* Posts by Mage

7566 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Why data storage technology is pretty much PERFECT

Mage Silver badge

Law of Sod dictates ...

We'd need to discover some fundamental under pinning of Physics and Mathematics is totally flawed:

Laws of thermodynamics in simple English:

You can't win

You can only get close to breaking even sometimes.

you can't even leave the game

Shannon - Nyquist:

For any particular communications system (transmission, storage) you have a finite capacity that can't be exceeded. We get pretty close to that on Storage and Wireless. Ultimately this is based on the three laws of Thermodynamics. Speed / capacity (transmission/storage), power, noise, bandwidth all related. On storage the physical size sets the power noise and bandwidth equivalents of Transmission systems to limit your capacity.

Entropy is a bugger.

ITU readies gigabit G.fast standard for copper's last wild ride

Mage Silver badge


I think we are heading to having only three services:



Wired (Coax, fibre, xDSL).

Nice and simple for Regulators and maximises the revenue. No technology that causes interference to Mobile will be approved. Any other Wireless Spectrum user is a 3rd class citizen. Satellite is a 2nd class citizen as they pay little or nothing to Ofcom, but tolerated as it will help get rid of pesky TV & Radio. According to the BBC, listeners to the Archers wanting the unique bits on 4Extra can use their TV to make up for poor DAB coverage, poor power consumption and lack of decent models and a minority of owners.

Soft Touch Regulation, the National Regulators and the "Market" are a failure at protecting vital infrastructure and the consumer.

Public Service broadcasters are now using spurious financial arguments to justify AM closures, IT outsourcing, program outsourcing.

We are doomed.

I'm reminded of the SciFi book where the character wakes up in ruins of the Hospital in the Future and discovers most modern tech is badly done fake. The car has "sound effects" to make it seem more powerful.

The Interplanetary spaceship tech is faked too but used as a prop on chilling "final solution" to overpopulation.

Today Bling on computer GUIs is more important than any real improvement in underlying performance, security or usability for the last 10 years.

Doomed I tell ye!

Russian mobile operators say 'nyet!' to Apple, 'da!' to Samsung

Mage Silver badge

Re: What surprises me is

Heading for over 150% many places.

But yes 143M is the Population of the Federation.

Dell warns stockholders that Icahn's plan would 'hamstring' company

Mage Silver badge

I thought Icahn was a serial asset stripper rather than an investor in it for the long haul.

I'm surprised he didn't recycle Eircom a few years ago.

Putting real money in = Investing

Putting debt in = asset stripping, not investing.

Linux 3.11 to be known as 'Linux for Workgroups'

Mage Silver badge


It could only run 32 bit Application programs using win32s?

By 1994 you could have decent 32bit TCP/P, 32 bit Disk manager/VMM/Paging, Video for Windows, Win32s to run NT applications. and reasonable reliability if it was all properly configured.

But at release it was mostly 16 bits, no Win32s, no 32bit Applications, no decent Video for Windows, no decent disk / VM/Paging.

Is it April already again?

I think Linus would only be sued calling it Windows For Workgroups. <anything else> for Workgroups isn't an MS Trademark?. "Workgroups" predate Microsoft. Though originally "work groups"

Really it's not April?

Really the main difference with initial Win95 vs last distributions of WFWG 3.11 was Explorer, not really any more "32bit" than WFWG 3.11 + Win32S

Dead STEVE JOBS was a CROOK – judge

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Wet place in Eqypt

Apple are up to the neck ...

They have lots of money to waste on lawyers for appeals.

Inventor lobs spherical, throwable camera

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Re: Not new though, trival variation

A trivial addition of software should never be patentable.

Mage Silver badge

Not new though

I think some army had these ages ago...

If they don't like what they see they lob ones without a camera.

Ciseco Pi-Lite: Make a Raspberry Pi trip light fantastic with 126 LEDs

Mage Silver badge

So actually you can drive this from a laptop running windows or linux too.

Perhaps even from an Android phone / tablet using USB to Serial without the RS232 line driver.

Your own £19 Pocket Spacecraft could be FOUND ON THE MOON

Mage Silver badge

Ben Bova


Return to Mars

Do we want Space Tourists?

Microsoft to switch off MSN TV

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It's not the Internet changes

16 years ago a computer with modem took up a lot of space and cost much more than a TV and usually couldn't drive a TV. A laptop was about x2 price and 1/4 performance.

Today a gadget with a web browser and screen built in might cost as little as 1/2 a TV. Also you don't need an over priced "smart" TV. A cheap netbook/laptop/tablet is usually more featured than a Smart TV and can drive HDMI on an HDTV. Often that + HDTV is cheaper than a Smart TV with no decent UI, you can even have the computer on your lap and cable to TV.

So the product concept is dead. Even if it had Fibre.

Battery-boosting breakthrough grows on trees – literally

Mage Silver badge


Many commercial Lithium based batteries have less charge cycles than some NiMH. After a year's use many are less than 50%.

I imagine the buffer material looks more like paper or toilet tissue. Pine can be made into paper. Though "good" paper has a lot of non-tree fibres, often recycled rag. Electrolytic capacitors used paper to hold electrolyte for maybe the last 90 years.

So I wonder exactly what is new about this.

We all know what happens with mismanaged batteries (even Turbo charged NiMH).

BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

Mage Silver badge

I knew it.

I said it would never be acceptable. Even without glasses, stereoscopic video can never really work properly. Even when it does work (and for nearly 20% of people it's poor to non-existent) it's exhausting as real distance (which you will focus on) doesn't match the stereoscopic clues that rely on near perfect binocular vision.

Only a Stereoscopic image processed locally into simulated 3D with real Z-axis for your eye to focus on will work. The Stereoscopic camera and transmission are feasible, 3D camera and transmission isn't.

Currently 3D displays of any decent contrast are like small fish tanks. A decent 3D display will be deeper than a CRT. Otherwise you'd get tired watching, A flat panel has only one focus distance,

Why did the BBC waste money on this. They of course obviously ignore their own R&D Dept as the recent 100M fiasco proves.

Of mice, the NSA, GCHQ and data protection

Mage Silver badge

Be careful

Don't just plug any old mouse into your computer

Taking it apart is no use, you need a USB sniffer.

Mines the one with a tin foil hat disguised as my lunch wrapper.

Love in an elevator.... testing mast: The National Lift Tower

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Re: Cenobite...

Yes, the tower that replaced the mast that er .. fell down.. You can see here it wasn't concrete.

The current concrete Emley Moor Tower is a listed building.

Flogging an iTunes app? Just 4k downloads will get you in Top 10

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"paid app needs just 4,000" [Daily]

So to get a weeks publicity in top 10 if your app sells at $1 you buy $28,000 which will really cost you nearly $9,000 (Apple gets 1/3rd?), right?

If you were really selling 4K copies a day at $1 then that is about $20K income per week, or about $6.5K a day?

You need to be as desired as a $1000 PC application probably to sell an App at more than $20? So this suggests there will be very few heavyweight Apps in the iTunes / Play store, unless they are a port of a high reputation expensive PC Application.

Vulcan? Not on our tiny balls. Pluto moons named Kerberos, Styx

Mage Silver badge

Not a problem

Vulcan can be used for something larger.

Modern-day Frankenstein invents CURE for BEHEADING

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N.I.C.E. is the organisation maintaining the "Head" in "That Hideous Strength".

Someone told Lewis he was only criticising Science Fiction because he couldn't write it. Note it's the 3rd volume in a trilogy but readable on its own.

El Reg encounters mObi: R2-D2 for retailers

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act as Security Guards as well...

Add a taser and it *IS* a Dalek

Mage Silver badge

Shape wrong

Really should be taller and more like a skinny Dalek in shape, but with the flat top.

It could then have a manipulator to re-orientate boxes to see what they are.

What could go wrong?

Prince of Persia: Baggy trousers and curvy swords

Mage Silver badge

Re: Is it still playable?


Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

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Re: I'm taking my ball with me ! DOCX

My 2002 versions of Word and Excel use MS's free compatibility pack for DOCX, but I've been increasingly using Open Office and now Libre Office. I actually prefer the Charting interface on Libre Office.

Mage Silver badge

It's been bad for a while

I had a variety of MS Select, MSDN and Technet subs between 1994 and 2003 when I cancelled.

I remember the last subs needed you to register and download keys for nearly everything instead of pre printed keys. The keys also got to be a damm pain in the neck to enter.

I've not done IT support since 2005 and I am SO GLAD.

Server 2003 and Office 2003 etc was the last stuff I got that way. Then they talked about doing away with the CDs and DVDs even though loads of IT companies had poor Internet Access. Also "the cloud" only makes sense if you have redundant fibre to the premises. Useless for most of the Real World outside HiTech Business campuses.

Another few years and MS will be as hapless as Polariod, Kodak, Yahoo and now HP. I don't think any of them can keep re-inventing themselves like the Victorian Era Hollerith Company, latterly known as IBM.

Apple 'iWatch' trademark filing hints Cook's make-or-break moment looms

Mage Silver badge

What's a watch?

Does anyone wear them any more other than jewellery?

Wristwatches made first for ladies (no waist coat for the pocket watch?), then popularised by WWI for men.

A phone is today's pocket watch and the ladies all have jeans or jacket pockets.

They might appeal to teenagers, but who can tell what teens will like?

Perhaps less stupid than Google's Googles.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Our new top Android ten-incher

Mage Silver badge

Re: wireless charging?

Wireless charging is a gimmick. The charger still has a cable and mains plug and takes up a lot ot table space.

A charging dock makes more more sense, especially if the Gadget angle is adjustable.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Yet another tallscreen Android tablet?

Not everyone only watches video.

Besides only TV and Budget Cinema (close at 1.85:1) is 16:9. Get used to black.

What's the difference between GEEKS and NERDS?

Mage Silver badge

Re: I hate pizza

I love Bread, Cheese, Bacon, Tomato, peppers, salami. But somehow Pizza spoils them :) There are some decent pizza though.

Mage Silver badge


Beware Geeks bringing gifts*.

But don't worry about Nerds.

(*Remember the "free" USB Mouse exploit?)

Yahoo! announces last hurrah of ancient AltaVista search

Mage Silver badge

Well. eventually Yahoo will close.

What is their strategy and where is their vision?

Why did they close Geocities?

Radio hams tell Ofcom: Put that Wi-Fi mob back in their place

Mage Silver badge


Not about managing spectrum or best use of it but purely about making money for Treasury and supporting Mobile operators rather than consumers or anyone else because they have the most money to spend.

A shame.

Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Mage Silver badge

I may try this

Just spent 4 days faffing with Debian 7 ...

The Desktop "Network manager" is broken if you want to configure static IP wired ethernet.

The Samba configuration is still pants, the Nautilus create SMB share worked in ver 6, not in this. Debian v6 the password sync worked, on 7 inexplicably only one account worked, the others needed the SMB password separately created with command line tool. With SWAT the working shares don't appear listed and it claims SMBD isn't running!

Debian 7 wouldn't read a LVM configured disk, so had to boot a drive with Debian 6, copy disk to a disk and then reboot Debian 7.

Firefox? Debian uses the alterego Iceweasel.

It's the insistance on Bluetooth and Evolution "built-in" to gnome 3 that baffles me.

I look forward to trying Mint + cinnamon.

Stock dips as fanbois complain of dodgy Wi-Fi on MacBook Air

Mage Silver badge

Re: I have always found "BigCorp's" paranoia when dealing with customer complaints very.......

Rolls Royce or a Fiat X19?

More attention to Form than Function.

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Mage Silver badge


Very early in late 1940s or in 1950s the lock to mains was abandoned. But Studio lighting was one of the original issues. Some early TVs then had a moving hum bar.

It wasn't to use the 50Hz or 60Hz directly but to make the hum bar stationary.

The explanation about interlace and dynamic movement is pretty good, but there was investigation and comparison of progressive vs interlaced in the 1930s. Interlaced 25fps 50Hz is better than 25fps progressive especially if there is no simple large item moving quickly the eye can track. If the eye can't track, then our dynamic resolution is poor.

So interlace did give some improvement. But there is no doubt that 1366 x 768 (already a native panel resolution on HD Ready TVs) with 75 fps progressive would be better than UHD at lower rates and probably better than 1920 x 1080 progressive. There is little point to higher resolution as onboard upscaling can allow an image the size of the wall.

Also if the source is twice resolution and frame rate (150fps) and downsampled/antialiased) to 1366 x 768 75fps progressive the quality is better.

As for so called 3D (stereoscopic)? Pointless.

Making the case for upgrading from Server 2003

Mage Silver badge

Re: It's true though...

Yes, I upgraded from Windows 2000 to Linux. It's been a pain though, even though the Win2K box had Apache & IIS as well as MS SQL and MySQL. The "common" LAMP CMS did work on the "WAMP" though I may add one 2003 Server next month (and upgrade it to something Linux flavoured before 2015), or not if the SAMBA shares stay stable.

Fortunately I don't have to run Exchange or Sharepoint.

But what to replace the XP with?

Apple said to dump Samsung as chip-baking partner – again

Mage Silver badge

Samsung magic sauce

Years ago the Samsung 6400 was the magic sauce. 3 chips (ARM SoC, Flash & RAM) layered in one approx 2mm package. Less PCB tracks and less PCB area.

I guess by now someone else can put the Apple variant Arm SoC in that package?

It's not impossible TSMC make the chip and Samsung STILL assemble it with the other two in the package. BTW the original iPhone used the 6400

Cloud company avoids the cloud

Mage Silver badge

Someone somewhere

needs real computers.

If you are running LAMP, and each user has web applications + data base, which is better performance?

1 copy of SQL & Apache and Linux with N user accounts


N x VMs, each with a copy of Linux, Apache and SQL?

*nix OS family was multiuser from the beginning

Only if you have users installing native applications is the overhead of VM needed.

For 99.99% of ordinary hosting the "VM" is a waste of money and performance.

VMs and Cloudy Computing has it's niche. But it's stupid for most things.

Three's Irish network goes titsup

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Re: Negative, negative...

They will feed O2 gear with their cheap Virgin Media fibre and ditch the multiple redundant O2 backhaul.

Oh and make EVERYONE in O2 Ireland redundant.

Mage Silver badge


Blaming Virgin Media?

What sensible "Enterprise" size operation feeds their network without redundancy? Has someone dug a trench in Newry (Virgin Media are not in the Republic, nor are a major backhaul operator).

Once more Three demonstrate that all they are good at is selling Internet dongle contracts & PAYG and mis-labelling it broadband. It would have been better if O2 had bought Three.

An Post & Tesco use O2 infrastructure.

Google staffing boss: Our old hiring procedures were 'worthless'

Mage Silver badge

like to be a one trick pony like Google

Well the money is good.

But there is more to life than money.

Mage Silver badge

Re: World's cleverest company states the obvious

Actually Google is almost a one trick pony. They do a huge amount of stupid stuff.

They are good at selling advertising and doing search. Android is pretty much a "bought in" development based on Linux and Java.

Most of the really smart companies are small ones you never heard of.

Apple: If you find us guilty in ebook price-fix trial, EVERYONE suffers

Mage Silver badge

I think the Apple team may be taking advice from Steve Bong,

PC makers REALLY need Windows 8.1 to walk on water - but guess what?

Mage Silver badge

since 2007

Or even about 2002.

Huge massive difference between my 2000 laptop and the 2002 model. I'm still using the 2002 Model. 1600 x 1200 screen, 1.8GHz CPU. Internal Wifi, HDD, RAM upgraded though.

The 2000 Laptop (450 MHz PIII mobile and 1400 x 1050 screen) made the earlier one from 1998 look like junk.

I have a mix of Office XP and Office 2003 applications. And Libre Office. My replacement for XP will not be an MS OS, unless there is a miracle.

Before 2002 to 2006 you replaced perfectly working machines regularly and updated OS. (WFWG 3.11 far better Win 3.0, XP "better" than NT4.0, Win98SE better than any of the 3 Win95).

What compelling reason is there for Vista, Win7 or Win8 if you have a working computer with XP, OS X or Linux?

Newer MS OSes and post 2003 MS Office? See Icon

Telecoms band wants to drag White Space into the real world

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See how any of the Mobile operators would like White Space Operations on their licensed spectrum by someone else.

It's been hyped so much that the Bean Counters and PHBs at these companies believe in it. It causes interference as their own RF engineers know.

It's an American inspired myth. Clue in the name.

Google launches broadband balloons, radio astronomy frets

Mage Silver badge

Re: More Google Irresponsible Stupidity.

It's 60km range and also totally unreliable as balloons drift quickly. All of the disadvantages of Balloons and LEO satellites with none of the advantages. A cheap gimmick on the wrong band. There are tethered balloon designs, but that has problems. So Astra has a LEO satellite project using a swarm. There is some scepticism about the SES-Astra project but it's more viable than this nonsense and won't interfere with anyone.

This is either designed by idiots for "cool" or by RF engineers goaded by bosses with big pointy sticks. It's a totally stupid irresponsible band to use on balloons for the General Public.

If a company is going to to something stupid like this they should use a suitable band.

Mines the one with ITU band plans and RF Planning in the pocket.

Mage Silver badge

More Google Irresponsible Stupidity.

This doesn't even work. The higher the "mast" the more coverage, then the more users and slower the speed.

It's pointless Google PR to make them look like a Cool Tech company. They are an Advertising company.

Range is very high with such a high platform. (For more capacity on Mobile you use LOWER masts and less power). So what ever band it uses it dramatically reduces performance/capacity as the Balloon passes within range. It's irresponsible. As is Google's so called "White Space".

Such Balloons are technically a HAP (High Altitude Platform). The recommended bands are 200GHz and/or 400GHz I think as only that high a frequency is there enough capacity for such range/coverage. It's ridiculous to use ISM for such a platform.

However they will be short lived as the Helium will leak out.

Young blokes blinded by video-game addiction: THE FACTS

Mage Silver badge

Re: Little Johnny is playing XBOX One alone in his room....

Shades of the Last Starfighter :-)

Interwebs taunt Sir Jony over Apple eye candy makeover

Mage Silver badge

Re: Ives? don't have any world players

Because of the different Venture capital model. Sheer size of market, better Venture Capital etc means a dozen or so US companies are very dominant. For every one of those there are thousands of failures.

Dominance of "Bean Counters" and the London "financial" trading has killed off many promising UK companies. Only Financial management, leveraged buyouts (= asset stripping) and Defence /Aerospace is valued in UK. Inmos could have beaten Intel but we threw it away. Clive Sinclair produced mostly rubbish, but more innovative than Ives, Even Amstrad / Alan Sugar couldn't believe how badly Timex produced gear for Sinclair when he bought them. When the Japanese came to set up TV plants in Wales etc they couldn't use UK parts. Quality too poor. Not a design issue but Bean Counters killing the companies.

I know loads of Designers, Engineers (SW & HW) that have done more good innovation and development in a few years than J.I. has in his whole career, he got a lucky break and gave Jobs what he was looking for.

How many Apple, Microsoft, Google etc are there anyway?

Mage Silver badge


A genius?

He admitted he ripped it all of Dieter Rams' Braun stuff. What exactly has he invented that someone else less famous and with poorer marketing didn't do first?

Ex-Palm CEO Rubinstein wishes HP sale never happened

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Re: HP

Also when they merged (= Took over) Compaq many of the best products of both companies killed in the "rationalisation". The worst handheld, Workstations & Servers rather than best kept. But Compaq bought DEC surely, not HP and really only for the service channels, so all the DEC HW & SW was doomed anyway?

A far cry from the days when they made world leading Test gear and Semiconductors.

Their Laser printers are now inferior to Brother. The Inkjets only exist to sell ink.

Want a fast, private Wi-Fi channel? Fine, go fight the regulators

Mage Silver badge

"a Channel 14 network could achieve three times the range and much higher speeds than open-access channels"

This is obviously nonsense. You might as well claim an FM Radio station on 103 MHz has three times the range and quality of one on 100MHz.

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