* Posts by Edward Hull

19 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

Apple drops 'thermonuclear' patent bombshell

Edward Hull

You got me.


The register posts so little at the weekends, I presumed it was a Friday entry...

Then I believed it because it sounds so typical of the apple v the world cases...

Then I read the date.

Icon, because I do.

Apple files patent for 'polished meteorite' keyboard

Edward Hull

Re: Its a morse key!

save that in a morse key, the leaver is part of the circuit while in apple's idea the leaver must then press a dome-switch.

For the avoidance of doubt in the case of people mentioning the 'uniqueness' of apple's 0.2mm of travel, the correct tuned distance of travel for a morse key is just enough to break the circuit reliably, as adjusted by user preference. Probably less than 0.2mm in many cases.

Mine's the one with the morse-tutor course on the MP3 player in the pocket...

...one-day I'll actually make the time daily to finish that.

Cambridge startup launches world's first white space radio

Edward Hull

Nice but broken.

Your white-space kit is deaf. It also shouts louder than than the signal your TV is listening for (with much better hearing) - resulting in your TV only hearing that noisy yob of a white-space system.

Detect and avoid has been tried and repeatedly failed. (I believe the register covered Microsoft's repeated attempts with the FCC.)

It can only work if it has better hearing than the system it isn't supposed to squash. Than means a better receiver and antenna - and the antenna needs to be in an equivalent or better location than the legacy system.

Yes, using a database sucks - but it is the fall-back position because what you suggest does not (with current and currently practical technology) work.

mine is the one with the cognitive radio blurb covered in red notes in the pocket.

Movie-goer punts 3D-to-2D cinema specs

Edward Hull

RE: Should've gone to a well known high street opticians

I would pay (not much, maybe £10) for a pair of real-d glasses that would survive more than a few cleanings.

prescription sunglasses use linear polarisation. Real-d is based on circular polarisation, so no, your next pair of prescription glasses won't work in a cinema.

(a correctly chosen linear polarisation angle helps to reduce reflections from things - one reason it is used.)

Incidentally, IMAX 3D (disclaimer: London IMAX near waterloo, other imax cinemas vary.) uses linear polarisation. if you tilt your head, things go crazy. even if you keep your head dead flat, there is image cross-talk. The image seems smother because it is being projected from two projectors at once while Real-D uses one projector and switches the polarity of the filter.

I'd like to see a setup using two projectors and circular polarising filters - I'm hoping for the low (I've not noticed it) cross-talk of real-D and the smoothness of IMAX.

Mine is the one with the notes on a napkin for adding 3D to a home-built projector

White Space competitors fight dirty

Edward Hull

Well, for one, that means binning all legacy systems that don't send the "I am here"

For a second, that will completely screw up the intended transmission modulation of the "I am here" beacon


For thirds, televisions are supposed to be receive only. If they tried to transmit an "I am here" on the frequency they were listening to, what do you think would happen to what they were receiving? not to mention a significant part-number increase for the transmitter...


Fourth and finally, there are an absolutely huge number of places where if the TV multiplex transmitter were sending the "I am here" (hint, it is ALREADY sending a known modulation pattern, you'd think that would be enough?), it would be exactly as receivable to the white-fi unit as the TV signal, that the houses are using a nice, big, high-gain antenna to receive. Chances are that the little omni stick used by the white-fi would never hear the TV signal. But would be more powerful locally than the TV signal.




Detect and avoid provably does not work. Databases are the fall-back position (and there are examples where they won't work even when competently implemented) and depend on the competence of the administrators.


Mine is the one with the little SDR receiver in the pocket.

Bogus Kama Sutra presentation opens your backdoor to hackers

Edward Hull

RE: Stop using Windows. Not only is it shit, it's full of security holes.

Unfortunately, until all common Linux distributions will run windows application out of the box with the ease of windows, you won't manage to get people to switch.

I'm not up to date with the current state of WINE, and I've never actually played the following, but the point holds: Does it play crysis? (and for that matter, does it play whatever is the current leader in PC gaming technology?)

When Linux can manage this task, Then Linux will be an alternative for the common home PC user. Unfortunatly, at that time, Linux will probably have gained all the problems of windows too.

Aiptek MobileCinema D10

Edward Hull

Projector for £160?

If you really want to play with a projector at home, then pick up a £60 (ebay) OH projector like the ones that were used in schools before data projectors, an broken TFT to fit off of ebay (£5 to £50, depending on how many you go through. you want one that has no working backlight. And it also needs to be correctly configured in side - PCB on only one edge of the display.), some way to support the screen off of the projector(currently using large diameter dowel) and a fan to blow air underneath it (£5).

No Keystone adjustment, and you'll then need to play with cardboard shields to block light spill, but it is the cheapest way to play with a projector at home that I know of. and you can keep refining it. for example, replace the supplied lens with a compound lens to provide a more even focus of the image (£30, ebay)

'Gv up txt 4 Lent,' urges bishop

Edward Hull

Can't Feast and Fast at the same time.

Sundays are not part of lent.

Too many people just never ask the question and just assume that because the sundays in lent are all refered to as the nth sunday of lent and all the teachings are themed around lent, the sundays themselves must also be days of fasting.

Moral of the story: if you are tols that somethng is 40 units in length and you add up the individual units and get 46, ask someone why!

Mine's the one with old church newsletters in the pocket.

Wi-Fi: You old new smoothie?

Edward Hull

re: what ever happed to a real wireless bonded channel spec!

okay, so you start using three bonded channels in you flat/home.

What happens next? you get a visit from ofcom because your neighbors have complained that their WiFi is no-longer reliable and they have determined that you are using the entire allocated WiFi spectrum for one connection and in the process being extreamly inconsiderate to other users.

Bonded channel spec is not happening precisely because there are so few unique channels.

Consider petitioning ofcom for more channel space or consider if you really need the massive extra speed. Can your internet connection support it? do you need the speed if it does? 10Mbs is enough to watch streamed video if your link signal is good enough.

Mars suitable for growing asparagus

Edward Hull

re: Gerard O'Neill

"Just beyond Mars is a ring of minerals. A rough guesstimate, is around one and a half to two Earth sized planets worth.

Orbiting Jupiter is a snow ball half the size of the moon.

Using this material to construct a ring-world that encircles the Sun halfway between Earth and Mars and being five kilometers (int.) diameter, would provide enough comfortable living space for the next several hundred years, if not a lot more."

I think you are going to need a lot more raw material than that for your ring-world, probably an order of magnitude or more additional material.

What do you mean when you say internal diameter? 2+au would probably be more realistic internal diameter (hole). whereas the thickness of the ring would probable have to be significantly larger than 5km for stability sake (In proportion to the circumference, 5km is nothing).

Australian man killed by suicide robot

Edward Hull

@We have a winner

No, by that age I think the genetics would already have been passed on. Besides, darwin awards are for people that do things through lack of thought or stupidity. This was well thought out and intentional.

UK military faces spectrum sell off

Edward Hull

out of date but worth looking aat for a graphic overview...


@Nigee: the organisation you are thinking of is probably the ITU, yes there are international agreements on how some of the spectrum shall be used, yes countries are allowed to vary it on their local soil.

in the end, mil/gov will probably keep primary user status, allowing for secondary users on spectrum that they are not currently using.

Why did the military grab lots to begin with? because when they had the oportunity to grab, nobody knew which bits of it would be god for what so the mil grabbed lots to be sure it wold have the bits it needed for effective operations. we have a lot better idea (but far from perfect) of the potential uses of different areas or the spectrum now.

Samsung shows very skinny telly

Edward Hull

Text and stills not video

Another vote for text and stills, not video.

When reading thereg, I'm either at work or on a PDA, and don't have time, patience or capability (whether processors or open-plan office induced) to watch a d&*$ video.

Why there will never be another GSM

Edward Hull

@ Andrew Heenan

with regards to your comment about "What sane government sells a source of income that could keep the country afloat?" I'd like to point out that the UK seems pretty much unique in viewpoint to see spectrum as something which can be sold, the rest of the world seeing it as something belonging to everyone that merely needs management. Charging for licenses bad.

Devolo dLAN Wireless Extender

Edward Hull
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Mean-while, many not-as-well built as should be devices are now picking up interference from their nominally 50Hz mains supply and you've lost all chance of terrestrial freeview if you live in a low signal area.

power-lines were never made to carry RF signals and make better antennas than they do transmission lines for the stuff.

Oh, 'not-as-well built' doesn't just mean old, it often means modern mass-produces stuff with a planned obsolescence date.

World of Warcraft smites den of orc and elf sexual delinquency

Edward Hull

re: Teen rated?

With regards to the recuring subscription to WoW, two things are worth noting:

1) they also accept debit cards (including visa-electron and solo)

2) payment can be via a "game-card" which can be obtained from game/game-station for cash.

Thus effectivly removing the age restrictions by payment type.

Cadbury bows to 'bring back Wispa' net campaign

Edward Hull

Re: But...

That is indeed what cadburys claimed at the time.

However, it is a completely diferent shape and the texture of the bubbles is also completely different, the DM version is more dense with thicker walls between bubbles.

all these bars that are the same shape get rather boring, and wispa also has the advantage of looking bigger to children. Take a child and offer them two bars with the same mass, but one looking bigger than the other, which would they choose?

Brits to US tech firms: we need you!

Edward Hull


I'm not sure if I really want to have to biometrically authenticate myself to my PDA every time I want to read an ebook or to my phone before every call.

Sure, we could add biometric security to everything, but it would make for the most depressing enviroment.

and what if the govenment required biometric devices to register their user details? sounds like they are trying to get a toe in the door of a biometric lifestyle to me...

where has my tin-foil wallet lining gone?

Jobs chucks Leopard titbits to Apple masses

Edward Hull

Re: What really annoys me...

"It's backend is darwin unix

which is made by apple"

Darwin unix is a direct decendant of NeXT, which is a BSD decendant with a different kernel (the 'mach' kernel)

"is the fact that Apple can sell Leopard for $129, while MS charge HOW much for Vista? Either Apple are making a loss on Leopard (not flippin' likely) or someone's REALLY cleaning up on Vista.

Funny how OSX looks better while being able to run on computers as old as G4s, too..."

Microsoft need to do a lot more work in the hardware support department while Apple know every device they need to support, and additionally, apple use an aweful lot of back-end code where all they do is write a pretty front-end (samba, cups, apache to name but a few.) In-fact, you can get most of mac os free from the open darwin project. what you are missing basically consists of the aqua interface, quicktime and other eye-candy pretties that most mac software won't run without.


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