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* Posts by tojb

50 posts • joined 11 Oct 2010

Intel sees 'signs of improvement in the PC business' but earnings remain 'Meh...'

tojb

Bad or good news for UK competitors?

"Mobile and Communications Group's $156 million fairly stunk up the balance sheet, down 61 per cent y/y"

Are they losing market share to ARM, IMG etc or is the market shrinking? Both?

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

tojb
Gimp

Ahh yes... and when Womersley brought in a pair of cow lungs.

We were told to shove a gas tube down the trachea and blow to inflate the lungs (everyone else had rabbit or similar). Some scamp had pre-lacerated Womersley's lungs with a scalpel, so the dead-cow mucus spluttered out everywhere. Such fun.

gimp suit: because you'd wish you were wearing one if you'd been anywhere near

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Facebook: We want a solar sky cruiser comms net that DARPA couldn't build

tojb
Happy

This may actually be a good idea

Comms infrastructure in Africa is seriously bedevilled by cable theft. Unless you think its possible to get everyone on the continent up to a standard of living where 1km of copper wire is no longer a desparately-needed meal ticket, then some kind of up-high platform (be it satellite, drones or whatev) seems like a good solution. Fortunes have already been made by providing mobile voice coverage to some regions of the continent, larger fortunes remain to be made.

Mobile base-stations with an integral power source and someone guarding them are an option, but sooner or later the guard will be intimidated or take a bribe. Seriously, in Congo or even SA being nailed down is no deterrent to theft. Put it out of reach.

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Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

tojb

Re: Here maps for Android?

navfree has decent maps (from openstreetmap.org) and can be made to work on even my quite feeble small form-factor droid although it is by no means slick and the ui is a little odd.

The permissions, as is becoming sadly commonplace for android apps, are absurd: it wants to read my contacts list? Will that help it work out where I am?

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Open MPI hits milestone with FORTRAN-ready 1.7.4 release

tojb

F90 is great

Back on topic, if OpenMPI can indeed sort out task affinity then that should bring it back in the running as something fit for actual production numerics. Currently, by managing this trick intel's MPI implementation (and perhaps others I haven't tested eg MPICH) leave poor old OMPI in the dust.

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Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

tojb
Thumb Up

Re: All your passwords are belong to us!: not just UNIs

A mate went freelance as a drug design consultant, a couple of years ago now. No wet lab, no supercomputer, just a couple of machines with not-even-top-of-the-range Nvidia cards (plus his biocad subject knowledge, of course).

He reckons that he has customers and is doing OK: this kind of proposition would not have been tenable pre GPU computing, but it will become increasingly common as people realise that they don't need the mainframe in the basement of their company/university to convert their science knowledge into cash.

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Botnet PC armies gulp down 16 MILLION logins from around the web: Find out if you're a victim

tojb
Thumb Up

Gov encouraging citizens to use pgp?

"erhalten Sie eine von uns per PGP signierte E-Mail"

That's pretty encouraging. Even if UK.gov knew themselves what that means, use of technical terms or ideas would probably fall foul of their inclusivity guidelines.

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Boffins hampered by the ampere hanker for a quantum answer

tojb

a little harsh

"joking or senile" seems a bit excessive.

Perhaps the point being made is that its easier to count electrons (eg Millikan's oil drop experiment, which wasn't that easy at the time but should in some form straightforward be today) and measure their charge statically. Then you just need mu_0 and epsilon_0, bingo, Ampere's law gives you the definition of an Amp as quoted. I'm guessing that this plan is why the definitions were set up the way they were.

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Top Microsoft bod: ARM servers right now smell like Intel's (doomed) Itanic

tojb
Boffin

>>The truly disruptive CPU architectures are the ones running on GPUs, and these aren't ready for non-embarrassingly-parallel workloads

sorry but I use cuda quite a bit, sure comms can be the bottleneck but it is by no means limited to trivial or embarassing parallelisation. Embarassing parallelism is exactly what I'm hoping for from 64-bit ARM: cores that are big enough to take care of something all by themselves, but cheap enough to have a lot of them. If these run, for instance, molecular dynamics half as fast as an intel core but are considerably less than half the price the I want some.

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Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule

tojb

DMC cells

Anyone remember the hype around direct methanol conversion fuel cells a while ago? Great energy density, apparently and relatively non-toxic.

Whatever happened to those things? Why didn't they make it to market?

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Evil Dexter lurks in card reader, ready to SLASH UP your credit score

tojb
Windows

The only secure bank account is an empty one, with no overdraft facility.

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

tojb

Horse powered

Reminds me of an old photo I saw of a bloke in a flat cap leading a shire horse connected to some pulleys, connected to some very big weights in a very high-roofed barn, connected to a genny to run the squire's newfangled galvanic illuminators.

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Amazon lashes Nvidia's GRID GPU to its cloud: But can it run Crysis?

tojb

Scientific computing, eg molecular dynamics. They list AMBER, a popular MD code for biomolecules, as an example application that has been benchmarked so that must be pretty much what they are expecting people to use it for.

http://aws.amazon.com/gpu/

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HELIUM-FILLED disks lift off: You can't keep these 6TB BEASTS down

tojb

He isn't that cheap

Helium isn't that cheap. Liquid He is the biggest annual budget item for our physics dept. Possibly we are paying for the cryo and transportation, but all the same.

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SUPERSIZE ME: Nokia unveils Surface rival and 2 plumped-up phablets

tojb

Re: If we can shoehorn linux

--My guess is that cygwin won't work

--Bluestacks (android support layer) doesn't support RT. They've said that they might, next year.

--Wait for an unlocking sploit and put cyanogen or one of hundreds of excellent ARM-compatible linuxen on board.

--Just buy a different one.

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Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof

tojb

Re: Bang the car, short the battery

Easy: break the battery up into cells which are insulated from each other. Damage-limitation ensues.

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Luxembourgeois data protection watchdog probes Microsoft in Skype PRISM complaint

tojb

Re: "1, avenue du Rock’n’Roll"

Avenue du Blues appears to be a block west of avenue du Rock'n'Roll.

Lonely street and Heartbreak hotel are however not evident on the map you posted.

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LinkedIn fires back against 'hack-and-spam' US class-action sue bomb

tojb
Megaphone

Second: facebook behave in the same way

I clicked "find friends" thinking this was a search dialogue that would let me message someone I wanted to get hold of, tab, return, tab, return, passwords etc (stupid, but I was in a hurry) and the asstards had harvested my email contacts.

Ensue embarrasing spamathon of business contacts, yea even knights and dames no less, to announce that I had uploaded photos they would like to see. Horrified. Also very surprised at how many of them opened an account apparently just to see the aformentioned photos of my lunch, cats.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

tojb

Re: it will probably be an expensive @ Jess

No, my friend. Europe is a continent, which Britain is in, but it is also a state of mind, which it is not.

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Science fiction titan Frederik Pohl dies, aged 93

tojb
Alien

Zearly 1940s

"the late 1930s and zearly 1940s." Advanced thought-rays have expunged all memory of the Zearl incident of 1941. Only I and the author of this article remember it, although the horrific events which it set in motion remain common knowledge among all Earth peoples.

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The Pirate Bay's new censorship-dodging browser 'not secure'

tojb
Pirate

Re: If people want something for nothing, they'll find or make a way to get it!

Au contraire, internet censorship can and has been made to work.

By "work" I mean seriously obstruct totally innocent daily internet use for millions of people.

Down with the jackbooted oppressors!

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Give up your privacy so Big Data can FIX GOVERNMENT

tojb
Headmaster

"

MSD has 20 years of data to inform its plans and the analytics tools to put that data to work.

Most nations possess the latter two assets. The first may be in short supply in a post-Snowden world.

"

Did you mean to have a list of three things in there? The "latter two" of a list of two is a bit of a silly construction to when using natural languages.

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Google Glassholes can't take long walks off short piers thanks to Merc app

tojb
Black Helicopters

Travelling internationally.... people with facemasks on (OK usually just in Asia)..... and wearing cybervisors telling them what to do and where to go.

Its just freaking creepy.

Take this idea to the US, add a gun (or just use the one that many of them have anyway) and "retarded doofus" becomes the new "predator drone".

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Nvidia buys Portland Group for compiler smarts

tojb
Windows

amanfrommars1's comment appears to be have been machine-generated by the schizophrenic AI built into emacs

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For pity's sake: DON'T MOVE to the COUNTRY if you want to live

tojb
Stop

Re: And what about the stress?

If you want a "slower pace of life" try crossing London from one side to the other during the day.

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ARM servers to gain boost from ARM, Oracle Java partnership

tojb

Er... aren't most/all android apps written in Java? From that it seems to follow that this is a useful move for tablet & phone development.

I can't avoid the suspicion the press release: "ARM, ORACLE JAVA PARTNERSHIP" might not connect to a very inspiring reality: "INTERN TOLD TO TRY AND BRUSH UP JVM PERFORMANCE FOR NEXT RELEASE OF CHIP"

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Boffins chill out with new temperature measurement

tojb
Headmaster

Re: Something is wrong here

Au contraire: if we posit that the particle is coupled to a heat bath, then its temperature is well defined but energy will fluctuate.

You can work in an NVE ensemble (energy fixed) or an NVT ensemble (temperature fixed) as you prefer, providing you don't bugger off and try to actually realise either of these cases in an experiment.

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Cloud computers are like bananas, says Deutsche Börse

tojb

Looking forward to massive speculation-driven overproduction of cloud computing followed by a crash (the financial kind) that leaves us all communicating with cups and string.

Way to go Deutsche-Borse!

(Rushes off to stake €1,000 confident that he alone can time the bubble)

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Myanmar picks for telecoms jackpot stoke controversy

tojb
Big Brother

Censorship in Myanmar has previously been a real pain

Guy Delisle describes in his "Chroniques Birmanes" that after mentioning something in which triggered a filter, the Medecins Sans Frontieres emails in and out of Myanmar were all then subsequently censored "by hand": read by a human before being allowed to go through, causing them to take weeks to be delivered, if at all.

A friendly word with the appropriate bureau restored normal service, but all the same....

It puts the current hoo-ha with the NSA in perspective: imagine waiting a week for the government to read each one of your emails before passing them on.

*Chroniques Birmanes is a graphic novel: not exactly the most official of news sources. Very good though.

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Nearly-transparent screen adds solar charge to phones

tojb
Windows

LED display == solar cell run backwards

Teh fizzicks of an LED display, if I remember rightly, is the same as that of a standard photovoltaic cells:

Electron on high-voltage side of junction <-> photon + low-voltage electron.

Therefore if your phone has an LED display it should be able to push a trickly charge-voltage with only minimal rewiring behind the scenes. In fact this is an occasionally-used test procedure for PV cells, to run them backwards and see what comes out.

It has been bothering me for a while that I can't harvest power from my LED telly when it is turned off, multiple square metres of perfectly good PV cell should be in use, even if it is only enough to drive the standy mode, that is better than nothing! Can anyone explain why this is not already a reality?

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COLD FUSION is BACK with 'anomalous heat' claim

tojb

Re: Having not read the paper yet

Seconded: every time I get a report in MS word my heart sinks. Someone has decided its easier to spend two days trying to squeeze equations and figures onto the page through an interface that wasn't designed for them than 1 day learning tex and 1 day writing.

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Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

tojb
Coat

Re: alternatively...

"Of course, this brings the added benefit that you won't be subject to any 1984-esque moments, too; but you wouldn't get all the automagic synchronisation of books and bookmarks over wifi."

Just open a books folder on your dropbox account (my low-tech version of this), or pay a couple of quid to get Moon+ reader, which .... opens a books folder on your dropbox account, and also (probably) uploads a few bits and bobs of metadata, bookmarks etc.

Mines the one without a kindle in the pocket.

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Intel bets the farm on touch-enabled 'convertible and detachable' Ultrabooks

tojb
Windows

Re: Winning the battle...

"Win8 is not appealling (sic) to a lot of people. However MS can easily address its problems, and Win9 could be a really good thing....."

Sorry, you are making me feel old:

"98 crashes a lot but ME will be better"

"XP has security issues, vista will fix these" (well, OK things did get a bit better)

I haven't tried win8 (I'm important enough now that if someone sends me a doc that doesn't display on libre I can send it back and tell them to get a proper computer) but I'm sure that further sarcastic comments are there to be made by people with first hand experience.

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TSA agrees to review of perv scanner radiation risks

tojb
Devil

Change the technology, they will still give you a load of crap

I changed planes at Washington Dulles back in the summer, on my way from Mexico to Yurp. No intention to step out of the airport, but all the same they made me go through the whole rigmarole. Took 6 hours of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with sweaty fat people in a series of humid, dingy rooms. Light relief was being harrased and having my luggage tossed by sweaty, bullying, fat people in uniforms.

I travel all over the world for my work, you can bet next time I'm doing my dammnedest to avoid the US. Why do they do it? I've no idea but I hear that their cops are about the same.

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Apple loses iPhone patent lawsuit

tojb
IT Angle

We are paying for marketroids, legal, finance: everything except the product

Has anyone done a serious analysis of how much e.g. microsoft, apple actually spend on producing their software/hardware vs:

- filing/contesting perverse patents like these ones

- advertising

- astroturfing

- leveraged buyouts of firms that used to do something useful

- tax dodging

- blah whatever those dudes in suits are supposed to be doing

I mean seriously, I could have re-skinned debian and ordered a crate of dell laptops painted white from some chinese factory in like, a week..... (cf psystar)

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Boffins spot 7 ALIEN WORLDS right in our galactic backyard

tojb
Paris Hilton

Silicone lifeforms anyone?

Or for that matter, life with ammonia serving as the pervasive solvent. Or, for that matter, any amount of other weird sh*t that no-one has yet proved impossible.

Spock: "We've never seen anything like this before captain"

Jim:"You mean apart from the weird energy-being last episode"

Spock:"Well, apart from that one we've never seen anything like this before"

Jim:"And what about three weeks ago?"

Spock:"That one was different"

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Einstein almost tagged dark energy in the early 1920s

tojb
Headmaster

no probs with magnets as far as I know

...magnetism is a correction to the electrostatic force, caused by relative motion of the charges. Because charges are moving, there is a Lorentz contraction and the local charge density appears to change, relative to stationary charges. Thus, a force. That explanation always seemed rather neat and final to me, pelase speak up if you have a problem with it.

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Nine sentenced in Chinese kidney-for-iPad scheme

tojb
Windows

Re: Legal age to vote used to be 18

Off topic, but that is precisely why Salmond wants it at 16 for the Scots Independence Referendum. Next time you buy something deep-fried and unidentifiable from an Edinburgh Chippy, better eat it quick before someone tells you what it is!

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Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

tojb

Re: robots

The African miners you are referring to weren't just baton-charged. They were shot. On full auto. Dozens of them are dead now. Have some respect.

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'There may come a day when Hobbits promote slot machines ...'

tojb
Flame

Longbottom Leaf in Colorado, Calif, etc?

Warner bros have missed a zeitgeisty (marketing/getting sued) opportunity with that one.

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Automatic Facebook couple pages: Nauseating sign of desperation

tojb
Thumb Down

Contempt for users = destined to fail

Remember when google was one of many competing search engines, but the only one with a clean no-hassle start page that did what it said on the tin and nothing else? Remember how they did quite well out of that? Now does anyone remember altavista? AOL? Thought so. Facebook, your days are numbered.

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Steady Antarctic ice growth 'limits confidence in climate predictions'

tojb
Flame

Sooner or later

We're going to run out of fossil fuels sooner or later, so why not start doing the best we can to de-carbon and green-up the technology tree as of now? All this toing and froing is just daft, the question is not do we have to move off coal & oil, the question is how.

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Google upgrades Gmail interface, now less 'drafty'

tojb
Flame

Re: UI tweaks... still no fix for basic bugs

Here's a post on google's forum: it seems this person is using XP, I am using ubuntu .... so at the user end, the combo chrome+gmail is definitely what is at fault. If it works for you then hoorah.... but I'm not the only one it fails for.

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/JblYJUnk98Y

This isn't the place for an in-depth discussion of a puzzlingly non-fixed intermittent bug in gmail - but thanks anyway for the downvote based on a failed half-arsed attempt to replicate a bug in what must be one of the planet's most sprawling distributed software entities...

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tojb
WTF?

UI tweaks... still no fix for basic bugs

Can't make an attachment running gmail in chrome.... its been like that for months. No problem in firefox. Someone at google HQ must be using chrome browser + gmail FFS!

Google: the new microsoft

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Fujitsu assigns team of women to design PC for women

tojb
Big Brother

Petticoat 5

Obligatory link to the petticoat 5, the first computer by and for women:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/lookaroundyou/programmes/computers/gallery1.shtml

Can't find a youtube link.... perhaps the vid was taken down due to a highly ironic accusation of sexism?

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CPS grovels after leaking IDs of hundreds arrested during student riots

tojb
Terminator

Is no-one surprised that they kept all this info? Some kid gets thrown in the back of a van and interrogated in shifts for 24hrs, then released again because he did nothing wrong, and the cops have his name (+ dabs, +DNA?) on record forever? (terminator becos no robocop icon)

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Nokia Lumia 800

tojb
Devil

"Digital Slime Trail" .... thanks for that

If this phone imports all of your contact info, from everywhere, then uses it to aggregate all social interactions to the device.... does that mean that Microsoft will start spamming all your friends in your name (and everyone else you've ever emailed) just like FB did when I accidentally let it get hold of my gmail addresses?

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Gadget Shop kingpin cuffed in nightclub 'toilet sex' incident

tojb
Facepalm

Further evidence that society has lost all decency

Wouldn't it have been more polite of the police to cough a few times and wait until the various parties involved/not involved had straightened up their clothing, wiped their noses and come out to discuss whatever the problem might have been?

These people are supposed to be public servants, yet they throw their weight around like monkeys in blue wooly suits.

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Playboy sneaks NAKED LADIES onto iPad

tojb

\"I only get it for the fiction\"

Fahrenheit 451 was published as a 3-parter in playboy, back in 1954. Intermediate between the initial short-story form and the final full-length novel.

Worth 60 bucks? Nearly.

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Ballerina canned for flashing her assets

tojb

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

@TVTimeWatser , PeterCoffin:

Delete the trailing ellipsis from the url.... you weiners

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