* Posts by David Haworth

31 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Oct 2007

Wi-Fi Beeb viewing may break law

David Haworth
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@Craig Vaughton: You are not alone

The UK isn't the only country to have a TV license. Germany has one too.

Skype to give away wideband audio codec

David Haworth


I sincerely hope that the lower end of the bandwidth goes down considerably lower than 8kHz - otherwise people's voices are going to sound awfully tinny. ;-)

Speeding, driverless Nissan finally stopped by US bombers

David Haworth

Let me be the first ...

Windows eh? No wonder it can't cope with traffic,

US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet

David Haworth
Jobs Horns

Ubuntu can't access the internet?

That's odd, seems to work for me.

Fact is, the windows PCs on my home network can't access the internet. But that's deliberate - best malware protection money can buy :-)

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts

David Haworth


Give me John Cale's version any day.


Global meltdown endangers terabytes

David Haworth

Decline in demand for storage? Never!

The world will need somewhere to put all its information about stock market collapses, bankruptcies and other economic disasters, at least in the short term. And by the time that demand starts tailing off the next boom will be on us.

Cray, Intel, and Microsoft birth baby supercomputer

David Haworth

@Mr. Nobody re: 240 Volts

> Cool! I guess it's the extra 10 volts that make those data centres so very expensive.

Assuming you're in the UK ...

Have you actually measured your mains supply recently? Do you really believe that the grid operators went out and replaced all their expensive step-down transformers overnight when the spec for the mains voltage was changed from 240V +/-5% to 230V +/-10% to "harmonise" with most of the rest of Europe, who also changed from their former 220V +/-5% to 230V +/-10%. No, I thought not.

What actually happened was ... nothing.

240V +5% is 252V, which is less than 230V +10% (253V). Similarly, 220V -5% is 209V, which is greater than 230V -10% (207V). So the whole of the ranges permitted under the two previous standards fits neatly into the single range of the shiny new EU harmonised standard and nobody has to do anything. Magic, innit?

Of course, now somebody will prove me wrong and show that new substations actually do generate a nominal 230V, but I doubt it. The power distribution companies probably use the extra range to permit a substation to supply a wider area, since the power drop between substation and consumer is proportional to the length of the cables.

Interesting that here in Germany lightbulbs seem to last a lot longer than they did back in Blighty. http://members.misty.com/don/bulb1.html#mll

Congestion charge means less traffic, more congestion

David Haworth


Scotch Corner? No wonder there's congestion, if the killer satnavs are directing all the Newcastle-bound traffic via Knightsbridge.

Mines the one with the (paper) map of N. Yorks. in the pocket.

Lateral thought saves sizzling server

David Haworth

Vacuum cleaners and processors that are afraid of the dark

Had a PC installed at a customer's site once (a prototype system, which is why we developers were looking after it) that started rebooting for no apparent reason at night. But not every night. Turned out that the cleaning staff had decided that the power outlet the PC was plugged into was more convenient than the one just outside the door that they were supposed to use, and simply unplugged the machine when they wanted to clean the floor.

An then there was the mainboard that was afraid of the dark. The PC failed one day - just wouldn't start, no lights, nothing. Onto the bench, case off - works fine. Reassemble - won't start. After a couple of cycles of this (making sure that no connectors were getting disturbed during reassembly) we decided to reassamble under power to see at what point it failed. Simply putting the cover on caused it to fail. Lifting the back of the cover to let a bit of light in - starts working again. One of the guys came to the conclusion that the machine was afraid of the dark ;-) ... Turned out that an LED in the front panel had got one of its legs bent at some stage, and the insulation had gradually chafed away. Unfortunately that leg of the LED carried the 5V rail of the mainboard and a short to the case took out the whole system, but the short was only present when the cover was fully pushed home.

Jeremy Clarkson tilts at windmills

David Haworth
IT Angle

I can imagine ....

... that if such cameras become commonplace, we'll see a rise in car number plates that look something like this:


EU abolishes the acre

David Haworth

And so dies a whole line of jokes ...

... because you can't get approx. 0.8 hectares by being kicked by a cow.

Never mind, though - I'm sure the term won't die out for a long time. Here in Germany they still have:

Zentner --- 50kg (hundredweight, near as dammit)

Tonne --- 1000kg (ton, near as dammit)

Pfund --- 500g (pound, near as dammit)

Zoll --- inch (used for screen sizes and, curiously, threaded pipe fittings)

Woche --- (week - still has 7 days) ;-)

Not to mention degrees, hours, minutes etc. Expect them to be decimalised next.

Gadgets safe from global airport anti-piracy plan

David Haworth

Blast from the past...

I didn't know that our Anthony Aloysius St John (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Hancock) was so popular wiv the yoof of today.

Mine's the Astrakhan on the peg with the Homburg.

Europe drafts law to disconnect suspected filesharers

David Haworth

How about this ...

How possible would it be to find out the ISP and IP address for any of these so-called politicians? If that's at all possible, the remedy might simply be to complain to their ISP that you suspect them of infringing your copyrights. If enough people do it (it only needs 3) then they're out, and we'll see how fast the law gets changed,

Hyper-V climbs into Windows

David Haworth

I beg to differe

> Better late than never, eh?

No, not really.

CherryPal out sweetens Apple with 2W, ultra-cheap PC

David Haworth


Mightn't they have trademark problems from a certain well-known keyboard manufacturer?


Unless of course we've just found their new business model...

Windows Vista has been battered, says Wall Street fan

David Haworth

@Steven Knox Re: 24 success stories

Apparently these 24 success stories aren't running Vista at all - just the service pack.

Computer Misuse Act changes are delayed further

David Haworth

Running late, badly specified ...

Just like any other IT project.

Mine's the donkey jacket with Anders^H^H^H^H^H^HAccenture on the back.

Max Mosley loses battle to get sex video off web

David Haworth


> So, I guess they must be paying the hookers to stop.

You're missing the point. They pay the hookers to appear to whip them. Those of us who would whip them for free would do it properly.

Official: OOXML approved as international standard

David Haworth

@AC and others, re "April Fool"

It *is* an April Fool story - and ISO are the fools.

Unpatched RealPlayer bug paves way for drive-by downloads

David Haworth
Thumb Up

A very apt typo in the title

RealPayer :-)

DAB: A very British failure

David Haworth

Never mind the quallity ...

If digital radio in Blighty is as poor as the terrestrial digital TV over here (Germany) then I'm not surprised nobody wants it.

Ubuntu chief ushers in the age of Intrepid Ibex

David Haworth


Before Putrescent Penguin we have to have Nasty Nematode, which I for one will be avoiding :-)

Can't wait to hear what the 'J' release will be called. Jubilant Jabberwocky?

Caught on camera: the Downfall of HD DVD

David Haworth

Shame about the dialog.

It's still the original, so if you understand German turn the sound off.

Intel coughs up EC anti-trust furball

David Haworth

El Reg. writer to boldly split infinitives ...

... that no man has split before.

I'll get my coat.

Microsoft loses battle of the piggybacking passwords

David Haworth


> Does this mean that any forum or website that requires you to complete a captcha and also enter a password also violates this patent?

Maybe. And if so, DEC also violated the patent in the mid 1980s by having a dual-password feature to log in. So when will DEC^H^H^HCompa^H^H^H^HHewlett Packard get sued?

Microsoft offers $300m for web-washing ad campaign

David Haworth
Jobs Horns

Should be able to get a monkey joke in here somehow ...

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Just do it.

Lost HMRC discs pop up on eBay

David Haworth

I'd advise not to bother bidding ...

I'd advise against bidding - the discs are obviously im(it)ations.

Deadly planet-smash asteroid was actually Euro probe

David Haworth

Patrick M oore quote

Patrick Moore was misquoted. What he actually said was:


SCO gets offer for Unix biz

David Haworth

Patents - not really

IIRC there wer no patents involved. Copyrights, yes, and other, stranger theories of "intellectual property" infringement, but no patents.

Led Zeppelin catalogue goes digital

David Haworth

Strange ...

Does that mean that all my Zep CDs are analogue? Didn't know there was such a thing...

UK police can now force you to reveal decryption keys

David Haworth

Use the law against itself

If you receive a Section 49 order, encrypt it (or rather, the fact that you have received it) immediately. Then, by the very same law, you may only give your encryption keys to your lawyer.