* Posts by steve harris

22 posts • joined 5 Oct 2007

Orion 'Mars' ship: Cosmic ray guard? Go. Parachutes? Go. Spacerock shield? Go!

steve harris

Re: Disappointed! (@Paul Crawford)

God was knocking, and he wanted in bad

Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

steve harris

Security risks? Fraud risks?

Do I really want my electricity meter exposed to the 3bn people currently using the internet? How much money is it going to save me? Versus how much risk I run from being defrauded? From having a 'denial of power' attack from some script kiddie?

I think this needs several years of serious thinking through - and not by some half baked CS group hoping to make it big in Silicon Valley, dancing to the tune of their venture capitalists all with the sole goal of selling the idea to a big US corporation ... this whole 'internet of things' gold rush is scary - if people can hack my television, well, whoopee-kak. Hack my utility meters? Domestic appliances with fire risks? Windows? Doors? Over my dead body!

Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

steve harris

So near yet so far

I will watch with considerable interest. Infopath + share point was conceptually so very near to something very important and general - an abstract model driven view of record capture and its surrounding work flow - yet in practicality so very far away from something that was usable. Microsoft's 'Meaning of Life' moment - you know the bit in 'The Very Big Corporation of America' board meeting just before the Crimson Permanent Assurance intrudes into the main feature? Just like that.

Pink Floyd blasts Pandora for 'tricking' artists with petition

steve harris
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Hey there Pink Floyd - ha ha, charade you are!

The Floyd are well aware of their conflicted status in this argument. Gleefully in fact - it's the same old 'anti-business/pro-business' rhetoric they were famous for first time around. In fact the more complex and ironic the interplay between their status as liberal musicians living the good life in a huge corporate machine fighting other corporate machines, the more they like it.

Sheep, Dogs or Pigs? Just keep buying the records ...

Emotional baggage

steve harris
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Wenger messenger

Had a couple of Wenger rucksacks and have been dissatisfied with the space to keep stuff like pens, memory sticks, business cards although the bags have been brilliant. Best rucksack was a Vango which also had some emotional attachment as I've spent many a stormy night in a Vango Force 10 tent.

However, the Wenger messenger bag - from Tescos in a voucher deal for £15 - is the best I've ever had. Nice incidental pockets and a couple of deep zip-able pouches you can slip your glasses case, leads bag or phone in safely when you're in a hurry

Amount of meat we eat will barely affect future climate change

steve harris

references, references, references ...

Have you noticed that Lewis constantly feels the need to refer to his own comments rather than the original research that triggered the comments in the first place. So it's quite difficult to see if his assertions about any of these facts are founded in anything but his own opinion: climate debate on the reg has turned into an echo chamber in which only one voice can be heard...

Dinosaurs were DRAINED of blood by GIGANTIC HORROR FLEAS

steve harris

Big flea

The paper says 22.8mm for Pseudopulex magnus. VS ~2mm for a modern flea

That's close to an inch in old money

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

steve harris
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... just a couple of observations

Before Halo I was a PC FPS player and spent a stupid amount of time in Half Life and community mods. Then I downloaded the 'Silent Cartographer' demo level and was instantly converted. I went on to buy a second hand XBox to play Halo 2 and have continued to follow the Halo franchise ever since. I've also converted to console gaming.

It is absolutely true that an XBox 360 is nothing in graphics or processing power that a PC or a Mac can offer. But fwiw I simply can't be arsed fiddling around with graphics card settings, drivers, upgrades and all of that other stuff that is part of the PC gaming experience. I don't have much time to game - even less now my children camp out on Live in forge world or the minecraft clone they're playing - and the thought of spending any percentage of that time fiddling with PCs instead of having fun doesn't cut it with me. Both ODST and Reach graphics are more than sufficient to have a good time.

As to the sandbox criticism, I understand the comment having spent some time in Oblivion and Fallout (and Baldur's Gate, Morrowind, Neverwinter nights ...), and while it is true that the transition between battlefield set pieces is linear and ordered, once inside a battlefield the AI and weapon variations make for huge amounts of non-linearity. And when people refer to the 'Halo sandbox' they usually mean the overall game engine as a setting for custom map design. Slayer, CTF, Invasion, Zombies, Grifball, as solo, teams of 2, 4, 6, 8, or do you want to just race.

Each to their own as far as =getting= halo is concerned. Personally I adore all the nods to classic 70s space opera: the obvious links to Ringworld, Protector, Starship Troopers and even occasionally Forever War is just fantastic. I would have killed for this stuff when I was in my teens and I'm loving it now... each to their own.

Hopefully I'll get to return to installation 04 tonight when my son goes to bed. Mine's the ridiculously overcharged scoped magnum - I'm going to need it!

Apple versus Samsung: key points in the ruling

steve harris

what seems to be forgotten...

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of patents and trade gloss, surely there is something wrong when a major component manufacturer to a successful company decides to go head-to-head against them with a product that so deeply derivative that even claims against the packaging have merit.

Like I say, I'm no great lover of patents - as assets they are far to liquid and limitations should be imposed to prevent simple trolling, and the process of their granting and enforcement is so deeply flawed that they discourage at least as much real innovation as they protect. But there is a simple truth here. If Sony and HTC can make a distinctively different Android phone, why not Samsung?

iOS update woes prompt gnashing of teeth for Apple fans

steve harris

It worked fine first time

title says it all. the new notification functionality is great - one of the very few features of android that was conspicuously missing in iOS. Nice to be able to launch the camera from the lock screen too

Sunday Times accused of blagging Gordon Brown's records

steve harris


This would be very newsworthy if true - headline material in fact for a company under such pressure. It would also be really easy for them to check through their archives.

So I went to both the Sun and the Times homepages - nope. Not a sausage. No news on the Sun homepage anyway and the Times indeed has the Brown story but - you guessed it - no mention of the 'facts' you present. None on the Guardian either, but of course you'd probably say they have a bigger vested interest in kicking NI than in catching out a former PM in a flagrant and obvious lie.

Interesting that... I'll keep an eye out for it though. I always keep an open mind

Chinese coal blamed for global warming er... cooling

steve harris

So, commentards...

Did you notice the paper is a peer-reviewed contribution to PNAS - The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - it's right at the bottom of page one if you care to take a look.

That's a pretty well respected journal. In general scientific journals, its roughly third to Nature and Science. Some of the reviewers won't be climate scientists, will be be familiar with the modelling techniques and inclined to do more than just kick the tyres of something that looks like an important paper with a real contribution.

So the conspiracy is a bit bigger than one or two climate scientists looking to feather their nest... Ho hum.

Sulphur aerosols seem to have a half life of over a year. That's plenty of time to be widely distributed around the world from the highly active Hadley cell powered by convection at the equator... that of course covers China and South East Asia. So the idea that they might have a global effect would seem to make some sense, would it not? Of course, I haven't had my name on a paper in atmospheric chemistry for 25 years, so who am I to say?

Apple App Store apps are often old, vulnerable versions

steve harris

The Mac App Store isn't a closed garden,,,

This article is fundamentally flawed. Its not a closed garden because you can get both apps directly from the supplier, and you can install apps that aren't in the store. Thus we - and Apple - might expect the developers ensure critical apps phone home for updates. Under these circumstances, keeping versions up-to-date is not as critical as it is in a =real= walled garden such as the iPhone, where Apple is entirely responsible for the apps installed.

What it does say is that Apple are at present a little tardy at reviewing new versions of some apps. Well, surprise surprise - new app store for established platform is a little behind in its homework.

It also might have been more honest if the qualification about it being the MAC store was a little less buried in the prose... given the entirely different operating models of the iOS app store and the Mac app store.

Instead of this guff, what we REALLY want to know is Apple's response to critical vulnerabilities for iPhone and iPad apps.

Vote now for the best sci-fi film never made

steve harris
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...as has been commented before is so cinematic already it is unlikely to be ruined. I would just love to see the launch of the nuclear bomb powered Orion ship brought to screen ('God was knocking - he wanted in BAD!'). But my personal favourite is Mote so not too displeased.

Much as I like 'Weapons' it is so much a re-write of 'Ender's Game' that it doesn't deserve to be =the= Culture novel. 'Consider Phlebas', while the worse book, would translate to the screen much better.

Ender's Game would work well because of the tension with the main character being a child bringing genocide.

I need to read some more books... not heard of some of these


Mummy, mummy, there's a nuclear monster!

steve harris

@smelly socks

Ok, lets put a coal or gas-fired station right where the defunct reactors are now.

And let's pretend that they survived the earthquake an tsunami - unlikely because they wouldn't have been over-engineered to the same extent. But lets pretend

Then how the heck are you going to get the fuel to the powerstation to keep it going? The ports are wrecked. The roads unpassable. The trains washed away. The truth is that =only= a nuclear reactor that has to be fueled every other decade could possibly provide power in the immediate aftermath of something like this... if only those tsunami defences had been a little higher.

US Navy achieves '100 mile' hypersonic railgun test shot

steve harris

...reminds me of

...Mac Rounds have been authorized.

Mac Rounds?! In atmosphere?!

That's one way to get their attention. Hang on to your teeth people!

(Mine's the one with the XBox controller in the pocket...)

Drummers: Looking for a throbbing BumChum?

steve harris

The old ones are the old ones...

How can you tell if the drummer's stool is level

He drools out of both sides of his mouth

HTML5-juiced mobile YouTube refresh dates iPhone

steve harris

@anonymous coward 0904GMT

Good grief!

Could it just happen to be that there are some people with an objective set of requirements that are not influenced by the Apple brand for whom the new iPhone might just be 'the right phone'?

Or are you not willing to even entertain that thought?

I happen to like that final UI polish for which Apple are noted and I think it's worth the extra outlay for a phone - an intensely personal gadget that goes with me everywhere - over the time that I - and indeed the rest of my family - will be using it.


Personally I think flash is sh1t - I don't use it on any of my own computers or sanction any development in Flex (we do XForms in our group) because it bugs the hell out of me - but it's the third thing I install after antivirus and firefox on my kids (windows) machines.... see - no fanboi tendencies there!

Yes, it will be very interesting to see what happens next wrt codec lockin. But I kind of expect it to be a Mexican standoff - too many people have too many conflicting interests to start a war.


steve harris
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Who needs flash!

...works fine on an iPhone4 and wifi

(where's the saintly google boys icon when you need one?)

Jobs tells iPhone users to get a grip

steve harris

sorry - trried every way

... and I can't make it do that at all - signal strength remains at Oxford O2 normal - p*ss poor!

I could be very paranoid here and note that we don't actually see WHAT the chap is doing with the lower half of the phone while we're watching the bars go down. He could have wrapped the lower half in tinfoil for all we know. Somewhat less likely if the Jobs has deigned to comment though...

It will all become clear over the next few weeks


Nine Inch Nails cracks net distribution (maybe)

steve harris

have to agree with dave harris...

(no relation)

All credit to Trent with the online contribution, but Marillion has had the rest of the business model sorted for quite some time.


PC superstore puts Microsoft on sale for under £150

steve harris


That 'image currently not available'

Made me smile anyway


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