* Posts by Mage

7566 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

The TARDIS through the ages

Mage Silver badge

Presumably

It was redesigned because someone nicked the original when it was on tour. Though when I visited it, I didn't think it was the original, but more mock-up done by someone who had glanced at it once.

I do remember Ian & Barbara being suspicious of Susan's answers and wanting to meet her Grandfather and following her.

Even as a small kid that seemed like a couple of massive plot holes, I may have missed part that made it more believable:

1) Why was she at School /College?

2) How did she get enrolled without address, biirth cert etc?

Someone once said the Best SF is where there is only one "unbelievable" fact . Of course Dr. Who isn't SF now, if it was once. Sort of a rubbish mixture of Horror and Teenage drama now. I guess it gets such good ratings because the dilution of Multichannel T, Reality TV, Soaps, phone in and such that TV is generally now so poor we are reduced to to watch DVD box sets.

If there are repeats of any good programs they are either on daytime or pay tv.

Nokia has good Black Friday, won't be sharing with NSN

Mage Silver badge
Flame

NSN

It was a bad "merger" and degraded Siemens' excellent support & Services.

No doubt too much middle managers.

It was a gift to the Chinese.

Mage Silver badge

Likely increase is NSN

NSN has been a disaster for Telcos, Nokia and Siemens.

Malls suspend plan to track shoppers' cellphones

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Black Helicopters

Online and Opt-in

But it SHOULD be Opt-in for Online tracking,

People doing bad stuff is no justification for other people to do bad stuff.

Cheap-as-chips kit smashes Intel's HD video encryption

Mage Silver badge
Boffin

The point is

1) HDCP is simply an irritant and extra cost for consumer as content is pirated either from the disc or the transmission (a lot more conveniently as the content is professionally compressed).

2) It doesn't even be secure anyway.

It's simply a royalty revenue stream for Intel. It's pointless, not needed, protects nothing even if it wasn't circumvented and can easily be circumvented.

It should be dropped on all BD players and HD receivers to reduce cost. Then after a while TV makers can drop it too and save money.

Graphene circuits from an inkjet printer

Mage Silver badge

Yes

They will say this is what they do with the current ink pigments, hence the current high cost :(

Hybrid clouds 2012: the private cloud myth lives

Mage Silver badge

It's only the "cloud" if it's run and owned by someone else and off site and you don't know or care how many physical servers it is.

Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101

Mage Silver badge

I like

But it needs to be 1/2 the price.

Huge PDP-11 in a lorry: How I drove computers into schools

Mage Silver badge

Apple II

First and last Apple product we had.

it eventually spent most of its time running CP/M on 1Mbyte 8" floppies using a Z80 card. A Research Machine 380Z or S100 system would have worked out cheaper.

The next computer was an ACT Sirius 1 (Victor 9000). Then PCs. It took 4 years for the PC to catch up with Sirius 1.

We got a contract service/maintaining TRS80, BBC Micros, Apple II, Research Machine 380z etc in schools. Most of the computers in Schools in early 1980s a sheer waste of money. They should have bought the teacher one for home first.

Even in the mid 1990s teaching trainee secretaries about PCs, Computer Filing, Word-processing and Spreadsheets the easiest ones to teach and best students came from schools with no computers.

Computers in schools could have achieved so much more. Even today the "tool" is badly taught and under utilised.

Man nearly faints with relief as cops drop chopper charge

Mage Silver badge

So ...

You're new here Iainn?

Dragonriders of Pern author Anne McCaffrey dies

Mage Silver badge
Alien

Will be missed

Unlike most Authors she helped newcomers. Her love of Opera and Music is obvious.

The later Pern books maybe suffer by being more written to satisfy the demands of Pernese Fandom than her own. Plenty of good reading apart from Pern or the later Pern books.

Many of her books are better than some more popular authors. Depends what you expect. Pern is a tricky mix of SF and Fantasy actually.

Chromebooks: the flop of 2011?

Mage Silver badge
Flame

Chrome books are Stupid unless < $50

Connectivity isn't cheap enough, reliable enough or ubiquitous.

Letting Google mind all your data? Stupidity.

No real saving in cost. This has been the case for over 25 years that a computer that has a terminal application is a comparable price or cheaper than a full function graphics terminal.

Not a new concept either. Simply a different protocol to the past (VT220, X-Windows, Citrix, VNC etc). If you have enough "grunt" to run a modern browser and all the stuff for remote docs and video you only need storage to have a decent real computer.

A Traditional OS too complicated? Well iOS and Android are appliance type solutions and OS X is heading that way. MS Windows and Ubuntu is attempting to be like that hence newer versions more irritating to those needing "traditional" flexibility in configuration, desktop and applications.

So called "Cloud Computing" (a new name for an old system, older than Microcomputers or PCs) is a complement not a replacement for either the "Appliance" type gadget (locked down tablet, like Archos, Apple, Kindle, Android) or full fat OS experience (GNU/Linux without a limited tablet interface, Windows XP and earlier, older versions of OSX, Solaris, various IBM stuff etc).

If you *COULD* do a Chromebook for $50, probably a netbook could be $50. So it would be still doomed. ANY Computer or "appliance device" with decent Browser can do what a Chrome book does.

Inside the BBC's R&D Labs

Mage Silver badge

R&D

They are not spending enough and it's a pale shadow of what it used to be.

Some of the stuff of course is worthless and stupid. Without enough resources and budget too much will be trivial.

story gone

Mage Silver badge
Alert

Geo IP

The BBC Database thinks otherwise.

As does

http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_demo_ip

(which even lists nearest city rather than my ISP HQ).

My IP rarely changes (pool of 3 I think according to Fixed Wireless channel used)

I'm on a 14km Microwave link. Not DSL or Mobile.

Odd. I wonder can we persuade the Beeb to use your database for iPlayer?

Mage Silver badge

UK Readers?

I've El Reg maybe twice ever from UK and I always had the ratings.

Maybe you mean which domain people use to access your site?

Nokia's Great Lost Platform

Mage Silver badge

Sad

A real weepie.

Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Mage Silver badge
Flame

Google Apps

I try to avoid them

I have a gmail address I can send and receive, but do web mail on other accounts. Mostly I use a regular Imap & PoP3 client.

When I have to use a "creepy" Google App I use a standard browser. I don't use Chrome "spyware" either.

If I was buying something especially for Google Apps, I'd make sure and buy a Google approved device. Archos and others AGES ago had devices not support by Google so no Google Apps.

You sir should not have been given space to blow your ill-informed Trumpet on El Reg.

If I bought a "kindle" anything though it would have to support technical PDFs. Or maybe I'd buy two, a big one for PDFs and paperback book sized one for novels.

However I'm happy with my laptop (1600x1200 so allows A4 PDFs) and paper novels. Maybe when price drops for an 10" to 11" approx kindle I'll buy it and a small one.

Google apps would be irrelevant. As would iPads.

Irish website promises you'll never miss a funeral again

Mage Silver badge

More than a glass of Sherry usually too.

The post is required, and must contain letters.

Jobs mulled building own mobile network for iPhones

Mage Silver badge

Get used to it Operators

People just want a connection, a pipe.

Operators have NOTHING else that people want or need.

SMS? Charging lots for something that costs nothing...

They charge about x300 times per MByte for voice (2G, 3G) than Data. Expect data prices to double when the old licences to print money (SMS and voice) evaporate.

Adobe Flex SDK bombshell STUNS developers

Mage Silver badge

If

maybe they will next open source the Flash player.

Sounds not impossible now.

Eleven - if you will - rocktastic music movies

Mage Silver badge
Coat

Not exactly just Rock

But Shirley the "blues Bros" should get a mention in passing at least?

Mines the one stuffed with DVDs.

Eurozone crisis: We're all dooomed! Here's why

Mage Silver badge

UKIP?

Hardly an unbiased commentator.

ARM rolls out new GPU, loses head

Mage Silver badge

Shh!

Don't tell anyone ARM is based in the UK or UK "investors" or the Government will find a way to wreck them.

Inmos Transputer was a good idea too.

Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars

Mage Silver badge
Flame

Bleagh

Yet again the promising Linux has shot itself in the Feet. Removing both legs.

Not everyone uses a Tablet / Mini-Netbook.

Debian + Ice Window Manager for Older HW anyone?

It doesn't make sense that newer versions of OS need new HW unless your partner(s) are AMD or Intel.

Essentially the only bit of PCs that wear out are the keyboards and Mice and on Laptops/Netbooks additionally the Battery.

Of course HDD or SSD can fail any time.

Common brain parasite 'can affect host's actions'

Mage Silver badge

Own a cat?

No one owns a Cat. A Cat might think it owns you.

Mage Silver badge

So that's what was in the Sludge

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-10-31/

Previously he was forced to drink the sludge at a press conference to prove it safe.

Elgato EyeTV Mobile

Mage Silver badge

Specs?

MPEG4?

DVB-T2?

AAC?

Or is it plain vanilla obsolete DVB-T + MPEG2 + MP2 only?

The UK will have SD on DVB-T2 + MPEG4 ffrom end 2012

Some countries ONLY have MPEG4 SD.

The DTT networks in UK and Ireland are planned assuming roof top aerial. Only those areas in direct close view of transmitter can expect an Indoor aerial to work.

Boffinry summit names 3 new elements

Mage Silver badge

@Bronek Kozicki

Copernicus was a Man. I'm not sure why you "really, had to say that". Or what the joke value might be.

In the 1490s everybody had long hair and most better off wore robes that looked a bit like a dress but more like a long dressing gown really.

Mage Silver badge

Umm

They had already decided on these names. It's just "finalised" or something.

A further meeting will look at proposals for names for 113 to 118 (the last of which was agreed to have been created in June 2011). Then another meeting will ratify the final choices.

Advanced boffins are trying to make the Periodic table obsolete by synthesis of elements 119 and higher. It's not clear what happens after 120, if indeed any higher can be synthesised.

Prenaming Elements.

It's not certain that any elements above 118 will be created, or which ones (they tend not to be created with sequential atomic number, so the "next" one above 118 might be 132 or anything).

Google TV 2.0 is all bling and no kerching

Mage Silver badge

Delivery...

Buffering....

Broadcast is instant, but linear.

YouTube and other OTT content at decent quality depends on Cable or FTTC or FTTH. It can't be delivered easily on older Broadband systems. Also very little "connected" viewing causes contention on non-NGB / NGH systems and uses up all the viewer's data allowance (Cap).

So... Maybe add a HDD or other storage to buffer the popular likely to be watched content and download it in the background to give viewers instant stutter free VOD. Except Broadcast with hidden PVR partition can do that 10,000x cheaper.

Also Google has to compete with HbbTv, MHEG5 and youview from the Broadcasters delivering non-broadcast (and hidden broadcast) streams via Internet.

But for widespread acceptance you need Fast Broadband with no cap (or a cap over 200GByte a month) and minimum speed of 20Mbps+ at peak times (not an "up to" speed) so users can use internet at same time or even use OTT internet content in more than one room.

A student or single person can use a Laptop/netbook/tablet anyway, Families are the more likely users of TVs with OTT content and they often have more than one TV and/or may be using internet at the same time.

Our BluRay Home theatre adds internet to our TV and we have a PC Media centre on it too. But Internet browsing or YouTube "clip" viewing is mostly a personal activity, not something done on the shared living room TV.

How long before the local Internet can compete with BluRay for instant viewing at same quality vs simply a download to watch later or after enough has "Buffered"?

They need to test Google TV in the Real World, with real people not in the Fibre fed Googleplex by single Geeks.

It's time to end the Windows Wait

Mage Silver badge

Flash

Depends on price. My nearly 10 year old Laptop running XP (120G HDD replaced original 30G about 3 years ago) boots about the same time as many cheaper Flash based Linux running Netbooks.

You need big money for fast Flash. My CP/M system is faster as it doesn't have to load much.

ROM booted non-PCs back in mid 80s were impressive boot time. But not so useful as CP/M or MS/DOS.

ARM specs out first 64-bit RISC chips

Mage Silver badge

Servers with lots of stuff

But Embedded processing needing more than 4G RAM? I don't think so.

Airbus brews Scandium smackdown for carbon Dreamliner

Mage Silver badge

But

Can't Airbus also make a Dreamliner sized plane of Scandium -Aluminium alloy? But can Boeing make an an A380 size composite?

Android 'stands on Microsoft's shoulders', says MS lawyer

Mage Silver badge

Newton not first

Not first PDA or touch screen. It failed in the market unlike some others.

EU in 4G mobile 'digital dividend' divvy-up proposal

Mage Silver badge

So small improvements

So Cities will get a small improvement using 2.6GHz LTE instead of 2.1GHZ HSPA+, most noticeable on very busy cells, where speed is least like broadband.

And in the sticks you'll get slow LTE on 800MHz (due to fact entire band only has 7 x 5MHz channels for LTE or 3 x 20MHz and one 5MHz channel, total for all operators and the distances) replacing GSM EDGE. They won't increase the basestation density. Not economic. So not "Wireless Broadband".

Just 50% to 200% better depending on location and cell load.

Mage Silver badge

No 2.6GHz roaming in Ireland

UPC uses it for wireless Cable, AKA MMDS.

CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

Mage Silver badge

Some pulses received

.... . .-.. .--. -- . .. .- -- - .-. .- .--. .--. . -.. .. -. .- -. . ..- - .-. .. -. --- ..-. .- -.-. - --- .-. -.--

A 1907 Coherer for Radio probably works better than any detector for Neutrinos

Google TV receives (much needed) upgrade

Mage Silver badge

There are only two

Logitech and Sony.

I expect both to abandon ship.

Applied Micro leaps ahead in ARM server race

Mage Silver badge
Coat

Intel

Intel has an ARM licence. They even kept one XScale chip, a communications processor.

All Intel has to do is make like ADI, Texas, Qualcomm and Samsung who design their own variations of ARM. Like Samsung leverage their own processes / fabrication too for the 3 layer Flash + RAM + CPU chip trio.

Only Texas does the OMAP version ARM

Only Qualcomm does the Snapdragon version ARM

Intel can use their design expertise and fabrication to make an ARM that Texas, Samsung or Qualcomm can't compete with. Maybe they already have a skunkworks team and should add all the Itanium resources to it. After all, the only Itanium customer, HP, is flirting with ARM based servers.

Stallman: Did I say Jobs was evil? I meant really evil

Mage Silver badge

I hate to say it.

Stallman at times seems close to a raving lunatic.

But on this he is talking sense.

Samsung making over half its cash from its mobes

Mage Silver badge
Flame

Apple should lose the Patent wars

Almost all Apple patents are really things that in UK would be covered by either copyright or registered design.

Samsung and other "real" Electronics and Technology companies have real patents.

Yes, Samsung and other products might look similar and be used in a similar way. This is like that cars have 4 round wheels rather than 3 or 5 octagonal wheels.

Yes, Samsung and others may infringe Apple patents. But those patents are invalid and should never have been awarded.

Back in 1986 I was designing Pocket Information systems. By 1989 the connectivity was Analogue Cell phone and 64Kbps DECT in the the office.

Guess what? The GUI used icons. The screen covered most of the front. No buttons. It was a rounded rectangle designed to fit a suit pocket (not very comfortably as about x2 to x3 thicker than a modern PDA/Phone. It did work also as phone using the stylus as a handset.

The stylus had three buttons and miniature optically read ball to work as a "mouse" on desk.

Capacitive touch screens existed. But like everyone else we wanted sketch and handwriting input as these very much two way devices.

PC compatibility was to be by a PC card emulating graphics card and connecting via DECT wireless to the Mono touch display (like a HW implementation of VNC so DOS or any OS etc would work in a sliding window over the virtual terminal).

Since Bluetooth didn't exist the "Pen/handset/stylus" used a two way ultrasonic link for voice and button/mouse data. I did have a now expired patent for that. If the company had not gone bust before production I'd be richer than Jobs was today but not be suing Apple when the iPhone first came out, because I believe in reasonable competition and think only the absolutely innovative, un-obvious and complex to invent things should be granted monopolies.

HP flip-flops on sale of Personal Systems Group

Mage Silver badge
Coat

They really only have two businesses left

They were never good at Software or Services.

Their servers are not good value and not as good as they once where.

They made a mistake with the details of the Tablet, they should have tried again rather than burn it.

Their PCs and Printers is what is left. But they need to do their own design and improve quality. They need to fix any problems with their PSG, not dispose it and be on a downward spiral to nothing. They'll never emulate IBM's shift of ditching PCs to Lenovo because IBM was major in SW & services before the PC and never left that. HP spun of the the Testgear that was their origin as Agilent and lost the heart of their R&D culture. They have never been good as a SW and Services company. Their origin was HW. Since they are world leader in Printers and PCs that's what they need to concentrate on.

If they just re-badge other's netbooks and laptops though they are doomed. Nor can they afford to be Apple and concentrate on just Aesthetics and GUIs.

Mine's the one with an HP calculator in the pocket.

China Central TV comes to Freeview

Mage Silver badge

Expense?

Actually if you have a significant market share, say more than 1%, then Broadcast is FAR cheaper than Internet for Broadcast quality.

if you only have 0.05% viewing time, but it's everyone at once (e.g. news at 9) then Internet is horribly expensive.

The Internet is only viable for low quality or low numbers of people at once when you consider video.

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’

Mage Silver badge
FAIL

"what is claimed is",

All this kind of stuff is:

Been done before

Obvious

Dates to research on Gestures 1970s to 1990s

Even if no one did it, it's not worthy of a patent.

This is what happens when only 2.5% of Budget is R&D in a Tech company.

Point to me ONE Engineering development by Apple.

Point to one user interface feature that should be really patentable.

One GUI feature that isn't just a prettier and slicker implementation of concepts that others did earlier.

Possibly some aspects of a GUI should be covered by copyright and the absolute appearance definitely is. But not a rounded rectangular box to put it in, nor rounded icons. Just the actual image on the Icon.

The court system for enforcement and the system for awarding patents is "broken". It's allowing who ever has the best lawyers and spends the most on "patent" applications to have a monopoly on the obvious and already out there.

Google dumps + from Boolean search tool

Mage Silver badge
FAIL

Also degraded

Since they decided to high rank all the sites you went to before. I want to find NEW sites with "that" content., I'm not looking for a Bookmarking service

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Bah

Google are the new Evil Axis. Worse than MS ever was, who only wanted your money. Google wants your soul (Profile) and hopes to wreck your head so you don't notice.

Ten... small screen HD TVs

Mage Silver badge
FAIL

The Hannspree SV28LMMB and LG 26LK330

For 28" the 1920 x 1200 and 1366 x 768 are not TV resolutions.

They are "low" resolution Computer Monitors (my ancient 19" 4x3 PC monitor does 1680 x 1260 as I type this).

For reasons best known to Marketing people, laptops and notebooks all now have TV 16:9 screens and you need 17" to get 1080 pixels vertically.

11 years ago you could get 1600 x 1200 on a 15.6" laptop. I'd love a 1680 x 1260 4:3 laptop or netbook for web browsing or PDF reading.

I prefer to watch video at longer distance on a TV screen. So TV screens should be 1920 x 1080. But many TVs that are 1920 x 1080 even "rescale" TV to "over scan" like the CRT era and will only show perfect unscaled 1920 x 1080 from a PC source!

Conversely I'd 4:3 screens on PCs, Laptops, Netbooks. Even just one, that's good for A4 PDFs.

Also where are the HD capable 4" to 16" portable TVs to replace analogue ones? They can have a 960 x 540 or 720 x 405 screen if they like. It's just for portability. Some channels (and increasingly next year) are HD only. This is already true in Ireland where on Digital the RTE2 is ONLY transmitted in 1440 x 1080 and ALL channels are in MPEG4. There are ZERO portable TVs as far as I can see that work on MPEG4 SD, DVB-T, DVB-T2 and MPEG4 HD. Only "obsolete" MPEG2 only DVB-T portables.

World's stealthiest rootkit gets a makeover

Mage Silver badge

nyelvmark: I hope that's a poor attempt at humour

Hmmm

http://www.gmer.net/

Deep inside ARM's new Intel killer

Mage Silver badge

Maybe if Intel put 28nm versions of the old 386SX and the Pentium pro on one chip they might do it.

A billion transistors? Intel has got too bloated concentrating on simply server/high end desk top performance over all else.

They had to step back in time to do the Atom (for low power), ironically the 1st Atom based netbooks about 1/2 the speed of a 10 year old laptop.

US military debated hacking Libyan air defenses

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Or

This is what they want their enemies to believe ...

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