Feeds

* Posts by Francis Boyle

987 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

Ghost of HTML5 future: Web browser botnets

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

"Customisable pop-ups that appear outside the browser"

Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

1
0

TV Now was too good, and that was its downfall

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Or to put it another way

would you trust a coder who thought that bothering to use the static keyword was "splitting hairs". like programming the law is about getting the rules right at the start so everyone can follow them without getting any nasty surprises.

0
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Ye Gods, how many ways can a hair be split

You may call it splitting hairs. I call it the precise application of the law. It's what judges are paid to do. And in the end it protects us all.

0
0

Major science fiction publisher to zap DRM

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: If only they could make a decent website

That's just tradition. Baen covers are notorious for their crappiness so the website has a lot to live down to.

0
0

Reader experts thrash LOHAN's mighty rod

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Is it just me

or has El Reg's double entendre department taken a turn towards the kinky?

0
0

Turing's rapid Nazi Enigma code-breaking secret revealed

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Unbreakable

Any security system that relies on users acting like machines rather than humans is inherently flawed.

1
0

Met issues mug-shot gallery mobe app to finger wanted crooks

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Wot no jokes

about RIM helping to finger it's own customers.

How soon we forget.

0
0

Barclaycard slaps pay-by-bonk plasters on mobes

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

I thought

that was taxi drivers.

0
0

Hands on with the Nikon D3200 DSLR

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: And still no built in GPS

A camera adds nothing to the function of a navigation device while a GPS device adds to the function of a camera. It's why some of use carry GPS data loggers around with us when we're ou taking photos.

0
0

Boffins tout solar efficiency boost

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Great News

Edison's problem was not that DC is inefficient but that given the absence of DC transformers he had no way to distribute it at high voltage.

0
0

Massive organ blown with Kinect

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Call me a philistine

but I prefer Faboy Slim's up tempo three minute twenty-two remix

0
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

I liked the singing

Pity there was some bloke wanking his organ all over it.

0
0

Vintage alien tech crash-lands in field

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Nothing to see here?

Just River Song being overly dramatic again. Jeez, why can't she learn to use email?

2
0

Matt Groening reveals location of Simpsons' Springfield

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Indeed

I'm even older than that and I still can't remember when Tracey Ullman was funny.

1
0

Dark matter hits you once a minute

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Mass of everything

The clue's in the name. Since WIMPS interact with ordinary matter only weakly you can't weigh them. (They'd pass right through any scale). Indeed so far we can't measure them in any way. Ergo they can't affect any measurements of mass. The only way we know of their existence is through their contribution to gravitational effects at very large scales. As to why their gravitational effect is not apparent at smaller scales - well you have to remember that that matter in the universe is near to non-existent. O.K. maybe not non-existent, but on average the universe approximates a pretty good vacuum. Assuming dark matter is not clumpy like ordinary matter (i.e. that WIMPS don't strongly interact with anything including themselves) space with WIMPS in it is effectively just space but very slightly less tenuous. It's net effect on anything on a human scale is going to be zero.

Of course, anything that anyone says about dark matter is ,of necessity, highly speculative but the basic idea is actually pretty straightforward.

0
0

Eight... Rugged Cameras

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

"The smile detector is a neat feature, making that hanging off a cliff-face, or free-falling skydive shot that bit easier to achieve."

Is there a sheer terror detector setting that I can use?

5
0

Minecraft maker plots ultimate videogame for coders

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Billions of years into the future

They promised me a matrioshka brain and all I got was a lousy 16 bits.

Do I at least get a hologram for company?

0
0

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

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Read the ANDs and ORs

So basically it's a law to ban ODFO.

0
0

Fake cop Trojan 'detects offensive materials' on PCs, demands money

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

What have you got

against footcare implements.

25
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

I don't

live in Iran.

4
0

Scientists plan 3D printable robots for the home

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Origami Robots?

I will be awaiting the rise of the machines - with a large bucket of water.

3
0

Parents shocked by priestly PowerPoint pr0n

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Self-righteous hypocrisy

Are you seriously suggesting that protestants never feel that they're entitled to tell others what to do? Have you been paying any attention to what is happening in the US lately. Rick Santorum may be Catholic but I can assure you that his brand of self-righteous arrogance comes straight out of the fundamentalist protestant playbook.

Now I don't want to get into a Catholic versus protestant debate (the differences are far smaller than the similarities to my mind) but it strikes me that your comment is a good example of something I've frequently observed. When someone, religious or not (and these days, it seems, more often they are not), criticises atheists for lacking understanding of religion what they are really saying is "your criticisms don't apply to my experience of religion" as if the fact that there are some nice CoE vicars somehow cancels out the existence of the Taliban.

The thing is, critics of religion generally have taken the time to acquire at least a passing knowledge of the full range of religious practices. They're arguing from facts not personal experience. Questioning their "understanding of religion and their critical faculties" on the basis of unexamined anecdotal evidence is the rhetorical equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting "I can't hear you".

As for the tired "critics of religion are like religious fanatics" canard - XKCD

3
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Wow...

It's like this. So many Father Ted Jokes. So little time.

0
0

Sir Isaac Newton's life rendered as KML

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Casanova

would be more interesting. Does the resolution go down to individual house level?

0
0

Tripleton touts telephone for double-ohs

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Hey everybody, I've got a spy phone

Do they make one that fit's in a shoe? You can't afford to be too conspicuous in the spy game.

(Yes, I know - it's really targeted at the Ms rather than the Bonds but someone had to do the Maxwell Smart joke.)

0
0

Brazilian cops hunt pillaging 'gang of blondes'

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Worked in telemarketing

Let her off. She's obviously working towards going straight.

35
0

Toshiba outs monster 13in tablet spec

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Couldn't they have given it a wipe

Shouldn't demo units have a porn blocker installed?

0
0

6,000 sign e-petition to put Turing on £10 note

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

And what exactly

is the "understanding" of an anonymous person worth? If you have evidence, present it. Otherwise keep your slurs to yourself.

0
0

So, what IS the worst film ever made?

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Burn After Reading

Just looked it up. How could you not like a film in which Brad Pitt gets shot point blank in the face?

0
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Probably, yes

but I have been known to reference the gentleman in question int terms of the Slakan vloskan.

0
0

'Now we understand what's required to explode a supernova' - NASA

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Red matter is bullshit

Everyone knows you use trilithium to blow up stars.

2
0

GiffGaff gaffe charity spaff to quell miffed riffraff

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

<Neddy Seagoon voice>

"I don't wish to know that"

</Neddy Seagoon voice>

2
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

I'm not sure what a "spaff" is

but great headline (though it could do with more underground virgin penetration).

5
0

Jupiter and Venus get cozy in revealing late-night display

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Quick proof

In the plane of the ecliptic points 93 million miles from Earth form a circle passing through the Sun and out beyond the orbit of the Earth. Since that circle intersects the orbit of Venus, at some time, Venus will be 93 million miles from Earth. It's just a a matter of waiting long enough.

0
0

Netherlands plans to make 'copyrighted material easier to use'

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Does this mean

we can have our Hitler parodies back?

0
0

Europeans turn backs on Ultrabooks

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

@ Kyoraki

No idea why you were voted down for stating simple facts. (Well, actually a few.) My netbook's never run Windows and I've never missed it. Next step: Linux + Arm so I can ditch the oversized extended battery and I will have a true notebook (the paper things, I mean) replacement.

0
0

Lego builds Lord of the Rings collection

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge
Coat

Surely

LOTR should remain Legoless.

Sorry, but it had to be said.

0
0

Japanese robot mirrors master’s movements

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Good going

Now all they have to do is scale it up one hundred times.

Japan: for all your (giant) robot needs.

0
0

ESA's first Vega rocket blasts off without a hitch

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

At least you still have

Skylon.

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/news_jan12.html*

*how the hell do you do links?

0
0

Car crash model cushioned by 38KKK Bulgarian airbags

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Off her tits?

She's lucky they're not off her.

0
0

Pentax Q compact system camera

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Don't knock it

The Q is as they say in Japan "kawaii" (cute). It should sell bucket loads to the sort of people who post videos to Youtube in the wrong aspect ratio (i.e. clueless wannabee geeks). If that's what it takes to keep Pentax alive and producing brilliant, affordable cameras like the K-5, I'm all for it.

2
0

Space: 1999 returning to TV?

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

I saw that a while back

Not bad considering that everything by Lem that I've read would be pretty much unfilmable. (Solaris excluded - I haven't read the book and the Tarkovsky film is pretty much pure Tarkovsky - beautiful visuals combined with a dreary mysticism that hasn't much to do with Lem's sharp-minded satire.)

0
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Might work

if they ditched the silly nuclear explosions thing and replaced it with say mysterious alien technology (black monolith anyone). The thing I loved (as a teenager) about the show was its sense of wonder about the universe (inherited no doubt form 2001). What I didn't like was the fact that it too often spilled over into mystical mumbo-jumbo and sometimes plain anti-science. If they had stuck to Clark's Third Law it could have been a great series instead of just an enjoyable one.

1
0
Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

A demonstration that the Eagle is practical

Years ago, I created this slightly modified version of the Eagle for Orbiter* using only reasonably realistic assumptions about near future tech. If you dare you can try flying it into lunar orbit (difficult but not impossible). If you can land it, you're Alan Carter himself (or a computer). Hint: you use the underside engine to rotate to the correct orientation then fire up the big ones at the back which makes sense when you realise that the moon isn't exactly littered with vehicle assembly buildings.

Merlin Transporter for Orbiter : http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=2234

(SpaceX ripped me off - I'd sue but I can't afford Apple's lawyers.)

*Orbiter Space Fight Simulator: orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

0
0

US Navy preps railgun for tests

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Re: Re : there isn't much energy in a bullet

My laptop battery has an energy density of just over one half a megajoule per kilogram and it's not exactly military spec. So maybe 250 shots per kg assuming no losses. (Yes, there will be losses but on the other side battery tech is still improving rapidly) I don't exactly think a 1kg power pack would be a problem for Arnie. On the other hand I do have this image of a young Stallone with dozens of little phone batteries tucked into his bandolera.

0
0

Jackpot: astronomers tag Goldilocks planet

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Porridge

No thanks. I've just finished the blancmanges

0
0

Indonesian train roof fare-dodgers given the brush off

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

The Register - for all your IT* news

* Indonesian train

2
0

Koala food may power US Defence force

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

That's just my back yard.

Admittedly there not as common as they were. Apparently birds have learned how to kill and eat them. What's a bit of poison when you're Australian wildlife.

0
0

Toshiba releases 'world's thinnest' Android tablet

Francis Boyle
Bronze badge

Seriously, WTF

is wrong with letterboxing. Is a black bar in your field of vision so much worse than a bezel? I'm looking to buy a new monitor but everything's bloody 16:9. Now the size is limited by the available space on my desk, so by going widescreen I'm actually losing screen real estate. Likewise with a tablet the limiting factor is primarily the larger dimension (and 16:9 is horrible vertically). Now, I hate to agree with the sainted Steve (check my posts if you like, you won't find any Apple love from me) but he got that one right.

0
0