* Posts by Eddie Edwards

978 posts • joined 16 Oct 2007

Hoaxed US Chamber thumps pranksters with blunt instrument

Eddie Edwards

Hear hear!

What Kevin said. This is certainly borderline fraud, and I don't see much evidence that it *wasn't* intended to dupe the news agencies. The EFF are rushing in with support which may well be unjustified. And why did no-one get Reuters' response? They're the damaged party here - the defrauded ones.

Airport rethinks strip-scanner for kids

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up


How about flying from Liverpool?

Liquid electrocar batteries could be replaced at pumps

Eddie Edwards

Better vs Worse

"there are dozens of examples from the history of technology to show that better doesn't always win"

There are plenty of people ready to say "A is better than B" as if A and B were things with only one dimension of variation, and plenty of history to show that they're wrong, but apparently we only learn that "better doesn't always win", not that the very concept of "better" is inapplicable in the real world where every object has multiple facets, all of which apply simultaneously.

Technical merits have been proven time and time again to be the *least* important predictor of success. Especially when the relative merits are at marginal.

Two different types of battery with broadly comparable specifications are never going to rise above each other on technical merit. Network effects will always dominate when selecting between two broadly similar choices - ultimately you buy what everyone else bought. Given that Li-Ion is already in use everywhere I'd argue that any contender which doesn't offer more life than Li-Ion is already dead.

It's all irrelevant anyway. Electric cars won't shift in quantity until we move to a battery tech that has enough capacity to do the job, and that means actually pushing the specification envelope outwards, not coming up with a niche benefit at the same spec.

Michael Dell: Netbooks go sour after 36 hours

Eddie Edwards

36 hours?

My happiness lasted 36 minutes.

But I did but one of the "crippled" eeePCs.

Firefox users flip out over sneak MS add-on

Eddie Edwards
Gates Horns

Out of order

MS should not be patching third-party apps through Windows Update PERIOD. The idea of that site is to improve system stability, not fuck it up by messing with unrelated shit.

Someone should lose their balls for this one.

Britain leads world in police state survey

Eddie Edwards


The UK does not come in at number 5.

Arbitrarily, cryptohippie has split the UK into "England and Wales" and "Scotland".

England and Wales comes in #5 but Scotland comes in #13 giving the UK an averaged position of about #9, behind USA, Singapore, Israel and possibly France.

Why cryptohippie did this is a matter for guesswork, but one might presume they wanted the UK to come in ahead of the USA for their own political reasons.

The only question this all raises is who the fuck are cryptohippie and why should I care what their obviously biased report says?

Sky shoots Swan Lake in 3D

Eddie Edwards


"It has said that 3D content availability is the main hurdle."

I wonder if Pixar, Imageworks, etc. could just re-render movies like Monsters, Inc. or Carz in 3D?

Critical Windows vulnerability under attack, Microsoft warns

Eddie Edwards
Gates Halo

@ polarity

Yeah, I noticed how many Linux zealots were posting from their mothers' homes / student digs today too.

Fortunately they are balanced by more sensible industry commentators who use computers to do actual work.

Ocarina makes waves with lossless image compression

Eddie Edwards

@ DCTs can't be lossless

"either it uses DCT, and is therefore "lossy""

"By it's nature it can never be lossless (even if you had infinity DCT terms, you'd still suffer from the float rounding errors!)"

Both wrong; DCT is mathematically invertible and if you calculate DCTs using integer arithmetic you can go to and fro losslessly. (You can do the same with float arithmetic but it gets quite tricky.)

BNP pleads for cash after reported DDoS assault

Eddie Edwards

@ AC

"Skin colour has no more relation to your 'capabilities' then hair colour does to your foot size."

Actually, hair colour is correlated with foot size.

Rambus pitches XDR2 for future memory

Eddie Edwards
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Oh not you again

Look, Rambus, we've been through this.

I know you were offering bandwidth of 21GB/s back in 2005, and I'm only just getting that on DDR3 now while my PS3 has had it the whole time.

But that 21GB/s is FUCK ALL USE.

I don't need data in packets of 2KB. I need it in cacheline-sized chunks. Like xDDRn gives me.

Yes, I know you give me that too, but at HUGELY degraded bandwidth. 1/8 of bandwidth when I'm accessing 128B at a time is not acceptable. Not every algorithm is specifically tuned for YDRAM.

And I don't need huge fucking latencies either. Great, you can queue commands! Don't use that as an excuse to take all year to turn them around.

Yes, DDR3 will need replacing in a few years. Shit, guys, you don't think it'll be replaced by DDR4 do you?

BT static IP customers get nothing but static

Eddie Edwards
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Speaking for myself

As a static IP BT business customer, I'm not suffering an outage today; I am suffering extremely poor bandwidth - have been all morning and still am now. Reg front page is taking a minute to load!

Microsoft arms half-wit developers with PHP handgun

Eddie Edwards

@ D Fife

"PHP is a rich and powerful language with immense possibilities."


Thanks for making my day!

Governator revives anti-violent video game crusade

Eddie Edwards
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Amendments my ass

Quite what the federal court is doing blocking state laws from being passed is beyond me. Never mind the 1st amendment, what about the blinking 10th? The 1st amendment in no way prohibits California as a *state* from gassing people for saying the word "knickers", never mind fining them for selling video games to minors. It's up to them.

2-inch white stickers saying "18 only" is only going to add to the allure of GTA anyway. They'd be better off putting stickers on that said "Warning: This game looks great, but actually it's really boring. Try Mario instead. You can see his ball sack on level 3 :lol:"

Safe signals in Perl

Eddie Edwards


The problem is not signals, the problem is working around bugs in libraries in this hideous way. Yeah, let's BREAK SIGNALS to get it working. FFS.

An interpreted language cannot stop foreign code while it is executing. That's not something you work around with interrupts, it's something you respect, if you've got any common sense at all.

So you raise an interrupt and physically prevent the code from continuing. This leaves arbitrary amounts of leaked memory behind, may leave OS libraries in an undefined state, is going to lead to exactly the kind of "hard to track down" bug that the new signals were supposed to avoid.

I wouldn't wish this bug on an embedded C programmer with 30 years of experience. A Perl programmer? Jesus H Christ.

You know, sometimes language designers actually know what they're doing.

RealNetworks claims CSS license lets it copy DVDs. Sues studios

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up


Well someone had to find the holes in the DMCA. Real Networks may not be my favourite company and they may not have my best interests at heart, but they're fighting the good fight.

Fact is, the obvious next step for PMPs is for iTunes et al to support ripping DVD content, to transfer it to all your PMPs. We should have had this five years ago.

DMCA nixes this, but it *should* be possible to decrypt and reencrypt the content without breaking that law. "Circumventing" a lock means removing it, not replacing it with another lock.

(You should not even need a DVD-CCA license to do this, but allowing it with the license would be a start.)

If Real win, every PMP can finally get DVD and BluRay ripping support. Hurrah for that.

Boffins build basis for 9TB DVDs

Eddie Edwards

@ Matt

Even on the Tardis you still have to go through the door.

Toddler snaps up mechanical digger online

Eddie Edwards

@ AC

"What's next, BBC News runs an item claiming "Women cured of cancer by never missing an episode of Eastenders"?"

Or "Google saves the world by keeping click stats"?

Google: Let us keep search data or die

Eddie Edwards
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"May" being the operative word

"Google Flu Trends may provide an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza."

"May" being the operative word. It's not designed to do so. No-one can rely on it to do so.

Google Flu Trends is an experiment, not a service. It's just a wild guess based on circumstantial evidence. The WHO is still going to rely on actual health data.

To go from this to "people will die if we can't do it" is ludicrous.

OTOH, long term, there may be some public benefit from mining search data. If this is the case, the data should be available to all in a public anonymized database, not owned by Google as a side-effect of their advertising monopoly.

"Which raises a question: if the point of using web searches to track disease is that the data is instantly available, how does data that is more than six months old help, let alone make us all less likely to die?"

If you suspend disbelief about the whole idea of Google Flu Trends, this is easy to answer. Suppose Google has got some formula that translates search terms into flu pandemics, but it's not 100% perfect. By analyzing historical data against actual pandemics they can tune it. This probably requires going back more than 6 months.

Rumor rubberizes iPhone 3.0

Eddie Edwards

@ Jean-Luc

That'd be cobalt chloride paper then.

Gut instinct no protection against net scams

Eddie Edwards

Didn't we know this already?

Many decision-makers already fell for the scam of AAA collateralized debt obligations. Probably because the scammers were working for well-known and trusted organizations. So the point is surely well proven?

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Good God almighty

Where do I start?

Firstly, Wolfram wrote Mathematica. From scratch. Carmack wrote the DOOM engine based on a SIGGRAPH paper. Which one is a "genius" again?

Secondly, square roots - integer operations are not faster than floating-point operations, there is no such integer technique (Newton's method works with reals), and none of this has anything to do with Carmack.

Thirdly, having data which agrees with Wikipedia is not *quite* the same as plagiarism. Generally people get brought up for copying passages out of it verbatim, not for using it for research into dates and places, which is kind of its intended purpose.

Finally, you want to use Google to search for web programming tips therefore Wolfram Alpha is fuck all use? Really? Well fuck me sideways. Stop the servers! They need to recode this so that monkeys can find a use for it.

Whose idea was it to get a guy who's not fit to comment on a darts match writing articles about tech in the style of Axel Foley anyway?

Duke Nukem developer answers Take-Two suit

Eddie Edwards

@ AC

PRINT "(C) 3D REALMS 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,..."

See, there's the problem right there. If they'd used a LISP macro they could have derived the copyright dates automatically. This line of BASIC has to be maintained by hand at least annually.

Taking a first bite out of Wolfram Alpha

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up


It doesn't know the airspeed of a swallow, but it does explain that this answer only applies to European swallows, and not African ones.

Please kill this cookie monster to save Europe's websites

Eddie Edwards
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@ Alexander

Conflict of interests or not, the article raises an important point which your ad hominem ignores - we need to know what the law *means* so we can comply with it, whether we're predatory ad trackers or nice family-run toy businesses. Having a vague probable ban on all cookies isn't really going to help anyone. Let's have explicit laws against ad trackers, if that's the intent.

This reminds me a bit of IR35, where a major stated problem is that it's impossible to tell in advance whether or not you're in compliance.

Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond

Eddie Edwards

@ Ben

"Also, what happened to the __restrict keyword? It's strangely absent from the memcpy_s function declaration."

It's correctly not on there since memcpy / memcpy_s arguments are allowed to alias.

Eddie Edwards


I get memcpy_s but wtf use is fopen_s? That function doesn't write to the string buffer.

Bored of that VC warning about this stuff. Esp. with clients that *insist* that warnings were always *actually* meant to be errors. Yay for breaking all legacy C code!

Isilon filer guarantees 80 per cent utilisation

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture


So Pillar guarantee 80%, meaning that with engineering tolerances they know they can get better than 80%.

Isilon guarantee > 80%, meaning at least 80.000001%.

In practice the two guarantees are identical. Isilon's > 80% guarantee doesn't sound unique at all.

Intel shows glimpse of 32-core Larrabee beast

Eddie Edwards

That die image in full


BTW: It looks shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Ignorant report

This report shows almost no prior knowledge about Larrabee, despite a SIGGRAPH paper and two GDC talks.

"Each core is expected to be an x86 core"

No, each core *is* an x86 core, plus a *wide* vector unit (16-way SIMD) with predication and scatter/gather load support. This is all in the SIGGRAPH paper you linked to.

"Larrabee will have a shared pool of cache memory"

Not quite. It has 256KB of dedicated L2 cache per core and cores can read each other's L2 caches. Each core has 32KB of dedicated L1. This is in ... the SIGGRAPH paper you linked to.

"We wonder if Intel is using its Atom processor design as the Larrabee core to meet the chip real estate limitations"

No, they are not, they are using the P54C processor design, as they have previously stated at their GDC talks.

And after all that the only actual *news* is that Intel have released a die image ... so where is the link for that?

Ireland bucks trend with anti-blasphemy law

Eddie Edwards

@ Norman

"If Jesus Christ is thinking about coming again, he'd do well to avoid Ireland this time."

Did he get a bit on Ireland last time?

Cyber attack could bring US military response

Eddie Edwards
Black Helicopters

@ Chris C

"In physical combat, you can physically determine who is assaulting you, so you know, beyond any doubt, who to retaliate against"

Yeah, like when an international organization of Muslim extremists run by a Saudi attacks your financial capital - you know beyond any doubt you need to retaliate against a large opium producer and a large oil producer.

Presumably what the Americans are really saying is that if they get cyber-attacked by anyone they'll use it as an excuse to continue carving the world up according to their agenda.

Locating the actual aggressor is just not part of American military policy any more. It dilutes their options to restrict themselves to only fighting just battles.

"I suspect the US would be more subtle than sending in a bomber"

We know exactly what the US would do. (a) kick up a fuss in the media (b) blame an unrelated country (c) change the rules of engagement to suit them (d) ignore the UN and (e) invade said country, with the UK's help.

Apple prepping 32GB iPhone 3.0?

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

At last

An iPhone as big as my iPod. Finally I can upgrade.

Gov 'smart meter' plans: Sky box in charge of your house

Eddie Edwards

A bit like Economy 7 then

We're on Economy 7 and apparently we can save £200 a year switching back - which requires them to physically change the meter.

I thought the idea with Economy 7 was to charge less at night, but apparently the main idea is to charge more during the day.

Good luck getting anything more complicated to work in the user's favour.

Conservative US shock-jock to sue Wacky Jacqui

Eddie Edwards

Watch out El Reg!

Many correspondents here engage in "hate speech" against Microsoft and Apple. You even have an icon for it.

Is that the sound of jackboots? I'll use the back door, ta.

eBay driving world's tomb raiders out of business, says prof

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Great quote!

"Even better, you can't be jailed for handling fakes the way you could for dealing in genuine antiquities"

That's right, fraud isn't a crime.

Obama declares war on Ireland over tech tax avoidance

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

US kids just want to play basketball?

That's in *marked* contrast with everywhere else in the world, then, where the majority of kids spend their entire day indoors writing Python scripts.

Microsoft and Linux trade patent words in Europe

Eddie Edwards

@ AC

" the biggest patent problems are those involving medicines and medical technology"

There aren't significant patent problems in the medical industry. There, patents are awarded on the back of serious research taking serious capital. Patents are required in that industry for those amounts of capital to be made available. The system is working pretty much as designed.

In the software industry, patents are awarded on the back of obvious implementations. Patents are not required to protect capital (instead we have copyrights). The system serves no purpose, but costs the industry a great deal.

A misunderstanding of this issue on your part does not constitute a collective bias on everyone else's.

Moon Macrosystems - How to build a better Sun

Eddie Edwards

@ Timothy and Bryce

"don't ever let the private equity companies take control."

So how are you going to start this without two tiers of investment? Sell your Sun mousemat collection?

Can you talk and drive?

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Usual Govt Bollocks

"demonstrates how hard it is to listen while driving, addressing the fact that 30 per cent of young drivers admit sending text messages from behind the wheel."

Not addressing that at all, in fact, since sending a text message has a 0% listening component.

"The game isn't focused on text messages, but instead challenges the player to listen to a woman's voice and press the space-bar whenever a question is asked, while keeping an eye on pedestrians wearing colour-coded T-Shirts."

And they've designed a game which is almost, but not entirely, completely unrelated to driving a car.

This obviously proves whatever it is they set out to prove.

Meanwhile, it continues to be illegal to text my wife to tell her I'll be late while sitting stationary in an M6 traffic queue, and I will continue to do it anyway.

Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Why is Vista annoying again?

I'm running Vista Pro 64 and it's fine. Haven't had many problems other than UAC stuff (with Visual Studio, no less!) The 8GB of RAM on this box helps. Who would use a 32-bit OS when RAM is so cheap?

Study finds IT heads not interested in power saving

Eddie Edwards

@ Marcus

"And why do profitable companies want more cash in the bank? So it can be taxed? Great.."

Spurious argument until taxation hits 100%.

But let your boss know this is how you feel and he'll be sure to avoid giving you a pay rise ever again.

Star Trek halted by pig plague

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Good move

Don't want those, er, film canisters to get poorly, do we?

Hire your very own Fred the Shred

Eddie Edwards

One word


Eddie Edwards

Three words

I meant Thermite :)

Pig plague 2.0: Can't spell 'pandemic' without 'panic'

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Ah balance at last

Given the hysteria on the other side, obviously we need to balance that with the opposite - complete dismissiveness.

It wouldn't do just to write an objective summary of the facts. It's not a journalists job to report facts! He's there to get ad revenue via eyeballs!

Your analysis is pat and lazy anyway. It is reported that all the deaths have been people aged 20-50, which kind of rules out the idea that the deaths can be handwaved off because of course old people die of flu. Sorry, none of them were old. But why let the facts get in the way of a lazy hack getting his liquid lunch early?

Head over to the BBC's Have Your Say; at least they do some analysis of the deaths (e.g. suggesting they may be more due to Mexico's poor standard of living rather than the deadliness of the flu per se).

People were right. The media is going to die, and be replaced by user discussion. That's the only place any intelligent ideas are being discussed about swine flu right now. Oh yes, 95% of discussion posts are moronic, but the other 5% contain more insight than the entire mainstream media combined.

BTW, flu "even kills the healthy when combined with other diseases", does it?

I might suggest that someone with "other diseases" hardly counts as "healthy".

Oldsters: If you think you'll lose your memory, you will

Eddie Edwards

Suggestion for a further experiment

We should try this on young *and* old people. I suspect a strong correlation between what age one believes one is, and one's actual age. If so, this would prove that thinking one is young actually keeps one young, while thinking one is old would cause aging to occur.

Ergo, we would have the evidence we need to strike back at a society that is constantly telling our old people, "you're old". It's amazing to think that the social consensus is actually responsible for aging and death and that - just by changing social attitudes - we can achieve racial immortality.

Mac and Linux Bastilles assaulted by new attacks

Eddie Edwards
Jobs Horns

@ AC

"Yes like we mount unknown HFS images images all the time"

Well my Mac certainly does like to. Click on a foreign .img file in Safari and it'll download and automount without further question.

Just proves that Mac viruses aren't rare because Macs are secure, but because they are niche.

Wanted: Creative spark for iPhone games

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

No no no no no

The App Store is not the solution, it is the WHOLE PROBLEM.

Saturation on the app store is at such a level that you would be an idiot to spend more than two weeks coding anything for it, because the expected return is about that. Sure, one in 100,000 developers might achieve a hit but if you like those odds you're better off buying a lottery ticket.

The indie games market has received a huge set-back with the App Store. Now games have to compete with toys for the same dollars, which are diverted away from more sensible mobile platforms or even casual PC gaming. Well it's a lot easier to design a $1 toy app than the kind of "superb-but-amazingly-its-indie" game that people orgasm over *precisely* because of its rarity, but won't pay more than $4 for in practice. Add to this the fact that accelerometers are much easier to leverage in a toy than a game, while any kind of joypad is totally lacking, and the iPhone just looks like a joke platform. Which it is, frankly.

Anyway, you media types will bitch forever about "not enough risk is being taken in games" just as you have done for the last 50 years regarding Hollywood. But like it or not, the Hollywood / AAA market is where all the money is, and it's expensive to develop for, so risks will be few and far between. As long as people keep buying, it's working. What did you say about "recession-proof"? You were referring to Braid saving the economy, or do those unimportant tedious franchised AAA games contribute at all?

Virgin Media switches to Gmail

Eddie Edwards

@ /etc

"However, getting your email via Gmail is exactly like getting all your post via an advertising company - and an advertising company that, to boot, opens and reads every letter that's every sent to you or by you."

I wish this definition of "read" had been in action when I was doing GCSE English. Scanning a Shakespeare play for keywords would have been so much easier than actually comprehending it.

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