* Posts by Michael Strorm

372 posts • joined 11 Feb 2008

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Huawei Mate 10 Pro: The unfashionable estate car wants to go to town

Michael Strorm

"While flagships got thinner, more beautiful and glassy-eyed each year, the Mate didn't care – it just wanted to haul around the more practical stuff for you. [..] The regular Mate 10 hews to the station wagon formula, but its swankier sibling the Mate 10 Pro seems to have acquired Note envy."

Does it strike anyone as else ironic that they're using the "Pro" designation on the poser-oriented version rather than the substance-over-style, workhorse original an actual professional would be better off with?

(And yes, I know the term is frequently misused as marketing fluff, but this case highlights the absurdity of it).

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Twitter's blue tick rule changes may lower the sueball barrier

Michael Strorm

Re: That stock photo

Doesn't this photo also break the rule that every one of El Reg's Shutterstock photographs have to contain at least one person wearing spectable frames that obviously contain no glass?

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Michael Strorm

@DontFeedTheTrolls; "The blue tick was always about establishing the authenticity of the speaker, not a validation of what they say."

Indeed, this *was* the case.

Emphasis on "was"... because as soon as they started withdrawing it from people they disapproved of, it ceased to be a neutral identifier and effectively became an implicit endorsement. This was the whole *point* of the article!

As for the megaphone, I'm not sure that it's analogous enough in a general- let alone legal- sense to bear any comparison with Twitter's situation.

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Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Michael Strorm

Re: Irrelevant Pedantry time!

Oh yeah, I heard that the original C64 floppy drives sucked.

The difference was more pronounced on the Atari 8-bits because, while the floppy drives were reasonably fast, the cassettes were atrociously slow. The bitrate was 600 baud, but- unlike with other 8-bit computers- there were no turbo loaders (#) to improve the situation. Fifteen minutes for a 48K game was not unusual, and I had some that were closer to 20. (##)

I think the problem was partly- although it was state of the art at the time of its launch and able to compete technically with the three-years-younger C64 on most counts- that when the 400 and 800 came out at the end of the 1970s, they only came with 8K as standard (the 400 was originally only going to be 4K), so loading time wouldn't have been such an issue.

By the time the 64K 800XL came out in 1983, its home market (the US) would have been moving rapidly towards disks, so the tape loading speed probably wasn't seen as an issue.

Anyway, I'd heard bad things about tape-to-disk transfer utilities, but when I finally got one I wished I'd bought it years before. I hated tape loading, and still can't get nostalgic about it even with six-inch thick rose-tinted glasses.

(#) I remember reading somewhere that this was for technical reasons (I don't know which) and that without hardware modifications, the most that could be achieved was a frankly underwhelming 900 baud. The fact I never knowingly came across even this modest-but-worthwhile improvement (in the absence of anything better) on any games suggests that even this was pushing it.

(##) FWIW, the multiload "Ace of Aces" took approaching half an hour to get started on tape and was completely unusable; it was obviously a game originally designed purely with the disk-centric US market in mind.

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Michael Strorm

Re: First Quantum Link... then Usenet... now...

@dajames; "The only per-hour costs were [..the..] local-rate number. [..] Compuserve itself charged £6-7 a month".

Yes, but *when* was that? I'm going to assume it was circa the late 90s or later. As I noted in another comment, Compuserve's prices fell massively around that time.

By that point they'd already have been past their peak as people moved en masse to regular Internet access. As far as I'm aware, in their 80s and early 90s heyday, they were considerably more expensive.

Apparently Compuserve launched in the UK in the late 1980s, and I'd be interested to find out how much they cost back then.

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Michael Strorm

Re: First Quantum Link... then Usenet... now...

"And honestly, even twenty years back $10 per month was hardly unaffordable."

Yeah, but twenty years ago was 1997 after they'd started getting competition from the Internet and presumably after they'd reduced their rates. I was thinking more of the 80s and early 90s.

According to Wikipedia, Compuserve was $5 an *hour* until 1996 and something like $10 an hour earlier on, getting up to $30 an hour in some cases (at early 1980s prices!!!). It's hard to tell from the article exactly how much it cost at any time and how much of it was (e.g.) call charge overheads, but that does seem to back up my memory of reading how much it cost in the 80s and thinking "yeah, that's *horribly* expensive".

"For some of us, it was either that or international modem calls"

That still doesn't change the fact it would be only bloody expensive instead of eyewateringly expensive and misses out the most obvious third option- not being online at all because even at its cheapest it would have been bloody expensive.

I'd have *loved* a modem and being able to dial up BBSs and the like in the late 80s, but even if I'd had enough for the modem, I wouldn't have been able to afford the subscriptions or phone bills as a kid. Even circa 1993-94 when I first got on the Internet at university and was looking at trying to get access at home, there was no local number dial-up access available and it was still pretty expensive- enough that I just stuck to using the computer labs.

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Michael Strorm

Irrelevant Pedantry time!

I notice that the computer in your Stuttershock photograph is an Atari XE which- despite the ST-style case- is essentially a repackaged Atari 800, and doesn't support the newfangled 3.5" floppies seen in the photograph (only the older 5.25"). (#)

Also, the 80-column display- which can be seen more clearly in a higher-res version elsewhere- wasn't supported by the XE. (Unless you bought the XEP-80 addon that rather tackily connected via the joystick port (FFS!) and isn't seen here).

Nor does the XE feature either the "alt" or numbered function keys referred to on-screen.

In short, I'm shocked, *shocked*, that the people responsible for creating a stock photo no-one was going to pay much attention to may have faked it. Also, the computer wouldn't have looked that old and yellow when it was still quite new and in genuine use. Etc etc etc...

(#) Even 720 KB DSDD 3.5" floppies would have been impressive at that time. In fact, having a floppy drive at all- mine had a 120 KB 5.25"- beat the living heck out of loading from cassette. Then again, pretty much anything beat the living heck out of loading from cassette.

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Michael Strorm

Re: First Quantum Link... then Usenet... now...

@ STrRedWolf; "Wish they'd donate them to the Internet Archive."

From what I've read elsewhere, all the early stuff from the Compuserve Forums is already gone, and has been for years now.

Personally, I never used Compuserve, but I do recall seeing the per-hour access cost at some point and thinking.... yeah, nice if you can afford it.

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DXC spills AWS private keys on public GitHub

Michael Strorm

Re: Leader in security services

macjules: "can we have our $64,000 back please?"

I guess that would be The $64,000 Question, then.

6
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will.i.am's tech tat biz is going enterprise, snags $117m from Salesforce

Michael Strorm

Shut Up, Just Shut Up, Shut Up

I'm sure this line of accessories will exhibit the level of quality you'd expect from the guy responsible for "Dirty Bit".

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

Michael Strorm

What a bunch of Smaug-heads.

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Slashing regulations literally more important than saving American lives to Donald Trump

Michael Strorm

Da da da (da da da da)

"I drove 1000 miles to buy a version of my car without automatic collision avoidance."

So you would drive 500 miles,

and then you'd drive 500 more.

Just to be the man who drives a thousand miles

To buy a car without automatic collision avoidance?

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Robot takes the job of sitting on your arse

Michael Strorm

No references to "shiny metal ass"...?!

Reg I am disappoint.

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Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

Michael Strorm

@Triggerfish; "he'd probably get off on the infamy"

You mean he'd tell everyone he was only there because the judge and jury all had it in for him?

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User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

Michael Strorm

Re: As any good medical professional will tell you

@CustardGannet; "1849 called, they want you back !"

That'd be a neat trick considering the phone wasn't even invented then. ;-)

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Futuristic driverless car technology to be trialled on... oh, a Ford Mondeo

Michael Strorm

Re: WFT

@Lost all faith...; "We ARE going to get nuclear powered cars after all."

Good- I've had mine on preorder for quite some time now.

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Michael Strorm

Re: Why not use a Tesla?

"Outsold by BMW 3 series [..] As far as I can see, a new Mondeo is becoming something of a rarity in the UK."

As I commented here in more detail, it might not help that they've kept a name too associated with dull, middle of the road 90s repmobile blandness.

I mean, the styling is completely different- sharp, up-to-date and obviously intended to look more "luxurious"- but it could look and drive like a Lamborghini and it would still be hobbled by the boring associations of the Mondeo badge on the back.

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Michael Strorm

@ Snivelling Wretch; "Slightly disappointed it's not a mk1 from 1993..."

That's pretty much the image that popped into my head when I read "Mondeo". And to me, that's the problem...

To be honest, I've wondered more than once why Ford bothered keeping the Mondeo name for the more recent versions. They've obviously put a lot of effort into making the styling look sharp and desirable, yet kept a name strongly associated with 90s repmobile blandness. (#)

Even at the time the early models were considered a dull replacement for the Sierra, and remained so despite Ford's attempt to redesign the lights and grille.

Yes, they were also commercially successful, but (to me) that also cemented the association of the name with those boringly middle-of-the-road early models. A well-known name, sure, but is it one that anyone ever actually loved or that even meant much?

Having an established name sounds like a good thing, but it can also tie you down with its associations- in this case to blandness and being stuck in the 1990s... not necessarily a good thing if you're trying to increase the desirability of your cars.

(#) Even the name itself is very 90s- one of those bland, corporate neo-Latinesque non-words (designed to sound inoffensive in as many languages/markets as possible) that sprouted everywhere during that decade.

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We're not the 'world leader' in electric cars, Nissan insists

Michael Strorm

Re: ASA has no legal powers

"the ads must not appear again in their current form"

Exactly the same. Every. F*****. Time.

As I've said before in similar form on numerous occasions:-

"The ASA... ah, yes. The advertising industry's self-regulation chocolate teapot, "that ad campaign which you ran several months ago and is long since finished anyway was misleading and shouldn't appear again in that form, which is irrelevant since you've long since replaced it with some other misleading ads instead. Also here's a token rebuke"

In fact, this is so tediously formulaic that I just cut and pasted my previous comment observing that I'm just rehashing my own previous comments on the matter now... :-/

(That said, this case is more nitpicky and less an example of outright advertising bulls**t than some of the other examples).

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Atari shoots sueball at KitKat maker over use of 'Breakout' in ad

Michael Strorm

Re: The shuffling corpse of Atari shambles onwards...

Let's take off the rose-tinted spectacles here- the "Atari of Old" (i.e. the original Atari Inc. (#)) may have produced some great games, but they were still as much a bunch of sue-happy dicks that treated their game programmers as little more than "towel designers", then- when a bunch of them left to form Activision- tried suing them to prevent the release of independently-produced games for the VCS console.

The "never mind the quality, feel the IP/marketing" attitude also gave us the rushed ET game and the equally infamous Pac-Man being forced into a 4K rather than 8K ROM (against programmer Tod Frye's wishes). We all know how those ended.

(#) Rather than today's Atari, which is effectively just the company formerly known as Infogrames after they bought the name and IP from Hasbro.

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Michael Strorm

“I paused for effect,” Newt wrote, “and then replied. No. I don't think you're an idiot.”

Good example of how adding emphasis to a sentence can completely alter the meaning and tone. What's even better about this example is that we can change what's being insinuated a further three times, simply by moving the emphasis elsewhere, like so:-

"I don't think you're an idiot."

"I don't think you're an idiot."

"I don't think you're an idiot."

"I don't think you're an idiot."

"I don't think you're an idiot."

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Brit firms warned over hidden costs of wiping data squeaky clean before privacy rules hit

Michael Strorm

"Also the paradox that you might need to keep details of a customer, marked with a flag to say that they don't want to be contacted by marketing."

Exactly the problem I'd been thinking of! Somewhat reminiscent of this...

LISTER: Holly, is there something that you want?

HOLLY: Well, only if you're not busy. Would you mind erasing some of my memory banks?

LISTER: What for?

HOLLY: Well, if you erase all the Agatha Christie novels from my memory bank, I can read 'em again tonight.

LISTER: How do I do it?

HOLLY: Just type, "HolMem. Password override. The novels Christie, Agatha." Then press erase.

LISTER jabs two-fingered on a keyboard.

LISTER: I've done it.

HOLLY: Done what?

LISTER: Erased Agatha Christie.

HOLLY: Who's she, then?

LISTER: Holly, you just asked me to erase all Agatha Christie novels from your memory.

HOLLY: Why should I do that? I've never heard of her.

LISTER: You've never heard of her because I've just erased her from your smegging memory.

HOLLY: What'd you do that for?

LISTER: You asked me to!

HOLLY: When?

LISTER: Just now!

HOLLY: I don't remember this.

LISTER: Oh, I'm going to bed. This is gonna go on all night.

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New Amiga to go on sale in late 2017

Michael Strorm

Re: Decades too late!

@NonSSL-Login; This isn't really aimed at the nostalgia market- it's aimed at hardcore obsessives who want to continue running updated versions of AmigaOS on "modern hardware".

If similar machines released in the past few years are anything to go by, it won't even be directly hardware compatible and won't run software that bypasses the OS to run on the bare metal (which excludes most games and thus *won't* be of much interest to nostalgia freaks wanting to relive Lotus II).

That said, from what I've heard, the hardware on these "new" Amigas is massively overpriced and underpowered by modern standards (relative to commodity x86 PCs).

And while I've no idea what AmigaOS is like these days, I'd be surprised if it's up to modern standards- or if there's any reason to run it instead of Linux beyond being a diehard Amiga obsessive. Shame, as it was massively ahead of its time (and far more advanced and better suited to take advantage of 16 and 32-bit CPU power than MS-DOS whose design reflected its origins as a knockoff of CP/M- an OS designed for 1970s 8-bit microcomputers with archaic design that was added to in an ad-hoc manner).

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Michael Strorm

Re: Is anyone keeping count?

@DrXym; The intellectual rights associated with Commodore (including brands, names, software and hardware IP) seem to me to be a complete cluster**** with different parts spread among and sub-licensed to numerous parties.

That said, there do appear to have been quite a few "new" successfully Amigas released over the past decade. They appear to be aimed at the diehard rabid Amiga users as a means to run AmigaOS (and aren't directly compatible with old hit-the-hardware games and the like for the classic Amigas).

This shouldn't be confused with pitiful attempts to exploit the "Commodore" brand for nostalgia with (e.g.) generic Android tablets having the "Pet" name slapped on them and running C64 and Vic 20 emulators- as any generic Android tablet could (but ironically, not including a Commodore Pet emulator). Or attempts to use the names of classic Amiga models like "A3000" on generic HTPC cases that have *nothing* to do with the Amiga *nor* the new "real" Amigas described above.

In truth, it all died 20 years ago, and what we have now are people exploiting the scraps, scattered to the four winds.

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Michael Strorm

Re: Just remember...

@psychonaut; The ST had "better sound"....?! You are smoking crack and I claim my £5. ;-)

The built-in ST sound was p**s-poor, a variant of the same square wave chip more suited to 8-bit machines like the Oric-1 and later versions of the ZX Spectrum. The Amiga's sound... I saw it on Micro Live and it blew me away.

Of course, if one credits the ST with the performance of the £1500 MIDI keyboard or sampler plugged into it, then you could do the same with an Amiga and a £15 MIDI interface!

That said, Atari made the right move in having it built in, and the ST was much more affordable than the Amiga in the early days- especially since the performance of the built-in sound and graphics were irrelevant to its use as a MIDI sequencer- so it's understandable why it became popular for that use.

The ST was a great machine for the price in the early days- and I remember it being popular- but it's noticeable that almost as soon as the Amiga 500 came within sniffing distance of the 520ST (£400 vs. £300) it quickly displaced it in terms of being the favoured machine for non-MIDI users.

The ST never really recovered, but the Amiga itself got hit by a double whammy of improving PC specs and the 16-bit consoles within a couple of years...

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Michael Strorm

Re: Just remember...

@Kristian Walsh; Excellent and informative summary.

I've said myself that the Amiga was far closer to being the spiritual successor to the 400/800 (and, in turn, the VCS/2600) than the Atari ST was.

Architectural similarities, design philosophy of using custom chips for state of the art design (and accordingly high price when first released) and many of the same people involved. Not to mention that both started out as game console designs.

The ST was a product of Tramiel's "Atari Corp."- not the original "Atari Inc."- and reflected a very different "off-the-shelf" (as you describe) and "power without the price" approach. From what I've heard he sacked most of the existing Atari engineers and replaced them with his own people when he bought out Atari's computer/console division anyway. Not that much continuity between them beyond the fact he kept the 400/800 and VCS on, albeit more as cash cows with Atari Corp's shoestring approach to marketing.

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You had ONE job: Italian firefighters suspected of starting blazes for cash

Michael Strorm

Re: That's not as big as Texas

"their harmless little 10$/hour firebugging"

I heard this on the news yesterday, and noted that the rate they were being paid at (€10, around £7.70 or US $11.70)

And I'm thinking... "WTF? They're doing all *this* for the money, despite being paid barely higher than the UK minimum 'living' wage?!"

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Google drops poker face, allows gambling apps on Play Store

Michael Strorm

Aaaaaaaawwwwwww

"Life's a gambol."

What the evils of gambolling might look like.

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Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

Michael Strorm

Re: Jump! Jump! Jump!

@redpawn; Indeed. Despite the defence's line, even the US has limits on free speech.

I notice that while the article claims "that the state of Massachusetts lacks laws that prohibit encouraging suicide", it's not clear whether they're claiming a lack of laws merely *explicitly and specifically* prohibiting that act or a lack of laws that could be applied to it full stop.

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Michael Strorm

I'd Father Jack

I guess he just doesn't like Pink Floyd or Dire Straits- it's not his music, it's out of date. ;-P

Presumably, he'd rather sing along with Yazz. Or jack.

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Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

Michael Strorm

Re: Facts are... hard

@DavCrav; That's being pedantic; I think it would be clearly understood in this context that the value was intended to be accurate *to the number of digits given*.

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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

Michael Strorm

Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

@Chris 155; "Tablets and lower priced laptops murdered netbooks"

It'd be more accurate to say that netbooks were quickly forced up in spec- and price- under pressure from Microsoft to get them to run Windows until they became indistinguishable from typical low-end x86 laptops.

From what I've heard, the manufacturers weren't making much on netbooks, so were probably happy to go along with this, but it defeated the whole point.

The netbook was *already* being priced out of existence as a distinct concept by the time the original iPad came along in 2010, let alone by the point cheap tablets (comparable in price to the original netbooks) started hitting the market en masse.

Similar story with the Chromebook- which one may argue was closer to the original netbook concept- that came out in 2011 after the original market had declined.

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Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

Michael Strorm

Re: Not sure comparing job postings is that accurate

@Frank N. Stein; "the one place where you find positions not being eliminated, is management"

Wasn't an excess of management- i.e. everyone wanted to be a manager- combined with failure to move with the times, the reason that IBM almost went bankrupt in the early 1990s?

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Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

Michael Strorm

Repeat of my comment above but... yes it does.

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Michael Strorm

Re: "We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. "

@Antron Argaiv; I thought everyone had seen this by now.

Also, if Knightscope's K5 model was useless when it came to avoiding water damage, it looks like they won't have improved one bit when they get to K9.

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The Atari retro games box is real… sort of

Michael Strorm

Just 10 employees....?

"The company, which currently exists as an intellectual property firm with just 10 or so employees"

Hasn't the "Atari" name essentially been used for the whole of (what was once) Infogrames since they first bought it around fifteen years ago? Or are you talking solely about the nostalgia IP exploiting division?

Also, I note that at least Nintendo have come clean about the fact that the NES Classic was primarily "an opportunity to draw consumers' attention to our latest game system, Nintendo Switch", confirming my suspicion that the lack of availability was due to it being a cynical headline-grabbing, nostalgia-building exercise aimed at people Nintendo would rather forked out for their latest gimmick-laden console than were able to buy the carrot that had been dangled in front of them.

I mean, I didn't give a toss about the original NES personally- and by extension, the NES Classic- but I know a lot of people did, and complained about the fact it wasn't available, then it was discontinued. As a result, there was already some scepticism about the announced SNES Classic, and I hope people will tell Nintendo where to shove their second attempt to exploit people's nostalgia.

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

Michael Strorm

Re: C90 cassette, as that medium was the dominant way of storing Speccy programs and data

Who on earth was using expensive chrome TDKs for computer programs?!

C60, C90 etc. was the commonly-accepted generic term for cassette length, though it was more commonly abandoned by manufacturers in favour of their own designation (e.g. SA90) from the 1980s on.

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Trump's CNN tantrum could delay $85bn AT&T-Time Warner merger

Michael Strorm

Re: THE REGISTER IS FAKE! ON THE SIDE OF CNN!

Signposting jokes is naff, though, not to mention I always found the joke icon a bit too "Colin Hunt" for my taste. (I think it's that "trying-way-hard-to-be-fun" (and oh-so-90s) typeface).

On the other hand, you can never be sure which side of Poe's law something is on otherwise...

Edit: ...aaaaand Poe's Law it was. I just looked through the guy's comment history and realise what I assumed *was* meant to be a joke was likely serious. :-O

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Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon

Michael Strorm

Re: Natural barrier to runaway

Interesting comments thanks, and I appreciate what you're saying. To be fair though, when I made the calculation, I was simply trying to compare the amount of space required by the technologies themselves, and intentionally trying to avoid overstating my case.

I wasn't trying to figure out the overheads required for a working computer- I realised even then that accessibility would be totally impractical and heat would be a problem, but didn't have the time or knowledge to open that particular can of worms anyway.

Given the amount of heat my configuration would generate, I suspect you were probably being generous with "5 minutes". :-)

Now that I think of it, if you had 2 billion valves with an average lifetime of 8 weeks, and a person was able to find and replace one every three minutes, you'd require around 74,000 people working 24 hours a day. Except that logically, it can be assumed that at any given time, the machine will have a significant number of faulty valves and I've no idea what effect that would have on the operation of something with the architecture of a (scaled up) Intel i7.

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Michael Strorm

Re: Natural barrier to runaway

"At some point an AI will arise which deduces that going any further down the path would be detrimental to itself."

This assumes that the AI will (a) think in a self-preserving manner and (b) have the detached, logical common sense to determine when it reaches a point that threatens its own existence.

I don't want to entirely rehash/repost my previous more in-depth comment on this subject- please read that for more details. In short, AI could reach superhuman levels of intelligence without having been shaped by self-preserving evolutionary pressure, and may end up being totally alien and incomprehensible in its thinking to us, making it impossible to judge the risks.

But regardless, all bets are off when an AI system gets sufficiently above human intelligence that it can modify and/or improve itself. Anyone who claims to have an idea what might happen then is deluding themselves.

In addition, the "120 years" prediction of the article is ludicrous. 120 years ago, we were in the Victorian era; we've only had computers in the modern sense for less than 80 years, with mindbogglingly exponential increases in processing power over the decades. (#) It's questionable how much further we can push such improvements in technology, but I don't think we can remotely predict what AI 120 years into the future might look like.

(#) I figured out that if built from 1940s-style valves/tubes with minimal spacing, a recent two-billion transistor Intel Core i7 CPU would occupy *six* 50m-high office blocks.

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And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin hologram ... Sir, it is only wafer thin

Michael Strorm

Re: Holograms

@Mage; As far as I'm aware, while traditional "full" holograms give you full viewing movement and parallax in all directions ("like a window") they need to be viewed in fixed-wavelength laser light, which is obviously quite limiting.

The more common "rainbow hologram" sacrifices vertical parallax for the ability to view them in ordinary white light.

They still appear 3D because you have horizontal parallax (stereoscopic vision relying on this), you just don't get the full range of movement.

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Toshiba draws back from fab foundry lock-out foolishness

Michael Strorm

Re: Foxconn is Taiwanese

@ckm5; Ah, my mistake- I was mis-remembering that they were (mainland) Chinese because they're well known for having large numbers of factories there.

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Michael Strorm

"There is speculation that Japanese multi-national business Sharp could join with Hon Hai to lessen the China association"

Didn't Foxconn (i.e. a Chinese company) buy Sharp just over a year ago?

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Virtual reality upstart UploadVR allegedly had in-house 'kink room,' drugs, rampant sexism

Michael Strorm

Re: If Beavis and Butthead moved into IT...

"...this sounds like the kind of company they would run."

When asked to comment on the case, UploadVR's legal representative responded "Are you threatening me?" before announcing that his name was Cornholio and making some confused utterances in a mock-Spanish accent.

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Oh my Tosh: Western Digital takes Toshiba to arbitration

Michael Strorm

"Why doesn't WDC buy the business from Toshiba?"

Because after its takeover of SanDisk, Western Digital doesn't have the money to come anywhere near the offers other companies are making, even if they wanted to.

5
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Forgetful ZX Spectrum reboot firm loses control of its web domains

Michael Strorm

Re: "They do not so much fly as plummet"

"Shows what a bunch of B-Arkers this lot are"

Indeed, this bunch of incompetents might want to sound like they can threaten the new owner of the domains, but they they can't do anything about it.

Put another way, their B-Ark is worse than their bite.

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Loadsamoney: UK mulls fining Facebook, Twitter, Google for not washing away filth, terror vids

Michael Strorm

Strong and Stable.

A large, vacant hotel lobby. Philip Hammond slowly walks over to the table where Theresa May has been typing out the new Conservative Party election manifesto.

As he gets closer, he is able to read the piece of paper in the typewriter. It contains nothing but the words "Strong and Stable" repeated over and over again, all the way down the page.

As he pulls the paper out of the typewriter, his eye falls over a stack of completed pages. The sheet on top also reads nothing but "Strong and Stable". He starts rifling through the sheets below.

Each and every one says nothing but "strong and stable", repeatedly- a variety of arrangements, the occasional typo or wonky letter here and there, but otherwise identical.

Faster and faster he works his way through them. Hundreds of sheets full of nothing but "Strong and Stable".

Hammond jumps as he becomes aware of May watching behind him.

"What do you think, Wendy?" she asks, grinning maniacally under her forehead.

"Looks good to me," replies Hammond. "I'll get it sent off to the printers tonight".

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Michael Strorm

Re: Hardware Acceleration Required

"And how do you to propose to convert the incoming 10-bit stream into one the hardware decoder can understand - in real time?"

The OP raised the issue of displaying 10-bit brightness on an older display as a distinct and separate issue from decoding; Charles09 was responding to that specifically. *In itself* that issue isn't a show-stopper and is solveable via gamut mapping.

(There's no reason a device capable of decoding wouldn't be able to gamut map a 10-bit output to 8-bit. It would make sense to have that as an end-stage of the decoder- which would have to be hardware-based anyway- but on its own you could (I guess) theoretically do the mapping in software. Not that this was the point being made anyway.)

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Michael Strorm

Re: The road ends eventually.

"will your television carry the brute force needed to handle newer, tighter codecs?"

That's *exactly* what I suspected when I read the synopsis, and had confirmed when the author mentioned that his old TV wasn't able to support the new MPEG-4 channels. Was he under the impression that it would have been able to support MPEG-4 with a purely software-based upgrade? Not bloody likely. The MPEG-2 likely used hardware decoding that probably wouldn't have been doable in software itself, so there isn't a cat's chance in hell the more demanding MPEG-4 could have been supported the same way.

This principle- as you make clear- applies equally to newer codecs.

And even if it was possible, that assumes that all these apps would work with the obsolete version of Android built into his "smart" TV that- experience already makes clear- will never be upgraded because there's no money in that for the manufacturers.

So, yeah. Nothing's changed. Smart TVs were- and are- a crap concept for that reason, and it still makes sense to rely on external units for upgradeability, not the display itself.

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