* Posts by Sealand

127 posts • joined 31 May 2013


Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom


Well written, and all too familiar.

I have an electronic alarm clock with the usual nasty beep sound and the phone with a church bell going off next to the bed. The trouble is, when being ripped out of my sleep, I'm not exactly the sharpest of knives, so if I get a phone call, I tend to swipe for snooze, in fact taking the call. Very confusing for the caller. I have different sounds for alarm and a call, so you'd think I could tell the difference, but no.

Have a great weekend everyone ...

COFFEE AND DANISH HELL: National ID system cockup forces insecure Java on Danes


Re: One JVM to rule them all

> Whoever thought that was a good idea?

Politicians, of course.

As usual, comfortably detached from the real world.

Do not adjust your set: TV market slows, 'connected TV' grows


Re: Internet Connected TVs are still rapidly rising

Eventually many TVs will be connected - or 'enabled' - but the manufacturers still need to figure out how we should handle the connectedness. Flipping through the channels with up/down buttons is a no-brainer, but navigating through screen menus using a standard TV remote really sucks. If you need to type anything, it gets even worse.

Even when they manage to make an app for it (Sony in my home), the app is designed as a remote, and naturally that sucks too.

Make it easy to use, then people will start using it.

German researchers claim 100 Gbps wireless transmission record


Opening and closing of roads

Yes, it's a costly process, but it can be done.

Where I live, the power co. had decided to move the supply cables from masts to ducts in the ground. Since they had the diggers out and the roads open anyway, they put down empty tubes as well, and everyone in the village got a letter asking "Sir, in preparation for FTTH, should we lay down a tube from the road to the foundation of your house free of charge?". Sure, go right ahead. So they did.

Later, the power cos established a joint venture service provider, and to all the households where they had laid down tubes to the foundation, they now offered free installation of the fibre and the terminal gear if you subscribed to the service. Which I had anticipated, so I got 30/30 Mbit/s internet (or better - it's usually at 37/34) on top of a bunch of TV channels and telephone. And I saved on the overall monthly fee.

Sure, the fibres have a life span of 30 years, but they are in tubes, so no need to dig up the roads and pavements when the time comes.

Gates, Zuckerberg to deliver free coding lesson


They should focus on two things ...

1) Understanding the hardware

2) Usability

1) Knowing what it means to execute code on hardware will make you a better coder. I'm not saying you should write machine code, but in the math world, dividing by zero yields infinity, which is a perfectly acceptable result. When you're programming, dividing by zero yields a crash. Or an exception. If you don't know what's going on in the hardware, you probably don't even know what an exception is.

2) In even the best of all programming languages, you can make something that completely fails to do the job intended, and even in the crappiest programming language, you can make something that gets the job done. Usability is hard work, and it has nothing to do with programming or the langauge used.

Apple bags top Windows feature: Blue Screen Of Death arrives on iPhone 5S


Crappy software? Nah.

I bet if they made a 128 bit phone, we'd see 4 times as many crashes compared to 32 bit.

Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?


Re: All that money

You haven't seen the MacTini, then:


OUCH: Google preps ad goo injection for Android mobile Gmail app


Don't use Gmail, but nevertheless - to quote Mel Brooks: Harumpf!

Deep inside the iPhone 5s lurk a few surprises


Re: seriously?

> Take most sports, there is just as much rivalry ...


Imagine a football stadium with 50/50 fanbois/fandroids all painted in the faces with Apples and ... um ... Samsungamalogos, shouting at each other while raising their phones and tablets in the air, showing off what the devices can and can't do.

Publishers stand behind Apple in ebook price-fixing fight


"There's more to the DoJ's remedies, however. The proposal also would require Apple to allow ebook retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble to sell ebooks directly through their iOS apps – a practice Apple now bans"

I can see why Apple is actively defending their stance.

if the DoJ succeeds in this, wouldn't it eventually affect the whole 'freemium' concept for apps, so that developers can sell additional features for the apps without Apple getting a cut?

Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs


A copier?

Isn't a copier supposed to copy what it sees?

This device should be marketed and sold as an "I'll print whatever I think is there - do you feel lucky, punk?'er"

One more thing we can no longer trust. The list is getting shorter all the time, methinks.

PEAK APPLE: iPad market share hits the skids


Re: No suprises here. Move along please...

You people are horrible consumers.

Don't you know that the whole western world is centered around consumption?

What's going to happen if we are all just happy with what we've got and stop buying stuff? Big companies lose sales and revenue, the guys at Wall Street get unhappy, and the stock market plummets. Do you really want to be responsible for that?

Now go out and buy that shiny new iGalaxy or S4Pad or whatever you prefer, but for heavens sake buy one - better yet, buy two - and keep the wheels of the industry churning. I don't care if you don't need it or already have one. When the world runs out of raw materials and the manufacturers can no longer produce gadgets, THEN you have an excuse to stop buying.

What - are you still reading? Go buy something already ...

Chromecast: You'll pop me in for HOT STREAMS of JOY, hopes Google


> 1. How the user pairs it to the wireless network

The user probably doesn't have to do anything.

Google slurped all WiFi info within range while they took pictures for Street View, remember?

100-metre asteroid 2013 NE19 zipped past Earth today


"So asteroids can be rather dark, huh? Why, that's cheating!"

It's the one we don't see that will get us.

Remember recently when all the world was watching the flyby of the space rock that was inside lunar orbit? Out of nowhere - on the same day - came a second (and apparently 'rather dark') rock and slammed the unsuspecting people in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Nice trick, there, Universe. Waving the left hand in the air while punching with the right ...

Confirmed: Bezos' salvaged Saturn rocket belonged to Apollo 11


Re: Don't be fooled

Come on now - obviously they were placed on the seabed by Slartibartfast or one of his colleagues from Magrathea, when they built the world.

T-Rex tooth find shows dino may have been a pussy


In the Words of Qui-Gon Jinn: "There is always a bigger fish ..."

At the London Museum of Natural History they have (or had some years ago) on exhibit the pretrified part of an arm that is the only remains of some critter they believe was rexier than T-Rex.

If that theory holds, I bet that one could eventually have spotted a T-Rex and gone: "Mmm ... lunch!"

BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results


Note to manufacturers and broadcasters:

Listen guys, I'm still blown away by an HD channel on a 46" screen delivered by a fibre connection to my living room. What on earth has made you even consider that I would want to wear glasses to watch television?

Give me the same crisp HD quality in real 3D, popping up - Obi-Wan-Kenobi style - from my table or from the wall or from some other convenient place, then I'll buy. Anything short of that: fuggedaboutit!

Boston U claims LED patent, files against tech giants


Re: Timing?

"Let's see now - the total cost of patent trolling adds up to ... ooooh, that much, eh? Hey guys, do we have any patents lying around?"

30 years on: Remembering the Memotech MTX 500


I wrote a game for it, too

I actually wrote a game for it. An electronics mag awarded money to any program that was submitted and ended up listed in the magazine. I was a student at the time, so I could use the money.

In my game, you would collect or grab asteroids with the space shuttle, and you'd better not approach too fast. The asteroids started moving horizontally and fairly slow, but as you grabbed more, they flew faster and increasingly used the Y-axis also, so inevitably you'd crash.

The game was rejected for being too difficult. Ha ... pussies. We don't grab asteroids because it's easy, but because it is hard. In the next issue of the mag was a text based game where they had left out all the text in the listing. Seems like the editors of the mag had no clue how the Memotech Noddy program worked, and how a text based game was built using Noddy.

Anyway, I also managed to write a bunch of reports for engineering school on the Memotech, printing them in 40 characters per line on a dot-matrix printer - with graphics interspersed in the text, if memory serves me right.

It all happened using an old cassette tape deck as storage. One with leather cover and a strap to carry it over the shoulder. I used to dream about attaching an FDX floppy drive, but I could not afford it at the time. A HDX 10 Mb hard drive was even further away.

Thumb Up

Show of hands, people - who had one?

I did - it was a great machine.

Sony unveils latest attempt at an Android SmartWatch


Re: Runs Android?

Yup - should run Android 4.0 according to the article.

So let's see now ... apparently what has happened is that in the arms race towards ever larger screens, the devices have now grown too large and too cluttered with stuff, and the manufacturers think we may need a remote control for it. So they want us to wear a remote, showing only the basic stuff, such as the time and who's calling on the phone. And they do it by running Android 4.0 on a 220 x 176 pixels screen.

This is really ...

What are they ...

I wanted to end this with something sarcastic, but words fail me.

'BadNews is malware' says outfit that found it


Re: Odd reluctance

Maybe they heard it as "Ad News" ...

Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded


Re: Not just the yanks

True - it's everywhere.

Beleaguered by lobbyists, politicians are isolating themselves more and more from the people they are supposed to serve, with the consequence that the people are distancing themselves from the politicians. It's a downward spiral.

Capitalism is all about accumulating wealth, and there is only so much wealth to accumulate. So when all the money is hoovered into large bins as it is now, there can be no more growth, and the system is bound to crash. Which it did, does and will do. Failure by design, so to speak. It would seem the cycle is 70 years or so.

Communism in the true sense is something the world has yet to see. What we have seen is socialism, which is nothing more than state-centered capitalism. Which - according to the definition above - will also fail by design. the trouble here is that when it fails, it's a whole nation that crashes.

I have no answer, but of the two options, I still prefer capitalism, because at least some of the time, society will prosper. If someone came out with an -ism that made it economically attractive to do something good for society, they'd have my vote. but as is stands today, I'm not sure where the money should come from ...

Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro


Yup, you nailed it!

Now I just need to figure out how to get out of my Miele-indiced coma and get a new washer ... and life will be sweet.


Design for the sake of the design?

For a while now I have suspected that with Jony Ive at the helm of development (or whatever), we'd gradually see Apple steer more and more towards design for its own sake - not for the user. The Mac Pro certainly seems to confirm my suspicion. It looks like they have tried to convert the Pro into a consumer product, which is kind of missing the point, I'd say. Unless of course they are paving the way for something else ...

And iOS7 ... well, after skimming through the guidelines, I think it resembles the Windows Phone UI more than just a little bit, abandoning many things that I like about iOS in favor of, well, design. Perhaps when I get my fingers dirty I'll get to like it - after all, many things that seem odd in the UI guidelines are actually very well thought through with respect to usability - but right at this moment I'm confused as to which signals they are sending.

Hitchhikers' Guide was WRONG, Earth is not in a galactic backwater


Astronomic name tagging

The location of the earth may well have gone upscale, but to me, the name "Local Arm" still suggests something very rural. You know - one bus in each direction per day, chickens running around on a dirt road, the odd dog barking, that sort of thing. Couldn't they have come up with something a little more Ritzy?

'Nothing will convince a kid that's never worn glasses to wear them'


Re: Still waiting!

Be careful what you wish for - you may get it.


The time is 15:32 and you clearly need coffee. There's a cafe not far from here, so follow my directions. I’ll keep you posted with special deals from the shops that you pass along the way.


The time is 15.32. The time is now displayed on all your devices and those of your family members and friends.

Windows Watch:

It looks like you are staring at me. Would you like me to tell you the time?


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