* Posts by Martin 71

176 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009

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Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water

Martin 71 Silver badge
Mushroom

Interesting...

Now I need to find some scrap microprocessors, my pestle and mortar, and do some chemistry!

*yes, I know it won't produce nanospheres, but the reaction might still be viewable!

Icon for what might happen if it produces enough hydrogen

'Leccy-starved Reg hack: 'How I survive on 1.5kW'

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Re: Buffering?

That could be done with lead acid batteries and an inverter of some description, but the initial cost of those, and the ongoing maintenance of them, would make it borderline I would think. But I'd certainly be looking at it if I were in that situation.

Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Martin 71 Silver badge
Pint

Re: very talented guy, r.i.p.

Ah yes, one of my first memories of Thunderbirds :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOCmI72eRh4

Martin 71 Silver badge
Go

Re: And another genius is lost to us.

Upvoted it again for you :-) Now can someone upvote it again for me?

And I'd extend the 'age of influence' to 80s kids too :).. so far we have everyone from 30 to 70... any advance?

Ten… top tech cock-ups of 2012

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: 3=1, etc.

Much as I'm an anti-apple-fanboi, (Their products are ok, but massively overpriced for what they do, and sometimes restricted in weirdly arbitrary ways, and thus I like el Reg's constant attacks on them), I agree, the maps fiasco was merely a one off mistake, the 'interface previously known as metro' is hideous, and apparently was designed by someone who wants microsoft to go under. I attempted to use a windows 8 machine in John Lewis, couldn't figure out how to use it.

Previous incarnations of windows have not been like that. Windows 98 was new to me (my previous computer experience had been DOS and CP/M), yet clicking the start menu was obvious, as it looked like a button and said "Start" on it. This new interface may be okay for touchscreens, but for a normal computer with a pointing device, and a screen bigger than 'tiny', it looks more ludicrous than XP's luna theme, and the fact it breaks the UI paradigm they've used for so many years may well be 'game over' for them.

BT ordered to pay £95m to rivals it overcharged for FIVE years

Martin 71 Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: BT overcharging

"The phone lines should be public property like the national grid."

They were, till Thatcher stole them. She also stole the national grid.

Sex offender wins case against Facebook vigilantism

Martin 71 Silver badge
Go

Re: Facefcuk

I am not sure about shutting it down. How about just issuing an international arrest warrant to whoever makes their decisions (these days it'd be a board, not just Zuck, surely?) for contempt of court, obstructing the police, and several other offences. That'd change their tune methinks

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Re: 5 more sites

THAT, right there, is a very good idea and would send a clear message.

Martin 71 Silver badge
Stop

Re: Bad decision by naive court

The court was clearly not naive. The court merely thinks that the law is more important than the views of a bunch of semi-literate morons on facebook.

Martin 71 Silver badge

I should name him on a facebook page. That would be fine, according to them, right?

Martin 71 Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: They are doing it wrong these Pedophile's

The only problem with your conflation of Paedophilia with a mental disorder, (which may, in some cases be true) is that it doesn't really help, it'd just increase the stigma on Schizophrenics (which is already enormous). The public are ignorant dimwits by and large... Attempting to pretend otherwise is doomed to failure.

I agree with you re: disproportionate, but if the police TRY to be proportionate, in the case of terrorism, the government get on their backs, and in the case of paedophiles, the public get on their backs.

None of which helps anyone, least of all the victims of either group.

Why 'slow light' might just save the Internet

Martin 71 Silver badge

Not much I wouldn't think

Most modern exchanges feed a set current down the line (20-30mA if I recall, can't be bothered to stick a DMM into the phone socket to find out), but the current demand of modern systems is TINY compared to their electromechanical ancestors (where the selectors usually took ~1 amp when stepping).

The actual current consumption of most phonelines is much smaller now, as people tend to use their mobiles more than the landline. The non-use leakage of the line is tiny, less than 2mA, as around 2-3mA will trigger them to send Openreach round randomly to bill you 100+ quid for finding a fault that's not there.

Martin 71 Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Disgruntled of TW

1. Black phones tend to have the bells inside, the ones with them on top were wooden

2. The 50v is to feed the DC speech circuitry, ringing voltage is 75-80v at 16-25Hz

3. The national grid is a mix of (mostly) 400kv with some smaller segments still on 132kv and 66kv, not 500kv

4. The 25degree C figure is the temperature at which the resistance is measured, not the temp it's alleged to be heated to by the current.

Just bought an Apple product? Need support NOW? Drop an F-BOMB

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: What's the magic word?

Landlord should really have sent GE an invoice

Survey: Win8 only HALF as popular as Win7 among IT bosses

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Re: and win7 and assoc apps are ??

I once had the misfortune of having to use a computer with office 2007 on it. The lack of a menu bar made the application fundamentally unusable . I know the keyboard shortcuts for Print, save, open, find but more obscure ones I do not. It's the same usability issue Google Chrome has, breaking the UI paradigm people are used to is not 'something they'll get used to', it just annoys them and makes them hate the company who did it.

Anonymous attacks Israeli websites over Gaza bombings

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: Must watch more news

I think they're pissed that Obama won the US election (after all he was the first US leader with the balls to suggest they get out of gaza), and are waving their willies around.

What a clockup! Apple's Swiss clock knock-off clocks up $21m fine

Martin 71 Silver badge
Devil

Re: The odd thing about the swiss railway clocks...

It's because it's a master clock system with the second hand independent of the minute/hour hands (and the master clock). The second hand is adjusted to be slightly fast, so reaches the 12.00 position slightly ahead of the minute impulse from the master clock. It's locked there mechanically till the minute impulse releases it :-)

We used to have similar systems over here (I believe some of the later Gents' systems did it) but now... all over to quartz crap that doesn't keep time, never shows the same times, and needs batteries. YAY progress!

Sock-wielding movie pirates go to prison

Martin 71 Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Thanks!

Yes, because we don't want a representative sample of IT types on here do we.

Face it, much as you may not like it for moral, or 'i'm better than you' reasons, some people with IT knowledge like to download movies. WHY should they be banned just because you morally disagree with them? I think you're mistaking El Reg for a religious institution

Google upgrades Gmail interface, now less 'drafty'

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: pants

Are you sure you read it right? I saw "I GET IT" as in 'yes i understand what you mean, now p*ss off so I can continue working the way i always have in a webmail interface', that is: Grouchily, and with bad grace. I only ever use it when I am away from my main PC. Really need to stop using POP3 and start using IMAP, then i'd never have to see the web interface except on my phone.

FWIW, when I clicked the "I get it" I was returned to the normal compose interface :-)

Ten external battery packs

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: I feel lost

That assumes 100% efficiency though :-)

PLT chair: UK Radio Society is 'living in a dream world'

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: If a HAM radio enthusiast

2" (50mm) separation is the standard, or a physical barrier (thin plastic conduit counts as a barrier). So it really wouldn't be a problem. And plaster can be re-done.. so usually the argument against cat5 wiring is purely one of laziness.

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Re: "Where can I find samples of shielded domestic mains power cable?"

To be fair, FP200 and even boring ole SWA would probably work too. But the point is, this stuff's unnecessary anyway. Install cat5e or cat6 cable. Job done, cheaper than pyro ;-)

And I LOVE MI cable, beautiful stuff to work with when you have time (ie, not on a contract job!)

Olympic athletes compete in RAYGUN SHOOTING for the first time

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Outraged!

They already DID change the law to allow firearms.

IOC asks Olympic spectators to cut back TXTs and tweets

Martin 71 Silver badge
WTF?

The IOC can piss right off

SMS and Data are paid for by all users of the network. They have absolutely NO right to ask anyone not to use it. They shouldn't be using the cellular phone data network for such things if it's that important

Mozilla shoots down Thunderbird, hatches new release model

Martin 71 Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Thing is, STB ... (was: My email reader/writer is ...)

I'd purged edlin from my mind. Thanks so much for undoing all those years of therapy

Stanford boosts century-old battery tech

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Re: Q=CV

That's what I get for replying in the early hours of the morning using info I haven't actively used in 15 yrs.

Being corrected instantly is one of the reasons I love this place. No, seriously.

Now where's me coffee?

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: So in essence...

That depends what the charge/discharge curves look like. A capacitor (even supercapacitor) shows logarithmic voltage changes with charge... a battery tends to have a much flatter curve

Major London problem hits BT broadband across southeast

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Re: Forget the broadband, BT please fix the grammar

Yeah, I find this more worrying than the poor grammar and spelling, the fact they get basic technical details about the phone system wrong!

'Zombie bullets' fly off US shelves after wave of undead attacks

Martin 71 Silver badge
Coat

As any fool kno:

The correct defence (en-US defense) against zombies is to surround one's homestead with treadmills.

Mine's the one with the gym membership in the pocket.

Earth bathed in high-energy radiation from colossal mystery blast

Martin 71 Silver badge
Trollface

Must have been God

He moves in mysterious waves ™

IPv6 networking: Bad news for small biz

Martin 71 Silver badge

Re: Lets pay for toaster ip too eh?

Static IP from my isp? Free, on request.

Admittedly it's 1 step above cheapo el crappo sky or virgin, but it's still domestic DSL...

Cable thieves wreak havoc for cops, BT punters

Martin 71 Silver badge
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Definitely agree with Boris

Some kind of high voltage DC feed in the cable or in the same ducting (DC to prevent interference) would weed out the morons. Also DEFINITELY treat it under the terrorism act as 'an act preparatory to an attack' or whatever the wording is. Have them f***ing tortured by the CIA, they're good at it

Apple legal threat to Steve Jobs doll deemed 'bogus'

Martin 71 Silver badge

Won't actually work, but it'll be stylish.

Of course it'll work if you buy the optional internal battery (which MUST be fitted by an approved service partner).

It'll also use a non standard connector

Royal Mail fights to address website outages

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

Unfortunately Mark, that is PRECISELY what they've bloody well gone and done. IDIOTS. Any idea who we can complain to to get some upper boss fired? PLEASE?

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

It's not just me that remembers that debacle then! Site that only just worked, now it doesn't at all. And they won't tell you the name of the IT companies involved. I think they should name and shame.

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

Royal mail need to get to grips with the innertubes

I mean it. They keep using incomptetents to program their site! The 'downgrade' to online postage 2 years ago broke everything, you can't have long names apparently! It also loads every. single. field. in. a. new. page.... it's like it was designed for and by 4 year olds!

Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

Martin 71 Silver badge
WTF?

Surely the boss could just have him sectioned (or the american equivalent) thus saving all this hassle?

Mozilla promises more speed with Firefox 9 beta

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

If they'd stop releasing new major versions

for every tiny update, that'd be spiffing, thank you.

Oh also, if they could listen to feedback about their ludicrous method (ie, completely RANDOM) of ordering items in lists of previously typed form entries, that'd be great too.

And no, I'm not a coder, so "fix it yourself it's open source" doesn't work.

Cops find hackers' phone in NOTW office

Martin 71 Silver badge
Pint

Kudos

In fact, much Kudos, for admitting wrongness on the internetz, very rarely seen. Have a pint!

BT cable ballsup hooks up punters to wrong numbers

Martin 71 Silver badge

Yeah

When stuff like that happens I tend to flag down a man(or woman) in a van. Unlike the company they work for, they're generally polite, helpful, and grateful for useful info :-)

Who the hell cares about five nines anymore?

Martin 71 Silver badge

Which word is swearing?

N/T

Better ATM skimming through thermal imaging

Martin 71 Silver badge
Pint

Uhh, that's dangerous

If they know the pin, then the system's not secure. I thought the pin was never stored anywhere, but the result of hashing it with the (either account or card) number was?

(I could be wrong, but I do recall this discussion from somewhere).

My bank requires random characters from a security phrase (which is insulting to the bank;-) )

If you have a bank that uses a PIN as the only form of security for your online banking, switch bank!

Beer, because swabbing the keys with alcohol before AND after use would prevent this attack, and bacterial contamination.

New DVD discs claim 1,000 year life

Martin 71 Silver badge
Headmaster

Pedantry ahoy!

We measure 'power draw' in 'watts' not 'volts' :-)

119v is likely the utilization voltage, meaning 'useless outside north america'

David Cameron turns water cannons on social networks

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

It isn't

But the wish to be able to censor communications is worrying, however seemingly good the CURRENT reason

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

Well

He WAS handling the riots fairly well (apart from the extended holiday). I guess his true colours had to come out sooner or later, unelected git.

Essex cops slaps cuffs on social media riot crusaders

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

Yes, because discrimination's funny

When it's a minority you're not part of.

Google promises fix for jittery Usenet addicts

Martin 71 Silver badge
Thumb Up

Everyone just killfiled gargle gropes

And we all lived happily ever after

DIY aerial drone monitors Wi-Fi, GSM networks

Martin 71 Silver badge
Thumb Up

Slightly smaller

But divided into a large number of small crap-packets that is divisible by ten.

12% of UK don't carry cash

Martin 71 Silver badge
Go

I believe so

I destroyed my first card with sandpaper (to expose the connections and stuff), and the contactless coil has 2 connections to the chip. If you drilled 0.5mm or larger holes halfway through the card at those points, just outside the chip contact area, you'd effectively disable the contactless without damaging the chip itself.

*note, I have NOT tried this myself.

Apple eyes phallic iPhone, iPod charger

Martin 71 Silver badge
FAIL

I always thought

That being bloody obvious was a barrier to patenting stuff?

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