Feeds

* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

1499 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: "Red X on tunnel"

Of course, because using the Lane Closed sign for "Queue Ahead" is so obvious!

Oh, those signs are there as well, further back, but the Craigies of this world don't read them.

Closing the outside lane and funneling the traffic into two lanes before the tunnel moves the queue to the input side of the tunnel, where it's easily seen, away from the long curve through and after the tunnel where it then flows more freely.

0
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

@Cragie Re: Red X

They put a red X on one lane of a tunnel round here when there's a major slowdown after the tunnel, to avoid people sailing through the tunnel at 50MPH & smacking into the back of the queue they didn't know was there. People still ignore it, since the tumnel looks clear. They learn the hard way, as you will. Hope you don't kill anyone else when you do.

4
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Go

Re: I'm not sure

But honestly officer, it said "Green Light" on the display, right there.

6
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Genuine reason.

PS. Don't try to open your car doors at speed. The wind blast could slam it back on you. Another stupid driver proved it.

There's a reason why rear-hinged doors used to be called "suicide doors"

5
0

Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: I think...

you have to compare the US ticket price with the UK ex VAT price

Exactly. The figures given in the article are exaggerated, and seemingly chosen to give the worst impression

The UK Kindle Fire that costs £329 in the UK is the entry-level HDX 8.9" (including special offers). Before VAT that works out to £274, or $468 at current rates.

The current US price is $379, so the UK price is 23% more, not 39.5% as claimed.

If, instead, you compare the top-end 64GB/4G one, the prices are $625 (UK) versus $594 (US), which is only a 5% difference.

Do we have any consumer tech exports?

Even if we do, they're probably made in the same Chinese factories as the US "exports".

2
2

THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Reg unit?

5 DVD's at 4.7GB each

Sure they aren't dual-layer?

0
0

Microsoft's Xbox TV studio OBLITERATED

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Orac in a box

A perspex box with fairy lights and a bad attitude.

I didn't realize Windows Phone was that old.

1
0

Hi-tech Fagin couple used Apple scam cash to fly pickpockets to UK

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: To be fair....

Greengrocers' apostrophes with initialisms like USB are often tolerated, as they are with dates like "70's"

1
1

That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Thumb Up

"XL WD"

Brilliant.

2
0

British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Retro...

Royal Mail keeps a database of where every item was posted from and the recipient.

Royal Mail has enough trouble telling you where your parcel is today, the chance of it knowing where a parcel was three weeks ago is pretty close to nil.

4
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: @Ross K - for some definition of paedophile...

TL:DR

I wish The Register had some kind of ignore list so I didn't have to come across you again

Classic. You can't be bothered to read comments that don't fit with your preconceived opinions, and just want to pretend that the people who disagree with you aren't there.

That's a pretty clear definition of "bigot".

5
1
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: for some definition of paedophile...

the bit about catching people before they cross the line, it has a delicious Minority Report to it

Except that it didn't say catching, it said influencing, i.e. "think before you click, we may be watching you".

4
0

Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Resiliency Model

What appears to be a resilient server looks like it relies quite heavily on the application configuration (i.e. Oracle RAC etc.) to achieve resiliency, rather than making sure the server can take failures.

Why does that matter? For most users the important thing is the resilience of the system as a whole. Whether an appropriate level of resilience is achieved in hardware alone, or with co-operating hardware and software, is just an implementation detail.

Certainly you can make very resilient hardware like Tandem & its ilk, at a substantial cost in redundant subsystems. Do you always need that? Statitstically, very little system downtime is due to hardware faults, most is human error and software problems. Few applications need bleeding-edge resilience-at-any-price hardware, for a given application youi'll need a certain level of resilience, and what's important is to provide that at an appropriate price point.

0
0

Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Never been much of a golfer, but I could learn.

If you lose your balls in the rough, do you get a free stroke?

0
0

Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Soon to be (unfortunately)...

If something is patented it can't be locked away, since a fundamental purpose of the patent process is publication.

3
3

Study of Brit students finds TXTING doesn't ruin your writing

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Unhappy

txting hasn't hurt my writing

But 30-odd years of primarily using a keyboard has played merry hell with my handwriting. I can hardly read what I've written myself, these days.

8
0

David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Mandatory roaming would reward operators who invested the least in their own rural networks, and increase intra-company haggling.

Not necessarily. It's called "National Roaming" and works in France, where the regulator has designated certain sparsely-populated rural areas as "zones blanches". The operators effectively agreed to share these areas out among themselves, rather than all incurring the expense of installing competing networks. The cell ID shows up as "F-CONTACT" instead of "F-SFR" or "F-Orange", etc. Outside the zone blanches cross-operating roaming does not apply.

28
0

Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Industrial use.

Companies like Boeing already use this technology for their service techs, they have heads-up displays that can superimpose wiring diagrams over cable looms during aircraft maintenance.

2
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: No symetrical frames

Or you could integrate a Wicked Lasers Arctic 2W laser in to the side and burn a hole in anyone who dares to laught.

You mean like http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2014-06-21/ ?

4
0

Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Can't see it catching on widely enough

As the article says, to directly control these sorts of appliances you would need to mess about with holes in your firewall, static addresses or dynamic DNS, etc. Most ordinary folks won't want anything which needs that much hassle. The alternative, as described, is to buy gadgets that are configured via a third-party website, where the devices poll for instructions. That immediately locks you in to one supplier, who may change a fee either now, or in the future, assuming they're still there in the future.

Sure, Google probably won't go bust in the next 10 years, but we've all seen home music devices that relied on external servers to get streaming data, and when the service went titsup you were left with a fancy paperweight. Not to mention what happens when the service gets hacked & some script kiddie in China has fun playing with your central heating while you're away, so you come home to a flooded house from burst pipes in winter, or crispy pot plants and a sauna in August.

In essence, to get a level of convenience that works for an ordinary user, you're not buying Home Automation devices, but "Home-Automation-as-a-Service", and look how well the Smart Meter concept is going down.

That to me, and I suspect to the public at large, is not an interesting or cost-effective use case. Personally I'm tempted to do something myself with Raspberry Pis or Arduinos, but that's not a mass-market model. Maybe the folks buying £10m houses will be willing to pay a monthly fee for a "home management" service, but I reckon most ordinary folks will stick with a thermostat and a timer.

4
0

France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: mmmh...

I really should register gTLDs ... .bullshit...

The Bahamas already got there with .bs

0
0

Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Im confused, ,

Well, if he sits under that tree long enough...

3
0

Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: What puzzles me ...

They represent about a day's work when you have to mow the bloody field.

Isn't that what sheep were invented for?

1
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Must be my mind

but when I read the headline I assumed that:

a) he was drunk

b) it wasn't his leg that had got stuck.

4
0

Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: I have a query

Trivially easy, but there would be no income stream for the phone companies...

1
0

KA-BOOOM! Boffins blow up mountain to make way for telescope

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Alien

Marvin would be happy

Always good to see an earth-shattering kaboom as part of telescope construction.

16
0

Space station 'nauts will use URINE-FUELLED ESPRESSO MACHINE

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Re: I estimate that...

Why would they go anywhere near the swill that Starbucks laughingly call coffee?

They'll be using recycled piss, so they're already halfway therel

1
0

Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Be glad they arrive at all. I've had to stop using suppliers who ship by UPS, they can never find my house, or don't bother to try. Tracking one recent, correctly-addressed, parcel showed that it left the depot at 7am, and was returned at 8am as undeliverable, despite the fact that it would take at least an hour to get from that depot to chez moi, never mind there and back.

4
0

We'll PROBE Pluto's MOON CRACKS for mystery ocean – NASA

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Pluto's MOON CRACKS must be PROBED

Mickey and Donald seen looking very worried.

0
0

How practical is an electric car in London?

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: More privileges?

I see *awful*, dangerous, hideous driving every single day. I would like to see people stopped for such behaviour, and their driving privilege revoked. It doesn't need to be for long - a week's ban would be effective - but it needs to be enforced.

It would be enforced until the next election, when those responsible would find themselves looking for new work.

Much as I'd like to see poor driving punished, I don't agree that it would push people to public transport, not over a 1-week ban. More likely the banned driver would find another family member to drive them for a week, and that person would probably be less used to driving in heavy rush-hour traffic, and the overall standard would go down.

I'd prefer to ban all the gadgets which make it possible to drive without thinking. Ban parking aids, hill-start aids, automatic lights/wipers, lane followers, sign cameras. If people want to drive make them actually drive, if they want the car to drive them by itself, they should get the bus.

1
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: More privileges?

The problem is that the service sucks, is hugely intermittent and is grossly over-priced.

I'd quite like to see bus lanes around here getting used more than once an hour

I wouldn't disagree, bus lanes take over 33%-50% of road space, but only take a few % of road users away from cars, hence making the jams worse because the cars are forced into less space.

The only way to get them used more than once an hour would be to make the buses smaller, so that you don't have huge vehicles with 90% of the seats empty (which is why they're so expensive even when subsidised). The logical endpoint of that, of course, is 5-seater buses with flexible destination parameters,otherwise known as "cars".

2
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Dead end.

The vast majority of trips taken in cars are less than 40 miles so range is much less of an issue than people's perception of range.

That's a spurious argument. Even if 95% of your journeys are < 40 miles, you're screwed for the other 5%, unless you're flush enough to have two cars, which is even less environmentally friendly.

Classic response, of course, is "just rent an ICE car for the 5%" but that only works because the overwhelming majority of cars are ICE. If most cars were electric then ICE cars would only be required for rental, and there would be huge demand at bank holiday weekends and little for the rest of the time. That's not a viable business model for any rental agency, they can't afford to have fleets of tens of thousands of cars sittting idle, even if anyone was willing to make such cars at a reasonable price.

6
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: More privileges?

Are you saying that leccy cars can't overtake cyclists?

Not while remaining in the lane, unless they crowd the cyclist up the kerb. To overtake requires that there be enough space in the adjoining lane to pull out, in which case the leccy car could be using that lane just like an ICE one.

5
0

Satellite 'net hype ignores realpolitik

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Mix the technologies

Use a mobile phone network for the User->Internet, with satellite only for the return path. In theory you could send a URL via an SMS message, and get GB of download over the return path. OK, latency is shit, but so what? It's not an issue for most things.

1
0

AV for Mac

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Re: AV for Mac

Mother-in-law has managed to get malware on her Mac. Anyone recommend a no fuss AV?

You could try something like this

Or were you looking for something for the Mac?

0
0

'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Just to muddy the waters further...

I remember BT calling it a gate, when they made the move to keypad phones with * and # in the early 80s. They used US practice for several things, but wouldn't copy the "pound sign" terminology in the UK to avoid confusion. It was widely known that the "proper" name was octothorpe but no-one wanted to put that in customer documentation.

1
0

Splash! Three times as much water as ALL of Earth's oceans found TRAPPED underground

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

ringwoodite

Which I read at first as ringworldite. Rereading it was a disappointment.

4
0

CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

I am surprised they have not just had him assassinated alread

That would only fuel their critics. Much better to have Snowden as a fugitive, he's already fallen off the edge of most newspapers' short-term-memory and been forgotten by the general public, but the NSA can always warm the hunt up again if they need more gung-ho publicity or a bargaining chip with Putin.

3
0

BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Pint

enhanced experiences

Getting caught up in exercises designed to "enhance the workplace experience" is always a painful time for me.

I've always enjoyed the ones that started around 3pm on a Friday.

Happy 13th!

0
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

SH..

Allegedly the original name for what became Grampian TV was to be Scottish Highlands and Islands Television until someone was doodling a logo...

0
0

Spaceplane design nipper Ariadne gets a promotion

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Design Envelope?

What about a suitably-printed pint glass? I got one at our last company internal event, definitely a useful addition to the very large selection of mugs I already have.

5
0

Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: First modem

110 baud acoustic coupler

Ah, the days when a 1200/75 Prestel modem seemed like an amazing leap upwards. It displayed text almost as fast as you could read it!

3
0

Wedding tackle started out as PROTO-SHARKS' LEGS, boffins say

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

I suppose that might explain...

...the attraction of shark fin soup?

0
0

PICS ON GROUND: Cabbies PARALYZE London in Uber rebellion

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile the french are enjoying an SNCF strike

And a taxi strike, the drivers with the the official medallions are protesting about Uber in Paris as well. Uber reckons business this evening was 9x normal. How will the licensed drivers cope, it's hard to drive when you've shot yourself in both feet.

6
0

Google calls on carriers to craft IoT plans

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Not a suitable model...

Of course, if some cheap plan that allowed a few KB of data per day for pennies were available I can see gadget manufacturers creating devices to use it for SMS and/or twitter, thus upsetting the phone companies who rely on selling unnecessarily expensive data plans to smartphone users...

1
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Will it scale?

you'd need to pick a different addressing scheme than phone numbers

Not necessarily. E.164 defines a 15-digit numbering scheme for worldwide phone numbers, with a max of 14 digits for national numbers. Even allowing for "illegal" numbers such as ones that begin 000 or 999 there's still likely to be some 46 bits of address available, which is about the same as the MAC address range. Most devices wouldn't need to be individually addressible anyway, so some number sharing would be possible.

0
0

Russian Interior Ministry cuffs iPhone ransomware suspects

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Re: They can tell that so quickly?

Can phones blush?

I'm sure Apple have a patent in the works.

2
1

Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Is the author sure that that 5-year-old car with 42km on the clock isn't dealer shorthand for 42K miles, which makes the depreciation closer to 60p/mile? Still nasty, but somewhat more realistic.

1
0

Boob Tube BOFFINS finger Red Button, trigger TELLY MAYHEM

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

The 'Internet of Things' indeed. Fucking nightmare waiting to happen if you ask me.

The only possible saving grace is than when TVs get infected due to poor security, the resultant class action suit could have millions of adherents. At even $100/head that should make the suppliers take notice.

4
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Overpower broadcast signal?

You wouldn't have to overpower an existing signal, most digital TV systems are watching for new channels, and will pop up a "new channels found" box when they see one. You can usually turn it off, but by default it's on. Call it "free porn" or "lottery channel" and there'll always be someone who'll switch to it, just to see what it is. That would be enough to download & run an embedded app. Cable systems would require injection into a head-end somewhere, but that's unlikley to be too difficult.

3
1