* Posts by error handler

25 posts • joined 23 Sep 2011

Populous

error handler
Thumb Up

gog.com is absolutely excellent

Although if you're old enough to remember Populous from the first time around I would be very very careful about browsing their catalogue.

The last time I had a poke around on their website I spent fifty quid and then didn't get anything done for a month afterwards because I was playing RollerCoaster Tycoon.

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Neil Gaiman’s saucy pop wife agrees to pay her musicians in money

error handler

Re: Wait wait wait a minute!

Homer: Aw, twenty dollars? I wanted a peanut.

Homer's brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts.

Homer (urgently): Explain how.

Homer's brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services.

Homer: Woohoo!

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Russian cargoship fluffs Space Station docking test

error handler

Re: Metric? Imperial?

Indeed. This would be much easier if we were using proper measurements with a basis in the real world, so here are some better figures.

ISS is currently orbiting at a height approximately equal to 121,689 African elephants standing on top of each other.

The Russian cargo ship was at a distance of roughly 14,636 London bus lengths from ISS when it had a problem, and it has since backed off to 44,000 London bus lengths.

They're both orbiting at around 45 megafurlongs per fortnight (it's hard to visualise this sort of speed, but if you imagine a Reg journalist heading towards a pint of beer on the other side of the room you probably won't be too far off).

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PayPal is bleeding market share and it's all eBay's fault

error handler

"a sort of e-commerce operating system" ... using that metaphor doesn't help to elucidate what developers are supposed to do with X.commerce.

Oh come on, of course it does. We can leverage it to empower user communities with real-time transactions through a crowdsourced social networking meta-service.

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Behind every great athlete is a nervous network engineer

error handler

Atlanta 1996 website on archive.org

... the Atlanta Games in 1996, the first such event to have its own website

http://web.archive.org/web/19961022174839/http://www.atlanta.olympic.org/

The imagemaps and CGIs are dead, but all the news articles and photos seem to be there.

I didn't try the audio streaming but if anyone wants to give it a go the plugin requires Netscape Navigator v2 or higher running on Windows 95 or NT :-)

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Mensch pal Bozier defends Menshn security, dubs critics 'snippy geeks'

error handler

Re: Little 4 year old Bobby Tables writes his own SQL!

The same people that make quotation mark gestures with their fingers when they're talking.

I believe these people are the 17th group in line for the firing squad when the revolution comes, although I don't have my list handy right now so I can't check.

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MoneySavingExpert.com founder flogs website for £87m

error handler

Re: Bargain

a news letter full of factual content with regular readers numbering in the single digit millions.

... not to mention the (tens of?) millions of pounds in affiliate fees every year, of which well over half come from the company which has just bought the site.

So MoneySupermarket make a huge saving as they no longer have to pay a cut of their profits to MoneySavingExpert, and they get a brand new revenue stream in the form of all the other affiliate cash the site brings in.

Of course the deal will be dwarfed by the one I make in a few years when I sell my next startup, comparethecomparisonsites.com.

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Facebook stock plunge leaves tax-dodge Saverin WORSE off. Haa ha

error handler

Answer

According to www.whoownsfacebook.com - and I have no idea about its reliability, it was just the first result I found - he holds a 28.2% stake.

Google Finance says there are a little over 2.1 billion shares outstanding, so he's got about 600 million of them.

At the IPO price of $38, 600 million shares would have been worth $22.8 billion.

As of typing this FB is trading at $28.53 so that's down to $17.1 billion.

To drop him down to $1 billion would mean the share price would need to fall to about $1.67 (reducing FB's market cap to around $3.5 billion from the $80 billion it was at IPO).

Of course even if FB traded at $0.01 he'd be worth $6 million, which is a lot more than I am.

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Russian satellite beams home 121-megapixel pics of Earth

error handler

Excellent

See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74mhQyuyELQ (time lapse photos from ISS as it orbits)

Anyway, thanks El Reg. Now I'm feeling overcome with cosmic awe, and I have to go to work.

"THE SERVERS ARE MELTING!"

"I don't care. It doesn't matter. It's all too beautiful."

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Facebook tests paid post promotion

error handler

Re: Look at me, look at me

Closing your account? Click here to make sure your friends find out - only $4.99!

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Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

error handler

Re: No, You need to get real.

Kindly post a link to the document which lists crimes in order of severity.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/

http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/sentencing-guidelines.htm

HTH.

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Basic instinct: how we used to code

error handler

Re: No ELSE in Sinclair BASIC?

I thought so too, but it doesn't seem to be in the manual:

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/ZXBasicManual/

I was quite surprised about that. It's amazing what we take for granted.

On a side note, they really don't write manuals like this any more. Re ^ and its applicability to compound interest:

If you try this command

FOR y=0 TO 198: PRINT y,10*1.15^y: NEXT y

you will see that even starting off from just £10, it all mounts up quite quickly, and what is more, it gets faster and faster as time goes on. (Although even so, you might still find that it doesn't keep up with inflation.)

Excellent.

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error handler

Shop demo models

If you were messing around with a demo model in WH Smiths then a quick program along the lines of your first image was admittedly tempting:

10 PRINT "<MYNAME> RULES OK"

20 GOTO 10

However this was usually spotted very quickly and a shop floor bod would come over to sort it out.

I preferred the more subtle approach, which for the Dragon in your screenshot would have been:

10 CLS

20 PRINT "(C) 1982 DRAGON DATA LTD"

30 PRINT "16K BASIC INTERPRETER 1.0"

40 PRINT "(C) 1982 BY MICROSOFT"

50 PRINT

60 PRINT "OK"

70 GOTO 70

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Commodore founder Jack Tramiel dies at 83

error handler

Re: The ST was 32 bits

I heard that as well (and also that TOS stood for "Tramiel Operating System"), but the Atari official line was "Sixteen/Thirty-Two" and "The Operating System".

It may well have been that these were backronyms - the engineers and marketing guys were told it had to be called the ST and thought "well, it's got a 16-bit bus and a 32-bit processor, we can make that name work" - but you'd have to ask someone who was actually in the meeting to get a definitive answer to that.

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error handler

Re: The ST was 32 bits

It was even named as such.

ST = Sixteen/Thirty-Two

With variants:

STF = ST with a Floppy drive

STFM = ST with a Floppy drive and built-in TV Modulator

STE = ST enhanced (for certain values of "enhanced", anyway)

I believe there was also an STM model, but I never saw one in the wild, and there was a Mega ST variant which was an STF with the internals in a separate box to the keyboard.

This was followed by the TT (Thirty-Two/Thirty-Two) which had a 68030 processor and a 32-bit bus.

Finally there was the Falcon, 68030 processor with a separate 56001 DSP, strangely reverting to the 16-bit bus though. This was potentially a lovely bit of kit but it never really went anywhere - Atari killed it off so they could build the Jaguar but then found themselves competing against the Playstation 1, and the rest is history.

Anyway, thanks for everything Jack. Hope you're happy wherever you are.

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Who killed ITV Digital? Rupert Murdoch - but not the way you think

error handler

Re: Interesting comments, decent article.

If you'd finished that post with "HTH" it would have been sublime.

3
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Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'

error handler

Re: Uh huh?

Surely it'll be both downloads and physical media, rather than one or the other?

When Call Of Duty 23 for New Xbox comes out, if you can just stick it on the credit card, start it downloading, make a cup of tea and then start playing - basically Steam-for-Xbox-in-a-box - then I imagine a lot of people who live in big cities with decent Internet connections will be very interested in this.

This is also great for Microsoft as they now have a really easy and cost-effective distribution method, plus they're completely in control of these users, plus they can bang on about how green their new console is because it doesn't create any harmful plastic packaging which ends up in landfills.

But then again if you have a heavily capped DSL package, or you live in the middle of nowhere and have a satellite connection, or you just don't care about the Internet, or you don't like using your credit card online, then downloading a retail game isn't really an option: you need media.

These sorts of consumers aren't as tasty to Microsoft, but they still have money. Microsoft like money. They'll work out a way that means everyone gets to give them some.

What's really interesting is how people are going to react to the (presumably imminent) death of the pre-owned market: you can bet that no matter which delivery channel you opt for, the game is going to be locked down to one specific profile on one specific Xbox - and to move it, you'll need to buy the official Microsoft (r) Enjoyment Experience Transfer Device (tm), RRP $99 in the US and £99 in the UK, which will basically be a USB flash drive with a proprietary file system, the connection rewired in some sort of annoying non-standard way, and a kill switch that disables it after you've used it once.

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SimCity to return after 10-year holiday

error handler
Windows

Re: Attention Western Government!

For a moment I thought it was a real world planning tool, but then I got to the bit about the police being hyper-efficient.

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Ten... top Xbox Live game downloads

error handler

Also worth a look

Portal: Still Alive

Geometry Wars

Defense Grid

Chime

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Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

error handler

"By installing the Compatibility Pack in addition to Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able to open, edit, and save files using the file formats in newer versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint."

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=3

HTH.

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Reg man the most-flamed recruiter in the UK?

error handler

It was Van Halen.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/van-halens-legendary-mms-rider?page=8

(the whole rider is quite an entertaining read)

As I heard it, Van Halen's sets were particularly complicated and required some serious setup work on the part of the promoter and venue; if the band went backstage and found brown M&Ms then it was assumed the promoter also hadn't read the extremely detailed and critically important instructions on how to set up the stage, rigging etc.

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BT Tower falls over, crushes X Factor hopefuls

error handler

Unfortunately yes, it's still the same vomit spewing from the screen.

Boring, bland, plastic-wrapped, completely lacking in soul; nothing more than a rehash of last year's outing with a slight facelift but no attention paid to the fundamental flaws. One can't help but feel that the creators don't care at all about the quality of what they're churning out, and instead see the whole exercise as an opportunity to acquire another enormous pile of cash whilst simultaneously proclaiming themselves as artistic geniuses sent to save the world.

Anyway, enough about MW3.

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Play.com swallowed by Rakuten

error handler

Because Vodafone's head of tax affairs is an old mate of Dave Hartnett, the Permanent Secretary for Tax at HMRC, whereas Play's head of tax affairs presumably isn't.

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error handler

Think like a politician.

It's not just the tax. It's the sense of fair play, of right and wrong. At the moment there's no level playing field: if you're big enough to set up a distribution centre in Jersey then you get a 20% tax break that isn't available to smaller retailers based on the mainland. This discourages small business and free enterprise, and strikes against the concept of equal opportunity for all.

OK, larger companies get advantages from economies of scale that smaller companies don't have, that's just life, but using taxpayer's cash to subsidise a few big retailers to the tune of an extra 20%? If you were George Osborne I'm sure you'd agree there are much better things on which you could spend this money.

Imagine for a moment that you're The Right Honourable $YOUR_NAME, MP, holder of the office of Lord High Treasurer, one of the Four Great Offices of State: you are Second Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This a serious job. You sit as a personal advisor to the Queen on Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. The nation trusts you with its finances. You have sworn a solemn oath to act as a faithful and true servant. You must consider your actions carefully, and let wisdom and justice be your guides.

If you keep the MD of Play happy, your kids get a free Xbox. On the other hand, if you close this VAT loophole and spend the £130M/year with one of the big consultancy firms, you get a month in Tuscany over the summer, two weeks in the Carribean for Christmas, and when you're voted out at the next election there'll be a nice non-exec director's job waiting for you.

If you can think of a good way to frame what you're up to as some sort of principled stand against a contravention of Natural Justice (ref. my first two paragraphs) then you've got another "what a top bloke I am" chapter for your autobiography; once you've collected a few of these and a few "what bastards the other lot are" chapters you can publish for an extra bob or two.

Easy. Now let's get on with the MoD thing. Might be worth checking if any of your old University chums know anyone who runs a lightbulb-manufacturing company.

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Trust me, I'm a computer: Watson takes on health care challenge

error handler

The Jurassic Park book is better than the film, and at no point does a 10-year-old say "It's a UNIX system. I know this."

(Icon of a velociraptor eating a 10-year-old, please.)

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