* Posts by Blergh

61 posts • joined 5 Sep 2012


Internet industry freaks out over proposed unlimited price hikes on .org domain names


Domain names are all pointless

I'm not sure I've ever seen the point in this whole bun fight for domain names, after all they are just a dictionary for an IP address, and often the typical user just does a Google search for the company they are looking for and then clicks on the first link. The domain of this link could be a random string of letters and they would still click on it.

What we need is a new hyper-domain registrar that will simply be another layer of lookups on top of the existing one.

e.g. If someone wants The Register they do a request for it from the new hyper-domain registrar who check it's dictionary and find it lives at the domain qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm.whocares and redirects to that, whereupon the current system takes over. All the user would see in the address bar is the logo for The Register and then everything in the URL after the domain name. I'm quite sure all the Browsers will jump at the chance to support this wonderful new protocol I just made up.

Ok sure maybe there are some security implications to my new system, but the whole domain name system is just so 1985 and is starting to feel like some sort of corrupt fleecing exercise.

Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn


Well obviously

Well surely everyone knows that it was when Earth's second moon collided with Saturn and pushed it out to a much further orbit that both Saturn's rings were created and the dinosaurs got wiped out. They died from sadness that their favourite food no longer existed; the flying velociraptor which did daily commutes between the second moon and Earth (daily as in lunar days because it was quite far).

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!


The only sensible use case

Presumably the only sensible use case is to merge this with the recent fake celebrity videos we've heard so much about. Although just how much talking was in the originals I've no idea - I don't think talking was the point of those videos.

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate


State-funded vs Corporate-funded propaganda

It's all propaganda no matter what the model.

Personally I do probably align more with the BBC type biases than those from any of the other providers. However I do think the funding model and content delivery needs to be modernised. I always expected iPlayer to turn out more like what Netflix is now, but after 10+ years it just hasn't moved on all that much and is still just viewed as a catch-up service rather than a one-stop shop for all your viewing.

Driverless cars will make more traffic, say transport boffins


Is the idea not for taxis to be cheaper?

With autonomous cars taxis could become much cheaper, thereby meaning the occasional user can get rid of their car. Commutes could also start to be covered, perhaps on a subscription model. Anyway either way there are still just as many journeys, maybe even more, the only difference is that it is covered by less vehicles. The only reduction in volume is when it might be easier to set up a cab sharing, maybe for a 30% discount and 10min longer route.

Sofa-jockeys given crack at virtual Formula 1 world championship


I might not mind so much if they were sat in actual simulators. However watching someone sat motionless button bashing just takes the heart out of it all. I want to see them physically doing something more than finger dexterity.

Are Asimov's laws enough to stop AI stomping humanity?


Human Laws

How about the AI just has to obey all human laws of the country it is currently in as if it was a human?

Of course I can then think of some loopholes which could be created by nefarious regimes, but why bother with specific AI laws. Is fraud suddenly ok for an AI because it isn't one of the Asimov Laws?

After reusing a rocket, SpaceX tries reusing Dragon capsule for ISS resupply


Is there ever not a delay?

It seems to me that there is always a delay to sending one of these rockets up. Is there ever not a delay or are they only reported on if there is a delay?

Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled



Oh dear I can't advertise on Google. How else can I advertise with Google? I know I'll sue them for a ludicrous amount and then all the media will advertise my product for me. Yay!

(I've no idea what the legal bills are for such a method but maybe it works)

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers


Project Valerie

I really liked the project Valerie laptop. However I think it would only really be of use if it unfolded again (vertically) and presented me with 6 screens. If it did that, then I'd buy it!

View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income


@Simon Hobson

I do agree with Simon Hobson about income tax also having to change but I assume it would be something like a 50% flat tax on all income (after all the UBI is now the personal allowance).

£5k/year -> £10k UBI + £2.5k = £12.5k/year

£15k/year -> £10k UBI + £7.5k = £17.5k/year

£25k/year -> £10k UBI + £12.5k = £22.5k/year

£100k/year -> £10k UBI + £50k = £60k/year

I would also assume the UBI replaces the state pension but I don't know if that is in the plan.

Brits think broadband more important than mobes, cars or savings


Broadband or Foot?

I was asked last night by my 7 year old if I'd rather lose broadband or my foot. After only a little bit of discussion we both agreed that we'd lose the foot!

Karhoo who? Uber challenger shuts down after burning through $250m


I suspect the main reason Uber has been so successful is because it gets so much free advertising by always being in the news. I don't think I've ever heard of Karhoo, so they obviously just weren't being disruptive enough. If all that cash spent on marketing it wasn't spent very well.

Twitterstorm erupts over suspected murder of record-breaking earthworm


That's not proper units!

What is wrong with this world?

That should be written as 2.8571 Linguine


Topless in-car selfie attempt climaxes with rear-end bonking


If it helps

Well on the the BBC website it did mention that her airbags were deployed, sorry I meant the car's airbags were deployed.

Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode



"both safe to use and capable of retaining 99 per cent of its initial capacity even after “1,000 bends with a radius of 25mm, or after twisted 1,000 times with an angle ±25°/100mm”.

And what about if you snap it in half and then put it in a washing machine?

QLC flash is tricky stuff to make and use, so here's a primer


So can the cells simply degrade from QLC to a TLC and then down to a MLC and finally SLC with the controller somehow knowing what the cell is capable of?

I suppose it might not be that simple.

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO


Re: Copper

I really don't understand your argument here. Line rental is line rental it really doesn't matter if it is fibre or copper it is still a line rental (or whatever name they could rebrand it as). Also the reason for having to take the landline is due to the Universal Service Obligation, which VOIP doesn't cover if there was a power cut.

Personally I've been happy they have gone for FTTC first, because FTTP would have taken 48 years to dig all the trenches and I would currently have an estimated date of 2040 for an upgrade from 3Mb.

Middle-aged US bloke pleads guilty to iCloud celeb nude photo hack


Obligatory XKCD

But did he get one of these first?


UCLA shooter: I killed my prof over code theft


Well I assume in this case the student was working on code for his PhD under guidance of his Prof and being paid for by whoever created the PhD place. The work is therefore owned by the University/Whoever paid for the PhD. It doesn't matter if it was the student's original ideas, on related work, or stuff he was set by his Prof. Only if the code was wholly unrelated to his PhD is there a grey line as to who owns it.

Facebook was created in Zuckerbergs spare time and not as part of a research project. The work I do for my company is rightfully owned by the company, not me.

Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020


Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020

I was going to say well duh that is so far away I'd be surprised if there was any disk left. But then I realised it is only 4 years away and not the 14+ years my initial assumption thought it was.

When did 2020 stop being some mythical time so far into the future that it might never happen?

UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London


What is the data source of these tests?

I don't think it was clear what was the source of these figures. It sounded like that it was from Uswitches broadband speed tests. I'm quite sure the test is accurate enough but what about the sample of people who use it?

From a personal stand point I've now got FTTC broadband and I have only once checked to see what the speed was, since then I've not had the need because it is fast enough for everything I want. However previously when I was just on ADSL I was checking whenever I suspected my connection was being abnormally slow.

Therefore could it be that the sample is likely to be skewed towards those who have slower broadband speeds? Maybe they've adjusted for this, but it wasn't clear if that was the case.

Storage-class memory just got big – 256Mbit big, at least


Hybrid drive?

Could this be used as a MRAM+SSD hybrid drive, or maybe even HDD+SSD+MRAM Hybrid? I've no idea if that would work or be worth it, but maybe some combination would be useful.

NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails



Persumably they would need to make sure this laser doesn't accidentally target any satellites that might be in the way. Actually on second thoughts does a laser of that power have the ability to fry space debris? If so it would give it something to do while there was nobody heading out to mars.

Ooh oh... how far is it to the nearest other solar system? About 4 light years? If we can send a satellite at 0.3 the speed of light it shouldn't take too long to go and have a proper look. I'm assuming that once it's up to speed then you stop with the laser.

Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map


Map for The Martian

That section of Mars is the same part used in the book "The Martian" and covers area used on his road trip.

GCHQ Christmas Card asks YOU the questions


Morse code

I've just noticed that the tiles that are already shaded spell GCHQ in morse code.

Nice touch but probably useless to the puzzle. Unless it is a clue for the next stage.


Re: Actually

Well it took me 1hr with just a pen. Admittedly a bit slower computationally but cheaper.

However I now can't be bothered tidying up my workings to get it looking good enough to be read as a QR code.

Boffins teach cars to listen for the sound of a wet road


Funny that. This morning, on the way to work, I was thinking about just the same thing, self-driving cars on icy roads. I supposed all the current testing is done in California where the weather is pretty good all year around and therefore the cars don't get practice in different conditions. It would be a bit rubbish if the car just decides it won't drive if the temperature goes below 3C. I guess the long term goal would be for a self driving cars to be better at driving than any human, including rally drivers on an ice stage. Now that would be a commute!

Time Lords set for three-week battle over leap seconds


Re: Why stop there?

I think it would be much easier to work with base 12 or 16 if they just created some new numbers for 11 to 15. Using letters A-F is a terrible way of doing it and too confusing because I already have a relationship to those letters in the alphabet. They need their own shapes and names.

Heroic German rozzers rescue innocent lamb from sordid brothel


Her name is Mary

"The woman, who has not been named, could defend herself by claiming the lamb followed her to the brothel"

'Right to be forgotten' festers as ICO and Google come to blows



I don't think Google has been a bit naughty in a quarter of cases. It is only the case for those complaints. It may be 48 out of 183 complaints, but that is probably only 48 out of the thousands of requests Google has had (apparently at least 250,000 in all of EU). Show me the real numbers!

e.g. If I had 1 million clients (or whatever) and I handled 1 wrong, they complain and it's seen I've messed it up, this does not mean that I've messed up 100% of cases! It actually means I'm correct 99.9999% of the time.

Does your broadband feel faster? Akamai says it went up 20 per cent*


Yes it is faster*

* from tomorrow

BT have got their finger out and upgraded my cabinet to infinity! I'm getting moved over tomorrow so I should have a jump from 4mb to 40mb. And yes of course who knows what I'll actually end up with, but since it is my only option I'll be happy if it works.

Actually I'm not so bothered about the download speeds going up. It's the upload speed increase from 0.3mb to 10mb that I'm looking forward to, that will make working from home much easier.

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK



I'd be more impressed if they managed to do it without any ports at all.

iBank: RBS, NatWest first UK banks to allow Apple Touch ID logins


40x a month

"RBS and NatWest have 1.8 million active iPhone users who use the app on average 40 times per month."

So that's not just up to 40x a month but an average? What the hell are they doing with it?

Or did I get that wrong and it isn't 1.8m each using it 40 times, but just that of those 1.8m with the app it is used on average a total of 40 times a month.

ZX81 BEATEN at last as dev claims smallest Chess code crown


En Passant

If it doesn't allow castling I bet it doesn't allow En passant either.

I'm so proud of myself. I've not played chess for 20 years and I still remembered!

$500 TEDDY BEAR teaches tots to spit up personal data


What a waste of money

1. Aimed at the wrong age group of babies. Newborns, which are the ones new parents worry about in this way, can't hold anything let alone find this teddy's paw for 4 seconds. Once they're capable of such interaction the biggest worrys are that they don't fall from height head first onto concrete, run in front of a car, drink bleach etc...

2. Even if this did work they things you buy your kids and the things they like to play with are usually completely different things. Even if they loved it when they were in the shop.

APPLE set to Air PLUS-SIZED iPAD – claims mag


Dinner Plates

"Apple is in the final stages of designing a 12-inch iPad as big as a dinner plate"

Does that mean it's going to be round?

Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?


Driverless motorbike?

What would be the point in a driverless motorbike? I'm all for thinking out of the box when it comes with thinking up new ideas, but really! The whole point of a motorbike is either the driving or getting through traffic, neither of which you would get with a driverless version.

I'm also not entirely clear on why you need to choose between which vehicle crashes. If they are driverless vehicles they should not be doing speeds they cannot stop from, even on a single track road with bad conditions. Of course a driverless vehicle can't completely account for other idiot non-driverless vehicles, but that isn't the question posed. The driverless vehicle should always take the action which causes least physical harm, which usually means stopping.

If someone has disabled all the safety protocols of the driverless car and are going as fast as they can on the road for a thrill ride, well it's their own fault for being an idiot.

PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 SHUNNED by refusenik fanbois


More iDevices already out there?

Presumably when iOS5 first came out there were less older devices which people couldn't be bothered upgrading than there is now.

What I mean is that for iOS5 say 5M new devices were bought in the first month and there was already 10M older devices out there. Then 33% of the upgrades would simply be new devices. Now however for iOS8 say 5M devices are bought in the first month, but now there are 20M older devices. Then only 20% of the upgrades are new devices. Obviously I've completely made up those figures since I don't know what they actually are but I hope you know what I'm getting at.

Also when iOS5 came out presumably there weren't so much of a back catalogue of old devices which couldn't handle the upgrade, or at least users figured there might be issues. I guess a lot of people also upgrade their phone every year and therefore don't bother with the software upgrades at all.

New USB spec offers two-way power flows AND double-sided plug


Re: "Your mobe could charge your laptop"

I'm not worrying about having to upgrade because I just will as I get devices that has the functionality, like I always do.

My main issue was regarding "Your mobe could charge your laptop", so how will I be able to get it to not do that? Maybe I want the laptop to charge the mobile instead. How does it know which batteried device should be sending the power in which direction? This would presumably be most of an issue for something like a battery extender pack. Unless that keeps a strict input port and output port, otherwise the mobile might start charging the battery pack instead of the other way around.

Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series


International Chicken

With the kiss I got the feeling that they wanted to do the same sex kiss to confirm the relationship between the women in the viewers eyes. They said they were married but because they are secondary characters, and therefore don't get the time for tender moments to establish that in the viewers eyes, a kiss was required to confirm the type of relationship.

The problem however is that not all international markets are as forgiving as the UK and therefore to ensure the scene is not cut in those markets they made it into an awkward "let me give you the air from my lungs" thing.

If they'd made it a full blown give me a kiss because we're about to die thing. They still would have got the same 6 complaints in the UK and no complaints in any other country because for them they would have had to cut the scene. Ok maybe not every other country, but I can think of one or two large markets where it might have been an issue to show it.

10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire


Re: why not take it all the way in.

I really can't believe that it would only take an hour extra for FTTH. My house is probably half a mile from the cabinet so I'd expect it to take another full day or more to run the fibre to my house. I think I remember something about BT expecting it to take 0.5 day but they were more realistically finding it took 2 people a little more than 1 day. That was a while ago and I can't remember the exact article so maybe that's not relevant.

Anyway you've then not just got 1 house but probably 100 houses running from each cabinet. You fibre up 1 cabinet and 100 houses get faster broadband, but to give them all FTTH is going to take a lot longer and cost a lot more.

So my expectation would be FTTC (5 days) + 100 houses (100 days) = FTTH (105 days) = 21 FTTC.

FTTC is not a given they've still got thousands of them still to do and a huge to do list that goes into the next few years. Give everyone else a chance to get onto FTTC before upgrading the whingers to something faster.

* I've not based this on any actual knowledge or research but it certainly not going to be the +2% JeffyPoooh expects.

27 Data-Slurping Facts BuzzFeed Doesn't Want You To Know!


What's the problem?

They provide a quiz which asks lots of personal questions and then you're surprised they hang onto your answers and link it your usage? I personally can't think of anything more obvious.

Imagine the scenario

Marketing bloke: How do we find out who our core demographic is?

Consultant: How about we ask them?

Marketing bloke: Great idea lets do that then! Oh and see that cookie we drop on everyone's machines can we link it to that in case we want to analyse the data deeper?

Consultant: Sure that's easy.

Who needs a ride-on mower when a ROBOT will cut your grass


What about rain?

If it's scheduled to just go and mow the lawn once a week while I'm at work does it matter if it's raining and do you need to build a small shed for it to sit under? I only ask because I usually avoid cutting the grass when it's wet making it more difficult to mow and clogging things up. Also at different times of year I find the grass needs to be cut at different intervals, I guess you need to manually alter the schedule according to the seasons? Or is it all more stupid than that and you have to be there to take it out the shed, place it on it's start point and then set it off manually?

It would be good if it went out twice a week, checked the grass length and if it wasn't long enough to bother cutting it would cancel the job.

It's no use for me anyway since I've got 4 lawns all on different levels and I'm not building ramps just for the mower. I'll just wait for the one that can fly too. Now there's a film title, "Attack of the flying lawn mowers".

Vulture 2 rocket motor heater a non-sizzling success


-50C on the outside but +50C on the inside

Looking at the graph it's just a funny coincidence that it cut out with an inside temp of +50C when the outside temp was also likely to be around -50C. It's strange how things work out.

Our Moderately Sized Data analytics engine pooh-poohs Acer '30 second support' claims


What is the median wait time?

From your small sample size an average wait time could be badly skewed by a one off event where their system went down for 30min. You can't get the opposite otherwise you'd be going back in time, so giving us the median wait time will be a more representative figure.

I imagine it probably doesn't make much difference to your results, but it will help us decide if your statistics mean anything. Alternatively if you let us know what the maximum and minimum wait times were along with your already stated average then we can make a guess about how badly skewed your data is from the paltry 12 data points.

Of course you could alternatively try and up your number of data points to something more significant (in the 1000s).

Ricoh Theta 360˚ camera: Point and click immersive imaging


Do the lens scratch?

I noticed in one of the pictures that when you lie it down it is lying on one of the lenses. How susceptible to scratching is it likely to be?

Perhaps it's not something you just stick in your pocket with your keys and "just be careful with it" is the answer.

LOHAN's mighty thruster poised for hot coupling



I don't know anything about them though.

Would they be too heavy and power hungry?

Also if you had all the connectors from each side attached to their own plastic bar (lollipop stick) or something then you'd only need to hold the 2 plastic bars together with the electromagnet all the connectors lined up. It then also shouldn't be possible to short out the connectors.

LOHAN Spanish team touches down... to prepare for lift-off


Autopilot plus Rocket

I just read the bit about the autopilot and I wondered if the autopilot might try to navigate a tight turn from the start while accelerating under rocket power? I know the plane was specifically designed for this project so I'm hoping that either the plane will still be stable under those circumstances or is the autopilot clever enough to know how to deal with the rapid acceleration.

Boffins build headless robo-kitties


Re: Obstacles

Totally agreed.

Although 2m from stand still is probably a touch too much for a cat but 1.5m should be easy enough. It does need to be precision jump though onto the top of a 5cm ledge, or even a wall which it can then also stroll along.


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