* Posts by John Robson

2180 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

John Robson Silver badge

The bigger problem:

"He was excited when he recieved it and *I* spent all weekend putting it together"

Surely that should be a "we" spent half an hour putting it together and the rest of the weekend playing with it?

Tiny Robot Smartphone: Invasion Earth 2016 – prepare to be facially recognised humans

John Robson Silver badge

It looks really fun....

Completely impractical for a phone, and with the projector and all those motors I'm reckoning a 3 hour battery, but how much fun.

I'm not surprised they haven't decided on a sales channel yet - it looks like a proper "10% time project"

HP won't squeeze itself into 3D printer consumer market

John Robson Silver badge

Buruea printing...

Where is it?

I've got a couple of things I'd like ot print off, I'd happily pay for a timeslice/materials at the local library, or a shop/stall in town.

But there doesn't seem to be the market?

Actually - I think I've answered my own question - there isn't a market - because I can only think of a couple of things I'd like to print...

My issue with the online versions is that postage is invariably multiple times the value of the item being printed - whereas I could go into a shop and be fairly happy to have a rough print after I'd finished my shopping/jobs in town.

Apollo 15 commander's lunar timepiece goes under the hammer

John Robson Silver badge

@ Woodgie - now I have to raise a meelion dollars?

Easy - Kick Starter

Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Nuclear Power Generating

@AC - Cars also kill birds and bats. Would you suggest taking up a bicycle as an alternative?

Why yes I would - although not because of the birds and bats - but because for the vast majority of car journeys in the UK a bike makes a more sustainable, and far healthier, form of transport - as well as reducing externalised risk and being significantly quicker, much cheaper, and alot more fun.

Yes I have a car - but I tend not to use it for short, single person journeys - which make up the majority of the journeys made by car.

I'd like to take the train to visit family 300 miles away - but it costs more than 5 times as much (and my car is NOT efficient), and takes longer - even if I ignore getting us to the station, parking whilst there and the same at the other end...

The car also gets used for most "multiple person" journeys of significant length (for a child), or journeys with significant load (a half tonne trailer load to the tip, or a full PA setup for a gig)

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Nuclear Power Generating

No - but their construction and maintenance aren't exactly death toll free are they...

Safe Harbour ruled INVALID: Facebook 'n' pals' data slurp at risk

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Monolithic global companies

Maye a touch premature - but I notice in the next ElReg article on the matter:

"No matter how much Brussels bureaucrats want their latest Safe Harbour fudge to work - the cat's out of the bag. US companies that export data are fundamentally illegal in Europe."

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Monolithic global companies


No - they cannot, see Dr Mouse's respone.

US law directly contravenes EU law in this area - you cannot comply with both.

MS are in court at the moment for trying to comply...

What has the world come to - I'm supporting MS business practices?!

John Robson Silver badge

Monolithic global companies

Simply can't deal with multiple sets of legislation...

When was that a surprise?

GCHQ's exploding doughnut threatens to ooze into innocent field

John Robson Silver badge

Just insist that they all bike to work - far easier to fit in the bikes...

Motorbikes or pedal bikes...

Or more realistically - just insist that they do the multistorey car park at the same time

If the Internet of Things scares you now: Cisco's CEO is bent on hooking up robots, everything

John Robson Silver badge

Because rushing a project

Always means that testing ans security get given as much time as they need... right...

Rise of der Maschinen: Daimler trials ROBOT LORRY in Germany

John Robson Silver badge

He's there to fill the tank and drive between the depot and the motorway slip road. Then from the slip road to the destination...

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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Even the trees have ears in VR

Rocketeers aim for the Moon with first-stage £600k tin-rattle

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Re: Honesty?

Yes - but there is a serious chance they won't even launch (and I don't mean failure at aunch, I mean they won't get to the launchpad....

John Robson Silver badge


"Chris added: "I said right at the start of this project, if we take other people's money to do this, it's probably OK if we fail, as long as we genuinely try to do it and show people that we're trying properly along the way and not just coming up with a lot of waffle.""


You also need to have said up front that there is a real chance of failure, which you just did I suppose...

Asus ZenPad 10 Z300C: Cheap tab, dock combo you can turn up to 11

John Robson Silver badge


They had it so right - no physcial connection (and therefore no battery boost), no USB ports/SD cards in the keyboard? No touchpad?

Oh well, another device I won't buy.

Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Carl Sagan.

Like the dolphins - So long and thanks for all the fish...

Bezos battery-box bomb beef brouhaha begins as UK watchdog hauls Amazon to court

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Not being able to ship electonic devices conitaining batteries is a joke in 2015.

@MacGyver - Pressurise the cargo hold with an inert gas...

There is often live cargo in the hold, so this might not be a great plan...

Intel doubles capacity and speed of PCIe flash card

John Robson Silver badge

You don't - you hotswap the server

Elon Musk unmasks Tesla's Model X – the $132k anti-bioweapon SUV for the 1%

John Robson Silver badge

Re: When I heard about...

What door handles...

Well, it does have door handles, although given that the door just opens as you approach (how much of a pain might that be on a drive - "no I just wanted to walk to the corner shop") and the falcon doors appear to be touchscreen controlled, I'm not sure why they bother with handles at all...

Verisign opens up its DNS

John Robson Silver badge

2620:74:1b::1:1 / 2620:74:1c::2:2

Hmm - this is another reason IPv6 is a PITA - configuring DNS servers in the first place...

At least the addresses are reasonably abbreviated, but is far easier to remember, and type

AF-FIR-MAT-IVE: Second suspension for robot-voice helldesker

John Robson Silver badge

Hello, Bank of England

Works well, I often answer the desk phone as such.

It's not a helpdesk phone though, and the number of people who call me on it is rather limited.

Unfortunately I have to credit it to the jokers who did all the glass blowing at university - I needed a couple of bespoke flasks for an experiment, and that response is really offputting - even when you know you dialled an internal number.

MACAQUE ATTACK: Monkey plunders Florida resident's box, gobbles contents

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Love the alliteration....

That's rhyme/rythym, not alliteration

Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

John Robson Silver badge

Re: While these vehicles may all have the code installed

@Bronek Kozicki

Indeed, although I think the politrikians might be shouting "errorist" more loudly even than the greens could shout, whatever it is they would shout...

John Robson Silver badge

Re: While these vehicles may all have the code installed

@AC - Shipping

Maersk large ships (they have 8) take 15,200 containers

Engines produce well over 115k bhp (including heat recovery etc)

burning 16 tons/hour

travelling at 29.3mph

For crude: 1 ton is 307.86 gallons

So: 29.3/(16*307.86) = 0.006mpg

But that's spread across 15,200 containers: 90mpg/container

A standard container will take between 3 and 5 cars, so that's going up to 360mpg per car. The fuel isn't particularly clean (understatement of the millenium) but it is a single journey for each car, with a pretty good fuel efficiency.

Of course if they transitioned to nuclear powered container ship we'd be in a much nicer place - but the panic would be hilarious.

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Never mind the fines, think of the SAVINGS

@petur - Give me any good reason why you need such software in testing?

For testing purposes. Although I'd expect the "IF" to be a hardware switch, not an "if steering isn't used, and we go full throttle"

Overheating iPhone 6S+ BLINDED my cam, cries flashgate fanboy

John Robson Silver badge

Re: The iPhone?

I stand corrected - seems like a slip of corporate imaging somewhere...

John Robson Silver badge

The iPhone?

I suspect that this error message isn't quite right - I don't think the Jobians ever use the definite article.

The other messages (linked in article) say:

"iPhone is..."

Astroboffins snap BREATHTAKING, WISPY Veil Nebula supernova debris

John Robson Silver badge


"Astronomers are comparing these new images to ones taken by Hubble in 1997. This comparison allows scientists to study how the nebula has expanded since it was photographed over 18 years ago."

That's the killer sentence for me. There are a myriad of beautiful things that Hubble has shown us, but it was launched in 1990, and had it's "glasses" fitted in '93 - that's more than twenty years of breathtaking science...

Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Great achievement?


Because this project will improve the world.

No - I don't know how, but research on the bleeding edge inevitably brings discoveries which we then use to:

a) Blow stuff up

b) kill other people

c) improve the world

John Robson Silver badge

Re: "it's unlikely we'll see much return from all this"

The educational return is already probably more than worth it - of course teh gubbinment can still encourage all those people offshore to work...

BOFH: I'm not doing this for the benefit of your health, you know

John Robson Silver badge

Re: H&S fail

I'm intruiged - how does one use a mouse wrongly?

I can think of several things, but none of them really come under the term use - nore misuse (things like tying the cor round an H&S bod's neck...

Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses

John Robson Silver badge

@pompurin - Why couldn't they have used commas or semi-colon instead of the colon?

And why move to hex?

The number pad is a really nice way to type in addresses, only takes one hand.

A-F are all left handed, so that's kind of OK, until that pesky colon, which moves the right hand back again - and it leaves you tracking the address with eyes only, not a finger.

Of course the idea is to DNS everything, so we never need to type an IPv6 address - which is fine, how do I log in to fix the DNS server?

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Despite this, IPv6 adoption probably won't increase.

@PM - In your example, you would have only provided for growth of ~65000x, but there's more addresses than that already in use worldwide based on the massive oversubscription associated with RFC-1918 private addresses. The much larger, 128-bit address space of IPv6 guarantees centuries of address growth without another redesign of network addressing.

Well - no. He's actually defined a system for extension that could be reworked in a few years as well - just add another pair of octets up front with a "if not present assume 00.00".

I thought the intent was to allocate everyone a /64 subnet - so the IPV6 space is only 64 bits in terms of public facing addresses anyway (internal networks should be fine, reducing the oversubscription factor, but we are only doubling the length of public end points).

It's probably fine, but who saw the growth in mobile devices - what is next? I don't know, you don't know.

Solve the problem you have now...

Every time I've looked to try and do IPv6 I've been hindered by the complete lack of useful things to interact with - to the extent that I can't be bothered any more.

PEAK FONDLESLAB: Fewer people will use tablets next year – claim

John Robson Silver badge

Still don't like touchscreen phones...

They're either too small to properly browse or too large to use as a phone.

I'm pondering a Pebble to go with the iPad mini (similar sized Android devices exist, but I need iOS for remote control of certain audio hardware), and a "feature" phone*.

Nexus7/iPad Mini sized tablets hit that sweetspot - for me - of being pocketable (easier for the N7 than the iMini due to aspect ratios) and yet large enough to be properly useful.

* It's a phone - that's the "feature" I need... Currently using a 'smart'phone as a feature phone - until it dies anyway.

Transport for London’s new crash map immediately crashes

John Robson Silver badge

I assume the downvoters don't think that children should be allowed to cycle anywhere then.

That's a real shame...

John Robson Silver badge

@Chris 17 - Should cyclists need some training to give vehicles a wide berth before driving on Londons roads?

Maybe drivers should get some training to give vehicles (which includes cycles) a wide berth.

Construction lorries (and other similar vehicles, but they are the massively over represented vehicle type) should be required to have a banksman, and should be banned during peak commuter traffic.

Or maybe we could actually build sensible infrastructure to keep the big metal boxes away from people, without ridiculously impeding the flow of those people.

John Robson Silver badge

And of course no cyclist ever avoided that roundabout...

If something is so dangerous that people avoid it that doesn't magically make it safer...

More BlackBerry layoffs: 200 Venice devs binned amid Android shift

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Venice

Maybe they were hoping it would help keep the project afloat as long as the city?

iOS 9 update set to bork 'hundreds of thousands of EU businesses'

John Robson Silver badge

Yes - various stores do this - it's a relatively low cost entry into taking card payments.

It's also good if you run a mobile business (a business that moves, not one selling mobile phones) since you don't need a fixed line for the card machine...

Huh? Cat-wees-like-a-racehorse study pees on fellow physicists to take Ig Nobel prize

John Robson Silver badge

You;re assuming that the distribution is between species - rather than between individuals in the same species.

If mice urinate for 21+/-13 seconds and race horses exibit the same distribution then that's much stronger than just the mean being the same...

China launches 'pollution-free' rocket

John Robson Silver badge

Dark - as in dark ages - as in the less studied (at least when it was named) side.

It's not quite as light bathed as the earthside (which recieves earthlight as well as sunlight) but it is pretty close...

Mercedes mulls driverless limo future

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Driverless cars? Do not want.

@jake - "The concept WILL kill people. Honestly, the mind boggles ..."

Erm - are you saying that meatbag controlled vehicles don't?

I suggest that there will be far fewer fatalities (evidenced by the reduction in minor incidents that the current crop of cars are experiencing) with something that doesn't get tired or angry at the controls of the lethal weapons we seem content to let rule our lives.

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Keeping up appearances

I think they prefer the car with a robot arm to load the boot and open the door for them - but actually the driverless limo might well be the ultimate status symbol - for a while

Wi-Gig signals are bouncing off the walls, can't settle on the sofa

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Agree

Combine it with the PoE LED lighting suggested a couple of days ago...

Run Cat6 to your light fittings - use PoE for the LED fixture and an array of antenna.

Many rooms have a centrally located, elevated, lamp - or a set of elevated lamps at intervals along the walls - They would be ideal locations.

Of course I still can't quite work out why I need more wireless bandwidth - specialised cases (HDMI replacement) will be static and not subject to people walking in their beam path...

Fed-up sysadmins beg Microsoft to improve pisspoor Windows 10 update notes

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Never thought it would come to ths

@a_yank_lurker - Apple uipgrades

From what i can tell apple give you a nice big splashscreen with a "Yosemite is out, do you want to upgrade" question.

If you say "Yes, do it now" (as opposed to "ask again later" or "no") then it goes and downloads many, many files.

It doesn't download them, and then ask...

Of course many of the minor fixes are vague as well, although I don't know if that is just to consumers and IT depts (with paid up support) get more detailed descriptions.

Game CARTRIDGES make a comeback ... for smartmobes

John Robson Silver badge

Re: Wring?

"Deals for games haven't been done yet but the company hopes that copyright holders will be keen to wrong yet more revenue from retro-gaming-obsessed Otaku around the world."

I though they meant wring as well, then I saw what they did ;)

Attempted bank robber demands cash transfer ... to his own account

John Robson Silver badge


"He has led a law abiding life"

No he hasn't - aside from all the other laws he will have broken, he held a knife to the necks of two cashiers and attempted to rob two banks.

That's not law abiding...

DMCA takedown bots must respect 'fair use' of copyright – US appeals court

John Robson Silver badge

There was music in the background?

Had to add another view for the music companies to get in a lather about - but really - was there music there?

Automated notices should be rejceted by an automated system, which asks for evidence of said infringement...

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