* Posts by Eddie Edwards

978 posts • joined 16 Oct 2007

'Cybercrime exceeds drug trade' myth exploded

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Obligatory Dr Evil joke

"Can you estimate how much cybercrime costs the US economy each year, Dr AT&T?"

<finger in mouth>

"One ... TRILLION ... dollars!!!"

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Obama science chief: Geo-engineer to save Gaia!

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Dungeons & Dragons slays its digital distribution

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Glib

"While online piracy of music, movies, and games grab a lot of attention from the public these days, mass illegal distribution of printed materials has been a racket since the invention of the photocopiers and continues to thrive today."

Er, yes, when was the last time you ran off 10,000 copies of a 100 page document? Or do you get your secretary to do it, Mr In-Touch-With-Reality?

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Report: Legalising drugs would save UK plc huge packet

Eddie Edwards
Unhappy

Policy choice?

Hardly. We're signatories to endless international agreements about these substances. Unilaterally breaking all of those would be a political nightmare, even if someone in the HoC had the will, which they don't.

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Profs: Sex with oldies or youngsters will give you the clap

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

@ Sceptical Bastard

Your scepticism is perhaps directed at the wrong group.

This is another in a long line of "scientific" studies based on statistical analysis of an dataset that is a priori biased (it only includes people who visited STD clinics).

This is a simple clear-cut case of bad statistical practice, dressed up as science. You don't need to read the paper to surmise this. Doing so would be a waste of time. You may as well read the Timecube site - at least it's entertaining.

Even if the dataset were not wholly biased, correlation within this dataset *still* does not provide *any* evidence of causation. There are these things called "hidden variables". The obvious candidate here is "riskiness of lifestyle", which correlates with *all* the specific "causes" that are mentioned.

It is easy to rubbish research which has no scientific value whatsoever, and that's what people here are doing.

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Minister admits thought crime is on the agenda

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

BS much?

How is drawing a picture of a naked child a "thought crime"? There's activity going on outside the brain - definitely some pencil on paper (or mouse on Photoshop). Most importantly there will be concrete evidence that this has gone on.

The real issue, if you forget the sensationalistic 1984 strawman bullshit, is, do we allow virtual child porn? Some people say yes, some say no; it's hardly any open-and-shut case.

This issue has at least two components.

1. Do we allow "pure virtual" child porn - i.e. a child that is completely synthetic inside a program like Blender?

2. Do we allow "modified" child porn - i.e. a child that is real, but has been shopped to look porny?

Some people fancy children. Is it better for society if that is simply suppressed (which doesn't appear to always work), or should those people have an outlet which doesn't harm anyone else? If given that outlet, will it make them more or less likely to harm real children?

Difficult questions. Probably not going to be answered here by El Reg - which is becoming more like The Daily Mail each day.

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Councils clamp down on Strategy Boutique Newspeak

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Autonomy?

You can't say "autonomy" any more? Even when referring to things which are autonomous?

Apparently the people who "don't know why they should bother to vote" don't know why they should be bothered to learn to read either.

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iPhone chip designer trumpets multi-core GPUs

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Bollocks

Firstly, 64 pipelines is fuck all for a modern graphics card (although a fair number for a mobile phone). Larrabee will boast 512 and everyone thinks it's going to be shit (they're wrong though).

Secondly, all GPUs do the "complex data/pipeline/thread management" in hardware or drivers. This is because, for GPU workloads, it's not so complex.

I wish I sold something El Reg knew nothing about - much easier to get the tasty enthusiastic reviews.

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Reverse engineering Apple's OS X

Eddie Edwards
Happy

@ braindead

No, Robert, Intel are still using the exact same instruction set. Didn't you know? They do it on purpose to ensure something called "backward compatibility". As as result, it's something of an industry standard these days.

Granted, it's the worst instruction set ever designed, and a massive chunk of every x86 CPU is dedicated just to decoding it. But are we really still bitching about it in 2009?!

You're not even bitching about the right things! You can write code with EIGHT REGISTERS but you have trouble doing a call-and-pop?

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Lights out, Britons told - we're running out of power

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Ex-Star Wars boffins build mosquito-blasting raygun

Eddie Edwards
Unhappy

Man's place on the planet

And after wiping out the mosquitoes, what even worse pest will rise having previously been kept in check by mosquitoes?

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Mathematica man brews 'AI' Google Killer™

Eddie Edwards
Flame

But does it work?

All very interesting, Ted, but your tirade of strawman arguments won't actually affect whether or not Wolfram's stuff works, will it?

If Wolfram has an ego what does Ted have? It seems the height of journalistic hubris to think that a position of extreme cynicism can illuminate anything but itself.

(And yes, Ted, I'm sure you really have worked in all the areas of IT you claim to have. You don't sound AT ALL like a bitter one-trick pony who's now so irrelevant he has to write about IT instead of doing it. So I'm sure you know MUCH more about this subject than the guy who developed Mathematica from scratch.)

Looking forward to seeing what Wolfram comes up with. Even if it's only another book, it'll be well worth reading.

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PRS v YouTube: No UK vids, but royalty row runs and runs

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

PRS have already lost

If the PRS think Google are playing "hardball" by removing content they have no license for (thanks to the PRS) then the PRS have already lost. I can't believe they said that bullshit out loud. Either PRS members want their stuff on YouTube, for a share of revenue, or they don't. They can't just name a price if the revenue isn't there.

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UK extends VAT crackdown as EU OKs cut-rate cobblers

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Say what now?

"Then again, that does seem like peanuts when compared to the billions being used to prop up the UK's banking sector."

Erm, yes, let's not worry about our income when our outgoings are so large!!!

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Screeching rails close London Tube station

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Reminds me of my workmate

The fan on my workmate's GPU makes a lot of noise. I told him to replace the whole graphics card, but he hasn't, because it's his "rush hour" and deadlines are approaching.

The likely consequences of this are obvious.

Closing the tube because it's "just making a noise"? Yeah that's obviously stupid because bad noises NEVER indicate an imminent failure.

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Channel 4 fails to open archives to Mac, Linux fans

Eddie Edwards
Flame

Michael Grade is a cunt

Yeah, I know he's not there any more, but I'm sure this is his fault somehow.

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Linux-Lego man trumpets OSH revolution

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

Open source hardware is here NOW

There are no patent issues so far.

There are no specific open-source hardware licenses. There don't need to be. CC licenses are used AFAIK. Just check some of the many open-source hardware projects on the net (ladyada.com, mentioned this week, or arduino.cc, etc.) See what licenses they're using, if you fancy doing a bit of actual, you know, journalism.

We already use component-based design in electronics. I mean, HELLO?! For instance there's the ATmega168, a very popular component which embeds an entire microcomputer onto one chip. And at a lower level we have resistors, capacitors, etc. OSS hardware has nothing to do with clip-and-play kiddie electronics kits.

What a crappy article.

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Homosexuality does for UK blue duck population

Eddie Edwards
Stop

@ Mycho

"Of course there are gay animals. Or did you think that animals maintained an equilibrium population through celibacy?"

Interesting position.

I (and most mathematicians) believe they maintain an equilibrium population through dying at the same rate as they are being born.

Or do animals think to themselves "hey, there's too many ducks around here, I'm going to be gay from now on otherwise we'll never achieve an equilibrium population without finding some new predators"?

Perhaps we'll never know. I'm sure Russell T Davies has an opinion, though. Maybe Dr Who could cover this in future?

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Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

@ Frank

Ben & Jerry's snub Cherry Garcia in favour of Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

Will that do?

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Drunk sorority girls quaff booze 'to impress boys'

Eddie Edwards
Happy

A Jesuit Tradition?

"Women have steadily been drinking more and more over the last several decades," says Joseph LaBrie, psych prof at Loyola Marymount University, a Catholic college "rooted in the Jesuit tradition".

You know, that could be read as:

"Women have steadily been drinking more and more over the last several decades, rooted in the Jesuit tradition".

I think we should be told.

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UK IT should 'fire men first', says Kate Craig-Wood

Eddie Edwards
Joke

Right idea, wrong reason

We shouldn't kick men out because they earn more.

We should kick them out because they are all latent rapists.

Surely everyone can see that?!

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Boffins breed new programming race

Eddie Edwards
Stop

Snobs

Of course it's a programming language. Go back to CS 101 and "stored program computers".

If a machine contains a piece of data which directs its actions, it's called a "computer", and the data directing its actions is called a "program". Software for creating a "program" from some kind of higher-level description is called a "compiler" and software which takes the higher-level description and runs it directly is called an "interpreter". The higher-level description's encoding is know as a "programming language".

This is an interpreted graphical programming language.

The lack of variables means it's possibly not a Turing-complete programming language, but Turing completeness is another issue entirely. Cg/HLSL are likewise not Turing-complete, but does anyone claim that pixel shaders aren't programs?

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Inside the world's greatest TV remote

Eddie Edwards
Happy

@ Stupid comments

What's the point? It's for use in bars and restaurants. You don't use it to turn your own TV off. If anyone bothered to read the blurb for the product online this would be clear.

As for an invention waiting for a market, Mitch has sold thousands of these, but it's mostly an open-source project. Anyone can buy a microcontroller and bang one together. It's a fantastic introduction to microcontrollers. Personally I favour the Arduino, since you can build many things onto one base, but the miniPOV projects are cool too.

When did the suits take over the comments page? This is cool for its own sake. Practicality is non-important, even though Mitch now seems to make a pretty good living from his tinkering.

Point of order, El Reg: "different diodes turn on and off in nanoseconds" is slightly nonsense. They turn on and off in milliseconds. Moving the article through the air by hand you need this, otherwise the entire pattern is going to be repeated a million times in each swish. Even if you could move the device at the several km/s required to give visible pixels, your eyes are not sensitive enough to see nanosecond flicker.

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Skype to give away wideband audio codec

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

@ 8kHz vs 8Hz

Maybe they just mean they increase the sampling rate from 8kHz up to 12kHz.

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Child porn suspect ordered to decrypt own hard drive

Eddie Edwards
Stop

@ Neoc

No, it's "innocent until proven guilty" and no assumption is inherent in this until hell freezes over.

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Bill Gates bans progeny from iPhone Nation

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Simple answer

"Shouldn't Bill and Melinda's kids have a say in what digital-music player or texting-about-that-cute-new-kid-in-class device they use?"

Simple answer: no. What kind of not-having-children-themselves idiot would think they did?

Complex answer: yes. Of course they have a "say" in it. Which their parents are free to completely ignore as they make the decisions around here.

Glad to see Bill and Melinda reinforcing the "not while you're living under my roof" policy.

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BT wins pricing control over faster broadband

Eddie Edwards

Has anyone tried private investment?

I say this because there is a honking great BT building less than 2 miles from my home but my exchange is 6 miles away. How much does it cost to run fibre for 2 miles? Could my village gang together and get the cables laid ourselves? And then how do we persuade BT to connect us, and on what basis? There isn't a snowballs chance in hell that it'll happen by 2012 otherwise.

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Mozilla calls for 'open web' in EU Microsoft row

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Thank you EU

May you long protect us against our operating systems having in-built features.

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Nokia comes clean as Ovi bombs

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Pay for sync? Yes please!

Yeah please please let me pay for sync. I would love you forever Nokia. I don't pay enough for basic features. Really you guys should just strip everything off the phone and then charge per use for the address book by keeping it all in the cloud.

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Prime Minister out-nonsensed by Conservative Wikifiddler

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Myth creators

So this is how myths begin.

What I "love" about Wikipedia is that, if you prove Fermat's Last Theorem yourself, you can't post it (original research is not allowed, unlike a real encyclopedia). But if you read something somewhere - anywhere - it is adjudged to be true.

Wikipedia basically institutionalizes the idea that we should trust authority, believe everything we read, and do no thinking for ourselves.

The sad thing is that many clever people have written very good authoritative articles. They really only need to remove all political subject matter and they'd have a good website. (And by political I include anything related to the GPL or Stallman).

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Brum laid bare on OpenStreetMap

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Quite amazing

But still no Google Maps. Just panning from Birmingham to Cambridge I'd expect to see helpful labels such as "M6" and "A14" on the major arteries but they seem to label each road in exactly one place. The "A14" label is halfway to Norwich. So the map interface could use work. But the amount of data in there is quiet astonishing.

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Wacky Jacqui Smith says whole country crusading against CCTV

Eddie Edwards
Unhappy

The thing is, right

The thing is, Ms Smith probably wrote the letter correctly, so as to convey the intended opinion, and the Grauniad probably just misprinted it.

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We need cheap, abundant energy. Here's how

Eddie Edwards
Happy

@ SillyFellow

"education in the sciences is seriously lacking, (and common sense too it would seem)."

Yes, so it would seem.

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Big labels or Google - who is the songwriters' worst enemy?

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Yes! It's the cardboard PC!

Eddie Edwards
Coat

Sorry

Are those USB memory sticks sticking out of the top, or highlighter pens?

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You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

No they didn't

"Yet more pressure was added this week, with the publication of Government advice suggesting that on health grounds, young people should consume no alcohol at all."

Young people? It said children under 15. The tenuous ID card link only works if you restrict yourself to the 18-25 age group.

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MP wants Welsh text on ID cards

Eddie Edwards
Flame

How about this instead

Instead of this, how about the 20 people in Wales who can only speak Welsh actually get off their arses and learn the fucking national language.

The immediate advantage of this is that those people will suddenly be able to watch something other than S4C of an evening.

The longer-term advantage is that the Welsh National Assembly can save millions of pounds in completely wasted money every year translating every single thing into a language that has no more modern validity than Latin.

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'Infinitesimal magnetic tornadoes' set to ravage computing

Eddie Edwards
Pirate

No, guys, really, WTF?

First off, I know you're trolling Pascal - that was funny.

But Doug, come on dude! The tone of the article was due to the comparison between little magnetic thingies on tiny discs and huge fucking rip-your-house-to-pieces-and-send-them-to-Oz tornadoes, not because (for instance) Flash memory doesn't use multibit cells, because it does (oh, and <ahem> DNA too of course). Anti-science? Hardly.

Good to see the author's bullshit detector is still working because Ted's failed in the cold weather on Monday.

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Harry Potter Lexicon published after judgment-guided edit

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Shameless

Fan content on a website is one thing. Commercially publishing a book worldwide which appropriates the mythos while weaselling through the cracks in the law is not a huge compliment to anyone.

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Gimme some (more) money, demand Spinal Tap

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Awesome

I'm sure I'd feel a lot better about this if I wasn't under such heavy sedation.

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Kurzweil to found 'Singularity Uni' in Silicon Valley

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Wisdom from Kurzweil?

"It is generally understood that there will be chances to soak up wisdom from Kurzweil"

Worth attending just to see this once-in-30-year event.

I wrote a program to simulate exponential growth once but my machine ran out of memory when I ran it. Perhaps Kurzweil has discovered that this "limited resource" pattern exists elsewhere in the world.

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Intel plucks power from TV signals

Eddie Edwards
Alert

Old news

FOAF used to harvest power from main power cables running over his house using a large copper coil in the loft.

The surprising outcome is that:

1. This is illegal

2. They can tell you're doing it

At what point does it become legal, then?

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Russian rides Phantom to OS immortality

Eddie Edwards
Dead Vulture

WTF?

I can't believe Ted the Sweartard is so credulous about this bullshit.

Storing data to disc ready to go again is one thing. Yay! 30 seconds saved each day! This is clearly much better than the "suspend" mode my machine already has. And it's not like I ever *want* to reset everything's state by rebooting, because all the software I use has zero defects.

But wait! Then there's this huge leap of imagination - suddenly you don't need "files" any more. w00t! No more serialization code! You don't need it!

Oh, unless you want to send stuff over a network.

Fail and you, Ted, fail and you.

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UK.gov backs ISPs on charging content providers, throttling P2P

Eddie Edwards
Boffin

@ AC US Troll

"SO has Britain innovated anything in the last 100 years?"

NOT really. Only the entire fields of computer science and cybernetics, and the most commercially successful microprocessor architecture in the world. We should stop pretending to be relevant.

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British Airways to enable mid-Atlantic texting

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Er no

The price on these flights won't be the regular club fair, but about 1/3 of that.

30 people @ £3,000 + 70 people @ £200 = £104,000

If all those people are "in club" the cost need only be £1,040 per seat.

Note the implication that all air travel is basically (90%) paid for by the club and first ticket holders. Now they're asking for better value for money and the answer is to stop flying people in economy at all. The correct government response to this is to remove the fuel subsidies, and sooner or later you get only people who can afford it flying in a reasonable class of accommodation and paying what it actually costs. That sounds like a win to me.

The exception to this is the economy-only airlines (e.g. EasyJet) for whom it will be business as usual.

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Exploding core counts: Heading for the buffers

Eddie Edwards
Boffin

256 core limit?

Only if the OS has to know about all the cores.

People used to put 256K of RAM onto systems that only had 64K of address space. Not an OS limit, a hardware limit. How did they do that?

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Universal thaws out The Thing

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Should do a great job

"previous credits include commercials for Bud Light, Heineken, Pepsi, Toyota and Visa"

He'll fit right into Hollywood then.

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'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology

Eddie Edwards
Pirate

@ Richard

"Lisa is invariably blathering on about Buddhism? Doesn't that count as an endorsement?"

So do you think Russell T Davies endorses the extermination of all life in the universe?

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EC will force users to pick a Windows browser, says Microsoft

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Stupid EU

You can embed IE in any app and get web pages up in about 10 lines of code. Now you have endless COM interfaces to control the browser. You can't do any of this in Firefox or Chrome or Opera. They are just browsers, not OS-level HTML rendering services.

What the EU are saying is that this fundamental approach to software design is illegal. Maybe some other guy wants to write an HTML rendering layer and make money off it.

This is stupid for endless reasons.

Are the EU going to now mandate that Opera, Firefox and Chrome provide the IWebBrowser2 and all the deeper DOM-level COM interfaces? Or are they mandating that Windows should henceforth provide less built-in functionality?

I'd love to write a kernel. Can I get the EU to make MS's Windows kernel monopoly illegal, and force them to make all of their software work with my kernel? I'd love a slice of that Windows pie.

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Extreme pron vigilantes are after you

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Tricky

Is he a genius comedian or a total dick?

I'd love to go off on the stupidity of this idea but I suspect it's an effort to use the XP law to persuade people to start hiding all their traffic from the government, prying eyes, etc. See, e.g. the section about Tor on their FAQ.

We need an icon of a thumb hovering horizontally, like a Roman Emperor deciding the fate of a gladiator.

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