* Posts by sandman

585 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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Fever pitch as Dublin tar drop fall captured by webcam

sandman
Happy

Re: Is it wrong?

No

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Sci-fi and horror scribe Richard Matheson: He is Legend

sandman

Good story

I am Legend is a "nice" little story, but they should have kept the ending in the Will Smith film. I think they missed the essential premise, if the rest of the population are vampires then the human is the monstrous outsider. You could argue then that in the film the monsters win...

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Facebook foolishness foils (un)civil servant's squirm up greasy pole

sandman

It's 2013 ffs

This social media stuff has been around for a few years now and most organisations have rules governing its use. I would have thought any moderately bright person would know those rules and more importantly the unwritten one. Don't put anything anywhere on the net (not just FB and Twitter) that you wouldn't like your boss or a future employer to read. Oh, and for other numpties you could add the police, security services, spouse, partner and children, etc.

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El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag

sandman

NAAFI Tea

Strong it is. Was available from Spar and various other High Street outlets, but haven't seen it for a while. Worth tracking down. If not, Yorkshire (Hard Water) or Twinings Assam. Use Steredent tablets to remove the tannins from the mug and spoon :-)

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Apple said to be 'exploring' 5.7-inch iPhone

sandman

Ooh, fibbers!

"although we enjoy a good rumor as much as the next fellow" - now that is totally untrue - the Reg enjoys a good rumour FAR more than the next fellow!

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Ex-Palm CEO Rubinstein wishes HP sale never happened

sandman

Re: I've seen the future and it will be

Or, appropriately, "I've seen the future, brother: it is murder." (The Future - Leonard Cohen)

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Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

sandman
Unhappy

This one isn't going away

We (and I mean this collectively) are one of the most surveilled states in the world already. Surely it would be better to increase the numbers of MI5 officers who would then be able to maintain surveillance on "persons of interest", rather than decide happily to monitor the entire electronic spectrum (exaggerating for effect) on the off-chance of finding something? However, we seem to have a group of people in politics (supported by some sections of the media) who really want to abrogate to the state the sort of rights that many totalitarian (carefully avoiding Goodwin's Law) regimes would be envious of.

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A backdoor into Skype for the Feds? You're joking...

sandman

Speechless (it's safer)

Somewhere the ghosts of Beria and Eichmann are laughing and laughing and laughing...

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BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily

sandman

The Shard

Anyone else think that the Shard should really have the Eye of Sauron held in its spiky bits?

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Steve JOBS finally DEFEATS the PC - from BEYOND THE GRAVE

sandman

No surprise

It's not really much of a shock, how many people need a fully functioning PC as opposed to a portable media consumption and communication device? Add a bunch of useful apps and browser-based interaction and I reckon that's about most peoples needs satisfied.

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Don't use Google+? Tough, Google Glass will inject it INTO YOUR EYES

sandman

Re: wrong comparison

Might be a rubbish idea for the majority of the population but I can think of many niche uses for this type of tech. I'd suggest that Google make the sdk open source (like Microsoft eventually did with the Kinect) and see what other folk come up with.

On the other hand, the downsides could be a little "challenging" if widely adopted. It's bad enough on the streets with both drivers and pedestrians being constantly distracted by their phones, this could add a whole new level to the usual lack of situational awareness.

Tip to Google - do as you did with the Nexus and outsource the design and build, only this time to Oakley...

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37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

sandman

Crash free zone

I'm running three Windows machines and one MacBook Pro and can't remember when I last had a crash on any of them. The occasional self-recovering video driver glitch and the odd long hang when editing big videos, but otherwise no problem with either OS. However, as has already been pointed out, with top of the range machines with plenty of ram and decent internal parts/drivers, you'd expect a decent amount of stability. Oh, and no BSOD since replacing Vista with W7 a few years back.

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ESA retires Herschel space telescope as too hot to handle

sandman

Re: Nothing beats ...

Don't forget one of the coolest space repair missions so far - Hubble wasn't too good before that - afterwards was a different matter.

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iPhone 5 totters at the top as Samsung thrusts up UK mobe chart

sandman

HTC 8x

Nice phone - one or two apps aren't available that I'd like, but the OS is fine, prefer it to my ageing iPhone (which I keep just for two apps and some music I haven't been able to move over - works fine as a media player). One advantage is that it can be much cheaper than the top end Lumias, if you can live without some of the bells and whistles.

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Student falsely IDed by Reddit as Boston bomber found dead

sandman

Re: Whatever happens..

Bloody hell, I'm agreeing with Eadon for once. One of the purposes of properly planned political terrorism is to force the authorities to adopt ever more draconian security measures to increase the discontent within the population and hence boost support and recruitment.

This strategy can be used on an international level as well. Let's assume you are a religiously inspired terrorist group and commit a blatant atrocity that forces the victim nation (preferably of a different religion) to respond by attacking the country/countries where you are based/get support from. You could then persuade the masses who follow the same religion as you that the attack is on their religion, not upon your group. This scenario is of course just idle speculation.

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Hedge fund invests $2bn in Microsoft, thinks Redmond is undervalued

sandman

Re: is it a good thing...

Yep - we're large scale users of AWS, happily running major applications on it, It's still early days, but a lot of our big corporate customers like things hat way.

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Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

sandman
Unhappy

&@£!

I logged onto the Reg hoping to escape the Thatcher media saturation and what do I find! ARGH! Ah well, off to Greece for the weekend with no TV and no UK papers, so should get a short respite. Sadly I'll be back in time for the funeral :-(

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Operators look on in horror as Facebook takes mobe users Home

sandman

Not for the likes of us

No matter what we (I'm including most of y'all by proxy) think of the idea, we are hardly the target market. Just by reading the Reg and posting here we are almost automatically disassociated from the majority of mobile/Facebook, whatever, users. If by re-skinning an interface you make it simpler for a large number of people to get what they want more easily, you may be on to something - ask Gates or the shade of Jobs. Assuming there are a few million dedicated Facebook on mobile users and the interface works well enough, there is no reason to think that it won't have some degree of success, whether we here like it or not.

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What'll we do tonight, Kieran? Same thing we do every night, Tintri....

sandman

Damn - beat me to it

(for the hard of reading they are characters in Charles Stross's Laundry Novels)

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The healing hands of guru Dabbs

sandman

Re: Cardboard cut out

I used to have a very nice programmer colleague who used me for the same purpose. When she got stuck she'd say "let's go out for a cigarette" (it was some time ago). She'd walk around me like she was walking around a totem pole, smoking furiously, then stop and say "Got it!".

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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

sandman

He'll be missed

A great writer - possibly even more so when he uses the M. Apart from the fiction his non-fiction book, Raw Spirit, a trip round all the Scottish malt whisky distilleries, is great fun. Think I'll just go and read Excession for the nth time.

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Watchdog warns UK.gov not to create 'them and us' digital divide

sandman

Untermenschen

It's a simple policy really. If the potential claimant (for whatever service) can't get online, they don't exist. They effectively become an unperson. As such, they can't add to the statistics or claim any money. From a government point of view it's a win-win situation.

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Fukushima switchboard defeated by rat

sandman

Smelling a rat

Something similar happened at a place I was working. Our control panels were housed in a shipping container. One day we lost all power and a thin stinking smoke started coming out of the top of the door. naturally we didn't panic (much) and carefully opened the door....

Took us ages to find the fault. A rat had crawled up the main cable through the hole in the floor, put one of its tiny feet on a 440 volt bus bar and exploded. One foot print on the copper and singed body parts everywhere else behind the panels.

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Googlification of Britain: Forget 'IT worker', we're all just 'digital' now

sandman

I can't comment...

... for once, I just can't, well, not without releasing a string of profanities that would shock a Navy Clearance Diver on a bender. There's just something about this bunch of clueless twits trying to sound technologically "down with the geeks" that just makes my skin crawl. (Although admittedly it's a good laugh - sort of like watching a drunken uncle trying to chat up bridesmaids at a family wedding).

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Deja vote: Iran blocks VPN use ahead of elections

sandman

Re: shock

It'll have to be a new dinner jacket - the present one can't stand for a third term.

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Bacon sarnies can kill: Official

sandman

Re: Death

How dare you insult weird worm things with your odious comparison!

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DWP denies major IT problems with One Dole To Rule Them All system

sandman

"We need to tackle the digital divide, and this is a very good way of doing it."

Sure is, we'll make it impossible to claim benefits unless you have a computer and broadband of your own. (Don't try and use one in your local library, poor people don't need books so we've closed them all). What do you mean you can't afford a computer thingy? In that case you don't exist, therefor there is no digital divide, problem solved.

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UK injects £88m into Euro bid to build Hubble-thrashing 'scope

sandman

Re: 16 times sharper...

Nah, they just keep hitting "Sharpen more" in Photoshop...

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MI5 test for Mandarin-speaking snoops 'just too easy'

sandman

Cunning plan

My agents speak Cantonese instead of Mandarin....

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Tito's Mars mission to use HUMAN WASTE as radiation shield

sandman

Nicely summed up here.

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/donovan/the_intergalactic_laxative.html

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Vertu-alised Android revealed at an all-too-real €7,900

sandman

Cheap!

I used to work in Mayfair and there was a shop next to our offices that sold stuff that you could never imagine needing to people with more money than sense or taste. My favourite items were mobile phone covers (this is in 2000, so we're talking Nokia, Motorola, etc). How about one covered in black diamonds for £36,000? The best thing was that each was made for a specific model of phone, so when you wanted to change your phone, you just chucked the case and presumably purchased a new one.

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Don't Menshn the snore: Chick-lit queen's jabber site killed in its sleep

sandman

"the core idea" of "real debate in depth". Yep, in 180 characters a time, that'll be really in depth then.

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Why mergers LOSE money, but are GOOD for the economy

sandman

Re: What really happens

Actually, it's good for GDP, which measures activity and the flow of money. So let's take the example of a smoker who dies prematurely (nothing against smokers, I used to be one - mmm full strength Marlboro). When I smoke I'm contributing to GDP. If I'm in the US and get lung cancer (assuming I can afford care) my treatment contributes to GDP because I have to pay and it employs people. When I die my funeral also contributes to GDP. The outcome isn't ideal for me, but that's not what economics measures...

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sandman

Destructive takeovers

The other form of takeover is the destructive one. If I (Megacorp plc registered Lichtenstein) feel threatened by a new upstart I can take them over, skim off any valuable IP, "redeploy" their human assets and sell off anything else worth selling. I win and the shareholders may well win because the competition has been neutered. Unrestricted capitalism naturally favours monopolies.

An advanced variation can be found if you look at what happened in Russia after the end of Communism. With a total lack of effective regulation you had a period of anarcho-Capitalism. Here the takeovers were carried out with extreme prejudice, eventually leading to huge monopoly companies which in turn became arms of the state.

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British armed forces get first new pistol since World War II

sandman

Re: Suck my Glock..

Yep, you can only use solid ammo if you are a "combatant" according to the Geneva Convention. As a civilian you can use whatever the hell you like, subject to the law within your own country.

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iPhones, tablets... Pah: By 2020, we'll froth over hot new SOFTWEAR

sandman

Already here

If you think about it, we already have "wearable computers". OK, they're in the form of smartphones and could be thought of as "pocketable", but for the sake of argument... The problem comes in the interface area. Do we want screens right in front of our eye(s) in the form of augmented reality glasses? How are we going to control them? Voice control has been the next big thing for as long as Virtual Reality. Mind control isn't yet sophisticated enough and may not be practical for fine control, e.g. text entry (the same applies to eye movement, gestures, etc).

I'd suggest that we're going to be stuck with two tier computing for a while yet, one for (mostly) consumption, which could be wearable and one with more "traditional" input methods for creation.

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Report: Tablets to outsell ALL PCs by 2016

sandman

Creating stuff

That's fine - everyone can buy their shiny new tablets while we sit in comfort producing the content for them on our nice ergonomic keyboards, facing our multiple screens, coding, drawing, editing movies, making games and writing away merrily and making all the money :-)

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Making MACH 1: Can we build a cranial computer today?

sandman

Re: " ...converting kinetic energy ..."

Isle of the Dead - Roger Zelazny :-)

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Hm, nice idea that. But somebody's already doing it less well

sandman

Post growth?

For some strange reason, the seasonal intake of excess booze has led our household to discuss growth and consumerism (we know how to party). We came to two conclusions:

1) There hasn't been anything new on the market for a while that has made us go "ooh, must have the precious". Sure, plenty of incrementally improved stuff, but nothing worth coveting.

2) We've got enough stuff and don't see why we should go into debt to fuel a consumer led boom that may put some growth back into the economy. Sorry, I know we're being selfish, but whatever.

If more people start thinking the same way, we start to break our present model of consumer led capitalism which is dependent on constant growth - at least in the West.

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Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

sandman

Far from just the internet, I've come across factual errors in paper-based books, sheer weirdness on some e-books owing to bad transcription (not entirely sure the transcriber's first language was English) and really bad errors in TV documentaries. I remember working as an advisor on a history one but was told by the directors assistant that he wasn't going to use a particular, absolutely critical source, because "that wasn't the story he wanted to tell". The end result was therefore complete bollocks and misrepresented the facts, but is now the "popularly" accepted version (if you get your history from TV that is ;-)

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Patrick Moore: Lived with cats, accompanied Einstein on the piano

sandman

A Sad Loss

Orbit in peace

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Tech titans lose our loyalty: Are fanbois a dying breed?

sandman

On the other hand...

Fanbois will never die out entirely. The whole thing would seem to me to be an extension of the human desire to belong to something. You might view it as a logical extension of youth cults (bikers, punks, hippies, mods, etc). Adults get to play too, religious sects, political parties, exclusive city clubs, etc. Of course, any group that you belong to is of course superior to any other group, you want to be one of the chosen, the holders of the secret knowledge, part of the exclusive bretheren.

In order to prove your loyalty and bolster your belief you may try to attack or convert the unbelievers, the stupid Windows users, the Capitalist lackeys or the heretical Protestants for example. It's just part of human nature and will probably always be so.

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sandman

Tech tool box

Couldn't agree more - it's all about what you need to do, not what you do it on. For instance, this is being written on a Windows lap top, and a very fast and powerful one. It's used for most of my corporate applications. I'll soon transfer to a Mac to produce some video, because Final Cut Pro gives us the easiest method of doing so and it runs on Macs. The video will be uploaded to a bunch of Linux servers via a Flash inteface but in a format that can be viewed on any screen, tablet or smart phone. I have a Blackberry for the corporate push email and an old iPhone for personal use because it runs a couple of apps that aren't available for anything else.

The software our company produces is written on Windows machines but will run on Windows, Linux, Unix, Sun servers, etc.

It's all about picking the right tools.

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Apple cultists slaver as Mothership landing now foretold in 2016

sandman

Parkinson's Law

Apart from his most famous law, Parkinson also postulated that you could tell how well a company was going to do by its HQ building. He reckoned that a growing company was too busy doing money making stuff to worry that much about the building but moving into a palatial new one was the sign of impending stagnation and decline... No axe to grind, just saying....

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Orc Assassin Rogue wins Senate seat

sandman

Re: This could be interesting.

They've already got to that position! I think the US public do it deliberately, reckoning if there's political gridlock then nobody can pass too many new laws and things can just carry on regardless. (Note, this may not work in "fiscal cliff" situations, but that's what happens when a law actually does sneak through.

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ESA preps space junk radar

sandman

Lots of stuff

ESA has a whole bunch of satellites up there, with a goodly number of planned misions on the way, so a radar makes sense. With those capabilities it might also make a good ballistic missile warning radar...

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UK ice boffin: 'Arctic melt equivalent to 20 years of CO2'

sandman

You might be brilliant....

or not, of course. Let's take your idea as an extension of the Gaia hypothesis, in which the planet and its biosphere are a self-correcting mechanism. Since humans are part of the mechanism we could be unconciously polluitng in order to maintain global temperatures in the face of the oncoming cold. Conciously we believe we are doing something wrong, but it's not our fault, Gaia is making us do it ;-)

Now, I want to see an oil company executive use tha argument in public...

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Prince Charles whips out jumbo red ball for Blighty's code-breakers

sandman

Re: What would Turing think?

Indeed he would be encouraged to be open about his sexuality - you're not vulnerable to blackmail that way.

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US federal boffins insist that mermaids DON'T exist

sandman

Re: Looking in the wrong place

Dagon will rise again!

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News Corp proposes divorce, Murdoch will look after TV biz

sandman

Re: Good/Evil

Nah, that's pure evil and really, really evil.

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