* Posts by Peter Ford

261 posts • joined 13 Jul 2007

Page:

Li-quid hot mag-ma: There's a Martian meteorite in your backyard. How'd it get there?

Peter Ford

Re: "an asteroid hit the volcano, leaving a crater and sending the materials rocketing to Earth"

My reading is that, although the lava flow was billions of years ago, the asteroid impact that ejected the rocks was much more recent: presumably long after the atmosphere went away.

0
0

Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

Peter Ford

Re: The whole point of simulating a universe

While your initial point is fair, the suggestion from this work is that it is not physically possible to make a simulation that covers a tiny bit of what we know - they looked at *one* small quantum effect and found that simulating it to any useful degree was not going to be possible. Now add on all of the other quantum effects and you find that to be sure of the exact nature of just the few particles one sim scientist might be looking at would require an unfeasibly large simulation.

Sure, that's impossible in the universe we know, and since were talking about simulating that universe there's an assumption that there is something of much grander scale outside of our known universe doing the simulation, but we're not talking just orders of magnitude greater, more like orders of magnitude times orders of magnitude...

I think the underlying point is that there's not much chance of us even doing a little simulation that could demonstrate that a simulation is possible (the proof-of-concept is not even feasible) so why worry :)

4
0

10 minutes of silence storms iTunes charts thanks to awful Apple UI

Peter Ford

People are paying to download this?

Surely anyone can arrange to record a few minutes of silence to an audio file?

It seems to happen every time I attempt to record something, at least until I have figured out which input I was supposed to select...

0
0

Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH

Peter Ford

"Natural language does not emerge naturally"

Err, so how did it emerge?

I hope I'm not provoking another evolution/creation "argument"...

8
0

Clear August 21 in your diary: It's a total solar eclipse for the smart

Peter Ford

Save the Cheerleader...

... save the world?

0
0

America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Peter Ford

Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

My laptop has a removable battery module, so perhaps I should take the battery in my carry-on bag and put the rest in the hold...

Of course, that wouldn't work with an awful lot of low-end kit where the battery is not easily removable (like tablets)

2
0

Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land

Peter Ford

Re: Linux is a viable alternative for a range of uses these days.

+1 for ZorinOS

My boss's good lady got ransomwared on her windows PC a good few months ago, so I blasted it and installed ZorinOS. No complaints so far...

1
0

PayPal peed off about Pandora's 'P' being mistaken for its 'PP'

Peter Ford

I suspect PayPal have plenty of evidence to show exactly how stupid their customers are.

0
0

Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Peter Ford

Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

In cases where a village is bisected by the border, we could do what happens in many european places (e.g. Samnaun in Switzerland/Austria) or elsewhere in the world: put the border around both sides of the village and turn the village into a tax-free shopping paradise...

Another interesting thing about the CH/AT border - you can kayak/canoe across the border on the river En/Inn. It's a serious piece of whitewater and at the bottom of a deep gorge, which is probably why the border meets the river there...

0
0

Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

Peter Ford

Re: Optional Title

132 is my kids preferred binary number...

2
0

Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking

Peter Ford

Static IP address?

Is it just me, or is that not the obvious workaround?

Skip DHCP altogether and set up a static IP address for the machine - you can do that in Windows, can't you?

The only piece of information you need to do that is the network address block - in most home routers that's likely to be 192.168.1.0/24 - and then choose any one of the mid-range numbers for the last octet to avoid conflict with the router and other dynamically-assigned addresses that might be in use.

I have quite a few devices on my home network and for me it's helpful to know the IP addresses of some of them (I have a raspi to do my internal DNS). The mobile phones are about the only thing that use DHCP in here...

1
1

Virgin Galactic and Boom unveil Concorde 2.0 tester to restart supersonic travel

Peter Ford

They'd probably slow down for a while to refuel, like the SR-71 did.

At least this thing probably won't be on the edge of a stall while flying slow enough for a tanker to fuel it...

2
0

BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Peter Ford

Re: huh ?

"Unless the infrastructure runs on 2 Raspberry Pi's and a usb disk instead of the blades and SANS that are on the books but have been replaced by a few rows of LED strips in the data centre."

Shhh - you'll give the game away!

1
0

HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

Peter Ford

Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

Isn't that pretty much what they *are* saying?

2
0

BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Peter Ford

Re: Sounds all to familiar

I seem to remember setting the ready message to "OUT OF CHEESE" once... That resulted in some interesting support calls.

1
0

Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Peter Ford

Re: Um, dumb question

"Now think of cycling, where the rider is all-but attached to the bike and so body size and shape is even more important. Further, you have variations in bikes not only for different types of riders but for the same riders at different stages."

But that's not a requirement: the riders could ride up the mountains on the same bike as they sprint the special stages and cruise the long bits. A bike design could be made standard allowing for longer seat posts and bar stems to fit the riders. Complexity is not an excuse - the NASCAR racers might have various manufacturers badges and stickers but they are standardized cars, and even a stock car is more complex (not much, admittedly) than a bike.

7
1

Let's play: 'IT values or hipster folk band?'

Peter Ford

Welcome to TalkTalk

Sorry this part of the site is not available right now.

I think you'll find that is actually TalkTalk's mission statement

0
0

India launches hypersonic space shuttle precursor

Peter Ford

Descent...

"The dummy craft then made a hypersonic descent to earth"

They say that like it's a good thing!

0
0

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

Peter Ford

Re: Trains

"isn't Bombardier a Canadian company?"

Depends how you say it. I think they prefer "bom-BAR-de-ay" so yes: (French?) Canadian.

If it were British it would be "BOM-a-deer"

0
0
Peter Ford

Re: Viewing habits

No adverts in Eurovision, so no tea breaks. That might just be in the UK on BBC: some of the fillers they show when other networks are putting in their adverts make you pine for a Waitrose Christmas advert.

Anyway, no alcohol before song nine...

0
0

Tesla production executives depart as 'leccy car maker reports narrowing loss

Peter Ford

Cutting costs?

If the current controversy about pay awards to CEOs in the UK is anything to go by, losing C-suite executives looks like a good way to bring Tesla into profit. Every little £14m helps :)

8
0

Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

Peter Ford

Re: On the gantry?

The flashing ought to help the colour blind - the implementation appears to be flashing LEDs that presumably don't flash when the crossing is safe.

2
0

China's Dalek-like robots fear only one terrifying nemesis: Stairs

Peter Ford

To be fair...

If its job is riot control, then causing the miscreants to run away or escape downstairs will disperse the troublemakers to some extent.

In fact, it's more likely to stop the rioting by causing everyone to fall about laughing.

18
0

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Peter Ford

Re: For those using HOSTS file blocking...

I have a slightly more elaborate version of the HOSTS blocking: I have a dummy web server that servers up an empty page when requested, and any domains and sites I wish to block are listed in my local DNS which points them to my dummy web server.

The joy of this is that any machine connected to that network, unless it overrides the DNS settings fed by the DHCP service, gets the same advert treatment whatever browser they use. It also allows adverts served by the content provider to pass through as long as it comes from a server that is not otherwise blocked. I notice that the Register pages have very little advertising on my browsers, except the sneaky job adverts from Technojobs that are served by a proxy page...

As far as I can tell, sites such as Forbes check for the existence of markers in the advert content and assume that if it's not there then you are blocking their adverts.In that sense, because they are detecting the absence of something loading, perhaps they are already working around the situation which this whole article presents as illegal. If you base your decision on what is not there, then could you could posit that no personal information has been stored or retrieved?

0
0
Peter Ford
Mushroom

Re: snooping my machine

There *is* an alternative to *me* checking out of society, although it might lead to me being forcibly checked out of society. After all, advertising companies have offices, employ people, operate computers. All of those are potential targets for someone sufficiently annoyed by the intrusion...

0
0

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

Peter Ford

Re: The same memory as the BBC Micro Model A of 15 years ago...

Not quite: Elite actually used the monochrome mode 4 (medium resolution, 320x256 I think) for the top half and the low resolution four-colour mode 6 (160x256 with fat pixels) for the bottom section where you needed the extra colours: they were only 10KB graphics modes.

The disk version used overlays loaded dynamically when swapping from flying play to trading screens: the cassette version was much more limited in scope but loaded in one go.

We just don't do that sort of hackery in modern computers...

1
0

Fleet of 4.77MHz LCD laptops with 8088 CPUs still alive after 30 years

Peter Ford

Aside from those obvious moving-part failures like hard drives and cooling fans, I've had all sorts of things mysteriously fail:

several of those ADSL filters that plug in to the phone socket,

one of a pair of CPUs (not through overheating, it just died),

RAM in a desktop,

a PC power supply (not the fan - that was fine - the control circuitry went doolally),

USB drives (I suppose they suffer some mechanical stress),

and most weird a single port in a 16-way gigabit switch...

Solid-state is not necessarily forever.

6
0

The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

Peter Ford

That's stage 1 sorted

But what happens to stage 2?

That's the bit that does the tricky satellite-positioning part - where does it end up?

Or have I missed something?

1
0

BOFH: How long does it take to complete Friday's lager-related tasks?

Peter Ford

Re: admin obverhead

I have a cron job that grabs the comments from the subversion history and makes them into timesheet entries each day.

My boss is happy that he gets anything in my timesheet...

2
0

Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

Peter Ford

Re: smash through my window and set the house on fire

What's really scary is that ParcelForce (the Post Office parcel people) are the best compared to most of the other courier companies in the UK - I'm looking at you Yodel...

2
0

The Emissionary Position: screwing the motorist the European way

Peter Ford

Re: Dirty Business?

You seem to think that cracking and distillation are different, but actually cracking is the same thing (it's also called "fractional distillation"). To get all the other fractions of the crude oil used elsewhere (like the propane and butane that make up LPG, and the ethane and aromatics that go into plastics and drug manufacture, and the diesel and kerosene and heavy fuel oil, the whole lot is distilled at the same time.

2
6

Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid

Peter Ford

Re: Carl Sagan.

Surely the reason the dinosaurs aren't here is that they *did* have a space program: a very large-scale and successful one...

13
0

Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

Peter Ford

Re: Long Overdue

I thought "test modes" in the ECU had been public knowledge for years (or at least suspected) - now someone with influence has finally demonstrated

1
0

Long-memoried boffins re-invent 1950s ferroelectric tech

Peter Ford

Re: The name "FMC Corporation" has been taken for decades

Surely FMC Corporation is fine: the C in my Dad's company stands for Corporation, so these guys are FMCC - that's totally different...

0
0

Look! Up in the sky! It's letters on a plane read with a 250MP camera

Peter Ford

Re: With what lens and what atmospheric conditions?

It says "E - A - S - is that a V? or a Y? - then J - E - something..."

9
0

Veedub flub hubbub stubs car-jack hack flap

Peter Ford

Re: Do Lamborghini use the same system?

Lamborghini is a VW Group brand (as is Bugatti) - so probably...

0
0

DIGITAL DOPING might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

Peter Ford

GPS altitude is a waste of space.

I use my cheap Samsung phone as a tracker for my kayaking training: this is flatwater racing so the *only* change in altitude comes at the occasional lock where I have to get out and run up/down some steps.

I regularly get altitude changes of a couple of hundred metres in a 10km session - it counts every little wobble in the altitude reading and adds them all up. What it disconcerting is that the final altitude is usually different to the start, although they're the same place.

Also, on the rare occasions when I have used the device to trakc a run up a proper hill and back down, the altitude profile is actually quite good.

0
0

Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Peter Ford

Re: Nice round-up - thanks.

Zulu-Alpha-Zulu, surely?

1
0

Volvo V60 Polestar: Speak softly, carry a big stick, dress like a Smurf

Peter Ford

Doesn't have to be smurf blue

There's a black one on the forecourt of my local Volvo dealer...

1
0

Small cells are like DRUNKS. They don't use lamp posts for light, they use 'em for support

Peter Ford

Backhaul

Powerline ethernet? Might need some encryption to stop the spooks reading the bits from the flickering lamp (especiallywith new-fangled LED street lights)...

2
0

Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

Peter Ford

Name and shame

Why won't AVG mention any names?

Surely their business model is not to make sure everyone gets infected by these types of app so we all have to buy their AV software...

4
0

Wheeee! BT preps for FIVE HUNDRED MEGABIT broadband trial

Peter Ford

Ha ha ha ha ha

500Mbps broadband in Britain?

ha ha ha ha ha ha OMG II've wet myself...

4
0

SECRETS of the LOST SCROLLS unlocked by key to HEALTHY BOOBS

Peter Ford

Will this work

to read the phone number from the that went through the wash in my trouser pocket?

4
0

SpaceX drone hovership ROCKET LANDER BURN: Musk to try again

Peter Ford

Re: Too dark?

Fog plus bright light usually equals worse visibility than you had without the lights

9
0

That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'

Peter Ford

Even if we do go there...

... the prospect of drilling a 25km deep hole on a moon just to find out if there's water down there seems a bit remote. Have we even drilled 25km deep on Earh yet?

0
0

Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

Peter Ford

Re: lies , damn lies, and who are all the pies?

Sure, running a marathon burns 3500kCals (or whatever), but just keeping your brain alive burns a big chunk of the 2500kCals/day, so that is on top of your marathon run - that day you burned more like 6000kCal.

1
0

Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

Peter Ford

Re: Too big not to fail?

Cashing out is not necessary - after all, that cash may be worthless anyway if you really succeed in bringing down the system.

The banks just need a sufficiently large shock to restart their hearts.

0
0

World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Peter Ford

WTF is that!!!!?

I've seen both of these Lancasters in their natural habitats: the BBMF one flies over us at least once a year usually with his two pals, although I was buzzed by the Lancaster whilst kayaking up the river Medway when it flew over the War and Peace show one year - the title is an approximation of what was said as it came over from behind at treetop height... nearly fell out of my boat!

The Canadian one I saw whilst walking around a lake near Banff: in that case it was "I'm sure that's a Lancaster bomber - WTF is it doing here?". It was a little higher flying between the hills, so the noise wasn't quite as dramatic, but still very distinctive.

0
0

Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Peter Ford

Around the world in 18 days

What was that Phileas Fogg mucking about at?

0
0

Beer in SPAAAACE! London Pride soars to 28,000m

Peter Ford
Coat

My first reaction?

The text is missing from the speech bubble in the firstt photo..

0
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017