* Posts by Dave 126

7702 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Chap behind Godwin's law suspends his own rule for Charlottesville fascists: 'By all means, compare them to Nazis'

Dave 126
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Re: Godwin not applicable here

On Sunday night John Oliver said that Trump's reluctance to condemn them was a 'reverse Godwin's Law' - in that the last person to mention Nazis in the debate loses by default.

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Chinese stealth outfit reckons the smartwatch isn’t quite dead

Dave 126
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Re: So why are they on Kickstarter?

> Reducing its risk by using Kickstarter- that’s not what Kickstarter is for or was intended to do.

Surely it's whatever the people who chose to place their money on it want it to be?

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Dave 126
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Re: So why are they on Kickstarter?

> Because people are gullible, companies have no risk and Kickstarter makes money.

What's the issue? The person who puts money down is less likely to lose out if the company has successfully brought products to market before are only waiting for enough (demonstrated!) market demand before tooling up for production.

Heck, you only have to read these forums to be aware of products that people *say* they want... Psion-style keyboards on phones, for example. It's only waiting for people to put their money where their mouths are.

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Dave 126
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I visited Frog's NY office once. They were found by Hartmut Esslinger and did work for Wega (before Sony bought them) and famously for Apple (the 'Snow White's design language). They are also responsible for that Logitech mouse, the one styled to look like a real mouse.

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Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

Dave 126
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Re: I would guess MS is to blame

The cause isn't the thermals, but the weird stuff MS did with custom drivers and the like (and to be fair, some of the hardware like the Surface Book's removable GPU probably need non-standard drivers and firmware). This means that when OEM drivers and firmware were updated, it took MS longer to get patches out than it took Lenovo et al.

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Place your bets: How long will 1TFLOPS HPE box last in space without proper rad hardening

Dave 126
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Re: What they currently use on the ISS:

The IBM project manager 'Jim' in the above link specifically states that the Thinkpads were off the shelf. The experiments that used them were designed to tolerate a reboot every so often.

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Dave 126
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Re: What they currently use on the ISS:

That's a very interesting link you've posted, thank you. However, I didn't spot any mention of the Thinkpads being modified, bar for a different power supply on on model. They were, especially the earlier ones, subjected to a little of testing.

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Dave 126
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What they currently use on the ISS:

https://www.quora.com/What-are-computers-used-for-on-the-ISS

So there's three main US computers - of which one is considered Primary, one Backup and one Standby at any one time - and three main Russian computers which work simultaneously. These are accessed using laptops, seven US, seven Russian, running Linux. These systems govern the stuff you really don't want to go wrong.

Less critical stuff - inventory control, note taking, on board experiments, email etc - is handled by some Windows laptops, mainly Thinkpads as can be seen from photographs from onboard the ISS.

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OpenAI bot bursts into the ring, humiliates top Dota 2 pro gamer in 'scary' one-on-one bout

Dave 126
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Knowing that DotA stands for Defense of the Ancients doesn't help the uninitiated, it just sets up their next question. In this respect it differs from generic gaming acronyms such as FPS, RPG, or RTS (First Person Shooter, Role Playing Game, or Real Time Strategy)

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Dave 126
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So it's much the same as the UK then, even if differently worded. If it's legal to use a knife in a legitimate sporting activity such as fishing, then it must be legal to carry the knife to the site of the activity - though a policeman will see that you're playing the game by keeping it in a bag and not readily accessible in a pocket.

Basically, a backpacker with a modest Victorinox in their kit will be fine in Spain. A 'Crocodile Dundee' will be hard to justify.

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Dave 126
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> Don't come to Spain then. Penknives -or any other sort of knife carried in public- are now illegal.

Can you supply a link about this? I can't find any mention of it online (admittedly only looking in English). One assumes that carrying a knife in a city centre is a no no (unless it's buried in one's rucksack), but carrying a sensibly-sized knife on a camping or fishing trip would be fine.

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Dave 126
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Re: Now you see

> The greatest crime the "world wide web" has committed, is giving stupid people a voice.

Yeah, but it has also given us metaphorical ear-plugs.

Really though, all this noise is a barrier to discourse scratching past the surface of an issue. And of course, breaking the world down into discrete issues is also a barrier to understanding.

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Official: Windows for Workstations returns in Fall Creators Update

Dave 126
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Aw, memories...

I remember NT 4 as being very reliable and so fast and snappy. It was lovely. A weird student version of some dinosaur CAD software required it.

Alas, I still needed to have 98 installed, for NTL internet, USB support, and a couple of other things. I also bought a copy of John Romero's Daiktana because it supported OpenGL and thus NT 4... hmm, not a wise move in my part.

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Dave 126
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Re: Healthcare watches are yet to take off

I suspect that the certification and reliability demanded of a Medical Device are greater than that of a fitness tracker.

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Dave 126
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Re: Most used function

That's just [redacted]... he shouts about everything. I don't know if it's related to his work for Microsoft, or for the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wrong end up

I would start with a traditional analogue hand watch, and, if I were Apple, use some of those micro perforating lasers (that they use on their keyboards) to create near invisible (when not lit) LEDs on the face. I used to have a Sony phone that used a single RGB LED module to communicate lots of useful things (battery and charge status, plus different colours for different types of notification. Strangely, my Nexus 5 has a similar module but Google don't put it to its best use…)

Tissot, too, have shown for years how different types of information (time, temperature, direction, altitude) can be displayed using a conventional analogue watch face.

I don't dislike Pebble (their industrial design is too modest and honest to actively dislike), but I'd prefer something that didn't look so 'tech'.

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Dave 126
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I don't think Apple consider the watch a success - they consider it a place-holder, a foot in the door. Battery life is just too big a compromise at the moment, but as silicon becomes more efficient (as it always has done so far), and if some breakthrough in battery tech is developed... they'll be there. I remember that GSM mobile phones were around for almost a decade before they were adopted by the masses - the price and form factor had to shrink.

Still, the traditional watch world thinks Apple did a fucking superb job on the strap attachment mechanism.

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Dave 126
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You've given an honest use-case, and by the sounds of it have identified differences twixt the concept and the implementation.

It also sounds like the watch you tried fell between two stools. Either go simple - analogue face with simple notifications and long battery life - or go big and activity specific, like a bulky Garmin or Casio. They have GPS (and probably altimeter, barometer etc) are suitable for cycling and trekking. They are a bit big to be worn everyday though.

The first 'wearable' I saw and had described to me was over twenty years ago, by a mountain biker in his forties. It was a strap around the chest heart rate monitor - made by Polaris?. Being a teenager, the concept of 'training' was odd to me - my mates and I just went for rides all the time. He did explain something about the difference in resting and active heart rates being a quantifiable measure of one's fitness - but I was seventeen and thus fit by default: my smoking would take another decade to really impact upon my stamina.

On the technology front, the old boy did have some lovely forks fitted to his bike, made by AMP - they weren't telescopic, they were parallogram in design, and carbon fibre too. Fitted to a titanium frame. Nice.

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Dave 126
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Re: Never understood the point

> but it sure is nice to be able to start the water with the back of your grimy or raw-meat-handling hands

I saw a great thing in France. A tap is operated by a rod at knee height. Push the rod in any direction and water flows. No need to touch anything with with dirty hands. Simple, the epitome of good design.

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Dave 126
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> looking at a watch for something like the time etc. is stupid when you could just look at the phone

Seriously? Do a time and motion study on it and get back to us.

Looking at a watch is a quick and easy operation that doesn't involve fumbling in your pocket and possibly dislodging plastic fivers, dropping your phone or having it snatched off you by some acid-wielding twat on a moped.

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Dave 126
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> I concur — Apple need to support Android with the Watch

I suspect that the function of sales volumes and margin are not worth it for Apple. A Venn diagram of people interested in the Watch has big overlap with those who already have an iPhone. Chasing the remaining small areas will only cause them more work for less reward, and send out the wrong message.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wot!

The Reg tends to be snarky about Apple on news articles and rumours. When actually reviewing Apple kit they are even-handed.

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Dave 126
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Re: £658 for a smart watch?

£658 is the price of the cheapest iPhone *plus* the price of the cheapest full size Apple Watch.

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Dave 126
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Re: Most used function

If I walked around town singing that I'd look like a nutter. Or, if in Stroud, be mistaken for a native.

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Dave 126
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Re: Most used function

I used to have a small 38mm watch - best feature was the rotating bezel, perfect for setting a time to check the oven or returning to carpark before the ticket runs out.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wrong end up

I would go more modest, if I were Apple: make something simple and discreet that usefully extends the function of the iPhone. KISS. So, page my phone, control media, mute ringtone... A full colour display is not needed to display a notification alert, or even give walking navigation directions.

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Dave 126
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I use my watch to tell the time. But yeah, it does look nice in an understated way.

But if you have your alarm clock, dashboard clock, office click or computer desktop with clock in front of your eyes most hours of the day, I can appreciate why you don't need a watch.

Fumbling in a pocket to dig out a phone to tell the time is step backwards, though.

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At last, a kosher cryptocurrency: BitCoen

Dave 126
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In a snowdrift, a suitcase of BitCoen is found...

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New Amiga to go on sale in late 2017

Dave 126
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Re: Just remember...

Again, the ST lived on for a long time throughout the nineties, largely due to its place in music studios.

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Dave 126
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There's also the Amiga One, with 4GB RAM and a hefty price tag: http://www.a-eon.com/?page=x1000

Why, I'm not sure. But I like it.

PA Semi Dual-core PA6T-1682M, nominal 2.0GHz (1.8GHz standard) PowerISA™ v2.04+ CPU

"Xena" 500MHz XMOS XS1-L2 124

ATI Radeon Evergreen or Northern Isles graphics card (option)

2GB or 4GB RAM (option)

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Tech giants warp eco standards to greenwash electronics, rake in cash

Dave 126
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Re: Repair != Green

There is a distance over which returning beer bottles to the brewery becomes uneconomic - and generally breweries are fewer and farther apart than they used to be. Unbroken empty beer bottles are far bulkier than crushed brown glass. Different breweries use different bottles, so sorting would be required. The issue of reusing vs. recycling of bottles requires careful analysis. The energy cost of creating the glass is greater than that required merely to melt it into new bottles. Even reusing the bottles requires heat to sterilise and clean. If the bottles are not thoroughly cleaned - if some twit has spat their chewing gum into an empty bottle for example - product quality suffers.

Interestingly, Heneiken in the 1930s experimented with square bottles for export to developing countries, bottles which could be used as building bricks.

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Dave 126
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"The EPEAT system evaluates products on a lifecycle basis, addressing their design for recycling, elimination of toxic substances, use of recycled and recyclable materials, product longevity, energy efficiency, corporate performance and packaging, among other attributes."

Of which, repairability is just one attribute. It doesn't matter how durable and fixable a phone is if it has some irritating quirk that frustrates the user*. Sooner or later they might throw it at a wall, or just buy a different model.

*As the product category matures, these quirks tend to become less common. Still, I'm sure you all can name your favourite (?!) examples!

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To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

Dave 126
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Re: The ultimate test

I haven't seen him for ages.

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Dave 126
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Re: Method?

> Search Register forums for "kinda" and multiple uses of commas, separating individual words. All caps, but light use. Possible jokes, and similar timestamps.

Again, that describes many of *my* posts, but the above AC wasn't me.

(Sometimes I *x* when I can't be arsed to x)

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Dave 126
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Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

Many of my posts contain examples of points 1 to 6, as above. I'm not the above AC though!

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Dave 126
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Re: I see a market here

> The problem is that in doing so it will make it unreadable so no one would be interested in what you are going to say anyway.

Yep, that'd be a problem for activists and political figures, less so for criminals.

E.g: "if you shoot T. Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam I will deposit 3 BTC in your wallet".

Shit, if the hitman had a webform (like Amazon) instead of an email address, the would less scope still for idiosyncratic language.

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Dave 126
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Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

> Out of the whole internet....no way.

In reality, other clues - such as your posts' time stamps as regards your likely timezone - could be used to rapidly shrink down the areas of t'web to be examined.

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Dave 126
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Re: translate Youtube comments into passable English on the fly

> The sheer processing grunt needed for such an operation does not exist and probably won't for another 1000 years

It depends upon what the input is. Sometimes we use language to describe something fairly objective, such as how to assemble a desk. Sometimes we might use seek to use language so formally, so free of ambiguity, that computers could follow our instructions. Or people with whom we have a business contract.

And at another point of the spectrum, we have poetry and jokes.

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Dave 126
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> could such technology be packaged as a browser plug-in, enabling the viewer to translate Youtube comments into passable English on the fly?

Doubtful. I think comments like "ur so gay you faggot" already tell us more than enough about the young cretin who wrote it.

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

Dave 126
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Re: No, it wasn't a long long time ago .........

My cheap but cheerful car stereo still has issues like this. FM reception suffers if I leave my 3.5 mm aux car plugged in. Audio quality through the aux car suffers if I use the head unit's USB socket to charge my phone. But hey, the stereo takes SD cards so I forgive it.

(The vehicle came with a Sony head unit that despite having RCA inputs on the rear would not accept aux input. Apparently it needed either a Sony CD changer or else a microcontroller-based DIY project to enable aux-in. I took it apart and tried soldering cables directly to its disc drive daughter board, but was left with a lot of left over screws and no sound. I took some irrational satisfaction in torturing such an obstinate but of kit to death)

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Dave 126
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Re: "by the size of his Micro Channel Adapter"

You can download a direct port of Dune II for Android for nowt... It lends itself well to tablets!

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Cardiff did Nazi that coming: Hackers slap Trump, swastikas, Sharia law on e-sign

Dave 126
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Re: An ill fated name

That billboard has been there since the late nineties.

Still, most of us here know the Reg subtitle writer has a volatile relationship with dried frog pills.

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Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

Dave 126
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Re: How nice.

Didn't Newton also stick a needle between his eyeball and eyelid?

We need a Jackass-style 'dont try this at home' notice.

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Dave 126
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Pinhole projection methods

There are also ways of projecting an image of the sun onto a sheet of white card.

Googling will give you instructions on the set-up.

As a bonus, you don't have to bend your neck up!

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New iPhone details leak: Yes, Apple is still chasing Samsung

Dave 126
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Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

You do know you can use generic multi-purpose mice with OSX, right? It does require you to purchase a mouse though, and the really covetable mice are expensive - but, in my opinion, totally worth it.

You can also reduce your carpel tunnel syndrome by varying your input methods - consider a mouse *and* graphics tablet, or touchpad, or trackball, or LeapMotion...

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HP Inc reveals dockable, wearable VR workstation for the office

Dave 126
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Re: In the UK ?

> Our weather is famous for its clemency and predictability...

Especially indoors! :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Well it does solve the cable issue

More than half the surface area of the machine is exposed to air, which is comparable to a standard laptop.

The machine is lifted away from the user's back by the rucksack's padding. Personally I get on well with rucksacks with a suspended mesh against my back, but grooved padding is another tried and true approach to rucksack design. Curiously, stomping up a mountain carrying a dozen kilos can make you a bit warm too, so it's far from a new design consideration.

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Microsoft Surface laptop: Is this your MacBook Air replacement?

Dave 126
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Re: ... but will it

> get a laptop that isn't made* by microsoft. (*I don't know which chinese company actually makes them. Perhaps 'branded' would've been a better word)

Maybe 'designed' or 'commissioned' might be better words still. No doubt the actual factory will have had some input ("if you change the angle of this rib it'll be 2% faster with our machines") as it's daft not to listen to your contractors, but the design - the evaluation of compromises, what to put in, what to leave out - is Microsoft's. 'Branded' suggests merely its original meaning: marking a generic object (originally a cow) with your mark.

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Dave 126
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Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

> How long before USB-D...

The need for USB Type C was clear from the limitations of USB type A* and USB 3 - plug design, speed, ability to extend PCIe bus, power delivery. The specs of Type C should be enough for the next few years (and indeed, the applications I use haven't become radically more resource hungry over the last few years).

After then, who knows what the state of wireless power and data transmission might be?

* Yeah, yeah, I know Sony once USB type A to drive Thunderbolt peripherals - an external GPU for X series laptops. Aw, I kinda miss Weird Sony.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wot?

MS have also shown the OEMs the way with good screen resolutions, useful aspect ratios and really nice trackpads - in short, trying to the OEMs out of their bad habits. The strategy seems to be working, and every user benefits from the increased range and quality of laptops, including the Penguins.

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