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* Posts by Thoguht

66 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

Thoguht

Re: Political more than commercial

The real paradox is that the Windows Phone OS is free for many OEMs now, but you have to pay Microsoft protection money to use Android.

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Intel unleashed octo-core speed demon for the power-crazed crowd

Thoguht

@Joerg

No, I'm a bitter old man on Australian Shiraz who likes to run highly multi-threaded loads and who is sick and tired of the Intel/AMD duopoly and their CPU designs that are heavily stacked in favour of little kids on drugs.

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Thoguht
FAIL

All they are doing is getting rid of that piece of junk they call a graphics processor, and replacing it with a copy/paste of the four existing CPU cores. Oh, and throttling back the clock speed too. Can someone outside of Intel marketing please explain to me exactly why this shouldn't cost less than half of what it does?

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NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark

Thoguht
Headmaster

The length of the modern marathon was defined by the distance between the centre of Windsor and the former White City stadium rather than by anything Greek.

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Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

Thoguht
Headmaster

Feathers are nothing special

It's widely agreed now that all raptors (dromaeosaurids) had feathers, so finding yet another one with feathers is really not surprising. If the new microraptorine had NO feathers then that really would be newsworthy.

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Like frozen burgers, 'Bigfoot' DNA samples have a touch of horse

Thoguht
Headmaster

Finds all are extant animals?

No, that's not what the study says. It says that they were all extant EXCEPT the polar bear ones, which were closest to a Palaeolithic polar bear, not a modern-day one.

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NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

Thoguht

"The open source community has been criticized for failing to spot the flaw, but it lacks the resources of the NSA, which employs hundreds of code checkers to find flaws in common code."

I thought the whole point of open source was that countless numbers of NEETs were supposed to be sitting in their mommys' basements checking the code.

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European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive

Thoguht

Exactly

Just because a particular Directive has been invalidated, that doesn't also automatically invalidate the individual countries' laws that implement that Directive. Here's how it works:

1) European Union issues a Directive

2) Each individual EU country enacts a law to implement the Directive in some half-assed way, except for the UK, which implements every tiny bit of the Directive in obsessive detail and adds even more to it just for good measure

3) Each EU country then procedes to largely ignore that law, except for the UK, which scrupulously enforces every single last jot and tittle of it

If then the Directive is invalidated on human rights grounds then each individual country may or may not decide to repeal their own law that implemented the directive, except for the UK, which carries on regardless. If a country decides not to repeal the law then persons from that country could mount a challenge to the European Court of Human Rights, but that's a long and expensive journey.

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Think drone delivery is hot air? A BREWERY just proved you wrong

Thoguht

Given the current power-to-weight ratios of electrically-powered 'copters, and despite the bottle clinking effects, I am pretty sure that the box was empty.

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Microsoft tries to re-invent GPS with cloudy offloads

Thoguht

Re: Random thoughts

It is A-GPS, specifically the MSA variant. And it does reduce the amount of processing necessary on the device, but on the other hand you do have to transmit the raw GPS data over GPRS or some other service, which of itself uses some power. And really it's all snake oil anyway, because the reason battery life is poor when GPS apps are running is simply that those apps are keeping on running in the background instead of being suspended. MSA A-GPS will make virtually no difference to that.

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Free space optics gets shiny new snake-oil paint job

Thoguht
Headmaster

Free space optics?

Damn, I read that and thought they were giving Hubble away until I realised the article was about free-space optics.

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Microsoft releases wonderfully loopy experimental GIF-jiggler

Thoguht

For those wanting to try this...

It's for Win7 64-bit and above (with at least 8GB RAM supposedly required), plus you need the VS 2012 Update 4 runtimes if you don't already have them:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679

And it's nothing to do with GIFs specifically, it's MPEG4 in and out from what I can see.

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Oooh! My NAUGHTY SKIRT keeps riding up! Hello, INTERNET EXPLORER

Thoguht

Re: she's wearing panties...I've checked the video (twice)

How old? By some cosmic coincidence, she was born the same day as the first release of Internet Explorer, so she's over 18. Just.

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Thoguht
Headmaster

Buttocks?

Those aren't her buttocks, they are just her zettai ryouiki.

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Latest global menace: ELECTROPULSE NORKS, apparently

Thoguht
Headmaster

Hidden in a truck?

Perhaps El Reg's correspondents should actually read the articles they are linking to. The particular one about miniaturised nukes states that North Korea's current weapons would need to be hidden in a truck, not the miniaturised ones. During the Cold War, Russia was widely believed to have constructed a number of nuclear devices that would fit in a briefcase.

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Study: Arctic warming at 'stunning' rate – highest temps in 44,000 years

Thoguht
Mushroom

Re: greenies are wrong about almost everything

And what exactly isn't green about nuclear power? It's carbon-neutral, and is also the safest practical form of power generation (no, wind isn't practical because it only works part of the time, we're too far north for solar, and hydro and tidal power wreck ecosystems). Forget the environmental impact of fossil fuels, they should be banned simply on the grounds that they kill millions every year from air pollution. BUT OH NOES, WITH NUCLEAR WE END UP WITH ALL THIS RADIOACTIVE WASTE!!!! The uranium was already in the ground being radioactive and contributing to the general background radiation level, all nuclear power does it put it away somewhere we can keep a much closer eye on it.

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Thoguht
Headmaster

Re: While

Why give equal voice to those who are acknowledged experts in their field and those that have no knowledge of the subject? Because although they might have no knowledge of paleoclimatology, they might actually know something about statistics.

And no, I don't work for Shell or BP or Exxon or...

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Be still, my quivering atoms: Here's a new way to count a second

Thoguht

Re: Yes but how goes the chip version?

You can't dispense with the exterior signals because it's only by measuring their time-of-flight that you can triangulate your position. Having a clock in the GPS receiver with that kind of accuracy just means you could get a 3D fix with 3 satellites minimum instead of 4, so unless you could make one for a few pence, there would be little point in having it.

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After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

Thoguht

Re: There sure as hell is a need for press regulation

There is an old legal maxim - "hard cases make bad law". Of course this was a tragic case, but if, in order to safeguard the rights of a few (be they transgendered or super-rich), we trample over the rights of the many, then that is a bad law. Have your press regulator if you want, but don't come crying to me in a decade's time when bribery and corruption in government have become rife and the Press are powerless to expose it.

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Fake fingers fool Brazilian biometrics

Thoguht

Re: Not all fingerprint readers are the same

The last time I worked with fingerprint readers (admittedly very high-security ones), they would only operate if the finger was attached to a living human body. Given the environment they were used in, the worry was not so much that somebody would make fake silicone fingers, but that they would actually cut people's fingers off in order to gain unauthorised access.

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Incoming comet will probably miss Mars, says NASA

Thoguht

Life on Mars?

Not any more if that baby hits it. Better get your skates on, Curiosity!

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Toshiba boffins claim battery life boost with SRAM tweaks

Thoguht

Meanwhile, back in the distant past

I was designing (as it happens, Toshiba) SRAM into battery-powered handheld mobile computers over 30 years ago, and was able to get the standby power consumption of the devices down to a few microamps by doing nothing more than reducing the RAM voltage and turning everything else off. But then, 2KB was a lot of memory back in those days...

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UPnP scan shows 50 million network devices open to packet attack

Thoguht
Devil

Re: A security scanner that requires Java ! WTF?

The irony, the irony!

You beat me to it, there. A security scanner than requires you to install one of today's biggest security risks? Forget it. Better the devil you don't know than the devil you do, in this case. And open-source fanbois, check your facts rather than your navels before you start flaming.

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How can the BBC be saved from itself without destroying it?

Thoguht

"There's much discussion about "impartiality" this week, and how it can be measured..."

I wonder what the official unit of impartiality at The Register is? The cricket umpire, maybe?

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Ten... alien invasions

Thoguht

Re: Just a few errors...

The "Twiglet Zone"? Sounds horrifying!

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CERN catches a glimpse of Higgs-like boson

Thoguht
Angel

Re: Huh?

Thankfully, the Higgs boson is its own antiparticle, so no need to worry about that. Unless of course this means that God is also Satan...

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Amazon cloud knocked out by violent storms in Virginia

Thoguht

You answered your own question - "miniscule" being the operative word. I've worked at a large computer centre (still a fraction of the size of Amazon of course) and there they had a big room full of batteries to last for the few seconds it took to run up the secondary generators. These only lasted for a minute or so before they were getting really overloaded, but that gave the primary generators time to run up and stabilise. Now scale that up for an Amazon-sized server farm and see what kind of monstrous UPS plant that would need.

Basically, cloud computing is supposed to be sufficiently resilient that you don't need a UPS. Well, that's clearly more the theory than the practice.

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CERN confirms neutrinos don't break light speed

Thoguht

Re: Try that with mythology (aka Religion)

"...'science' never claimed to have 'power' in dealing with moral and existential questions..."

Oh dear, your copy of "My First History of Science" seems to have several chapters missing.

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Climate scientists see 'tipping point' ahead

Thoguht
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Yes...

As a premillennial dispensationalist myself, I thank the Lord that I am too old to be proved wrong in my own lifetime!

(Escape, because that's what the Rapture is all about)

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Sunshine nudges asteroid into odd orbit

Thoguht
Facepalm

Sour grapes?

So, how many grapes of force will be exerted on the asteroid by landing a probe on it, collecting a sample, and blasting off back to Earth? Wouldn't it be ironic if the orbital perturbation were just enough to change it from Earth-crossing to Earth-colliding.

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Russian satellite beams home 121-megapixel pics of Earth

Thoguht
Trollface

Re: Whew.

Pretty well, actually. This kind of image is easy to explain - have you never heard of fisheye lenses?

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Thoguht

No precedent for programming language copyright?

Anyone sufficiently long in the tooth to have programmed Intel and Zilog 8-bit microprocessors in assembly language will remember that Zilog were forbidden from using the same instruction mnemonics as Intel because Intel had claimed copyright on theirs. By extension, it should be possible to copyright a programming language, but maybe only as long as the reserved words it used were original inventions and not taken from a pre-existing language.

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Death Star dinosaur aliens could rule galaxy

Thoguht

Extinction Level Events

OK, so if the dinosaurs hadn't been wiped out they might still rule the Earth. But mass extinctions happened quite regularly, so surely the dinosaurs themselves only got a look in because the previous apex species (amphibians?) got eliminated. Perhaps the galaxy is really run by newts and axolotls...

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Whisky IN SPAAAAACE: Zero-G Scotch is matured aboard the ISS

Thoguht

Re: Finally! Some serious scientific research.

The requirement for the liquid to be able to circulate during the maturation process is precisely why some Norwegian aquavits spend part of their time on board ships, travelling to Australia and back before being bottled. No movement, no maturation.

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Arizona bill makes it illegal to 'annoy or offend' online

Thoguht
FAIL

Obviously El Reg's correspondent didn't actually bother checking the story out before posting it. According to an article in the Phoenix New Times, the bill was never transferred to the governor for signing, contrary to the numerous media reports saying it had been. It was amended before it passed the Senate, meaning it was returned to the House where it's apparently been stopped.

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Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS

Thoguht

Re: @Thoguht

Obviously I didn't check my ambiguometer before posting! What I meant was that the possibility that under-monitoring might allow an atrocity is the price of freedom. You can't have freedom and security, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

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Thoguht

Re: What have you missed ...

This is what we call "the price of freedom".

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Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

Thoguht

Offshoring jobs to help the unemployed? Such delicious irony...

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Bio student thrown in the clink for Muamba Twitter rant

Thoguht

I suspect that should be "7-8 minutes" and not "78 minutes"!

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How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

Thoguht

Safe?

Somebody once asked me if I thought it would be OK for their children to use the Internet unsupervised. I replied that it would be fine as long as they'd be happy to let them walk naked through a red light district at midnight.

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NASA study identifies the ‘low hanging fruit’ in climate change

Thoguht
Mushroom

Killer Soot?

Yet another reason for the nuclear option. The annual death toll from fossil fuels runs into the millions (WHO figures, not enviroloonies). The total death toll in the entire history of the nuclear industry is a fraction of that, even if you take a ridiculously-inflated view of the Chernobyl mortality figures.

And despite this there was some totally stupid program on the TV saying that a small earthquake centuries ago may have caused a storm surge on the River Severn and therefore it was unsafe to site nuclear power stations there. "Friends of the Earth"? You may love the Earth, but you clearly hate the people who live on it.

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AMD claims 'world's fastest GPU' title

Thoguht

Let's just hope this new chip isn't such a disaster as the over-hyped and under-performing Bulldozer architecture. The industry needs real competition for the sake of everyone.

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US spy drone hijacked with GPS spoof hack, report says

Thoguht

Of course submarines use GPS, that was why satellite navigation systems were created in the first place. The subs simply deploy an antenna buoy from time to time to get their fix.

As has already been pointed out, the accuracy of intertial navigation systems degrades rapidly after the initial fix. It's fine to rely on it if you are lobbing weapons that devastate areas miles across, but useless for spy drones.

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Lovefilm dumps Flash, BLINDS Linux fans with Silverlight

Thoguht

Microsoft, Amazon, Sky. Yes, very small-fry minorities indeed.

Wake the fuck up, everyone, the days of beards, sandals and free love ended long ago.

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Amazon quietly acquires voice capability

Thoguht

I believer that the "assumed name" thing is simply the way that takeovers are often done in the US. The purchaser creates a wholly-owned subsidiary company, and then that buys the target company. Eventually, the subsidiary can then be merged back in to the parent company.

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HTC Titan WinPho 7.5 smartphone

Thoguht
Headmaster

Minor point I know, but it's an Aztec code, not a QR code. QR is probably the most common symbology used with phones, but Aztec is gaining traction in some vertical markets.

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Farewell then, Sony Ericsson

Thoguht

My phone is a K810i. I've never upgraded because it does everything I need a phone to do - it's small, light, and it has a decent camera with a xenon flash, not the pathetic LED "flash" that you get these days. Plus the battery still lasts for days at a time even though it's over 5 years old.

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Father of Lisp and AI John McCarthy has died

Thoguht

Indeed, in the version of LISP I used in the mid 70's, it was possible to write fully-procedural code.

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Tool lets low-end PC crash much more powerful webserver

Thoguht

I for one don't care what their motives are - over the past months it has become abundantly clear that SSL in its current form is well past its use-by date, so the sooner it gets fixed or replaced the better.

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Provider: Anti-piracy ruling has 'killed Usenet'

Thoguht

Living in the past...

Most Usenet binary content really is in binary, not text.

The old text-based methods of encoding binary fell out of use years ago - most of it is now yEncoded, which uses virtually all of the 256 possible values of each byte. Therefore it would be trivially easy to filter out. However, once you start filtering out yEncode, people will simply stop using it and go back to Uuencode or Base64 which are pure printable text encodings. But even then, it's trivially easy to spot encoded binary in these forms. So, people will develop encodings that cannot be trivially detected - they'll take up rather more storage space and bandwidth, but that's not exactly expensive these days.

The other thing about binary content is that it's BIG. Yes of course it's split into multiple small messages, but even then they have to be reassembled somehow and so the message subjects contain this information. This makes the typical "infringing content" trivially easy to detect simply by its size. Of course, it would be possible to invent a scheme where the message subjects were assigned at random. You'd still need indexing sites though, which could then be the subject of prosecutions.

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