* Posts by Ralph B

1574 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Venus is too nasty, Mercury too hot and the moons of Jupiter or Saturn too distant.

Yebbut, how nasty does Musk think Earth will get to ever make Mars preferable?

3
1

Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: you rock much harder than Shelbyville

Monorail!

5
0

Does Microsoft have what it takes to topple Google Docs?

Ralph B
Silver badge

Indeed. TL;DR but I'm pretty sure that Betteridge's Law applies here.

3
0

Nest leaves competition in the dust with new smart camera

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it

Even if you did have a use for it, why would you ever buy it from a company with their history?

13
1

Drone maker DJI quietly made large chunks of Iraq, Syria no-fly zones

Ralph B
Silver badge

Why Just War Zones?

Why not also include airports, residential areas, sunbathers, forest fires, et al ... ?

Force a firmware update of several gigabytes of geofence data before every flight! That'll learn 'em.

(Seriously, it might be simpler to require drone pilots to submit a flight plan for every flight. Like real pilots do.)

7
1

Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Ralph B
Silver badge

Cause or Effect?

> Users now hold on to their phones longer so manufacturers are raising the sticker price.

Are we certain we're not confusing cause and effect here? Users now hold on to their phones longer because manufacturers are raising the sticker price ... ?

24
0

Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

Ralph B
Silver badge

It turned out to be ad-supported rather than actually free.

15
0
Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: That's me screwed then

> ape-faced?

Well, that's hardly surprising.

3
0

Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms

Ralph B
Silver badge

Contrarian Viewpoint

> Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms

Which could be (mis?)interpreted as meaning that the other two in three cock-ups were due to the firms' own in-house staff, and therefore be an argument for outsourcing, since apparently outsourcers may be only half as incompetent as in-house staff.

I'm not saying it is so, just that the language is imprecise enough to allow this possible interpretation.

6
0

Governments could introduce 'made by humans' tags - legal report

Ralph B
Silver badge

A Lesson from History

Hope it goes better than a previous such labelling initiative.

4
1

Ford slurps 400 BlackBerry devs in smart car software push

Ralph B
Silver badge

Is it possible?

Is it possible that someone in Ford's HR department misunderstood what mobile application development means?

0
0

Google's video recognition AI is trivially trollable

Ralph B
Silver badge

Googlebomb v2

So, if you replace one frame in 50 of a Trump video with goatse ... ?

3
1

People may have been wrongly sent back to prison over faulty tags

Ralph B
Silver badge

Who Else?

> Yet they have given G4S another contract.

Are there other companies bidding for this work?

Could a tag be replaced with a ruggedised, non-removable Apple Watch? This, at least, should already have most of the call-home technology required to keep track of the wearer 24/7. Add a requirement to keep it charged and they should hardly ever be able to leave their homes.

6
1

$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

Ralph B
Silver badge

No Working Prototype

I'm not saying all projects on Indiegogo are deliberate scams, but their failure to require at least a working prototype does encourage the more, ahem, naive projects to get launched there. And the ability to collect any backing received, rather than requiring a fixed (planned) target to be reached, also works in the interest of the more, shall we say, speculative ideas.

Kickstarter does a better job of keeping their project starters honest, in my experience.

7
0

Beijing deploys facial scanners to counter public toilet abuse

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: six squares ?

I think I need this for at home. 16yo dorter#2 uses about a roll a day. That can't be normal, can it?

1
0

Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Ralph B
Silver badge

Comparative Evils

I suppose joining ISIS is slightly worse than being a Guardian subscriber ... ?

6
1

Boffins Rickroll smartphone by tickling its accelerometer

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Hang on a mo...

You're right. Read the report (PDF linked in the article) and you'll find they merely* managed to get the accelerometer to output a g-graph with a curve that vaguely resembled the word "WALNUT". There was no takeover or execution of injected code. Just manipulation of accelerometer output.

* Fair play, there was a lot of difficult maths and clever fine tuning to find resonant frequencies of the accelerometers involved.

13
0

Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Airblade, airfield, airware

> Whenever I look at a Dyson airblade fan or hand dryer, I think of the Rockwell XVF-12 VTOL jet

Me too. They both make the same amount of noise.

1
0

Vice News YouTube video commenter set for retrial over 'menacing' posts

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: [redacted]

> Also, I hope everyone here has a jolly hockeysticks day and all that with knobs on.

Sexist.

5
0

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

Ralph B
Silver badge

IndieNoGo

Having been burnt by the Jolla Tablet project on Indiegogo, I think I'll sit this one out.

I've had less bad experiences with Kickstarter. Is that just luck? Or is there some intrinsic difference between the crowdfunding platforms that makes one more likely to deliver than the other? (And I mean "deliver products to the funder" rather than "deliver cash to the fundee".)

1
0

Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Not the compact cassette.

If you take a look at this thing it might make you change your mind on compact cassettes.

2
0
Ralph B
Silver badge

tones of battery life

That'd be the tones A, B, C, D, etc, presumably?

9
0

Roses are red, you're feeling blue, 'cos no one wants to watch VR telly with you

Ralph B
Silver badge

Motivation

You shouldn't underestimate the trouble some people will go to to avoid having to tidy their house. Or walk somewhere.

3
0

Twin brothers. One went into space. The other didn't. NASA reveals how their bodies differ

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Did they test them for telepathic powers?

And did they test for midi-chlorians?

1
0

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Slàinte mhath

> the isle of Tobermory, where the CBBC show "Ballamory" was filmed

That programme tore the heart out of the community.

0
0
Ralph B
Silver badge

> As a West Country sort I'd just like to say it's good to have a hobby that gets you out of the house.

And I hope you've been enjoying riding your motorbike.

3
0

Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Contradiction?

> I don't call short term memory loss a "good recovery".

Some might say 2016 would be better forgotten.

1
0

Never-never chip tech Memristor shuffles closer to death row

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: WTFingF?

> How do you feel about 'produlate'?

Professor Nebulous? Is that you?

0
0

Uber coughs up $20m after 'lying about how much its drivers make'

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: "anyone" is singular

Indeed. Even Oxford Dictionaries accept this usage. I quote: "Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical. In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing."

7
0

Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

Thanks for the clarifications from me too. I knew I must have misunderstood something.

4
0
Ralph B
Silver badge

Will nobody think of the tax payers?

Let me check I've understood this correctly. You're telling me that if you want to detect gravity waves, there was no need to spend $620million overhauling the LIGO detectors? We could have just pointed a telescope at Venus?

10
4

Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Ralph B
Silver badge

Maybe the people he paid to do the due diligence were the same ones that worked for HP when they bought Autonomy.

0
0

AI and robots? Will someone think of the jobs, says HPE CEO Whitman

Ralph B
Silver badge

Do we though?

> we need paying jobs for people to do ....

Do we though? Should humans really doing jobs that can be done by a machine? Isn't there something better, more creative, more human, that the humans could do? Or are you saying that the humans need to be kept occupied in some unnecessary employment to keep them off the streets? To keep them out of trouble?

Be a bit more positive. We survived the industrial revolution, with increased wealth, health and wellbeing. I suspect we'll survive the information revolution too. Even if we're just being kept as pets by the machines.

18
2

Ex-Autonomy CFO pleads not guilty to charges he inflated the company's value

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: What is fraud ?

> I know plenty of people who have bought HP kit, eg printers, that HP does worse by sabotaging post sale, but that is, somehow, not fraud.

I am one of those people who was burned by that bit of trickery by HP, which is why I have never bought anything by HP since. And will never by anything from them again. Ever.

I hope Mr Hussain gets away with ripping off HP, in the same way that HP got away with ripping off their customers.

Crash and burn HP.

10
0

Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Animal abusers

> What effect does mouse taking have on the brain, do you see pretty colours?

It'll be something like this, I imagine.

0
0
Ralph B
Silver badge

Mouse Gladiators

> When other mice are added to the cage and the laser is switched on, the mice did not attack each other.

I'm betting that at least some of the scientists were a little disappointed when they observed that. They went to the trouble of performing the experiment after all. And then nothing happened. Scuppering their hopes for a organizing the lab's mouse gladiator championship ... ? Maybe putting their DARPA grant application at risk ... ?

0
1

This'll be the next thing Trump crows about: Apple assembling servers on American soil

Ralph B
Silver badge

Made in the USA?

> It appears unlikely that anyone’s going to be proudly sporting a Made in America sticker on their iPhones, iPads or Watches any time soon.

Currently the (tiny) by-line on the iPhone is "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.". It's not made anywhere!

I guess that reflects the international sourcing of components, but also Apple's wish to disassociate itself from a lot of what goes on in the rest of the USA.

If Apple ever does move production, sorry, assembling to the States, I think the new text will more likely read "Designed and assembled by Apple in California" rather than give credit to any of the rest of Trumpland.

5
0

D-Link sucks so much at Internet of Suckage security – US watchdog

Ralph B
Silver badge

Sympathy for the Devil

I'd imagine it's rather a no-win situation for D-Link. They've probably got one set of three letter agencies telling them to put the security holes in and now another one suing them for doing so.

And it's not as if they even enjoy Cisco's profit margins for doing it.

10
6

Forget aircraft – now cretins are laser-blinding ferry boat crewmen

Ralph B
Silver badge

Dragonfire?

Are we sure this chap wasn't just a contractor working for the Dragonfire consortium?

They have to be doing something with that £30m.

1
0

How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Ralph B
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: on that (lack of) accuracy claim:

Or even: The Muphry is strong in this thread.

3
0
Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: on that (lack of) accuracy claim:

The [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muphry's_law Muphry] is strong in this thread.

2
0

No Soylent for Santa after key ingredient supply is choked off

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: Wrong ingredients

> There's a reason for the name SoyLent (hint: it's an acronym).

Actually it's a portmanteau of soy and lentil.

Interestingly, the book (written in 1966) predicted a US population of 344 million by 1999, with the masses fed on a vegan diet. And now, in 2016, with a US population of 325 million and veganism is spreading like a virus, it looks like Harry nailed it.

4
0

Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

Ralph B
Silver badge

Cuddly?

> We'll see if Tom Hanks is too cuddly for the role of the sinister Zuck or Schmidt-style corporate overlord.

Is "cuddly" some politically correct euphemism for "old" now then?

5
8

Elon Musk-backed OpenAI reveals Universe – a universal training ground for computers

Ralph B
Silver badge

The Real Singularity

I suspect the real singularity will be when the advert-clicking bots hire lawyer bots to sue the abuse-detection bots for loss of income because they were banned. At that point I suggest we just turn off the internet and go home.

7
0

Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

Ralph B
Silver badge

Yikes indeed. I was also imagining the tsunami of property rights disputes that may follow.

Do you get to keep the 8m of your land that has jumped into what was (or still is?) your neighbour's property?

5
0

Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: We have one

Obligatory Simpsons video snippet.

16
0

HTC and OnePlus spruce up flagships for Santa's sack

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: start all new phone aritcles

Also: 3.5mm audio socket: yes/no

HTC has none, so no sale there.

3
0

Trial date set for Brit police 'copter coppers over spying-on-doggers claims

Ralph B
Silver badge

> superzoom camera

That's what I thought. Pig paps peeping at big baps?

5
0

Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out

Ralph B
Silver badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

> but why do .exe's keep living?

On the contrary, I think you'll find that .exe died in 2000.

3
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017