The Register uses cookies. Find out more.

* Posts by John Gamble

400 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

Page:

Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: OK - Here's the deal.

"1. At least A4 screen - ideally A4 long by Septic paper wide. MUST be reflective ie liquid paper or equivalent)...."

And ... pow, you're already disqualified. The tablet department is over there [hand wave], good luck with the rest of the requirements.

The whole *point* of an e-reader is to replace books that you don't necessarily want in a physical format, and most books are much smaller than A4. Even the technical articles I read can be found in something other than A4 (a process I call "die PDF die"), and now that Kobo handles the EPUB3 format, the number of articles I read on it has increased, although not by a great rate (alas, PDF is not dying fast enough).

I find that my current Kobo is just a little on the large size -- my previous one could fit in most of my jacket pockets -- but I'm willing to concede that for the other advantages.

0
0

Flushed with success: No bog standard Canadian goldfish these

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: I thought they have Herons in Alberta

"It does a regular survey of all garden ponds and water features."

Probably because the installers put in too-shallow pools (this was a slow-news-day report some time ago here, the expert opinions were that the pool designers weren't doing their job correctly).

I would imagine Alberta's stormwater ponds are a bit deeper than that, making them safer for goldfish.

1
0

FLICK my FLINT and SNIFF my TREE on the streets of Naples

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Pro tip

The guy you know was just repeating a humorous (but false) story. I'm sure it got a good laugh at the pub, but as snopes.com points out, it doesn't work.

5
0

Google-owned smart-gumble-maker Nest snubs Google's smart-gumble OS Brillo

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Headmaster

" ... it's US-speak for a central heating boiler ... "

Well, no, because in US-speak a boiler... boils. My building is heated by steam that is created in a boiler.

A furnace heats air directly.

1
0

British banks consider emoji as password replacement

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Great Idea!

"... they're still using EBCDIC.

Yup, and the front-end developers then limit the legal password characters to letters and numbers -- no symbols. I'm still boggled by the assumptions behind that limitation (the big one being the assumption that the password is stored unencrypted -- one hopes that's no longer true in the 21st century).

2
0

KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims

John Gamble
Bronze badge

SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Alert

Yup, That's The End

Sourceforge was a bright star when it began (using Subversion as its version control system, a vast improvement over the then commonly used CSV). But changing the site to make it harder to follow code changes (but making it easier to be spammed) is the final nail in the coffin for me.

My only concern is that the number of source code management web sites isn't very large -- now that Sourceforge is over for me, that leaves only Github and Mercurial. Is there anything else that even approaches either site's functionality?

1
0

Will Hay: Britain's bumbling star of the screen and skies

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Headmaster

"...successfully touring America, South Africa and Canada."

Nice article, but I believe your Canadian readers would like to have a word with you about geography.

1
0

ALIEN HUNT: Water similar to life-bearing Earth lakes FOUND ON MOON of Saturn

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Life on Enceladus?

The catch is that Earth's life probably didn't start out as extremophiles, but began in a nice non-extreme zone, and later evolved to survive places of extreme conditions (just to be clear, you'll note that I wrote "probably" -- I know that our sample space is rather small at the moment).

I would love to see Enceladus prove me wrong, but...

1
0

HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: I wonder how...

"Without being a fanboi I have to say those machines should be moved to linux."

Yeah, even as a FreeBSD guy I'd have to say, "move them to Mint and be done with it." If these machines are used mostly for word processing and spreadsheets, it should be a relatively painless transfer.

6
0

NSA domestic dragnet NOT authorised by Patriot Act, rules US Appeals Court

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: Gotta hand it to them...(they take it anyway)

"I thought the McCarthy era was generally perceived as a dark mark on recent american history,"

In general, but there will always be denialists (sadly, Poul Anderson was one), and of course the current strategy is to pretend that no abuse of rights are taking place, so why are you complaining?

2
1

Poseidon's Wake, Naked at the Albert Hall and Farewell Kabul

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Ouch!

"Naked at the Albert Hall probably concentrates on singers of her own ilk, i.e. those that can hold a note."

Hey, isn't this supposed to be a site that celebrates technology? Surely autotune has helped level the playing field between the talented and the untalented.

(Applause for a sentence that did make me laugh out loud.)

4
0

eBay year-long patch stall a little XSSive, researcher says

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Uh-huh. A self-published Amazon book being flogged by a pseudonymous commenter with no other comments to its name? Yeah, that's not suspicious.

0
0

You can now play thousands of classic DOS games on Twitter. Goodbye, productivity

John Gamble
Bronze badge

How About a Nice Game of ...

And there it is... Sargon Chess. This isn't going to just kill my productivity, it's going to kill any semblance of real life I had left.

2
0

Sick of tech bro Silicon Valley? Oakland is building a better tech world – say Oaklanders

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: Sexism

"... throwing out sexist terms of abuse like "bro"."

Except they didn't. So... a) you didn't read the article, and b) you've just revealed something about your own paranoid self.

(Your issue, amongst your other issues, is with the headline writer. And given previous El Reg headlines, it's odd that this is the one that sets you off.)

1
1

Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

John Gamble
Bronze badge

It does say something that Comcast actually improved to its currently terrible level of service only because it started to engage its customers via the "Comcast must die" site. Yes, Comcast customer support had to bypass its own bureaucracy via a hate-Comcast site.

3
0

Cash register maker used same password – 166816 – non-stop since 1990

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: This is UNIX, I know this.

"Actually, it's a 10 year old blonde girl on an island (in the spirit of the criteria / criterion comments)"

No no, in the spirit of the "Morgan Frogman and Tim Cruise" comment, it's "Blond. Jane Blond."

2
0

Halifax's '24/7' online banking service is down YET AGAIN

John Gamble
Bronze badge

No, that can't be it -- PDP/11s were reliable.

4
0

Apple takes ACID-compliant NoSQL upstart FoundationDB

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: FOSS that you can rely on

"If you applied Game Theory and looked at the economy behind FOSS, you'll find that in certain micro examples, it works, yet at the macro example it doesn't."

That requires a bit more in the way of citations for me to accept any part of the premise, let alone the conclusion.

2
0

Becoming Steve Jobs biography: ‘Much of it was chutzpah and self delusion’

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: Flawed - like all of us

"You seem to be confusing genius with philanthropist. I pretty sure Einstein didn't do much to eradicate disease either"

You seem to be confusing capitalism with genius. Einstein didn't have Jobs's or Gates's cash, which is what the original post was about, not their intelligence.

Jobs's anti-philanthropic measures are just another part of his personality that one has to take into account, just as Gates's work will ultimately contribute to how we assess his life.

6
0

LOHAN chap compiles 'tenner a week' cookbook

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Can you post here when you do? That will make it the second book I've bought from Lulu then. Thanks.

0
0

Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

John Gamble
Bronze badge

I've had the honor of briefly meeting Pratchett a couple of times. He was, as you'd expect, very friendly and quite witty. I hope his USENET postings are preserved.

Unsurprisingly, he got better as he got more political (public figures make better targets than fantasy tropes), and I've loaned out Small Gods, The Truth, Going Postal and others often, and they've been greatly appreciated.

I'm going to miss him.

3
0

VMware sued, accused of ripping off Linux kernel source code

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: Case..

So enlighten us. What is the problem here?

13
0

You're outta here! Baseball star strikes out sleazy trolls who targeted teen daughter

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: get yer pitchforks

" Why they think it's OK to harass people online just because they are female?"

I don't think anyone thinks this. But your post was a marvel of obfuscation -- my first impression was that you were claiming a double standard for women, and frankly even on re-reading it still looks that way.

I didn't down-vote you. But at the very least you need to be clearer when you post.

11
0

US military SATELLITE suddenly BLOWS UP: 'Temperature spike' blamed

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

And Now I've Learned Something New

Specifically, the two-line element set (Wikipedia page that also references this NASA page).

0
0

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Go

Re: Mine work too

"...and why can't I have a large green one…?"

Because the Guardians of the Universe forbid it.

0
0

Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs

John Gamble
Bronze badge

"By the way, on a related note...

http://moviecode.tumblr.com/"

That was an enjoyable read, thanks. Interesting that "Person of Interest" uses real exploitation code in its screen shots.

0
0

Spotty Ceres baffles boffins with bright patches

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: Perhaps we have it wrong....

Yes, this.

I now feel a need to re-read my Hal Clement books.

2
0

STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: Wait, what?

"I like my phone on silent in the office, so my pebble steel is awesome for letting me know when I have calls or texts."

And in one unusual use case, I was in a home where the phone could barely pick up a signal if it was in the kitchen (the closest room to the road) and nowhere else. So I left my phone in the kitchen, and my Pebble could notify me if I had a text come in.

0
0

(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Pascal ? Really ?

"For the Mac history buffs out there, check out the original (interpreted) Mac Pascal, Lightspeed/ThiNK Pascal and the classic Turbo Pascal (yes, there was one for the Mac)."

Yeah, Mac Pascal was ... adequate, but it was also the default compiler, so everyone used it.

Lightspeed/Think Pascal had a terrific interface and a better resource syntax, so if you could afford it that was the one you got (and the Think C compiler as well). Turbo... well, it came in a distant second to Think, although I imagine people comfortable with the DOS/Windows version of Turbo were happy with it when they sat in front of a Mac for the first time.

2
0

BLOOD STAR of the NEANDERTHALS passed close to our Sun

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: No Boffin reference? For shame!

He's appeared here before: Boffin the boffin and his boffinry pals in double dwarf super-prang alert.

Clearly we have not, as its sub-title asked, reached Peak Boffin yet.

4
0

'Net neutrality will turn the internet communist – and make Iran's day'

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Golly!

Oh gosh, a Shrub appointee is horribly concerned for his corporate masters everyone's safety. How ever shall we deal with this.

(For those who aren't familiar with it, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page is notorious for crackpot pronouncements, in contrast to the news reporting, which is fairly solid).

20
3

Drinking games: Tapper 1983, this Bud's for you...

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: I had the game, but don't remember the name...

Yeah, there was a modification for those establishments that wanted a video game, but didn't want it promoting evil alcohol. The tea-total one that I remember was Root Beer Tapper.

No one who played it was fooled, of course.

0
0

World's mega-rich tax dodge exposed: Meet the HSBC IT bloke at the heart of damning leak

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: Appropriate

"He wasn't trying to prevent tax evasion, he was trying to profit from data theft."

Cite please? The only ones claiming that are the Swiss authorities, who seem to be working for HSBC in this matter. The other affected European governments seem to have different opinions.

3
2

Why 1.6 million people will miss Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 date with fate

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Or Not The Ender's Game Technique

Except I clicked on the name and it does appear to be a genuine AC, sending me to the "we allow anonymous posting" explanations, instead of a list of postings by AC+blank.

So the point about the pint still stands. Unless there's a bug in El Reg's name-tracking.

3
0

Yahoo!'s Firefox search hook-up pays off as it nicks Google's US clicks

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: dirty tricks

Weird. Duckduckgo is my default, with no complaint from Firefox.

1
0

Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Adding Bluetooth Totally Makes This Not A Fraud!

The Straight Dope dealt with this nonsense eighteen years ago: Do laundry balls really work?.

"Taking all this into consideration, I figure laundry balls aren't just the name of the product, they're what you need to sell it."

3
0

You heard this Chicago electro underground sound? ... Yeah, it's 4G

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: Rahm doesn't take the train

Yes and no. There's some ancient support there, but then again the L was over-built when it was constructed (because back then they didn't know how strong the materials were, so they over-compensated).

So aged they may be, but a) there is a re-build going on, and b) the parts that haven't been replaced are in remarkably good shape.

What deserves more comment is that Mayor Emmanuel is running for re-election, and a sizable portion of the city -- perhaps enough to force a runoff election -- hates him. Announcements like these, just before the election, have one goal only.

1
0

Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: There was another game that came out a year earlier...

"...there was talk of a kickstarter sequel, i know my wife backed it but can't remember if it hit the target"

It did, it's called Armikrog, and it's in alpha testing now.

0
0

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Dead Girl Walking and Chasing the Scream

John Gamble
Bronze badge

A New Brookmyre!

And it reaches the States in... May.

Shakes fist at publishers in impotent fury.

0
0

Tearful boffins confirm grav wave tsunami NOT caused by Big Bang

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: "This pic shows dust emission from the Small Magellanic Cloud"

Damn you, I was going to make a Van Gogh comparison. Have an retaliatory upvote as part of my revenge.

4
0

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: hmm

Typing "Serbian" at the IMDB find box got me the movie (plus one TV episode and one documentary), and it looks like the IMDB message boards are in complete agreement with you.

0
0
John Gamble
Bronze badge

Two Movies I've Walked Out On

Both of them I went to see based on the reputation of someone involved in the movie.

Going Places. I'd heard Gérard Depardieu was an excellent actor, and thought I'd see him during a revival of Going Places. He may indeed be an excellent actor, but unfortunately this was a demonstration of what happens when humor doesn't age well. Those "funny" scenes didn't translate well twenty years later.

Switch. Blake Edwards! Director of Pink Panther, Victor/Victoria! There's no way this is going to be a movie that repeats the same joke over and over, right? Right? Oh dear...

0
0
John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: No one saw Zardoz?

Oh, yeah, that was pretty bad.

I saw it with great expectations -- it had been praised pretty regularly by the then-reviewer of F&SF -- and good lord just how awful can one movie be. I understand that there was a metaphor about overthrowing a decadent ruling class, but that metaphor was realized with rape scenes and manly men going around shirtless for no apparent reason (okay, I can guess the reason, but it's still terrible).

1
0

Your anonymous code contributions probably aren't: boffins

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: students

It can go in the other direction too. My coding style certainly changed over the semester as I learned what worked for me and what didn't. Begin/end and brace placement changed heavily over the semester, as did my indentation width.

It happens as one learns a new language as well. I could definitely look at an early program in a new-to-me language and tell what other language was influencing my style at the time.

0
0

Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

John Gamble
Bronze badge

And Obviously There Are Alternatives To Using Linux

After all, if one can make a NetBSD toaster, then a drone should be a snap.

0
0

Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

John Gamble
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Seems to me: how to get free unrestricted comms in 'autocratic' regimes

I haven't talked to my friends at Microsoft recently but the entire history of Skype, (written in Eesti by Kazaa P2P programmers who actually remembered life under the Soviet Union), meant that it was originally the "compromise free" version!

Except the original version had a self-rolled crypto system, which was about as secure as one would expect. If Skype's crypto has been unchanged since it first appeared, it has been insecure from day one. And if its crypto has been changed as it changed hands... well, it is almost certainly even less secure now.

6
0

Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Randomness

"As an emerging programmer, Warren Davis used the project to practise code routines like randomness, producing balls that would bounce down from the top of each pyramid unpredictably."

Which on an 8086 was quite an accomplishment. Creating pseudo-random number generators that weren't awful was an art form back then, and to do it on an 8086 took quite a bit of skill.

2
0

Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

John Gamble
Bronze badge

Re: a board game isn't just for Christmas

"The best Go but if you insist Chess"

Chess has been improved (really), so it may deserve better than second place, but your mileage may vary of course.

0
0

Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

John Gamble
Bronze badge

So. Living in the 1950s ... how's that working out for you?

6
3

Page:

Forums