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* Posts by PT

328 posts • joined 22 Jun 2007

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

PT
WTF?

Re: Train my eyes?

Is that like "train your ears" so you can hear the benefit of gold-plated speaker cables?

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India's outsourcers fume over new US immigration bill

PT
Stop

Re: Not making sense

Lest we forget the actual reason for the H1B program, as succinctly stated by former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan .....

"...by opening our borders to large numbers of highly skilled immigrant workers, we would provide a new source of competition for higher earning employees, thus driving down their wages."

How ironic that the destruction of well-paid American jobs has been so successful that the Government is now considering scaling back the program because it hits them in the pocket.

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Leaked docs: GCHQ spooks secretly haul in more data than NSA

PT
Big Brother

Re: TL;DR

The UK is in dire need of a revolution.

Can't disagree, but how would you organize one? Can't use the phone, can't use email. If you walk from house to house the cameras will identify you. If you use carrier pigeons the Government will probably invest in nets.

The irony is that if the Internet had existed in 1776, America would probably still be a British colony.

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NASA: Our ALIEN HUNTING star-scan 'scope is KNACKERED

PT
Unhappy

That's ok, we can just send up a shuttle with spare parts and fix it. Oh, wait a minute ...

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Rolls-Royce climbs aboard Bloodhound SUPERSONIC car

PT
Thumb Up

Re: Lucky

Well said, Brenda McViking. AC 6:53, Richard Noble has not been blessed by luck, but by tenacity. I was a team member for Thrust 2 and saw the incredible difficulties he went through to maintain funding for the project - all while under the pressure of risking his life on a daily basis behind the wheel. If you had been there - two years running - you would know the only "luck" Richard had was bad. He kept the funds flowing and the team morale high through sheer force of personality. I was in the Black Rock Desert for Thrust SSC also, and heard the sonic booms. He was not the driver and was free to exercise his formidable organizing ability, and the Thrust SSC operation ran like clockwork, while a few miles away on the same desert at the same time, former record holder Craig Breedlove was disorganized to the extent that he was scarcely able to get the engine started on his million-dollar project. Incidentally, if you had been there - on either occasion - you would not presume to lecture him about humility. But like everyone, he has a private and a public face, and when he's in "project mode" he is effectively on stage.

Ok, I'm biased, I like him. But Richard Noble is one of those people who doesn't know what can't be done. We need more like him.

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Judge orders redacted Aaron Swartz prosecution docs to be revealed

PT

Re: It's something.

While the assault in this particular case can probably be attributed to one person, unfortunately this kind of prosecutorial overreach is ubiquitous throughout the US "justice" system. Persons with such flawed judgement not only belong, but advance rapidly in their careers, by carrying out exactly this kind of ferocious assault - providing it results in the patsy taking the plea.

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Feds want to fine companies that refuse wiretap requests

PT

Re: Is that what it's really about?

those are illegal and if I were running a company I would refuse them too.

Indeed, and the world would applaud you for it. Then you would pay, like Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest.

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Notebook makers turn to Android in face of Windows woes

PT

Re: Even Windows 8 has drawn fire lately for failing to revive the flagging PC market.

LOL, exactly the point I was going to make.

New versions of Windows are only of benefit to Microsoft. Everyone else just gets a world of trouble and expense.

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Google shakes up US utility with green power tariff

PT

Re: Waste of Energy

What's really a waste of energy is a modern technology company thinking it can do anything to impress the Greens. Maybe if they powered the data centers with pedal driven generators, or replaced them with fields of organic vegetables, that might work.

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Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

PT

@P_o

I still find it hard to understand why people hate Thatcher so much.

I can give you my reasons.

It was her utterly inexplicable and hubristic policy to hold a strong Pound at or above $2.40, by maintaining interest rates above 18%, and keeping it up for more than two years. If you ran a manufacturing business, as I did at the time, your domestic customers weren't going to invest in new plant at those rates, and you were priced right out of foreign markets. I believe it's this that did more damage than anything else to the UK manufacturing base.

Worse, the almost overnight transition from record low to record high interest rates devastated the housing market. My monthly mortgage payments more than doubled over three months, and a year later people were just walking away from their under-water properties.

Everyone remembers the miners and privatization, nobody seems to remember the depression.

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PT

In other words, they only started thinking about innovation when faced with the prospect of losing their cosy monopoly.

Isn't that true of all large corporations?

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PT

Re: is this the same

BT spent fortunes on research! System X for example predated its privatisation by many a year.

Interesting that you mention System X. I recall how many years and how many millions went into that piece of corporate welfare for the telecom suppliers cartel, when an equivalent system could have been bought for a fraction of the cost off the shelf from the US. Having said that, I will never forget my jaw-dropping astonishment when I made my first system X long distance call and instead of 15 seconds of clicks and whirrs, the phone at the other end started ringing as soon as I keyed the last number.

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Google: 'Austin is our next Fiber city.' AT&T: 'Us, too – maybe'

PT

Re: Prices

For cable TV it's probably defined in the local contract, but for data, monopoly arrangements probably depend on the thickness of brown envelopes handed to the local utilities commissioners by the incumbents.

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Wikileaker Manning peace gong petition backed by thousands

PT

@ObSolutions

Matt seldom has a point to make, that's why his posts always contain ad hominem attacks and insults. Matt's overall theme seldom changes - "The US Government can do no wrong, and its critics are the enemy".

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You know how your energy bills are SO much worse than they were?

PT
Joke

Re: Windpower is the answer

"..running my own generator.."

The idea has merit. At these prices, a generator rigged to run on gas instead of gasoline could actually work out cheaper than the grid, providing you don't use the power for heating. In a permanent installation you might be able to recover enough waste heat from the engine to keep warm.

If you could disguise it as renewable, with a fake windmill or some panes of black glass on the roof, it could even become a useful source of extra income.

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

PT

Re: PFE?

I still use PFE occasionally, especially when I need keyboard macros. It's primitive, but fast. It could do the TADREP test with two easy find-and-replace in less time than it took to read about it.

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US insurer punts 'bestiality' to wide-eyed kiddies, gasp 'mums'

PT

Re: Double Standards!

Corkscrew action, fnarr fnarr. Plus 1.

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Red wine may be ELIXIR OF YOUTH

PT

Alternative vector

Resveratrol capsules, 100mg, $15 for 120 at my local grocery store. According to the writing on the bottle, 1 capsule equals 100 glasses of red wine. Not as much fun, but a considerably cheaper way of getting it if you believe in that sort of thing..

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Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER

PT

Re: Don't like it, DON'T BUY IT!

No, please not a Yucatan meteor. I only live 1500 miles from Redmond, and in any case they're too close to Yellowstone for comfort.. A Tunguska meteor will be quite sufficient.

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BBC: Monster cargo ship delivers '863 million tins of baked beans'

PT

Re: "Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers"

Correct, sir - the Eiffel Tower is made of wrought iron. For what it's worth, it weighs 7,300 tons.

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E-taxes aren't really stuffing Uncle Sam's pockets enough

PT

Re: US Sales Tax - you think EU VAT is tricky?

Correct, it's ridiculous. When I was running a small internet sales operation a few years ago, I refused to accept orders from my own state to avoid the complexity of charging something like 17 different rates. I was still required to register for sales tax, deposit a large bond, and make monthly tax returns. All my returns were for $0.00, on which I incurred a penalty if they were a day late.

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Permafrost melt to boost atmospheric CO2 faster than thought

PT
Boffin

Research to boost grant eligibility faster than thought

The research actually shows that melting permafrost may release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than previously thought. That's science. Insertion of the words "climate-warming", however, diminishes the authority of the paper. That's religion.

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New Zealand court hands out second peppercorn downloading penalty

PT

Every computer user in New Zealand should install a Bit Torrent client, whether they intend to use it or not. Call it a gesture of solidarity.

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Ethernet at 40: Its daddy reveals its turbulent youth

PT

Re: twisted Pair...

"...a peer to peer Windows for Worksgroups network (remember that!)"

Yes - I'll never forget the blinding epiphany when I discovered I could add computers on the existing network without having to pay the Novell tax.

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The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

PT

Re: Lewis misses the point

Dave Bell, you are right. The British were still using Lyddite (picric acid) at Jutland. It was too sensitive and the shells exploded on impact, not after penetration. The Germans were using TNT.

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Cameron's speech puts UK adoption of EU data directive in doubt

PT

Re: To our continental friends -

>Cameron is the UK's Bush!

If Cameron is the UK's Bush - and he seems out of touch enough - then Blair was the UK's Cheney. Cameron is ineffectual, but Blair was evil. Never forget the atrocities visited on the British way of life by the Blair government in the name of "security" (don't forget to hold your head up when you leave your house so the security cameras can get a good facial recognition). How anyone could consider voting for either of these parties is beyond me. By the way, who is this man "Clegg" I hear about every few months? Is he something to do with the government? If so, he must be Johnson's Hubert Humphrey.

Given the unattractive choices in the next election, Screaming Lord Sutch would have had his best chance ever. Too bad he checked out too early.

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Swartz suicide won't change computer crime policy, says prosecutor

PT

Re: WTF

Sooner or later, the last of these copyright maximalists will die, and then we can move on.

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Red supergiant Betelgeuse heads for SMACKDOWN with 'dust bar'

PT

Re: is Betelgeuse close enough that a supernova there would be an extinction event here

Bad Astronomy

Fixed it for you.

(open tag)a href="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/06/01/is-betelgeuse-about-to-blow/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"(close tag)Bad Astronomy(open tag)/a(close tag)

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

PT

Real rectum friers

I wonder how they'll dispose of these mercury arc rectifiers, which contain a pint or three each. Most of these are in the UK.

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PT

Re: but still fine to put it in our teeth yes?

"Mercury is also not exactly cheap"

The current price is $1850 per flask - a standard flask contains 76 pounds so that works out to $24 a pound (US dollars). A pound is about the volume of a golf ball and that will make a LOT of fillings. If you don't want to buy a whole flask, you can buy it by the pound from prospecting and mining suppliers in the US for not a lot more than $24. It costs at least ten times more from reagent chemical suppliers. I imagine that five years after the ban the black market price will be more costly than silver, so a flask today could be a good retirement investment.

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PT
Boffin

Fluorescents

I wasn't aware that there was any kind of fluorescent bulb that didn't use mercury. They all need a UV emitter and there aren't many choices. Still, in a few years high power LEDs will be cheap enough to take over most lighting applications. Let's just hope the environmental fascists don't discover they're made of toxic elements and the process involves toxic gases.

Honestly, I'm getting tired of this wholesale banning of elements on the grounds of exaggerated fear.

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TSA to pull backscatter perv scanners from US airports

PT

Re: Mike

No, the Katrina guy was the other Mike, Michael "heck of a job Brownie" Brown. Michael Chertoff was the guy in charge of the Department of Homeland Security, who left public service to set up lobbying group Chertoff Associates in order to continue, er, servicing the public.

If I recall correctly, the naked scanner project resulted from that incident where some halfwit with underpants full of fake explosive, but no passport or boarding pass, was assisted onto a US-bound plane by what appeared to witnesses to be an official with authority over the flight security personnel. Hmmm. Strange that we never found out who he was.

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Swartz prosecutor: We only pushed for 'six months' in the cooler

PT

"Call, write or email your representatives..."

These "representatives" of which you speak sound interesting. Unfortunately, I haven't got one - they gave me a "lawmaker". I'm sure he represents someone, perhaps the people with names starting with "Americans For ..." something that paid for all his campaign ads, except the one paid for by the US Chamber of Commerce.

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PT

Re: Ever heard sentence to run concurrently

No, I don't think I have. Not in the USA, anyway. Of course I'm not familiar with all the cases decided, but in the high profile ones I've heard of it's normal for someone accused of, say, killing six people to get six consecutive life sentences, occasionally with an extra 100 years tacked on just in case.

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Security audit finds dev OUTSOURCED his JOB to China to goof off at work

PT

Re: I've heard of this before

There was a Doonesbury strip about this a few years ago.Zig outsourced his job to India, and to avoid getting caught he had the offsite engineer deliberately screw up every few weeks.

http://forums.techguy.org/attachments/43060d1099857513/db041107.gif

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The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

PT

Re: Every one already?

True, it is not EVERY light. Local governments have enough budget problems already, and can't afford to put out a lot of capital now to save money later. This problem has been ingeniously tackled by the lighting manufacturers, though, who (in my city at least) upgraded many incandescent traffic lights to LED at their own expense in exchange for several years' worth of the money saved on the electricity bill.

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PGP, TrueCrypt-encrypted files CRACKED by £300 tool

PT

Re: that reminds me...

If you had any sense, you wouldn't keep the backup on your premises, encrypted or not. Standard Plod behaviour these days for all crimes from traffic tickets up is to seize everything electronic in the house, including your cell phone, and hold onto it for weeks. I'm sure in most cases they never even turn it on, they just want to cause you the maximum inconvenience. Whatever, a backup drive is no use to you if you don't have a computer to run it on. You need a full running backup computer off site in a place they don't know about.

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Musos blast US copyright bods: 'ARTISTS MAKE LOUSY SLAVES!'

PT
Stop

Too Silly

Stop! This thread has become Too Silly. No more Yorkshiremen. Bring on the skating vicars.

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Next IPCC climate assessment due 2014 now everywhere online

PT
FAIL

Re: Yet more denial

It's not that it's boring, it's that it's discredited.

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Google defames Reg columnist Verity Stob

PT
Black Helicopters

Evil????

Not only that - the linked article posts a gmail address. If genuine, that means Google knows everything there is to know about Ms Stob including her cat's name, her cell phone number and her shopping history. It also has a picture of her home from the street and a list of wifi signals detectable outside. If Google doesn't display a genuine picture of the lady, it has a reason not to, probably sinister. CONSPIRACY!

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Adobe demands 7,000 years a day from humankind

PT

"..it is only a matter of time before you're accepting disclaimers before starting the car."

That day is already here. My wife's car requires that you click to agree to its software terms and conditions before any electronics beyond the basic speedo and gauges will work, and then another disclaimer that you won't use the GPS navigator while you're driving(!). Then the radio won't work unless you agree to IT'S terms and conditions ... hold the wheel and watch the road for me a minute while I read this ... ah, it says I agree not to use it while I'm driving.

Strangely enough, the vehicle makes no mention of Google.

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PT

@Radbruch1929 Re: Not enforcable anyway?

Signature may usually not be required for concluding an agreement, but surely identification must be. Unless it can be proven that it was actually my finger that clicked the mouse button, there can be no case for me to answer.

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House passes, Obama disses 55,000 visas for educated immigrants

PT

Re: The Big Lie - We Can't Find Skilled Americans

For a definitive answer as to why we need more immigrant techies, let us review the immortal words of Alan Greenspan. Quoting from his memoirs, as excerpted in Newsweek, he wrote:

"As awesomely productive as market capitalism has proved to be, its Achilles' heel is a growing perception that its rewards, increasingly skewed to the skilled, are not distributed justly. ... we need to address increasing income equality now. ... by opening our borders to large numbers of highly skilled immigrant workers, we would ... provide a new source of competition for higher earning employees, thus driving down their wages."

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Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE

PT

"This serious organised crime."

Really? Organised crime, like in bootleggers?

The Paedo Mob must be the first crime organisation in history that isn't supplying something for which there's a strong public demand, coupled with a government prohibition that a majority of the public doesn't agree with.

One wonders why Ms May chose the readership of the Sun as the target of this particular piece of mob oratory, rather than (say) the readership of the Daily Mail.

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Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag

PT

Re: @Steve Evans

For those without a Tesla coil, one second in the microwave is equally effective on RFID chips.

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World Bank says world likely to warm by four degrees

PT

Duh, they're BANKERS

In other words, go full speed ahead with carbon cap and trade. You know it makes sense!

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FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named

PT

@moonrakin

Here, here. There must be many people besides the participants who know who attended. It's time for some of them to do their civic duty and reveal the names.

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A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

PT
Boffin

Talking of machines with front panels ...

The Altair sure bore a marked resemblance to the slightly earlier Intel Intellec 8. I wonder if they might be related?

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PT
Thumb Up

Re: ENIAC

They delighted in making me blush - although they were nowhere near as bad as running the gauntlet in the all-women data preparation room.

Oh, I remember those days. I was very young and it was - educational. You mean people actually do that?

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UK's Intellectual Property Obliteration office attacked by Parliament

PT

Re: It's in the first line

"Without the blessing and goodwill of the people (and I mean the populace, not the legislative) laws are ineffective and will be extensively broken."

Indeed, the difficulty of getting civil servants to do some work will seem insignificant against the difficulty of getting a jury to convict under the proposed laws.

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