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* Posts by Richard Boyce

177 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007

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Carbon tetrachloride releases still too high, says NASA

Richard Boyce
Unhappy

Sensors

So put some sensors aboard normal commercial aircraft, map the concentrations, and publish the maps. There need be no mystery about where the CCl4 is being released in any sustained way. This isn't a science problem, it's first and foremost a political problem.

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New twist as rogue antivirus enters death throes

Richard Boyce

Spelling

"You're", not "your". Someone should be catching these errors before publication.

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Richard Boyce
IT Angle

because....

...they're trans-dimensional beings who have been performing intelligence tests upon us. We keep failing, but they're optimistic that we'll eventually figure things out.

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Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7

Richard Boyce
Thumb Up

Re: Nice!

That you can have so many transistors on a chip and reliably get chips that work is mind-boggling. The purity and quality control must be stupendous.

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

Richard Boyce
Unhappy

Re: Groundbreaking

I knew I'd heard of this before. A bit of Googling and I found a reference to some Japanese research from 2009. http://www.wired.com/2009/03/ultrablack/

So, it's just an advert dressed up as news.

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WD adds Miracast support to feed-slinging tellybox gizmo

Richard Boyce
Unhappy

Re: Great little box

My old WD TV has had its share of problems, and the few updates tend to add as many problems as they fix. For example, I also have compatibility problems with network shares.

And speaking of compatibility, I see that WD are cranking up the claims of media compatibility, past the limit of what is reasonable, IMHO. With claims like "Play all your media files on your TV", and "You have it, we'll play it.", there are going to be quite a few annoyed customers. For example, most WD TV boxes have been unable to play my .ape audio files (yes, I know I can transcode to FLAC), despite this not being an exotic format and it looks like this new box can't play those files either.

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Gid E-Up? Vulture's claw presses pedal to metal on VW's 'leccy motor

Richard Boyce

Taxing energy

At the moment, governments can heavily control and tax automotive energy. It strikes me that when electric cars become ubiquitous, this becomes much more difficult.

This techology could become as disruptive to this sort of taxation as the Internet has become to censorship, because it's much less feasible to heavily tax all electrical energy distribution.

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Richard Boyce
WTF?

Re: Charging times versus battery capacity sound suspect

OK, let's change the point of view.

Assuming that the capacity is 20kWh (it has to be less than 2.3*9), and the speed is 60mph, the promised 93m range will be completed in a little over 1.5h. Divide the capacity by that calculated time and you get a continuous power rate of less than 13kW for motion. Subtract some for lights, wipers etc.

I'm not surprised that the experienced reviewer baulked at doing a 50m round trip, even with a relatively new battery. What's the range going to be after 8 years of use?

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Windows users: You get a patch! And you get a patch! And you get a patch! Everybody gets...

Richard Boyce

Re: Everyone?

The subheading was changed after I posted my message. Originally, there was no mention of XP.

I considered withdrawing my message, but it's still attracting thumbs up, presumably because of the remaining reference to "everybody".

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Richard Boyce
Meh

Everyone?

"Everybody gets..."

Not the 25% who are still using XP.

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LIFE on Titan: If there's one thing aliens HATE, it's a SALTY BALL

Richard Boyce

Elements are not salts

"mixed with dissolved salts like sulphur, sodium and potassium."

If you change "like" to "containing", it will make sense.

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Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft

Richard Boyce
Unhappy

Crossfire

Now that DynDNS has ceased its free service, I expect we'll see more battles like this between the free providers, business interests, criminal interests and perhaps political interests of one sort or another.

Roll on IPv6 when everyone can have a static IP address for every device, and end users can then perhaps avoid getting caught in some of the crossfire.

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App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Taking the piss

They seem to be contriving to artificially disassemble something illegal into parts that individually may be legal. I very much doubt that they're the first people to try to get away with something like that and I expect there to be plenty of legal precedent.

Any lawyers about who can comment?

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Israel develops wireless-malware-injection-by-smartmobe tool

Richard Boyce

Vulnerability in Bluetooth?

I agree that it seems unlikely that a computer is vulnerable if it has no active hardware designed to listen to radio signals. A computer communicating with others on a LAN via wireless networking may not be connected to the Internet, and thus be "air-gapped" as far as the author is concerned. Pus, this all could just be a professional windup aimed at certain people.

However, the short range mentioned is indicative of an attack using Bluetooth which is often enabled by default in laptops and other devices. if you don't need it, turn it off and prevent it being turned on behind your back. The same applies to other sensors such as those using infrared.

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Google: Why should we pay tax when we make 'intangibles'?

Richard Boyce

Need

When Maile Carnegie said that Google didn't need Australian engineers, she should've been asked why Google had hired them. Any genuine attempt to sensibly answer that question would've been instructive, as would any attempt to evade the question.

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TrueCrypt hooked to life support in Switzerland: 'It must not die' say pair

Richard Boyce
Happy

Re: CryptTrue

.. or TwoCrypt.

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Brunner does a runner: Beats designer must hand the brand to Apple

Richard Boyce
Joke

Re: Good name for Apple to acquire

I don't see Apple being keen to acquire the brand FartingHippo.

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FAA: All systems GO for Virgin Galactic space plane to launch from US

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Comparison with SpaceX

You can't sensibly compare SpaceX with Virgin Galactic. The latter is merely an extremely expensive amusement ride, for people with a very high wealth to sense ratio.

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Comcast exec says wired broadband customers should pay-as-they-go

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Case matters

"3gb for the month. That's not a typo."

If you meant 3 gigabytes, you should've typed 3GB.

A lower case b means bit and an upper case B means byte, which is 8 times as large.

When it comes to prefixes, case matters there too. For example, m means milli and M means mega, which is a billion times as large.

Sometimes when people make these mistakes, context rescues the situation. Not always.

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Get BENT: Flexy supercapacitor breaks records

Richard Boyce

"Supercaps are purely electrical devices, not electrochemical"

According to a nice article on Wikipiedia, this is wrong; they're a combination of both, storing most energy electrochemically.

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It's spade sellers who REALLY make a killing in a gold rush: It's OVER for graphics card mining

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Doesn't add up

Graphics cards are being sold because they don't make financial sense to use them for mining. Surely the same applies to mining machines upon first sale, whatever technology they're using, else the manufacturers could make more money using them themselves.

I suspect that most buyers haven't figured this out, or they don't plan to pay for the electricity.

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NASA to unsheath GIANT ASTEROID SPACE PROBE

Richard Boyce

Re: First step in turning an asteroid into an RV for cruising round the solar system?

It might be more effective to stop a smaller asteroid rotating, and then keep it between the Sun and the crew during storms. You could put nuclear-powered ion drives on the side opposite the crew.

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Play Mario using just your EYES as Google Glass gets JavaScript

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

Jostling

"Someone jostling you in the train? No problem."

Err no, 'cause while your attention is absorbed by Glass, your pocket is being picked...

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Fee fie Firefox: Mozilla's lawyers probe Dell over browser install charge

Richard Boyce

I doubt they're installing Firefox once per order. If Dell was sensible, Dell will have installed it once, and saved the resulting image for later automatic installation when the customer selects the option. I doubt that the customer gets the latest version and I wouldn't be surprised if it comes with quite a few toolbars installed, etc.

However, if everyone at Dell were sensible, this dispute probably wouldn't have arisen.

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Apple-aligned firm opens sapphire glass factory. iPhone 6 rumours, DEPLOY

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Only as good as the weakest link

I can understand the marketing appeal of a sapphire screen, but you can bet that a non-replaceable battery will continue to be used to control the life expectancy of the phone.

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Chinese Moon rover, lander duo wake up after two-week snooze

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Politics v engineering

What politician decided it was a good idea to place a flag over a solar panel?

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Cygnus cargo truck on its way, and funding to 2024: Space Station is back in the game

Richard Boyce
Mushroom

Lurch on lift off

I've never noticed a rocket lurch like that as is was released and started to rise. The vehicle survived, but was that an acceptable and safe take off? For a second, I thought we'd have this picture ---->

I'm glad that SpaceX has some capable competition.

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Gift-giving gotchas: How to avoid Xmas morning EMBARRASSMENT

Richard Boyce

Rechargables

When buying batteries for use in your own home, buy the newer low self-discharge rechargeable type that comes pre-charged. When flat, they can be recharged and put back on a shelf to await further need, so they're almost as convenient and useful as alkalines.

When buying for others, it's probably best not to pay the extra cost of rechargeables unless the recipient is already using rechargeable batteries, as the batteries are likely to be thoughtlessly thrown away after their first use.

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The Pirate Bay changes domain again … TWICE!

Richard Boyce
Pirate

Metaphor

Perhaps "...continue its game of legal thar-she-blows." ?

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How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

Richard Boyce
Big Brother

RSA sale?

I imagine that EMC will be trying to offload RSA now, or at the very least moving the pieces around under a new brand name. It's not easy to sell security after you've been caught selling your soul. The shareholders will not be happy. More litigation will follow, I assume.

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Astroboffins spot HOT, YOUNG GIANT where she doesn't belong

Richard Boyce
Thumb Up

Detection of something nearby

I look forward to this technology discovering some very large warm object much closer to our Sun than Proxima Centuari, something large enough to have satellites around it.

It would be nicer still if we could have another situation similar to what happened with the Voyager probes, where planets were well aligned for a tour, where we could have spacecraft passing not just our outer planets, and Kuiper Belt objects, but passing by an object of this magnitude within our lifetimes.

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Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

Richard Boyce

Not without risk and cost

This could easily give away the location of the sub at launch time. The value of the drone would be considerably reduced if there were no longer a sub to report back to. Also, I imagine that every one of these drones means one less missile that can be carried and launched.

So perhaps only of use when there's no time to launch a reusable long-range drone from an airfield.

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DropBox puts locks on doors, hopes biz bods will buy the house

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Re: And still no client-side encryption?

Ask yourself why they designed the system this way, when others did not. An example is Wuala whose servers are in Switzerland (very strong privacy laws) and other privacy-conscious countries in Europe, notably not the UK.

Don't complain about Dropbox. Just avoid them and tell other people to avoid them unless they're likely to forget their password and need a cloud storage provider who can recover or reset it. No business should ever find itself in this position, so should never use a service like Dropbox that offers this and which is therefore completely compromised by its design.

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly.

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NSA, UK hacked Yahoo! and Google data center interconnects – report

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Re: "You can't have your privacy violated if you don’t know your privacy is violated, right?"

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we practise to deceive!

Give the guy a break, he's not used to committing perjury.

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Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

Richard Boyce
Flame

Still throttling by up to 65%

So the download throttling has been limited to 16% to make it "reasonable."

Meanwhile the upload throttling can be as much as 65%, down from 75% when I last checked.

If 16% is reasonable, by agreement, then 65% is still taking the piss on an "unlimited" service. They wouldn't keep doing this if they were honourable and took the ASA seriously.

[Edit] It seems that existing customers on 20Mb/s and slower are still subject to 75% throttling in both directions.

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Control panel backdoor found in D-Link home routers

Richard Boyce
Joke

Has anyone yet claimed that the people who published this are aiding terrorism for revealing t̶h̶e̶i̶r this back door?

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Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Re: A split personality release

"Putting parallax effects on something people use while walking is really not a good idea."

Neither is not looking where you're going. That's probably a bigger threat to your health.

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Parallels pledges roll-back fix after silent 'trojan' freebie install triggers punter outrage

Richard Boyce
Unhappy

My guess is that that marketing people can start regarding other people as prey, and act accordingly. I wouldn't be surprised if some nerd in the office spoke up when told to implement this idea, and was advised to just do as he was told.

This abuse is not as bad as what Cisco Linksys did a couple of year ago, when they took customers' home routers hostage by abusing an auto-update facility, and then demanded network monitoring rights in exchange for returning some indirect control of the customer's property. That scandal will take some beating.

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For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

What they didn't say

Apple said that the fingerprint data is never stored on Apple servers. We've learned to treat all such statements as half truths. What is significant is that they did not say that the data never leaves the phone.

I'm actually in favour of everyone's fingerprints being available to the police to catch criminals to make everyone safer. What I'm not in favour of is this data being available only to spooks serving the most power-seeking people, making everyone less safe.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

Richard Boyce

Why compress helium...

when you can take in and compress air instead? Much more weight for a given pressure. If you add carbon dioxide from the exhaust, that would improve things further. So trap, compress, and chill exhaust gases.

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US intelligence: Snowden's latest leaks 'road map' for adversaries

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Security "mistakes"

Since the public became aware of the weakness in WPA, I've suspected that it was deliberate. From now on, every time I hear about a new weakness in a security system, I'll wonder if someone's arm was being twisted with a legal document from the NSA, and perhaps a bribe to sweeten things. I know of one instance where an trustworthy expert who was designing security software in the US had to give up because it was too dangerous.

How many of the monthly security patches that Microsoft issues are backdoors that have been discovered? More than ever we need Open Source software and hardware that's been scrutinised by experts in multiple countries. And then we must hope that the good guys find the backdoors before the bad guys do. In many cases, the reverse will happen. This is bad guys of one kind helping bad guys of another kind.

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Xbox One launch date REVEALED - and it's on the 360's birthday

Richard Boyce
Meh

Version One.0

Best to wait. Let's see the games, let's see a detailed spec, let's not hear a lot of fan noise, let's hear the opinions of customers.

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Guardian lets UK spooks trash 'Snowden files' PCs to make them feel better

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

Just following orders

I wonder if those GCHQ "security experts" were just ex-soldiers who were hired by GCHQ solely because they could be trusted to obey orders and keep their mouths shut. No understanding required.

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Snowden journalist's partner gave Brit spooks passwords to seized files

Richard Boyce
Big Brother

"Legally and procedurally sound"

Then it seems that we need to change the laws and procedures. I guess that's where our MPs come in.

If the Americans had a heads up, then surely the Home Secretary did too. So the buck stops with him on this. The security services can only be as good or as bad as the politicians driving them.

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ZTE to flog Firefox OS mobe worldwide via eBay

Richard Boyce
Meh

A step backwards in value

I bought a ZTE Blade 3 as my first smartphone from Virgin for £80 including £10 credit. It's locked to Virgin, of course, but the phone's specs are much better than the Open, with a 4" 800x480 screen and it runs Android 4.0.

I don't see how the Open can reasonably compete with ZTE's current products in the UK without a price reduction.

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Feeling HORNY? RHINOCEROS INCEST project underway at Cincinnati Zoo

Richard Boyce

Re: Mankind

Mankind has been domesticating and evolving plants and animals for a lot longer than that. That's why there can be 7 billion of us.

For example, you can read how we've genetically modified wheat over the millennia. Then laugh the next time you hear someone saying how they like to eat farmers' pure, natural wheat and how terrible GM wheat is.

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Apple patents touch display that KNOWS YOU by your fingers

Richard Boyce
Meh

What's wrong with using the back of the phone?

The back of a phone is often unused space, so why not put a reader there? Trying to combine a screen and fingerprint reader seems like an expensive way to compromise the quality of both.

The more iPhones get stolen, the more replacements are bought. We know that there's been considerable resistance to making smartphones less attractive to thieves. Perhaps Apple are planning for regulation in this area or are increasingly worried that more people will think that the best defence against a big financial loss is to buy an Android smartphone that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to replace.

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Analyst: Tests showing Intel smartphones beating ARM were rigged

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Re: It is too easy to pick on benchmarks.

Saying "it's too easy to pick on benchmarks" implicitly acknowledges the weakness of what they did. They might as well have said "You didn't really trust what we said, did you?"

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When Apple needs speed and security in Mac OS X, it turns to Microsoft

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

What a mess.

I run XP on a VM running on Slow Leopard (10.6). The Mac's drives are accessed by XP using network shares. All worked fine until I upgraded to Lion on the first day it was available. Then I had nothing but trouble, with intermittent access and long delays. I found out that I was testing Apple's new networking code, and paying the price of being a beta tester. After struggling to improve matters for days, I rolled back to Snow Leopard and cursed Apple. I've avoided upgrading the OS ever since.

Maybe Apple simply gave up trying to fix their own code. Not all in-house projects work out well. Just ask the maps team.

Now, I think XP doesn't work with SMB2, so support for SMB1 is still needed. How will Mavericks handle that? Will that use Apple's own code, as with Lion? Since I use two screens, the better handling of those in Mavericks is attractive, but I do need some assurance that SMB1 will work as well as it does on Snow Leopard.

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