* Posts by Andy The Hat

335 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

Page:

IBM tries to dodge $1bn sueball for deal won with 'ethical transgressions'

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Units?

Is there a unit for the number of times overbudget a project is?

You could rank companies based on what they seem to get away with ... then check their ranking against who is on the board ...

1
0

White Stork mates with ISS, delivers bundles of resupply joy

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Missed tech brilliance.

Everyone knows how great the ISS, how things go up and down to it and how brilliant everything is. But does anyone give a second glance to the Canadarm? Without that fabulous bit of tech most of the routine dockings wouldn't happen, 'astronauts' wouldn't feel so safe on spacewalks and it's been so useful for general moving and manipulatory stuff. It has to be the 'unsung hero' bit of kit of the entire ISS mission.

5
0

Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Great!

... for Apple.

Just imagine "Look no need for a charger! Get your iH2Phone here!"

Then you tie the idiot punter into a life's worth of iH2 cartridges from t'Apple Store ...

Sounds good business sense to me ...

1
0

Curiosity rolls over onto Martian WET PATCH, takes satisfied selfie

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

...to let DAN do a proper job.

I've got images in my head of a certain Cornish farmer/scrapheaper tweaking the mixture on the side of Curiosity ... :-)

3
0

Spain triumphs! Fascist anthem hails Spanish badminton champ

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Fascist?

At least no other national anthem is heavily nationalist, fascist or 'religion-centric' in any way, 'God Save the Queen', 'La Marseillaise', Das Lied der Deutschen ... oops just invalidated my argument.

1
7

Captain, dark energy sensor readings show dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Pah!

I take your puny 520Mpixels and raise you 3.2Gpixels! http://www.lsst.org/lsst which coincidentally is to go looking for dark matter using a telescope on a mountain in Chile (the LSST)

So many pixels, so little funding ...

And I agree with Esme - unless they've seen rotational structure or a heavy core, 500 stars does not make even a tiny galaxy.

1
0

Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

alternatives?

Skylon as a flying craft is still vapour-rub.

NASA using the most reliable rocket engine - modified and power boosted - so potentially as reliable as sticking a turbo on a Fergie tractor engine then.

SpaceX ... getting close but still not there.

Diamond elevators? Not in my lifetime.

For reasonable economics and safety my money is still on the Iron Chicken from the Clangers ... if she just let down a rope we could climb up ... it is a documentary isn't it?

4
0

Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

WTF?

Is this a primarily computer oriented online rag with a hint of science, wit and general joviality or a personal voice for New bloody Statesman?

Including a bit of politics is one thing but this extended 'opinion' (it's not a story) is just ridiculous.

Please, in the role of El-Reg Ed, have the balls to say 'No.' and pull the plug sometimes ... if I wanted crap 'lefty bashing' I'd be reading the Sun ...

3
3

Opera Software asks fat lady to stay shtum for a bit, but keep humming

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Agree with the sentiments above. Opera browser was standards compliant, feature rich and user friendly. V12 had annoying issues with standards but v15 (or whatever they called it) the things that made Opera "Opera" were forgotten in favour of a tinned Chrome soup. I can now do *nearly* everything directly in Chrome instead of using a cut down, featureless Chrome with an Opera label ...

It saddens me, as there was so much screaming by the dedicated Opera userbase to keep the fundamentals of the product interface when 'they' made engine changes but 'they' wouldn't listen to their customers ...

Don't customers come first?

8
0

'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Science?

Nice to see that most of the posts here are cased on politics not science ... :-(

One problem not addressed by the data is the relationship between sunspot activity and the total radiative output of the sun. This is something that has only been worked on in recent years (by its very nature much of the output cannot be measured on the Earth's surface) and scientists will need time to correlate long term sunspot activity against output. It may be that there is a hard relationship or perhaps a very tenuous one (imagine basing the total thermal output of the Earth on number of volcanic eruptions). Current estimates put total variation over a sunspot cycle at only 0.1% ... can this explain the significant Earth surface temperature dip during the Maunder Minimum? Probably not ... but the only other continental scale forcing factor was some volcanic activity which didn't last that long. I think there's more to this sun/climate relationship thing than sunspots.

1
1

Boffins have made optical transistors that can reach 4 TERAHERTZ

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

"we've modelled it..."

Unless they've made something, anything, even one single gate, this story is a load of vapour-rub.

12
0

Bitcoin can't be owned, says Japanese court, as Karpeles sweats in cell

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Japanese banks are going to be so happy !

"Now they can just steal everyone's money from their bank accounts because it's "not tangible"..."

That's a good point. Unless you're on the gold standard with some kind of physical reference, no currency in banks is tangible it's not cash in a vault, just digital data. In addition, since banks do not have the assets to 'pay (all) bearer on demand ...' the content of your account is by definition intangible.

So the bank lost our money ...

"Dear Mr Loser,

Oops, sorry, byeeee.

Yours,

Intangible asset manager."

7
0

And so it begins... Cleaning up HMRC's £10.7bn Aspire mess

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Am I missing something?

"HMRC is to follow the lead set by the Met Police by setting up a private company ...

The new limited company, wholly owned by HMRC, ..."

If HMRC (a government body) sets up a private company wholly owned by HMRC ... doesn't that by inference make it a government body not a private company?

Or is it another QUANGO, untouchable by Parliament, with a load of political cronies on the board who rake off "the profits" as directors that would have headed to Aspire?

Is this the start of a new 80's style QUANGO-rush ...?

2
0

Epson: Cheap printers, expensive ink? Let's turn that upside down

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Oh really

"and in some cases it's cheaper to buy a new printer for $50 rather than replace all the damn cartridges.

This is really bad advice as the cartridges in new machines are never more than half full, more often about 1/3rd full."

Not necessarily. You ever weighed them and compared them to replacements? Some sad gits have ... and found that some are short filled but a lot are not any more. Presumably it's more expensive to reprogram and calibrate the filling machine for a 'few' cartridges rather than leave it to do its thing.

2
0

Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Either, or?

Perhaps "Xpoint or memrister?" is the wrong question.

What if production grade memrister exists (big assumption but for the sake or argument), it's super fast but costs the same or even double DRAM?

Wouldn't that open the window for machines with primary store being 'expensive' memrister with the secondary, 'cheaper' but relatively slower storage being Xpoint? Lower power, *much* more speed both to primary and secondary storage, higher board density, no wear levelling problems on the primary store and effectively none on the secondary ... basically a screamer of a memory system for a few dollars more (at production) or, as it's a 'premium' system double the cost (for the user) making nice sales figures for everyone concerned.

Everyone wins apart from DRAM, NAND and spinning rust manufacturers.

3
0

Chat about Safe Harbour all you like, the NSA's still the stumbling block

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Obviously trying to get the agreement signed before the ECJ rules (and basically says you can't have an agreement) - sounds like 'Quick! Change the rules before the cops get here and we'll get away with it.' Why the panic? Why is it necessary to try to circumvent justice? What's really going on?

As a citizen, who's life is controlled by these unelected people, my adjective for the day is "scary".

4
1

BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

SP1

I bet there will be a SP1.

Cumulative patches over a year or year and a half, probably amounting to GB will have to be rolled together just on the basis of bandwidth costs.

On top of that, any new purchaser on a 2Mb/s connection will not be happy waiting days for the updates to finish before they can download pictures of cats ...

7
2

The Register's resident space boffin: All you need to know about the Pluto mission

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Sky at Night ...

I wish you critics would watch S@N more and try to understand its ethos before taking cudgels to it. Education, information, entertainment.

Lintott is a good scientist and a crap presenter but actually very good when interviewed.

Maggie A-P is probably a good scientist, very enthusiastic but needs someone to tell her that dressing like an Alice in Wonderland character is not suitable for this type of 'adult' tv. A 'slow down' button would be very useful. Rumors that she's actually Patrick Moore dressed in a Bubbles outfit have little basis in fact ...

Having to fit PL and MA-P on screen to show an iPad displaying a 'high resolution image' was just pointless in the extreme.

Pete Lawrence tries to be sensible and valiantly brings near sanity to the proceedings.

It *was* great that they did a special for what was, by any measure, a momentous event and any such publicity has to be good.

However, like a poor Pizza company, S@N tries hard but fails with delivery too often ... ok, where do I get a cudgel?

2
0

Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Unit alert!

I believe the El Reg unit the 'wrist' is already defined.

Are we in danger of redefining it or is 'the number of wrists' still a valid use in the context of people who wear iWatchy things?

0
0

Robo-taxis, what are they good for? Er, the environment and traffic

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re Questionable thinking

" Without the meatbag, there is no reaction time, it's pretty much instantaneous. Add intelligent signalling between vehicles, and the reaction time can be negative, with cars further back slowing before they are required to. There's no reason why such intelligent cars couldn't drive a few inches apart, ignoring of course the rather boring requirement to maintain the sanity of the passenger"

All well and good until a deer runs out in front of the 'train' of vehicles and the whole lot pile up, or a tree falls or a vehicle skids or the automatic brakes fail 'on' ... Although I suppose with 'negative' reaction times the vehicles can decide that these things are going to happen before they actually happen thus take avoiding action before the inevitable collision ... thus causing a accident by taking actions that couldn't be predicted? Or perhaps the predictive nature means that only the front fifteen passengers get killed because of the close proximity of the traveling vehicles instead of two if they were sensibly spaced?

In addition the report suggests 'sending a suitably sized vehicle' but that is only suitable for pre-booked minicabs, standard taxis that do the short hops the report is really talking about cannot work like that unless the passenger is willing to wait on the pavement in the rain for the cab to arrive ...

3
3

Why the BBC is stuffing free Micro:bit computers into schoolkids' satchels

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

A tiny programmable controller?

Looks simple enough to be a cheap controller board ...

1
0

Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer's code theft conviction overturned AGAIN

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Err?

"... accusing him of "unlawfully duplicating computer-related material ... "

Then

"... the jury's conviction on the charge, which was based on an oddball law that predates the computer era"

Confused?

2
0

Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Quick.........

"Quick.........

Fire up the anti-ballistic comet destroying extraterrestrial fission generators and someone fill up the damn Coffee machine its going to be a long night."

... and don't forget to swap the light bulb ...

0
0
Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

No news here! Nothing to see! Go back to your homes!

So, microbes (for which there is *no evidence*) may exist on the comet which is not actually hurtling towards us. And those (non existent) organisms of unknown origin or composition may be able to survive below -40C, exposed to the vacuum of space and the radiation of space ...

Roll of tin foil and copy of 'Milinery for Scaredy Cats' at the ready ...

11
2

NASA's New Horizon probe rudely fires its thruster at gnome planet

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Rounding Error

You gotta love compounded rounding errors.

You've got to love the combination of units - "... centimetres per second, a small fraction of ... miles per hour" Did we have European and US scientists working on this probe?

Anyway, I reckon the course correction was about 0.5mile per hour - the speed of an average hedgehog. There would have been far less confusion if they used a standard unit - current probe speed is 65000 Hedgehogs ...

I presume they're pulling Hew Horizons like a team of Huskies?

1
0

Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

I can pick standard meters up from £20 upwards (one off, certified recon as fitted by most suppliers) the cost of which would normally be carried by *the supplier*. Smart meters on the other hand are about £150 (single phase, 100A, one off), add £50 to fit it and presto! Charge the Government (us, the tax payers) about £400 a meter and watch those profits roll in ... Subtract the usual meter budget for the ten year life of the new meter and well, you do the maths.

As has been said, this whole policy smacks less about the natural environment and more about the economic environment of certain bank accounts.

6
0

Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Here speaketh a Defender driver, the best 4 x 4 x Far on lovely skinny 100% profile tyres.

You're lucky to get 100% - most standard manufacturer supplied profile nowadays are tubeless 85% as they're more concerned about "look and feel" than actually supplying tools to get the job done.

The earlier comment about '200mm ground clearance ... so 300mm of mud should be no problem" obviously comes from someone who has never driven a vehicle in deep mud, let alone one on stupidly wide, low profile, road biased tyres ...

2
0

Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

So a fully costed, full patch support contract for a small number of Xp machines is $9m p.a.

If MS had charged $10 on the original Xp price per user as a "premium support option" to extend EOL (security patch support only) that would have netted about $400m, at only 10% uptake, for little extra work (the patches are already done for $9m pa for the Navy remember) and nobody would be complaining about unpatched systems ...

3
0

'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

They forgot the additional meaning of the prefix "pro-" as in pro-bacillus or pro-retinol meaning 'three letters added to another sciency word to make a product sound really expensive and worthwhile spending money on eg pro-biotic or pro-qubit'

6
0

D-Wave promises chip that could SEARCH THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

If something is so much better, to the extent that a user really can't tell whether it's actually any better or not (apart from costing a fortune, looking techy and "What Qbit" liking it), to make viable commercial sense of their business model the manufacturer should really branch out into building audiophile hi-fi equipment ...

7
0

Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Another Reg unit!

"debris flows occurred at Earth like frequencies" - so "Earth" is a frequency!

1 Earth = err ... umm ...

I have no idea what that means! Anyone?

1
4

Flushed with success: No bog standard Canadian goldfish these

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Tricks?

What sort of tricks?

Card tricks - playing Go Fish?

High diving tricks - three twists without Pike?

Balancing tricks - plaice spinning?

Or tricks of the mind - look into the eyes not around the eyes, snap fingers and you're a carp ... ?

Half a story again - the reg throws us a bone but whips it away before we get to break our teeth on it.

7
1

Killer ChAraCter HOSES almost all versions of Reader, Windows

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

PDF was originally touted as providing access to a secure document. Standard, reliable and secure. Since then, however secure the document, the apps break the system around them.

Bit like locking the riveted steel front door on the way out but breaking the kitchen window ...

9
0

Pluto plastered in what looks like 1970s orange wallpaper – proof

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Is this news?

Hubble imaged Pluto and found that it was a black/beige combination.

A newsflash to say "We're getting closer, we've fired up the colour cameras and they're working to specification" would be news.

A newsflash to say Pluto is beige feels a bit like hearing it on DaveJaVu ...

0
2

Graphene sheaths could boost processor signal speeds by 30 per cent

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re Cell phones

Pyrolytic graphite isn't graphene though it does contain "bits of" graphene as a product of its production process (in the same way that a cabbage contain lignins). The whole point of graphene is that it is a continuous sheet - and the problem with that is there are no interconnects (ie lattice defects) between the sheets to reduce the strength. Pyrolytic graphite is an impure source of graphene which allows lots of intra-lattice bonding - less strong, less electrically conductive but more usable and much, much cheaper than pure graphene.

Pure graphene is actually really useful for ... err ... and ... ummm ... other that graphene is useful for and obviously other things too. And it's a brilliant material because the His Royal Highness Cameron is investing loads into it and I totally trust his judgement with tax-payers cash.

0
0

Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Perhaps Philae's secret experiment package 14 will prove once and for all whether the Clangers are real, or if "the Clangers" are simply a disease resulting in a nasty itch ...

0
0

Fess up: which one of you Galaxies made all that gas?

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Data data data

Just wait until the whole thing comes on line and the data lines and storage arrays start to feel the heat of beeelions of phonabytes of data ...

(1 phonabyte = 1 teenager's phone data per second)

1
0

Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: OK can I just explain Cortana to a few people...

But since Tosh are including a button to *summon* it, the interface is obviously not as slick as ... "Cortana, you're always turned on so why have I had to press your buttons?"

"Cortana, what's wrong with using an existing function key?"

"Cortana, how much can I claim back from Tosh for the bundled copy of Win10 that I didn't want but Tosh are obviously dedicating their machines to run?"

2
3

Carbon nanotube memory tech gets great big cash dollop

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

In 2012 they reckon they were manufacturing 4Mb devices ... Their press release archive basically says 'we've got some more money (again)' but blatantly does not say "in three years we've been able to develop 8Mb devices" or "we've managed to commercialise a production system for 4Mb devices" or even "This is our demonstration product, look at what it can do, and here are the specs ...".

I think vapourware is about right.

1
0

Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Advertising

You pay electronically to go to this event, you pay electronically for why you consume in the event and presumable you pay electronically for what you dispose of at the event.

Why is there no opt out from having your personal information sold/supplied to 'other organisations' for advertising purposes? Every other ecommerce (ie electronic commerce) site has to have an opt in/out check box for use of your personal data ...how can this organisation specify it as a mandatory condition of service - share your data or don't attend?

I'm no expert but it feels like they're walking a very fine wire ...

18
0

Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Personally speaking I don't give a fig about 8K.

My house isn't big enough to make use of a screen that would justify it (unless I watch it through the window from the garden perhaps ...). The Freeview broadcast options at the moment consist of HD (restricted offering), HD upscaled (restricted offering), full SD (some), SD at minimum possible bandwidth (most). And, before someone says stream it, I'm unlikely to be able to support a full 8k res on my broadband feed which is currently bouncing off the 2Mb/s mark ...

Until I can get a decent broadcast feed at *current* resolutions without being stripped of £70 a month - and there's no sign of that in the next 20 years - why bother?

3
1

TERROR in ORBIT: Dodgy rocket burp biffs International Space Station off track

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: WTF

"... the A team is working on something else."

I don't buy that. These are almost 'mass produced' craft, not something new so QC and consistency of product off the production line *should* be good - if they aren't that's a failure in it's own right.

The Russians make a lot of money launching - a single failure of such a public vehicle is bad for PR, but the business will work it out and the company will be fine. Multiple failures make people talk to alternative suppliers - Chinese, Indians, ESO, SpaceX or whatever and, down the line, that's seriously bad for the company.

1
0
Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

WTF

Is it just me who can smell something odorous in the Russian space programme? Such a string of apparently unrelated faults and issues is, to say the least, unusual ... Either QC has fallen through the floor or perhaps a separatist has got his spanner in the works somewhere?

2
3

A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Unit fail?

I'm sorry but 'flops per watt' is so old hat ... surely there's an alternative reg notation?

Obviously the 'flopperwatt' or 'flatt' ... but how does that relate to olympic swimming pools, blue whales or wrists per second?

4
0

Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Semaphor Stations or Hill Top Beacons?

"bah, you kids are always in such a rush these days. Why can't they just write letters."

No can do.

They're selling the Post Office so it won't be too long before the Investment Wonkers (sp?) buying it get HM Gov to remove the 'deliver everywhere' clause to turn it into a 'deliver eventually' service, so if your cat goes missing in Loch Lothian you'll have to book it in advance ... "Dear Sarge, we're having a burglary next Friday in Inverness, if you could send a constable to assist ...Oh, and while I'm at it, there's a spontaneous riot planned in Glasgow on the 14th ..."

4
0

Bill Nye's bonkers LightSail spaceship unfurls solar sails at last

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Don't forget about Ikaros!

"... it passed Venus after six months and is now... somewhere (and I haven't been able to find a reference). It was last contacted in April this year."

Seems to be hibernating at the moment. Bit of info ...

http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/ikaros/topics.html#topics4743

1
0

Au-mazing! Cornwall sold GOLD to Ireland back in the Bronze Age

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Selling? Trading?

Why not Seamus O'Neanderthal nipping across at the dead of night on ye olde dug-out, tapping a Cornish pre-historic aristo on the noggin and nipping back to the land of the Leprechaun with gold as the proof of conquest?

3
6

Chips can kill: Official

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

I remember all this acrylamide crap in the 80s when we were not supposed to eat fried bacon or toast or anything that looked remotely palatable apart from Delia Smith (did I say that out loud?)

I'm still here, overweight, half dead, blind and bald but still quite capable of downing half a bottle of whiskey before a KFC breakfast bucket and still having time for a fag before going jogging ...

6
0

Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

... 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

Is Twitter a 'thing'?

2
2
Andy The Hat
Bronze badge

Re: Golden record...

... and if we're looking at this in proper "Time Team from Cetea Alpha 5" fashion, what we have is a golden disk that has a specially roughened surface to act as a grippy, load spreading surface so a support post doesn't slip sideways and a small nail used to centralise the post on the disk - accuracy was obviously important. From this we can infer the building was 1m high with a domed and thatched roof with finials and gable ends with a nice kitchenette and an area to play Scrabble ... The height shows the population was very short or worshiped on their knees ... Furthermore, since the disk is corrosion resistant gold and was positioned on the ground, the surface of the planet was marshy and soft, and the population couldn't wait to leave (as indicated by the crude drawing of a solar system on the disk).

31
0

Page:

Forums