* Posts by jzl

371 posts • joined 6 Jul 2015


Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses


Re: Whisper it…

Additionally, Autopilot works well. I should know, having covered thousands of tedious

traffic-laden motorway miles with it.

All of you saying it doesn’t or can’t work, have you actually tried it? No? Thought so.

Armchair keyboard warriors.


Re: Whisper it…

My wife and I actually own a Tesla Model S in real life. It's been our only car for two years now. That makes me relatively well qualified to comment on it.

Much of what you say is true, but I dispute - deeply - the assertion that it's not a very good car.

Have you actually driven one? For more than just a spin round the block? They are incredibly satisfying to drive in a quite difficult to define, but utterly real way. There's something about the immediacy of the power - the total and utter lack of any sort of lag - that makes every other vehicle feel a bit wrong. It's not the steering - a Model S has steering which is firmly in the middle of the pack in terms of feel and weighting. It's the powertrain. It really is qualitatively different and in a very pervasive way.

Powerful electric cars are like that, it seems. The Jaguar I-Pace (I've driven one) is similarly satisfying. But there really isn't much competition - it's basically the I-Pace or bust at the moment if you want to actually buy something.

They don't have the best quality interior for the price, but they're improving significantly. The Model S in particular has improved substantially in the last two months or so since they did a mild interior refresh and replaced all the cheap looking chrome and plastic with graphite and much higher quality materials. A late 2018 Model S is rather different beast to even a late 2017 Model S, or heaven forbid one of the early cars.

My Tesla is - by far - the best car I have ever owned. Not just because it's a gadget, but because it's such an impressively rewarding vehicle to drive. It's comfortable, spacious, fast as hell and almost telepathic at the throttle.

Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally


Re: Eight times brighter than the Moon?

Also worth pointing out that this isn't a uniform reflector like the moon. It'll be a shaped mirror focussing on a relatively small area.


Re: Eight times brighter than the Moon?

Not that I disagree with you in principle about the scale of this thing, it's worth pointing out that the moon is not very reflective. It has an albedo of around 10-15%. A mirror would be closer to 100%.

The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB


Radio 4

The only radio I listen to is Radio 4 and Kirsty Young would still sound amazing even at 8kbps.

Reg writer Richard went to the cupboard, seeking a Windows Phone...


Re: "Nor did my car, or my heating system,"

Your paranoia is causing you to miss out on some very useful stuff.

Ever tried banking by app? It's much more convenient than walking into a branch. Most of the big banks have an app, but sadly not for Windows.



It was the apps.

I liked the look of Windows phones, I really did. But my bank didn't have an app. Nor did my car, or my heating system, or my accountancy software, or my work's VPN token provider, or any number of other suppliers of useful services.

Much as I'd have liked to play around with a Windows phone, I've come to find those apps far too useful to lose.

Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo


Tiny, really tiny

10nm is 50 silicon atoms end-to-end.

That's absolutely ludicrously tiny and, when you think about it, a monumental achievement for a bunch of jumped-up monkeys in clothes.

Tesla forums awash with spam as mods take an unscheduled holiday


Tesla forums?

Does anyone still use the in-house Tesla forum?

All the action is on teslamotorsclub.com and the various Facebook forums (all of which are incredibly active).

Man who gave interviews about his crimes asks court to delete Google results

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Lap-slabtop-mobes with Snapdragon Arm CPUs running Windows 10: We had a quick gander


Apple's next

This makes an ARM based Macbook an absolute certainty.

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


Radio 4

I would pay the TV license just for Radio 4 alone. The fact that we get a world class broadcaster and news organisation attached is a bonus.

When you consider how much Sky charge for 572 channels of utter garbage, the BBC is a wondrous thing.

Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma


Big Log

by Robert Plant

Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors


There's one born every minute

Enough said.

SpaceX yoinks $96m GPS launch deal from under ULA's nose



If someone from ULA calls your idea "dumb", you know you're onto something good.

UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts


I don't work for the Home Office

Donald Trump is a total and utter goat fucker.

What went up, Musk come down again: SpaceX to blast sat into orbit with used rocket


Re: Don't call it "re-used"

Don't call it reused. Call it launch proven.

What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore


Re: It looks like bacteria blooms

You can think of it as loosely analogous to a diagram of neurons and the connections between them in a brain.


Re: Can someone explain

Graph means a set of items of data (nodes) connected by pointers (edges). In this case, the nodes are probably functions which transform tensors (multi-dimensional arrays of numbers).

Graph (abstract data type)

Speeding jet of Siberian liquid hot Magma getting speedier, satellites find



Just for some perspective, 45km / year is 1.5mm / second.

If your smart home gear hasn't updated recently, throw it in the trash


Not in the trash

Use your local recycling centre.

We're getting more and more throw-away by the day and all this internet of things nonsense isn't helping.

Tesla's big news today:
sudo killall -9 Autopilot


Re: How do you audit and qualify a neural net?

"A few years from now, it'll become obvious that the neural net weightings somehow missed (for example) children in striped pink and green rain coats (the latest fashion trend, circa 2021)."

All of that is true, and all of it misses the point.

The point is that human drivers are not perfect. Autonomous driving doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be as good or better than the humans.


Re: There are shades of Sony in this

Read my post below. Tesla is not switching off Autopilot for existing customers.


Good grief

What a load of cobblers, both in the article and in the comments.

For the commentards: Tesla is not disabling Autopilot. Cars that have it will keep it. Cars that are being built now will get it via a software update in a few months.

For Richard Chirgwin: The point here is that Autopilot is a fleet learning AI. The old autopilot code was activated months after cars that first had the hardware hit the roads. The reason was that the neural nets need huge amounts of data to train.

The same is true of the new hardware. Clearly the difference in hardware means that the old training can't be used, so they're going to have to collect data for a while.

And finally, as has been pointed out many times, human drivers are terrible. Anything that can improve that (and Autopilot has an excellent record) will save lives.

Full disclosure: I have a Model S on order but not yet in production and am pleased that I will be among the first to receive the new hardware.

Super Cali: Be realistic, 'autopilot' is bogus – even though the sound of it is something quite precocious


Re: Can it switch sides?

It doesn't know and doesn't care. It just follows the lane that it's in when you activate it.



Small planes often have an autopilot that does nothing more than hold course and altitude.

Autopilot does not mean what some people appear to think it means.

Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer


People will pay for that?

Google is the world's biggest advertising agency.

They're persuading people to pay them to walk around with a Google-provided GPS locator beacon.

That is genius. Kudos.


Re: How long until Google decides ...

Tempted by this (or its successor in a few years), now that Apple have started removing headphone jacks.

Windows Phone is a non-starter. My bank doesn't provide an app for it. My heating system doesn't have an app for it. My car doesn't have an app for it.


Re: How long until Google decides ...

Buy one from me for 30% more than list price and I'll give you 20% back to spend in the app store.

Money is fungible. Does it matter if they give you credits or if you pay for apps yourself? No such thing as a free lunch.

'Faceless' Liberty Global has 'sucked the very soul' out of Virgin Media



The only thing I wish is that they'd stop sending me physical junk mail.

Every. Single. Week.

Behold the fruit of your techie utopia: A $43 San Francisco fog-infused martini


Never been

Even less keen to go now.

‘Penultimate’ BlackBerry seen on 'do not publish' page as fire sale begins



They still going then?

Zombie Moore's Law shows hardware is eating software


Re: Nothing wrong with the chips.

In other words it's Shiny that's the problem.

I'm involved in a large scale financial enterprise system (in-house for a large investment bank). It consists of a user-configurable highly responsive UI that allows rapid drilldown of massive datasets, configurable side-by-side charting and customisable dashboards.

It's fast, but it needs modern hardware.

None of it is there for "shiny". I'm not paid for shiny. It's there to provide subtle, powerful analysis of complex data. The data visualisation available through modern UI capabilities is not something I could code by hand from scratch, and it's not something I could shove through a 486-DX.

And it's certainly not something a team of our size (four developers) could write without access to some powerful but high level libraries.


Re: Nothing wrong with the chips.

Tools like node.js? Tools like unity? Tools like NHibernate? Tools like ActiveX? Tools like JQuery? Tools like Entity Framework?

And they may not need an IDE with cutesy graphics, but software development isn't a contest in theoretical purity, it's a race for productivity.

A modern "cutesy" IDE contains many features which make development very much faster and more productive.

I speak from direct, long standing and - if I may say so - very successful professional experience.


Re: Nothing wrong with the chips.

It's shitty lazy code that's the problem.

No, it's not that simple. Code is a product. It is paid for with money.

Modern code is produced - feature for feature - for a fraction of the price of code 30 years ago. The reason for this is that development tools have become unbelievably productive. There's a trade-off in terms of performance on the underlying hardware, sure, but the way to improve raw metal performance of the code would be to forgo some of the tools that make developers so productive.

Besides, although it's widely said it's not completely true. Modern high FPS animated UIs are intrinsically compute intensive, as are many cloud based data workloads. Web browsers, too, are surprisingly compute heavy - layout and render of modern HTML is non-trivial, and that's even without taking Javascript into consideration.

Not to mention that there's a continual drive to improve tooling, particularly at the language level. Look at Javascript: modern browsers execute it orders of magnitude more efficiently than the very first Javascript enabled browsers.

FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password


Re: This is - at best - a temporary solution.

The obvious solution is to salt the passcode and store the salt in the processor's secure module.


Re: Built in Obsolescence

What are the chances Apple already knew of this built in in fault and have not fixed it so that the phones have a maximum life span before you need to buy a new one?

The chances are close to zero. Phones have a maximum lifespan already, and most consumers won't ever hear about this story or care about it. There is no clear motive for Apple to do this. On the other hand, if what you're saying was true and the story got out it would be major headlines.

Apple aren't out to put themselves in a position where their reputation could be shredded by a leak. Just look at what happened to Volkswagen.

Furthermore, search for articles on the web about the internal culture at Apple, particularly from ex-employees. It's a strange place - secretive, authoritarian. But it's extremely focussed on pleasing the customer.


Re: Not really comparable

"You can't compare the work of some amateur"

"University of Cambridge senior research associate Sergei Skorobogatov"

Not so amateur. Besides, the headline was clearly classic Register. Don't take the headlines seriously round here.


Re: I'm not sure how he thinks this will work on an iPhone 6

I think the point is that he was physically isolating the flash. By doing so, he was able to construct a brute force attack that did not require the rest of the iPhone, so lock-out counts and things were irrelevant.

Google tries to lure .NET devs with PowerShell cloud bait


Regulated business

There are huge swathes of enterprise development which, for regulatory reasons, can't use public clouds. For the most part, banking is one such area. I've spent my career in financial IT and public cloud is still a non-starter here. Which means, for the moment, that Google don't have a toehold.

Post-Brexit UK.gov must keep EU scientists coming, say boffins


Single Issue

We voted to leave the EU.

We didn't vote for anything else the more vocal Brexiters are clamouring for. We didn't vote to "take control" of our borders. We didn't vote to restrict free movement. All we voted for was to end membership of the European Union. That was the question on the ballot.

The result was so close that there's no way it can be interpreted as a mandate for any of the leave campaign's specific pledges. The only thing that can be said is that we answered the actual question that was asked. No more.

Nest offers its thermostat in three new pretty colors!


Smart home?

I have a smart home. My wife has a PhD.

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party


Actual Journalism

I don't always agree with The Register, but it's this sort of stuff that keeps me coming back.

HDMI hooks up with USB-C in cables that reverse, one way


Laptop lottery

OK, so that's another standard that any given USB C port may, or may not, support.

Good luck with buying a laptop and having any idea at all whether it will work with your particular piece of kit. It's already hard enough finding out which version of USB, DisplayPort, charging and (sometimes) Thunderbolt a given laptop's USB C socket supports. And sometimes different sockets on the same machine have different capabilities. None of the manufacturers marketing departments go into enough technical detail on their websites and the vendors are even worse.

USB C is rapidly turning into total chaos.

SpaceX's used flight-proven rocket to loft Euro satellite this year


Re: Space Shuttle


Nul points: PM May's post-Brexit EU immigration options


Re: Wrong question

"So you'd have to assume some of the percentage of leave voters either wished for this or along with some of the other 'promises'."

Yes, but even if 95% of leave voters wished it, that still means 5% didn't. Add those to the remain votes and it's clear there is no mandate for anything specific other than the literal fact of Brexit itself.

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook


Re: Corporation tax is the problem

So you're saying it's effectively a tax levied in response to shelter from failure?

That's an interesting perspective. I'd never looked at it that way before.


Corporation tax is the problem

Why tax corporations at all? They're ultimately just vehicles for conducting business on behalf of shareholders.

Corporation tax should be abandoned and rolled into dividend tax, capital gains tax, etc.

Lenovo's tablet with a real pen, Acer's monster laptop, Samsung Galaxy S3 watch


Re: How about a normal gaming computer?

They're not planning on selling many. It's a halo machine to cement the brand in the minds of teenagers.


.... "created in partnership with camera specialists Hasselblad"

.... "Motorola paid Hasselblad some money and put Hasselblad logos on their camera"

Fixed that for you.


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