* Posts by Mage

7566 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Freeze, lastholes: USB-C and Thunderbolt are the ultimate physical ports

Mage Silver badge


Grossly overhyped and to do properly needs expensive aerial arrays, multiple transmitters and multiple receivers.

Shannon's law is based on Thermodynamics. There is no free lunch.

Mage Silver badge

wireless charging pads

They universally need mains connections.

A simple dock, like "cordless" kettles, drills, DECT phones and two way radios have (and phones used to have is sufficient) but doesn't have the same hipster marketing value.

European Patent Office blocks staff reading critical articles at work

Mage Silver badge

Sorry, we are unable to translate the page you requested.


Our CompSci exam was full of 'typos', admits Scottish exam board

Mage Silver badge

Re: WTF?

Enid Blyton's "Dame Slap the Teacher" in the Faraway Tree series comes to mind, similar questions with no possible answer. Curiously the series has Google Buns. (1936 - 1951!)

So. Why don't people talk to invisible robots in public?

Mage Silver badge

Elephant in the room

They are pretty poor too, other than simple commands.

From iWarp to Knight's Landing: James Reinders leaves Intel

Mage Silver badge

I wish him well

Real Computer Scientists knew the future was parallel, even in late 1970s.

In the 1980s

We had the Transputer.

Ivor Catt.


Co-routines et al. built in to Modula-2.

Despite James Reinders, CAR "Tony" Hoare and others we have not made much progress since 1980s with "modern" multicore CPUs depending too much on OS level multithreading and bottlenecked by shared I/O and shared external RAM.

A beer for James Reinders.

NASA 'naut to boldly enter pump-up space podule

Mage Silver badge

Inflatable stations

Such structures should have multiple water tanks as part of outer skin, be wheel shaped and have the docking ports on outer skin opposite the spokes. PSU, Communications platform, gyroscopes etc at hub.

Water is additional shielding, also a source of oxygen and hydrogen if you have fission power, fusion power or a lot of solar power.

Wi-Fi hack disables Mitsubishi Outlander's theft alarm – white hats

Mage Silver badge

Re: It seems

I was telling Profibus researchers maybe ten years ago that security wasn't an optional extra on industrial control and needed to be designed in.

Mage Silver badge

WiFi vs Mobile

Local access rather than access over the Internet and mobile is preferable. It's done rather badly.

The idea of controlling ANYTHING on a vehicle you can't actually see is a fail. Remote reporting is a separate kettle of fish, I mean privacy issue.

GNU cryptocurrency aims at 'the mainstream economy not the black market'

Mage Silver badge

Re: Mining?

"isn't this more of a money transfer system rather than a full-fat cryptocurrency?"

Yes, I think so.

Cryptocurrencies are a speculation vehicle anyway.

Anonymous payment systems or cryptocurrencies are an invitation for criminals and other neer do wells to do money laundering, accept ransom payments etc. I'm dubious about the claim of anonymous + taxable.

I'll stick to IBAN and PayPal.

Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Mage Silver badge

Re: Every up (sorry down) grade of Windows is a total disaster

You can "cold boot" XP on a four year old laptop using a 5400 RPM HDD, in under 15 seconds, if all the junk is removed, eye candy off and all services not needed are disabled.

About 1s to load Win 3.1 in a VM! ^_^

Mage Silver badge

Re: Low marketshare

XP ...

Good user practices & turn off all services not needed.

Use a separate firewall

Use safe browser with NoScript, no Java and no Flash

No media player or PDF plugins in browser

No remote HTML etc in a safe email client

use a VPN away from home.

Don't use Adobe for PDF, Apple quicktime etc

dual boot to Mint + Mate + WINE + Redmond theme :D

Mage Silver badge

Re: And

The Win 10 débâcle was even on BBC R4 You & Yours today. They were not kind to MS.

Mage Silver badge

Re: And

Which doesn't count old PCs never on Internet or PCs replaced by phone / tablet and rarely used online.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Microsoft aren't helping matters

" Microsoft have given us a succession of complete fusterclucks from Windows 8 onwards."

Actually since XP and Server 2003. (NT 5.1 & NT 5.2?)

Windows 7 was after all not a new OS, simply a fix up of disastrous Vista, should have been free to Vista users.

The release of Vista (NT 6.0 I think) and Win 7 (NT 6.1?) left out almost all the "interesting" new features promised after Win2K/XP/Server 2003. Bugs in Explorer and other parts of windows since NT4.0 still are not fixed.

The GUI has become more inconsistent and each version of windows since NT4.0 has gratuitously moved were admin / set up settings accessed from GUI.

Mostly the default install is STILL based on a Server not a workstation with too many server type services and other stupid services running.

We are seeing the result of bad management over the last 15 years coming home to roost. It's like what Nokia did since 2002 (Killed S80 and touch GUI development back then, high point was the the first few Nokia Communicators). Where will MS be in 2020?

Smart meter gag orders lifted

Mage Silver badge


Some sanity

Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

Mage Silver badge


What do they say?

L'Académie française, institution créée en 1635, est chargée de définir la langue française par l'élaboration de son dictionnaire qui fixe l'usage du français.

Even in remotest Africa, Windows 10 nagware ruins your day: Update burns satellite link cash

Mage Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft should also hand over a big donation...

"And we've got these leftover Zune MP3 players! :)"

At least those don't need iTunes and won't be nagged to update to Win 10.

Mage Silver badge


XP is safe from Win 10 Nagware.

If not connected to the Internet it's fine. ATM didn't use to connect to the Internet, if i was connecting an ATM using ANY OS, I'd use a properly setup VPN to my ATM's Server. What sort of idiot would have a cash dispensing machine or it's transaction server over the Internet without a proper VPN?

If XP set-up and used "properly" by an IT expert, there isn't as much risk as W7, W8 or W10 used badly. (i.e. by typical user that auto clicks on OK, adds browser tool bars, uses Outlook and MS browser, has no script blocking, Java, Adobe PDF, Media Player , Flash etc all work in browser by default. Not your typical El Reg commentard)

Farewell, Fadell: Nest CEO Tony quits IoT biz

Mage Silver badge

Re: But... the billions and billions of customers

The better alternatives existed YEARS before Nest was even thought of.

There are plenty of easy to use controllers, easier to use thermostats, all more compatible than Nest.

Nest is shiny / gadgety hype, Also insecure and creepy. Overpriced

Software snafu let EU citizens get referendum vote, says Electoral Commission

Mage Silver badge

Re: damn

UK Vote on In/Out might be:

French: Some Out, Some In

Polish, Irish, Germans: Mostly In

Not sure about Danes and Swedish.

Fact: Huawei now outspends Apple on R&D

Mage Silver badge

Re: Chromebooks

Budget isn't Apple vocabulary.

They DO have an ARM ultra air laptop, disguised as a tablet, with detachable keyboard and stylus/pen.

I've said for years that the Mac OS is niche product. Someone here said it's so that workstations at One Infinite Loop have Apple logos and not Dell badges.

Mage Silver badge

Apple R&D

Only about 1% I think.

Most "good" stuff bought in

How much of Apple R&D is cost of their patents and "Design patents" and general R&D overheads in USA?

How many Apple patents and products are real R&D?

How much Apple R&D is Research and how much simply product development of fairly generic industry parts?

Considering Huawei accounting methods, much greater range of products (not just consumer phones/tablets) and their overhead / localities, I expect they are getting better value for money too.

Smartphone sales falling

Mage Silver badge

Re: Idiot analysts

Even people with iPhones are not automatically updating as the Job's Reality distortion field decays.

It won't help if they really are ditching the headphone socket. They'd do better to add a Micro SD socket and only make one size of memory, but the no external storage, different memory sizes and iTunes control of content instead of USB storage is part of strategy to have 25% to 40% profit margin and more people upgrading (to get more memory) rather than 10% to 15% margin.

Unicode serves up bacon emoji

Mage Silver badge


Is there one?

Probably it would be irrelevant.

I wonder what these look like at about 16 point in monochrome sans or serif style?

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Mage Silver badge


Impossible often to get less than a man's UK 6.5 (40 or 41 possibly) and many shops start at UK 7 for men (41 or 42). Adult men's feet go from 5 to 12 I think.

It's worse for women. Almost nothing above a UK 7. Women with 7 and larger feet often have to wear men's trainers, or "ugg style" boots (these are often a size larger than marked and wide), or hiking boots etc. Plenty of women have broader feet too.

Children's shoes are narrower and often stop at UK 5 (about a 38?), though I think there is an Irish VAT thing where kids shoes have no VAT and Adults do.

Almost everyone I know (women and men) find that while an Adult shoe is proportionally wider and wider at UK 5 and UK 6 than a kids shoe, they are too skinny and wrong shape.

Feet wider near toes and very short toes are common. Shoes do not seem to be designed for Europeans.

Mage Silver badge

Stock Control

Tesco have computerised stock control

Barcodes and whatnot

Customer cards that let them track what customers want.

Lidl also have computer stock control.

Yet they run out of popular items, often non-perishable, practically on alternate weeks. Baffling.

Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

Mage Silver badge

Dark Energy

It's a fudge anyway, the more fudge "Dark Matter" you estimate, the more of it needed.

I don't see a problem with equations, only with fudge. Less Dark Energy solves it. Or less Dark matter, and less Dark Energy.

Likely the only "problem" is the Dark fudge previously added.

'UnaPhone' promises Android privacy by binning Google Play

Mage Silver badge

Re: "scrubs out and falsifies information that [..] would allow carriers to identify the handset"

Presumably the IMEI or whatever. The carrier needs the SIM info and some sort of phone serial number too. Though how a false one works, beats me.

Mage Silver badge

Re: "scrubs out and falsifies information that [..] would allow carriers to identify the handset"

Presumably using the SIM.

|This is why I'm against abolishing SIMs, I like to swap them too, in a phone and between phone "devices"]

'Limitless enterprise storage'. Really? Digging deeper into Symbolic IO

Mage Silver badge


A lot of marketing speak there.

1) Simple deterministic compression will compress certain kinds of uncompressed data. It won't compress anything already compressed, especially JPEG, MPEGx, MP3 etc.

2) Conventional disks do waste space for smaller files, if they use a fixed block size (which is commonly the case). Perhaps it's got a clever file system than FAT, which wouldn't be hard!

No doubt they are doing "something" but not likely saving anything on large files of already compressed file formats.

Google is the EU Remain campaign's secret weapon

Mage Silver badge


That would be all the sales to countries on the UK's OWN list of evil regimes.

Most of the non-military Aerospace is European contracts, government "pork barrel" support of UK companies involved in Electronics from 1950s onwards helped destroy the UK consumer Electronics industry and make UK electronics and semiconductors uncompetitive.

Steel and coal production weren't profitable probably from before 1914, but became strategic. There is a good reason why they were nationalised.

Take out Oil, dishonest Financial Services, immoral arms sales what is left?

Mage Silver badge

Re: Hopefully Brexit...

Germany has more real economy, While it's true that Nigeria and Afghanistan have a corruption issue, the UK is the most corrupt in the world courtesy of The City Of London / Financial services who are parasites. Too much of Britain's GDP comes from their money laundering and speculation and currency manipulation, so successive UK governments of all hues never interfere.

Take out so called "Financial Services" and Scottish oil, then what has UK got compared to Germany?

Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Chinese mega-phone biz Xiaomi

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: agreed to buy 1,500 patents

So that's bizarre. Even when Nokia got out of phones they only licensed IP to Microsoft. They didn't sell a single patent.

Exactly why would ANY tech company actually sell off IP unless they were in a Kodak or Polariod Ch11 or otherwise seriously strapped for cash? MS are not short of money.

Surely MS would ONLY sell IP that it determines is non-Core and will never be needed to defend its own product.

Makes no sense!

Mage Silver badge

agreed to buy 1,500 patents

Actually buy?

Or pay a licence to use the IP?

HUGE difference.

Orbital ATK fires up revamped Antares rocket

Mage Silver badge

Re: Healthy compition

Arianespace (Over 50% of launches and nearly 60% of sats in orbit) is reducing prices due to SpaceX and others. Though some of these "entrepreneurs" are partially subsidised and all pricing to get business rather than be profitable.

The Russians have added a terminal at the European Spaceport and opened a new spaceport in Russia.

So yes there is competition for sat launches and to an extent for ISS supply. Overall Arianespace is still #1.

There will be a later consolidation stage were newcomers get bought out or go bust or both. I don't too much expect an Nokia / Apple /Android scenario in this industry.

SanDisk smartphone USB

Mage Silver badge

Or use a cable?

More "Dual Use" than for transfer.

I use a €2 "Micro USB plug to regular USB host socket" to connect phone USB2go to a USB memory stick or keyboard or hub or USB 1T byte HDD, the regular charging cable works to connect phone direct to laptop.

A dual use Flash stick in Tesco (for Micro USB & USB A rather than USB C) and it's very much more expensive than my extra adapter.

Server makers love Intel Xeons (true) - but not the price tag

Mage Silver badge

Re: Competition

It's price per server "transaction", not raw CPU power or CPU price.

If two ARM servers give similar performance to one Intel but cost less to buy and less to run ...

Life after Safe Harbour: Avoiding Uncle Sam's data rules gotchas

Mage Silver badge


The USA wants strong controls over what they export and no controls over what we export, though if it's anything physical they reserve right to apply their laws and ban import, or tax it or fine foreign entity for infringing their totally broken Patent and "Design Patent" (Registered Design) registrations / approvals.

ARM Cortex-A73: How a top-end mobe CPU was designed from scratch

Mage Silver badge

Re: "From scratch"

File -> New and then copy paste blocks from Library


File -> Existing Documents, Save As, then edit.

Mage Silver badge

Core alone less than 0.65mm2 in size

Can we have a chip with GPU, 128G RAM and 32G Flash, dedicated SDIO for SDcard, and 2 x USB2go, as well anything else useful for interfacing to wired and wifi and a bunch of other stuff for any random application other than a phone?

Two versions:

1) BGA

2) Cut down I/O in 80 pin SMT leaded package (no external memory or parallel bus interfaces) for easy DIY designs. You can solder those by reflow using a regular soldering iron. Can be same chip with simply a different package.

JTAG obviously, but a simple standardised "BIOS" option to overwrite even a "bricked" Flash via USB or SDIO/Micro SD would be nice.

Five pins to five onboard DAC optionally routed to GPU would allow any driver selected option of:

1) 3 high speed DAC (Software defined RF) and 2 x DAC up to 192kHz sample rate

2) Composite, RGB SCART, Y/C, Component or VGA (PAL, NTSC, HD up to 1600 x 1200)

Michael Dell bought his PC biz for a bargain, must get checkbook out for stiffed shareholders

Mage Silver badge

Value of shares

Isn't mostly speculation rather than investors?

Speculation: Trading already issued shares.

Investment: Buying new shares a company issues, possibly getting a dividend.

The value of shares is what ever you get paid selling them, other than divi?

Longer wait for new iPhones?

Mage Silver badge


Really at this stage the only useful additions would be:

1)Micro SD

2)USB storage mode instead of dreadful iTunes or iCloud to access files

Instead they are going to mess "inventing" a proprietary headphone connection no-one wants.

Probably they'll change the dock every three years. They've lost the plot.

Qualcomm wheels out new set of Snapdragon Wear chips

Mage Silver badge


I'd not bet on it being a profitable sector, still they and other ARM SoC designers more likely to make money from it than Intel.

Also it's possible the chips are pretty general purpose low power.

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY

Mage Silver badge

Re: If proof is needed...

I thought maybe this might mean buying a Samsung was a good idea, though I'd been thinking of a Lenovo "retina" style screen laptop.

I'd probably put Linux Mint on whatever new laptop I buy, unless MS brings out a new OS with the best bits of NT3.51, XP and Windows 7.

Helium... No. Do you think this is some kind of game? Toshiba intros 8TB desktop drive

Mage Silver badge

Re: Longevity

CRTs gradually acquire helium, degrading performance. However if the pressure is slightly lower than air pressure, then as air can't get in, why would the helium leave?

Still I'd maybe rather have one of these than a helium filled drive and certainly more than a shingled one.

Note an HDD won't work without gas in it, vacuum won't work, as the heads actually "fly". Bernoulli principle or something?

North Korea clones Facebook, forgot to change default creds

Mage Silver badge

Re: Government that already spies on citizens

Any hints, I'm struggling... Somalia maybe doesn't spy on its citizens?

EU wants open science publication by 2020

Mage Silver badge

on the results of publicly funded research

Stuff in Uni and State funded only or all papers?

MySpace 'passwords dump'

Mage Silver badge

Age is irrelvant.

So many people use same email / password for everything and forever.

We see what you're up to, Intel, with your eye-o-tee vision

Mage Silver badge

Power Consumption

Unlike mobile and IoT, the x86 power consumption isn't an issue for cars. However it's very price sensitive. Though Intel has sold cheap non-x86 cpus in the past (i960, ARM, 8051 etc).

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018