* Posts by Ashton Black

205 posts • joined 10 Dec 2010

Page:

Huge gravitic lens flare unveils EINSTEIN CROSS SUPERNOVA

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Nice work astroboffinry!

Very cool stuff. (Granted, a supernova is something like 100 billion deg K, but you get my point)

1
0

Win! El Reg exceedingly fine mug collection

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Yorkshire Tea is fine, but...

It has to be the hard water version, to get the strength correct (along with warming the mug with a little hot water first).

1
0

BOFFINS: Oxygen-free, methane-based ALIENS may EXIST on icy SATURN moon Titan

Ashton Black
Bronze badge
Joke

@hi_robb

Have an upvote. I despair at the standards of El Reg. In my day the "I for one..." obligatory comment would be at least in the top three comments.

3
0

Ericsson, Telstra and Qualcomm up the ante with 600Mbps demo

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Willy Waving

Can you link to what you mean?

I thought the Shannon Limit was to do with Bandwidth/Noise/Error-Correction ratios. I'd be interested to learn more!

0
0
Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Nice.

At that sort of speeds, could we finally see a reason to ditch the landline once and for all. I mean, even 150MB would put most fibre/cable installations to shame. Alas, I doubt the technology would make it's way to deepest darkest Somerset anytime soon.

1
0

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Ahem, excuse me...

I take it you're just asking for a friend?

16
0

Samsung in second SSD slowdown SNAFU

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Balls....

I just bought one of these, as a replacement for my aged X-25 (64Gb). *sigh*. Damn me and my lack of research.

0
0

HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Monkies in tin cans.

Unfortunately, with our current technology and the human passion for things that go boom and blow other humans into bite sized chunks, I am not optimistic about this happening any time, let's say, within my lifetime.

Until, company or government can make more money by doing something in space rather than down at this end of the gravity well, then I'm afraid relying on altruism or curiosity won't cut it.

As an aside: the NASA budget in 1966 was 4.41% of the total government spend. In 2014 it was approximately 0.5%

2
1

£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Basically...

Why, yes it does!

0
0
Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Basically...

Government IT Contracts 101:

1) Requirements written on the back of a fag packet. Certainly not addressing "typical and extraordinary" usage cases.

2) These requirements, lost, when in translation into legalise for the contract.

3) Duly signed off by a committee who didn't understand the requirements in the first place.

4) Shock horror when the IT Biz delivers what the contract says.

5) Change or Terminate contract at great cost.

Rince/Repeat.

5
0

Got $600 for every Win Server 2003 box you're running? Uh-oh

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Over a barrel.

Now.... bend over. A nice little earner for Microsoft.

6
4

Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Expanding, not extending.

Unfortunately, for me anyway, they won't be coming anywhere near out village. It appears, that they are concentrating on urban areas. *shrug* So it goes. Privately owned businesses will always choose the more profitable areas, first and foremost.

*sigh* Back to my 1.7Mb ADSL. (On a good day)

3
3

Air gaps: Happy gas for infosec or a noble but inert idea?

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Air Gap

It doesn't need to be steel lined room. Tempest shielding (basically a Faraday cage), can be done at rack or room level. It's basically conductive material, well earthed and there are a number of companies who specialise in this.

eg: http://www.euro-emc.co.uk/Products/TEMPEST-EMSEC-Protected-Areas.aspx

0
0

Unsurprising report: UK local govt sites remain totally crap

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Ya pay peanuts.

I've worked with chaps who ran IT in local councils. As talented as these guys were, they were paid a pittance, swamped with idiotic management, changing priorities, empire building, hamstrung by a lack of resources and a resistance to change that, if in the private sector, would mean the company moving swiftly into bankruptcy.

12
0

Elon Musk: Hover rocket? Check. Hover ship? Check. Let's DO THIS

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Oh man...

Elon is playing real life Kerbal Space Program.I'm so envious!

1
0

Why 1.6 million people will miss Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 date with fate

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Rockin' hard place.

I've contracted at a number of businesses that would want to upgrade, but have fallen into a technical trap. They purchased bespoke, carefully tailored apps, written, at great cost which run their business or manufacturing processes. It's not the problem of upgrading windows, but in shelling out to have these varied esoteric applications either upgraded in parallel or in some cases, completely re-written.

In one case, a re-write of some control software for laboratory networks, was quoted at £1.2million since the company who wrote it was bought out by BAe several years ago and they didn't want to do it. (This was to go from a Win2k3 to Win2k8R2 box... one box).

12
0

WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

...and which TLA will be the first?

Any guesses which three (or four) letter agency will be the first to say to Samsung... "We want to listen in on X, the proud owner of one of your TVs. Here is a letter saying we can and that you can't talk about it."

5
0

$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

I was going to whinge about this article, it being obvious bunk and all that, but I've actually enjoyed reading the reviews on various sites, so not a complete waste of time. Some of them are poetry of piss taking!

1
0

US DoJ okays IEEE's patent troll BAN-HAMMER

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: The trolls want to have their cake and eat it too

Well said.

0
0

Hey, America. Canada's watchdog just slapped net neutrality rules on wireless internet

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: How is this net neutrality?

It sort of is, it's the differentiating the data between "local" and "other's'" data and in some way prioritising "local". That could be by QoS/Throttling or by charging more for "other's" data, both have the same net effect

2
0

Snoopers' Charter amendments withdrawn – FOR NOW ...

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Yuk, not again

Unfortunately, in this case, it was unelected peers in the House of Lords, rolling the dice. To be fair, it would have had to go back through the Commons for a debate/vote, but nevertheless, it wasn't elected MPs that bunged this in.

That all said, I have no trust in our elected douchebags to act in the interests of the majority.

Edit: Beaten to it!

14
1

Elon Musk SNOWED UNDER with Googley DOLLARS for Space Internet

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Sat Comms.

Who is the target market for this? I don't see billions of $$$ in the rural, currently not covered by anyone, market and generally speaking urban areas are covered by landlines which have, by and large, better latency. (If not bandwidth)

0
0

NASA probe snaps increasingly detailed shots of MOIST DWARF goddess

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Excellent work by NASA!

4
0

Come and Twiddle Tek Gear's one handed keyboard

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Voice..

I'm not so sure that this will get very far. The trade off in learning a new input style compared with the ease of voice. Which since the likes of Siri and Google Now, has come a LONG way. I use google now a lot.

3
3

Alan Turing's LOST NOTEBOOK goes under the hammer

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Lottery Fund...

I for one, wouldn't mind the Lottery Fund buying it and donating it to Bletchley!

5
0

Sorry, Qualcomm, Apple – your patents don't scare us

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Kill them with fire...

That's quite the interpretation.

The problem is, it was never about "sharing the wondrous new discovery" for most inventors/companies it was about "making the most money from the wondrous new discovery."

Additionally, how do we know that you actually HAD the same idea? May I suggest it's significantly quicker and cheaper to reverse engineer an item, than it is to complete, potentially years of R&D?

3
1
Ashton Black
Bronze badge
Joke

I do wonder, sometimes...

If all the patent lawyers in the world were laid end to end across the Atlantic... then how much happier I would be?

5
0

Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Before that, Windows Vista was the pariah

Fair point, but 98-SE was pretty good. Before that Windows ME was teh ebil!

2
0

Earth-bound exoplanet hunter's eyes blink open

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: So they can see planets so far away but no high quality Moon pics ?

Well actually no, they can't "see" planets at those distances at all. They're inferring their existence by looking at the changes in the spectra of the stars they're orbiting. From this they can work out, or at minimum an educated guess of , the mass, temperature, orbital speeds and possibly even what the planet is primarily made of. You won't be seeing any pics anytime soon either. I've heard it described as like trying to see a candle right next to a 40kW searchlight from 1 mile away.

0
0

Silicon Valley WAGE-FIX: Tech firms mull new deal to kill staff lawsuit

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Big fine... but.

Will it stop others from doing this or themselves doing it again? It seems that the Tech firms were pretty blasé about how they went through with the collusion. If it will save them money in the longer term, they will just be more circumspect about it.

4
0

iPhone addiction will RUIN YOUR LIFE – if only that were true

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

I'm quite surprised they didn't shoe horn "exo-cortex" in there somewhere. Not a great study, with seriously ambitious conclusions for one with no control group and such a small, non representative sample size.

2
0

IBM hastens END OF HUMANITY with teachable AI 'brain'

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: What exactly was the human error rate?

Well if it was my handwriting that they were analysing, then I'd estimate close to 100%.... failure.

3
0

It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: Outdated stereotypes

"Hey yous guys, ged oudda here or I'll plug ya full a lead!"

4
0
Ashton Black
Bronze badge

How come...

USB? Why not a proprietary connection? I know it's not totally secure, but at least it's not "universal." Additionally, surely it's only authorised repair / maint people who connect to this? If so, why not white list their hardware IDs?. Again, not totally secure, but it's a start.

2
3

Alien Earths are out there: Our home is not 'unique'

Ashton Black
Bronze badge
Joke

Re: Nice simple recipe

They couldn't afjord the fees.

31
0

Seagate makes CES splash with $99 drive, 'personal' cloud offerings

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: personal cloud

Indeed, my first thought also. Though the 7mm 500Gb drive does look quite cool.

0
0

Elite:Dangerous goes TITSUP

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: I've been thinking about playing....

4,500 Cr. But honestly, docking in E:D is an order of magnitude easier than the original. Ahh the joy of lateral thrusters!

7
0

Space Commanders lock missiles on Elite's Frontier Devs

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: If I'd wanted a connected game I'd play Eve

Huh? Multiple ship ownership is intrinsic in the game, no need for RL cash.

For RL cash, currently anyway, you can get cosmetic changes only.

There was a poll on the forums, some time ago, about micro transactions, which overwhelmingly went for "cosmetic" only.

If you could link to your source, I'd be pleased to be shown I'm wrong.

8
1

FLASH! Aaa-aaah. 3D NAND will save every one of us

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: 19TB is a lot of porn

It's a good quote, but ol' Bill denied ever saying it.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2534312/operating-systems/the--640k--quote-won-t-go-away----but-did-gates-really-say-it-.html

Have an up anyway!

2
1

UK banks ill-prepared for return of the rabid POODLE

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

So, which UK bank is the most secure? The only comparison I could find was from before Poodle raised it's furry head.

2
0

The STEALTH Plug-in Hybrid: Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: What happens to the grid ...

Well.... See, on a national scale, it depends on the make up of your power generation system, obviously.

In China/India/US, for example, where electricity is generated primarily with coal, then, these are no better than using petrol cars (equiv to 25-35 MPG) with an average of 200g-300g+ CO2e/km (equivalent carbon dioxide per vehicle kilometer)

Compare this to, say, Paraguay, at 70g CO2e/km or Canada at 115g CO2e/km.

To answer your question, if all of the UK went electrical cars, with our current grid, it would be as if, we all started using petrol/hybrid cars now, an increase of 20-30 MPG equivalent.

These figures, do include the 20-30% increase in manufacturing costs and lower lifetime of the cars.

Anyway, here's the report where I got these figures

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/electric-car-emissions

5
4

Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

"Perfectly Well"

Can they spell Oligopoly? The US Cell Phone Operator's market is given as an example of this on Wikipedia!

11
0

Rolling the ATTACK DICE in King of Tokyo

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Cool. Being playing this one for a while. It's ace, and a good one for any budding tabletopists (yeah ok..... gamers). Next I'd recommend moving onto Munchkin. That's a brilliant game.

http://www.worldofmunchkin.com/game/

1
0

The Grandmaster: Epic, heart-melting, oh and there's lots of kung fu

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Chinese / HK film making has come a hell of a long way. This looks particularly good. I'll be looking out for this.

1
0

UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: So its not VAT

I see what you did there.... have an up.

1
1
Ashton Black
Bronze badge

I'm confused...

To avoid corp tax, which is on profit. (revenue - costs), the UK divisions, "pay" their Irish/Other HQ for "costs" such as IP which just happens to cost roughly the same as the profit they would have made, without these HQ costs and therefore the UK division pays very little corp tax.

If this 25% is on profit, then it STILL won't be very much. So either:

1) Gidion knows this and is telling porkie pies.

2) Gidion doesn't know this and is an idiot.

or

3) I've misread/misunderstood something and am also an idiot.

Anyone help?

34
2

Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Yep, another!

Love his work! Just bought the audio book of What If? Narrated by Wil Wheaton, of all people.

3
0

Blade Runner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

Re: The full quote, please...

Well if you want to "blow" stuff up, you'd have to get Michael Bay to direct. BOOM!!!

1
0

Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

+1 for these:

Notepad++

VLC

PuTTY

WinRAR

1
0

Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU

Ashton Black
Bronze badge

So....

Goodbye Google.co.uk. Hello Google.com, or Google.ca, Google.au etc etc ?

9
2

Page:

Forums