* Posts by TechnicalBen

2129 posts • joined 23 Mar 2012

Western Digital deploys heatsink on remodelled M.2 to tempt gamers

TechnicalBen Silver badge


AFAIK a heatsink is actually a problem for most memory chips. As they work better at a medium to high temperature. Lifespan/speed is less at room temperature.

However, I guess for the controller chip and occasional overheating (AFAIK a consumer cannot even push that kind of OPS through them, you'd need a server setup for that) is still an issue. But 99% of these heatsinks are going to be for show, not actual performance or longevity.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Favorite prompts

Conditional errors, that leave the user to decide the condition are the most fun.

"This is not an error message, just a code check pass to confirm everything went well, however if you did not press K, and are seeing this message, be very afraid!"

When it comes up *every* time, it makes you wonder why they bothered, and what they were really worried about that needed a pre-emptive error message. XD

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Y and N?

Wow, I've seen some systems where it's F5 for one task, F6 for the opposite, but that's ok, you can find that error after 100s of commits at the end of the day, by hand... :(

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Yes but...

I wonder how some people get through the day not running away from the shadowy thing chasing them... and how they manage to get through the night having lost the ability to see...

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Cheaper than HS2.

And at the maximum speed of 99% of light, transit times would be spectacular!

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Dark matter/energy question

(I'm no expert) but they "borrow" energy. Think of it like ripples in a pond, to go "up" (more water) requires some water, which you must move from somewhere, so somewhere in the pond water must go "down" (less water). Similar with sound waves.

So sound waves carry energy, but don't produce it. In a room filled with air, no air sits perfectly still, however at the same time you cannot get free energy from it.

I guess likewise, the fluctuations in the "quantum foam" or whatever it is, don't make any "new" energy or particles, but certainly are there.

PBS again: https://youtu.be/Rh898Yr5YZ8

I may have mixed it up, so check up there. ;)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Living in a black hole?

Nah, that would be a reasonable comment from someone. The above post shows nowhere near as much thought. :P

While (AFAIK) the shape of space suggests we are not inside a "black hole", it possibly would be possible to have an arrangement of mass that has strong enough gravity well to prevent light escaping, while from the "inside" would look rather normal.

There may be other factors making the universe look like a black hole (and "edge" to it). But again, the special flatness suggests it does not.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Dark matter/energy question

Mainly because the fluctuations don't add to this, and the virtual particles don't add up to a gravitational effect (other than the background zero point energy, which we do know).

The virtual particles technically don't exist. The fluctuations are balanced. The zero point energy is (as far as we know) known.

So we can point to "other", but not to those 3. See PBS Spacetime on Youtube for a layman's, but in depth, explanation.



The downvotes are for not checking quickly before asking. Asking "what if" is fine (IMO, but others downvote me for that XD ) but asking "I think it is" is rather problematic, if you *think* before checking. ;)

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: A 'proper' use for the buttons

"Do you want [insert overpriced product] with that?"

"I am sure I want it" or "I am sure I don't don't want to not have none of this product" is the other option. ;)

TechnicalBen Silver badge


Add an LCD to these that shows the price. Or a mobile app that speaks it etc. Then it meets the law, and consumers have less chance for an unwanted accident (some products on Amazon could skyrocket in price etc). Can still be one button purchase, and just log in normally to cancel if you don't like the price.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Sales site categorization

Best one is, when you go to "Mobile phones" and get nothing but phone cases. When you go to "phone cases" get nothing but replacement screens, and when go to "phone screens" get nothing but the same phone case, but listed in 1000 different grades of "pink".

Also known as "Amazon".

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Do phones still have an IR port?

I don't know.

It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Cost / result analyses.

You can. We can detect movement smaller than the hair's breadth of an electron ( ;) ), but it's all a costs vs needs problem. Is it worth the cost and investment of putting up all the sensors or staff.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Just ban [knives]...

That worked for China IIRC... oh wait.

TechnicalBen Silver badge


News just said there is another close down.

Welp, new law made a big difference.

TechnicalBen Silver badge


Someone invent a mobile phone that flies... um, I mean a flappy wing aircraft... I mean, a balloon...

What I mean is, it's a sad world where things need to be spelt out "or with a mobile phone" or "or with a drone". :/

Yes, some things are not obvious (I hid a leopard in that room, so perhaps a sign of warning might be helpful)... but other times, it is obvious!

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: new company

Yeah, IIRC one of the "spam tests" was an obvious "set up to fail" in another Reg article. The spam was actually sent from an IT bods/Managers account (which of cause, if hacked would still be wrong to click!).

But the false positives were not from everyone clicking it, but from everyone doing actual forensics and seeing if the Manager had been hacked or not. So they eventually got their black marks removed. XD

Oh, though in your case, I don't know what to say. I'm torn, because clicking any fake link is worrisome, as said, even if internal!

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: or a 30p toothbrush and a timer?

Need I say more? £198.70p more?

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Inherently unfalsifiable.

Define "observe". It seems we may have jumped the gun assuming only things we see with our eyes are observable.

We can now detect gravity waves. So for example, if Dark matter does not exist, and is just an error in our rounding of calculations in gravity (not much chance, but falsifiable as we need!), we can now test that against known observations.

Or if it is any other flavour of interaction or "thing" we can also test for that instead. :)

So very much observable. It's just we don't yet know what we are looking for, we only see a hole where it should fit, or a shadow it is casting. We are currently running around the room checking each object in turn. XD

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Tail wagging the dog?

No, it is not. Because we know a bonfire makes things hot. We do not know what "Darkmatter" is, or what produces it.

It would be like sitting in the house saying "it's bright in here because the bonfire is out there". (See lots and lots of flat earth arguments for where you can fail to join the dots correctly)

Fitting data to a model is not science as much as getting the predictive ability out of it. Here, they did not have the data set or ability to make such a predictive fitting model (again, see lots of QM/string/ and other theories that can be "made" to fit data, but does not mean they are correct).

Observing that heat does move dark matter would take a lot more observations. See the LHC and Higgs (and other) particle discoveries, or other astronomical observational discoveries for where observation moves over to theory. :)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Kinda?

I think you are in the right direction. However there are reasons that matter fits the observations better.

Modified gravity does not add up and does not fit observation. So that is out of the window.

However the distribution of observed dark matter (or the observation of deviation from the estimated rotation and mass to gravity predictions) fits an orbiting but non interactive (can pass through things unlike a pesky meteor hitting us!) particle very well.

You may still be correct... as for a time geocentric theory matched observation... then we found out it was helio then relative. So perhaps it looks like matter now but with more observation will be something else. Or it is matter... better be a searcher than a stubborn idiot any day though! So always admit what we *don't know* but we can be hopeful we soon will! :)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Tail wagging the dog?

I don't disagree that the scientists and researchers know what they are doing. I also think they have done a fantastic job here andmany more elsewhere (astronomy/cosmology and particle/quantum physics are fascinating).

But I don't see how this is not an etheir / or observation? Etheir it is hot stars heating dark matter or it is older dark matter cooling. How do yhey know which? The biggest errors in science are jumping ahead of the observations.

The true greats wait. Even Einstein waited for the observations. He hoped to find them but depended on them... well until QMstarted to make his head spin. :p

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: lets try something new.

Let me introduce you to my little friend named VASMIR. ;)

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Time of authentication?

Is that the problem? It's already authenticated... but does not check post/pre lock attempt?

Other apps are not authenticated to open during the lock screen, so are ok.

It's an error in all or nothing application of the security, when it should be faceted with all, some and nothing?

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: 30 years, perhaps more, to reach human-level AI

"The word "Vet" is also a trigger."

Wait, we have gone to putting these words in speech marks in our posts too? So cat can read? :O

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: *Spoiler Warning*

Perhaps something happened that knocked down all the cell phone towers temporarily? ;)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: 'Machines can already surpass humans in specific intellectual tasks ...'

Canturi? The Antikythera mechanism exists... though TBH that was a design of convenience, not one "better" than a human. It's just easier to get the mechanism out of your (very large) saddle bag to check when the next olympics is, than to get your (much bigger) saddle bag out to get the astronomer* out! ;)

*For timekeeping I will call them astronomers, but for their made up wibblywobbly they were astrologers.

TechnicalBen Silver badge


In my mine, the story (in the original) was always about how the politics/science/marketing had tricket people into thinking clones were robots... but worse still, that clones were not people (a clone is just a twin, and a twin is just a normal person/baby).

I watched it as you would 1984... to me it's not a science fiction story... it's a social engineering story. Trick people into thinking there is an "other" group we can mistreat. Take some things away from them (physically or legalities) assume those changes are real/significant, then you have an excuse for your behaviour.

They asked/presented this problem in the modern sequel/reboot... however, the biggest fear is not what may be, but what is, for decades how many people actually stood up and said "but he was not killing clones, he was killing people". No, everyone is "but were they clones or people"... see, you trick them into doubt, and then can attack their morals/facts/whatever to get your own agenda done.

It worked in the film, showing, amazingly well and terrifyingly realised, that people can be tricked into their position of thought and action!

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: "Under the table"

I remember on my work experience, being tasked with fitting some signage at local stores. Was at the estate agents, and moved a cupboard door that was poking open, to put some leaflet holders down or something...

... nearly jumped out of my skin, when this little work experience lass was looking back up at me. She was hiding in the cupboard doing the paperwork. LOL

An AI system has just created the most realistic looking photos ever

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Do it!

Like this software already exists (Google have a ton of APIs/example codes), and you also have Unsplash for (at least for development) free content to add to the data set!

If I was clever enough, I would have done it already. You would have automated location + character generation at least on the cheap and seemingly infinite replayable (think the current trend of dungeon crawler/rouge lite).

TechnicalBen Silver badge


So they made an automated photofit + colour swap system?

Yes, I know it's a little more complex than that, but in reality, we also don't know "how" a specific neural network is doing something (we cannot reverse engineer just yet).

So in that case, it could literally just be doing a photofit and colour swap. XD

Qualcomm lifts lid on 7nm Arm-based octo-core Snapdragon 855 chip for next year's expensive 5G Androids

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Does it underclock/burst?

No idea how reliable it is on battery consumption, but the latest Intel chips, running on mobile, are suppost to ramp up/down with workload, and get compute done quickly, then idle back down to a lower powerstate. If I've understood it right.

So can these chips do likewise? Idle/sleep cores, lower speed/power draw between user/wake calls?

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Starbucks/costa/coffee places?

Some are now charging for cups.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Around here...

The farmers already use Block Chain technology to stop fly tipping on their land. Driveways are protected by big blocks of concrete and big chains.

Mines the one with sweet wrappers, tissues and receipts that go in the bin when I get home/see one on the street!

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

TechnicalBen Silver badge
Thumb Up

That's a brilliant idea!

So that's why they go over to The Cloud...

CEO: "7 days now, and we still don't have anything back up and running!"

[Sysadmin looks up from their sunglasses, BBQ'd sausages, puts down their beer]: "Oh, the Cloud service provider is right on it, they will have a status update to me by tomorrow..." [Pours another glass]...

You can't fire someone for incompetence if they don't even work for you! XD

Uber fined £385k by ICO for THAT hack of 57m customers' deets

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Will history repeat itself? Stay tuned...

Yes. Now that I saved us all that time, what else can we do? (See icon)

Microsoft readies the swatter as more bugs wriggle out of the Windows 10 woodwork

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Mixes.

That reminds me. Yeah, I do like remixes. But quite often, there one or two remixes, possibly from only the best artists, then the original. When you get a single with 5 different versions, 3 of them could be cut, easily.

LG: Fsck everything, we're doing 16 lenses in smartphones (probably)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

What has the world come to...

Fig A) vs Fig B)

So we are patenting "rotating by 90 degrees" when it's "mobile" now?

Where is the next intergalactic bus stop? I wanna get off! (At this rate, I won't even wait for the stop to jump out!)

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

TechnicalBen Silver badge

If I'm smart...

Does my meter need to be? I literally check the usage of items/devices and plan accordingly.

Oh, efficient washer + dryer turned up, and 3D printer that I just checked the cost/price of running.

Easy "shouting at everyone blaming them for costs and problems".

Hard "working things out yourself or with others".

Busy week for ISS as Russia resumes flights and vies for parking spaces with NASA

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: making appear commonplace

They check and confirm, tell and broadcast, enforce and apply "safe zones" for the landings. Yes, some people may go into those areas, but generally it's like a road, people know not to go there when cars are passing by.

Data-nicking UK car repairman jailed six months instead of copping a fine

TechnicalBen Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Avoids data breach rules if you say it was "unauthorised access", and sweep the rest under the carpet?

Another 3D printer? Oh, stop it, you're killing us. Perhaps literally: Fears over ultrafine dust

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Cheesy.

These all deal with chemicals, heat and exposure to the air. These are not going to be nice to the human body. Use air filtration, circulation etc. While perhaps an FDM is about as safe as a BBQ, I'd probably not risk my life on the new one turning up soon.

So this article is a nice reminder that some fan, or using it in a seperate room to me, is due. That and a proper solder station so I don't get gassed by that stuff either (flux more than the solder).

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Forced updates

Or worse "forced uninstalls". I've only had it via Steam DLC/mods so far, but I shy away from it because "closing down/unsupported" mods/DLC get removed automatically. No thanks!

Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Alternative

I think this kind of thing has been tried. Folding projector screen (A4 page, lol) and/or a projector in the phone. However, daytime reading is still not as good as even a dim oled/lcd/eink.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: folding batteries.

Folding batteries, or as in the Apple X thing, two or more cells, could be done in the future.

Watch closely as NASA deploys the world's biggest parachute at supersonic speeds

TechnicalBen Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Astounding

"Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades

or loose the cords of Orion?"

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Notch...

"Most of the objections to the notch concept are based on an individual's sense of aesthetics" NO!

It is because, instead of increasing real estate above the screen, to notifications, and allowing full screen content below that (say video without letterboxing, but not encroching into the notch), 90% of OS/manufacturers put the video INTO the notch. So it cuts out content, and you have a hole in your film all the way through.

Nothing to do with aesthetics and all to do with implement. IIRC LG and a few do offer an option to work the phone with only notifications in the notch, or turning that part of the panel off entirely. However, this messes up the video player scaling. So just as broken.

It's not impossible to make it work properly, it's just no one is staying on a design choice/platform long enough to get past "does it boot? Then ship it!" and bugs/GUI bad decisions be damned!

Yes, Americans, you can break anti-piracy DRM if you want to repair some of your kit – US govt

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: "unique screw head types and gluing or soldering components"

You jest about the valves... but some science and engineering bods are looking at valves on silicone chips!

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Neither. Choose the 3rd option.

The "train tracks" problem is that, someone decided to make a train that hurdles along a track at speeds that can kill, and puts no barriers up to stop a child on one track and a grandma on the other. THEN offers control to a clueless philosophy student to ponder over. ;)

The actual answer is don't let the AI get in a situation like that. OR put enough explosives on the car that it instantly evaporates and everyone is safe... oh, perhaps enough LO2 to neutralize the explosion? They are tech people, they must have a solution... right?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019