* Posts by gizmo23

101 posts • joined 25 Sep 2007

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.

Extraterrestrials strafe Bosnian with meteorites


I reckon

it's DR and Quinch.

Exciting company seeks Linux engineer


Banks sell odd stuff these days


Introductory line is

"Spring IT are currently recruiting for a Software Systems Architect to join a lager retail bank bank based in Edinburgh. "

And I'm not sure whether the Cambridge - Edinburgh daily commute is worth it. Especially if you're paid in lager.

Stephen Fry's truly terrible mistake



"Your WinAmp receiver is as good in Mozambique as it is in Manhattan"

So why can't I listen to Pandora?

And please explain how I can get internet radio without an ISP-provided (i.e. subscription) connection. And don't say PAYG mobile, there are several dozen places I visit regularly where even the GPRS signal drops below one bar every couple of minutes.

Synology DiskStation DS210j Nas box

Thumb Up


According to Synology's "Compare Products" page it does support Mailstation. And wireless too.

I like the look of the DS210+ spec, includes eSATA and Wake on LAN. Wonder how much more it costs. And for those worried about power it comparison sheet lists Scheduled power on/ogg as a feature too.

Asteroids the source of Earth's water, NASA suggests

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Long way round

Last time I looked, the asteroid belt was further out than the orbit of Mars. So going to the asteroids to get a cup of tea on the way is rather like stopping off at Wooley Edge services on the M1 in the middle of your journey from London to Birmingham. And I'm not sure whether the quality of the tea would be any better either.

Sun sat sends stunning solar snap


Wavelength of light

It's because in light wavelengths red has less energy per photon than blue and temperature is a measure of energy density so hot stuff is blue and cooler stuff is red.

Crims jailed for hiding 'e-detonators' in robot camel jockey


Beer for Lewis

"dastardly droid detonator dromedary-driver delinquents"

Beer for that man!

Oxford snaps high-speed movies with consumer cams



I think you'll find (according to certain police forces) that

Photographing [anything in the] UK is illegal.

Note to Captain Kirk: Warp speed will kill you


Bussard Ramjet

It seems the professor has ignored the Bussard Ramjet/Scoop. If it collects the hydorgen atoms for its fuel using an electromagnetic field (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A600436) then surely the same field can deflect those atoms if they're not being used for fuel (because we've already got enough dilithium thanks) ?

iPad Mini/Nano beta-tester: Of course it's real


iMac touchscreen

Remember the gorilla arm!

Death of a commentard: Can the iSlate kill off Web 2.0?


Better acronym

Don't use PEBKAC, use PICNIC: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.

Full-body scanner blind to bomb parts


"exploring aircraft"

Shouldn't that be "from exploding aircraft to exploring security costs" ?

MS spins IE security disaster into Windows 7 upgrade opportunity


Re: FFS!

"I use linux, solaris, windows and OSX"

Have you tried Solaris with the trusted extensions? Certain govt. depts. use/mandate it. Not that that's a recommendation, mind you, they can lose data faster than you can say "Don't plug that USB stick in". At least Sun have tried to make a more secure version of their OS.

HP loses massive DWP contract


Fujitsu on strike?

Is this the same Fujitsu whose nice and kind treatment of their staff caused them to go on strike?


Presumably now they've got a new contract they'll be re-hiring all the people they sacked..

Oh wait a minute, did someone mention TUPE?

TfL deploys privacy-busting voyeurcam

Big Brother


I'm surprised no-one's made the "if you've got nothing to hide why do you close your curtains?" commentary. Seems like this is a perfect example of why privacy is important.

NASA declares Ares I-X test a success


Not fast enough

I mean, one rocket test every three years!? Not the NASA that put a man on the moon "before the end of the decade". Apollo 8, 9, 10 and 11 all happened in 8 months.

I'm complaining because at this rate I'll be dead before NASA get around to doing anything new and interesting. Come on, there's oceans of methane out there waiting to be the solution to the oil shortage. All we have to do is get up there and collect it! Pedal faster fool!

Hard drives cop flak from .50 cal incendiary round


Big Guns

@AC who likes big guns: I like the Croatian equivalent because it has an over-the-shoulder blast tube which helps with the recoil, apparently.


I reckon railguns are the way forward.



Atlantis specialists set for ISS spacewalk


Fusion in orbit

"a plasma container unit"

So they're taking a tokamak to the ISS?

Sony Reader PRS-600 Touch Edition


600 or 300 ?

"we wonder if the £180 5in, Reader Pocket Edition won't be the better buy"

It's not the touchscreen that's the only differentiator here. The 300 doesn't have Search, SD/MS card slots or annotation. So if you're a student wanting to make notes 600 is the one.

Personally the touchscreen isn't the feature that makes it. The search and being able to use my old MS cards I bought for my P900 (handy way to keep all those white paper & documentation PDFs in one place) are much more important.

Anyone want to hazard a guess when Sony are going to drop MS completely seeing as how their Magic Gate (TM) DRM stuff isn't used and micro SD is more & more common?

Mozilla plots Firefox interface overhaul

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Allow the old version

I'd admit I'm not a fan of tab-on-top but there's no progress without a bit of experimentation. This fails when it becomes change for change's sake and fails totally if you don't have a 'look like previous version' option. Some people take time to get used to stuff. What pisses me off is when I get used to some UI/menu layout/whatever, the new version comes along looking different and the only way to keep the older look is to keep the older version!

Apple nixing Nvidia from 'Nehalem' Macs?



I'm wondering if Nvidia are trying to get Apple to sign on the dotted line before Intel release the details of their graphics offering and conversely, Apple are stalling for time. Both Nvidia and ATI (AMD) are scared of what Intel can do if they put their resources into graphics as well (hand grenade springs to mind)

Microsoft: Windows 7 release in August '09



I thought the plural of mouse was mouses because MICE stands for Multiple In-Circuit Emulator.

Ready or not, IPv6 is coming



Anyone out there sell a home ADSL router with native ipv6 for less than three hundred quid?

Last time i looked i couldn't find one. That's what's stopping me going ipv6.

Nude Apple iMac pics leaked to web

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Not much changes

I remember when the Macintosh first came out. Crappy little keyboard, crappy mouse, poxy little screen and wallet-crippling price. Looks like they've only improved the screen since then...

Boffin brings 'write once, run anywhere' to Cisco hijacks



It's strange because I'm in the middle of... updating the firmware on a bunch of Cisco switches.

I downloaded the new image file from Cisco yesterday. The website kept timing out but I persisted and got a copy of the image file I wanted. It wasn't the latest version (which got me a Forbidden error *after* showing the download page) but just one to bring all the older versions up to the same version as the 3750Gs.

So you can have updates for free as long as you don't want the latest.

Oh noes! Now I've read the article it looks like it's better to have lots of different versions because a vuln in one will be applicable to all if they're all the same. Oh wait a minute this is about *routers*, I'm updating *switches*. That means I'm safe doesn't it? Doesn't it?

Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW all-in-one wireless printer

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Epson? Never again

I had a CX5200 all-in-one which was pretty good. I got it because it was totally compatible with Linux, the drivers worked fine. It printed well until I had to change the cartridge when the print head clogged. I dismantled the whole unit & cleaned it and it still didn't print properly.

Someone designed a printer where the print head clogs up when you change the ink cartridge....

That was replaced by a HP all-in-one where you can puncture the ribbon cable connecting the print head when you change the ink cartridge..

Why is it so hard to produce something which a) prints b) prints on envelopes c) doesn't shag the printer when you change the cartridge?

Microsoft search bribery machine in Black Friday breakdown


Microsoft improving (shock, amazement)

Follow the $714 story link and see

"Microsoft began bribing people to use its third rate search engine"

on this page it's

"Microsoft began bribing people to use its second rate search engine"

That's a 33% improvement!

Next time it'll be first rate, just you wait and see.

Samsung ML-1630W wireless network mono laser printer

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Limited printing

I downloaded the user guide to see if Linux is supported and yea, they supply Linux and Mac drivers! Then I noticed a warning on page 4.3. This thing won't print envelopes!

A nice looking printer for home/small business but it won't print envelopes.

That immediately relegates it to junk status. I'm not sending out business stuff in hand-written envelopes.

US spec-ops get robot whispercopter kill fleet this month

Black Helicopters

Whisper Mode

I thought Whisper Mode was from Blue Thunder.


Ob. Blue helicopter... ok well black then.

Vodafone pitches Comic Sans as the next Crazy Frog


Font of the week??

Words fail me.

I really hope that someone will find the marketing wonk that thought that one up and explain to them the error of their ways. With a cricket bat. Several times.

Apricot drops 'too complicated' Linux from netbook line



@Dabooka: Apricot were in the business of X86-based small servers and some of their boxes had interesting security features like a powered door on the front of the box restricting access to the floppy/CD drives.

They made the mistake of whole-heartedly adopting the Mirco Channel Architecture that IBM put forward as the next development in PCs, as seen in the PS/2*. IBM did this because they were trying to get back their monopolistic position that they lost wrt PC hardware design. All the other PC makers avoided it like the proverbial plague and went with a different design EISA until PCI came along.

I liked the Apricot stuff, they thought about the field engineers and had some nice designs that didn't chop your fingers to bits as soon as you took the case off. I used an Apricot keyboard for ages after they went bust because it was bomb-proof and quiet.

*That's an IBM PS/2, nothing to do with playstation, you noobs. That's where the name "PS/2 connector" came from before USB keyboards were invented.

BBC clarifies location of England


Our colonial cousins

Surely this information is for those residing in the colonies who may be a tad confused over the difference between England, Scotland and Wales. I'm sure most of us at some time have heard a Scot lamenting the fact that someone from over the pond thinks they're English.

You know how it goes:

Scot: "I'm from Edinburgh"

American: "That's near London isn't it? I 've got a friend who lives in London called John. Do you know him?"

<sound of Scot grinding teeth>

Revo Pico RadioStation DAB+ radio


portable radio

It's a portable radio. It will play for about 12 hours on battery and has covered ports so you don't have to worry too much about dirt and water.

OK, so how big is it?

An important piece of information for a portable unit, I reckon. After all there's a big deal of difference between a radio the size of my phone and one that's as big as a juice carton, say. All the relevant information please, next time!

Tri-corders, alpine oxy-pills: Acropocalypse at DARPA

Paris Hilton

"alpine oxy-pills"

Isn't that called "cocaine" ?

Paris, obviously.

Western Digital ShareSpace 4TB NAS box


Which protocol?

"Copying a 10.59GB folder containing 180-odd sub-folders and more than 3300 files from the notebook to a shared folder on the ShareSpace yielded an average throughput of 70.73Mb/s."

Which protocol?

The reason I ask is because: a couple of years back the people I worked for bought (on my recommendation) a NAS box based on the universal "this product is great" reviews seen on the interweb. It was fast, quiet and supported CIFS, NFS, FTP, RAID5 all the usual stuff. Turns out all the copy speed reviews used CIFS because the reviewers only tested it with Windows and the box was crap at FTP and NFS. It would freeze for an indeterminate time on the middle of a transfer which meant it was useless for automated copies as you could never be sure when it would finish.


Hacker unearths young Chinese gymnast scam


massacre of students

Does anyone remember Kent state?


Wind power key to UK's desperate renewable energy bid


More amps Igor!

Why don't windfarms have solar panels embedded in the blades?

That way they could generate electricity when there's not enough wind to turn the turbine.

Sun's Niagara 3 will have 16-cores and 16 threads per core


@AC Solaris scaling

According to Richard McDougall


Solaris scales up to thousands of threads and hundreds of processors.

I suppose performance would depend on the type of job. I suspect these Niagras are good for web servers (lots of concurrent accesses) but maybe not so hot for database work.

As ever, YMMV.

Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot


AMD yes but not all

My neighbour has just had this endless reboot problem (which I've been called on to fix) and at first i thought it was the gdi32.dll problem but after a few hours troubleshooting it turns out i was wrong.

I understand that the problem is with machines where XP was installed from a sysprep image where the original machine has an Intel processor and the target machine has an AMD. There is a registry key that tries to load an intel driver which is normally ignored but for some reason SP3 sets this off again and as the box has an AMD it barfs with a STOP 0x0000007E error which is immediately intelligible to serious windows dudes. Maybe.

So if you've installed your own copy of XP you should be OK.

If anyone wants to contradict this assertion, please go ahead I'm not a windows expert, i just use Solaris and Fedora.

I love these comments, it gives you the chance to show how stupid you are in front of the thousands / millions / one billion squintillion* supremely expert Reg readers out there.

* suggestion for a new unit. One billion squintillion = 1 Reg readership.

Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe


Oh yes it's Friday at El Reg

"the boffinry community"

That alone makes it worth reading.

And pray tell, who is the official spokesperson (speaker?) for the boffinry community?

That's a nice job title to have on one's CV, eh?

Famous Five film lined up


Ginger Beer!

How can you report on the Famous five without mentioning the presence or not of Ginger Beer? Or lashings for that matter.

El Reg decimates English language



At last someone else has noticed that GW can't pronounce nuclear. I thought I was the only one. It gets on my nerves but nobody else I know is bothered by it.

I recently saw a TV program about a crisis where the Soviets came close to launching missiles because they thought the wargames NATO were conducting at the time were a build-up prior to invasion of Eastern Europe. As you might expect this meant the word "nuclear" was said a lot by the narrator who pronounced it "nyucyular" every time. Had to change channel about half way through because I couldn't stand it.

Let everyone know! Make sure GWB is aware that he sounds like an idiot *every* time he gets it wrong!

And don't get me started about apostrophes.

Flame icon because there's no mushroom cloud.

Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote


Quote to use in the office

*IF* you can include Moonraker *then* you might include Goldeneye (it's got satellites in it..)

in which case one of my favourite quotes to use when i actually get something right is the one from Boris the hacker:

"Yess! I am inveencible!" said in the appropriate dodgy accent with both arms in the air. Makes people in the office look round, i can tell you.

BOFH: Insecurity complex


Ninja or pirate? How about both!

Chris the Ninja Pirate


Brits can't distinguish history from the TV listings



Actually, no I don't look down on Americans, a lot of them are taller then me.

And to rise to the Flame Bait, I'll admit I found Dave a bit confusing, but then why is one guy's name more ludicrous than two guys names? Like Morgan Stanley f'r instance.

We have more than one Orange here in the UK. But then you have Apple.

And 3 is only one character shorter than 3M.

3 was originally Hutchison and they went with the 3G phone thing. I remember when it was supposed to be launched (3 Mar 2003 but they missed the unmoveable deadline on that one) I wondered how they'd promote a company that you couldn't search for on the net.

And while we're on 'ludicrous' names, what about Freddie Mac? Freddie Mac who? Can't even form a decent Scots surname properly!

Remembering the Cray-1


CDC 7600

As other people have drifted off-topic a bit, i'll throw in my 2p.

I went on a school trip to the Regional Computing Centre at Manchester University where they had just taken delivery of their second CDC 7600. I was told a story about how the 7600 was too heavy for the floor. Unfortunately they only discovered that *after* it had been installed. Someone crawled into the floorspace with a couple of car jacks to take the weight until they could get it sorted properly.

On the same trip we were shown some older IBM boxes that used genuine oil-cooled core storage (out of date even then) and a 1/2" tape drive which used vacuum columns instead of rollers to take up the slack tape. Some techie had written a program which made the tape move up a down in the column creating different toned resonances which made it play a tune. All the kids thought that was great.

MIT sues architect for crap computing-dept campus


On the telly...

...last night I was watching "Visions of the Future" with Michio Kaku and at one point he was wandering around MIT with those weird-looking buildings in the background. That's what they're really for, TV programs!

When I was at Sheffield University <coughmumble> years ago the architects were on the top three floors of the tower they designed, just to make sure they knew about the totally inadequate fire escape procedures provided. Supposed to be able to evacuate the entire building in 20 min, when I was there they never got it down to less than 35 min. And guess who came out last after descending 17 floors of stairs?

IBM fails to ship even the most meager four-core Opteron box



According to AMD's website, HE means "highly efficient" which they use "to reference our lower wattage processors". Like it says in the article, slower low-watt processors exist, e.g. the 2344 HE


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