* Posts by Dave 126

8846 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

LG folds at prospect of launching bendy phone while Samsung flaunts its upcoming kit on telly

Dave 126 Silver badge

> all sort of stupid gimmicks at phones. See everything from quad cameras, to the notch, to face recognition, to "IA" in the cameras....

- notch is just placing status bar info next to the camera so the actual usable screen for websites is bigger.

- multiple cameras are for zoom or wide angle. It's just easier and more reliable to have multiple sensor + lens units than it is to have a mechanism to move multiple lenses across a single sensor, or to have a variable zoom lens in a phone.

- using software (and the hardware to accelerate said software) to eek every bit of image quality out of a relatively small sensor is no gimmick. Seek out reviews of the Google Pixel camera on any website suck as DXOMark or DPReview to see real life test shots and lab condition testing.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Earth: Final Conflict

Can't see the logic in integrating the cover into the phone. Covers need to absorb shock, so can't be made hard, so therefore will inevitably scratch and scuff over time. What exactly is the downside to a replaceable phone cover?

Also, different people want different things from covers. Some prefer the wallet design to protect the screen, some people find wallet cases too fiddly. Some people find little kick stands useful, some don't. Some people like glittery purple cases, most don't.

'Occult' text from Buffy The Vampire Slayer ep actually just story about new bus lane in Dublin

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Blade Runner

> Coincidentally , the page has just revealed to me that Deckards apartment is modelled on a real house in LA

In Nolan's Westworld - which has some overlap with the themes of Bladerunner - Bernard's house is shown under construction... featuring the same tiles as Deckard's house. A cute nod, I thought.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Radio 4's Film Programme had an interesting article with a woman whose job it is to create graphical work for films, be it a pirate's treasure map, a CIA identity card, a cake box or whatever.

I can't find a link to that programme, but there's an article about her work on The Grand Budapest Hotel here:


Dave 126 Silver badge

Blade Runner

In Blade Runner the display in Deckard's spinner throws up some text. After https://typesetinthefuture.com/2016/06/19/bladerunner/ appealled to the wider internet, two gentlemen found the real life 1980 advertisment this 5ext was lifted from: Matrix Color Graphic Camera System.

Around the edges of the photographs Decker are words like Helcln Vetica... Which were bits of Helvetica from the edge of a Letraset transfer sheet.

The above link is well recommended. Look at the site's entry for Scott's Alien for a whole system of icons with rounded corners.

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Innovative sundials?

Most good analogue watches use Luminova these days - it absorbs solar radiation and uses a phosphor to make the hands visible for several hours. Tritium used to be the norm*, and this had the advantage of working even after a month in a cave. However, it was banned* because of fears of exposing watch repairers to a radioactive dust.

* Any watch with ' T Swiss Made T' is one that used tritium, but the half life is such that the luminosity is reduced after about ten years. Plus, the tritium's energy eventually degraded the phosphor into dust - not good for the delicate gear cogs.

** A loophole used by some watches is that 'tactical equipment' can use tritium, but it needs to be contained within little glass vials

Dave 126 Silver badge

You need a yard, garden or a rooftop etc in order to make best use of a sundial.

Well, I guess you could have a 'sun' dial on your coffee table if you rigged up some Arduinos, LEDs and stepper motors...

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: it's wood - but if you drop it into a bucket of water it sinks to the bottom

Depends upon how large your wood is, and how large the duck is. If you're asking if it is more dense than a duck, well that depends upon how much lead shot is in the duck.

Dave 126 Silver badge

That would be lignum vitae wood, famously used on the shaft bearings of the USS Nautilus - the world's first nuclear submarine - as well as many other vessels up to the 1960s.


Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: If you're interested in retro audio gear...


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Not this the?...

By the time the DCC arrived, consumers were used to the convenience of being able to instantly skip tracks, a la compact disc. The minidisc couldn't record or playback (Lossy ATRAC compression) in as good quality as the DCC, but worked in a way consumers were used to.

I would have been happy if my minidisc recorder could be used for data storage - at a quid a disc it was cheaper and more reliable than Iomega ZIP discs - but Sony was still weird about copy protection at this time. Sheeeeit, Sony's first released iPod-like device didn't even play MP3 files and had consumers use the wretched SonicStage pc software.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Not this the?...

Check out a YouTube channel called Techmoan for all sorts of obscure audio formats, presented by a laid back northern bloke whose voice reminds me of a late night Radio DJ from the '90s. Trust me on this one.

Dave 126 Silver badge

The vast majority of minidisc players were also recorders, something that never became the norm on MP3 players - though iRiver's H series had mic and line in inputs, and iPods were well supported by 3rd party microphones through the 13 pin socket. It's also possible to solder an audio input onto a SanDisk Clip in place of its integrated microphone (designed for voice memos).

Until recently, Sony phones boasted an extra ring on on their TRRS 3.5 mm socket so they could support stereo mic input at the same time as stereo output - handy for phone-based active noise cancellation as well as audio capture on a budget.

Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No jack, Jack.

Jesus fucking wept. Peoope here are still leaving posts about the supposed absence of a 3.5 mm port *after* I've pointed out that there is one, and that they can see it for themselves by looking at the images in the sodding article?

And no correction from the article's author? Really?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No headphone jack..

The S10 has a headphone socket. The reviewer is thinking of some new midrange A series Samsung phone that is their first Android to not feature a headphone socket.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Station idents become invisible to the TV viewer

On a 2:1 ( aka 18:9) OLED screen that's playing common 16:9 video the hole (or notch) won't be visible.

That said, Samsung's useful web video player lets you zoom and crop 16:9 video, stretch it, or just watch it nativily with invisible ( OLED is nice) black bars at either side. I just wish BBC iPlayer for any OS would allow adjustment of aspect ratio rather than assuming everyone has a 16:9 screen. My laptop is 16:10 and my phone 2:1, so there have been times I've been forced to watch iPlayer video with black bars on *all* sides (4:3 footage on 16:10 screen and 2.39:1 footage on a 2:1 screen).

Dave 126 Silver badge

But there *is* a headphone jack!

It's even in shown in an image in the article*, as well as being confirmed by other sources. Look again - don't take the Reg's word for anything, especially when they can word stuff just to wind you up.

* The image that shows the bottom of the phone, the headphone jack is where it's been for the last few years of Galaxy, next to the USB port.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Dave 126 Silver badge

> I use a map

How does a map give you an accurate time signal for your power grid or data network? Or, for that matter, tell you where on the ocean you are on a cloudy night?

The applications for GPS satellites go beyond civilian navigation.

US lawmakers furious (again) as mobile networks caught (again) selling your emergency location data to bounty hunters (again)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The free market will fix this

Guys, Redpawn was being ironic. He's been down other by people who agree with him.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Eric Idle put it well with his song...

'Fuck You Very Much the FCC'

Of course the FCC's current shenanigans are far graver than than the puritan censorship Mr Idle was railing against a few years back. He's updated his Galaxy Song over the years (to reflect the latest astronomical understanding), so perhaps he should update his FCC song for the Pai era?


Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

Dave 126 Silver badge

He addressed your point 1 in his original post. I can't help but feel this Reg comments thread would look a little different if the Reg had just reproduced his original post in full (it's not long) rather than select excerpts.

Again, I'm not saying he's right and your wrong, but that your post would be more interesting if it engaged with his stated reasoning surrounding the incentive of companies to fix bugs.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: An open letter

There's a bit more nuance in the Professor's original post than in your rebuttal of it. Specifically, he directly addressed the argument that companies won't fix bugs unless threatened by full public disclosure, but your post reads as if he hasn't considered it at all.

I'm not saying he's right and you're wrong, but there's no point in attacking an overly simplified version of his views.

The game is chess, not draughts. The least bad approach - since perfect security doesn't appear to be an option at this point - will be found through wargaming, simulation and analysis.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: You don't say

The professor addresses your point in his original post:

"One argument for full disclosure is that companies will not fix vulnerabilities unless they are forced to. However, at the risk of excusing less-than-ideal behavior, looking at the situation from a company’s point-of-view shows that inattention to a fix may be reasonable. There are a plethora of vulnerabilities and bugs that need to be fixed at any given time, and resources are limited, so where should such resources be allocated? Logically, it would be to address the problems having the highest potential for damage, that is to minimize overall risk. "

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

Dave 126 Silver badge

Organ Grinder / Monkey

Dog / Tail

Bacon Sandwich / Dog

Laser pointer / Kitten

Dave 126 Silver badge

Indeed, the last issue I had with audio wasn't Bluetooth's fault. Microsoft's Silverlight, on which a streaming TV service ( Netflix iirc) runs on MacOS, doesn't allow Bluetooth audio streaming due to DRM issues. Wouldn't be so bad, but there no dialogue box telling you this, you're expected to research it yourself. And really, if I wanted to copy the soundtrack of a Netflix series, I wouldn't be using Bluetooth.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> Please don't force me to watch Star Trek Discovery again

It's gone a bit Special Circumstances, with Michelle Yeoh being part of a Star Fleet dirty tricks unit. Cool! This idea of a utopian society using tricks, brutality and terror seems to have upset Trekkies ( who can just watch the Orville) but as an Iain M Banks fan it doesn't bother me, except for: Hey Amazon, what's going on with your Consider Phlebas adaptation?!

Dave 126 Silver badge

I used to find Bluetooth flakey for audio especially on Windows a dozen years back. These days I rarely use Bluetooth on my computer (mouse uses proprietary Logitech dongle) but I'm pleasantly surprised at how reliable it is on my phone, even when paired to cheap headsets. The only issue I've had in recent years was my phone just refusing to pair to a Ford Transit. I can understand though how you might mistrust Bluetooth today if you've had bad experiences in the past ( it took me a while to get over my shyness after being bitten)

For listening to podcasts (where maybe audio quality isn't as crucial when listening to music) whilst doing active work, the freedom from wires is great. I leave my phone charging whilst moving around the room, I can leave the phone in an area of good cellular signal whilst I clean inside a steel tank, and - most wonderfully - I don't catch the cable on anything that results in the ear buds being rudely popped from my ears.

Much as I might want premium earphones for active noise cancellation, I know that I would only lose or break them so cheap, near expendible buds are my most sensible option.

That said, I'm currently using the wired earbuds that came with with Samsung, with a bit of malleable silicone earplug to create a better seal.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Be curious if it's picked up at the other end ......

Amazon would just assume you're living a 24 hour party and send offers for booze and coffee.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: I'd quite like one for doing cooking related tasks

Just turning the radio in the BBC 6Music and leaving it there usually does the job! But yeah, a multiple timer for the kitchen would be good. Of the discrete timers, the mechanical ones aren't accurate and the digital ones have a fiddly (read: bad) UI. Hmm, Pritotyping a good multi-timer might make a good Raspberry Pi project.

Sony made a range of waterproof Android tablets, suitable for kitchen use. You might find one on eBay. Old battery life and old OS aren't problems if it's plugged in as your kitchen recipe hub.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Local Automation

There are products appearing on the market that allow home automation without sending any data off site, thereby addressing privacy concerns. There's no technical reason for data to leave the home, other than voice trained data sets held by Amazon, Google and Apple - but hey, a system that is trained by, and only responds to, the occupants of the house could be a feature not a limitation.

2018 might prove to be a watershed in the wider public awareness of big companies not respecting data and privacy.

Apple appears to have been too conservative in their HomeKit home automation system. It's considered secure compared to most systems, but it's proprietary which adds cost to the devices as well as delaying their release whilst Apple certify them.

The upcoming Bluetooth spec is due to add triangulation, so that phone will know where, down to a couple of inches, in a room another Bluetooth device is. This would allow an elegant UI: phone controls only the device - lights, for example - it is pointed at, like a magic wand.

Say what?! An AI system can decode brain signals into speech

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Amusingly, you've failed to understand the language in the article.

Understanding natural speech is not their aim. Converting brain signals to speech is.

'Intelligence' merely means problem solving, and therefore AI is the commonly accepted term for problem solving by machines, often using techniques that aren't explicitly coded into them by humans. You're confusing it with the concept of Artificial General Intelligence or artificial consciousness.

You can rail against this reasonable usage all you want, but you're pissing upstream.

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive

The French had a butter shortage last year, due to a refusal of their retailers to sell butter ant a higher price. Source: From Our Own Correspondent, BBC Radio 4. The price had gone up due to greater demand for French dairy from the Chinese, possibly due to an earlier scandel around Chinese produced dairy products, specifically baby formula milk. If you drive through Brittany there's a massive Chinese-built milk processing plant.

Florida man's deadliest catch forces police to evacuate Taco Bell

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Here fishy fishy

Andre Geim won an Ignobel Award for levitating a frog with magnets - no reason it wouldn't work on a fish except it would require removing the fish from water. He would later go on to win a Nobel prize in Physics for faffing around with sellotape and extracting quantities if of graphene suitable for testing.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Candidate failed

Survivors are eligible for a Darwin Award, as long as they render themselves incapable of reproducing.

I guess the logical extension is that anyone who has already procreated is ineligible for an award, unless their stupidity results in an event that also kills their offspring, such as 'repairing' their own gas boiler or fitting new 'brakes' to their family car when they are not competent to do so. See Dunning Kruger for why incompetent people overestimate their own competency, a verified and repeated confirmation of Russell's observation that the 'ignorant are cocksure'

Starship bloopers: In touching tribute to Tesla shares, Musk proto-craft tumbles – as Bezos' Blue Origin rocket lifts off

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: floating back to terra firma using three parachutes

> Pinpoint landings don't matter that much as the support crew is at most minutes away.

Not landing on a boulder, house or tree is desirable. Not having to drive a heavy transport vehicle over fauna and flora is also desirable.

You say that Musk is only interested in image, but his bread and butter comes from commercial launches where he's competing on price.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: floating back to terra firma using three parachutes

The craft can be steered with rockets, parachutes place you at the mercy of the wind. Any mechanism that allows the parachutes to be steered adds complexity.

The parachutes, like the extra fuel required to land a nearly empty launcher, also add weight.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: ...pretend to be astronauts.

The US Astronaut Badge has been awarded to people on sub orbital flights before, be it on an X-15 or Scaled Composites craft.


But for sure, the difference in energy required to reach orbit and the energy required merely to leave the atmosphere is huge.

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports

Dave 126 Silver badge

Some people who fly sky lanterns are idiots. They're a fire risk to crops in dry conditions, and the wire frame isnt a pleasant thing to strew around the countryside ( though admittedly the littering impact of sky lanterns is next to naff all compared to everyday litter such as bottles and cans)

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

Dave 126 Silver badge

Yeah, someone I know was recently done for not wearing a seatbelt, I think a hangover from his commercial driving days when delivery vehicle drivers were exempt from having to wear seatbelts. The police caught him using one of their new long range cameras (the news reports suggest it has a range of a mile, and evidently not for catching speeding drivers).

Still, reminds me of Tina Fey in 30Rock asking a topless Florida woman why she has a black stripe tattooted diagonally from shoulder to hip: " It's so when you're driving topless it looks like you're wearing a seatbelt!"

Dave 126 Silver badge

> especially that if your soul e and bowels.

Oops, that should read: spine and bowels. There is probably an argument that sitting down is bad for your soul too, but I'm no theologian. I'm no medical researcher either, but they tend to produce reports with more data and explanation of method in them than the theologians do.

Dave 126 Silver badge

I thought he's in bloody good shape for 98 years of age. His views are more likely a product of his environment than his DNA, so would be cloners shouldn't be put off.

Still, one assumes that he's had had first class healthcare, medical advice and diet through his adult life (he was born on a kitchen table), so it's not just his genes keeping him well. Also, he hadn't had much of a chance to spend long periods sitting down (what with attending hundreds of official engagements every year)- and sitting down is very bad for your health, especially that if your soul e and bowels.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The papers said he has a license

Well, it is *her* highway. In any case, my grandmother and other people of her age never took driving tests.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Expansion slots. Meh.

The lack of expansion slots did limit the Apple's appeal in more niche areas, such as those where an engineer or physicist might want to connect it to some instruments. The lack of expansion was the deciding factor in a friend of mine not getting them for his department. Yeah, it is niche, but then Apple survived the nineties by being in a few niches.

Broadly though I'd agree with you; placing access to a computer's PCIe bus on the outside of the machine (AKA Thunderbolt) makes it very expandable indeed. The downside that some users might notice over an internal PCIe slot is with GPUs due to Thunderbolts reduced bandwidth. Before FireWire (also offering DMA) took care of storage and peripherals on all Macs, rarely seen as standard on PCs

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Buried treasure

A film was made of the efforts to locate the landfill contains unsold E.T Atari games cartridges...

There was a time a few years back when the cost of good was such that it was economically viable to extract it from older computers (newer computers use smaller components and more precise manufacturing methods, so contain less gold). It's possible that the Lisa's have already been unearthed and recycled.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The last project named after a CEO's kid was the Ford Edsel

The Edsel was eventually killed by Robert S McNamara who, like Jobs on his return to Apple, simplified Ford's product range. McNamara was the first president of Ford who wasn't a Ford family member

The documentary film Fog of War, about McNamara's later life as US secretary of defence. He would later become the president of the World Bank, but the documentary doesn't cover that.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: What about the NeXT?

Esslinger (Frog Design, Wega, Sony) designed the Pixar Image Computer as well as the NeXT Cube, as well of course the Apple IIc.

It took me a while to track down a source to confirm he did the Pixar machine, but Walter Isaacson notes it: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cf_2PBPP-rEC&pg=PT313&lpg=PT313&dq="pixar+image+computer"+esslinger&source=bl&ots=pPKrfJYE4n&sig=ACfU3U0BpSM2nd7nrKrZBP25f6zZtlVQOA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjRjZyy-v_fAhXlD2MBHQPhA30Q6AEwC3oECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q="pixar%20image%20computer"%20esslinger&f=false

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Look and Feel

Jobs became a billionaire by pumping money into a special effects industry offshoot that became a medical imaging computer company that became an animation house that was bought by the mouse house. (ILM, Pixar, Disney).

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: What about the NeXT?

And two years before the NeXT Cube was the Pixar Image Computer, a snip at $130,000. It was released only a few months after Steve Jobs bought the company, so obviously it was already mostly developed without his input. And to be fair, it wasn't designed to be overpriced, it was designed by folk at Industrial Light and Magic to do computer visual effects for cinema. It was then marketed to work with the data of multi million dollar medical scanners.


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Limped after Apple II

> NT4 was excellent and 2 years old. Win98 was good for cheaper HW, games & consumer USB. Professional scanners & external HDD etc tended to use SCSI then which unlike USB was supported on NT 4.0

NT 4 was excellent; stable and fast on £1,000 worth of 1998 PC. The same money spent on an iMac would get a machine too fond of displaying a beach ball if you had too many Photoshop layers. The repro graphics department were on Macs though, and they told me only Macs could preserve colour accuracy throughout the work flow. I dunno. However it may have been a moot point in 1998 because by then Macs were being adopted by the digital video crowd - FireWire was fitted as standard. FireWire was created for storage and high resolution scanners, but later was ideal for audio and video. And for, as it happens, a certain pocket sized MP3 player (MK. I)

By the mid 2000s Windows had better control of colour spaces, but it wasn't great at high Res monitors. Then Windows got better at high Res displays but Adobe hadn't updated its UI elements with the result that menus would be too small to read. By the time Adobe had sorted that out, no Windows laptops were available with anything other than 16:9 letterbox displays. Grr.

Now it's much of a muchness between a Mac and Windows PC for graphic work, unless the individual designer (who perhaps grew up using Wacom) has incorporated an iPad Pro into their workflow. Product designers are still likely to use Windows because not all common parametric CAD software is available on MacOS.

Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: My "new" Apple batttery needed replacing

At least you have the option of using the Apple centre. I'm planning on having Samsung replace my phone's screen due to some minor OLED burn-in. It'll take a couple of hours at a Samsung service centre, the one in the city closest to me is near some good pubs. I don't know what steps someone with a OnePlus would have to take to have the same issue fixed.

In the city I'm thinking of, the Apple store is also near some good pubs, once you've escaped that God forsaken pedestrianised plaza.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019