* Posts by Ivan Headache

770 posts • joined 24 Jul 2007

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Industrial Light & Magic: 40 years of Lucas's pioneering FX-wing

Ivan Headache

Harrow

I have a recollection of reading that certain optical tricks used in the original film were developed at Harrow Technical College (now Westminster Uni).

Am I remembering correctly or not?

It does seem possible seeing that Elstree is not much more than a stone'S throw from Harrow.

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America 'will ban carry-on laptops on flights from UK, Europe to US'

Ivan Headache

shoes

for many years I used to always wear Birkies when flying.

Everytime when boarding at LHR or GTW I would have to take them off and put them through the scanner. Iwas at a loss as to how I could hide explosive in a pair of Bairkie.

Eventually I got fed up wih this (along with 'always' getting taken aside to have my bag swabbed (every single outbound flight for the last 4 years - why me?)) and started wearing those rubbery 'all-terraine' sandals.

Since then I've never had to take them off (still getting swabbed though).

Finally, what is the purpose of taking the belt out out your trousers?

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Ivan Headache

Re: Kodak Created The First Digital Camera

@DerekCurrie

Did you know my former neighbour, a certain Mr Green (with a bushy beard)?

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Ivan Headache

Re: Philips Digital Cassette Tape etc

Back in the 70s I had a Teac 4 track quarter-inch tape machine and a goodly collection of quad tapes to play on it (Zappa, Doobie Bros, Tomita, Moody Blues are some that I can remember).

They all sounded ace (to use a phrase from the day). Never tried any of the vinyl versions though.

With regard to the Newton. A friend of mine won one in an Apple giveaway at the UK launch. He brought it in to work and we all had a play at writing our names. One or two it got right, but most it didn't. One chap was called Nick O'Brien. After Newton he was called Slick O' Berlin.

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BT's spam blocker IDs accident claims as top nuisance call

Ivan Headache

Except that now I get more nuisance calls to my mobile than I do to my landline.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Ivan Headache

I may not have the words correct

but in the pre-OSX days I used to see an error message on my mac that said something to the effect -

"XYZ cannot continue as something unexplained has happened.

Can't remember what the application was now but I saw it quite often.

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Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time

Ivan Headache

Re: So a 5 meter increase in lengths delivers 38 more passenger slots?

Are you talking about the planes or the passengers?

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After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

Ivan Headache

except that they will have to phone the car company, listen to a menu, press a button, listen to another menu press another button, get a "Your call is very important...." message then listen to part of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

By that time the 'terrorist' will have driven the length of Oxford street and mown down countless numbers.

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This is where UK's Navy will park its 75,000-ton aircraft carriers

Ivan Headache

They'll get an awful lot of DJI Phantoms on that ship.

Join the Navy. Get your own quadcopter.

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Tesla 'API crashes' after update, angry rich bods complain

Ivan Headache
Headmaster

"punters from different corners of the globe"

Where I come from globes don't have corners.

At least they didn't have when I went to school.

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Li-ion king Goodenough creates battery he says really is... good enough

Ivan Headache

I can't remember if it was a chemmy lesson or physics but..

as we entered the lab the teacher had a large coffee tin (catering Nescafe size) with a hole in the lid from which a bright yellow flame about 8 or 9 cm high was burning.

He asked us all to gather round while expained the set up. The tin also had a hole in the bottom. It was sitting on a tripod (without a gauze mat) and under the tripd was a bunsen burner with its air-ring closed.

He said that the gas was going into the tin but it wouldn't burn until it came out of the top hole and mixed with the air. He went on to say that if he turned the gas tap off the flame would continue to burn in its lazy way as air came in through the hole in the bottom of the can to replace the gas going out of the top.

He had his spiel worked out so that as he said "mixes to form an explosive cond......" there was an almighty bang and the lid of the tin shot up and hit the ceiling about 7 metres above us (old school - very high ceilings).

It was one of those lessons you never forget.

Now was it the physics or chemmy lab?

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

Ivan Headache

Re: YIPPEE! Great news!

Find me a picture of a Vulcan with Afterburners please. I'd love to see it.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

Ivan Headache

Re: Nice to see...

At least when you sit next to a grenade with a misisng pin you know what is going to happen.

With Brexit we don't know what is going to happen (apart from the doomsayers).

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100k+ petition: MPs must consider debating Snoopers' Charter again

Ivan Headache

It's the Government after all

and judging by their record on setting up IT systems that come in on time and on budget (and most of all systems that actually work) is there any real chance that this will ever happen?

(In my lifetime anyway).

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TfL to track Tube users in stations by their MAC addresses

Ivan Headache

You're not thinking this through are you?

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Ivan Headache

I'll take Barry's favourite, Fairlop.

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Brit smart streetlight bods Telensa named 'global market leader'

Ivan Headache

Re: I thought I had cataracts

I find it's because I can't see past the car that is approaching me with its excessively bright headlights on on full beam.

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Ivan Headache

Re: Is there a reason why...

I have a feeling that I have read about this being implemented somewhere but it caused issues with people going in different directions causing disco light shows up and down the street.

Not sure though. I might be making it up.

One this that is touched on earlier up the thread is about spill. If you drive the A40 at night between Greenford and Denham you will notice that the lighting around Northolt Airfield is significantly better to drive through than on any other stretch (in my opinion anyway). The lumiers are on much shorter poles and and are 'barn-doored' somehow to prevent sideways and upward spillage to avoid interfering with pilots who are landing at the field.

I often wondered why all street lights weren't like that.

FWIW, we had LED lamps replacing the Sodium lamps in our street about a year ago. The street is much brighter and spillage into our bedrooms is much reduced as a consequence. (Light spillage!)

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Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

Ivan Headache

Re: Marketing not Design

I don't know why people keep saying "mostly copied from Braun and Dieter Rams" and why people believe it because it's utter bull-shit.

So many time I have tried to argue this fallacy but no - the know-it-alls say it is so so it must be true.

It isn't.

Have any of these clever-dicks - Mage for example - actually looked properly at Braun's designs?

I seriously doubt it.

I have here on my desk, a catalogue of Dieter Rams' work at Braun. As it's also a discussion of his work it also includes work by other designeers under his guidance at Braun.

There are only two items in it that remotely - REMOTELY - resemble anything that could have been copied by Apple. One is a rather nice desk-top cigarette lighter, the other is a hifi loudspeaker cabinet. Yes they are white and they have round corners - but there is also a lot of black on them just as there is on a lot of Braun's products. Black knobs, black switches, black grills.

I don't see anything like that on Apple products. In fact what I do see with Apple products is the continuation of Rams' design philosophy:-

"Product design is the organisation of the total of a product (form, surface, colour, product graphics) – in such a way that the product fulfils its given purpose as efficiently as possible. It should also conform to the factual conditions and requirements under which the product is to be produced and marketed"

Dieter Rams, 1975.

and

"Good design is functional or usable and practical design. But good design is also aesthetic design. As a designer I shun these discussions on the aesthetic quality of the product. I do so, even though I am a firm believer in the importance of aesthetic quality. The aesthetic quality of design is always a matter of nuances. Often, of only fractions of millimetres, of the finest graduations, or of the harmony between a number of visual elements. Changing a trivial element changes the whole impression. Reduce a product by one millimeter here it looks out of proportion; add a millimetre there, it looks clumsy. Only those who have had years of experience on the trained eyeI are capable of seriously participating in the discussions."

Dieter Rams, 1980

Rams has also publicly stated his admiration of Ive's work (but I can't find that quote).

However, just to shoot myself in the foot - I do think that the external DVD drive that Apple currently sells looks very Dieter.

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'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'

Ivan Headache

Re: But be fair...

Many years ago when boundary layer microphones were relatively new, Beyer Dynamic produced a model that consisted of a chamfered square piece of oiled teak (or walnut) about six inches square by about one inch deep. It had a small round metal grill less than an inch in diameter in the centre and an XLR socket and a small swirch and little red LED on one of the sides. Very neat looking and apart from the cable, unobtrusive on the boardroom table.

One of my collegues had to record a breakfast discussion for transcription purposes in a house with a black door somewhere near Parliament Square.

He decided that instead of setting several individual mics he would try this new Beyer.

All the setting up went well, good sound from every chair around the table so he went to his recording location in the ante-room to await the participants.

The first few minutes went very well with all the voices clearly audible when there was a loud metallic 'THUNK' and all the voices became very muffled.

Panic! The whole purpose of being there was to get a recording that could be transcribed but he wasn't supposed to intrude. He thought that although the voices were muffled it was still possible to just make out the words so he decided to sit it out. Occasionally the sound would clear only to be followed by the same 'thunk' and muffle a few seconds later.

Eventualy the meeting ended and the group left.

My collegue went inside to find a large silver coffee-pot sitting on this nice chamfered 'coffee-pot warmer' that was obviously switched on as it had a 'mains' cable plugged into it and a little red light.

And no it wasn't me, and yes, the transcriber did manage to get most of it.

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Turing, Hauser, Sinclair – haunt computing's Cambridge A-team stamping ground

Ivan Headache

Re: Micro Men

I watched MM when it was first broadcast. It was nearly finished before I realised Clive Sinclair was being played by Alexander Armstrong. Excellent casting and superb acting.

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Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Ivan Headache

Anomaly

Now that's what I call an anomoly!

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Ivan Headache

Re: Maybe more obvious (or not)

If your TV has iPlayer then you will most like be using it for catch-up - NOT live TV.

(and you already have a licence for that)

The story is about watching live TV on something other than a TV set.

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Ivan Headache

Re: I wonder...

"On one of the many anti TV-licence sites there was a story that claimed they were "using/trialing" a technology that matched the changing optical patterns in a room due to a display to that of broadcast TV programmes being transmitted/streamed at the same time."

I doubt that would work seeing that no two devices in our house show the stream in sync.

Two freeview sets are about 2 seconds apart and my main PC is another two seconds later with the ipad different to all three - (this was when F1 was on the BBC and I needed to have it on in every room - just in case)

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ANZ Bank staffers drop slick incident response tool for Mandiant mobs

Ivan Headache
Unhappy

Nighthawk?

I was expecting a story about a bed-ridden mother-in-law and two british airmen.

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UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

Ivan Headache

uninsured birds?

You can normally tell when a bird has hit an aeroplane.

Parts of the bird tend to stick.

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Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Ivan Headache

Same here.

My other mac - an aging (but still very robust) Power Macintosh G3, is chuntering away behind me scanning Trannies from the 80s with its SCSI connected slide scanner. My interface with it is via a much maligned hockey-puck.

Like AC above, I find it so easy and natural to use and can honestly say it has never given me any hand problems at all - it it had done I wouldn't still be using it everyday.

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Big-screen Skype gets small farewell note

Ivan Headache

And Panasonic.

Grr.

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Get out of mi casa, Picasa: Google photo site to join Wave, Code, Reader in silicon hell

Ivan Headache

Re: digiKam

We used a mobile app at my daughter's wedding by name of WedPics.

It allowed all the guests using mobiles (or normal cameras) to upload their images to a secure location - access by invitation and password - and similarly, allow those same guests to access all the other pictures submitted.

A few days after the event we went in through a desktop computer and pulled out enough decent images to make an alternative wedding book.

The wedding was in 2014 but I can still access the images on my desktop and on my phone today.

The only down side was (is) that the facebook generation downloaded some of the pics and then uploaded them again - making for a right mess of duplication.

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Ivan Headache

Re: Not just sensible cables please - sensible hardware too!

"yet they still arrived at using the same connector for 12v and 19v."

and ac & dc too!

Had this with some routers from D-Link (IIRC - could have been Linksys).

Identical looking units - some ac and some dc.

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

Ivan Headache

Re: Reason?

Talk Talk having a sideswipe.

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Website admin cPanel hacked, loses a bunch of folks' contact details

Ivan Headache

This probably accounts

for all my email addresses addresses going bonkers this afternoon.

Constant password failures with some accounts working one way but not the other - ands others working the other way round.

Seems to have sorted itself now but it looks as though its password changing for most ofthis evening.

On top of that, our supersonic Panasonic plasma refuses to power-up (just as Granny turns up to stay for 6 months!)

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2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

Ivan Headache

Re: Wearables come with inconvenience?

Liike Most people - completly unverifiable

Making things up 10/10

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The Police Chief's photo library mixed business, pleasure and flesh

Ivan Headache

Re: Beep Beep

Just remembered anothe.r

Got a call to say that the keyboard was typing weird stuff, strange characters, lots of little squares or nothing at all.

Turned out to be the corner of a book resting on the Alt & Control keys (mac).

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Ivan Headache

Re: Beep Beep

Had something similar.

"I've been working on this document and all of the sudden the text just vanished"

Looked at the doc on the screen and sure enough no text. Then noticed it said page 134.

133 page deletes later the text miraculously reappeared.

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Apple's design 'drives up support costs, makes gadgets harder to use'

Ivan Headache

Too true.

What I miss most (above all the other things I miss) are scroll bars that indicate at a glance how much of a page I am looking at and simultaneously where I am in relation to the top of said page.

Some of Apple's recent UI changes are inexplicable.

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Ivan Headache

Correction

Most of Apple's recent UI changes are inexplicable.

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Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Ivan Headache

Young's modulus

I'm curious. How do you test the stiffness of a 2mm sphere?

Shirley you need to be able to bend it. Or do they just crush it?

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Second UK teen suspect arrested over TalkTalk hack

Ivan Headache

Not that Middlesex exists any more

Except on countless websites that insist on you entering a county!

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LG uses sucky logic to force Dyson admission its vacuums suck badly

Ivan Headache

Re: LG no longer Less Good

We're on our second LG cleaner. The cost of the two of them was less that the cost of the dyson the first one replaced.

The first died after cleaning up excessive amounts of brick dust and assorted buildind debris.

The second is still going strong after about 10 years, It has a nifty paddle device which compacts the 'hooverings' as it works and is so effective that when it comes to emptying it I dont have to worry about muck going everywhere (as used to happen with all our prevous cleaners.

My only gripe is that the design of the user end of the hose is too big for me to get it into some of the shelves and smaller spaces.

Yes. I do the 'hoovering'

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We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Ivan Headache

Re: Washing machine

Yep! Colourful device with 2 counter-rotating drums IIRC.

One of my clients had one, it was in an alcove near where her computer was. When it was on it was so noisy I couldn't work at the computer - the exact opposite of our Miele. I don't know it's on until it reaches the 15,000 rpm mode on the spin - and then I can only tell if I'm in the same room.

From what I remember, the Dyson shook itself to bits.

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TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

Ivan Headache

If it's the same woman I saw on BBC news at lunchtime

I got the impression rhat she had fallen for some social engineering trick.

It doesn't take the hack of a database to find out that someone is a TT customer, or their phone number and address. It's also very easy to find a DOB nowadays. Sort codes and account numbers might be a tad more difficult, but we know from Watchdog and You & Yours that people are more than willing to give that info over when asked in a courteous and professional manner.

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EE reports flat Q3 sales, keeps mum on Power Bar recall debacle

Ivan Headache

Power bar debacle.

Is El Reg being a bit daily mail here?

Without any figures to go on, how can you be sure is was a debacle.

It could have just been a kerfuffle.

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Google wins book scan battle. Again. Can post pages online. Again

Ivan Headache
Headmaster

Brushes of ?

Brushes of ?

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Southwest Airlines: 450+ flights delayed as check-ins go TITSUP

Ivan Headache

I suddenly had an image of the waiting travellers being served

water and canapes

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Murder suspect alert? Nah: Scammers fling cop-style malware

Ivan Headache

And the non-stop emails from Transport For London

And the new one 'from' PayPal - We Need You To Help Us.

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Apple recalling iPhone 6 Pluses to correct their iSight

Ivan Headache

That may well be possible - but...

With the volume of phishing email that allegedly comes from Apple requesting account verification and confirmation of purchases of fictitious apps, the smarter iPhone user probably ignores every email from Apple.

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Samsung smart fridge leaves Gmail logins open to attack

Ivan Headache

Re: Gmail has a calendar?

I'll put it in my dairy.

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Foxconn to build Xiaomi phones in India

Ivan Headache

Gosh! That's quick

New factory announced last Monday. Next Monday it's building phones.

(Or did I miss something?)

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All hail Ikabai-Sital! Destroyer of worlds and mender of toilets

Ivan Headache

Re: The entire plumbing industry ....

Not forgetting "Hellerine Oil"

Those homophones. How do they get them wrong?

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