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* Posts by Tim Bergel

136 posts • joined 21 Aug 2007

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Rickety rock deemed unworthy of Curiosity's drill

Tim Bergel

Re: hmmm

The straight line indentations in the dirt are wheel tread marks from the rover. It weighs almost a ton (890 Kg) so that's why the rock shattered recently...

Mystery solved.

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TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

Tim Bergel

Re: "Ignoring that issue"

"Why indeed would you even read on past that point?"

Because it's fairly clear from elsewhere that they actually only got 18 Kg of hydrogen?

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Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker

Tim Bergel

Yes indeed, and in the para following:

"that Microsoft is committed to saving punters from these risks, and will "therefore continue to bring action against those who infringe its rights and distribute its software unlawfully".

"committed to saving punters from these risks" indeed!

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Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Tim Bergel

Re: Shivers...

I cant resist: http://xkcd.com/695/

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Boffin benchmark battle after D-Wave quantum kit crawls in test

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Re: Somebody needs to define a Turing test for quantum computing

Yes, just what I was thinking - if it cannot solve a classically hard problem of that sort, what use is it?

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Boffins hampered by the ampere hanker for a quantum answer

Tim Bergel

If I understand this correctly, what they are doing here is coming up with a way of counting electrons accurately. As a coulomb is equal to the charge on a fixed (& very large) number of electrons, surely this will lead to defining the ampere in terms of the coulomb?

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Google poised to become world's first TREEELLION DOLLAR company?

Tim Bergel

A quick look

at the marketwatch links shows that Google's P/E ratio is 31 whereas the other three are all sitting rather more comfortably at around 13. So Google's value is already *2 inflated relative to the others by expectations of future growth. I don't hold out much hope of future Microsoft growth so I would bet that Apple or Exxon Mobil would be the first to make it ... not that I am investing any of my money either.

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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Tim Bergel
Unhappy

Damn it all to hell and back

This news has completely ruined my day.

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The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Laughed and laughed

Thank you Verity - most excellent!

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Facebook invites users to vote away voting rights, some privacy

Tim Bergel

Current votes

are about 90% in favour of keeping the old rules but as there are about 60K total votes cast the quorum of 300 million looks pretty out-of-reach.

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Boeing zaps PCs using CHAMP missile microwave attacks

Tim Bergel

Re: Immune Virtual Operating Systems for Attacking Defence Platforms ....

I'm convinced that amanfrommars1 is software........

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Gates: Microsoft will merge Phone and Windows platforms

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

I absolutely agree with you, trying to shoe-horn a desktop UI onto a phone was brain damaged and the reverse is equally so. Say what you like about Apple, they didn't make that mistake.

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Rumour: Asus rejects $99 Nexus 7... rumour

Tim Bergel
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Re: "Google Play shop to which the Nexus 7 is tightly tied"

Bravo from me too - I've had no problems getting everything I wanted onto my Nexus 7 without having to use Google Play.

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iPhone to account for half of US economy by 2030 - projection

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

"that's a pretty speculative and wild-eyed bit of curve fitting"

... but fun though.

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Google's Nexus 7 tabs 'can't perform' if flash RAM crammed

Tim Bergel

Re: Maxing out the device

I managed to nearly fill my N7 frighteningly easily - but I must say it was a real pleasure to do so as it makes such a good job of dealing with directory trees of data just dumped into it. Can't say I'm seeing it running slowly though - but I'm still going to trash 2-3 GBytes of music files...

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Microsoft promises Metro developers 'fame and fortune'

Tim Bergel

Re: Fortune ?

"i won't buy another box until start menu appears and metro is switch offable at install"

Which of course is exactly what will happen. Eventually.

Win 8 is obviously going to be another Vista and MS will waste a huge amount of time and money telling us that it's great and we will all ignore them and about 2 years down the line they will come up with something (Win 9? Guess not - it's about time for them to change to a new naming scheme, no?) that allows you to completely conceal the Metro section and we will all ask ourselves why they could not have done this with Win 8...

I'm past caring really, but I'm certainly going to stick with Win 7 (& XP) on the desktop.

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Windows 8: Not even Microsoft thinks businesses will use it

Tim Bergel
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Re: I like the Metro interface... but it's so UGLY!!

I can't understand why any mobile phone user would want a user interface built out of those orange, purple, blue and green rectangles - I've always thought it looks horrible - don't get me started on putting this on the desktop....

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Space Station crew enter the Dragon

Tim Bergel

Wasn't there supposed to be

some sort of surprise item included in the ISS cargo?

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Special Projects Burro pops his hooves

Tim Bergel

What a pity

... hope Katerina is not too upset

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LOHAN to straddle meaty titanium rod

Tim Bergel

Would it be a good idea

to have the launching rail extend somewhat past the end of the truss so that by the time LOHAN becomes free from the rail it is sure to be completely clear of the truss?

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Revealed: Apple's plea for fairness in mobile patent war

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Un-clickable links are fine

if using a recent Firefox, just select all of the link and right-click on it. Very useful.

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Hubble shows images from record-breaking 13.1 billion light-years

Tim Bergel

What I want to know is where's the middle?

There is no middle. Its space itself that is expanding and its expanding everywhere (I think).

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Android-powered goggles bring virtual reality closer

Tim Bergel
FAIL

First thing I thought

was "Why did they bother to include that totally rubbish video?"

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Codebreakers find evidence for hidden puzzle in GCHQ challenge

Tim Bergel

Steganography would involve altering the pixels...

not so I think. Steganography means "hidden message" and a wide variety of methods of hiding messages are referred-to as steganography, for example concealing data in apparently corrupted packets that are part of a Skype voice call. Agreed, meta-data is pretty poor steganography but I think the term is valid.

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Spillover from 400lb man squeezed fellow flier into galley

Tim Bergel

Yes

surely you can simply refuse to raise the armrest: "I've paid for all of this seat and if you cannot fit in yours then it is your problem"?

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Larger Kindle Fire coming soon, say moles

Tim Bergel
Thumb Down

Another

person who joined The Register just to compare the Fire unfavourably with the iPad...

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Adventures in Tech: Taking the plunge into IPv6

Tim Bergel
Unhappy

All sorts of aggravating issues

The best one was when I converted the internal email server to Win-7 and allowed it to use V4 or V6. All the Win-7 clients in the building immediately switched to using V6 to make their POP3 connections. That was OK with Thunderbird but I found that Outlook (inevitably) says that the connection works but when it actually tries to use V6 it manages to fail. I had to enter the server V4 IP address in directly to get them to stop it.

And of course the ISP can't cope...

But my real bugbear is the Kerio Control firewall, which will not work with V6. The latest version at least does not kill it off internally but all external access is blocked and all attempts to get Kerio to commit to providing V6 support at any time in the future have failed. So I'm going to have to replace it with something - pity as it was really easy to work with - any suggestions?

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As iPhone 4S battery suckage spreads, fixes appear

Tim Bergel
Unhappy

Yeah, sad about Stanza

I wanted to upgrade my iPod touch to iOS5, but I can't unless I'm willing to kiss goodby to the 200+ books I've accumulated in Stanza.

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Insulin pump hack delivers fatal dosage over the air

Tim Bergel

There is a good reason for wireless

"There is absolutely no reason for any of these kind of drug delivery devices to have a radio control system. None"

Not quite. If you connect almost any sort of electronic equipment to a human for clinical purposes it has to undergo extraordinarily stringent safety tests to *prove* beyond almost any doubt that it cannot pass mains voltages through to the patient and thereby kill them. The pump assembly will have to be tested but as it is presumably battery powered that will not be quite so bad.

If the controlling system connects to the pump assembly wirelessly the existence of a 1 meter+ air gap allows you to say 'its safe' without any testing of the controlling PC. Which is a great advantage believe me.

Not that any of this excuses the completely insecure link design - even 10 years ago.

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Just seven solar cars reach Adelaide alive

Tim Bergel
Pint

Hey Lester

Can you tell us how many non-finishers actually broke down and how many were still moving, but didn't make the deadline?

Beer icon as you will probably prefer to drink it than dig out answers to trivial queries...

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And they're off! Day one at the solar races

Tim Bergel

Charging during rest stops?

I noticed that the pictures at the rest stop seem to show a number of upper car panels being held up sideways to catch the evening sunshine - are they getting a bit more charge into the batteries?

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Belgian buccaneers invade Rockall

Tim Bergel
Pint

there's a few more "outcrops" which are a tad more remote

for example the majestic Bergel rock - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergel_Rock

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China's patent EXPLOSION could leave West behind

Tim Bergel
Thumb Down

We are all doomed

"No one should be in any doubt that patents are a key part - if not the key part - of any strategy to gain or hold market share in tech industry"

and it used to be innovation & engineering quality that was important.

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LOHAN to suck mighty thruster as it goes off, in a shed

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Sounds good to me

and I would guess it's much harder to get a plastic pipe to generate shrapnel when it bursts ... but maybe not if it's cooled in dry ice now I think about it.

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Apple $10k winner hangs up on 'prank caller'

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

@fatal flaw

Buy it ten times, no?

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Wikileaks: Berlusconi useless, Pope Catholic

Tim Bergel
Thumb Down

What are you on about?

The *real* eye opener was that numerous Arab governments have encouraged the US to attack Iran, something which your story seems to have passed over!

Agreed, an awful lot of the rest falls into the 'bleedin obvious' category, but that one definitely is not. Even if it could have been guessed-at, the number of different governments doing this is a big surprise and the information will have major repercussions.

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Petabyte-chomping big sky telescope sucks down baby code

Tim Bergel
Coat

I feared I was just being dumb

and sadly it was so. In my defence it doesn't look like I would have had much chance to see this in the UK - only broadcast on children's daytime TV. But still... hat, coat

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Tim Bergel
WTF?

Milky Way is cube-shaped?

Matt, can you tell us where you got that information? I am having a great deal of trouble believing it ... or am I being particularly slow at getting the joke?

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PARIS joins the 17-mile-high club

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Wonderful stuff ...

... indeed and thanks for all the fun. Looking forwards to LOHAN

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PARIS nursing mother of all hangovers

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Fantastic location for the launch

what else can I say. Really looking forwards to more photos and the video.

Are you going to try for launch #2 or will Vulture 1 now be retired?

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LOST Vulture One PARIS spaceplane FOUND!!!

Tim Bergel
Pint

Nice one

Enjoy your well-earned booze & send us pics soon please.

... or it didn't happen ...

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Vulture One spaceplane NOW AIRBORNE!

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Something has landed...

...clearly, but who knows what. How did frank get data showing the plane at the same locn as the balloon? I'm still seeing data from yesterday. Different callsign?

Meanwhile back near Avila, it looks like the chase car has broken down again.

All good fun and the tracking works really well. Thanks!

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Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Looking weird

> # G6UIM-11: The main payload back-up transmitter, broadcasting "EA PARIS Balloon"

> on 144.800MHz.

> # G6UIM-12: The Vulture 1's GPS/APRS board, transmitting on 433.800MHz.

Anybody have any idea why the location of G6UIM-12 (the plane) is nowhere near the location of G6UIM-11 (the balloon) and at an altitude of 3400 feet while the balloon is at 37000 feet (and falling)? Did you leave the plane behind on the ground when you launched the balloon?

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PARIS team cracks Vulture 1-X wing

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

@Neil Barnes

From my experience of building balsa and tissue wings, I heartily endorse everything that you suggested. In particular loosing the internal bracing & relying upon the ribs.

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Cleveland residents get RFID-equipped recycling

Tim Bergel
WTF?

The original article says

> it really isn't, as England has used a similar program for several years now to

> weigh garbage output of its citizens

am I loosing it or is this complete rubbish ... I heard of councils threatening to do this but I didn't think any of them actually *had*?

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Spending Challenge closure countdown begins

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

@AC

My suggestion was scrapping Trident and use some of the money saved to deploy more infantry, particularly snipers.

Bet you it never shows up in the list of options to vote for ...

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Elon Musk plans new Mars rockets bigger than Saturn Vs

Tim Bergel
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Kikkar? Shekels?

No idea where Elon found that quote, but as far as I can tell the Kikkar and Shekel are both units of currency, with 360 Kikkars to a Shekel (maybe), so I don't think this will help much in sorting out fuel/oxidiser ratios ... looks like a pretty dodgy translation to me.

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Satnav leaves family stranded in Outback for three days

Tim Bergel
Thumb Up

Australians seem to have issues with road signs

... it's the only country I've visited where I've seen a road sign telling you to pay attention to the road sign coming up in 100 meters. I thought that highly odd (but it was in Queensland which does seem to have a bit of a reputation) but maybe they know what the drivers are like ...

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Extraterrestrials strafe Bosnian with meteorites

Tim Bergel
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Bad maths

Sorry AC, you have got it wrong because the frequency of meteoroid impacts is generally very low.

Suppose that, over 100 years, about 1 in a thousand homes worldwide get hit once. That seems a very high level to me but I'm making it more common to prove the point. Then, over the same period, one house in 10**18 would get hit six times. As the total population of earth is a rather less than 10**10, giving us maybe 3*10**9 houses, this isn't likely to happen.

If the rate of being hit once is a more reasonable one in 100,000, the the chance of six hits is now 1 in 10**30 - so this is *really* not going to happen.

For myself, rather than blaming ET for throwing rocks at the house, I would take a hard look at the local kids...

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Futurologist warns of malevolent dust menace

Tim Bergel

Not worth worrying about

a) because it's probably impossible due to power requirements

b) certainly not any time Real Soon Now

c) if we can ever make smart spyware dust, then we can also make smart dust to detect & remove it - which will start off a happy little arms race...

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