* Posts by Francis Boyle

1317 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

GitHubber wants to revive the first Unix in a PDP-7 emulator

Francis Boyle
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UNSW may be his alma mater

But as the article indicates he's put his misbegotten youth behind him and is a Queenslander now. What next - blaming Queensland for Fosters!

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Raspberry Pi celebrates fourth birthday with fruity version 3

Francis Boyle
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I'd love to add a Zero to my collection

but I'm beginning to think that 'Zero' stands for the number in stock at any reliable outlet.

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Francis Boyle
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"1gb of ram isn't enough"

The Pi has a special feature to deal with that - it doesn't run Flash.

Edit: Seems I can't add an icon after posting so please imagine the joke alert.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Francis Boyle
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I looked into this a while back

His share of his his father's business when he took it over was around $100 m give or take a factor of two. He's now worth 4.5 billion according to Forbes but a figure as low as 2 billion is plausible. Which means, if I crunched the numbers correctly, he could just as well invested the money and spent his life on the golf course. (Does Trump place golf - it's probably a bit too genteel for his image.) Or he could have just let his underlings run the company and take all the credit. (What was I saying about his image?)

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Francis Boyle
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Dangerous not mad

The guy knows exactly what he is doing. He'll say whatever he thinks will play in order to get what he wants (and he's very good at that) but like a dog chasing a car. . .

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Worldpay outs self as provider of easy-to-crack payment services

Francis Boyle
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I've always found it easy to pay for crack

Just use cash.

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Surprise! British phone wins Best Product at Mobile World Congress

Francis Boyle
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Well, I will refuse to watch thermal imaging porn

I want desperately to hang onto the belief that all those orgasms are real.

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Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

Francis Boyle
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Yes I know it's canonical

but I wouldn't be terribly frightened of a killer robot shooting at me with all the power of a dim lightbulb.

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Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

Francis Boyle
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Damn I knew I was doing something wrong

I was searching for 'porn' in Office.

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Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee

Francis Boyle
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The article doesn't blame Trump for low wages in America but I do

Doesn't Trump present himself not just as a prominent businessman but as a business leader. Didn't he have a TV show in which he purported to teach people how business is done. Trump is already a part of the problem and will continue even if he doesn't become POTUS.

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NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

Francis Boyle
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It's all done with mirrors

Or at least it was in Charles Stoss' Acellerando. I forget the precise details but it involved dropping part of the sail and using the reflected the light for deceleration. Of course if you're just going to Mars you'd probably want to send the reflector ahead and you'd still have to solve the problem of making the system work at a distance of more than a few hundred km.

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Loved one just died? Pah, that's nothing

Francis Boyle
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Re: But there's no fear.

A few years ago I would have said the same but climbing to the top of the radio tower in the last Tomb raider scared the shite out of me.

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Easter Islanders didn't commit 'ecocide' after all, says archaeologist

Francis Boyle
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That rats eat the seeds and/or seedlings of the native trees has been known for some time. Nature can be surprising sometimes.

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PCI Council says bye-bye to big bang standards upgrades

Francis Boyle
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Seriously

I spent a non-negligible amount of time try to work out why you'd want SSL on an internal bus. Maybe it's time to move to FLA (four letter acronyms).

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Na na na na na na na na bionic-BATMAN! Boffins build bat-like electro-stimulated drone wings

Francis Boyle
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"resembles the so-called Caspian Sea Monster"

I'm sure it will be more stable when the missile launch tubes are installed.

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Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737

Francis Boyle
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Don't worry you aren't missing much - you have to be ridiculously high for it to be remotely convincing and it doesn't come with the phone number of your local drug dealer. But I second your motion for a Google flight sim - even the rather dodgy Google 3D buildings put the Microsoft autogen scenery to shame.

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Apache Foundation rushes out Arrow as 'Top-Level Project'

Francis Boyle
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I think that

In the future I'll stick to the astrophysics articles.

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Xen forgets recent patches in new maintenance release

Francis Boyle
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"arbitrary code execution in backend”

I think I saw that in a video once.

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CSIRO says it hasn't sacked the LIGO mirror-makers

Francis Boyle
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That sphere doesn't look especially spherical. Are the gravity waves particular intense at the Vulture South eyrie.

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Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy

Francis Boyle
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Re: So . . . . .

1. The energy doesn't run out it just gets spread progressively thinner (at least for light in a vacuum and gravity waves that's were your model falls short).

2. The same analogy applies to light and yet we manage to see distant galaxies.

3. It helps to have a very energetic source and a very sensitive detector.

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London seeks trials of Google's robo-cars

Francis Boyle
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Why

not?

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That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Francis Boyle
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That's crazy

For really high temperatures you need a jam-based pastry.

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PDF redaction is hard, NSW Medical Council finds out - the hard way

Francis Boyle
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seems

you missed the section about pronoun dropping.

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They're alive! Galileo sats 9 and 10 sending valid signals

Francis Boyle
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The answer to that question

Is probably the same as to "do you intend to keep the same phone for the next 12 years".

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Brit censors endure 10-hour Paint Drying movie epic

Francis Boyle
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Re: I'm fairly sure....

Well if they projected it on the white wall they used for the filming. . .

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Francis Boyle
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Rated "U"

you mean 'U' for 'unwatchable'? Sarcastic bastard the BBFC.

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'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator

Francis Boyle
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"vitiate the youth of Pakistan”

I think they're onto something. Hard to work up the youth (read: young men) into a righteous (and sometimes murderous) when they're all sitting around with a silly smile on their face.

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

Francis Boyle
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Because "Leftists, liberals and fundamentalist progressives"

have been conspiring to destroy the US public education system since forever.

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Francis Boyle
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Well now

I'm seeing his name pronounced by Rowan Atkinson.

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Cunning Greek lizards seek skin-matching rocks

Francis Boyle
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Welcome to the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology

Mind, if we call you Kate, just to keep it clear.

Dammit, I've waited 45 years to get even with you pommies.

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Sainsbury's Bank web pages stuck on crappy 20th century crypto

Francis Boyle
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No better regulation

We hear these stories again and again because in any regulated system a culture develops of doing the the absolute minimum needed to comply with the regulations. No that might be acceptable in the exciting field of, say, stationery (sorry, David Brent) but when it comes to my money I want a proactive regulator that's prepared to continually enforce good and just not just "good enough" (which never is) practices. Of course in the current cultural/political climate I'm dreaming.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

Francis Boyle
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Aeroflot Flight 593

Thanks I was trying to find that to cite as a reply to all those blaming Bin Laden for not been allowed in the cockpit anyone. Short summary for those who don't know the story: Captain allows son and daughter to sit in the pilots' seats. Son somehow manages to disable the autopilot. Everybody* dies. One of the more truly horrific aviation stories.

*73 people according to the supposedly unreliable Wikipedia.

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How to save Wikipedia: Start paying editors ... or write for machines

Francis Boyle
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"most of wikipedia is 'adapted' (i.e. pinched) from other people's sites/work and reworded"

Er, that's how information works. Always and thankfully still.

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Internet of Things 'smart' devices are dumb by design

Francis Boyle
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If I ever buy any home automation it will not be attached to the internet

The much touted benefits of putting home appliances on the internet are really just edge cases or illusory. Turn the heating cooling on before I get home? Maybe if you work irregular hours and are desperate to save electricity and your memory's good enough. The rest of us will just a timer. Let my fridge reorder for me. Show me a working system that's not a pain to use. Let my washing machine reorder detergent at exorbitant prices. Not bloody likely. Of course maybe that's just me being a control freak but I remain unconvinced that consumer IoT systems make life easier for the user. In which case they stay in their little niche.

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Is that light at the end of AMD's dark tunnel, or God sparking up a cig?

Francis Boyle
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I hope that light is real. If not who will pull us out of the shit when Intel screws up again like they did with 64-bit transition?

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Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing

Francis Boyle
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An oppurtunity

If she's going to 'do' Déjeuner sur l’herbe she's going to need some male assistant and they woon't even need to get their kit off. I wonder if there's a sign up list.

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SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

Francis Boyle
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"Dragon 9 1.1 Full Thrust"

Is that the one with Vin Diesel?

No wait I think that was Dragon 9 2.0: Fuller and Thrustier.

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Francis Boyle
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Very large

airbags.

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World Bank: What do the poor need – clean water, or email ... take a guess

Francis Boyle
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Well of course

Boko Haram is basically just a criminal gang and criminals have a habit of stealing things.

From there to everyone in the third world is corrupt is a big leap.

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You've heard of Rollercoaster Tycoon – but we can't wait for Server Tycoon

Francis Boyle
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"....a sysadmin wants either to do it for real or to go and play a game where you shoot people and blow things up."

But I hear Daesh are very interested and Lewis Hamilton is thinking of throwing in a few quid.

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NASA books space shuttle delivery truck

Francis Boyle
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And the problem was that

the Shuttle was huge. All that mass hoisted to orbit just to bring back seven astronauts. (The contents of the cargo bay were almost invariably on a one way trip.) That was the tragedy of the Space Shuttle system - wonderful tech made horribly inefficient because the USAF thought they might like to snatch satellites from orbit.. Much better to provide a low-g landing system for just the cargo that needs it and dump the rest of the mass.

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China names the date for dark side moon landing

Francis Boyle
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Re: Had to...

"Shall we keep it as the FAR side of the moon then?"

But then El Reg would be compelled to illustrate the article with a Gary Larsen cartoon and nobody wants that do they?

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Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

Francis Boyle
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Re: SItuational Awareness

The parallel with cars doesn't hold up. A self driving car needs to be 100% autonomous. There's simply no time for a driver to take over when another vehicle does something random and unexpected 10 metres ahead. Not that it would do much good - absent Lewis Hamilton at the wheel a human's not going to do better than a computer. Now, the same applies in the air. If the system haWhere a pilot has an advantage is in those situations (Gimli glider etc) where they can draw on experience to pull something original out of the hat. But those situations are by definition rare. And it conceivable that the same thing could be done remotely. Indeed in the Qantas engine fire incident it was the pilot plus a large team on the ground that was responsible for the successful outcome. (Someone above mentioned airlines not wanting to pay for bandwidth which may be true for day to day operations but in an emergency different rules apply.)

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It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

Francis Boyle
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Re: Pfffft . . . Human arrogance

If efficiency is what you want it's hard to beat steel wheels on rails. But as most people are probably not to keen on having a railway in their home it would be useful to have robots that can handle the environments we have built for ourselves.

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US Marines kill noisy BigDog robo-mule for blowing their cover

Francis Boyle
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Re: your tax money at work

If Google had just paid itself standard rates for all the views of the Big Dog, Cheetah, etc videos it wouldn't have needed to get that $32m from DARPA.

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Oklahoma bloke cuffed for Chrimbo caprine coupling

Francis Boyle
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Yeah, I can't stand these sort of capers.

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The Police Chief's photo library mixed business, pleasure and flesh

Francis Boyle
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Re: Keyboards

I almost miss ball mice. Cleaning the ball gave me something to do while Windows was updating.

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The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

Francis Boyle
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To misquote Randall Munroe

I'm pretty sure SpaceX is an Orbiter shop.

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