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* Posts by kwhitefoot

100 posts • joined 14 Aug 2010

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

kwhitefoot

Re: Or without any additional hardware at all

A bit more detail would be welcome.

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HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world

kwhitefoot
Thumb Up

Re: Double-tap to wake

Saved me the trouble of typing that. Also my N9 was about half the price.

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

kwhitefoot

Re: He previously complained bitterly about the lack of hand lotion.

Just thought I should second this.

I live in Norway and flew to Heathrow less than two weeks after Utøya. The first intemperate remark I heard on the subject came not from a Norwegian but from the woman at the car hire counter at Heathrow who's first words to me when she saw my Norwegian driving licence were "I hope he hangs". Public discussion on the subject in Norway, with few exceptions, has been measured and rational while discussion outside has been often hysterical. Almost no one in Norway is untouched by this atrocity, almost everyone either knows someone who was there or has a friend or close relative who does, yet calls for savage retribution were few and widely condemned in favour of upholding the law and constitution. The then prime minister made it clear that Breivik was to be treated as the criminal that he is and that no laws would be changed in response, that he would not be treated as a special case but merely as an extreme one.

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The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her

kwhitefoot

He bought a retail copy of the OS? And the film revolves around just the two of them? What about all the other copies? Don't they talk to each other? It all sounds a bit pre-Internet.

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Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

kwhitefoot

My Rover 75 has three separate busses: CAN for critical engine and transmission stuff, K for chassis (karosserie) mounted stuff like entertainment systems and non-critical items, and a lower speed one that handles the security system. I suspect this is true also of BMWs of the same era.

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Staffs Police face data protection probe over 'drink drivers named' Twitter campaign

kwhitefoot

Are you trying to wind us up?

Except that that comment was merely an aside and the case was decided on the grounds that guilt could not be proven.

Here is what it said in http://www.thelocal.se/20140110/man-beats-drink-driving-charge-by-being-asian

"The 63-year-old denied the charges, and the court took into account the fact that it could not be proven that he had actually driven while under the influence of alcohol. "

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Blasphemy! Finns trample over Windows Phone home screen

kwhitefoot

Folders like this were on the N9 from the start.

This feature is very convenient, it lets me unclutter the home screen and categorize the rarely used applications.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

kwhitefoot

Re: I want web sites blocking

Not going to happen, middle England and Mumsnet probably don't even know what most of those strange jargon words mean so they won't be agitating to have anything done about them which means that there is nothing in it for any politician.

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kwhitefoot

Re: Get the big boys involved

The big boys do not care one fig for your freedom. They are only interested in revenue. If it turns out that they will make more money by censoring their search results than by not censoring them then that is what will happen.

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Grace Hopper gave us COBOL, 'debugging' and inspiration. So Google gave her a Doodle

kwhitefoot

Re: Women In Technology

Hedy Lamarr comes to mind.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

kwhitefoot

Oops, must stop posting late at night when tired, etc.

Paraffin is 9kWhr per litre

So at 25% efficiency we get roughly 2500Wh for a dollar or 25000 for the USD 10 this thing is expected to cost.

So at a deciwatt we are talking about a quarter of a million hours before it pays back.

Will it last that long?

Aplogies in advance if I have dropped/added a few powers of ten again.

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kwhitefoot

Sounds like another 'designer' not living in the real world.

Here in Norway paraffin costs about a US dollar a litre and delivers about 9kWh per litre so if we can assume very roughly 25% conversion efficiency in some sort of thermoelectric converter and round a bit we get 2.5kWh per dollar so the device is worth 25kWh if it sells for USD10. At one deciwatt that is 250 hours before it breaks even. The question is: is 0.1W of light worth having.

For a bit more you could buy a 1.5W @ 12V solar charger and a few nicads (source Maplin's website). Assuming we are talking about a warm country we can rely on say 5 hours of sunshine giving 7.5Wh per day, if the battries convert this at 25% we have roughly 2Wh per day for zero mechanical effort. If it is used for four hours in the evening that is 0.5W, five times the output for twice the price using off the shelf components that are getting steadily cheaper and are easily obtained all over the world and are maintanable by people who have only simple tools.

Actually what bothers me most about the Deciwatt is the website and its utter lack of numerical information.

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'Copyrighted' Java APIs deserve same protection as HARRY POTTER, Oracle tells court

kwhitefoot

Re: If they allow copyright on APIs ...

Has the US ceased to be a common law country? US courts take account of precedent as well.

To say that they ignore everything except the argument and the law better descirbes Roman law countries (except that precedent does have a role in those even if it is less important than in common law jusrisdictions).

I suspect that the higher courts are also well aware of legal developments in other legal systems and may well use knowledge of them to inform decisions in their own jurisdictions.

IANAL etc. (and I suspect you are not either).

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UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

kwhitefoot

Re: Bedtime stories

I have a vague memory of a story about a parachute drop that starts as though one of the characters is a peacenik conscript and he is objecting to the dropping of bombs or agent orange but it turns out that what they are dropping is toilets and the hardbitten professional marine is the good guy; Robert Heinlein I think.

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Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

kwhitefoot
Unhappy

That's odd, I vaguely remember having almost no trouble.

I had Debian running on a bunch of DEC Alphas. Not really any problem at all, certainly no assumption that Windows would be used. Brilliant machines used to run ProE on DEC OSF that were thrown out when the company decided that an all Wintel system was the way to go. Then they had to buy Intel hardware that was nominally twice as fast with twice as much ram to ProE to work as well as it did on the Alpha's.

I got four of them for nothing.

It was a bad day when DEC went under.

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Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

kwhitefoot

Re: How to fix a MacBook

@ MyBackDoor

Don't you think it possible that you missed an attempt at lightening the atmosphere here with a little humour?

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kwhitefoot
Thumb Up

Where did you stay?

You should give the hotel some publicity by telling us where it is and what it's called.

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kwhitefoot
Pint

Have a beer on me.

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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kwhitefoot

Warranty is usually not important. Assuming you are in, and bought the device in, the EU or Scandinavia, especially the UK or Norway you should stand on your Sale of Goods Act rights and demand a repair or replacement on the grounds that goods of this class are expiected to have (in Norway at least) at least a five year lifetime. Of course after the first year or so you can't expect the seller to bear the whole cost unless you can demonstrate that the good were not of merchantable quality but you certainly should not have to pay the full cost of replacement or repair. Perhaps I'm just lucky to live in a country (Norway) where the law is on my side and suppliers take their responsibilities seriously. For example I bought an high end AUS motherboard, AMD 64 bit CPU and a good chunk of RAM from Komplett in Norway, Three years later it failed and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, Komplett have all my order history on line so I simply logged in, found the order and submitted a failure report and asked what, if anything they could do.

After a couple of emails to clarify what might or might not be wrong they said send it back. A week later I had an email saying they had sent the full purchase price to my bank account.

Needless to say I a good chunk of it at Komplett buying a replacement.

And of course here is the usual disclaimer: I am only affiliated with Komplett as a satisfied customer.

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Texas teen jailed for four months over sarcastic Facebook comment

kwhitefoot
Flame

Re: Looks like the family is lying about the LOL jk

As an American friend of mine is wont to say: And your point is?

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Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

kwhitefoot
WTF?

Re: Unit of data

>but who charges that much in the UK?

I was wondering the same. Here in Norway on my PAYG (Chilimobil) I pay the equivalent of about 12p per MB. And that is expensive per MB here but my data traffic isn't enough to warrant an all in contract. For what he paid I could download a TB but I would have to be downloading for 12 hours a day at about at the maximum rate a 3G connection can manage.

So it seems to me there are other questions to ask Orange beyond the obvious ones about mis-configured handsets.

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UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?

kwhitefoot
Flame

Re: Bad ideas never die...

Scandinavia is not a monolithic block you know. Which bit of it do you hail from? As far as I am aware Norway has no identity card even if you want one. I've lived here for over 25 years now and never heard of such a thing except occasionally as something that some politicians would like to introduce.

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Freetard den isoHunt loses appeal against search ban

kwhitefoot
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Re: I guess that it's back to using Google then.

Can El Reg provide a feature that hides AC comments?

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'SHUT THE F**K UP!' The moment Linus Torvalds ruined a dev's year

kwhitefoot
Flame

Re: What an arsehole...

For me the principal problem with the article and a lot of the comments is the lack of context. Too much of both seems to rely on the reader possessing a lot of background information.

For instance "choosing to do it my email" suggests that it would have been practical; is it?

I suspect not as Carvalho Chahab lives in Brazil and Torvalds in Oregon but I had to consult a couple of web sites to find out (https://www.linux.com/news/special-feature/linux-developers/636068-30-linux-kernel-developers-in-30-weeks-mauro-carvalho-chehab, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds).

For what it's worth (not much) I think that it is rarely worth swearing in public, it tends to distract observers from the point that is being made.

And, off topic, why the fuck does El Reg not turn properly formed URLs into hyperlinks in comments? Swearing included because I doubt that any attention will be paid to the point so I might as well let off steam.

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A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 2

kwhitefoot
Thumb Up

Re: Red keys? Nah. Get yerself one o' these...

That reminds me of my Nascom-2 which had the best keyboard I've ever used. No crappy mechanical switches in it, it had Hall effect switches if I remember right. Probably still have it somewhere, I wonder if I could get it hooked up to a PC?

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Amazon quietly un-wipes remotely wiped Kindle

kwhitefoot
Flame

Re: User Rights and Facts

You wrote a very long piece but didn't give us the most important information which would be a link to a resource that backs up your assertion that "all rights reserved" has the meaning you attribute to it.

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Pirate Bay moves to the cloud to confound copyright cops

kwhitefoot
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Your name isn't Max is it?

Sounds like Max's autonomous corporations in Charlie Stross' Accelerando.

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Map law could see China confiscate mobes at Customs

kwhitefoot
Happy

Lipstick?

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German ebook firm aims low with cheap 'n' simple €10 ereader

kwhitefoot
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Only five books is a major problem. On my Nokia N9 I have pretty much all of Sherlock Holmes, the BASH Beginners Guide, On Lisp, Alice in Wonderland, The Origin of Species, loads of Wodehouse, Frederick Pohl, Montaigne, Dante's Divine Comedy, Treasure Island, etc., etc. It gives me something for every occasion.

Can't see it working out unless they have some magical way of getting the hardware cost down so that the 10EUR is actually a substantial fraction of the cost.

Plus it only has a five inch screen so I don't see that it is enough better than the 3,9 inch N9 to warrant carrying another device.

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Guidelines issued for Qi wireless gadget charging in cars

kwhitefoot

Re: Why should a key fob be a problem?

I'm not that well informed on the specifics but as a onetime designer of hardware I would certainly include some kind of control channel so that it would only broadcast when a suitable receiver were in range. Otherwise it will be very wasteful.

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kwhitefoot
WTF?

Why should a key fob be a problem?

Are they seriously saying that this thing pumps out energy without any kind of handshake to make sure that what goes out is actually being delivered to a suitable sink?

Or is it that it generates so much interference to keyfob transponders that the car will suddenly think that they key has disappeared and disable the car while belting down the autobahn at 200kph?

Or what?

A couple of extra lines in the article would have made it a lot more informative for those of us who haven't been close following developments in wireless charging.

I suppose I'll have to go and read the pdf.

Well, now I've read it. It looks to me as though it is going to interfere with pretty much everything in the car even when installed correctly. I'll make do with USB.

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

kwhitefoot

Are you using it for ploughing?

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kwhitefoot

Re: Use the standard units as internationally agreed....

I wonder if SpaceX using SI has anything to do with Elon MusK not being American? South Africa was officially metric by 1971.

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kwhitefoot
Thumb Up

Are you trying to wind us up?

I tried to compromise but El reg wouldn't let me give half and up and half a down vote.

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kwhitefoot
Pint

Re: SI señor

All the Americans I know say Imperial units but what they really mean is US Customary.

The volume measures differ even when they have the same name.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_imperial_and_US_customary_measurement_systems

And a message to our hosts: why don't URLs turn into links?

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Lancashire man JAILED over April Jones Facebook posts

kwhitefoot
Flame

Perhaps you could enlighten us then.

See title.

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Liquefied-air silos touted as enormo green 'leccy batteries

kwhitefoot
Boffin

Re: @proto-robbie

Tesla beat Edison not because he used AC but because the use of AC meant that he could use higher voltage and therefore lower current. Until a few decades ago conversion to and from HVDC was difficult and expensive. Now, comparatively, it is neither. When Tesla was at the peak of his abilities there were no controllable high voltage valves, even when they did become available they were bulky, expensive, and fragile. ASEA started development in the 1930s but real systems weren't up and running (as far as I know) until the 1950s.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current for an overview. This shows a lot of DC interconnects in Europe and points out that the longest in the world is in China, just over 2000km.

I suppose at this point I should reveal that I work for ABB which makes these things (althoughin a related division). Of course I speak for myself not ABB, etc.

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kwhitefoot

Re: Penny wise, pound foolish.

Perhaps you could explain why we have high power DC interconnects between France and England, Norway and Denmark, etc. if the laws of physics make it unworkable. Yes transmission losses in low voltage high current AC lines are high which is why the electricity transmission industry has been building ever higher voltage transmission lines. Now that we have effective high voltage semiconductor switches we can use DC instead which dramatically reduces the losses and also enables networks of differing phase, frequency and impedance to be connected together.

Interconnecting national grids allows, for instance, solar power to be sold to areas where it is dark. And yes I am aware that all this needs a large investment and a higher degree of political stability than obtains in some areas but it requires no new technology, it can be implemented now. The technology involved is scalable and much of it can be built incrementally.

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Happy birthday, Compact Disc

kwhitefoot
Boffin

Surely rather short ...

74m minutes = 4.44 seconds

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Bloke jailed for being unable to use BlackBerry Messenger freed

kwhitefoot

Re: Lucky

Did they? Can someone provide some backing for the belief that he is on the register? DM doesn't mention it, nor the Sun or the Telegraph.

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kwhitefoot
Unhappy

Re: Jury Nullification

Since the rule against double jeopardy has been abolished I'm not sure jury nullification as powerful as it was in the 19th century when juries started to refuse to convict when the punishments for trivial offences was transportation or hanging.

Now the CPS could try again, under some circumstances at least.

And I wonder if a jury refusing to convict when the evidence was admitted in a strict liability case might not arguable be grounds for declaring a mistrial an starting again.

I'm not a lawyer, just thinking out loud. I'm also not resident in the UK either.

Also there have been mutterings about getting rid of juries both in the UK and Norway.

We need a head in the hands despair icon.

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Dissolving silk electronics melt in your body, not in the hand

kwhitefoot
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Re: tags for all?

Especially if they are so small that they don't get noticed. Could make smart dust a reality.

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WTF is... NFC

kwhitefoot
WTF?

The only thing that made me get new

I use a contactless card on the bus every day. It certainly doesn't take two seconds to recognize that I have paid for a month of travel and tell me how many days I have left.

But this is in Norway, perhaps it is better implemented here. (Not everything works well here either I do realize).

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New I-hate-my-neighbour stickers to protect Brits' packages

kwhitefoot
Thumb Up

premises where the Royal mail and others can drop off packages for collection

In civilized countries like Norway this is what the post and other couriers already do. The local supermarket, petrol station, florist, whatever, takes delivery, the courier sends you a text saying it is ready for collection and you pick it up on the way home from work. As a lot of these places are open until 21:00 and open at 07:00 (or 24 hours a day in the case of petrol stations) this is a lot more convenient than going to the sorting office (which here would be at least 25km away).

In densely populated areas the post will also call you to arrange a parcel delivery to your door in a two hour window in the evening.

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Tech budgets in schools heading north again

kwhitefoot
Flame

Re: New plan

Reminds me of this post http://m.forums.theregister.co.uk/post/424485

Can't find any other source for the supposed quote but even if it isn't real it should be. There is a tendency to think that spending money makes things better when in fact it is getting what you actually need that counts. Where I live (Vestfold, Norway) practically every class room has a full scale audio-visual system, students in the academic line (studiespesialiserende) in senior high school (videregående) have officially provided (though not paid for) laptops, and as far as I can tell this has zero effect on the quality of the education provided. I speak from experience having had one child through the system before all this was common, one who attended when it was new and the third is now going through the same process with as far as I can see no greater quality of education than the previous two. If it doesn't result either in a reduction in teaching costs or in an improvement in the outcome then what is the point?

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How hard is 3D printing?

kwhitefoot
Thumb Up

Re: Not just prototyping

You beat me to it.

In addition to having the manufacturing fully automated my dentist has a screen in front of the chair so you can see the 3D model and then watch the progress of the cutter as it creates the crown. Not only much faster and accurate than the old way of doing it but fascinating to watch.

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Twitter to UK.gov: Web super-snoop law will trample twits' rights

kwhitefoot
Unhappy

Unfortunately most countries either already have or are proposing to institute similar rules. Or in the case of countries like USA the security services simply ignore the rules against wiretapping.

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Apache man disables Internet Explorer 10 privacy setting

kwhitefoot
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Re: it's pretty obvious how to turn it off

The snide remarks about Opera are tiresome. And anyway Opera 12 has a Do Not Track option, and the default is off.

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Dropbox joins the security two-step party

kwhitefoot
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Re: And what..

>TFA didn't become practical in the consumer sphere until recently

Not at all. My bank here in Norway uses two factor authentication with printed one time pads by the simple expedient of sending me a credit card sized printed one time pad in the post. When I log in the web site asks for a specific one of the numbers in addition to my id number and a password that I can set myself. When it has used about two thirds of them it sends out a new pad.

Now I can also ask it to send send a time limited one time code as a text to my registered mobile so I can use either and I don't need to be concerned about not being able to log in if my mobile is not available.

Downvoted for trying to make out that something so simple can only be made practical by the application of high technology.

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