* Posts by gizmo23

100 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Sep 2007


Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...


Arthur C. Clarke quote

"Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying." ®

I don't think so. There can be thousands of technologically advanced civilisations in the rest of the universe and it would make no difference to us whatsoever. All the tests we've done so far have supported Einstein's theories (the latest from Ars: https://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2017/06/einstein-still-annoyingly-right-as-researchers-weigh-white-dwarf/) so the speed of light is still the limit.

That means realistically, our chances of communicating with any civilisation more than a hundred light years away is pretty much zero. And space is way bigger than that*. Even if we only consider our own galaxy, there's room for dozens of civilisations like us, all of which are too far away for us to talk to in any meaningful time frame. So not so terrifying after all.

*Douglas Adams quote goes here.

If any idiot can do it, we're heading in the right direction



"give users more storage and they will fill it with even more crap."

and then demand more storage instead of deleting some crap.

and get pissy if you suggest they delete some crap

These big-name laptops are infested with security bugs – study


Re: Just Buy

Well that's just the 'time or money' equation. If you're in the happy position of always being able to get more money, then time will be more valuable because it is a limited resource. However, a lot of people don't have that luxury and have to compromise between the two. In that case the cost may exceed the benefit because the time gained has to be spent getting the extra cash to be able to afford that shiny macbook.

Former Sun CEO Scott McNealy has data on 1/14th of humanity



"I am less aware of products I want."

What?? I mean just what?

Between you, EE and the lamppost ... this UK cell network is knackered



My immediate thought was "They're running their network on a PDP?!"

Haven't had to support one of those in *cough* years. An 11/23 with RL02's IIRC.

Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs


Microsoft instructions

I haven't read through all 5 pages of comments so this may have been mentioned already but has anyone tried

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351 ?

This seems to have the instructions you need to turn off upgrades

(including a registry key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

DWORD value: DisableOSUpgrade = 1)

Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style


I've got an original Moto G, I like it, but a new phone would be nice, the camera could be better.

Oh noes! They're all over 5" screen!

Does anyone make a phone that's less than 5" that isn't a crippled version of their "flagship"?

Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight


You have no idea

Worst airport by far: Caracas. Built in the 80's on the back of the oil money and not updated since. Unless something has happened in the last couple of years.

Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh


Re: Not an UZI

I think it's supposed to be a Glock 18 (the full auto one, as seen in the Matrix Reloaded). The trigger guard shape looks right.

MAID to order: Inside Facebook's cold-storage data ziggurats



Seems to me this goes with the article about the kilometre array that's going to generate enormous amounts of data.

Let’s pull Augmented Reality and climax with JISM



Ooh there's a name to cause twitching amongst a particular bunch of engineers.

Just want a simple, low-power GPU for your smart-gumble? Try using your Imagination


Compute performance

With super-low-power processors like this I wonder what kind of compute peformance you would get with a device made up of say 1024 of these (or any other LP core for that matter). If they're only 2.2mm square then the box would be roughly 250mm x 70mm (CPUs laid out on a grid 64 x 16 about 4mm per processor). I presume there are serious limitations like I/O rather than heat and other engineering considerations otherwise someone would have already done it right?

ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049


+1 to Lewis for "guffblurt"

Prez Obama snubs UK PM's tough anti-encryption crusade at White House meet


You're right

I thought the same thing when I read this. What has information security got to do with cybernetics?

Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs



A bit OT but related. Hollywood depiction of money transfers with a progress bar. Like there's some funnel of cash going down a tube. A million is bigger than a thousand so it takes longer, right?

And the dramatic tension idea that if you pull the connection half way through 'cos the bad guys are kicking the door in then you only get half the cash.

Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school


Re: Who stole my QWERTY

+1 for the Desire Z. The keyboard was great but it ran out of CPU eventually. If HTC reissued it with a 1.5 GHz or so processor then I'd have one in a flash.

The Grandmaster: Epic, heart-melting, oh and there's lots of kung fu



Looks more stylish than Ip man (2009). Is Tony Leung better than Donnie Yuen? Wouldn't like to call that one, myself.

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin



Springseed looks interesting, I need a note taking application.

Oh. Only available for Ubuntu, so the package is .deb format.

Ubuntu != Linux

Doesn't seem to work on my Fedora install.

Lord Lucan, Murakami's Strange Library ... and a hitchhiker's guide to the Computing Universe


Not the same

Silicon and silicone and wildly differing substances. Would be quite interesting if we could make CPUs out of silicone though.

Fujitsu and Capgemini's giga-quid HMRC lashup given drubbing by govt auditors


Over budget

The Aspire project is over budget! And in other news a government research project into the religious beliefs of the Pope concludes that Christianity may be involved. When I was at Fujitsu (not on Aspire) the client PMs either didn't understand that once the contract was signed, ANY changes cost money or they didn't care that they were spending their own money (as taxpayers).

Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0


Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

I'm a big fan of Empire of the Petal Throne. There's nothing like it for content and the details of the society the Professor created. Since his death the Tekumel Foundation is trying to sort through the vast amount of material he left.

New Reg mobile site - feedback here!


I don't see the distinction between a "top" story and a "most read" story. I'd like the option to view in chronological order, or including the date/time in the heading would be good. Sometimes it's a few days between visits, so I'd like to know how old a story is straight away. Other than that the layout looks OK on both nexus 7 and moto G with stock chrome. IMHO.

Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery


Any particular reason you don't think so? According to NASA http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/04/spacex-crs-3-dragon-new-milestones

the capsule can accommodate 7,300 lbs of payload, or are you just saying that the actual cargo this time round is 4,605 lbs?

Nvidia's new CUDA 6 has the 'most significant new functionality in the history of CUDA'


Re: Hmm

Ryan Smith went into this (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7515/nvidia-announces-cuda-6-unified-memory-for-cuda) and points out that the performance overheads are currently undefined. I think the idea is that when Nvidia introduce real unified memory on some product down the line, code written in CUDA 6 won't need any re-write. In the mean time, you're right, it hides the architecture behind an abstraction which has an (as yet) unknown performance cost which is not beneficial for tuned HPC code.

Nvidia unveils Pascal, its next-gen GPU with hella-fast interconnects and 3D packaging



Didn't nVidia have a bit of a problem with through-vias a while ago? Presumably they've got past those issues now. My memories of the bump thing's a bit hazy, anyone else remember details?

Spinning rust and tape are DEAD. The future's flash, cache and cloud



I think the cost of the bandwidth needed to punt your 100 GB per day (or whatever) to the cloud isn't insignificant, and when you need to retrieve a couple of terabytes to search for that email your salesdroid sent confirming some contract clause was ok, then the speed could be an issue. Ok so tape's not super fast but read speed isn't subject to external network contention caused by person+dog downloading the latest cute kitten video.

Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE


Re: Floppy disk -- I've got one in the car

I use it to scrape ice off the windscreen

Oracle revs up Sparc M6 chip for seriously big iron


Clock speed?

Now I've seen it all. An article about a new processor chip and nowhere in it is the clock speed mentioned. So, if the chip speed isn't relevant, just the number of threads you can throw at a job, the new boxes built around this must be aimed at particular workloads. There's a limit to how much parallelisation you can do so it seems to me we're talking about crunching lots of data. In which case, how about the external interfaces? With this amount of CPU, 4 x 8Gb fibre ain't going to cut it. Anyone got any ideas as to just what kind of workload this is aimed at 'cos I'm struggling to imagine it.

Where's the "my mind has just been boggled by these numbers" icon?

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers


sir henry

I see your reference.

I reckon that the primary functions of a phone are to have good sound (voice, not music) and to keep a good signal. I get infuriated when my phone shows 3 bars of signal until I hit the call button and presto! Suddenly I'm in the middle of a previously-undetected dead spot.

Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A



What do I do if I don't have a Win key on my keyboard?

No, seriously, my favourite keyboard is the one that I've used for years (funny that) and it doesn't have a funny key with four-square flag thing on it. Do I fiddle with the keymap or something?

Review: Toshiba Satellite U920T Ultrabook


How to judge Win 8 popularity

Take one normal work laptop and replace it with a Win 8 laptop without telling the support techie who uses that laptop. Stand to one side and count the number of times you hear "WTF!?" in response to something the new shiny Win 8 install does or doesn't do. If that number is less than a dozen in the first 20 minutes, be amazed.

Civilization peaks: BEER-dispensing arcade game created


American Lager

Also try Brooklyn lager from the Brooklyn brewery. You can get it in the UK too! I don't normally touch either US beer nor am I a lager drinker by habit but I was pleasantly surprised.

SECRET RIM patent cheque to Nokia revealed at last - and it's a big 'un


Fiscal third quarter 2013?

That's forecasting!

MONSTER QUASAR BLAST blows stunned astro boffins' WIGS OFF


Head crunching numbers

So, off the top of my head the sun's power is about 3 x 10^26 W and there are about 10^11 stars in our galaxy...

and to top it all, it's 100 times more power than that which is 3 x 10^39 W, divide by c^2 (lets say 10^17) equals 3 x 10^22 kg of matter converted to energy per second... And as the Earth's mass is approx 6 x 10^24 kg that's 1/200 the mass of the earth converted from matter to energy every second.. ooh my brain hurts

The early days of PCs as seen through DEAD TREES


Re: A couple minor bugs to report.

I think you're slightly ahead of me jake, I never had to resort to bathtubs because the 8K in my Acorn Atom was already fitted when I bought it.

What I do remember is taking the case off IBM PCs and pressing the RAM chips back into their sockets (with that slightly distressing crunching sound) to get the machine to boot. Thermal cycling used to make them creep up out of the sockets until one leg would lose contact and then the memory check would fail, so no boot. I think that mem check is still in some BIOSes today. Wonder if it checks beyond 256K these days?

Skyfall makers 3D printed Bond's DB5


Re: Oh man...


OK, so not 1:3 scale but close

What happened to comics for kids? Hell, what happened to COMICS?


Re: For us old farts


Frank Bellamy drawing Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet.

Lockheed to cyber-armour its supply chain against 'the Adversary'


Lockheed and defence/defense

I'm just wondering if the increased attention is partly due to the apparent ease with which Gary McKinnon got through the DoD's defences. OK so Lockheed != DoD exactly but some Black Hats reckon it's worth a try.

Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs


Old stuff

A bit OT here but just last week I went to see my Mum who had written down a list of jobs for me to do while I was over and she had written it on the back of an 80-column punched card, one of several hundred I gave her when I was doing Fortran.

I still think that if IBM had made their PC/workstation based around the 68000 instead of the 8088/86 then the processing power we'd have had on the desktop in the 90's would have been greater by a factor of 2 or 3. Most 386's were still running 8-bit code when Intel introduced the 486. Intel made the transition from 8-bit to 16-bit to 32-bit take far longer than it would have done if we'd started out with the 32-bit (internal) 68000.

Just my 2p.

Middlesbrough culinary giants battle for parmo supremacy



Whiteheads on the Greenway is definitely superior to Sullivans. Whenever I visit my Mum she won't have any other.

Ford touts tech to bottle up traffic jams


Not any time soon

I remember working at a car technology demonstration show sometime in the early eighties where Ford showed all the cool stuff they were going to fit to their cars in the future. This included the LED rear lights (took about 20 years) and multiplexed wiring loom (still waiting). I was one of the crew who pushed the demonstator model car onto the stage because the battery was flat and was in the back of the engine compartment and so could not be replaced without dismantling most of the dashboard assembly.

Based on this statistically significant sample of one I'd say "don't hold your breath".

Ten... Qwerty mobiles


Slider key boards better

The best *keyboard* I ever used (on a phone) was the Sony Experia X1. However it ran Windows mobile which drove me nuts. It used to switch off the phone function just when I answered a call. Currently using a HTC Desire Z which is very good but would be nicer with an upgrade to Android. Other Half loves her Blackberry Torch slider, though.

Hubble shows images from record-breaking 13.1 billion light-years


Space is getting bigger

You have to take into account that space itself has been getting bigger for 13 10^9 years as well. What I want to know is where's the middle? If the universe is expanding and by tracking backwards we come to the idea of the Big Bang, then where (in our current universe) did it happen? And if these galaxies are on the 'other side', then doesn't that mean the universe could be only 6 1/2 10^9 years old?

My head hurts as well (see icon)

97% of INTERNET NOW FULL UP, warn IPv4 shepherd boys



AFAIK the problem for Joe Public is the ADSL router. All mainstream OSes have supported IPV6 for years, as have the routers used by businesses. Even Cisco support IPV6 now. However, try finding an ADSL router that supports IPV6 for less than several hundred £ and you're onto a loser. Having said that, devices like the DrayTek Vigor 120 http://www.draytek.com/user/PdInfoDetail.php?Id=71 are getting there.

Forget Xmas: Get set for the octacore v Bulldozer DEATHMATCH

Thumb Down

mm square != square mm

Title says it all.

O2 outs liars and philanderers with live status feed


Not iphone, not 3G

The antennagate explanation "you're holding it wrong" doesn't apply in this case because the three bars to no signal can happen when the handset is on the desk next to me. I'm in a weak signal area, yeah OK and I only get GPRS coverage. I'm not talking about three bars to zero, it goes from three bars to No Service. That's a BIG difference. Thanks for trying.


Variable signal defeats "real time" display

This kind of thing only applies to the general level of signal. I've lost count of the number of times my phone has rung only for the call to be dropped when I answer. Phone goes "beep beep" so I look at the display which says "no service". So how did it ring?

I've yet to find anyone explain to me how I can be looking at my handset and see it go from 3 bars to no signal in 5 seconds. Any takers?

US Cyber Command becomes 'fully operational'


"Cyber" Command

Does anyone know how much cybernetics Cyber Command will be commanding for the defence of the virtual free world? S'pose that should be defense in this case.