* Posts by Dave 126

7494 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Fleet of 4.77MHz LCD laptops with 8088 CPUs still alive after 30 years

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Wait, but laptop still have LCDs

>640x200 pixels in monochrome is pretty archaic by today's display standards.

For a general purpose computer, yes. But similar displays are still common in kit made today - music players, for example.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: the unchanged fact that most solid-state electronics...

Even parts - or the connections - that are not designed to move may still suffer some mechanical strain from thermal expansion cycles.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Wait, but laptop still have LCDs

From the article: "it also offered a rather archaic LCD display as illustrated above"

I believe Christian read the article text as meaning that LCD technology in general was archaic, whereas the same sentance could be also read as meaning that this specific LCD display was archaic. I read it as the latter.

5
0

Microsoft researchers smash homomorphic encryption speed barrier

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: So let me get this right..

The Windows teams are expected to take input from MS's strategic business team, which itself would be trying to work out how to use Windows to maximise profits or footholds for other products and services, in a rapidly changing, competitive environment. Or something like that.

The research teams, whilst doing stuff that makes my head hurt just trying to substandard, have in some ways more simply defined tasks.

7
0

Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: The real reason?

>Pehaps the Canonical coffers are starting to run dry and they need to make some money and lots of it?

I'm not sure that there is lots of money to be made by offering an OS to ODMs in competition to Android, which is 'free'.

What the ODMs might want is a Google-free flavour of Android, as Amazon have attempted and Samsung keep flirting with. (That is why Samsung phones come with Samsung alternatives to 'Translate', 'Mail', 'Calendar' etc).

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: On what merit will they be trying to convice the users ?

Exactly.

Just because you could get a desktop GUI Linux application running on a phone, doesn't mean that it would be pleasant to use.

So, you could plug your phone into a TV (and mouse, and keyboard) and use desktop GUI applications, but it would be much easier to just use a separate 'computer on a HDMI stick', which is a form factor that is already available in ARM and Intel flavours. I mean, it just seems a kerfuffle to plug your phone into a TV, and then unplug it all again when you need to pop out for half an hour.

5
1

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Netbooks had one good use

I found them handy for plugging temperature probes into, logging and displaying temperature against time (when developing a cooking product).

- All the essential ports, inc. serial

- small size

- WinXP - ran the software that came with the temperature probe.

For reading websites, it was horrible though - like peering through a letter box.

0
0

That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Already corrected

>But donut store coffee cups very rarely have a handle... which I assume makes them spheres or something.

Topologically the coffee cups are like spheres, whereas donuts are similar to tea-cups with handles. Teapots with one handle and no lid are similar to figure-of-eight pretzels.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: British efforts

"LENR-CANR.ORG A library of papers about cold fusion"

If it were legitimate, the website would by subtitled "A library of papers about some experiments that produce some as-of-yet unexplained data"

A clue is that they have jumped to a conclusion. The other clue is the name 'Rossi' on the page.

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Soon...

>Well, have you seen the west's records on Human rights?

If you could move in time, you'd observe more distance travelling a few decades than you would a few thousand miles.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Soon...

>We will be copying Chinese designs... gulp

For much of the last five thousand years, Chinese technological and organisational superiority has been the norm... the Twentieth Century was just a blip.

Well, kind of... Glass technology (what we Occidentals used for drinking wine) opened the doors of chemistry, microscopy, astronomy, perspective in art...

2
0

Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: @ Walter Bishop -- When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider

>If I have a puncture I don't expect to have to buy a new car.

True. And if your clutch went wrong, you would choose to take your car to a 3rd party garage with a good reputation. Some cowboys might cause more problems. Similarly, a good phone shop can replace a phone screen without disturbing the fingerprint sensor.

Unlike a tyre, if an ECU dies, the replacement would need to programmed with variables specific to that car's engine values, physical variations in the manufacture of engine components that the original ECU was programmed with and then made allowances for physical wear over time and use. It wouldn't be a straight swap out, swap in job.

So yeah, Apple have messed up with the implementation*, but the principle of protecting the user's data from bad guys is sound enough. Otherwise, the bad guy could just swap out the fingerprint module to gain access. Law enforcement officers could of course just take your fingerprints.

*Especially for the journalist who originally promoted this story - he was on assignment in Macedonia, very far away from an official Apple store.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Hardly a surprise

>every second one is broken. This is because Apple use sub-par materials for the application.

The 'application' varies by user.

And that is true of most Android phones, too. My Sony has a cracked screen because I bought the wrong case (also, the screen bezel was thin and made from ABS, not aluminium). If you work on a building site, buy a beefier case - or a 'toughened' model from Motorola or Samsung. If you work in a carpeted office, a slimmer case might be fine. If you buy a Galaxy Edge, you'll struggle to find a case with protective bezels that allows you to use the curved edges of the screen.

All engineering is compromise. A plastic screen will not shatter, but it will scratch and dent. A mineral glass screen won't scratch as easily, but it will shatter. You can pay more money and engineering another compromise: a laminate of mineral glass atop a plastic substrate. Or you could take a hit on the pixel-to-surface distance and make the screen thicker. You can supply the phone with a replaceable plastic screen guard, to nudge the user into replacing it periodically. Sony chose to attach a thin layer atop their screen to reduce shattering, in addition to the normal replaceable plastic. And so on...

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Hardly a surprise

>Rubbish. Apple don't manufacture anything of any significance, they just get other companies to make stuff for them from the same Chinese made components that everyone else uses.

That's true of many companies these days. What you haven't acknowledged though is that 'he who pays the piper calls the tune'. By that I mean the customer (Apple, Samsung, whoever), negotiates with the OEMs as to which manufacturing processes are used, the tolerances, yields, materials. Now, just because several companies use the same factory, doesn't mean all parts are made to the same tolerance or QA process - everything is negotiable.

That said, high tolerance parts are cheaper to make (and check) today than they ever have been.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Halfway

>Put it another way: where is there ANY evidence that third party repairs to Apple kit result in security breached?

No, because of this very safeguard:

The fingerprint module is a self-contained enclave that tells the phone that the a thumbprint belongs to the owner. Clearly, a safeguard is needed to stop a bad guy from swapping the fingerprint module in the target phone for a fingerprint module already trained to the bad guy's own thumb. This is done by by iOS comparing the hardware ID of the fingerprint module to the value it is has stored. If it finds an anomaly, it shuts down the Apple

Now, a competent 3rd party repair shop can replace a broken screen without disturbing the fingerprint module. However, a shady repair shop who haven't practised on their own phones before messing around with their customers' phones might mess it up. Hence the Apple support notes that say the error *can* occur from an 3rd party screen repair.

Apple have dropped the ball in communication, policy, and implementation, though.

1
2

Mozilla officially kills Firefox OS for smartphones in favour of 'Connected Devices'

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: This is a distraction!

I only read The Reg because there is no browser in existence that correctly renders the website that I really want to visit.

11
0

Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles

Dave 126
Silver badge

We're going to need a bigger eagle:

Government drones often big, high altitude, jet powered.

0
0

Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Compare and contrast

>an expectation that a series of precocious spelling bee competitions will imbue an appreciation of Shakespeare, Auden and Tennyson in the participants.

I used to read Spot the Dog, and take spelling tests... doing so has not dented my later appreciation of literate. In fact, learning to read was a positive aid to my enjoyment of books. Did your analogy come across as you intended?

[Strange choice of examples from Mr Pollard: they are all playwrights and poets, whose works can be performed aloud and so be appreciated even by people who can't read. ]

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Cruel and viscious.

>[Before you ask, giving me video of any sort is pretty much a waste of time. I prefer the written word.]

Stephen Fry was a columnist, novelist and screenwriter. His acting and television presenting followed from that.

Paperweight', a collection of his columns, makes a good book to dip into whilst on the porcelain throne. 'Making History' is an alternative history jaunt, playing on the old 'kill Hitler with time machine' trope, but with its own message. Worth a read, certainly more fun than a Philip Roth alternate history novel!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Fry_bibliography_and_filmography#Books

1
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: More words

All that AC said.

His books are good, too. And fascinating to read in the context of his own story of self acceptance.

> He loves shiny Apple stuff that's true, but then a lot of people do.

As did his late friend, Douglas Noel Adams (of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy fame). Between them, the pair bought the first two Apple Macs in Europe in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams#Technology_and_innovation

9
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: "... a fair resource ...?

>To me it looks to be another ghastly collection of "interesting facts"

Would you care to suggest alternate sites, so that we may compare and contrast?

I scrolled through quickly, but the format of tests interspersing the videos is in keeping with retaining information. The diagrams about latent heat (just the section I clicked on) would impart knowledge and understanding, not 'facts'.

Maybe you have a different learning style?

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Cruel and viscious.

And yet the comments and votes on the forum for the Reg article that Stephen Fry mentioned were mostly on Fry's side.

12
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

He was a millionaire by his early twenties. I don't think he needs the money.

Just had a look at Pindex... I can't see any adverts, or other revenue stream. It does appear to be a fair resource for learning about science.

3
0

German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: 1(3) Thumb(s) Down!!?

>I've been railing against the present direction of nuclear fusion for the past 30 years

You've railed against other things as well, whereas if you were to concentrate your railing (possibly in a toroidal containment chamber, or perhaps in a spherical chamber if your railing was delivered femto-second pulses) you might exceed a threshold level where your railing becomes self-sustaining and thus requiring no further energy input from you.

10
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Rhodan

Thank you guys for bringing this to my attention.

According to Wikipedia, the later editions that weren't translated to English were more sophisticated and less pulpy than the earlier stories.

,

4
0

'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Who ever designed..

>And what is it about your 5 year old Mac that is so magical?

>(sent from my 2010 Sony Vaio Z11- with a removable battery)

VAIOs and Macs have a lot in common. The whole VAIO brand was created by a Japanese fan of the Esslinger design of the Mac, after he created the Playstaion. After Steve Jobs ended the official Mac-clone program, he wanted to make an exception for Sony VAIO kit, since they had been testing OSX on Intel. FireWire. AV editing. Premium price. Proprietary on occasion. Early adoption of Thunderbolt. Former proponents of the PC as 'digital hub'. Etc

- Digital Dreams: The Work of the Sony Design Center ISBN-13: 978-0789302625

- http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/5/5380832/sony-vaio-apple-os-x-steve-jobs-meeting-report

-http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/sony-vaio-z-series-laptop-boasts-external-graphics-and-thunderbolt-tech/

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Who ever designed..

Re: http://cds.linear.com/docs/en/application-note/an19fc.pdf

What a beatiful document! Other excerpts:

1. Transformer Wired Backwards

Those dots indicate polarity, not smashed flies.

5. Fred’s Inductor (Or Transformer)

Inductors are not like lawn mowers. If you want to

borrow the one out of Fred’s drawer, make sure it’s the

right value for your application

7. Rat’s Nest Wiring

The LT1070 is not a jelly bean op amp that can be wired

up with 2-foot clip leads.

8
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Who ever designed..

Hehe!

It doesn't help that PSUs don't come branded "Seagate" or "WD", which would make reuniting the right PSU to the right gadget easier, but instead all seem to be labelled "Asian Power Supplies"

I think the troublesome 19v PSU came with an Alba LCD TV that someone bought - it was just as useless as it sounds. I either snipped the cable off the PSU, or wrapped it up in red insulation tape, I can't remember!

6
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Not just sensible cables please - sensible hardware too!

And yet I have a selection of more than a dozen sleeve-and-tip connectors in a draw (they came with a universal laptop PSU), of every internal and external diameter, some with pins. Engineers had this selection to choose from, yet they still arrived at using the same connector for 12v and 19v.

And yeah, sleeve-type connectors make tracing the polarity tricky, too.

Once these USB-C teething troubles are ironed out, I look forward to the ensuing sanity of powering bigger kit. Just as 5v 0.5A / 1.5A has become convenient for smaller gadgets.

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Who ever designed..

I've damaged a 3.5" external HDD by mistakenly using a 19v laptop psu, instead of a 12v PSU. My fault, though I had some ill thoughts towards the world that would use the same physical connector for both.

Luckily, snipping a certain diode off the HDD's PCB got it working again, in theory indefinitely (though I copied the data off pronto). And yeah, had I been more responsible with my back up routine, I wouldn't have needed to go that length.

12
0

When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Three glasses of whisky

> In fact it is the break of a moderate walk that is often most productive.

Of a book of error codes. "It says [error] -41 is: "Sit by a lake.""

https://xkcd.com/1024/

6
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Akin to real life, when looking for car keys. If they are on the desk right in front of me, I don't spot them.

16
0

Motorola-powered Mac from 1989 used to write smartphone apps

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Pascal on a Mac

That's a fair approach!

However:

Pascal is a common masculine Francophone given name, cognate of Italian name Pasquale, Spanish name Pascual, Catalan name Pasqual. Pascal is common in French-speaking countries, Germany and the Netherlands. Derived feminine forms include Pascale, Pascalle or Pascalina.

- Pascal (given name) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1
0

Berkeley boffins build cut-price robo-crutches, er, sci-fi exoskeleton

Dave 126
Silver badge

Why? Where would the Wallace-and-Grommit-inspired remote-controlled Techno-Trouser fun be in that?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wrong_Trousers

9
0

GCHQ’s Xmas puzzle proves uncrackable

Dave 126
Silver badge

Wasn't there are certain Starfleet captain who solved an unsolvable computer-based puzzle?

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

uncracked =/= uncrackable

3
0

Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Rooting...isn't what it was.

>They root because it allows them to achieve whatever the goal they want to reach,

I believe Jason's point is that as Android and its hardware matures, there are *some* things that once required rooting that now don't.

It is perfectly plausible that an individual might their phone for a specific purpose. If that 'missing feature' is then added to a newer version of Android, then this user has less motive to root.

That's fine, YMMV.

My phone seemed to work pretty darned well out of the box, as a phone, as a Walkman, as a spare camera - whatever. So I don't faff around with it. But hey, I can understand if not everybody's new phone works as it should for them, either because of dodgy vendor software, or their own individual needs.

So no advice from me... Except for Known Hero: don't buy the official Sony case for your Xperia, it doesn't protect one edge of your screen, and the repair bill isn't cheap :)

3
1

Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: one glaring problem

It was a strange choice to use the word 'prosumer' in that context.

I've always taken it to designate kit, not people. That is, equipment that a skilled professional could use to produce professional quality results but isn't as pricey as their normal tools, and that is usually sold to enthusiasts, would-be professionals, students, or 'all the gear and no idea' idiots.

In the context, the word seems to have been used to describe amateur film makers who are earnestly attempting to make a film based on IP owned by someone else. I.e, fans.

You're right, it's not the right word.

As for coffee, I use a £30 Aeropress for convenience (don't need a wall socket for an espresso-like brew, quick to use, easy to clean), whereas my friend uses a £1000 (bought second-hand) Jura bean-to-cup machine... again, for convenience.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

I've been trying to find any news about Adam Curtis since I noticed he hasn't been active on his BBC blog for about year - just before his film Bitter Lake appeared on iPlayer.

If it wasn't for a small paragraph and a photo of him appearing at a small film festival to collect an award in the Autumn for the above film, he might as well have disappeared off the face of the planet as far as the internet is concerned.

He hasn't used his Twitter account in years.

Anyone here know what he's up to?

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I'm with Morozov

So, to summarise your post: Slactivists exhibit much the same dynamics as normal politics.

Okay, so I don't completely mean that, but a discussion about the difference between the two might be constructive.

3
0

Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Dave 126
Silver badge

>As anyone who deals in matters maritime learns quickly, things left in the sea for a long time don't do well, even when sealed into tubes.

For some values of 'sealed', maybe, but not the one I normally use.

6
0

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: @Cranky_Yank - IBM loved 2001

>Come on. That' be HPA, HPAC or HPC

None of which lend themselves to single-syllable pronunciation.

Clarke and Kubrick were writing a movie. That we all know of HAL is good evidence that they did their jobs well.

"Open the pod bay doors, Aitch-pee-ai-see" would detract from the drama.

4
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Marvin

>Hawking opinion on it is worthless...

Anonymous Coward opinion on it is worthless...

FTFY

4
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: you missed one

Dark.Star

co-written by, edited by and starring Dan O'Bannon

- Star Wars [computer animator]

-Jodowosky's Dune [never made, sadly]

-Alien [writer, effects supervisor]

-Total Recall

Screamers, a science-fiction film about post-apocalyptic robots programmed to kill. Adapted from the Philip K. Dick story "Second Variety".

That's some career!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: An opinion

Well the joy of short (sci-fi) stories is that the author can speculate about different outcomes of the same premise... In the Asimov universe I read, Susan Calvin is long dead before the Robots develop the Zeroth Law. :)

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Adding More than Simple Depth to the Widening Web

Bug powder dust and Mugwump jism. Wideboys running around Interzone tripping.

The fruits of their “scientific” labors are what have created our societies and they have been, in the main, if not ignored, dismissed. They have always been perceived as being “eccentric”, “a little bit odd” even “barking mad” but they have left us with all things, some which we can treasure and all that we thought we needed. - dDutch Initiative

Intelligence, which is capable of looking farther ahead than the next aggressive mutation, can set up long-term aims and work towards them; the same amount of raw invention that bursts in all directions from the market can be - to some degree - channelled and directed, so that while the market merely shines (and the feudal gutters), the planned lases, reaching out coherently and efficiently towards agreed-on goals. What is vital for such a scheme, however, and what was always missing in the planned economies of our world's experience, is the continual, intimate and decisive participation of the mass of the citizenry in determining these goals, and designing as well as implementing the plans which should lead towards them. Iain M Banks

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

>Iain M. Banks is self indulgent fantasy.

To be self indulgent is point of fantasy. Self awareness is throughout Bank's 'A Few Notes On The Culture', an excerpt from which is here:

Certainly there are arguments against the possibility of Artificial Intelligence, but they tend to boil down to one of three assertions: one, that there is some vital field or other presently intangible influence exclusive to biological life - perhaps even carbon-based biological life - which may eventually fall within the remit of scientific understanding but which cannot be emulated in any other form (all of which is neither impossible nor likely); two, that self-awareness resides in a supernatural soul - presumably linked to a broad-based occult system involving gods or a god, reincarnation or whatever - and which one assumes can never be understood scientifically (equally improbable, though I do write as an atheist); and, three, that matter cannot become self-aware (or more precisely that it cannot support any informational formulation which might be said to be self-aware or taken together with its material substrate exhibit the signs of self-awareness). ...I leave all the more than nominally self-aware readers to spot the logical problem with that argument.

It is, of course, entirely possible that real AIs will refuse to have anything to do with their human creators (or rather, perhaps, the human creators of their non-human creators), but assuming that they do - and the design of their software may be amenable to optimization in this regard - I would argue that it is quite possible they would agree to help further the aims of their source civilisation (a contention we'll return to shortly). At this point, regardless of whatever alterations humanity might impose on itself through genetic manipulation, humanity would no longer be a one-sentience-type species. The future of our species would affect, be affected by and coexist with the future of the AI life-forms we create.

- http://www.vavatch.co.uk/books/banks/cultnote.htm

-Iain M Banks

(Sun-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of North Queensferry)

Copyright 1994 Iain M Banks

Commercial use only by permission.

Other uses, distribution, reproduction, tearing to shreds etc are freely encouraged provided the source is acknowledged.

9
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Interest in AI has definitely flucuated over the years

Sounds like your instructor was an old hippie who had read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance...

A tutor suggests that a student overcome their inability to write about a house by writing thousands of words about a brick.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

>"Books have formed the foundation for many filmic adaptions and contemporary creative investigations into the relationship between AI and human consciousness."

>I see what you did there.

So do I :)

0
0

Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Dave 126
Silver badge

There has been a case of a woman who survived an airliner crash because she was in the loo at the time. Something to do with the loos position in the aircraft, and the deformable structures under the loo.

1
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017