Feeds

* Posts by Dave 126

3895 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Apple iWatch due in October 2014, to wirelessly charge from one metre away – report

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: iWatch ? I cannot believe

>Who in their right mind wears watches^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hchronographs these days ?

People who don't want to fumble in their pockets every time they wish to know the time.

People who wish to turn their phones off, from time to time.

People at work who need to time an operation, but don't want a manager to think they're texting their friends - or reading The Reg.

18
2
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: One meter charging is a bit more useful

>If your keyboard could act as a charger

The Reg reported on an Apple patent about a year ago for magnetic charging, including daisy chaining and a way of switching between which device to charge first (i.e prioritise a phone over a mouse or keyboard).

The Reg has also reported on Apple patents for a micro-deflection control surface that looks like aluminium, but can be used as a display thanks to tiny perforations.

Add to that their investment in sapphire manufacturing, and the ingredients for a smart watch are coming into focus.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: When I were a lad ...

You can still buy wristwatches with tritium markers, but the tritium is usually contained in tiny glass vials on the hands and hour markers. The half-life of tritium is such that your grandfather could read the watch in the dark, but you probably can't. In addition, the radiation degrades the phosphorescent material into dust, which isn't good for the watch mechanism, or for anyone who services it without a fume cabinet.

T Swiss Made T

0
0

Snowden latest: NSA stalks the human race using Google, ad cookies

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Fuck Off!

>Running a Live Linux boot CD/DVD is slow and painful.

Well, there is no reason you can't install Linux on a HDD, make an image of it in it's clean state, and then restore that image prior to each session (shouldn't take long on SSDs, and you could use a USB-booted environment to automate the process at each boot. After each session, make a few random writes to the HDD. I don't know too much about Linux, but I was under the impression that you can put its swap files where you want - onto volatile storage, for example.

This is just a top-of-head idea. I'm sure more thought-through ideas exist.

You could look into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_Hat_Linux as well.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: At this point, Snowden could reveal that the NSA is run by alien lizards..

There is precedent: The philosopher and drug dealer Howard Marks was asked, after the publication of his autobiography,how a man who smoked so much dope was able to remember the dates and general chronology of his life. He said that since the US authorities had been watching him for years, he simply made a Freedom of Information request, and received back the skeleton of his life story.

12
0

Ballmer: 'We made more money than almost anybody on the PLANET'

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: BALLMER: 'WE MADE MORE MONEY THAN ALMOST ANYBODY ON THE PLANET'

>MS have a history of releasing unfinished products which the masses have rushed in sheep like droves to buy.

Like sheep? Er, People and businesses bought new computers, and those computers came with Windows. That the software they used, office suites, accountancy packages, DTP, CAD and games ran on Windows, was important too. Those are real people you choose to patronise, using computers for tasks related to their job or business, or for entertainment. That doesn't make them sheep.

1
1

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

Dave 126
Silver badge

And had you got the Atari, you might now be a music studio engineer... : D

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Handspring Visor Deluxe

> but this whole iMac design was one of the worst things to face the face of earth

Before the iMac was the Newton-based Apple eMate, which was a dark green translucent plastic. Around the same time, mid nineties, I had the limited edition Gravis joystick (transparent plastic instead of the usual black).

I don't mind the look of the original iMac myself (especially when generic PCs often had sculpted curvey beige plastic fascias for no good reason), but I couldn't stand the raft of cheap tat that blindly copied its blue translucent styling (but never got the colour correct). Another influence was that in the late nineties, CAD was mature enough to make curvey products much easier to design and engineer. The resulting design fashion was known as 'blobtech' at the time.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Which reminds me of the various early 80s scanned argos catalogues...

Yep, I did the same with Argos catalogues as a kid, the toy section, the computer section and the Casio watch section especially. I don't have any kicking around, but I do have a 1983 Hamleys catalogue on my shelf... Sord M5 Computer, an MSX clone, Parker video games, Vectrex, Spectrum, a few others too. Notably, all the computers in the catalogue are cheaper than the dedicated Chess board computers.

Someone, not me, has kindly scanned it. Start at the first image and click 'next' a few times: (Facebook link)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=286058214747254&set=a.286052674747808.73189.273368722682870&type=3&theater

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Never mind Big Trak

I saw a Computacar in a charity shop a few weeks back, took a picture of the box and then promptly forgot about it until now!

The punched card is a old technology of course, my friend has a pianola with some Fats Waller rolls. A fascinating use of punched paper was in torpedos... two rolls, one in the torpedo, one in the controlling station, were used to switch the frequency controlling torpedo so that the enemy couldn't take control of it after it was deployed.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Apple QuickTake 150

I've got a Sony Mavica somewhere, bought by old man from the Sony outlet store North of New York in the very late nineties. It took floppy disks, which was convenient at the time. The pictures weren't huge, but the quality was good. My university faculty had a couple as well, though the state of the art was such that they still trained us to use exposure bracketing on film cameras when photographing appearance models.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: covet is the right word

Lego Technic was wonderful, though on one Christmas day I didn't get much of a chance to play with it 'cos my dad nicked it for himself, under the pretence that he was educating me in the ways of gear boxes. I wouldn't mind, except he was also saying how how much better Mechano was... I had a generic set with a motor, but my mates, two brothers, had the JCB model with the pneumatic systems, and the sports car with suspension and differential gearbox.

I still use Lego from time to time, either to model a mechanism when I've had enough of mechanical CAD, or simply to make a little jig - with a scalpel blade super-glued on to cut foam, for example. In fact, I'm thinking of buying a big bucket of cheap and cheerful Lego clone bits for that sort of purpose.

My first lesson in different voltages was killing a Lego light (6V?) by using it with the 12V transformer that was designed for the Lego train set.

1
0

Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking

Dave 126
Silver badge

>you'll be lucky to get anything in time for Christmas!

No worries, I'll be spending Christmas day assembling a ReRap 3D printer from RS... a £500 quid toy to make a 50p hanger for a curtain rail. Apparently it doesn't like dust and hair, so some sort of cat deterrent is in order (the dog doesn't do his duty in this respect). That and a trip to the pub and a family meal.

This is why I like the internet: http://www.3ders.org/articles/20131104-turn-your-3d-printer-into-an-instant-laser-cutter.html

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Cheap geek toys

>@Valeyard - yes, I can confirm that www dot banggood.com/ is SFW!

Except for it's Adult Toys section, of course... like I said, they sell damn near everything!

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Cheap geek toys

@NoOnions

My sincere apologies! This mini Bluetooth keyboard I'm using seemed a good idea at the time.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Cheap geek toys

I was recently recommended a website, bangggood.com, that sells lots of cheap n cheerful Chinese products, everything from mini helicopters, to CREE flashlights, spare parts and consumables for 3D printers to Arduino boards. I haven't used it yet myself, so can't yet recommend it personally, but I intend to cane £20 or so on just it's '99 cent gadgets' section soon.

Reviews of the site on 3rd party websites seem mostly positive, though some people claim that the buyer reviews might be manipulated a bit. Any one have any experience of this site?

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

If the techy buys a Chromebook for a family member, they might receive fewer phone calls along the lines of "My computer is asking me a question I don't understand, what button do I press?", leaving said techy more time to play with their toys.

20
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Strange

Re, the Z1 Ultra, I believe that there is a Google Play Edition available in the US, although Sony's Android customisations aren't too obtrusive anyway.

0
0

Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones

Dave 126
Silver badge

I genuinely do not understand...

> I genuinely do not understand... why MS made it so easy to brick.

Quite. Going back a few years, the beauty of a console like the Sega Megadrive (Genesis) was that it just worked, whereas a DOS PC of the period required faffing around with config.sys and autoexec.bat, on top of troubleshooting awkward hardware combinations and IRQs.

The upside was that experience gained as a teenager making games run became handy later when making productivity software behave.

1
0

Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Toothpaste

It's a similar joke to one in Rab C Nesbitt:

MARY DOLL: Rab, I don't mind you having a fag before sex, and I don't mind you having a fag after sex. I don't even mind you smoking a fag during sex, but do you really have to go down to the kitchen and light it off the gas hob?

8
0

Boffins devise world's HARDEST tongue-twister

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: sheikh

And on the 'You Are What You Is' album, Zappa has

"I heard that some Sheikh

Bought New Jersey last week

And you suckers ain't gettin' nothing"

The use of words in poetry is actually one of the few tools historians have of estimating how words were pronounced in the past!

I know a rude joke about sheep shearing that only works in an Australian accent.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I never saw the point of this concept.

>Hell, most people if you play their won speech back at the with a few milliseconds delay will find it near impossible to talk.

D'oh! Sorry people, I'm trying out a small Bluetooth keyboard... though more convenient for me, it is less convenient for anyone trying to read my words!

Still, despite my lack of precision, it would appear you can still grasp my meaning.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Sorry, but here's a serious(ish) question.

I don't know, but my guess would be yes... I would imagine that some shapes flow more easily from other shapes, just as some guitar chords flow from others more easily.

I'd like to hear from someone who actually knows, though!

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Dr Seuss said it best...

I've always liked the song 'Labio Dental Fricative' by the Bonzo Dog Band:

"Cannibal chiefs chew Camembert cheese

'cause chewing keeps 'em cheeky

Big Fat Fred sticks fur to his head

'cause he thinks fur makes him freaky

Benjamin Bland and his Bugle Band blow the blues bi-weekly

How many pies can a porpoise poise on purpose if she pleases?"

But any song with the lyric "Back at the boozer" and stunt guitar by Eric Clapton is good by me!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Depends on how you pronounce Sheikh.... (Frank Zappa has pronounced it to rhyme with 'Shake', and also with 'Week')

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I never saw the point of this concept.

>You can either speak the language, or you cannot.

???

So what about people recovering from strokes? Children with a developmental difficulty in this regard? People who stammer or have a lisp? Hell, most people if you play their won speech back at the with a few milliseconds delay will find it near impossible to talk.

Tongue twisters can give an insight into the task of speaking, analogous to how optical illusions can give clues as too how we interpret visual information.

6
1

Bigger on the inside: WD’s Tardis-like Black² Dual Drive laptop disk

Dave 126
Silver badge

Apple was toying with ZFS for a while, and some that file system's ideas have been implemented in OSX's CoreStorage.

As far as I can make out, Windows 8's 'Storage Spaces' isn't capable of presenting two drives as a single volume to the OS if one of those drives is the boot drive... but if I've misunderstood, please do post a link!

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: modern laptops with single drive bays

Some laptops do have an mSATA slot (suitible for an mSATA SSD) in addition to the normal SATA drive bay... but some laptops have a non-functioning mSATA slot, including the Dell reviewed by The Reg today:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-inspiron-dell-studio/734278-owners-thread-dell-inspiron-7000-series-14.html

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Linux support... well, who can say?

>Frankly the author's comment of "who can say?" is utter crap, and shows a lack of effort.

Do bear in mind that the reviewer concluded that, even for Windows machines, this drive is only recommended for a limited group of users. Throw another circle at that Venn diagram, "People with a Linux installation", and the number can only get pretty small, even if we used a figure of 20% for argument's sake.

If the reviewer's primary OS is not Linux, it is reasonable to suggest he might not be the best person to get the drive working under Linux... indeed, he might spend some trying, and even then merely reach an inconclusive conclusion, such as "It might be possible to get it working, but I personally couldn't make it behave".

Why not leave it to users on a Linux forum to provide an answer?

6
3
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Alternative

>Also cloning an HDD is fine but you will find that some software binds itself to the HDD serial number.

Thanks for highlighting that potential hurdle!

That's just a stupid policy... It would save a lot of headaches if it was just easy for the average user to create system images - even if they have to call upon a technical friend to restore the image to a new HDD. It took long enough for MS to include cloning tools with Windows.

1
0

Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: What's on the screen?

On closer inspection, those artefacts appear to be reflections of light fittings, or similar. These days, a lot of product promotion images are computer-generated renders - it saves time faffing around in a photographic studio, adjusting the lighting, wiping fingerprint smears off the product etc.

Of course this is a review, not a product promotion.

1
0

Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Plugging it in upside down is impossible

>The only way to put it in upside down is to not be paying attention.

Or to suffer from poor eyesight. Don't know how to explain this, but here goes: Technology is supposed to make life easier.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Other desirable features...

Yeah, I couldnt play Doom with a friend until we'd made our own null modem cable...

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

...and your list doesn't even include the large number of proprietary phone connectors over tose years... even single companies would have a number of similar-looking but different connectors, even for headsets! (looking at you Samsung)

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "500 - 850mAH"

Whoops! Thanks Handle, I did of course mean 'mA', and that H was in error!

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Couldn't have they just adopted lightning?

>The only place I see a lightning connector being useful is in my Dr Frankenstein re-animation laboratory.

What about powering your flux capacitor when you find yourself in a situation where plutonium is surprisingly hard to get hold of?

8
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Wireless optical data transfer?

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of 'Li-Fi', which can use light in the visible spectrum. It requires so few photos that it can work in a room that appears dark to humans, and it can use light reflected off walls... though obviously it can't penetrate walls (which can be considered either an advantage or a disadvantage)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-Fi

0
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Any details on how the orientaion is handled?

>Does this mean it's not going to be hard wired end to end like a lightning cable?

If I had to guess, I'd venture that any 'cleverness' will be built into the controllers built into the devices, rather than the cable. This guess is based on the idea that both the 'host' and the connected device are using the same port.

However, this guess might be wrong, because of the desire to use adaptors for backwards compatibility.

Just speculation.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Other desirable features...

Other things I hope they consider for USB-C are:

- Make the connector so that it doesn't scratch things, like the current microUSB design is prone to.

- Insertion / removal force required.

- Mechanical strength - relevant to docking solutions.

- Point of any physical failure should be the (cheap and replaceable) cable, and not the device's female port.

- Design the female port so that it doesn't allow water ingress into the device, facilitating the design of waterproof devices.

Since this new design will hopefully be the last redesign for a while, it should be as good as it can be!

6
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Couldn't have they just adopted lightning?

Apple/Intel? is it possible you're thinking of Thunderbolt? Lightening is all Apple. Thunderbolt is an Intel technology, though Apple contributed the name.

>a company famous for randomly changing stuff

Apple stuck with FireWire for years. Their 13pin iDevice connector remained largely unchanged for years, over which period comparable devices used a variety of both proprietary and standard connectors for power and data (USB-B, miniUSB, miroUSB) - I have a drawer of old cables and adaptors that testifies to that.

4
3
Dave 126
Silver badge

I agree that the ubiquity of microUSB devices and cables is a very handy thing, and makes up for the current shortcomings on the microUSB design. However, microUSB3 is already only partially compatible.

Another change will be worth it in my opinion, as long as it is the last for the foreseeable future, and it implements improvements in usability in addition to faster speeds and greater power delivery.

Who knows, within the decade we might all be using wireless power systems, and wireless optical data transmission or some-such.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Any details on how the orientaion is handled?

Yep!

The USB Type-C specification is targeted for industry review during the first quarter of 2014 and a final specification is expected to be published by the middle of 2014. Further information regarding the specification and plans for pre-release industry reviews will be provided via the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) website at

http://www.usb.org/developers/USB-Futures.pdf.

- http://www.usb.org/press/USB-IF_Press_Releases/Type-C_PR_20131203_Final.pdf

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: NSS Flip and try again

>Make the plug feel asymmetric in the hand, and make the socket look more visually asymmetric.

The current microUSB is asymmetric, but its so small that it is not easy to spot immediately. Even if you do, you then have to inspect the orientation of the port you want to plug it into....

Making the plug orientation reversible is the sensible thing to do, and - without knowing the details of its implementation - it might be essential too, since the cable direction is also reversible.

I'd venture to suggest that for someone with poor sight an arthritis, the old 'big Nokia' power connector is easier to use than microUSB.

Chisels? Oh, we used to dream of chisels!

15
0

Hear that? It's the sound of BadBIOS wannabe chatting over air gaps

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Still don't get all the fuss on this.

> But as a virus-carrying medium...? Really???

>the idea that this could be used to spread viruses is absurd, and pure click-bait.

The article doesn't say that! Read it again.

It is not a virus-carrying medium.

All the researchers are showing is a method that a previously infected machine can use to communicate with other infected machines, so that small data such as passwords etc can be 'sent home' after the original attack vector is no longer available to it.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Even easier to stop...

>It would be easier to believe Dragos Ruiu's claims of infection if he published the make/model of the PCs he claims have been infected,

"The researcher reports that the BIOS malware on a Dell Alienware, Thinkpads and Sony laptops is encountered. MacBooks could also have become infected as possible, but that's not confirmed yet. The malware uses DHCP options encrypted to communicate. Attackers On the basis of the tweets shows that the investigation of the malware is still in full swing. Security.NL Ruiu has asked for more information. We will let you know. Soon as more details are known"

- https://www.security.nl/posting/366329/Onderzoeker+ontdekt+mysterieuze+BIOS-malware

I'm not supporting his claims, just reposting some info about the machines he's used.

0
0

Google unveils ten-year plan to build its ROBOT ARMY of the future

Dave 126
Silver badge

>I honestly wonder what advantage Google sees in all this

Nobody does - it's called speculation.

There might be dozens of areas of investigation, of which a few will bear fruit. So, you put millions in to each... if just one is successful, you will reap a multi-billion dollar reward.

If you're curious about the value of robots, ask yourself why Japan, with an ageing population, have been amongst the pioneers.

1
0

Women crap at parking: Official

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I think I've found your problem

I've met 8 year-olds who were shit-hot at Sonic the Hedgehog...

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Multitasking

Multitasking, or multiplexing? (i.e very quickly switching back and forth between activities)

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

>Is this figure correct? Are you sure about it. I thought the figures showed that women have more crashes overall, its just that men have more bigger crashes.

That was the conclusion I read about some years ago, I can't remember the source but I think it was from car insurers. There is no reason why small bumps would be reported to insurers.

If we agree that the difference between a small 'bump' and a 'crash' is that a bump doesn't cause damage that either party cares about, then we need to look at car design. It depends on the design of car bumpers, which, alas, aren't as robust as they used to be, and many are damaged by bumps of less than 5mph ('Which?' magazine drew attention to this a few years back)

1
0

Apple prepping 4K resolution 12.9-inch MaxiPad – report

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Seems a bit pointless

>I've no doubt they'll do 4K and beyond, but it will be at bigger screen sizes.

Bigger screens, i.e monitors used with mice and keyboards, are used further away from the eyes than tablets are, so a 4K 13" tablet would be roughly on par with a 4K 27" monitor. If Apple are targeting the market that Wacom have traditionally played in, it makes sense. The fact that such products are already sold despite their high price tag, and other established players are looking to get into that market, should suggest that it is at least plausible.

Here is a picture of some sketching on paper, so you see how such a product might be used:

http://image.lowridermagazine.com/f/features/1107_lrmp_air_ink_master_artist_fonzy/32736208/lrmp_1107_10_z%2Bair_and_ink_master_artist%2Bsketching.jpg

After all, making the iPad 13" does nothing for it's portability, and there are studies that suggest a good proportion of full-size iPads rarely leave the house.

0
0