* Posts by Eddie Edwards

978 posts • joined 16 Oct 2007

Whitehall to puff punters: 'Hide your fags'

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Actually, no

"When used as intended by the manufacturer, tobacco WILL kill you"

Actually, no. Only 1 in 2 life-long smokers actually die from smoking, and that's ignoring those who quit at some point.

There's also a huge difference between smoking a few at the weekend and smoking 60 a day - which starts sounding like risk management if you're not careful. Oops.

Of course, the reason people smoke is that they're addicted to nicotine. I'm interested in your anti-addiction technique of calling people stupid, but I'm not sure it works in practice.

Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut

Eddie Edwards
Headmaster

Really?

Golf TDI Mk5 3,000rpm is 90mph in top gear. It's not the best MPG I can get from that car ...

Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old

Eddie Edwards
Headmaster

Nitpick

FPGAs weren't invented until 1984. The Sinclair machines used plain old gate arrays aka ULAs.

Locked iPhones still got their ears on

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Er ...

ISTR posting this information last time the subject came up. Maybe your eagle-eyed reporters should read the comments section :p

Sheila's Fails? The statistics of biological risk

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Strawman

Maybe I've missed something. The ruling is about explicit gender discrimination as per Shiela's Wheels et al.

The author appears to consider that outlawing direct discrimination is some kind of "gateway drug" to outlawing indirect discrimination. But I don't see any evidence that this kind of indirect discrimination is going to be outlawed. In fact, as author points out, there are good reasons not to outlaw it (for example, age and experience are correlated, but that doesn't make it "ageist" to discriminate based on experience).

The whole argument therefore seems to be something of a strawman against the current legislation, which is about direct discrimination, and not about indirect discrimination at all.

Maybe the author should save this article for when what she's arguing against is actually proposed.

Apple T&C upsets philanthropic developers

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Easier to ask permission than forgiveness

Refusal to negotiate? I guess this means that before the app was released the developer, duly noting the T&C restrictions, called Apple up and tried to negotiate an exception?

Going in to the App Store, agreeing to the T&Cs, and then expecting special treatment after the fact also makes one seem like an arrogant dick.

It's not like they're not allowed to give their money to the quake fund, after all. It's not like they can't state this in the app itself. It's just that they're not allowed to mention this in the app description i.e. they're not allowed to use this fact as advertising for their product. Honestly, I think that would be a good rule in general.

The Node Ahead: JavaScript leaps from browser into future

Eddie Edwards
Troll

Well, actually

Actually, assembly *is* practical for the infinitesimal part of your average codebase that needs to occupy the ALUs flat out. Carmack demonstrated this in 1994.

For the rest, it really doesn't matter all that much what you use. The cost of a single cache miss on a modern architecture covers 100s of ALU operations. The fact that you're only occupying 20 of those with your C++ code instead of 40 with your JIT JS code is of marginal importance (you *may* use less energy).

There are of course many applications where a lot of ALU code must run flat out without accessing any memory at all. But GPUs win at that stuff so C++ isn't even a contender.

Once you slice away the parts of your code that would be best written another way, very little remains for C++ to do. To be honest, outside the games industry (and I mean the hardcore PS3 stuff, not the Zynga stuff) I'm surprised anyone still uses C++. I guess it's entrenched.

But I do agree that C++ plus STL/Boost is almost a reasonable language to program in, provided you have a farm of machines running Incredibuild.

Eddie Edwards
Headmaster

Not really

Event-driven also scales across cores. And the price you pay for your "easy" multithreaded development is a profusion of thread context switches and thread stack allocations which kill performance once you reach thousands of instantiations (especially on Windows). The first thing you do to optimize your MT app is to write or import a thread pool, to avoid thread stack allocations. Then you reduce the thread pool to about the size of your core count, to avoid cache thrashing. Then you map your code onto that limited number of threads and hey presto! You're event-driven.

The advantages of event-driven are outlined in some detail in the article. You just can't handle that many connections without writing event-driven code. Sure, you can develop something multithreaded very quickly, but it won't scale until you do the inevitable refactor to event-driven. I make a significant portion of my income doing refactors like that for people so please, go right ahead and write simple multithreaded code :)

Having said that, straight-line code is *so* much easier to write than event-driven that it's a wonder we don't see languages that transform one to the other. Although any language with closures comes close (e.g. JavaScript).

Ex-PM blocked Steve Jobs knighthood

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Obligatory

Why would we want to buy it back?

Euro court slaps down insurers over gender risks

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Good

The principle against prejudice is that it's wrong to take a statistic about a group and assume that tells you a fact about the individual who happens to be a member of that group.

The very notion of insurance flies in the face of this so there's a delicate balance of what is and is not acceptable.

However, Shiela's Wheels are feeding on popular culture's acceptance of sexism (as long as it's against men). That always jarred with me somewhat.

This ruling is also consistent with the broader idea that genetic markers should not be used to affect insurance premiums.

Some commentators have pointed out that insurers are, equally, ageist. But age is not just a number; it represents how much experience you have. It isn't fair to say a 60-year-old should have a lower premium than a 20-year-old *assuming* they've both been driving for 40 years. But that's not a valid assumption. Conversely, a 60-year-old who only learned to drive last week should probably have the same premium as a 20-year-old who did the same.

Faces of the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 revealed

Eddie Edwards
FAIL

Circle Jerk

I can see why they call it the rumour "mill" since its one big circle jerk. The external links in this article both point to the same Chinese rumour site which gives no information as to the origin of the photos at all, and has one link ... to yet another rumour site (OK, the WSJ, but it's still unsubstantiated "insider gossip").

Wake me up when the rumours have a trail back to a primary source - even a page saying "this file has been removed due to copyright restrictions" would be more convincing than links to rumour sites which link to other rumour sites.

I'm assuming the pictures here are in fact mock-ups made by bored Apple fanboys with access to laser cutting equipment. Anyone with an hour to spare and $1,000 of equipment could do this.

Oracle gives 21 (new) reasons to uninstall Java

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Ob XKCD

http://xkcd.com/224/

Countries where Facebook is not, yet, king

Eddie Edwards
Joke

Bad memory

It was called Friendface.

Sony tweets 'secret' key at heart of PS3 jailbreak case

Eddie Edwards
Happy

A thousand billion billion billion billion billion to one.

Actually

Pole positions: Base station spotters scrap for prize

Eddie Edwards
Coat

Easy

Like this:

http://myislandbungalow.com/images/originals/ironwood-tree-on-Kauai-beach-Hawaii.jpg

China-inspired charity aims to sex-down society

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Well quite

I think it's the English use of "fanny"; it's a definite upskirt.

But I still don't know many 12-year-olds with office jobs.

O2 outs liars and philanderers with live status feed

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Likewise

Likewise, except I do get two bars outside. O2 claims I have good coverage inside and out.

Mind you, I'm on an iPhone 3GS. My wife's Motorola gets 5 bars in the kitchen where mine gets no signal at all.

My phone is *way* shinier though.

Auction for failed games developer hit by DDoS attack

Eddie Edwards
WTF?

You seriously looked this up?

"the largest employer of its type in Scotland"

Seriously? These chancers are bigger than Rock Star North, creators of GTA IV, also based in Scotland?

iOS bug unlocks iPhones sans password

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Er ...

Just hold down the menu button until it goes into voice mode then say "Call Fred" and it will call Fred without the passcode.

Works on iOS 3 on my 3GS no problem. Maybe I should upgrade ...

Facebook pages very much public, even when set as private

Eddie Edwards
WTF?

How is this a bug?

You can see photos and names of your FOFs. Yeah, that's a feature of Facebook; it's a primary method of finding people you know, especially when you've just joined. Does anyone who thinks this is a problem actually *use* Facebook?

Come on people, signing up to Facebook does require at least a minimal desire to actually want to connect with your friends on there.

Lexmark adds Twitter to printer

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Twitter on the shitter

I like it

Nigerian perv scanners lay Lagos ladies bare

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

X-ray

Perv scanner is not an x-ray machine; perv rays are bounced from skin hence the perv aspect. X-rays penetrate the womb.

Sex, lies, and botnets: the saga of Perverted Justice

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Batman

You're thinking of Batman, aren't you? ;)

It's time to presume the web is guilty

Eddie Edwards
WTF?

Network problem

You've got a network problem with whitelists, in that no-one is going to be interested until its all-inclusive, and it's not going to be all-inclusive until everyone is interested.

This is why people use blacklists, because by default anyone can send you email. Like potential customers, for instance.

More choosing maths A-Level

Eddie Edwards
Happy

For the Google-impaired

Here are some cute teen girls jumping around.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/194170/A-level-students-require-support-

iMovie for iPhone 4

Eddie Edwards
Happy

I lolled

"Yes, boo-hoo for those 3GS owners out there: your phone is not powerful enough. Annoyed? After the piss-taking I have had to endure from all and sundry over my signal-fade, I really couldn't give a monkey's."

I lolled. Now excuse me while I take this call.

UK ICT classes killing kids' interest in tech

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

I wasn't bored

I wasn't bored; I entertained myself by arguing with the teacher and mocking her outdated idea of what a computer was and how they were programmed.

Still I learned many important things in those lessons, such as the abject stupidity of flow charts.

Empires built on free code aren't cheap

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

What's a startup?

"If startup costs are lower, apparently VCs and startups didn't get the memo."

Maybe that's because startups with low costs don't need VCs.

Hitachi hides Magic Wand vibrator under a bushel

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Er

Well in fact this thing looks too large to comfortably get in there to where the G spot is purported to be. I suspect the spot this hits is the front-mounted button above the, er, input port.

Mobile broadband: not up to the job?

Eddie Edwards
WTF?

Rly?

I live in Oswestry on the Welsh borders and 3G is available in town no problem (I'm on O2).

I'll have to whip my iPhone out next time I'm in Wrexham. Find it hard to believe there's coverage in Oswestry with c. 40K people and none in Wrexham with c. 130K.

Miniature Apple display spotted in the wild

Eddie Edwards
WTF?

Er

Don't several suppliers already provide even smaller LCDs?

Women would rather be on Facebook than on the toilet

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

I see

So it's like having a husband except several hundred facebook users share the pain.

BT boss brands Britain illiterate

Eddie Edwards
Happy

lol

But you are a traditionalist whiner :) It may have an impact on how you are perceived today, by older people who like to be traditionalist whiners. Give it another decade or two and no-one who cares will be left. Kids write like this and are understood, and at the end of the day that's all that matters. English has so much available context that "they're" and "their" don't really need to be spelled differently, so soon they won't be.

You'll be turning in your grave when they amend the dictionaries to reflect this :) But dictionaries never did define the language; they merely document it.

'Industry giant' fragged UK games developer tax break

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

I call BS

"Multiple trusted sources" may well reliably indicate that this developer leaned on the government to oppose the tax break.

That's not quite the same as saying the tax break was removed *because* of this pressure. There were other factors in play. Perhaps the pressure tipped the balance, perhaps the balance was already tipped.

It all smells of the narrative fallacy to me.

RISC OS runs on fastest hardware ever

Eddie Edwards
Pirate

Thriving?

Thriving? A few Acorn User cover discs? They don't even have my port of Wolf 3D up there ;)

Apple iOS4 upgrade adds multitasking, folders... and pain

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Yeah blame the users

"Whereas any half-competent techie would know to have at least a couple of backups before an operating system upgrade – and possibly a fallback plan, too – this hasn't occurred to some iPhone owners."

And any half-competent development manager would know to make sure an operating system upgrade worked before releasing it into the wild.

Do I backup my phone before upgrading it? Do I fuck. Got better things to do with my life. I just read El Reg and wait until the dust settles before going anywhere near an upgrade.

iPhone 4 splashes down on both sides of the pond

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

hover

Are you referring to the simple fact that you can't hover on a touch screen?

Can Larrabee Lazarus stunt Nvidia's Tesla?

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

1990s called

1990s called, they want their CISC vs RISC argument back. You have been following x86 arch since, say, the 486, right?

Artificial 'black hole' generator fashioned out of circuit boards

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Black paint

"It also seems worth noting that a device able to convert visible light into heat with high efficiency might seriously improve the performance of solar power apparatus."

What, you mean like black paint?

Blighty to get mobe-download barcode rail tickets

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

RingGo is broken

Yeah the problem with RingGo is that their systems don't work and you get parking tickets anyway.

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Already have this

On the Wrexham & Shropshire services.

Mucky private chat could be illegal soon

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Inconveniencing?

Whenever my boss sends me email or IM I'm inconvenienced.

Glad I can finally get legal recourse.

Daleks poised to invade tour UK

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

I know I'm 38 but ...

... I just came

Google heats up native code for Chrome OS

Eddie Edwards
FAIL

LLVM is not a VM

Easy mistake to make, but LLVM is more akin to a compiler backend than a VM per se. It offers compilation from bitcode to assembly on multiple platforms. You can do this JIT or up-front, as you wish. LLVM doesn't force any other options e.g. garbage collection. And LLVM is pure open-source, used all over, and not controlled by Google. It's the most open standard there is for this sort of thing.

It kind of describes p-code, doesn't it, which predates Java by decades.

Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels

Eddie Edwards
Happy

Missing the point

All commenters are missing the point.

You don't go to school CS classes to learn about how computers are programmed *now*, or will be programmed in the *future*. You go to learn about how computers were programmed 10-20 years ago.

When I did 4th-year CS the teacher was on old ICL employee for whom computer programming meant writing COBOL on punched cards and having someone else feed it into the mainframe and run it. This was in 1985 when kids could already write software in BASIC on a £200 box plugged into the TV. Silly me, I'd thought CS classes might help me become better at my hobby. Instead I learned about such technological marvels as MCR and EAN checksums and binary coded fucking decimal.

I suspect whatever we teach our kids today will be equally laughable in 25 years. Particularly if it involves Visual Basic in any way, shape or form.

UK hot-swaps leaders - Brown out, Cameron in

Eddie Edwards
Headmaster

For my money

For my money the point is that Brown was not the leader of the Labour party when the Labour party got elected to power. A great many people vote for the party they want to rule the country, under the basic assumption that if they win, their leader will become PM.

Apple building its own Flash, says rogue Tweeter

Eddie Edwards

What does "open" mean?

"Plus, his commitment to open standards goes only so far. For web video, Apple uses the patented H.264 codec, not the open and license-free Ogg Theora."

For my money, H.264 is open and patent-encumbered but licensed non-discriminatorily, while Ogg is open and not* patent-encumbered. Depends what you mean by "open". H264 has no vendor lock-in, for instance, and the specs are freely available.

* i.e. they have a page where you can declare patent interest in Ogg, and no-one has declared, which obviously means no 3rd-party patents cover their technology, hence their offer of free indemnity against lawsuits *cough*

iPad, iPhone driving 'renaissance' in nuclear reactors

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Down

Very silly

This is like saying Windows Photo Viewer is driving a renaissance in porn.

Cameron aims to bring LibDems into government

Eddie Edwards
FAIL

Ahem

If you're going to trot out this "voted against" nonsense, please bear in mind than more than 2/3 of the electorate voted "against" every other party. The party who the least number of people voted "against" was the Conservatives.

Election losers? Our clapped-out parties

Eddie Edwards
Thumb Up

Easy answer

"If you were a bright young thing, why on earth would you want to join one?"

Why, to reform it, of course!

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018