* Posts by Simon Harris

2271 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom

Simon Harris
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Re: Slight numerical error.

I remember those days when radio manufacturers would advertise the transistor count like mechanical watch manufacturers would advertise how many 'jewel' bearings the watch had.

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EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Simon Harris
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Re: The best cable of any kind in 50 years

Depends how many times you run over it with your chair.

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UK chip and PIN readers fall ill: Don't switch off that terminal!

Simon Harris
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Re: Cash on the barrel head

My local kebab shop does very good kebabs and takes both cards and cash.

I always end up paying cash, even if I have my card with me, as the change gives me something to leave in the tips jar.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

Simon Harris
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Re: "1 business day after dispatch"

Unless I know the vendor my heart sinks when I look for something on Amazon and find it's from a Marketplace supplier. I trust them about as much as random people on eBay.

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Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

Simon Harris
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Have you tried turning it off and on again?

While the robot begs not to be switched off in a way that seemed like a small child not wanting the light switched off at bedtime, I suspect most people know that if you switch something off, it will normally work again when you switch it on.

Would there have been a different response if the participants were put in a situation where their action would actively wipe the software or destroy the device?

I remember years ago a website 'Temple ov thee lemur' set up a page with a big red button that if pressed destroyed the site (or gave the impression of doing so). I wonder if they ever collected stats on how many visitors to the page pressed that button.

http://totl.net/HonourSystem/

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Simon Harris
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Re: Dave

At least HAL didn't lie about eating pizza.

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Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

Simon Harris
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Re: I'm struggling to think of any black androids in film or television

I just had a thought that some of the Battlestar Galactica (remake) Cylons were black and Asian, and looking through their numbers, I see that there were some:

"Simon" - played by Rick Worthy

"Boomer" - played by Grace Park

"Tory Foster" - played by Rekha Sharma

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Simon Harris
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Re: I can see where this will lead

"I'm struggling to think of any black androids in film or television"

Of female black androids, I can't think of any off-hand. Male ones, the most recent I can think of were a couple of the main characters in Humans.

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Build your own NASA space rover: Here are the DIY JPL blueprints

Simon Harris
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Re: I'm daydreaming ...

... although at 1/6 scale I don't know where you'd find the 1' tall astronauts.

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Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

Simon Harris
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Unhappy

Sobering thought...

I'm not far off the upper age limit that they considered middle-aged.

Have to get my mid-life crisis in fast.

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Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

Simon Harris
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Joke

An electromagnetic concentrator the size of the Great Pyramid...

... and they still can't get decent EE reception.

Even the icon has a picture of a pyramid ---->

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Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

Simon Harris
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Re: No Excuses! @HKmk23

Except for the possibility of your law abiding citizen becoming reclassified as an undesirable under a future government.

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Simon Harris
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Re: ...citing the Windrush scandal as justification.

"The fix for the Windrush scandal is clear: the government need to end this "hostile environment" and "war" around immigration."

Quite - on its own, under the political climate of 2009 when the document destruction policy was mooted, and 2010 when it was implemented by the UK Borders Agency, it would probably have had little effect on most people's lives. However with the Hostile Environment policy of 2012 and changes brought in by the Immigration Act 2014, those destroyed documents gained a much greater importance.

One thing it does demonstrate is that a policy enacted one year (e.g. the hypothetically benign introduction of ID cards as a 'you are welcome in the UK chit') could have a more sinister consequence under future administrations should, say, regulations change so that carrying them becomes mandatory denying the right to anonymity in everyday life.

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Simon Harris
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Re: ...citing the Windrush scandal as justification.

"Given that it was the result of policy (hostile environment) as much as cock-up that's a hard one to believe."

My swingometer that gauges whether the government does things more out of malice or incompetence oscillates daily from one side to the other. Perhaps I should just settle on maliciously incompetent.

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Simon Harris
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...citing the Windrush scandal as justification.

"Because the government can't be trusted not to cock things up" is a novel excuse for ID cards - haven't heard that one before.

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NAND the beat goes on: Samsung to fling out 96-layer 3D NAND chip

Simon Harris
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Re: 1980s...

Does anyone else remember the 2532, with its annoyingly subtle different pin-out from the 2732?

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Simon Harris
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Re: Exponential development

Bringing back memories of the 1980s...

Fill a 27C64 with code, plug it in, doesn't work, stick it under the UV lamp for a bit, reprogram with the corrected code... repeat as necessary.

Looking at Farnell and RS now, it looks like it's impossible to get anything smaller than a 27C256 (a size I could only aspire to when I started) and everything is one time programmable, no more quartz windows - I guess it's time to throw out the UV lamp!

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Your phone may be able to clean up snaps – but our AI is much better at touching up, say boffins

Simon Harris
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Was it just me...

or did the process make the child with the face-paint around her eye look like she was made out of plastic?

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Call your MEP! Wikipedia blacks out for European YouTube vote

Simon Harris
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Thumb Down

Rejected!

MEPs have voted down the currently proposed legislation, but will revisit the issue in September.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44712475

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Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

Simon Harris
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Will he learn from the error of his ways...

and in future remain in-step with the law and toe the line?

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Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

Simon Harris
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Re: Arresting times past

Technically the crime is Contempt of Court to photograph a person in the court complex, so while it might not actually be unlawful to photograph objects (except evidence, possibly) I wouldn't want to have to explain myself from the other side of the dock. To be on the safe side, I'd probably ask first to do any inspection photography out of hours and with a chit from whoever's in charge of the court complex.

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Simon Harris
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Re: I order ed a book about computer veruses

Within an hour I got a phone call from someone in "intelligence" asking me questions about hacking and trojans.

"Give me a chance - I'll tell you when I've read the book!"

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Simon Harris
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Re: Arresting times past

Not just the Old Bailey - it applies to any Crown or Magistrates' Court - I got the same info in my jurors' instruction pack for doing jury service in Kingston not long ago.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Entering New Zealand

An impossibility of marketing managers.

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Simon Harris
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Re: Not Millennials!

Generation X seems to have quite a flexible definition with a range of starting and ending dates.

If you choose the Harvard definition you can make it stretch to 1984, and might be able to call yourself a Gen Xer instead of a millennial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X

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Simon Harris
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Re: Sun optical mice, circa 1985

From Wikipedia...

"Early Sun workstations used MSC optical mice exclusively. Initial models came with large mousepads with well-spaced lines, while later models were smaller and used a much tighter grid."

They must have been using the tighter grid on the mousepad I had.

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Simon Harris
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Devil

Mouse balls.

In the old days, if I was feeling particularly mean to someone I might substitute their mouse ball for one from another mouse that was slightly smaller.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Sun optical mice, circa 1985

That was the first type of mouse I used (Mouse Systems Mouse) - I don't remember it being particularly jumpy though - I used to use it for schematic capture and PCB design with P-CAD in 1986/87. It came bundled with a painting program too.

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Microsoft reveals which Windows bugs it might decide not to fix

Simon Harris
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Coat

Re: Pay more, get less

"Now that Windows is SaaS..."

Surely that's BSaaS - Blue Screen as a Service.

Mine's the one with the recovery disc in the pocket --->

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Yahoo! Kills! The! Messenger!

Simon Harris
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I remember back in the early days of hand curated web indexes some of the entries were quite humorous.

When many of the early sites with pictures of naked ladies consisted of images brazenly scanned from Playboy, Penthouse, and the like, I remember one site being listed with a comment something like 'Collection of copyright violations', and the next one in the list being 'More copyright violations'.

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US govt mulls snatching back full control of the internet's domain name and IP address admin

Simon Harris
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"Do I have to go back to finger-ing the person before I meet them?"

These days I always sniff their packets first.

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NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

Simon Harris
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"Meteor 2018 LA seen from farm..."

Hmm... looks more like 'swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus' to me.

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Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build

Simon Harris
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FAIL

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

I can't help but read that as 'Fail Creators Update' whenever I see it.

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About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

Simon Harris
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Re: Windows Schrödinger edition

"Is it alive or is it dead - you only know when you come to use it next time."

If Microsoft is going to enforce updates at a time of its choosing (at least for home users), maybe every copy of Windows should come with complimentary external storage large enough to back up the system drive and prompt to plug it in to make a backup before making the updates, on the off-chance that it's going to cock things up.

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Simon Harris
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Talking to my dad the other day (by phone, he's 50 miles away, so I'm only guessing), it sounds like he has the same problem.

Does the Windows re-installer wipe the desktop and user areas as part of the re-install or is all the old data recoverable afterwards?

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You've got pr0n: Yes, smut by email is latest workaround for UK's looming cock block

Simon Harris
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Re: One in the bush is worth two in the hand

"dumping what we no longer need under a local bush for other lucky recipients to find."

Will images on dumped media have to be passed through a 'soggy paper' filter to give them the authentic 'found in a bush' character.

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Simon Harris
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Angel

Re: Probably mentioned already but

Rest assured I was around that age.

However, I am slightly worried for my safety given that some members of the forum have given a thumbs up for my public spanking!

Of course I never did anything to merit a spanking -------------->

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Simon Harris
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Re: Probably mentioned already but

"When I was a kid my mother would have smacked me and locked me in the car for the behaviour I see in supermarkets and shopping malls."

My mother always threatened that if I misbehaved she'd 'pull my pants down and smack my bottom... even if we were in the middle of the shop'. (that was the early 1970s when that sort of thing was still allowed!)

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Simon Harris
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Can we have porn by SMS next...

With your favorite adult entertainment stars rendered as 160 characters of ASCII art?

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It's Galileo Groundhog Day! You can keep asking the same question, but it won't change the answer

Simon Harris
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FAIL

Re: Blue Streak mean anything to you?

Blue Streak?

I was thinking more along the lines of Nimrod.

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Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

Simon Harris
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Thumb Up

Re: "6502 CPU and two 6522 processors"

looks like the article text has been corrected now.

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Simon Harris
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"Taking over two minutes to load a 64 kilobyte into memory was maddening."

Luxury - for those of us who only had cassettes back then, it could take that long to load 2K into memory!

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Simon Harris
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"6502 CPU and two 6522 processors"

Only one of these is actually a processor.

The 6522 is a 'versatile interface adaptor' - it could be configured in various ways with 16 bits of I/O configured as input or output on a bit-by-bit basis, it could input and outpt serial bit-streams and had programmable repeating or single-shot timers - and probably a load of other stuff I've forgotten now as I haven't used one in about 30 years! But it was never a processor.

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You have GNU sense of humor! Glibc abortion 'joke' diff tiff leaves Richard Stallman miffed

Simon Harris
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Joke

Regional variations.

If there are going to be such jokes in the man pages, maybe man could check your locale to make sure the joke is relevant to your region, and substitute alternative jokes as appropriate. Maybe man could also include an AI system that scans news sites for information about legislation and governmental changes that might render the joke's satire out of date.

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The Sun will blow up into a huge, glowing bubble of gas during its death

Simon Harris
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Re: 40,000 Kelvin

Bet it still rains though!

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Simon Harris
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You mean the textbooks that previously said it would take a star with at least twice the mass of the sun to turn into a planetary nebula?

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Europe wants cloud giants to cough up data from anywhere in 6hrs

Simon Harris
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Re: I wonder what happens when they come up against that old chestnut...

"Fine, here's the data you wanted.

Oh, sorry about the encryption, but we really don't have the keys to decrypt it...

But I'm sure you have some nice big computers to do that... good luck!"

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Simon Harris
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Alert

Re: Brave

With Windows updates, I get nervous hitting the reboot button on kit infront of me!

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Donkey Wrong: Arcade legend Billy Mitchell booted from record books amid MAME row

Simon Harris
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Any scores should be invalid unless you have the detention chit for bunking off school to play the arcades.

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Great Western Railway warns of great Western password reuse: Brits told to reset logins

Simon Harris
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Re: We need a court action

Re-use should be expected.

My password manager shows ~802 passwords currently stored, with various sites having various rules about length, formation etc so horse-battery-staple won't work nor do I (nor most people) have photographic memories.

I think one of the problems is the number of places that force you to make an account when you shouldn't really need to before you can do anything. I've got usernames and passwords on theatre sites that I've visited only once because I couldn't buy tickets without registering (what's wrong with just saying here's my credit card, give me my tickets?*), and yesterday I missed a package from a well known delivery company - could I find anywhere on their website to reschedule the delivery? Not until I'd made an account with them!

There must be millions of user accounts floating around with names and passwords that have been used exactly once and subsequently been forgotten about - it's not surprising people can't be arsed to think up a new password every time.

* Of course, what's 'wrong' is that if you did that then they couldn't then spam you forever with marketing!

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