback on their desktopPC, through to full remote desktop.
*okay, ChromeOS isn't too common, but Google have made the Chrome browser something akin to a User Environment... e.g desktop Chrome tabs open on my phone, Google have an experimental game viewed on the desktop Chrome but controlled by the gyroscopes on my phone, Chrome runs productivity applications and document storage...
** Apple have been adding 'Continuity', to allow some tasks to be handed over from MacOS to iOS and vice versa. Simple example, allowing the user to write SMS texts on their Mac. I don't know what took them so long.
Even Sony are looking to merge their devices.... see Remote Play - playing PS4 games on their Android games across the LAN.
Windows 10 on desktop and on phone... C'mon Microsoft, do some things that Apple has never bothered to do*- such as making it easy for desktop applications to dump tool palettes onto a smaller touchscreen device. I'm not talking about the laggy high-bandwidth approach of just making the touchscreen device a secondary desktop monitor, but a well thought-out implementation. Give Windows 10 desktop users a reason to buy a Win 10 phone.
This applies to you too, Ubuntu.
* not quite true... iPhones have always had wireless MIDI baked-in, so have been easy to incorporate into electronic music workflows. And using
MIDI inputs can be output as keystrokes, so one could use any MIDI instrument to control any application with keyboard shortcuts. An example - using a Korg box of knobs and sliders to control Photoshop parameters - is here:
(Strangely, I've only ever tried doing the opposite - trying to use a Wacom Baboo as an ersatz Korg Kaospad - but I got frustrated with Windows' sound subsystem and gave up in disgust. )
Even without the dedicated Blu-ray player, the future archaeologists would be able to read the raw patterns (albeit laboriously) with a microscope of some description.... the tricky part would be decrypting that data and working out how it is ordered. Maybe. And then they discover that it is a Rick Astley video. Maybe they will have developed a useful quantum computer by the year 4000 A.D.
"What are these circular objects? We seem to find them in almost every former building in this stratum. The hole in the middle suggests that they are not plates. The tolerances to which they are made suggest they were made to physically interface with another object of some kind..."
Yep, this play is centuries old. If you are in power and want to keep tabs on the people who might oppose you, you yourself start a group that 'opposes' you.
I'm not sure that it can hide your Tinder/Grindr apps!
.> 'obfuscation... increases security of the data' .... Well, so now obfuscation increases security? Hmmm. Does not compute.
It isn't intended to defeat a forensic IT specialist with the proper kit, it's just intended to hide stuff if an untrained copper takes a quick once-over.
It's akin to the difference between leaving an ounce of botanical narcotics unwrapped on your kitchen table, and having it doubly sealed and hidden out of sight. The latter scenario is not *secure* - especially against a four-legged police officer - but it is still preferable to being blatant.
Side note: I did hear of one weed dealer who was so paranoid about writing down accounts that he instead committed them to memory and calculated figures in his head... he became so adept at quick mental arithmetic that he realised he could make far more money by trading in legal goods. He stopped peddling dope, got a VAT number and has never looked back.
I think I might go and watch Patriot Games now.
It seems the criticisms that some people have of the film Cloud Atlas could also be made of the book of which it's based.
I enjoyed the film, but then I'd read the book a few years previously (enough to forget some of the details) so I wasn't surprised by its structure or mixture of stories.
This Jupiter Ascending... the trailer I saw in the cinema last week didn't encourage me to see it. Oh well. At least we have had Guardians of the Galaxy as a fun interstellar movie romp this last year.
>Is the cat an observer?
Wouldn't it be fairly straightforward to just place a physicist in the box, and be done with it? It would be easier than educating the cat to undergraduate-level physics.