* Posts by Will Wykeham

12 posts • joined 29 Jan 2009

ROBO-TENTACLE with mind of its own wields deadly electrical power – turns on Tesla car

Will Wykeham

He did say he was going to do it in October 2014 (see pg 307 of Ashlee Vance's biog).

Doesn't even have to be for home use - I'd imagine it would get rolled out to supercharger stations first.

And is there going to be any in cockpit guidance to confirm you're in the range of the tentacle?

What's that, Microsoft? Yep, a Lumia and Surface SALES BOOM

Will Wykeham

This is what happens when you sort out your marketing and produce a clear message. "The tablet that can replace the laptop" is the line they should have been pushing all along, I'm glad they've got there finally.

Sail HO! Look out Bay Area - it's the GOOGLE GALLEON

Will Wykeham

By and Large

By and Large was probably chosen not because it rhymed with barge but more for the origin of the phrase, which is an old Royal Navy sailing term.

A vessel that could sail close to or "By" the wind, and that could also sail away from or "Large" to the wind, was a good all rounder. Referring to "By and Large" meant referring to most circumstances.

If they're putting sails on the barges, that would be my bet as to why it was chosen!

Reader input required: review our reviews

Will Wykeham

Conclusions

I enjoy the reviews - they're well written, and the reviewers tend to catch some of the detail that's important to me that doesn't get covered elsewhere.

I don't have time to read every review though, and sometimes I just want to know the highlights. The last section is often a good summary of the conclusions, but in some reviews isn't useful on it's own. It wouldn't be too difficult for the smaller portion of reviews to fix this.

It might not even be a bad idea for this to go at the top of the review, but only as long as there's room for more than a sentence or two so that it actually communicates something worthwhile.

Samsung Galaxy S III: A Swiss army knife of wireless tech

Will Wykeham
FAIL

Not the first

Article says that it's the first phone to support both NFC and Bluetooth LE, but I thought that the HTC One X did as well.

Latest El Reg project: Rise of the Robot Sheep

Will Wykeham

Computer Vision

Clearly the best solution for navigation would be the some of the normal motion analysis/structure from motion computer vision techniques, for automated guidance.

Simply mount a standard vga webcam, streaming to a box in the house with a big processor. Build some software based on Open CV that is capable of identifying grass texture and distinguishing it from, say, flowerbed. It would then be track garden landmarks, flowerbeds, fences etc. to work out where it was on the lawn.

On the first haphazard pass it would build up a picture of the lawn until it had the whole lot, and after that it could calculate the most optimal route.

The software would be quite involved, but it would keep the part cost for the machine down as all, particularly if you are using an existing computer for processing resource. Processing could be put in the mower, keeping it as a fully independent, autonomous sheep/goat.

Non-obvious boundaries could be input on an interactive map, or indicated using some form of easily computer recognisable marker, e.g. QR code as someone suggested.

What I'm envisaging is a single hardware platform (designed using some of the excellent ideas above, and presumably below) on which a multitude of people are developing open source cleverness to turn it into a mower.

Nanotech nerds assemble überfast-charge battery

Will Wykeham
Thumb Up

Looked at article now

Ok, 'C' in this context doesn't appear to mean coulombs. Having now read the article, the following is the relevant phrase:

"the C-rate−1 is the time in hours required to fully charge or discharge an electrode or battery; an nC-rate indicates that the current chosen will discharge the system in 1/n h"

The percentages quoted is the capacity of the battery at a higher charge/discharge rate as a proportion of the 1C rate.

This explains most of it:

"At 305C, the NiOOH cathode delivers 90% of its 1C capacity, and when the discharge rate increases to the unprecedented value of 1,017C (291 A g−1), the electrode delivers 75% of its 1C capacity in ~2.7 s. In comparison, commercial NiMH cathodes, which consist of a large-pore-size (~50 µm to 1 mm) nickel foam coated with a thick layer of NiOOH, usually retain ~1–2% of their capacity at C-rates exceeding 35C"

Apple tried to quash Sunday Times' Jobs profile

Will Wykeham
Megaphone

Reverse Psychology

There is of course the distant possibility that this is all a case of Apple PR engaging in some clever reverse psychology. A profile of their Glorious Leader that might have otherwise been glossed over in the papers has received extra (free!) publicity. A book that otherwise would have gone unnoticed was made the subject of several new stories.

Its a possibility to consider. After all, Apple know exactly how to work its customers up into a religious fervour, maybe they're that good with the press as well?

Apple proves: It pays to be late

Will Wykeham
Thumb Up

Yes, but

I agree with almost everything said here. Only 'almost' though:

I really don't think different versions of the iPhone ('iPhone photo' 'iPhone touch') are likely to appear. There is nothing like the iPhone - a statement where the emphasis is on 'THE'. Whether correct or not, I feel Apple will would see multiple models as a dilution of the the brand. One major alternative (iPhone Nano) maybe, but more than that would be counter-productive.

As pointed out Apple have done well by not going for market segmentation and ticking all the boxes, but going for the one killer product that completely outdoes the competition in that zone.

While I'm quite sure the writer is aware of the difference, he has somewhat blurred the boundary between OS (Symbian) and UI (S60). Nokia are actually in a strong position of running Symbian which is a good solid base for running proper native applications. Faster task switch is mentioned as a problem on the iPhone - the iPhone doesn't DO task switching, there is no multi-tasking at the application level, it merely gives the impression of it with stateful application switching, whereas a Symbian Phone can task switch all day, my E71 will happily run Gmail, Google Maps and my Calendar all at once.

Now as it happens I quite like S60, but then I'm happy to read e-mail from a command line, so I'm not a good example. Perhaps Nokia are following the mantra of 'it pays to be late'. They got beaten to the punch with swish UI's, they might as well wait for the dust to settle from the Pre, and then wander onto the pitch and knock all the young'uns for 6, having seen all the lessons they've learnt.

Will

Skype to give away wideband audio codec

Will Wykeham

In between?

Surely only the two endpoints of the conversation need to support the codec? I can't see any need for steps in between to know how to decode the audio data, they just need to be able act as a transport layer. By analogy - you don't need to upgrade all your routers every time you invent a new application level communications protocol.

Cambridge Silicon Radio buys into GPS

Will Wykeham

GPS not new for CSR

While it would seem to be a good deal, and they main gain useful intellectual property in the process, it is worth pointing out that GPS is not new for CSR. They have been marketing GPS chips (with eGPS) for a while.

Third-gen Apple iPhone in development?

Will Wykeham

Lack of surprise

Surely it is completely unsurprising that a consumer electronics company in a fairly fast moving field is going to be looking at the next version of a product? Its the only one they have in the field, and unless they continue to innovate they'll lose market share as the competition catches up. The surprise would have been that they weren't looking forward.

The interesting point is the change in major revision. Given the 3G version only merited a minor revision, a change in major revision would seem to point to a new form factor, whether that be Nano or something else.

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