* Posts by John Brown (no body)

12069 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Am I the only one...

"what price a low energy usage cleaner if you have to vacuum the same bit of carpet twice?"

Like the way most toasters are "low energy" nowadays. They take twice as long to make the toast so you end up using the same energy (or more, due to wasted heat emissions rising up) to make toast that is hard and dry. Unfortunately, you can't test a toaster until you get it home.

This does seem to be an unfortunate trend. Setting headline targets for energy efficiency which result in more usage rather than less due to the manufactures gaming the system either to save money or because the targets are unrealistic in the first place.

Brew me up, bro: 11-year-old plans to make BEER IN SPACE

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Intriguing

"realized how big a part gravity plays in beer making"

Yes, well, it is rather a specific requirement...

Three BILLION people now potential nodes for the transfer of cat videos

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

It's not just phones that have mobile subscriptions"

Yes, agreed. You know those video advert screens you see while queuing at the Post Office or waiting in the Doctors surgery? They've all got 3G dongles in them to get the new flash advert updates sent out overnight.

"Mobile phone subscriptions" are in some of the most unexpected places which don't equate to people/subscribers. No doubt many readers here will have even more examples.

Police constable 1337 stunned by Lego lookalike

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Re: That many?

"Given that it's a common practice to skip everything with leading 0s, I'd think the minimum force size in many cases is 338."

Fortunately,the practice of issuing a number to Police officers predates the practice of having to fit numbers into spread sheets or database fields of fixed length so artificially forcing a Police number to be four digits by adding leading zero or starting from 1000 is not an issue.

TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

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...they are in perfect condition after being stored inside the Ark of the Covenant all these years.

Wacky racers – The Reg's guide to 2013's Solar Challengers

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"able to deal with snow too."

Yeah, you really don't want to come out from a hard day at work to find it's not charged up due to 3" of snow covering your solar panels.

Robot WildCat slips its leash and bounds around parking lot

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Snowcrash

"Does it dream of steaks and frisbees?"

Looking more wolf-like to me, it probably dreams of electric sheep.

The sheepskin one, thanks------------------->

Microsoft: We're nearly OUT OF STOCK of Surface 2 and Pro 2

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: So...

They are simply the best tablet on the market."

What? Even better than Immodium?

Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

comet of the century.

I doubt the boffins ever claimed that and considering we're not quite 13% of the way through the current century[*], it's a bit early to call anything the "something" of the century. You need to wait 'till the century is over before compiling a "Best of....evah!" list.

[*] We all know the 21st century started in 2001, unlike the meeja.

Study accuses media companies of cooking the books on piracy losses

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


All that proves is that the warnings worked very well, thankyouverymuch :-)

British support for fracking largely unmoved by knowledge of downsides

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Fear not working? Use real facts!

This would mean that they would have to target things that are actually bad (e.g. plastics in oceans) instead of things that sound bad (e.g. clean and safe nuclear power) but need much more work to clean up and resolve and are therefore a harder sell."

Oh gawd yes. Just heard on the local news about a new way of treating mine waste about to be tested. Apparently it's to reduce the tons of lead, cadmium and (some other metal) that runs off into Bassenthwaite from local mines every year in the Lake District National Park.

This is the sort of pollution story I'd expect to have heard of before with protests and clean-up campaigns being launched. But is Greenpeace onto this? Of course not. It's not "sexy" enough for them and unlikely to get national or international headlines which in turn means unlikely to generate donations.

That brings up another point of course. There seems to be a "critical mass" where a charity or campaigning group reaches a certain size such that they lose their ideals and focus in on doing the things most likely to raise funds rather than that which will do the most good.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Green fatigue

fracking can trigger earthquakes and pollute your water; simples.

How are you planning on mining and processing the rare earths required for the magnets in the windmills? Those windmills can't produce enough reliable power to run even that part of the industry needed to make the windmills in the first place.

Exciting MIT droplet discovery could turbocharge power plants, airships and more

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Re: Nothing will make airships viable.

"Hydrogen airships died fiery deaths:"

Interestingly, the first German Zeppelin to be successfully killed in fiery death took a lot of R&D to come up with a workable method and the fighter pilot who did the shooting went through two complete drums of ammo[*] before finally getting the Hydrogen to burn while firing his third drum of ammo.

[*}bullets loaded alternately, one exploding bullet to make a decent size hole in the gas bags to allow air to mix, one incendiary to make it burn. Reason being that hydrogen won't burn without oxygen so an incendiary alone will just pass though the gas bag.

Mars boffins: You fools! That's no CRATER – it's a SUPER VOLCANO

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That's not a volcano...

...it just the old, used up remnant of the inertial thruster systems the Martians used to try moving closer to the Sun when the catastrophic anthropomorphic global cooling got out of control.

Tesco's new fondleslab winks at Apple's stealthy NFC assassin iBeacon

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Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

"Works pretty well at an Apple Store - try it sometime ;)"

I'm sure it does, but how often do you get 100's of customers per hour walking out of the Apple Store with trollies laden with 50-100 separate items? (riots and looting excepted!)

Horses for courses, and I don't see this particular horse running well at Tescos.

Beat this, cloud giants! Musk rocket flings 1TB hard drive into SPAAACE

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: cables and..

"to see economically this stacks up with laying a 1Gb cable between 2 places"

Sorry, can't help with the figures, but the comparison is with infinite configurations of 1GB cables from *any* point A to *any* point B, not just one cable from A to B. (although to be truly comparable,you can only use one cable at any one time)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I wonder..

I wonder how the cops would sieze an orbiting data centre"

For that matter, who has jurisdiction in space?

Star cops? Piiiigs in SPAAAAACE!?

Doctor Who to land on the BIG SCREEN and in 3D in November

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: 3D ? Pah. Should have been 4D

All TV is 3D. But some is in 4D. Unless you enjoy watching a still picture.

3D - Height, width, duration.

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: But slowly – over time

"new bugs being discovered"

I think you mean newly discovered, old, previously unknown bugs, which was the point I suspect you and the other downvoters spectacularly missed.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: XP? Pah!

"I have a hammer and chisel"

A Hammer? Lucky you. I wish I had a hammer. We know a song about that....

If I had a hammer,

I'd hammer in the morning

I'd hammer in the evening,

All over this land

I'd hammer out danger,

I'd hammer out a warning,

I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
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Re: But slowly – over time

"FF. LO. etc updates and these apps now become vulnerable."

No they don't. Either they (and XP itself) are already vulnerable or they aren't. They don't gradually become vulnerable due to age and/or lack of support/updates.

Curiosity keeps on trucking despite government shutdown

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The right time

"A suitably-sized asteroid heading for Capitol Hill would be just the ticket."

Didn't Tom Clancy (RIP) write about an airliner crashing into that cesspit (pre-9/11 too)?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: One wonders what he'd make of the unholy mess the US is in now.

i ran out of tears for my country just after the turn of the century and now i only wonder how my children and grandchildren will fare after the US destroys itself"

Looking from the outside,it appears the bible thumpers are the ones increasing their levels of power and influence in US Govt. Just keep checking the electoral roles for "Nehemiah Scudder."

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: All theatre!

"If you really think running websites of the size and complexity of the US government's (including NASA) is in any way "free," what are you doing reading a tech website?"

How much does it cost to just leave it on and not do anything else to it?

"hardware maintenance, security, software upgrades, threat analysis, attack mitigation

How much of that must be done on a daily basis?

As for the hosting and band width costs, are those bills due today, due at the end of the month or paid for in advance, year on year?

If you really think running websites of the size and complexity of the US government's (including NASA) is in any way "free," what are you doing reading a tech website?"

If you really think all those costs and bills due happen on a day by day basis and the people who may be owed money at the end of it think they will never ever be paid,ie a Govt debt default? then "what are you doing reading a tech website?"

Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: No colour yet...

"if you’re so clever you tell us what colour it should be!"

Y'know, that's always bugged me,despite being funny. If Ford is so clever then why doesn't he know that the LEVER is the simplest machine in the universe?

Watch BLUBBERING BILLION-DOLLAR BALLMER: Microsoft goodbye love-gush leaks

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Microsoft Can't Hold Us

...so I moved to FreeBSD and Linux years ago.

(I may have misread the punctuation)

Highways Agency tracks Brits' every move by their mobes: THE TRUTH

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Big Brother

...until someone matches the ANPR and CCTV data and notice a car in motion that is not emitting mobile phone signals. That should make "them" suspicious and attract their attention to YOU!

F-16 fighter converted to drone

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"just hit the control center or take down the AWACS"

When did you last hear of an AWACs being shot down?

How close does the transmitter for a "local" base have to be to make lag a non-issue?

These do not need to be in the combat zone. Just close enough so they don't need a sat link with added round trip journey time for the signals.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Lag, in essence."

Is it though? We always seem to assume that they will be controlled from the other side of the world via a sat link. AFAIK all recent air war scenarios have involved AWACS type aircraft to monitor and relay telemetry or be a flying C&CC. I can't see any reason why the pilots and a shipping container full of "portable" RPV controller kit can't be placed well within range so effectively eliminate lag. Or even put the controllers in the AWACs

Microsoft: Surface is DEAD. Long live the Surface 2!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Can't see the point if

"iPhone/iPad can't execute OSX binaries either. Android could run Linux binaries (the kernel does exactly that) but doesn't allow users to do it by default."

But an iPhone/iPad is not a Mac. Users know this.

Most Android users probably have no idea what Linux is or that Android is related.

Windows users expect Windows to run Windows programmes or apps. They neither know nor care that there might be more than one type of mutually incompatible Windows OS

Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I just wonder...

While reading, in my head I heard that as a rap rather than poetry.

Make of that what you will.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Who cares what it's called?

"Mind you, a supermarket that charges for parking should expect to end up with tumbleweed blowing in its aisles."

...except where it's been abused in city centres or other busy areas by tossers who use it for free all day parking. IME, the shops who charge for parking in their car park invariably refund in full at the tills when you buy something. Usually the printed ticket has a tear-off voucher.

'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

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Re: Quietly access components

"I have a vPro desktop at home. if it has been disconnected from the mains, when you later plug it back into the mains, the unit switches on for a fraction of a second, while the management processor wakes up"

Even the old DQ35JO/MP desktop boards did that. It was checking the BIOS config setting to see what it should do after a power failure leading to fans and HDDs spinning up. More modern boards will do that without powering up the entire system

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Quietly access components

""quietly turn on and access" a spinny hard drive without anyone noticing"

It spins up to 33 1/3rd rpm and reads the data very sloooooowly.

Our sensational rocket ship Vulture 2 REVEALED: LIVE at 3pm

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Flat pack rocket powered 3D printed aircraft

...but the assembly instructions were poorly rendered hand drawn cartoons showing parts not included in the kit and you had one odd shaped part left over.

We're doomed I tell ya, we're all DOOOOOOmmmed!

Axe falls: Virgin Media plans to kill 600 management jobs

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Hoping

"If they can find someone cheaper."

Africa seem to be the place of choice for new and cheap(er) call centres. Probably built and funded by the Chinese and filled with Huwei tech.

NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: wake me up when it passes the Oort Cloud

"properly compatible data protection laws"

Good point. Voyager contains "personal" information, ie the address of the human race. And they just sent it off into space without any kind of encryption or protection. Bastards. Fine them!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Amazing

First (and only) British launched satellite which is even older, might still be alive, but didn't go quite so far away. It may have travelled further but my calculator is broken and ICBA to work it out :-)

Hacker cracks Vodafone Germany, steals data of 2 million customers

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"it is either possible or impossible there should be no grey areas."

That's what risk assessments are all about. Balancing cost against risk. Make as hard as possible up to a financial limit based on the value of the data. "Impossible" in data security in not achievable but the closer you get, the more costly it is and that's pretty much an exponential curve.

Corel re-animates zombie brand for patent case

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "Paying ransom money [..] encourages other firms to try it on

"those Redmond boys have systematically attacked Google by proxy"

On looking at the targets of the sueballs and the broadness/obviousness of the patents involved, my first thought was that this might be an MS inspired/funded action.

(Note to self: Order more tinfoil)

David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


Maybe you should pray for his soul? Or don't you god-botherers believe in what you preach when it comes to heretics?

'Beat the lie detectors' trainer sentenced to 8 months in jail

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Re: Win on Appeal?

"The offense was to encourage people to lie"

Now, that's the bit I find most strange about this whole story. It appears to be legal to teach people to "defeat" a polygraph. He advertised his services. People came to him. They'd already decided to lie, almost certainly before they decided to seek out his services.

The only explanation I can think of is that he worded his advert poorly and crossed the line there.

If he did that in the UK, he'd probably get a slap on the wrist from the ASA and told not "to use that advert in that form again"

Kamikaze Moon mission on track as NASA grips its tumbling LADEE

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NASA estimates the new system will cut the time it would take to download an HD movie from orbit from 639 hours using radio to eight minutes; an odd example to choose, unless the agency is putting together a pitch from Kim Dotcom."

Maybe they're jumping on the "no NSA spying" cloud data bandwagon and are planning on soft landing a server farm up there.

Penguins, prepare to get SPACED OUT: Ubuntu 13.10's Mir has docked

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Re: Dinosaurs

"Maybe but we also once had separate phones, cameras, video recorders, mp3 players, radios, handheld games consoles, GPS's etc. Now all of those have converged into a single smartphone."

Yep, and it's a bugger to use it for two or more of those functions at the same time.

US military: 'Help us build the ROBO-WARFIGHTER OF THE FUTURE'

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Wet Ware optional?

"I suppose, to satisfy international treaties, if the robot is taken out by the enemy, a supervisor could take out his pistol and gently shoot the operator in the head"

There was a Star Trek TOS episode where war on a planet was carried out by war gaming computers. If the computer decided your city or area was toast, all those deemed "killed" went off to the local "suicide" chamber. I did notice at the time that the script writers chose not to look at "injuries". No one went off to the local hospital to be burned, blinded or to have limbs amputated.

UK investor throws £14.8m at firm that makes UNFORGEABLE 2-cent labels

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Re: Cheap tag and cheap reader ......

"means easy to obtain and easy to monitor in detail in a small electronics lab."

Yes, "forging" the programming/responses of the label will be easy. Creating and printing the tag...not so much.

Remember folks, we are talking about inkjet printed circuitry here. A new technology. Hologram labels might be relatively easy to forge these days, but think about how long ago they were first used as an anti fraud measure and how long it was before it became cheap enough to be forged economically. By the time they are economically forgable, the tech will have moved on enough to allow for secure crypto keys which can be changed, including the algorithm, on any or all print runs. It's not like they are stuck with a physical circuit and "standard" secure keys that have to survive years of cracking attacks.

Canadian family gives up modern tech to live like it's 1986

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"1986... no mobile phones, no internet, and no computers."

The first analog cellular system widely deployed in North America was the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS).[23] It was commercially introduced in the Americas in 1978, Israel in 1986, and Australia in 1987.

Other systems, dating as far back as 1946, though far more severely restricted in access and availability.

US intelligence: Snowden's latest leaks 'road map' for adversaries

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Any doubts?

"Didn't that Putin guy say Snowden could stay in Russia as long as he stopped releasing information that was damaging to U.S. security? So much for the promise of another lying Russian leader."

Snowden almost certainly isn't releasing any new information. This is all information already passed to his press contacts who are releasing it in dribs and drabs.

The cynic in me says they are doing it this way to maintain sales over a long period of time to make the most, financially, of the situation.

This is accidentally having the effect of maintaining public interest and awareness over a long period and making sure that we get to take it all in instead of an information overload which would probably result in a 5 minute scandal followed by "meh!"

Virgin Galactic spaceship goes supersonic in second test flight

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Re: For all the whining about global warming....

"What is amazing is; at €190.000 a pop he has sold 625 tickets so he is keeping the dream of space flight alive."

Agreed. Also, in the interview with the pilot on the BBC website, he states that the price is comparable to the price of a first class air ticket in the early days of flight. And look how short a time that took to become relatively affordable to the masses.

Hypersonic 'scramjet' aims for Mach 8 test flight

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Johns Hopkins ?

Isn't that a hospital?

Ah. Hang on. Now we've got Aussies in the act. It's not missile research. It's all about getting the Flying Doctor to the well in the outback that little Bluey fell into and which Sippy has just hopped for three days to the nearest mobile phone mast where he could twitter the message from?

"What's that you say Skippy?...."

-----> Yeah, the one with the front pouch.

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