* Posts by john.w

51 posts • joined 13 Mar 2008


Ex-Mozilla CTO: US border cops demanded I unlock my phone, laptop at SF airport – and I'm an American citizen


Re: Assumed compliance

Being over 50 helps with the lack of social media activity (ditto linkedin exception but that might have to go soon).


Being Radioactive did not cause me a problem.

Arrived in Miami and had agent walking around arrivals air side approaching people and looking at his belt. As he walked towards me the device he had started beeping in that well known Gaussian distribution. He asked if I had had a medical procedure recently and I told him about the bone scan I had had three weeks ago and he seemed happy and wander off. Pointing out my wife and three kids helped.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming


Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

Interesting article in NYT and reminded me of the scene in Sully where he challenges the FAA's simulator flight as they did not take into account the pilot's thinking time.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it


Weekend Breaks

I used to travel to the West Coast quite a bit and would always make sure that I had to stay over the weekend else I would end up loosing two of my weekends in the UK. One memorable trip I arranged meetings in Portland on Friday and Seattle on Monday. Arranged car hire (only A or B class cars allowed) and at collection informed that they had three brand new Mustangs available that happened to be in class B as they were unpopular due to high fuel consumption, what colour would I like?. Lovely trip including drive up Mount St Helens at 4 am in mid summer still no UK time.

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good


Re: Daniel Belin is right

Withdrawl Agreement?

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


Re: Fire and forget ...?

And this Christmas thousands will be adding their DNA to a database when they send off their DIY test kit to FamilyTree et al.

Brexit-dodging SCISYS Brits find Galileo joy in Dublin


Re: Sadly with May running the clock down...

But surely the fundamental problem with this negotiation has been the threat of violence if any physical monitoring of the Eire/NI border is deemed necessary to meet WTO rules?

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms


Fahrenheit 451

Clearly this terminology can cause offense so should be stopped. The idea that there was a slave trade causes anguish for many so any reference to it should be stopped. History clearly is full of this type of possible offense so should not be taught and any records of such activities destroyed.

Today is should really be Centigrade 1414.

The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition


For the Analytical Chemists


'Twas the night before Y2K and a grinch stole the IT department's overtime payout


Re: Overtime payments

I experienced the opposite time keeping problem as a team leader. The company owner would always be around late in the evening and would chat to those still working to solve the latest issues. These team members always got the best pay rises and bonuses. This group of engineers would turn up before midday if I was lucking and created the problems they stayed late to fix. No amount of pleading on behalf of the guys who arrived early, produced good reliable work and left at a reasonable time managed to get them recognized.

Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died


I was studying electrical engineering at Brunel when he join the university. He gave a interesting lecture about the perception of aids for the old and disabled. He compared our acceptance of help for the very young or simple tasks like drilling a hole in a wall but rejection of simple aids at the end of our lives. It provide very useful when I needed to persuade my father that he should start using a walking stick and grab rails. A great loss.

Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019


Re: thanks to EU regulations

Rather late but recent support for your argument in a video demonstrating the great British ideal of keeping calm and carrying. Guy hit by bus, thrown 45 feet then immediately getting up and walking into the pub.


BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'


When IT is your company

Airline CEOs used to understand the importance of their IT; a quote from Harry Lucas's 1999 book 'Information Technology and the Productivity Paradox - Assessing the value of Investing in IT'

Robert Crandall, American (Airlines) recently retired CEO, said that “if forced to break up American, I might just sell the airline and keep the reservations system". It was SABRE developed by AA and IBM - https://www.sabre.com/files/Sabre-History.pdf

BA should keep the IT in house and sub contract the planes to Air India.

Boffins explain why it takes your Wi-Fi so long to connect


Re: hold your phone upside down

Wi-Fi was not invented by CSIRO, they developed and hold a patent on a radio technique to reduce multipath problems and have sued many Wi-Fi equipment manufactures. So in fact they created a solution that got over the problem of holding it up side down in the northern hemisphere.

Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea



Or a Misfit Flash that lasts 3 months on a button cell. Tells the time and tracks movement, nothing else, not having to charge it makes all the difference.

Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister


Re: Is this correct?

Court create Common Law.

Parliament creates statues, House of Lords checks them over, Queen enacts statute, court interprets. Rinse and repeat

Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?


You make a very valid argument about the value of human life but my point is that those persecuted in Germany were German citizens so simply identify all those within the EU as equal and citizens of the EU does not protect them from persecution. That''s why we have the non EU ECHR to protect all members of society in the UK not just EU citizens. Your argument also makes all those without an EU passport second class which leads to immigration policy that is base on a two tier system.


I have tried to find a clear explanation of why free movement is so important to the EU, without success. The EU information online refers to post war ideals of allowing populations to live peacefully together within each other countries and to allow economies to grow by importing labour when needed and allowing it to flow back when a down turn hits. German Jews were German citizens and if a country wants workers why not let its elected government decide how it wants to support its economy.

Intel hires Qualcomm's compute leader to lead new mobile push


Good Luck with Mobile at Intel

It is interesting how companies fail to arrive at their goal because of where they started from. Every design decision has baggage attached making anything that does not fit, importance of power consumption for example, difficult to deliver. A new boss helps but the inertia of all those involved is always a problem.

I worked for Murthy in Cambridge early in my career, an excellent boss and able to Lead and Manage. I remember our weekly review of the PERT charts with a mixture of dread and nostalgia.

Doctor Who: Even the TARDIS key can't unpick the chronolock in Face the Raven


Re: Bring back Clara!

It must have been a glitch in the Matrix, an agent is on the way.

Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth


Re: Quite

It's not his first come back attempt. Backing band could do with a bit more practice though.


Sounds like a genuine act, not the normal publicity seeking crap


Re: Gated reverb is luvverly (especially with a bit of reverse)

Not just any gated reverb but an AMS RMX16, still selling for the price the cost new 30 years ago.

Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?


Wireless is about mobility not connectivity

Totally agree with you on the wireless bit having spent over ten years going to Wi-Fi Alliance meetings discussing how to make wi-fi more useful. Would always tell Mobile, STB and TV manufacturers that there were now guarantees with wireless, tended to get surprised looks as our competitors were always promising things they could never deliver.

May I also be the first to recommend a Raspberry Pi and Kodi aka XMBC, ethernet and CEC remote control interface, so no new remotes needed.

The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act


Had the full tour, including tunnels and pier, on a Brunel University engineering trip in 1984(ish). A memorable day and had a great guide, could have been the very same Bachelor. When asked about the extensive acoustic treatment of the backup generators we were told it was in consideration of the neighbours after 10 years of pile driving.


Re: Silly Question Time

The Hoover dam used chilled water pumped thorough it ensure the concrete set properly, it can get a bit warm in the desert.

'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch


Re: Does anybody remember eproms?

The first digital audio console, a Neve DSP1, was killed by one of the company's directors when he took a flash picture of it during its press launch, very embarrassing! An engineer was blamed for not covering the EPROM windows.

Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?


Ambisonics - before its time

A soundfield microphone records four (XYZW) channels and can be replayed in 3D with 8 or more speakers, in effect a phased array without the heavy signal processing. It's a great technology and sounds fantastic but never had any real money put behind it. If Atmos and DTS can justify this many speakers maybe ambisonics will get a come back along with all those other 70's acts, not yet guests of HMP.


We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier


Re: Actually, it's irrelevant for 90% of recorded music

The best setup I ever heard was an ambisonic array, 8 Kef 107 head units arranged in pairs; front, back, up and down and one very large sub woofer. The recordings were made on a Soundfield microphone in B format on 4 track reel to reel without any post processing. Ambisonics recreates sound pressures measured by a four capsule microphone time aligned to a single point to produce X, Y and Z direction and pressure W. Sadly not a very commercial proposition.


Re: Audiophile?

Earlier than that, Flanders and Swan were taking the piss in 1957,


Women crap at parking: Official


Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

This is not a new conclusion, less tech was used in the past but came up with the same conclusions. One interesting point made previously was that male nurses and female engineers displayed opposite results to those of their gender. It would appear that the gender of the body is less relevant than the 'gender' of the brain.

So, Linus Torvalds: Did US spooks demand a backdoor in Linux? 'Yes'


Re: Don't know about that

It does mean "no" but more of a question, 'no?' . I had an Indian colleague who although the lead architect insisted on requesting agreement at almost every sentence 'no?'. Tried to stop her doing it as it rather undermined her own arguments showing what appeared to be a lack of confidence 'no?'. It all comes down to the politeness of Indian society.

Honey, I BLEW UP the International SPACE STATION - in full 3D


Last paragraph made me think of the old definition of an Engineer, someone who will design something that costs a 10p that any idiot could build for a £1.

Movie, TV ads annoying? You ain't seen nothin' yet


This is, as usual, all about how well it is implemented, in the example the posters looked good but 3D objects jarred a bit as they look fake. If they use it in the same way US TV programs have animated ads for the following program, just as the current program reaches its climax/conclusion, will be very distracting. It will be interesting when this tech is combined with the face creation as featured in the Nvidia article.

WTF is... Miracast?


Re: DLNA equivalent?

Miracast is based on a Wi-Fi Direct connection (it can be TDLA but no one is using it) so provide your Wi-Fi device supports concurrent mode Wi-Fi Direct you can simultaniously connect to your Access Point. The throughput might be an issue and if the video is using 5GHz and the AP is 2.4GHz yet another gotta is introduced.

Lords call for the end of TV transmissions


Re: Prosperity

In the quote form the committee it states a request to turn off Terrestrial broadcasts, Freesat is safe and we can all 'enjoy' the current 24 HD channels of Olympics in the future. I rarely watch broadcast media live, recording things to watch at my convenience on all those lovely Freesat channels. Moving the recorded media into the cloud means I would only stream when I need too watch something, the concept behind the rather late to the party, YouView. Anyone remember DVB-H, doomed from the start as watching anything broadcast whilst mobile is going to be interrupted by lots of inconvenient distractions, streaming video that you can pause and stop is always a better option.

WTF is... WiGig


Wireless is about mobility not connectivity

When ever wireless technology tries to replace a wire it will fail. If however it is there to make connecting up easier when we move about it will be successful. How many desktop machines have Wi-Fi? Not a lot, you can pay $3500 and get the number if you like from iSuppli. It has taken over 12 years for the 5GHz band to start to be used, it is called 80211a after all and now we are now discussing 802.11ad. Don't hold your breath waiting to buy a Wi-Gig dongle pair for less than $200.

Nokia details 808 Pureview release


Re: Oooer

Don't worry, I hear the RBS off-shored their software support to India without any problems.

Tesco grabs Peter Gabriel's musical streamer


Don't you mean "former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel"

Must be just the Telegraph that still thinks its the 1970s

Aliens Blu-ray disc set

Thumb Up

Freesat the forgotten bigger brother of Freeview

Or wait until it is on Freesat HD and get 5.1 digital audio

Mobile gaming: battle of the gadgets


Does a gaming phone with wireless connnection to the TV make any sense?

CES saw lots of demos where a mobile device (phone or Tablet) was connected via Wi-Fi or WiGig to a TV. One reason, provided the latency can be issues can be fixed, is for gaming. Gets over the screen size problem (when the TV is available) but does it make any sens to a hard core or casual gamer? Answers on a post card. Oops just let slip that I am well past the typical gamer's age.

Met launches net café spy operation

Thumb Up

The Lives of Others

An excellent German film (sub titles but I am sure reading is not beyond this audience) showing the best and worst of the surveillance state.

Sony backs away from OLED TV future


You think!

It took until I was 46 but the glasses arrived in the end.

Wi-Fi Alliance readies peer-to-peer wireless tech


Wi-Fi Direct

There will be no need for another Wi-Fi radio, the spec requires that a device can maintain a link an Access Point whilst also running as the group owner or member of a Wi-Fi Direct link.

Google spins YouTube into future profit machine


Occam's Razor

Always a good way to make a judgement. In this case it would have been easier to land on the Moon than fake it in such a way that it would never ever be found out.

ContactPoint goes live despite security fears

Thumb Up

Glad I live in Wales

Only by half a mile but its enough

HP bails on massive Wi-Fi patent claim


What is a Patent worth

The idea that the value of a patent is related to the income generated from its use in a particular product is perverse. Wi-Fi is a great success not because it uses OFDM modulation but because a lot of different companies agreed to promote and provide interoperability to a complete wireless solution. What did CSIRO contribute to the success of Wi-Fi, not a lot, so make any reward 'not a lot'.

Samsung punts popcorn flicks for pounds


£11 for a 27 year old film!!!!

No wonder Bit torrents are so popular

Broadcasters and ISPs cosy up for iPlayer on Freeview

Thumb Down

TV Licence Required

You need a license if you operate equipment capable of receiving broadcast so a Freeview or Virgin STB need a license. There was an issue for owners of black and white TVs who required a colour licence if they had a Sky box.

BT starts threatening music downloaders with internet cut-off


You will be very unlucky to get caught twice let alone three times

If the BPI are simply picking an IP address at random, it can't be methodical because there are millions sharing, then the chances of finding the same user sharing again are tinny, dynamic IP address anyone?


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019