* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

ROBOT COP scatters LIVE GRENADES in San Francisco STREET

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Nice to see them at work/play

When its little friend came over to join in the fun, I was hoping that they'd both start playing catch with the grenade.

Pentax 645D medium format digital camera

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Digital Lenses?

A request for information:

I can understand why a lens has to be matched to a camera, in purely physical terms involving the location of the focal plane, the amount of light gathered and delivered and the target area of the sensor - all basic optics/physics/electronics considerations.

What I don't understand is why a special 'digital' lens is needed for high performance digital cameras. Is it because the older lenses, which might be a good optical 'fit', were not of that high a quality and their imperfections are shown up by the resolution and dynamic range of high performance digital sensors?

I'm not looking for an essay, just a link to a suitable technical article would be nice, if anyone could assist here.

NASA hails 'amazing' exoplanetary system

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re. Anticipation And Intent

Every sensible young protoplanet instinctively knows that it must form quickly in order to grab available material before it gets swept up by other, faster forming planets. If a protoplanet did not behave like that, it would not form and so would not exist.

This is called 'survival of the fattest' and is the reason why most of the observed extrasolar planets are big and chunky things.

Yahoo! blasts Microsoft over WinPho 7 bug blame

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Yahoo Mail does IMAP?

I didn't know that Yahoo Mail could be accesses using IMAP. With my ordinary Yahoo webmail, I only see a POP3 option. Is this some premium paid version they are talking about or have I missed something?

Home Office crime maps go to street-level detail

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A website by any other name....

Shouldn't it be called 'crime.uk'?

Your call is not important to us

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Then again......

....., it's amazing how far AI has developed in recent years.

Utah to honour Browning M1911 semi-automatic

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Get it right

That's 'dole queue'

Ace Reg reporter in career suicide shock

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No need to buy (or take) a copy

The Torygraph is available online - yes, really!

Good luck Chris :)

Man nabbed nude pics from women's email accounts

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More than one way to skin a password

One method I've seen suggested is to have a set of memorised 'incorrect' answers to the standard challenge questions.

e.g. Mother's maiden name: Supernova

Another way is to modify your 'correct' answers by preceding them with a keyword that is unique to the site you're using.

e.g. Mother's maiden name: FaceSmith (or YahooSmith, HotSmith, etc.)

If you want to get more sneaky, choose a keyword that is not easily guessable. You can figure something out.

Steve Ballmer at 11: A Microsoft power play too far?

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Unpaid overtime I assume

"... spans business units and subsidiaries and that sees people working up to 20 hour days, seven days a week."

They'll be doing lots of good quality work and making some really good decisions then.

Cable vendor slapped for unproven claims

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re. 20 amp electricity cables

Would these be single core, as used for installed domestic power distribution, or are they thick, flexible cables; perhaps with a multi-strand core to give flexibility (and improved audio performance)?

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Thank you.....

.... for that link. It'll take me a while to try all the techniques but I'm sure that I'll find one which is of great benefit to my listening pleasure.

T-Mobile backtracks on retrospective mobe data caps

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Re. Monthly Contract

As I understand it, the rolling monthly contract is automatically renewed by them taking the money from your bank account (or credit card) and you have the right to stop the contract by giving 30 days notice. Similarly, they have the right to stop or change the contract by giving you 30 days notice.

Do you wish you'd gone with an 18 month lock-in now?

I'm with Tesco on a £10 monthly rolling SIM only contract, 500 any network minutes and 500 Megabytes; check it out.

Silicon to stop next-gen powerline standards war

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Safety Considerations

"... by placing a suitable capacitor across the two hot lines at your incoming service panel."

I would suggest using two capacitors, in series, with six inches of physical separation between them, each being rated at 500V. The connection between them should be made with a low current fuse.

Belt, braces condom, rabbit's foot, etc...... nothing could go wrong :)

And here's how a datacentre network works...

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Diagram please?

Layers...outside ring...... This is crying out for a diagram.

Ombudsman slams DWP, HMRC data dumbnesses

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BS and weasel words

"... Due to our statutory duty of taxpayer confidentiality we can’t comment on this individual case,.."

BS! They do not need to reveal her name or address or any identifiable information about the unfortunate woman involved. They need to analyse their own bungling incompetence and comment on it, without using weasel phrases. Better still, have an external agency go in there and examine what goes on and how this could happen and then make a public report on their findings.

Android-powered touchscreen Wi-Fi headphones offered

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You're not dumb, it's an ergonomic mess.

Maybe if they had a 'controller application' that ran on an Android phone, it could use Bluetooth to control the headphones. The possibilities are endless.

I want to know how they deliver 7.1 surround sound with only two audio sources. :)

Google opens API for url shrinker

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Worth a try I suppose

I just typed 'goo.gl' into goo.gl. It didn't break it but it certainly didn't shorten it.

When one oligopoly screws another

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@Neal 5 re. Finally......

"... buy direct from the US and get it shipped over for the postage,.."

Nice, but remember to declare it to HM Customs and pay the import duty. If you don't, and they intercept it, then you have to go to them to collect it and pay the import duty. For small packages of low priced consumer goods, most people get away with it because HM Customs have more important things to do with their time (or they're lazy/understaffed/whatever).

If you open source an old market, are you doomed to fail?

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Mais non

Ce n'est pas une phrase de jour, c'est une cliche.

HTC Desire HD

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@Silver re. Unpolished

My experience of HTC (on a Wildfire, now updated to 2.2) is that you only get full Gmail integration with the main Google account which you first register on Android, and this is with the separate Gmail application. Then, you get push e-mail and your calendar synched all very nicely. The HTC e-mail app is for any e-mail service and does not treat a Gmail account any differently from any other IMAP/POP account. This is all explained in the User Manual.

What pissed me off is that the 2.2 update removed the facility to have a local calendar (stored on the phone, with a different colour code to the Google calendar) and also replaced the small and neat HTC pdf reader with an Adobe reader, which is slow and clunky in comparison. It also wiped my APN settings so that I was scrambling around for a while trying to find out why I couldn't get mobile data, until i figured it out.

I had forgotten that the phone is not really owned by me, it is owned by HTC and they will do what they damn well like with it. No more updates for me !

Google Cr-48: Inside the Chrome OS 'unstable isotope'

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Clouding the issue

Many people are uneasy about this, on the basis of their data being stored on Google's servers, thus being at the mercy of Google and their ISP/internet connection. Would it be possible/desirable/likely that Google could sell (to an organisation) a private 'cloudy server'? Then, you could 'log on' to your corporate cloud service via the corporate LAN (high speed usually guaranteed) or using VPN over the internet.

If a Chrome OS netbook can be made cheaply and designed to have few maintenance requirements, then a corporate entity should be willing to pay for a Google sourced cloudy server on their premises and under their control.

Apple ditches Costco. Or vice versa. Or both

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re. embroidered denim jacket

The serious and really cool bikers do their own embroidery. If you'd worn that Ralph Lauren item, everybody would have known it was shop-bought; you made the right decision.

Dutch police arrest 16-year-old WikiLeaks avenger

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re. Maybe I've been gulled

gull: verb - shit on from a great height.

Example A: If you use that stuff, you'll be gullable

Example B: That kid was gulled, real bad.

Three bumps up mobile broadband contract charge

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I was the same as well.....

....with Tesco £10 a month rolling contract. However,the unlimited texts is actually (if I remember) 3,000 texts a month (whatever; a number of texts that I can't even imagine, let alone send). The 'unlimited' data is 500MB 'fair use' policy. This is about 16MB a day, which should be fine for picking up e-mail, checking the weather, reading a few news feeds and the El Reg site :)

If you go over the data limit, they will spank you hard, so get a network traffic counter. I recommend Net Counter by Cyril Jaquier for the Android. It's free and it measures Wi-Fi and Mobile data in separate, adjustable format counters. You can also check your minutes, texts and data totals on your Tesco mobile account web page.

iPad-smuggling women pinched in China

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re. fanboi

I'm not a biologist, but I'm sure the term would be 'fangurl'.

Steelie Neelie floats pan-European phone number notion

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Language Problems

No problem. By the time they get this all sorted out, we'll all be speaking Esperanto (or Klingon, or Elvish, maybe).

Minister 'C*nt' promises £50m to get fabtastic fibre for all

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It could have been worse....

At least he didn't call him the Vulture Secretary.

This year's comedy Xmas No. 1 contender: Silent song 4'33"

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They could make it 4'30", etc. The artistically critical aspect is the length of the silence. Some people have experimented with adding small amounts of varying level white noise but this is generally regarded as ruining the purity of the work.

Robotic High Noon in Colorado

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By 'cemented', do they mean 'glued'? To this UK dweller, cement is the stuff that you mix with sand to make concrete/mortar.


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The best joke so far........


Olympians threaten ICANN with lawsuit

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Prior Use


LHC boffins turn lead into quarko-gluotic Big Bang incrediblo-stuff

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Glossary/Dictionary Please


I understannd 'quarko', but what is 'gluotic', exactly. Derived from 'gluon', yes..... but why not 'gluonic'?

Is this difference related to the difference between 'biotic' and 'bionic'?

P.S. If Z bosons are 100 times mire massive that protons; where do they come from and where do they go to? (Since I assume they don't hang around for long; otherwise we'd keep bumping into them, in a manner of speaking.)

Wikileaks: Berlusconi useless, Pope Catholic

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@Titus re. Treason

Titus, thank you for confirming that you really don't know what the crime of 'treason' is. We all suspected this and wondered, but now we can stop thinking about it.

Petabyte-chomping big sky telescope sucks down baby code

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re. Milky Way

This 'cube' business is a misunderstanding of some kind. Most people know that a Milky Way is a rectangular block with ripples on its upper surface. Those astronomers need to get out more and go to the shops.

Pumpkin pie could prompt Thanksgiving sexual free-for-all

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Effects of Liquorice

The only effects 'down there', that I've noticed from eating liquorice, is that it makes my urine bright yellow. This could be useful for writing my name in the snow when winter comes.

How I used Space Shuttle tech to insulate the living room

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re. Pentane

"..Those holes are filled with air or a gas such as pentane."

Really? Pentane is flammable, a member of the methane, ethane, propane, butane....family of organic compounds. It has a boiling point of about 30 deg.C and so is used as a foaming agent.

The foam you describe was probably 'blown' (made into a foam) by mixing liquid pentane with it's base constituent and then heating it, so the pentane bubbled up and evaporated. I would think that the pentane was driven off by heating to be replaced by air diffusing in.

If the pentane has formed the voids of a closed cell foam, then it should burn quite nicely if you crush it and put a match to it. Can anyone comment on this subject?

German zoo separates gay vulture couple

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followed by....

Geist. (Just getting into the spirit of things.)

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re. Gay Earthworms

I've noticed that if I stamp on my lawn, with a rythmic, high energy disco beat; then quite a few earthworms come out and start wriggling around in a sort of dance movement. Is this significant?

Erotica 2010: One big Teese, and a bit of a flop

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Paris Hilton

Spelling Mistake

"... day-glo and ludicrous vibratory toys. "

The correct spelling is 'lubricious'.

(Paris, because she is, er, .. yes)

ViewSonic tempts tablet triers with cash-for-kit deal

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I assume that Viewsonic had to limit the Viewpad-10 to Android 1.6 as a condition of Microsoft selling them Win7 licences?

Its interesting to compare the differences between the viewpad-10.htm and the viewpad-7.htm web pages.

Mainly, the Viewpad-7 page states the battery capacity and claims a battery life of 4-6 hours of heavy, continuous use. The Viewpad-10 page does not mention the battery or the battery life.

Also, the Viewpad-10 has a multi-lingual user guide .pdf available. The viewpad-7 only has a spec sheet. Have fun noticing the other differences :)

NY youth makes $130k selling real(-ish) white iPhone 4s

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The lad will go far

Let's hope it doesn't involve a rapid vertical journey.

Prof to drill camera into own skull

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This Has Potential

I've always wondered what happens when I'm asleep. This could be useful.

No hiding place - facial biometrics will ID you, RSN

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Layered Search

"In a database of a million people, if you are searching for me you will get back hundreds, if not thousands of false matches."

Yes, but those thousands can then be passed over to an algorithm that is slower but more accurate, with fewer false positives. In cases where it is important/vital to identify a face, you could pass the final 50 (say) results to an experienced human analyst. It depends on the purpose, the perceived urgency and the budget.

Comet bomber flyby pics show spaceball belching ancient dry ice

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Nominative Determinism?

I think it's very appropriate that Professor Sunshine is studying the effects of solar heating on comets.

MAD Students Union bars 'racist' ZOMBIE PHYSICISTS

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Ah, Definitions...

"The definition of race is, according to google:.."

Is this from Google's 'Bumper Book of Fascinating Facts for Careless Commentards' ?


I've looked through it and I can't find it.


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Careful What You Say

"Such failed stars ...."

That's a bit judgmental. It could be a successful and popular independent gas giant; well known and admired in the society of gas giants. Not every celestial body want to be a star.

Police get ready for body parts audit

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Auditing is Important

I'm waiting for a 'joke' about them not knowing their arse from their elbow.

Opera feted for playing chicken with Steve Jobs

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A Small Question

I went to the Android Market to try out Opera Mini. The installer told me that it accesses various things (as expected) but also that it has the ability to make phone calls.

Is this a misunderstanding, in that it has the ability to access the mobile data link (as any internet app needs to do), or can the Opera Mini browser really make phone calls from my phone?

Google snips Facebook's Gmail line

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re. US Gov experiment

Wow, that's what I call impressive paranoia. (Makes me wonder though.)

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