* Posts by EddieD

1108 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Microsoft sinks another data centre with Natick 2

EddieD

"Microsoft's Ben Cutler insists the warming effect will be minimal - "the water just metres downstream would get a few thousandths of a degree warmer at most" "

For an article by the BBC about a technology company that's not Apple, it's remarkably positive. Obviously, if it had been Apple, it would have been on the front page for at least a month, and you'd have needed kleenex to see the images.

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An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive

EddieD

Re: And that's exactly why...

Just having a mobile with us takes away privacy, the base stations, wifi, whatever track us, and that data alone can reveal more than we realise.

I don't do social media, other than a few sites like El Reg, and I try and keep details of me on the web to a minimum, but like it or loathe it human data is probably the fastest growing, and given the market caps, most profitable, commodity on the planet.

I'm waiting till the Googles and Facebooks try and market the intrusion as motivational and supportive "here at global spycorp we're interested in _you_ and we'll keep an eye out for you all the time", but hopefully as more folk learn just what is being done with the story of their lives, they'll realise it has value and guard it more safely.

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For some reason, you lot love 'em. So here are the many ThinkPads of 2018

EddieD

They're good machines,

But QC needs some attention, I ordered a Lenovo ThinkPad P51 - nice machine btw - for a staffer here, and when it arrived, it had a Finnish keyboard, which was just the end.

So far it's been over a month waiting for the replacement.

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Guns, audio and eye-tracking: VR nearly ready for prime time

EddieD

Tobii know what they are doing

Back in the day I used to help researchers design experiments in eye-tracking. When you watch a film of the person reading, paying attention to the eyes, you see no movement of the eye - but the Tobii software captures minute saccades and fixations - it's incredible to watch.

My introduction to it was designing an experiment that randomly put a distractor dot half the intra foveal angle from a target stimulus, to measure the time to recover from a distraction. As a lapsed biologist that was absolutely crap at Maths trying to work out how to move a dot, viewed from 25cm, an angle of 0.7 degrees was a wakeup call to go revise trig.

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Fancy a viaduct? We have a wrought Victorian iron marvel to sell you

EddieD

Re: The silv'ry Tay

Boring but true - if you look at the Forth Bridge, underneath the middle span, you'll see an identical pillar to the ones from the fateful Tay Bridge - they were about to build a bridge to the exact same design across the Forth when the Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay went kersplat.

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Sysadmin left finger on power button for an hour to avert SAP outage

EddieD

Me, that's who...

Many years ago I went to the small server room we had (this is the late 90s), and there was a KVM that connected to all the machines.

I pressed the relevant button for the NT server I administered, and, as I always did, hit <ctrl><alt><del> to give me a login prompt, as the monitor was waking up. Unfortunately, the KVM had been "rationalised" by my boss, who hadn't updated the switch labels, and I'd just connected to a Linux server console session, which immediately shut down.

The team that were using it for data analysis were a tad miffed.

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Facebook told to stop stalking Belgians or face fines of €250k – a day

EddieD

Appeals.

I know this is highly illiberal of me, but countries should start to consider restricting the rights to appeal for large corporations.

They have budgets bigger than most countries, and can tie cases like this up in courts for years and years so that the consumers never see justice.

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Playboy is suing Boing Boing over Imgur centrefold link

EddieD

Puh-leeze...

"Playboy: The Complete Centrefolds" (no link, you dirty sods can have that on your online search conscience)"

We're (mostly) professionals.

We know how to hide our search histories blame someone else

22
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Smut site fingered as 'source' of a million US net neutrality comments

EddieD

Dear oh dear, what is the Reg coming to?`

All this material and not one double entendre? No-one though that the bill faced stiff opposition? That the thrust of politics was making boobs out of everyone? And that, when it comes down to it, folk who oppose net neutrality are a bunch of c***ts who have just fucked us all?

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Former Cisco CEO John Chambers says insects are the new lobsters

EddieD

Locusts are delicious. I've been lucky enough to eat them a couple of occasions - just stir fried whole, with a little soy.

A colleague of my father described them as "pork scratchings (rinds) with legs" - I'd go slightly more to bacon, but whatever, delicious!

Insects like the locust are just land bound arthropods similar to prawns etc., so why not eat them here in the affluent west? They're delicious, nutritious - scrumptious. Also, they require very little in the way of care, easy to cook, low "greenhouse gas" (compared to the methane production from meat production).

Munch those bugs folks - it's the future food.

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Butcher breaks out of own freezer using black pudding

EddieD

Re: "psychosomatic illness"

As the son of a Lancashire lass living in Scotland the origin of the best black pudding is often the subject of intense debate.

I don't think it will ever be settled, but I'm willing to keep sampling more black pudding to see if a resolution is possible.

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EddieD

Black pudding

One of those things you don't realise are so good or useful until you really need it.

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Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple's password protection in macOS can be thwarted

EddieD

Re: re: Basically Macs are starved of resources.

Hasn't that mostly come since the launch of the iPhone and, more importantly, the App Store, and Apple's 30%?

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Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!

EddieD

Re: How can they stop you?

It really isn't - it's a light oil designed to displace water, but it can, briefly before it evaporates, penetrate a small way into a seized joint.

Plus-gas all the way for me.

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EddieD

Re: Whats Next?

"Ah, so you're a waffle man"

29
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European court: Let's not kid ourselves, Uber. You're a transport firm, not a 'digital service'

EddieD

Re: Newcastle

Oddly, the Scottish and Newcastle Brewing Company has no breweries in Scotland or Newcastle.

And as for only being one Newcastle Brown, the younger me would very much wish that was the case, as several is a recipe for the next day being a painful blur.

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Microsoft's 'Surface Phone' is the ghost of Courier laughing mockingly at fanbois

EddieD

Re: Microsoft FAIL

Nope, and I agree with both of what you said. I also like the interface more than any of my experiments with other operating systems.

Alas, unless I keep my current phone many, many years (instead of just many), I'll probably have to turn android.

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Meet the woman with a supernatural affinity for stiff lovers

EddieD

A wide choice

Obviously Spirituals would be first choice, and most Boy/Girl bands would be okay too as it's mainly ghostwritten. Sling in "Bela Lugosi's Dead", some White Zombie, and any Death Metal.

Quite a lot of choice.

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From the graaaaaave! WileyFox's Windows 10 phone delayed again

EddieD

Re: Just why ......

I agree - I really like the WinPhone system, the machines themselves have been solid (although my 950XL is not as nice to hold as my old 800...), the interface is good, and it's stable. I don't use many Apps, so the state of the Store is

There are, now, alas, bugs which I don't think will be ever fixed (e.g. Edge streaming music behind the lockscreen - techsupport says do a factory reset, which works...until the phone updates...), so I think when this machine gives up the ghost, I'll be cast out into the place of wailing and gnashing of teeth, i.e. I'll get an Android, and be one of the crowd...

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UK.gov admits Investigatory Powers Act illegal under EU law

EddieD

Odd.

They can set up a massive, entirely new, government department to handle the phenomenally complex Brexit negotiations and machinations in a few short days, but a small unit to monitor one small area of responsibility is impossible.

I call shenanigans.

4
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Microsoft to rebuild Redmond campus, including cricket pitch

EddieD

Re: Who the hell really cares?

I was actually quoting Angus Deayton - I haven't watched a cricket match since I used to sneak out of school to watch one day internationals at Trent Bridge...

But whether four or five days isn't really relevant...it's a looooooooooooooooooong time....

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EddieD

Re: Who the hell really cares?

And besides, when folk query how long a baseball game can take you can point out that a test match is four days...

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EddieD

Re: A Cricket pitch?

In the offseason, it can be used for Australian rules football - which makes American rules football look entirely sane..

And besides, being british, I think a cricket pitch is always a good idea, and I'm vaguely pleased with the idea that the open spaces on the campus are as important as the buildings.

And there isn't a UFO in sight/on site.

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It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

EddieD

A lesson from Dave Allen about the perils of automating your house...

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Audio spy Alexa now has a little pal called Dox

EddieD

"and, worst of all, broadcast Dire Straits whenever asked to play a song"

Kill it with fire.

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

EddieD

No reason? The series is camper than a Boys' Brigade jamboree - how many female characters are there in the original, and how much "page time" do they get?

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Black Horse Down: Lloyds Banking Group goes TITSUP*

EddieD

Salutory warning

It shows how delicate the electronic finance infrastructure can be, and why the dream of a cashless society is probably best tempered (for the time being) with a healthy dose of scepticsm and a wad of twenties in your wallet.

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Legends of the scrawl: Ordnance Survey launches augmented reality tool for maps

EddieD

Paper...

Much as I love the magic of GPS and associated technology, you'll have my 1:50000 Landranger and 1:25000 Explorer maps and my venerable Silva compass when you prise them from my cold dead hands - probably at the bottom of the Cuillin ridge when I've walked over the edge because a sudden gust of wind blew the map over my face...

The Ordnance maps are incredible creations - I was taught to read them at school, and I have seen no other maps that allow you to visualise the landscape in your mind quite like they do. One of the best perks of my current job is access to the complete Edina library of OS maps, down to 1:5000 scale (and historic...and geologic...and maritime...)

I'm glad to see that the OS are moving with the times.

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Vodafone, EE and Three overcharging customers after contracts expire

EddieD

O2, too.

I had a contract with O2 and they didn't tell me about the end of my contract, and being an inherently lazy bastard, I didn't do anthing.

Then, I lost my contract phone and bought a replacement on Amazon and thought "bugger this for a game of soldiers" and stalked down to O2 prepared to wax greatly wroth upon them, but they meekly, okay, willingly, gave me a new sim-only contract - half the price and far better terms.

Now, here's the thing. Up until then, when I'd been meekly paying for a phone I'd paid off well over 18 months earlier, I'd never heard a dicky bird from O2. Immediately after I switched to a much better deal for me, I started getting rung about 3 times a week with "incredible offers on new hardware" which I ended up having to block with Truecaller.

Odd that.

3
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Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

EddieD

Edinburgh doesn't have a tram network, it has a tram line.

A very, very expensive tram line.

That was took nearly half a decade longer to complete than advertised.

That was badly laid and had to be dug up and repaired before it could be used.

That was so badly thought out that in spite of advice from many parties was laid in such a way that it crosses cycling lines in a very awkward fashion which has necessitated some odd road markings. If you want to see the fun that the council had trying different things out, use the history settings.

8
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SpaceX gives free ride to replacement for Facebook's fried satellite

EddieD

Aviation industry hits turbulence as Airbus buys into Bombardier’s new jetplanes

EddieD

Re: Missed a point...

And it possibly won't work. The BBC website website says that it could be ruled as "trade circumvention", and therefore not be allowed.

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

EddieD

Hmm.

SQL. Discuss.

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Royal Bank of Scotland customers say digital services gone TITSUP

EddieD

Re: Critical resource sub-optimality

Sobers up?

In Scotland?

That'll mean sometime next week. If you're lucky.

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Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

EddieD

Favourite?

Can you have a favourite dystopia?

All far too different, and I'd have trouble choosing one. I liked the first robocop as it touched on matters of identity and memory, I enjoyed Blade runner as it touched on the idea of memory and identity, but from a completely different angle.

I think I prefer both of the above over e.g. Star Trek, as they are set, in the words of "Max Headroom" "20 minutes into the future" and address issues in a society not far removed from our own.

They're all good fun though.

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Microsoft Edge shock: Browser opts for Apple WebKit, Google Blink

EddieD

Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

"Edge on Windows 10 Mobile is the biggest piece of shit around. Nothing fucking works properly. The text rendering with its bullshit random font size generator is garbage."

Quoted for truth - I always have to start Edge twice, because the first time I start it, everything is rendered in a font you need a microscope to read...

Not only that, but it's inability to stream audio under the lock screen in its recent incarnations is infuriating... I need my fix of Radio4...

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Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

EddieD

Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

"MARKETING GIRL:

When you have been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. I mean yes, yes we’ve got to find out what people want from fire, I mean how do they relate to it, the image -

FORD:

Oh, stick it up your nose.

MARKETING GIRL:

Yes which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know, I mean do people want fire that can be fitted nasally. "

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

EddieD

Re: What about...

Aye, but how much fuel will it cost to get the fuel to Ascension island?

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HPE server firmware update permanently bricks network adapters

EddieD

HP are getting good at this

Earlier this year they bricked a whole bunch of laptops with an update, they already bricked Proliants in 2014 with an update, marvellous QC there chaps...

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Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

EddieD

Re: The Thing?

Sweet...thanks!

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EddieD

Re: The Thing?

Preference is an individual thing, but the Carpenter version far better captured the paranoia of Campbell's short story "Who goes there" - which if you can find it is well worth a read.

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European Commission refers Ireland to court over failure to collect €13bn in tax from Apple

EddieD

"The Register has asked Apple for a comment. ®"

Hope beats eternal in the cynical hearts at Vulture Central.

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What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly

EddieD

Depends what you do for a living:-

Bus driver - 100%

Banker - 0%

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HP users moaning over 10-minute login lag during 'Win 10 update'

EddieD

Lucky sod.

In March, HP pushed out a BIOS update that killed the motherboard on over 100 of our HP 840 G3s, and their customer service is crap to the point of insanity - one of the contracted engineers they eventually sent was only able to replace 3 motherboards in a day and was an utter prima donna. The contrasts with Dell customer service are night and day - Dell send polite, punctual, efficient chaps who get the job done.

At the time I was in hospital, bewailing my lot, but when I got back I found my poor colleague had it far, far worse than anything I had.

And that was just one incident - there have been others

Unfortunately the equivalent Dell on HE list is over £300 pounds more expensive, so we can only get them in special circumstances.

Bugger all to do with the 10 minute login black screen, but I need a good rant of Saturday, gets me set up for relaxing the rest of the day.

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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

EddieD
Pint

Kudos to SpaceX

Have one of these --------------------------->

It takes balls to show your mistakes - and style to set them to music.

15
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Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

EddieD

Re: hmm

It just means that gynecologists like to have good sounds to listen to whilst they're working.

Who doesn't?

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EddieD

D'oh - it's obvious

As Schrödinger pointed out, cat's occupy two states - solid and liquid - and just collapse into the required state when observed.

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Cops' use of biometric images 'gone far beyond custody purposes'

EddieD

Re: Napolionic

"The police would even ask participants if they wanted to be present to witness their destruction.

What happened to that practice?"

They got computers.

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

EddieD

Re: Verbing weirds nouns.

Aye, but that was from someone who thought that GROSS was an initalisation of Get Rid Of Slimy girlS, so what does he know.

Verbing embiggens vocabulary

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EddieD

Re: Hmm..

This is why I'm a crap programmer - syntax and spelling and tenses are mysteries to me.

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