* Posts by blcollier

133 posts • joined 11 Jan 2011

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BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

blcollier

Re: Sssshhhhhhh!

> Beer, 'cos it's Friday, and 5 o'clock somewhere.

You wait until 5pm...?

Bright spark dev irons out light interference

blcollier

Elastic band RAM retention

Your little hack from years ago is pretty much exactly how Apple keeps the SODIMMS in place in the 2018 Mac Mini. They are held in place with rubber "shoes" that fit over the end of the sockets... Little plastic or metal clips are obviously too much of a stretch on the BOM.

WLinux brings a custom Windows Subsystem for Linux experience to the Microsoft Store

blcollier

Re: The only use I can think of:

Wine is not an emulator - "Wine" is literally a backronym for "Wine is not an emulator". WSL is not an emulator either.

Nit-picking perhaps, but this is the comments section so... when in Rome...

Techie's test lab lands him in hot water with top tech news site

blcollier

Re: Top Boss

This. Punishing mistakes doesn't avoid mistakes in the future, it makes people better at covering them up.

Amazon and Netflix join Hollywood to lob sueball at 'Kodi' service SetTV

blcollier

@Anonymous Custard

I regret that I only have one upvote to give you.

I've been a big fan of Kodi since the days when it was called XBMP (yes, even before XBMC) so I truly appreciate the hard work of all of Team Kodi.

This wouldn't be the first time that El Reg has mentioned Kodi in the headlines of a story which actually has nothing to do with Kodi itself when you dig into it: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/25/kodi_boxes_fail_safety_standards/. Oh look, who was the author of that story, I wonder...

Multiple-guess quiz will make Brit fliers safer, hopes drone-maker DJI

blcollier

"Dear DJI, next time I ask for some GPL source code, maybe don't tell me no."

Well done that man. However I fear the message will fall on completely deaf ears: rather than comply with their legal obligations, I suspect DJIs reaction will be to tighten their restrictions/lockouts even further.

Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

blcollier

Re: Autonomous drones ?

Holy crap, that second link... Absolutely demolished the report...

blcollier

> Where are Mythbusters when you need them?

The Mythbusters might not be much help here. They have bad form with jet engines: they couldn't get a jet engine to flip a car over when Top Gear could. :D. IIRC they made up for it in a later episode though and did actually get a jet engine to flip a car (and Top Gear had an actual airliner at near-takeoff power instead of a smaller jet engine mounted to a truck).

True, you are talking about a relatively small amount of energy in a LiPo battery when compared to the size and strength of your average airliner jet engine.

blcollier

Re: All I see here is

Your analogy is flawed.

You can drive your car but you can't go more than 40mph, and if you want to drive your car to work then you have to pay for a licence which is equal to or greater than the cost of the car. These new regulations are saying that you now have to carry separate registration documents when you drive your car (in addition to your licence to use your car for work purposes), you have to take another proficiency test, and your car can be confiscated if you don't carry your registration documents or you stray very slightly from ill-defined rules.

Also, what that guy said: recorded deaths directly attributable to multirotors in the last year... Yeah, I'm sure you can read.

blcollier

>There is no evidence that a consumer drone could bring down an airliner.

There's no evidence but it's conceivable.

Almost everything on my 550mm-footprint hexacopter would likely be shredded by a commercial airliner's engine. Including the 3-cell 5.2Ah lithium polymer battery strapped to the belly... I don't even want to know what would happen if such volatile chemistry ignited in a jet engine...

blcollier

Re: OK, so which part do I register?

No, I'm not. The Drone Code isn't clear... And on a blog post on the CAA website it also states "400 feet above *you*", which is also totally different to "400 feet above sea level".

blcollier

Re: Death of the UK drone industry

... and a drone to fly such a camera, such as the DJI Matrice 600, will set you back around £4k-£5k. If you're flying ~10k worth of kit (excluding the lens or any other accessories) then no, a PfCO license at £1k won't be that much of a hindrance. A £1k Mavic Pro on the other hand can shoot 4K footage and is more than capable of professional aerial photography. That's where the problem starts to come in...

blcollier

Re: Common Sense or New Laws

Not sure I entirely agree with that. Most of the cheapies you'll find for ~£100 or less would probably struggle to reach the existing altitude/range limits. Of course you could still fly it like a total knob, but it would be easy to track you down; most craft in that price range probably won't have a large enough transmission range to make it hard to track you down, especially when so many of them use WiFi for control. The "big boy" stuff, capable of autonomous flights or very long ranges, like DJI phantoms and such are not cheap.

News reports are not a good indicator, since you only get to hear about the extreme ends of the bell curve and usually it's relayed in a sensationalist manner.

blcollier

Re: OK, so which part do I register?

The 400 foot ceiling refers to an "above sea level" limit (this is already in the Drone Code rules). Technically you're not allowed to fly a drone from your 800ft cliff because you're already above the limit. It's supposedly to avoid interfering with manned aircraft, but it's hard to see a manned aircraft wanting to get that close to an 800ft cliff...

blcollier

Re: Death of the UK drone industry

Don't see why you're getting downvoted for that. I looked into this and was instantly turned off when I saw the cost of a PfCO license and the fact that you're still subject to the same restrictions as an unlicensed pilot (500m range, 400ft above you, not within 150m of people or crowds, etc) even when you're operating with permission on private property. Literally all that PfCO does is let you legally sell your footage/photos and that's a steep entry price to pay (ignoring the cost of "professional"-grade equipment in the first place).

I still have my hexacopter and I'm still going to fly it, but getting into professional/paid aerial photography is still quite far out of reach.

blcollier

OK, so which part do I register?

I built my hexacopter from scratch; the "all-up" flying weight is ~1.8kg, so it definitely falls into the "must be registered" category. It crashed during its first flight and I had to completely replace the frame. Very soon I will be replacing the flight controller with a completely new unit. So far that's two fairly major components that will have been replaced; let's assume that at some point in the future I will replace these - or other - components again (that's a fairly safe assumption for a DIY hexacopter). This hexacopter is basically Trigger's Broom, so at what point do I need to re-register it? Replacing which component constitutes it being a "new" device?

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

blcollier

Re: While were at it....

Late to this party, but whatever...

>"Sure you will not. The cost of the damage to a bicycle in an average scrape with a car is significantly LESS than the excess on any insurance policy I know."

Know that for a fact, do you? I ride a frame worth £1000 (devaluation notwithstanding) and my insurance excess - yes, I am insured, my home insurance covers my bike in accidents - is £100. Damaging a carbon fibre frame will very easily make it unfit/unsafe to ride and will cost a lot more than £100 to fix. Even damaging just 1 wheel and the handlebars would cost more than £100 in parts, without even accounting for labour costs. So, yes, I would claim on my insurance, and if a third party was responsible for that accident then the insurance company would pursue that party. That latter point, as it happens, *is* a fact because in the past I have been the person at the insurance company that deals with cases where third-parties are liable for damages paid out on claims. That *includes* cases where motor insurance has had to reimburse costs paid out on a pedal cycle claim.

If you were involved in an accident with a cyclist and found to be at fault then you and your car insurance would pay the price for your negligence in exactly the same way as you would if you were responsible for an accident with a motor vehicle. Sure the costs are going to be lower but in pricing terms, a lower payout doesn't always mean lower risk.

You can't have it both ways. You can't require cyclists to have mandatory insurance in the same way that motor vehicles do and then *not* expect equal treatment when it comes to claims.

blcollier

Re: While were at it....

I'm riding my lightweight road bike, which has a carbon fibre frame, along a city street and crash into you when you cut across in front of me. I'm relatively OK, the bike is still rideable, but your car has a massive scratch across the bonnet. I get back on the bike and cycle off, after telling you what a muppet you've been.

It's like any other hit and run: how is insurance going to help in this case? To complicate matters, I've got no registration number so you can't report my reg number to the police. Do I need a registration number on my bike as well as insurance?

It might *sound* like a sensible idea to require cyclists to have insurance but it's not entirely practical. If that were to happen however I could almost guarantee you that the cost of car insurance overall would go up; more and more cyclists would be claiming on their insurance, and in many cases the car driver is going to be liable. If I was involved in a cycling accident that wasn't my fault and I have insurance, you can be damn sure that I would claim on the insurance for the damage - and you can be damn sure that my insurance would do everything they can to establish that someone else was at fault and recover costs from the other party. If there's one thing that insurance companies are good at it's finding ways to avoid spending money.

Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

blcollier

That's what I'd recommend to people looking for a 4K HDR streaming box.

blcollier

My Roku 3 *was* great, but...

I would struggle to recommend a Roku to anyone else ever again.

The "smart" WiFi-Direct remote for my model basically doesn't work any more; every now and then it loses connection and no amount of fixes/troubleshooting will get it to connect again. I either have to stick with the smartphone app remote or factory reset the box to get the remote back.

Apps (sorry, "channels") are looking very tired these days. Most app developers seem to implement the same SDK with little effort at customising it or providing a decent user experience (see Netflix for an example of how to do it right).

Spotify support is simply dire. The Spotify app is utterly horrendous: it doesn't even support playlists any more - you literally cannot browse or play your own playlists - let alone anything useful like Spotify Connect. Spotify themselves don't want to know because the Roku Spotify app is third-party; they have no plans to make their own or "in-house" the existing one.

Don't get me wrong, the boxes do what they do pretty well... if you ignore the ragged edges.

Brit bank fined £75k over 1.5 million text and email spamhammer

blcollier
FAIL

£75k is pocket change.

Seriously. Fines like this show just how toothless the ICO can be. Obvs I don't know the numbers, but if they can generate even £85k revenue as a result of this campaign then they've made a profit and that will prove to their money men/managers that ignoring the rules can make good business sense.

Fine them £1 per message/call, not £0.05 - then we'll see companies sit up and start taking compliance seriously.

EDIT: I had a maths fail...

VPN logs helped unmask alleged 'net stalker, say feds

blcollier

Re: So many posts about logs ...

So many posts about logs and yet not a single poop gag.

Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

blcollier

Re: I fscking loathe PETA

PETA are not an animal rights organisation, and El Reg should not be acknowledging them as such.

An organisation that kills over 90% of the animals it "rescues" cannot in anyone's mind be called an "animal rights" organisation.

An organisation that abducts and euthanises domestic pets cannot in anyone's mind be called an "animal rights" organisation.

This case does raise some interesting philosophical questions about animal rights (although what the hell use does the monkey have for royalties), but PETA are a hate group plain and simple.

blcollier

That campaign is actually nearly 10 years old. It first appeared in 2008; they were ordered by a court to take down billboards with the poster, but the article remains on their site to this day.

It's not new, but that doesn't detract from their overall lunacy.

Atari shoots sueball at KitKat maker over use of 'Breakout' in ad

blcollier

The shuffling corpse of Atari shambles onwards...

...infested and driven by a parasite that bears little resemblance to the Atari Of Old we fondly remember.

Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

blcollier

Re: Client support, we've heard about it

Aye, what @Lee D said. Respect & professionalism goes both ways.

blcollier

Re: Client support, we've heard about it

So you're supposed to be meek and simpering when someone has just publicly berated you and threatened your job? The lecturer was being a belligerent ass; the IT dept. could (and should) have handled the situation much better than they did, but that doesn't give you the right to give someone a public dressing down and threaten their livelihood - that's called unprofessional behaviour. Newt was right to be livid with the rest of his dept. for not even attempting to resolve this, and the lecturer was right to apologise for his behaviour. Having a little dig of your own after being unjustifiably bollocked in public doesn't mean you shouldn't be in support.

House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

blcollier

Re: "Making the pirate experience less fun is part of the strategy."

Wot he said.

Let's take GoT as an example. Want to watch that live on normal telly? OK, sign up for Sky TV because you can't get Sky Atlantic on Virgin Media. But wait, there's Now TV as well! OK fine, so now I'm paying for Virgin Media "normal" TV, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and also Now TV. Let's just swallow the extra cost of Now TV for a moment, and actually watch Game of Thrones on a PC using Now TV. Chrome isn't supported, because uses Silverlight to stream the video, so you're forced to use Edge/IE11. Don't want to use Edge/IE11? Fine, install the Now TV Windows app... after you've signed in to the Microsoft Store, of course. Oh, and don't you dare move window focus away from the app while you're watching - like trying to open an IMDB page in a second monitor, for example - because it'll terminate playback and won't resume from the point it terminated itself.

Or... or... I could download latest episode as a torrent and watch it how, where, and when I want using whatever software I want. Or, better yet, I can automate the whole process so that downloads as soon as it's available - that way it's ready and waiting for me when I get home from work. And then, of course, I'll buy the BluRays when they're available.

Piracy is a symptom of over-enthusiastic copyright enforcement. Let me watch what I want, when I want, on the device I want, in the highest quality available, and I'll stop using Usenet+Sonarr.

Stop resetting your passwords, says UK govt's spy network

blcollier

Best password advice I ever had?

Generate one extremely secure (and, preferably, long) passphrase and use that as your "master". Then use a password manager to generate and store random passwords for everything that you don't consider to be a high risk (someone posting crap on my facebook account is different to someone siphoning money from my bank account) and encrypt this database using your master passphrase. For anything high-risk use your master passphrase. And use two-factor authentication where possible.

I used DiceWare to generate a 7-word master passphrase. Ought to be good enough for a few years yet.

Review: Beagleboard Beaglebone Black

blcollier

Re: Cost @ km123

Au contraire yourself, mate. I've never read a bigger pile of crap or any other comment that's as poor as yours. I couldn't downvote you hard enough

FWIW, the Pi was designed in Britain and is now also manufactured in Britain.

Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson

blcollier
Gimp

@Pascal Monett Re: "an experiment in education of pirates"

You're almost there but there's an aspect to Minecraft you forgot to include: the near-constant release of extra content for it (which is free, I might add, and not paid for like most "DLC"). The model for Minecraft is essentially: "Sure, pirate our game all you like - you can even have this free version (which has a limited subset of the features from the main game) - but you won't get all the cool extra stuff we add if you pirate it". There *is* a protection/"DRM"-ish component to it as the game validates against your Mojang account whenever it launches, and multiplayer servers validate your account whenever you connect. No account, no Minecraft for you.

Of course you could pirate each new version that's released, but you still can't play multiplayer - a major component of the game if you ask me - unless you've bought the game or you use a hacked server.

To correct a few further factual errors... Minecraft was indeed originally built by one person (Markus Persson, since you asked), but he didn't sell his game to a company; he founded Mojang with the money he'd made from Minecraft, because he couldn't hope to keep up on his own. He might not work on Minecraft any more - others in Mojang do however - but he's still a developer.

Downvote me all you like for being a pedant, but I can't help myself - when you create your own mods & texture packs it's hard to avoid describing yourself as a massive Minecraft nerd.

UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

blcollier

Bigger watermarks it is then

I've used watermarks on all my "proper" photos (i.e. not the drunken mobile phone snaps) for a long time now, but they can easily be cropped out. EXIF data can easily be stripped, and steganography seems to be a bit of a dead-end in this case - if $random_person/$random_company on the other side of the globe starts using your images without your permission, how the hell are you going to know about it let alone run their copy of the image through your software...?

I guess the only realistic answer might be a watermark that covers the entire image...

Ten ancestors of the netbook

blcollier

Dell Mini 9

Not specifically the focus of this article, but I owned one of these machines and utterly loved it. The only flaw with it really was the SSD writes were quite laggy now and then, and replacements were quite expensive... Brilliant little machine.

Ended up getting rid of it because I wanted a bigger screen and a less cramped keyboard.

German watchdog whacks Google with PIDDLING FINE over Street View slurp

blcollier

Re: Moral of the story...

Agreed 100%; I'd agree 200%, if that wasn't such bad mathematics... Even routers supplied by ISPs are usually supplied with encryption already applied these days. That might not stop someone trying to defeat that encryption (they won't have to do much work - can you spell "database of default passwords"?) but it certainly would have stopped Google's accidental drive-by slurping. And if you're using a public or unencrypted WiFi hotspot then you should be well aware of the security risks involved - even *Windows* warns you about unencrypted networks, ffs...

The fine is somewhat toothless, but I have utterly no sympathy for anyone who had sensitive data collected.

@James 51

Your provider gives you a WiFi router that doesn't let you add encryption? Man, I'd hate to sign up with those guys... Even Virgin's SuperSh*teHub - the biggest pile of dog turd masquerading as a router I've ever seen - lets you add WPA2 encryption.

@AC

You're comparing accidental data collection to rape? Really? That's the stupidest thing I've ever read, and I read YouTube comments.

I urge you all to downvote this retard as hard as you can.

Logitech launches MEGA-PRICEY 15-in-1 remote

blcollier

Re: Wii

This is actually remarkably easy. It's a little fiddly to pair the WiiMote with the PC, depending on the manufacturer of your bluetooth chip and your OS, but it does work. I forget the name of the software involved, but it's perfectly possible to make the WiiMote emulate a mouse and remap the buttons to various keys/functions; pairing it to the PC doesn't involve any extra software at all, though it is pretty useless unless you can map it to functions...

Though you do need to use the "sensor" bar in order to achieve this. This is all from several-year-old memory, but the info is quite easy to find with everyone's favourite data-snaffling search engine. IIRC, the "sensor" bar doesn't actually have sensors but has IR sources for receivers in the WiiMote. The cables only have two pins - ground and +5v - so pickup a sacrificial one on the cheap, find the pinout on the web somewhere and hack a suitable power source together (if you're using it with an HTPC, don't forget about those handy-dandy Molex plugs with both +12v and +5v...). I've read reports of people using lit candles to simulate these IR sources, but YMMV - I'm not about to stick lit candles anywhere near my PC or TV to test that...

Alternatively just leave your sensor bar plugged into the Wii and have it on standby all the time - IIRC the sensor bar still gets power when the console is in standby.

blcollier
Headmaster

@mdava Re: Who are they kidding?

Have a downvote, purely for the use of "Xbox" as a verb. "for the kids to Xbox on"...?! Seriously? Do people speak like that or are such abominations constrained to text-based exchanges? Ye gods...

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

blcollier

Prime time viewing

Comfy chair? Check. F5 on standby? Check. This comment thread is sure to be interesting to watch; all I need now is some popcorn...

Just do me a favour and try not to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that another human being has died, regardless of what you think of that person...

Whatever happened to self-service computing?

blcollier

SaaS, IaaS and ... PaaS?

Do people really use acronyms like this daily? I look at this stuff - including any mention of "cloud" - and all I see is "BUZZWORD! BUZZWORD! BUZZWORD! BUZZWORD!". Yawn.

And if the people I work with (and have worked with over the years) are anything to go by, I agree with the posters above me: truly self-service IT is a dream that will probably never be realised. If there's one thing I've learned it's that idiot-proofing something is just asking society/Darwin/$deity to produce a better idiot.

Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

blcollier
Mushroom

Thing is...

Was going to post this as an AC, but screw it - downvote me all you want...

I've long ago given up on modern consoles; most of the games out there are turgid dross and I've played them all - in one incarnation or another - many many times before. Generic Modern WarDeathKill #46 vs. Yet Another GunKillShootDeathGame #12? Thanks, but Doom, Quake, Half Life, Halo, Medal of Honor, Thief, Splinter Cell, etc, beat you to it (and probably did a much better job of entertaining me). Selling my Xbox was the best thing I've done with it.

When it comes to PC gaming, always-on has been creeping in through the back door for a long time now. We as consumers had the choice to vote with our wallets a long time ago and we failed to take it. If people hadn't bought games with this requirement, publishers would not have seen these games as a success and would have dropped the idea. We didn't and they haven't, so here we are. And you can't ignore the fact that, even in the supposedly bullet-proof world of console gaming, piracy is a real problem and publishers/devs *will* want to protect themselves from it.

At the end of the day I'm interested in playing the game. I couldn't really give a crap about whether it needs me to be always-online or not, I just want to play the game. I have a fast and reliable internet connection at home - and the day you manage to prise my router from my hands is the day they bury me - and I have a fast and reliable connection on the move; it simply isn't a problem for me. I caved and bought SimCity - despite knowing about the launch-day problems and online requirement - because I wanted to play the game. StarCraft 2 needs me to be online for battle.net, but I don't really care because I enjoy playing it (I'll admit that having to log in to my battle.net account *every* *damn* *time* is a pain in the balls however).

It might be a problem if I wanted to play the game in 3/4 years' time and I discover that the publisher has dropped support for it, but the chances are that I'll be on Windows 93.6 or whatever by then and I'll have to get third-party hacks and patches just to install it - in the same way that I have to for many older games that I still play today. And all the people crowing the oh-so-popular opinions about EA and SimCity seem to forget that EA are still supporting Spore to this day, despite the fact that it was one of the biggest flops in PC gaming history.

If anything, this opens the door for indie devs with more creative ideas, and that is no bad thing. Since Minecraft rocked my world two and a half years ago, I've been buying more and more indie games than "triple A" releases and I've been having a lot more fun for it. Most of those don't have always-on requirements and are fun & engaging that many "big budget" games couldn't possibly hope to be. It took me six months to beat FTL and I still can't beat it on "Normal"; despite the game kicking me in the balls at every opportunity I still come back to it. I've played Super Hexagon for a total of around 6 hours now and the longest I've lasted in that game is 48 seconds - another game that relishes kicking you in the family jewels (repeatedly, while wearing steel toe-capped boots, and shoving hot pokers in your face while it does so). And if Minecraft tracked hours played the figure would utterly horrify me; I poured at least 12 hours into it over the weekend alone and I consider that a relatively Minecraft-free weekend...

Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

blcollier

Re: Gartner are full of it

@Charles 9

Indeed, I get the point. But a slowing of sales doesn't equal the desctruction of the PC market outright. And I'd be happy to be the poster-boy for the "You don't always need the latest and greatest in order to get by" crowd; my dual-core chip was already two years out of date when I bought it, and I only retired it recently after over 4 years of excellent service. (Well, not really retired, more like re-purposed in HTPC form, but that's irrelevant).

But I would never dream of trying to use my Nexus 7 or any tablet to do something as relatively un-resource-taxing (that was a horrible phrase, I admit) as managing the workflow for my digital SLR camera. Or building 3D models. Or editing/rendering HD video footage.

For the average consumer who sees a computer as a portal to internet or Facebook, sure - in fact I'd argue that tablets have *already* killed the PC in that market sector. But for the person who does more than just consume content - or even indeed for the average Reg reader - a tablet simply does not compare to a full PC.

I would welcome a return to the age where owning a computer means you don't just point it at Facebook all the time. And that's not me trying to be elitist, it's a veiled protest at the dumbing-down that PCs have experienced over the years. These are complex beasts; you *should* have to know at least a little bit about what goes on under the bonnet, you *should* know what all the basic parts are, you *should* know how to fix common problems (or at least know how to research the problem yourself), you *should* know how to upgrade it, you *should* know what an OS is and how to wipe/re-install it, etc, etc...

blcollier

Re: Gartner are full of it

Uh... None of that proves that tablets will kill PCs though?

I also have a tablet and when I want to just browse stuff that's what I go to; I also plan to get a keyboard dock for it and it can then double-up as a remote SSH client - maybe even write blog posts etc on it...

But none of this means that I'm about to sell the big shiny quad-core beast sat under my desk at home. Nor does it mean that PCs are going to go away altogether. Hence, "Gartner a full of it".

blcollier

Gartner are full of it

I was about to reply to Eadon's post, but then I realised who posted it; I'll just neatly side-step that for now...

Tablets will never kill PCs. PCs might change and evolve to the point where we no longer recognise them as being the same beasts they are today - see the rise of Mini ITX, NUC, (to a lesser degree) Raspberry Pi, et al - but there will always be room for a higher-powered device with a separate leyboard, mouse & display. The day I relinquish control of my PC is the day you prise the mouse from my cold dead fingers.

Tablets are simply tools for a different job: when I'm editing video footage or creating 3D models I have no desire to reach up and try to touch my screen; when I'm sitting on the sofa idly flicking through some inane website (probably involving cats) then I have no need to boot up the powerhouse PC.

This, in a somewhat roundabout way, reminds me of some comments made by Pixar many years ago regarding PC graphics performance... A GPU manufacturer (think it was Nvidia) said at the time that their latest product brought them close to real-time "Pixar level" rendering. A Pixar bod then responded with the exact technical detail of the hardware involved in rendering Toy Story, closing with the disparaging insinuation that there was no way in hell that a computer AGP port could handle the bandwidth needed (yes, I said AGP - that's how old this story is).

Wanna put your toaster and fridge online? Over to you, Ofcom

blcollier

Re: Red Dwarf

That was no accident! That was first-degree toastercide!

blcollier
Boffin

The dream of HTCPCP come true!

Finally, a use for the Hypertext Coffee Pot Control Protocol! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper_Text_Coffee_Pot_Control_Protocol)

Substituting with wife/husband/colleague/office skivvy/gullible "mate"/minion is no comparison to a proper, 100% compliant implementation of HTCPCP.

US to chat again with Campaigners Against Stuff on mobile health regs

blcollier
Facepalm

Not again...

Please no not again... Aren't we done with this? Why do these idiots persist? More importantly, why do government agencies pander to these idiots instead of going by the established scientific opinion?

If mobile phones Do Bad Things, then we'd have all started dying off 7 or more decades ago when we started spewing non-ionising electromagnetic radiation from massive transmitters on a large/national scale. The frequency makes little difference (other than how far through any given material the signal will penetrate); what matters is transmission power, and you're not likely to have a megawatt, or even kilowatt, transmitter clamped to your face for hours on end any time soon.

And if you think living under/near mobile phone masts is dangerous then see my first point: TV and/or radio transmitters would have killed us all long ago.

Build a BONKERS gaming PC

blcollier

Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

@AC

I'm sorry, did the lack of "JOKE ALERT" icon confuse you? No need to get so butthurt.

@GameCoder

I'm not disagreeing with having a powerful machine, and I agree: spec up a decent system now and it will last you for years to come - the only thing you'll be looking to upgrade on a machine like this in 3-4 years' time is the graphics card (to support future versions of DX). My point was more that this article didn't go "bonkers" so much as "ridiculously overpriced and sheer overkill". A 1200W PSU, FFS? A rig like that would still struggle to stretch a good quality ~600W PSU. Sacrificing a few points in a benchmark would net you significant cost savings.

If they wanted to go "bonkers" then at least include a complete custom watercooling loop - including graphics cards and chipset blocks - and overclock the s*** out of everything. Hell, if we're *really* going bonkers then why not submerge the whole thing in mineral oil?!

And yes, don't get that awful-looking Inwin "case" they featured; get something from Antec, Coolermaster, Fractal Define, etc...

blcollier

@Boothy (re: overclocking)

The moment I got the machine built and installed Windows, my old Dual Core E5200 rig was overclocked from 2.5GHz to 3.75GHz - instant 1.25GHz speed boost. It took about half an hour of tinkering and has never missed a beat in the 4 years it's been overclocked.

blcollier

Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

If Apple made a "gaming" PC:

-Stupidly expensive

-Not upgradeable

-Not overclockable

-Runs games from 5 years ago and calls them "bleeding edge"

-Use proprietary hardware that you can only get from Apple or Apple-approved dealers

-Woefully underpowered compared to spending the equivalent amount of money on a PC

-Include a stupidly high resolution screen then upscales/interpolates everything to run at effectively half that resolution, rather than displaying in the true native panel resolution

Oh wait. That already exists; it's called an Apple computer...

blcollier

Re: PC gaming is for sadists

Horses for courses, my good chum. Give me a gamepad and I'll probably be dead before I fully turn around; give me a mouse and keyboard and I'll headshot you from half a map away.

And FWIW, the issue with SimCity isn't DRM. Always-online DRM has been around for a little while and is becoming increasingly more common; I think that's something we're just going to have to learn to swallow (console owners, too). The issue with SimCity is that EA are more or less lying about the online requirement. But that's not a problem with PC gaming, that's a problem with EA.

blcollier

@Zach 2

How exactly do your three screens make you better at, say, UT3 or StarCraft 2 than I am? Being able to "see more" doesn't give you an inherent advantage over anyone else.

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