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* Posts by John Gamble

295 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

John Gamble
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Re: Errrr?

"It's my fault for surprising the Reg subs..."

They do seem to startle easily.

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Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

John Gamble
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Re: Incremental versions?

You do realize that that's a Google Chrome "innovation", right?

I grant you that doesn't excuse Mozilla from copying such a blatantly bad idea -- it smell of marketing hype.

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

John Gamble
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Re: Outstanding

Through the pub to the stars?

Sometimes those back doors don't open to the alley.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

John Gamble
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Re: Blocking

Install Noscript

go addthis.com (any page)

now on Noscript you can block addthis.com permanently

Blocking in NoScript is the default. You don't have to do anything (beyond not make bad default choices) to block addthis.com.

You do have to be careful as a long-time user to be sure that you didn't allow it in the past.

[checks NoScript "allow" list in my browser...]

[oops...]

[removes it from the list.]

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HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Dictionaries Still Exist

"What makes him a "forensic scientist"?

"He analyses how iphones work, hacks banks, does pentests, etc."

Forensic:

adj. Relating to, used in, or appropriate for courts of law or for public discussion or argumentation.

adj. Of, relating to, or used in debate or argument; rhetorical.

adj. Relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law: a forensic laboratory.

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MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Bleeding obvious ?

"Is there anyone reading this who *didn't* think this?"

The impression I get is that the temperature swings had not been considered -- you can't just have a quantity of water in your planet of lakes to sustain life, you need to have a truly deep ocean to handle the heat flow.

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

John Gamble
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Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

"Not only was it complete and complex it came with its own language."

Appropriately enough, since it was created by the linguist M. A. R. Barker.

If he had been a slightly better writer his works would be compared to Tolkien.

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Why?

LED Lights are supposed to last... well forever...

An LED (and the bulbs made from them) will age over time, getting dimmer. Last I checked, a bulb was officially (U.S.) considered "dead" when it dropped to 70% of its initial illumination.

So far the outdoor lights, which are on continuously at night, are still doing fine, but they've only been in operation for two years so far. I think I can realistically expect another three years out of them, but we'll see.

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John Gamble
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Re: Stuff this..

Ah, interesting (I've never seen a bulb like that before, thanks). All I can say then is good luck -- it took manufacturers here years to get around to making the PAR16 equivalents that I needed, but they finally did, so presumably something similar will happen with your R7s.

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John Gamble
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Angel

Re: Stuff this..

All I want at present is a way to replace existing 78mm 80/100W halogen bulbs with an equivalent LED

Yeah, the size equivalents are available1, but the brightest that I see from my supplier are 60W equivalents (heat build-up is definitely the enemy here).

Having said that, you may want to try to swap out one of your halogens with an LED anyway, just for the sake of comparison. I've found that halogens are not always as bright as claimed, and sometimes the bulb is brighter than necessary for the room or hallway anyway.

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1. Assuming a reflector type, the North American equivalent would be a PAR20, with half an inch to spare.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

John Gamble
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Thumb Up

Re: Terror Bird

They actually changed the headline! That was unexpected.

Must... not... let... power... go.. to... head...

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John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Terror Bird

It looks like they do have colloquial names ("bony-toothed birds", "false-toothed birds", etc.), but I think that's boring. How about using another word from the headline, and call them "Dragon Birds"?

I expect a letter-writing campaign to begin immediately.

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John Gamble
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Boffin

Terror Bird

Hey there, headline writers, there's only room for one Terror Bird in these parts. Come up with a different adjective, or we'll peck you to death.

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Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

John Gamble
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We can call them anything we like. It's the pre-trial bias that the judge is trying to limit (pointlessly, in my view, but then I'm not a judge).

(Likewise, the headline grossly misstates the situation, but that's par for course here.)

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

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Re: @Trigun "meh" Whilst I entirely agree that Redmond do not seem to be handling.....

You've mis-read the article ...

No, they didn't. You do seem to have mis-read the comment though.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Ancient technology

I had to look Susan Parker and Zeus Amplifier up (the up-to-date site seems to be at Audiophonics.com), and to my limited ability I'm impressed. Pity there are only so many project I can handle at a time.

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John Gamble
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Re: Improving your reproduction

Indeed, one of the benefits of the CD (and therefore digital) revolution in music is that albums were remastered without (or at least with less) compression.

But it also depends on the artist. If you create your music using digital instruments with deliberately limited timbre, then all the speaker improvements in the world won't help make the music sound better than it would with earbuds.

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SPACE: The FINAL FRONTIER. These are the TEN-YEAR images of star probe Cassini

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: nothing-to-lose end-of-life mission

I like this. If NASA could put Cassini in, say, the A ring, as close to the Cassini Division as possible, we could get some pretty spectacular shots before the probe's end of life.

And I'm sure the spectacular shots could be justified as a scientific mission.

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MIT and CERN's secure webmail plan stumped by PayPal freeze

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: No they don't

PayPal is not a bank; it is an outfit that lives from people transferring money through them

Caveat: Wikipedia entry, albeit a sourced Wikipedia entry:

In the United States, PayPal is licensed as a money transmitter on a state-by-state basis. PayPal is not classified as a bank in the United States, though the company is subject to some of the rules and regulations governing the financial industry including Regulation E consumer protections and the USA PATRIOT Act.

In 2007, PayPal Europe was granted a Luxembourg banking license, which, under European Union law, allows it to conduct banking business throughout the EU. It is therefore regulated as a bank by Luxembourg's banking supervisory authority, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).

In Australia, PayPal is licensed as an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) and is thus subject to Australian banking laws and regulations.

Executive summary: yeah, they have to obey some or all (depending on the continent) of the banking regulations regarding transfer of money.

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Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not

John Gamble
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Re: If gravity bends light...

"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."

Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett

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Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

John Gamble
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Thumb Up

Good luck with your future career, both in music and in overturning Citizens United (and let us know if you decide to give blues in Chicago another try).

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

John Gamble
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Happy

Re: I wonder if today will be

"I had to. Even before I finished the article."

Hmm, you mean I could send invites to both Dabbsy and Pottsy1?

...nah, I have more self-control than that.

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1. Sorry about that2.

2. Not really though.

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Engineering fault stops SpaceX launch of machine comms satellite network

John Gamble
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Re: Rockets use liquid fuel?

Once again, I have to point out that using the Joke Alert icon doesn't save you if your joke is no good.

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

John Gamble
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Re: A cheaper solution...

Samuel Clements ("Mark Twain") said to kill all the lawyers, ...

No, he didn't.

This isn't the weirdest mis-attribution to Twain I've seen, but it has to have been the easiest to have checked. It's not like Google couldn't find the quote.

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PoW! Academics KO Bitcoin mining mammoths

John Gamble
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Re: Think about it

They apologized on their way to the bank, so that makes everything copacetic.

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Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

John Gamble
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Re: "So, where do the doughnuts come in?"

They found a nearby doughnut shop by making use of the Ham Sandwich Theorem

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Microsoft 'Catapults' geriatric Moore's Law from CERTAIN DEATH

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Re: A troupe of boffins?

"Undignified? But some of the best boffinry comes from monkeying around ..."

An indignity of boffins. There you go then.

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

John Gamble
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Childcatcher

Z-Man

Hmm. I wonder how the game company feels about DARPA using their name.

(I recommend Pandemic. Which does sound DARPA-like, now that I think of it.)

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HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch ... THE MACHINE

John Gamble
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Re: fuck HP, here's why

"They've delayed the memristor for business reasons (see Hynix).

Those bastards. And I'll bet they're the reason practical fusion is still thirty years in the future too.

Or... sometimes new technology is hard to launch.

On a more practical matter, the new-everything-running-together claim is a little over the top. I'd be happy enough with memristor technology working on a FreeBSD-based machine.

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Remember Control Data? The Living Computer Museum wants YOU

John Gamble
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Re: Port That Job!

Ah, I'd forgotten about the load/store via the A registers aspect. Thanks for the reminder.

Huh, it occurs to me that I may actually still have a matrix multiplier that I wrote in CDC assembler all those decades ago (I was pleased enough with it that it survived the Great Home Paper Purge of the nineties). I need to look it up.

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John Gamble
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Re: Unrealistic job requirements

"...but if they are up to the CDC requirements, they will be seriously lacking in IBM/DEC/etc."

Seeing as my classmates and I worked on CDCs, PDP-11s, and Vaxen (that's the plural of VAX)... yeah, not so much.

Honestly, we're not so inflexible as that.

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John Gamble
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Port That Job!

Heh. If I recall correctly, we used University of Minnesota languages and Purdue University operating systems on our CDCs. I have very fond memories of programming them in MNF (a Fortran compiler), but that was over forty years ago, and I'd probably need a refresher course on the tricks of programming with 60-bit registers.

Maybe we could fork Node.js to it.

(We need a "not entirely joking" icon now.)

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

John Gamble
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Hmm.

The big news in the NFC mobile payments world is a switch from the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) – which put the secure element in the SIM card and gave the operators control of payments – to Host Card Emulation (HCE), where the secure element is in the handset and gives the control to piggyback (over-the-top) players, most significantly the banks.

So... who's responsible for the encryption? How easily would either system have allowed us to upgrade encryption if/when a weakness in the encryption is discovered?

And how much of a surcharge would we be hit with for the privilege of saving the banks from handling filthy lucre?

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You'll never believe it: Apple stock is going for CHEAP

John Gamble
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Stock splits are fairly common (although 7:1 splits aren't, I'll grant you), and are usually a sign that the stock (and presumably the company) is doing well. As the article alluded, it's to make the stock more accessible to the average buyer, as opposed to the institutional buyers who can buy hundreds of shares at a time.

It's reverse stock splits (e.g., your 30 shares of stock become 15 shares) that are usually a warning sign.

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

John Gamble
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Waiting for "and some of those people who can't code work for/at/on .. $ORG_YOURE_MAD_AT" comments in three, two, one...

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Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

John Gamble
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Re: re:It's too difficult for him to learn. Poor baby.

"Considering C is easier to learn than C++, or Java, ..."

Hmm, agree with you on C++, but not on Java, which is pretty easy to learn (note that this says nothing about the relative merits of the languages). The only stumbling block I had was with the memory model, and it's a block that lasted all of five minutes before I got it sorted out.

And I'm not sure that "easy to learn" should be a deciding factor in language use anyway.

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John Gamble
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Re: No need to be so special, Apple

Yes, the LLVM aspect caught my attention too. But there are multiple languages now that can use LLVM (including C), so while it's a nice feature in a new language, it's not trend-setting.

Name-collision problem aside, it looks nice, but so do Google's and Microsoft's offerings, and that's just the corporate side -- the independents' languages are also going strong (yes, even the ones with the scary punctuation marks).

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eBay slammed for daft post-hack password swap advice

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Replace e with 3, etc.

Might have been good advice ten years ago, but those rainbow tables can be generated with those variations too.

Not to mention the users who never changed their supplied password from "Chang3M3" even after having been through password leaks themselves.

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ENTIRE UNIVERSE created in supercomputer. Not THIS universe (probably)

John Gamble
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Getting the Simulation Right

"Very small galaxies in our simulation are older than are observed in the real universe. Stars in these small galaxies formed around six billion years ago in the simulation, whereas in the real universe they only formed about three billion years ago,"

That pesky dark matter -- it gets into everything.

(I would have added a joke alert icon, but I'm not certain that it's necessarily a joke.)

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Norwegians trial Oculus Rift in tanks: The ultimate battlefield simulator

John Gamble
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Black Helicopters

Re: Everything is low res to begin with

There will be little need for carbon forms on the tanks themselves.

Ah. A drone then.

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Solaris deposed as US drone-ware, replaced by Linux administration

John Gamble
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Joke

Re: Can anyone help me here?

That's the problem with perl newbies, always trying to code from scratch when a perfectly good CPAN module is available. Like Acme::Boom..

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Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

John Gamble
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Re: LAN parties..

Netrek, of course. Also other games on LAN or pseudo-LAN setups -- Midi Maze and Populous were fun for that.

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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

John Gamble
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Re: ...with the balloon up a tree...

Well yes, there has to be at least one tree involved.

Only one? Surely you can do better than that.

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The gift of Grace: COBOL's odyssey from Vietnam to the Square Mile

John Gamble
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Boffin

Air Traffic Control

"... the mainframe Cobol stuff focused on being rock solid rather than interesting; ask yourself if you want a more reliable air traffic control system or one that’s more exciting?"

Actually I'd like information on what air traffic control systems were written in COBOL. I'm sure they may be out there, but the ones I'm aware of were written in JOVIAL.

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The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled

John Gamble
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Not to worry, I'm sure you'll make it up soon.

So... when do you launch for the ISS?

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

John Gamble
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Re: What was 2.0 really known for?

Did this version still have the environment variable that allowed changing '\' directory separators to '/' (can't recall the variable name, or I would search on it). I and others were unhappy people when MS dropped that option -- I was given to understand they dropped it to avoid complicating that new thing called "Windows".

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

John Gamble
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Redeeming Features

The keyboard was one of two "redeeming features" of the PCjr -- the other was the (for the time) superior graphics. I had a friend who had a moderately successful game out on the PC, and he loved the PCjr's graphics -- imagine, a full color palette!

The downside, of course, was that he couldn't actually develop on the machine -- he had to compile the game (using either Lattice or Aztec C) on his PC, then copy it over to the PCjr. An extra nuisance that went for naught when the PCjr was cancelled.

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Google grabs Gmail-using HTTPS refuseniks and coats them with SSL

John Gamble
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Meh

I was visiting a site in a not so friendly place, and ALL https from that part of the world went to /dev/null.

Doesn't that say more about that unfriendly country than it does HTTPS? I'm sorry you were inconvenienced, but you couldn't ask for a more blatant message than if there were a sign above your (rotary) phone that said "Please speak loudly and clearly, our reel-to-reel tape machines are wobbly."

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A sysadmin always comes prepared: Grasp those essential tools

This post has been deleted by a moderator

John Gamble
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Meh

Re: The most effective way of generating high entropy in anything is to set it on fire.

It's not quite OpenFlame1, but there is Lavarnd (<http://www.lavarnd.org/>, yes, randomness from a lava lamp) and Hotbits (<http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/>, "Genuine random numbers, generated by radioactive decay").

For varying definitions of "hot".

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1. Damn, thought I made something up, but searching does show an OpenFlame project exists.

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