* Posts by Mage

7566 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

SHOCK! Robot cars do CRASH. Because other cars have human drivers

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

caused by human error and inattention

Google would say that.

"Google pointed out that those figures might be off, since a huge number of minor crashes aren't reported to the authorities. "

Our Cloud loving possibly future Overlord would say that.

The cars are 100% programmed by humans. When the many flaws in the software appear it may be mildly annoying or spectacularly fatal.

Microsoft springs for new undersea cables to link US, UK, Asia

Mage Silver badge

Microsoft has invested

i.e. they helped fund the cables. Not their private network.

Pakistan URINE STORM: Google Maps chokes off user editing

Mage Silver badge

Re: How many edits do they get?

How many people have computers on the Internet?

How many employees does Google want working on this?


Lots and none.

Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Mage Silver badge


Netflix vs TV Licence: A very bad and false comparison. A video rental shop via broadband isn't a Pay TV operator. Also they are subsidised by your ISP if it actually works properly (they put servers at ISP). They also are unlike Sky aggressively pricing to build market share.

Sky (as it works outside cable areas) and has actual TV channels, is the only comparison.

Also not all the TV licence goes to BBC? Unless it's been changed. Isn't it really a tax on being able to watch ANY TV?

Mage Silver badge

conditional access


Over 92 of content watched by Sky Subscribers is Free To Air.

Limits user options.

Conditional access is only for Commercial Pay TV platforms, which SHOULD NOT be allowed to own channels.

Future Conditional Access systems will also remove viewer / listener privacy.

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

I'm sceptical

Some 20 per cent of people never view or listen to anything the BBC does.

a) If true, they need to reform.

b) Maybe these are also the people that before voting claimed they'd never vote Cons, or would vote labour.

c) Maybe they are counting it wrong.

d) Public service broadcasting needs to be Free To Air, even if many people are ignoring it.

Internet vs Broadcast

Broadcast reception is scaleable for free, works in a disaster and is private for listener / viewer. No privacy on Internet, scaling to more users expensive, fragile in disaster.

Terrestrial via Satellite / Cable.

Only terrestrial is portable and needs no user infrastucture.

If BBC scrapped DAB, a layer of managers, overpaid so called celebrities and concentrated on content?

As a PSB they'd be doing something wrong if only appealing to lowest common denominator too.

Pinning a value on big tech's top names. Not as easy as it looks

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Do the markets have it about right?

Markets are what are? Surely they can't be "right" or "wrong".

Then there is pricing by vendors. Too high and they lose sales. But sometimes too low and they lose sales. Sometimes they need to price higher than Competition (Apple).

So how do you even compare prices of similar products.

Right for who? Investors, Speculators, Consumers, Tax gatherers, resource producers, factory owners (who don't sell to public).

I think if I could figure it I should make money, maybe get a Nobel when I expose all in biography and not waste time writing here.

Mage Silver badge

Amazon: not making any money at all

But is it true?

Or very clever accounting. There is Apple's method of not paying tax, and then Amazon's method?

Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell

Mage Silver badge

just $200

Crazy expensive for a video door bell.

I bet it's rubbish security too, unlike a cheap one that plugs into your existing TV.

Obviously for people that ONLY use a smartphone and have too much money!

I think too the camera will be rapidly stolen.

So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters


At least he admits he is anti EU.

Actually is sticking with Sterling good?

1) Gives opportunity for parasites to make money speculating

2) Increases cost to consumer of Euro imports as importers hedge on currency

3) Affects exports to Euro areas, due to currency hedging

Also leaving EU would hurt Ireland. Not being in Euro hurts Ireland as so much Irish Imports from Euro countries are via UK and currency hedged twice! Ireland can do nothing about Manufacturers that continue to regard Ireland as part of UK market and will only appoint UK distributors for Ireland.

The Anti EU sentiment in UK has some small amount of logic, but in dealing with China, Russia and USA is it better to be alone (62Million approx) or part of EU (500M), and Europe Centric (720M ?)

Sometimes it seems like UK is the least European part of Europe and thinks it's in the Middle of the Atlantic.

Anti EU sentiment in UK I think is mostly Xenophobia and also encouraged by USA who didn't mind Common Market but see a better, bigger EU as a threat to their own financial and cultural influence.

The EU needs to be reformed. The larger EU countries want to do this, UK needs to work as a partner and not throw toys out of pram or sulk on their own. Even some non-EU European countries are more committed and engaged with EU than UK.

Conservatives need to show leadership, ignore UKIP and Murdoch media.

Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH

Mage Silver badge

Made me re-consider how much effort

Made me re-consider how much effort I was putting into a game that wasn't paying me any money

Umm. People play games because they are fun. Anything else is either exploitive or gambling.

T-Mobile prods at corpse of BlackBerry, says 'me too!'

Mage Silver badge

Once the leading brand in the smartphone space

It can't have been long, as I blinked and missed it.

Certainly for a while they were more significant. I can't see why T-Mobile is bothering. Especially as Mobile Operators would love to stop subsidizing handsets, as long as all their competitors stopped first.

Tesla's battery put in the shade by current and cheaper kit

Mage Silver badge

Re: Lithium Ion

Have you seen a Lithium Battery recycling plant for the same KWH per month of battery recycling?

The cases could be reusable on Lead Acid. There is little room to improve Lithium battery recycling.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Waste

produces some fairly noxious ewaste into the bargain.

Lithium Ion recycling, Oddly not Lead Acid, Most Lead Acid Batteries in Europe are easily recycled as new Lead Acid Batteries. The Lead can be essentially reused easily forever. Lithium batteries are far more energy intensive to recycle and don't last as long.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Back of an envelope calculations: Perpetuity

"then you can virtually cycle the thing in perpetuity"

No, you can't.

Lithium cells store best at about 66% charge.

They start degrading with time as soon as made even if not discharged. For off grid you need to store daylight energy for night time. So cycling is daily and perhaps 1/3rd discharge for new batteries and after a year or two that might be 50% of capacity as capacity reduces with use (and time for Lithium Ion).

I recently charged a New Old Stock 40 year old Lead Acid cell. It's fine because it was never filled with acid. Sadly today shops store Lead Acid batteries pre-filled, so check the date code!

There are really two main kinds of Lead Acid Gel cells. The UPS/ Alarm / Emergency light float applications and the regular cycling (portable lamps and inverters) were it's discharged daily.

They are more for standby or portable use at lower AH than 40AH

Gel types are poor at high pulse currents compared to wet,

There are several flavours of wet lead acid:

General Purpose

High pulse current (for starter motors). These don't like deep cycle. Typically 30AH to 200AH and 12V.

Industrial UPS standby. There may be a generator too. Much higher power than single PC / Server UPS.

Regular deep cycle (i.e. night time on off grid solar). Typically sold as 2V 200AH or larger capacity.

Only units subject to movement / vibration need fibreglass mat spacers.

They have different plate constructions. Life is shorter on all types if the battery is completely discharged. But this is perhaps more true of Lithium Ion. The NiMH in contrast can be stored discharged (better actually!) and don't have a problem with full discharge.

All types technology reduce in capacity with number of cycles, so for off grid night time use double the kWH capacity needed.

Mage Silver badge

Lithium Ion

The tech makes sense for reduced weight. Such as cars, phones, laptops.

In terms of volume, not weight, the NiMH is close and can do more full cycles. My laptop is on it's 5th 14.8 V 5.2 AH pack, and is mostly used on mains, not off grid.

How much capacity does the 7KWH battery have after 700 cycles of 50% discharge (i.e. Off grid and using electricity every night, the sun don't shine)?

Weight or space isn't an issue for fixed solar applications, mobile mast or telephone exchange backup. Hence they use Lead Acid.

In Europe almost all the lead in Lead Acid batteries is recycled to make Lead Acid Batteries. The manufacturing cost and energy input to make Lead Acid batteries is far lower than the same capacity of NiMH or Lithium Ion. They are simple, and also with recycling much "greener".

Crowdfunded ZX Spectrum revival just days from shipment

Mage Silver badge

30 year old tapes

It depends on the binder used on the oxide and the storage conditions. In the pre-cassette Reel to Reel era they produced a rubbish formulation. Earlier and later tapes are OK.

With actual computer "tape backups", some tapes of entry level floppy interface drives could be unreadable a week later, or other tapes could be OK years later depending on maintenance of drive, atmosphere at the computer, make of tape and the tape storage.

Attackers target new XSS in millions of WordPress sites

Mage Silver badge


I don't see a genericons/example.html in twenty fifteen

Installed or Active plug in?

"Twenty Fifteen plugin installed on all WordPress"

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Mage Silver badge

using remote locking systems in their cars

How many of the newer ones are garbage security?

EU geo-blocking: Ansip's crusade liable to disappear through 'unjustifiable' loophole

Mage Silver badge

Re: Reality has a strong non-libertarian bias...

Exactly how does a single market affect that?

Someone Polish in Ireland or UK can buy Polish DVDs & CDs & Polish food.

They can install a dish and take out a sub to Cyfra

I can watch/listen FTA Polish, German, French, UK TV /Radio via satellite. At night get UK Radio, Daytime Five Live MW, R.Wales MW, and R4LW. All in Mid-West of Ireland.

The issue seems to be Pay TV services artificially limited.

But even outside of EU, "regionalisation" encryption of DVD, Blu Ray and Games is greed and laziness. Inside or outside EU It's nothing to do with protecting niche producers / languages / cultures.

Mage Silver badge


But the analysis of the wafer thin margins due to diverse languages is one tiny bit of the issue.

It's USA / Sport / Big Corporations determination to squeeze as much as possible is the biggest problem.

Sky and Hollywood & Co. are a major issue.

Sky certainly should not be allowed to be a pay TV platform (in many countries) AND ALSO have control of Pay TV channels. They must divest Sky1, Sky Sports and Sky News etc, or be a content provider and divest of the Satellite Pay TV platforms.

They should also be forced to supply CAMs for TVs and satellite boxes rather that foist their proprietary box which doesn't work properly for non-Sky EPG channels and is crippled for FTA without a sub. They are effectively a cable TV via dish. Outside of urban areas in UK & Ireland they have a Pay TV monopoly.

As for the BBC? Much of their geo blocking (even to force block of UK people from non-UK BBC Web content and vice versa, just regular articles) doesn't even make commercial or "rights holder" sense.

Yes the so far proposed ideas are a nonsense. But certain sectors are determined to ignore the common market. Books, DVD, CD, BluRay is more or less one market. So the "small" language media content source argument is somehow faulty.

Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

Mage Silver badge

Re: Huh?

Because the USA Patent Office makes money from patents issued, not refused.

The courts decide if valid.

Tesla Powerwall: Not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Mage Silver badge

the ten-year warranty OR

Ten year life, MINIMUM?

A warranty says more about marketing policy than it does about product life.

What sort of batteries are still good after 10 years of daily cycling?

OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Mage Silver badge

Emoji vs emoticon

I don't even know what most of them mean.

It seems that Emoji have roots in asian text where smile / happy is


and western emoticons based on sideways text, but image version rotated


Stubborn 'won't fix' Google U-turns on Chromecast vid judder twitching-eye blunder

Mage Silver badge

Frame rate & Size

Like the vast majority of US / Japan originated designs in the Past

Kluged for PAL

Graphics card TV out NTSC/PAL jumpers that didn't work

Cards that had 640 x 480 inside overscan area on NTSC but simply cropped 800 x 600 to do PAL (768 x 576 visible).

How many PAL resolution LCD panels where there ever?

Portable LCD TVs all based on half US SD resolution (240 lines) even if 800 or 1024 pixels wide.

Today's Nvidia cards were you have to create your own HDMI HD 50Hz modes and (60Hz modes included) every time the driver is upgraded it erases all trace of your custom settings.

This is no surprise at all.

I even have one DVD that is 24fps -> 3:2 pull down NTSC 30fps converted to 25 fps interlace (Most DVDs from Film sources are 480 line 24fps progressive for Region 1 with the player doing 3:2 pull down for interlace or using component to play progressive. For PAL regions the Film source is 576 lines on the DVD and the sound is corrected by 24/25ths so player simply plays the 24fps progressive source at 25fps (interlace or progressive).

It's not hard at all to do it right. You don't need a Blu Ray disk. All streaming video and DVDs also have the required metadata for HD and especially for SD.

Bruce Schneier's Data and Goliath – solution or part of the problem?

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Great analysis

Yes, The error of false authority, Schneier is undoubtedly a genius in many areas and the leading expert on Cryptography and a good exposer of fake security solutions and responses.

But that doesn't make him an expert at everything and certainly not on what to do about privacy. Cory Doctorow and Martha Lane Fox are blinkered ideologues and are far far worse than Schneier's worst ideas in this area.

Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

Mage Silver badge

radio spectrum, government should be charging users for its use

Not by auctions.

Only by the use of the users. It's such a limited resource it needs to have one infrastructure per mobile band. Multiple physical operators splits the spectrum leading to over 50% inefficiency.

We need many different Spectrum uses, not just mobile. Under recent schemes the Mobile operators are favoured.

Since start of 3G auctions this has been a massive failure.

The so called Digital Dividend is a massive disaster for Terrestrial Broadcast and consumer, for a once of treasury injection and slight lowering of Mobile Operator costs with little long term increase in capacity or coverage. The auction idea encourages Regulators to have almost no conditions imposed.

Cable, Internet, Mobile and Satellite can't replace Broadcast and many other specialist services that need spectrum.

Even various satellite services have been threatened by foolish highest bidder spectrum auctions and religion of Mobile (Light squared in USA).

The rest of the article is only brilliant. Give me a call Worstal and I'll explain why Spectrum is a special case and why you can only have retail competition on Mobile, but the infrastructure needs to be a single operation for large geographic areas.

Intellectual property laws in China, India are flawed, claims US govt without irony

Mage Silver badge

USA says ...

Reform your own thieving Patent Office, your Spies feeding USA Corps etc.

Pot Kettle

Glasshouses stones


Microsoft HoloLens or Hollow Lens? El Reg stares down cyber-specs' code

Mage Silver badge

3D? Hologram?

No. It's a 3D simulation using a pair of 2D images at fixed focal length, Stereoscopic.

Seriously misnamed and overhyped.

Prolonged use will cause bad headaches and eyestrain.

Airbus to sue NSA, German spies accused of swiping tech secrets

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Hardly news in a way ...

USA Spies have been stealing European IP for USA Corporations since 19th Century.

The West German spies got too cosy with USA during Cold War.

BATWINGED DINO-PIGEON causes FLAP in bone-boffinry circles

Mage Silver badge


C.f. the Flying Squirrel

1) It can't really fly but glides.

2) It has no belly button (see item 3)

3) It's not only not a Squirrel (or bat), but oddly a Marsupial.

Nature has stuff a guy inventing a Bestiary wouldn't make up!

High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Mage Silver badge

If properly tested ... Banned.

And if CE mark properly policed none of the these spectrum hog Transmitters would be on the market.

The testing is a lie as they do not test correctly.

They are really transmitters. It's impossible to transfer at more than about 0.1Mbps on house mains wiring without out illegal transmission.

Notching Amateur bands is a sop! It proves they are illegal. The Broadcasters are entitled to the same protection.


Mage Silver badge

likely to be obsolete within ten years ...

More like 10 months before production.

Certainly many unlikely to meet SOGA requirements.

But the Fans will buy a new one in 10 months to 20 months. To match their new iPhone.

PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs

Mage Silver badge

Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

It's Stereoscopic overlays. It's not really 3D and not remotely ANYTHING to do with Holograms.

Real Holograms and actual 3D work with one eye and don't cause eye strain. This is an illusion (2D Stereoscopic), so for 15% or more it doesn't work. For most people there is the focusing distance conflict between real distances and the Stereo image which is in a single plane, a single distance. The 3D illusion caused by stereoscopic offsets thus cause eye strain as the eye fruitlessly focus to further or nearer but image is really at a single distance.

Facebook policy wonk growls at Europe's mass of data laws

Mage Silver badge

posed a threat to the European Union's economy.

That would be people being enticed to post on Facebook and expose their private stuff to make Facebook money, while often reducing productivity?

Imagine the boost to EU economy if Facebook didn't exist?

Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Mage Silver badge

Re: Now an intelligent design

No, NO ONE should be using iPad, Surface Pro, Kindle Fire or Domestic Android tablet for this application.

OS too fragile

HW too fragile.

At the very worse something like a Panasonic ToughPad, with Linux rather than consumer Android or "Windows" and locked down to prevent users adding applications.


While QNX was great on embedded systems and disk controllers, I'd not use a Blackberry either.

Mage Silver badge

Perfectly clear who is responsible.

"specific software on its pilots' iPads"

Which ever moron picked a domestic consumer product for mission critical application. No, I'd not use a Surface, Kindle Fire or Consumer Android tablet either.

E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Mage Silver badge

Re: Please, no e-voting!

With eVoting there might have been no trace or evidence of fiddling. With paper the evidence existed!

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Plenty, though, were disillusioned with politics

This is the issue. Not the ease of voting or speed of counting.

The eVoting is pointless and no matter how secure can be "edited" by those with the keys. Yes, paper systems can be "stuffed" and "gamed" too, but it's very much harder.

Digital for the sake of being Digital is foolish and is simply "fashion".

MONSTROUS iPhone sales are CANNIBALIZING iPads, gabbles Apple CEO

Mage Silver badge


The iPad is overpriced.

The Apple Watch: Throbbing strap-on with a knurled knob

Mage Silver badge

Re: send a brief recording of your heartbeat

Posher and more 21st C than a placard

"I ain't dead"

Mage Silver badge

Re: To sum up…

Some are always rubbish:



The idea of a mouse with only one button that is round, only the cable to show orientation.

Disk drives on an Apple II, which was over rated. I fitted 8" floppies, 80 column card, full keyboard and Z80 card on mine. I'd have been better buying something else.

Some get canned just as they are getting good


Apple Servers.

Some just look "clean" when new.

ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Actually the reverse is a disgrace.

The original reason of fixed selections was that only a few levels off encryption were available on Satellite and Cable.

Now it's done so people think they are getting "value" when in reality most of their channels watched are Free To Air (Over 92% of viewing time on Sky in UK).

A la Carte should be available on all Pay TV. The Technology now means it can be done and without phoning either, just web browser or internet connected Cable/Sat box.

ESPN have a cheek!

Comments considered harmful: WordPress web hijack bug revealed

Mage Silver badge

Ah Comments.

Only one of my many WP sites accepts comments. They are 100% moderated, you can safely see them on Admin page without risk and trash them.

eBay sides with Google in EU competition case? Only if you cherry-pick

Mage Silver badge

I was just thinking about eBay and Google

How so many Google searches are now "poisoned" with eBay results that are 100% useless except to take me to eBay.

This misses the point.

We'll buy patents for cash, says Google – just don't feed the trolls

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

I think this is a good idea,

For Google.

Like most of Google's "good" ideas it's terrible for everyone else.

They love copyright too. As long as it's their IP.

Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

Mage Silver badge

Re: All in 1366x768!!

I don't care at all about 1920 if it's x 1080. THIRTEEN YEARS ago we had 1200 line / vertical pixel resolution!

1920 is only a TV width resolution. for DOCUMENTS, you know actual WORK, the vertical pixels is what counts. If I want video, I'll watch on a decent size HD TV on the couch, not at a laptop!!!!!!!!

Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Mage Silver badge

Written badly

"Windows XP was the first PC operating system to drop the MS-DOS Prompt and change it to Command Prompt, due to a change to the NT kernel. The Windows NT family has used the newer Command Prompt since it started with Windows NT 3.1, so it was nothing new on that side of the fence."

All versions of NT from 3.1 to the 5.1 (XP) had choice of 32bit native console (looked like a DOS prompt) or running MSDOS shell via NTVDM (Real DOS prompt).

NT also could run OS/2 scripts and console executables as well as native NT scripts.

MS Services for Unix (1999) added Bourne Shell to NT4.0

MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities

Mage Silver badge


While ARM is nice an ARM monopoly is no better eventually than an an x86-64 one.

It's a pity that there seems to be so little diversity?






On microcontrollers there is less diversity too. Interesting that there are 50 cent 32bit ARMs competing now with 8 bit chips such as 8051, Atmel, Microchip PIC and embedded Z80 and 6502 in ASICs. The 32 bit ARM cores now in ASICs and FPGAs replacing old 8 bit cores.

Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: When 50% isn't half

Yes, DAB is only a percentage of "Digital Listening".

It would be daft to turn off robust broadcasting in favour of unicast Internet, which has no privacy and is fragile. On the internet the provider (and probably Google, GCHQ and NSA) knows roughly where you are, when you listen and to what, and with Google's help maybe eventually who you are. Not pleasant in a Democracy, a disaster in many countries.

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