* Posts by tojb

125 posts • joined 11 Oct 2010

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Pass the 'Milk' to make code run four times faster, say MIT boffins

tojb
Happy

Sounds great call me when its in the OpenMP standard

This seems to address the big problem with OpenMP, which is that you can easily end up getting a net slowdown due to cores fighting over what is in the cache. If this is at all effective then the extra pragmas will/should get rolled into the standard very quickly.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

tojb
Boffin

Its not complicated

Just a system which spontaneously settles into collective oscillation (like the quartz crystal in your digital watch). As far as I can see from the article the cool part is that any "clock drift" will self-correct, and that energy leakage will be approximately (not exactly) zero. So much woo-woo about time-loops and tardises sheesh

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Nest offers its thermostat in three new pretty colors!

tojb
Flame

such hostility

The functionality is useful. Concerns about offclouding photos of your house are very legit, but most people really cannot be bothered running a home server and economies of scale are a thing.

Maybe the answer here is to design zero-maintainance home servers that can sit next to the boiler and take care of all this shite. Its not the path that nest seems to be taking, but already the average wi-fi router is also a NAS (its cheap enough to add a few gig of SS storage that many routers do so even in the expectation that 90% of customers won't even realise its there) and a few other things.

The first company to go down the route of designing low-cost low-fail high-security no-drm home servers for this stuff (home automation + NAS) should be a win. Cloud backup can and should be strictly optional, and strictly encrypted.

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Trustmarque has been sold yet again – this time to Capita for £57m

tojb
Big Brother

monopoly, conflict of interest

Capita was recently delighted to announce that its near-monopoly on running the NHS has been still more strongly consolidated:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/408bcd74-18bb-11e5-8201-cbdb03d71480.html#axzz4CHcl4nKu

in particular, it has a contract to advise the "commissioning groups" which decide what IT services to buy, while one of trustmarque's businesses is selling managed windows boxen to the NHS.

I wonder, having collected its advisory fee, which business capita will advise the NHS to buy/rent its PCs from?

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It's not us, it's you: Boffins ditch supercomputers in lust for new materials

tojb
Go

spinglass the board game

https://arxiv.org/abs/1312.1839

No need to simulate spinglasses with confusing and expensive quantum computers: just give the rules of the board game to a small group of ten-year-old children. Schmeiss die beste Party!

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The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

tojb
Flame

Re: HEAR HEAR!

on my mum's lappy I had to kill a bunch of processes by hand that weren't being stopped and restarted as they should have been by the updater. I also had to take it out into the cold night air to stop it going into emergency shutdown from overheating. That was a fun 6 hours work for no particular benefit that I or Mum noticed.

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Cavium snubs MIPS, picks 64-bit ARM for next-gen network SoCs

tojb

Re: 8,192-bit keys

the password is:

"supercalifragilisticexpialidociousifyousayitloudenoughitsreallyquiteatrociouswwbblewibblewibbleptangptangowhatalovelymorningitistoday"

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Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece

tojb

+99 for culture reference

The drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You". Awesome

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'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

tojb
Holmes

Re: Given the scarcity of items on our cousins in the material released...

"fear of something" you mean "fear of being murdered as has happened before"

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Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

tojb

Re: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Theres a graph, looks legit... but they can't be that dumb right?

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Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

tojb
Alien

Re: Poker

Bridge is an active and interesting AI topic, because it relies on having a theory of what your partner is going to do, intuition about the temperament and intentions of others is a tough one to crack.

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How to build a plane that never needs to land

tojb
Go

Re: Much more useful when batteries improve

Pretty much all new houses where I live are built to the vaguely nordic "passivhaus" standard of energy use, i.e. near-zero for heating and water (zero may be impossible to achieve if north-facing in a valley bottom). Solar panels are a financially attractive add-on for those who can make the investment, thanks to generous subsidies (paid through other suckers' electricity bills, which are ludicrous).

The clever bit about the passivhaus stuff is controlled ventilation, with heat exchangers at the inflow and outflow. That and a very airtight building with very thick walls and windows pretty much solves your heating problem. Power diverted to the fans is minimal compared to what you save.

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Imagination Tech's chief Hossein Yassaie quits, shares slide

tojb

value of chief execs much exaggerated

Hossein is a lovely bloke, but it is the corps of battle-hardened programmers and engineers (many at the Watford HQ have been there since they left Acorn back in the eighties) which makes the company valuable.

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

tojb
Thumb Up

Milankovitch cycles, interesting

Thumbs up as I was prompted to read about gradual changes to Earth's orbital parameters (~20k years to notice anything), which I had previously been unaware of.

Caused by interactions of the earth-moon system with larger but distant bodies such as jupiter. Orbit is not circular or even reliable eliiptical but actually very bonkers and semi-chaotic spirograph.

All of which is at best tangential to the contemporary climate-change debate.

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Five key findings from 15 years of the International Space Station

tojb
Happy

other cooler stuff than these five

This list is a bit buzzfeedy in that content has been sacrificed for comprehensibility. Other very interesting zero-gee science has been done, I could mention germination of plant seeds as one thing, or critical fluctuations around phase transitions as another: its tough to test a lot of physics theories in gravity, because the theories leave it out....

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Google says its quantum computer is 100 million times faster than PC

tojb

actual benchmarking says "meh"

http://arxiv.org/abs/1504.07991

Tail of the time-to-solution distribution is considerable fatter with quantum annealers for some reason versus classical simulated annealing. Its a promising approach, worth being aware of but not yet worth shelling out for on its own merits.

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Kids' tech skills go backwards thanks to tablets and smartmobes

tojb

Those tasks are *bullshit*

Use social media to promote a rock band??? That's digital literacy???????

How about setting up a PA system, configuring filters for reverb etc? That would at least be interesting.

Scrape the internet for mentions of the band and plot a histogram of hits by last-modified-date?

This test is an insult to the kids and to humanity. I would fail it in protest if I ever saw such a stupid thing.

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2

Conficker is back – and it's infecting police body cams

tojb
Angel

Re: don't blame the camera OS for serving up an MSC

Sounds like its a windows-based worm, nothing to do with the camera firmware: when you plug the device in it serves up a mass-storage-class to allow transfer of files, that is the only reasonable thing to do. If the computer you plugged it into (at some point in the setup or testing process, presumably) is infected and chooses to save an infected file, then the device becomes a passive carrier of the worm.

It is even possible that the cameras became infected at the same time as their OS and app were installed: how can you blame the firmware in this case?

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Yay, more 'STEM' grads! You're using your maths degree to do ... what?

tojb
FAIL

geometry is everything, everything is geometry

I mean seriously.... how can you think about anything without a space to visualise it in? The simplest meaningful space is R2, enter Euclid. When smart people learn Euclidean geometry they feel like they were born knowing it, because it is implicit in soooo many other aspects of our culture and reasoning. That is the only imaginable reason not to teach it, and it is a poor one.

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Emacs gets new maintainer as Richard Stallman signs off

tojb

overdue for el-reg integration

M-X pull-next-article elreg

M-X spaff-comment elreg

M-X doctor

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Another go with MIPS IoT: Imagination unveils new Creator board

tojb

Re: Not an easy sell @tojb

>>I'm not quite sure you get the IoT

Quite right, I have no clue what conceivable benefit swarm-networking desklamps and tins of beans is supposed to provide. Hopefully I'll understand it when I see it.

I have to agree with you on all points, except:

1) OK, a more powerful ereader is a tablet, maybe specced a bit above the kindle fire but below a surface 2.

2) So throw in gesture and speech recognition, that can burn a bit more.

6) My R-Pi (OK I only have the first one) is painfully slow when I run full-fat linux on it with a proper sized TV screen. More beef than that, with a better GPU and some built-in codecs and radio support would be a good thing to have. Whether it comes in at a competitive pricepoint to similar-powered x86 stuff, we can find out.

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tojb

Re: Not an easy sell

Hmm: tablet-like graphics + radio etc. About the spec of an ipad a few years ago.... so....

1) e-reader?

2) touchscreen-controlled domestic appliances? Currently to do anything much with my washing machine beyond turning it off or on, I have to pair it with my phone. That is actually pretty annoying. Can see similar reasoning for house thermostats.

3) Houses with complicated, integrated, energy systems? Solar panels+batteries+wood-pellet-boiler+e-vehicle charging.... all need an interface, nice if they have some sort of networking, although fixed kit should imho have fixed wiring.

4) Chromebook-type-things? Doesn't quite have the beef for modern internet, HD ads, multiple youtube videos etc. Thats a nope on number 4 from me.

5) In-car entertainment player/controller? I notice the ENSIGMA name on the block diagram, this part of IMG works with digital radio & video.

6) Home media server? Should be a good fit actually, no need to shove in a wifi dongle as for R-Pi.

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tojb
Facepalm

no, actually it does appear to do graphics

TFA mentions a powerVR SGX 540 on board, which supports OpenGL ES 2.0. Normal sort of graphics level for a tablet or phone.

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Elderly? Disabled? You clearly need a .38" Palm Pistol

tojb

suicide special

Am I the only one thinking that the main use for this is when you only want to kill one person, and he ain't gonna try getting out of the way?

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El Reg keeps pushing Apple's buttons – its new Magic Keyboard

tojb
FAIL

No hash key... wtf. If you open a terminal, you get bash. Ergo bash is the main scripting language.

If you are retarded you share your opinions on twitter, ergo twitter is the main web platform.

No hash key.

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Asus ZenPad 10 Z300C: Cheap tab, dock combo you can turn up to 11

tojb
Unhappy

don't buy Xperia Z4 Tablet.

I got an xperia Z, had a horrible time getting it unlocked so as to be able to upgrade the OS. Many goats blown by this slab.

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Tesla X unfolds its Falcon wings, stumbles belatedly into the light

tojb

Re: Door mirrors...

>>Big advantage on no wing mirrors is reduced noise in the back,

How does losing the mirrors make my kids behave? I doubt that you have discovered the holy grail of family driving, but if you have sir please share.

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How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

tojb
Megaphone

Re: Not going to happen

Big problem with current society is that the explanations for many serious problems just go over the heads of the people making the decisions. Plenty of MPs lack a grade-C maths O level, certainly the people who vote for them do.

Undemocratic decision makers such as civil service bods, Quangos, eurocrats may be our only hope. And that is not much of a hope, as many of these are much the same types as the MPs but not sufficiently likeable to be elected.

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OLPC heir reveals modular laptop design

tojb
Boffin

Re: This shit again?

On the face of it yes, an off-the-shelf for-kids android slab such as leafpad should cover the "educational slabtop" market, however it is not the same thing at all.

People who have never used a computer are impressed to see their two-year-old granddaughter playing lego cities or similar on a parent's tablet, but that is a far cry from doing science projects on a machine which is not only a fully functional computer but is *intended* to be used as one, rather than say as a pocket-sized shop window.

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tojb
Happy

Re: Oddly I've alway s thought it's the *processor* that should be upgradeable.

Simple, just unplug your screen, battery, camera (and whatever else, details are sketchy in the article) then order in the new plastic box (dirt cheap in itself) containing the upgraded mobo.

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Universal Credit white elephant needs 'urgent breakthrough' says MP

tojb
Paris Hilton

To be fair

I just checked IDS's bio (on his own site) and he was at Sandhurst in 1975 so you can almost forgive the other tory brass for thinking he might be capable of taking on a tricky job.

Since then he has worked for GEC marconi (remember that shining example of corporate responsibility?), a property holding company and the tory party (he was leader for a while). I can't think of a CV that could raise many more red flags, why on earth was this man given a cabinet job?

And that is from his own website. When you check wikipedia it appears that he left school at fourteen and has no O-levels or degree, despite having spent a year farting about at a uni in Italy.

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'Private' biz Xiaomi sets up Communist Party exec committee

tojb
FAIL

Re: This is why we should be worried

And because everything is centrally controlled in China, there's no worry of an economic collapse.

And because everything is centrally controlled in China, the inevitable economic collapse will be still more devastatingly systemic.

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Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident

tojb
Mushroom

Re: Ditch meters and buy six subs.

Seconded. Where are the nuclear-powered flying battlestations? Probably in violation of some namby-pamby treaty. Such a dreadnought would have all sorts of peace dividends (portable sunshade for heatwaves, portable power station to relieve brownouts) as well as scaring the bejesus out of the whole world. Its political correctness gone mad.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

tojb

Re: all you lefties and champagne socialists should...

Its cos of globalisation, esp papers owned by Murdoch and the power that they showed when Kinnock threatened to require UK ownership of the press. RM has US citizenship precisely to avoid the same rule over there. It was the sun wot "won" it.

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tojb
Terminator

Bots posting?

Looking at the some of the comments (the ones with 20+ downvotes) I'm pretty convinced that someone is employing bots, or some kind of mechanical turks, to spew right-wing hate based on keywords in articles. I wonder if the reg hacks can trace IPs or something to check this?

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WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future

tojb
Boffin

If you like cellulose chips then you'll love cellulose LCDs

http://www.nature.com/am/journal/v6/n1/full/am201369a.html

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Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

tojb

Reg commentards not as clever as they think they are

The Sun and Earth orbit the barycentre of the solar system. The the position of this centre of mass does not, as some have asserted, depend on your frame of reference. It happens to be inside the sun, or nearly so, for most of the time.

Rotating reference frames are *not* equivalent to each other, if you change between rotating frames you must add in coriolis or centrifugal forces to compensate. There is a unique centre of mass of the solar system and it is well-defined.

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So how should we tax these BASTARD COMPANIES, then?

tojb

Re: Fair Tax? +1 for the long firm

Very mellow historical novel of the sixties introduced me to the concept. Jake Arnott I think it was. Funny to think that some people still alive today were around back then.

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Scummy transients FOUND ON MARS by NASA rover

tojb
Thumb Up

Mars9?

Where are the other 8?

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Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

tojb
WTF?

Strike 1 of three?

I'm not up to date with American law&order stuff, but I seem to remember that they had a policy of two slaps on the wrist followed by a long custodial sentence for the third offence. Possibly neither of these toolbags has been caught before, probably they will joining the legion of incarcerated morons next time or the time after that.

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700,000 beautiful women do the bidding of one Twitter-scamming man

tojb
Pint

diet pills

Reminds me of a thing called herbalife which works in the same way, but uses social engineering to bind actual humans to the "mockingbird" and "parrot" roles.

I think I need a healthy drink rich in vitamins and carbs.

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AMD, ARM, Imagination, Samsung alliance publish official shared GPU-CPU blueprints

tojb
Black Helicopters

Re: Memory maps for all the things

"Hopefully the security issues were dealt with"

Haha you're thinking of things like rowhammer, which work by exploiting the occasional failures if non-EC2 memory, such as used by RAM in laptops .... and especially also by RAM in in GPUs.

GPU code is performance-oriented, because most putative security holes would be contained to the GPU so far I doubt that there has been much effort in finding and closing them.

Looking forward to the torrent of exploits when this stuff comes to consumerland

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Amazon's tax deal in Luxembourg BROKE the LAW, says EU

tojb
Pint

Luxembourg will *have* to recover the money?

Bofferdings all round if it works out that the law obliges them to collect 10 years of back-taxes while at the same time closing down the chance of similar deals somewhere else, thus obliging Amazon etc to stay put and carry on paying tax at some new slightly higher rate.

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What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

tojb

All computing is not yet small or cheap

Ask someone who works at google or cern how great it is that they can do all the computing they need on their mobile. Haha.

For some time there has been a steady flow of capability downwards in scale from the continent-class research facilities to the desktop to the portable, but I'm not sure that most of the worlds computing (if you measure it by watts or by the value of the results) isn't still on the mainframe, and perhaps will always be.

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Goes like the blazes: Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 late 2014 edition

tojb

Re: HOW ****ING MUCH?

otterbox mate.

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Brits to teach Norks hacks about 'multimedia websites'. 5% of DPRK is in for a TREAT

tojb

There is probably no "freedom through cultural exchange" happening here. NK is an outsourcing destination for IT and other stuff, has been for a long time.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/198555/the_worlds_most_unusual_outsourcing_destination.html

Oddly, a lot of hand-drawn french animation is produced over there. Capitalism does not make you free.

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

tojb

Re: more interesting possibilites here than mentioned in the article

Beer because Sacc. Cerevisiae is mostly the same as you and I, proteomically speaking.

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tojb
Pint

more interesting possibilites here than mentioned in the article

Identifying proteins that are co-expressed in a given cell type, or stage in the cell cycle, or set of stimuli can help to piece together the network of interactions that ultimately make things go. There are many many proteins (and sundry oddments) in the cell whose place in the scheme of things remains highly unclear.

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