* Posts by M Gale

3552 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Nominet to launch .wales and .cymru

M Gale

Still room for comedy.


LOHAN's flying truss: One orb or two?

M Gale

Re: How about

Unfortunately, in a tight loop, you will feel the right way up even when you're upside down. Nothing that relies on weights, balances, or anything that will stop working properly if gravity doesn't act like it should, will work on an aeroplane. This is why autopilot systems are a little more complex than attaching a pendulum to the ailerons.

M Gale

Re: Equalise pressure?

What would happen is that as soon as you connect the hose, the balloon with the greatest surface tension (ie: the smaller one) will squeeze air into the balloon with the weaker surface tension, which would be the larger balloon. Sounds counterintuitive until you think about it.

M Gale

Re: probably unfeasible

I believe the existing plans are to use a readily available open source autopilot system and hack it to fit. That probably includes gyroes and accelerometers, and the solid state ones are tiny these days too.

M Gale


Some kind of compressed gas nozzles on the aircraft. It's more controllable than solid fuel, and it only needs to last long enough to lift the craft from the launch vehicle and guide it upward while the main motor kicks in. Better if the whole lot can be jettisonned or be made as a sled that the aircraft rides on for the first 50 feet.

M Gale

I posted a stupendously badly drawn design to the SPB team a while back that called for balloon triplets tied to a central line at very long intervals. I know people have had success with the design, and the clusters can be positioned far enough apart on the line that as each cluster explodes it diesn't take the rest with it. Shouldn't be too hard to fill either, just make sure each cluster is tied down before filling and that you release the top ones first!

Nasa rocketeers probe aurora borealis solar interference

M Gale

Obvious comment is obvious.

SPB, LOHAN, I can see the synergy here.

Oh go on, get in touch. Even if they say no it's worth the chance to sling that bad boy under a balloon with a laser sintered airframe parked atop it.

Valve responds to Half-Life 3 grumbles

M Gale

Maybe a month or so after release...

...when I can get the version that doesn't require a Steam account or activation for a single player game.

LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss

M Gale

Bursting balloons.

Just to make sure... Det cord? That'd work.

Also can we tie the two balloons to one string (at differing heights) and inflate the lowest one the most, have the upper just inflated enough to lift for a staged burst? Removes the stability issue, adds extra coolness in the video, and cures AIDS (may be a lie).

Two thirds of Brits crippled by mobile phone loss terror

M Gale

Yougov polled -163 people?

Doesn't surprise me.

New Mac OS X: Mountain Lion roars at unauthorised apps

M Gale

Re: Re: Dont do it!

Linux already flies with the average punter when they buy home routers or TV set top boxes, or these days, more than half of all smartphones purchased. Thing is, Linux is a success wherever it isn't sold as Linux, and more as "TomTom" or "TiVo" or "Linksys" or "Android".

People don't need to know about Linux when they know that Ubuntu and Mint are good on netbooks.

Lenovo slates Ice Cream Sandwich for ThinkPad tablet

M Gale


I mean Microsoft are only going to provide a similar experience if everything you own runs Microsoft Windows. I'm not about to go out and buy an Xbox when I like Nintendo's current offerings far more. I've already got a reasonable tablet and a decent phone, and I'll replace them when they break. Possibly before if technology progresses so far that the app supply dries up. The replacement will probably be something that can continue to run the old apps, so likely not a Windows 8, 9 or 10 tablet.

That and I don't like Microsoft very much and I'm wondering if Microsoft's utter failure in the mobile space is the first chance in 30 years for a common platform that's as ubiquitous as Windows but doesn't involve an entire industry dancing to one company's tune and paying through the nose for it. Android's about the best bet so far, even with Google running the "main" branch as it were.

That aside though, as you can see, Microsoft are asking tall if they think everyone's going to go out and buy a new Microsoft Everything just to have Metro Everything. It's something of a Marmite interface anyway.

M Gale

So if I buy a Windows 8 tablet...

...I'll get a similar experience across my Arc S, Nintendo 3DS, Mandriva-loaded laptop, Ubuntu-loaded desktop AND the singular Windows 7 installation that will probably live with me for longer than the undead Windows XP? Now that really would be a neat trick.

Or do you mean a unified experience across one single company's products, which is something many companies do?

Nokia Lumia 710

M Gale

Problem is it's up against things like this...


£300 from the local Phones4u, oleophobic gorilla glass screen, supermodel design and I can attest to it going, as the reviewer put it, "like greased lightning". £300 really isn't budget though. Get something into the sub-£100 range and we'll start calling it a "budget" smartphone.

Scientists weave battery into clothing

M Gale

I'm sure..

...they'll sell like lightning.

Demand for safety kitemark on software stepped up

M Gale

This is interesting.

If you're publishing FOSS, you're not selling software. You're selling service and support, usually.

Linux exempt? Could be entertaining, and quite damn right too given how it's made and published.

M Gale

Usually under the Toy Unix...

If you have the source, you don't need no steenking binaries. GCC is pre-installed or available on just about every distribution and if the disk or package is nicely arranged, installation is a quick "./install.sh" or something.

Of course your granny still can't read it, but others can and they'll make a loud enough noise if anything is wrong. Whether always delivering software as source would help defend against malware or give Microsoft the ability to sue anybody they like with the excuse "everyone has our software, you must have read our source and violated our intellectual property with subsequent works" is another debate though.

M Gale

Also can be read as...

"We want to tax the ability to create software and make it look like we're doing something even though we'd probably fuck it up completely and leave you no choice but to go along with it anyway."

Really sure a Kitemark is necessary, or do you think Microsoft are going to give you malware, WGA notwithstanding? They and other established firms are the only people who will be able to afford the certification process, and how far do you think the requirements will go once the Daily Mail gets involved?

The whole industry run like Apple's App Store but even more expensively does not leave a good taste in my mouth.

This is a test

M Gale

Testing the obvious.

<script type="text/javascript">window.alert("oh awesome");</script>

Drat, doesn't work.

Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone

M Gale

The UI

Launcher 7 is an Android Market download away, if you want the tiled look. It'll even fit the wider widgets on 2x1 tiles for you and has an application list that is easier to navigate than the Android default due to having the very basic addition of alphabetical tabs. There's a free (ad supported?) and a "donate" version, which if I remember right off-hand I paid 62p for.

I have to say it lays dormant except for the occasional "I can make it look like a Windows Phone" brag though. Those "tiles" are basically massive icons, you can't fit much on a screen and the swishy graphical touches and web page preview tiles don't mitigate the fact that I find the stock-like ADW Launcher just easier to deal with.

Still, if tiles are your bag, Android has 'em.

Boffins out earbuds that sound right when inserted wrong

M Gale

Tried a good (or even average) set of canalphones?

They're anything but shit. Granted you can get noise from the lead moving, but you also don't look like you have two tin cans strapped to your head.

Says me on the bus with the Sennheiser HD428s.

Dumb salesmen are hurting us – Nokia CEO

M Gale

I know precisely one person with a Winphone.

...well, it started as a Windows phone. He's flashed Ice Cream Sandwich onto it now. Keeps telling me I should root my Arc S. I keep telling him I'm happy with 2.3.4, and I'll root my phone at the same time that I ram-raid Tescos for my weekly shopping.

Maybe in a year or so when the Galaxy Tab 7 is out of warranty, eh?

M Gale

If you like the UI...

Launcher 7, from the Android Market. I have the donate version. It's okay to be different but I still find myself sticking with ADW Launcher EX.

Even lesd reason to get a Windows Phone!

How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

M Gale

I've seen Wikipedia articles blocked...

...and some very interesting facdn.net images allowed through.

As you can see, automated babysitters work really well!

M Gale

Kids shouldn't even be on the Internet.

I think the problem was when the Internet started hitting the big time late 90s/early 2000s and the government seemed determined to expose every kiddy to the Internet via the school systems, then telling parents that they all had to have a computer and the Internet. Schools should have always been set up on some kind of AOL-alike network with restrictions that make Apple's App Store policies look tame, with the real Internet being something you might start work on in high school once you're starting to learn what this thing called "trust" is, and you're likely already aware of the aforementioned computer game character fetishists.

Anyway, hindsight's a wonderful thing (even if some of us had the foresight to see this Daily Mail wailing happening a long while before it happened), and we've just got to deal with the aftermath of the idiots who made it so it's now almost a necessity to have kids on the Internet. Technologically, a whitelist is probably about the only way you're going to stop someone going on sites you don't want them on, and even that doesn't stop them seeing whatever some hacker decides to graffiti a website's home page with.

A friend has a lovely solution though, that I believe one or two people here already use: The computer is in the living room. Only the older kids have devices that can get on the Internet. If you're somehow a younger reader that's stumbled onto this dark corner of the Internet and think that's cruel or draconian, think about how cruel or draconian a world would be where nobody can have access to an unfettered Internet because of all the "think of the children" wailing? You'll grow up. The rest of us won't^Walready have.

(and please don't tell mum that the Reg has been telling you about Sonic pr0n, I like this site when half the editors haven't been arrested)

Sick of Ubuntu's bad breath? Suck on a Linux Mint instead

M Gale

Go to software centre, type "Gnome" and install it...

...watch as it b0rks your system completely because you didn't tweak things to include GDM instead of whatever godawful thing Unity has, and you didn't reconfigure Compiz. Canonical have not made it easy and straightforward for you to divert from their Chosen And Holy Path.

Oh and then you have to move the buttons to the right side.

Not exactly a no-intelligence solution. A minty nuke+reinstall would probably be easier.

Mickey Mouse Whois ban threat sparks privacy fears

M Gale

If it's that worrying, don't register it!

Exactly what I thought when the Lords Fuckwit (sorry, I meant ICANN) decided to post everyone's personal information online via the WHOIS records after removing the ability to go "ex directory" for us ordinary plebs.

I now own no .com domain names. The search engine spammers can have them. Vote with your wallet and tell ICANN to piss off. Plenty of other registrars in the world and ".com" has less cachet now than it used to.

Star Trek tractor beam to save Earth from asteroid Armageddon

M Gale

^^WTF mates?

Except Australia.

But they'll be dead soon anyway. Fucking kangaroos.

Update Facebook by thrusting your hips to, er ... 'Like' things

M Gale

So a night out clubbing in the future reads like...

I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you...

Groupon banned from selling SNAKE OIL

M Gale

You would think...

....that like trying to sell refrigeration devices to the Inuit, that might be a tricky sell.

Analogy fail, you suck and all that. This is the Reg after all.

Try a 'shroom before ruling on chill pills, boffin tells gov

M Gale

Psylocibin Mexicana

Tastes like shit washed down with bitrex. Hits you like a sledgehammer and leaves you drooling on the sofa trying not to vomit for a good quarter hour. Was more fun after that.

Legally obtained btw.

YouTube tops one hour of video uploads per second

M Gale


Along with Nyans as a temporal measurement, is a measurement of bandwidth along the lines of a "Youtube-Hour" (abbrev. yH) incoming?


M Gale

I use this.

A friend with iOS introduced it to me. Thing is, it stopped working for a bit, then came up as a different name on iOS with a lot more features such as a TV guide and red button. Us Android owners have to stick with this version, which isn't entirely bug free. It's random as to whether I get annoying regular glitches in the video, and obtaining full screen is a pain. You're lucky on Gingerbread if you can go full screen at all without the notification bar obscuring the top of the image!

So yes, it does work, for varying definitions of "work". Guess it's not too moan-worthy for free though.

Feds: Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, Pixar had wage-fixing no-poach pact

M Gale

I think the problem here...

...is people reading me wrong.

No, Lucasfilm is not a tech firm. I never said it was.

However, Lucasfilm may have an interest in poaching people from "real" tech firms, because they can keep whatever IT they have running well or manage the IT department better. To use "we're not a tech firm" to say "well we'd never agree to wage fixing with a tech firm" is.. invalid, I think.

M Gale

Lucasfilm is not a tech firm?

No argument there, but who keeps their monstrously powerful render servers working?

Also Pixar, set up by a certain now-dead fruity CEO. I guess all their animations are hand drawn? They don't hire any IT talent at all?

Boffins cook up transparent solar car roof

M Gale

was what I was wondering.

Though what you describe is some kind of double glazed funkiness. This, I'm wondering how it will work at night since even a flashlight on in the car can turn a windscreen into a mirror. During daylight hours, how much light will those panels have to generate to counteract the sun?

Cool invention though.

Official: The smartphones that suck much more than others

M Gale

While I'm here...

...back when water was supplied by public-owned companies, you would pay "rates" based on the size of your house. A fixed monthly cost, because the cost to purify water is negligible and, from what I'm aware, it was actually illegal to charge for water. You could charge for purifying it and delivering it to your house via pipes, but not for the water itself. This law also stung restaurants who could not charge for a glass of water (although they could charge a nominal fee for the rent of the glass, etc).

I'd like anybody to try and tell me that the modern state of affairs is any better. Paying per cubic metre? All new houses fitted with water meters by law? Yeah, that one was sneaked through on the back of a hot Summer with hosepipe bans. People were convinced that it would be good to be a masochist and vote for price gouging, because it would prevent hosepipe bans in the future!

Except it, err, hasn't. At all.

M Gale

Your electricity company...

...pays a hell of a lot more to generate a kilowatt-hour than it does to send bits flying around a wire. If the costs were as negligible as sending a megabyte of data, I'd call their actions reprehensible too.

People don't seem to realise this, and some masochists seem to actually welcome the idea of paying per unit of an infinite resource.


Kodak's moment: Camera biz files for bankruptcy

M Gale

Kodak inkjets are pretty damned good on ink.

I know a couple of people who have Kodak inkjets for precisely that reason. I guess their only worry now should be how long will they be able to get hold of refills for?

Apple launches three-pronged education assault

M Gale

If they're being given away...

...I'll have one. I just won't pay for one. I already have a tablet, laptop, desktop computer AND two smartphones, I really don't need an iAnything. It'd be like a downgrade!

Microsoft blames poor Windows sales on PC slump

M Gale

OMG, you're right!

This is the most awful phone and tablet OS I've ever seen. The way it reacts immediately, and the various launchers you can get if you don't like the stock look and feel. The unified marketplace across so many different devices, the cheap price, the battery life that gets longer instead of shorter with each release, the voice recognition and notifications area that Apple thought was so bad they had to copy it, the ability to do all of this without touching a rooting utility...

You're right. I have seen the light.

I shall replace my Arc S and Tab 7 with iProducts immediately!

Intel caught faking CES ultrabook gaming demo

M Gale

Read Error B

This is why I <3 the old BBC. It loaded in regular-sized blocks and if one of them fouled up, the counter would stop and you'd just rewind the tape a bit and replay that block. Didn't stop it taking bloody ages just to load a 747 simulator that comprised of an instrument panel, a line for the horizon, and runways represented as very long quads. The first time I witnessed Acorn 1770 DFS in action I think it took me the rest of the day to scrape my jaw off the floor. Can we have an "old fart" icon please?
M Gale

This reminds me...

...of when the games consoles started breaking into the 3D arena properly. Atop the display you'd see a console "plugged into" a television, demonstrating some kind of really impressive trickery.

...until someone lifts up the tablecloth and reveals the SGI workstation. Oops.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019