* Posts by Henry Cobb

159 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


Lenovo delays ARM-based netbook?

Henry Cobb

Another change

Note that it could be even smaller if the trackpad were replaced with a trackpoint.

Acer predicts end of cheap PC era

Henry Cobb

The only dollars in the PC

Only Intel and Microsoft add dollars to the ASP.

Since they take most of the profits from selling PCs you'll need to avoid both of those as Europe slips back into its usual third world status.

First ever supersonic stealth jumpjet starts hover tests at last

Henry Cobb

Is the F-35 covered by the GPL?

While the F-16 was the "Electric Jet", the F-35, like the F-22, is a "Software Jet" as most everything about the aircraft is defined by the software that runs on the main computing element.

The UK and Israel have complained that the US will not be providing them with the source code for this software.

However, are we sure that the coders used no GPL code in their millions of lines of software?

Obama weighs into Raptor stealth superfighter fracas

Henry Cobb

Only 87 Raptors

Note that first 100 F-22s don't have the CPUs to use the latest weapons so the final force is only 87 Raptors.


The last 87 Raptors to be built for the USAF, starting with the Lot 6 aircraft stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, have added processing power and are “hardware enabled” to receive the full Block 35, Increment 3.2 configuration, Ebersole said. He emphasized that these aircraft are still Block 30 machines in terms of their current hardware configuration. “There are no Block 35 aircraft yet”, Ebersole stated bluntly.

F-22 may live on: Cheap secondhand Eurofighters on offer

Henry Cobb

The worst bomber

The F-22 is a worse bomber than the Eurofighter as it can't carry an IR sensor without ruining its stealth.

The F-35 can take the Eurofighter as it can spot the other aircraft from further away and engage off boresite so it doesn't even have to be behind it.


Whitehall to train pro-West Islamic groups to game Google

Henry Cobb
Black Helicopters

It's really simple

Simply monitor every page every UK subject (not citizen with rights say) downloads and if random keywords match then ship them off to GitMo.

It's a quick techno-fix for the modern rotten British society. Orwell would be so proud of you lot. ;-)

Sun and IBM - What price Bigger Indigo?

Henry Cobb

A better match

IBM would kill Sun's culture, which is a write off of the entire investment.

The best use of Sun's tech would be to make a phone/netbook hybrid that was a touch screen that used bluetooth for keyboard, mouse, headset as needed. It would be an Enterprise Access Device that plugged into your network, but had sufficient power and storage to work on your documents disconnected.

But the company that could make the best use of this kind of device, the company with the cash to throw around, the company with the culture match to Sun, isn't IBM.

It's Google.

Hefty 'battle strength' electro-laser breaks 100kW barrier

Henry Cobb
Thumb Down

No battle tanks

Unless you're going to mount it in a Mark V Ogre, this is too big, too heavy, too hot and too energy hungry for a mobile land platform.

Instead mount it in the Navy's DD(X) and trade the effective long range firepower of those big guns for a flashlight that will slowly annoy the enemy to death.

IBM 'in talks' to buy Sun Microsystems

Henry Cobb

Virtual servers

If this mad scheme goes through, expect IBM to host both Solaris and Linux under AIX in virtual servers.

Forklift the Sun kit out, replace it with a virtual image and recompile (over time) to native.

It's a pity, but the SPARC has gone out of my relationship in Posixstan.

Prime Minister's health records breached in database attack

Henry Cobb
Black Helicopters

You left out the most interesting bits

Oh come on and spill the beans.

What's Gordo taking?

My guess would be drugs to combat high blood pressure, hypothyroidism and depression.

Obama says his new chopper is 'procurement gone amuck'

Henry Cobb


Why not just use the CV-22?

It's already military hardened with all sorts of night vision gear, etc and with in-air refueling it can scoot the chief to ANY working airfield in the country so he can hook up with Air Force One.

Nexsan unparks iSCSI attack on EMC and NetApp

Henry Cobb

When can I query a disk?

The computer is the bottleneck here.

Why force all the data to be loaded into one computer before selecting just the data that's actually needed?

Given the falling prices for CPU cores, when will we have a CPU that runs directly on the disk cache?

Then you can finally get to reasonable size disk arrays because the array controller will simply send SQL queries to the disks and only the matching records will use up bandwidth on the way back.

It's almost tempting to do that today with ATOM motherboards that have a few drives plugged into them and connect back through ethernet switches and routers. The result is a database server that's as scalable as the Internet itself. There just needs to be a little bit more software support so that blank units can be plugged into the array and boot into an automated setup process that formats their disks and spreads data onto them. Then put one LED on the front that's starts yellow, turns green and flashes red when the unit needs to be replaced.

Windows Vista stuck on single digit enterprise adoption

Henry Cobb
Gates Horns

Red Queen runs herself to death

The old M$ model of forcing user upgrades "just because" has failed.

If Microsoft has a future it is not as a software company or a platform company.

It must become a lifestyle company.

Consider a revenue mix that includes a major portion from a Microsoft account of say $10 per user per month so that the customer's M$ lifestyle follows them everywhere.

Your cellphone automatically has all of your appointments and documents. You can work online or offline with just about any device and all of your data is synced and protected by Microsoft.

The company would have three major divisions: Microsoft Lifestyle, Microsoft Enterprise and Microsoft Internet.

The customers of each would be the Microsoft Lifestyle subscribers, Small to large companies and general Internet users. The focus of the company would be to have a finger in every pie rather than seeing how many pie dishes they controlled.

This will of course not happen under Steve "Desktop" Balmy, which is why Google is going to roll them.

Encryption standards are here - but not for flash or tape

Henry Cobb

Do not reveal your data to the OS

Why would you trust the OS with your data?

After all we've got all these useless CPU cores sitting around with nothing to do so assign threads inside your application to encypt everything before it hits the disk. (If you compress and encypt your performance might actually improve because CPU tasks that can be run in parallel are not the bottleneck.)

So even the system admin is going to have to put your application under the debugger in order to extract data that they have no need to know.

Exploding core counts: Heading for the buffers

Henry Cobb

CPU cores are rare and expensive

Intel is the bottleneck here.

The business model of selling "CPU chips" is as dead as the model of selling music on plastic disks.

Future "computers" will handle commands like "play me that song that goes like..." by sending this command to all the memory units, each of which will have sufficient "CPU power" to fully flood their internal memory buses.

If Intel has a future it's by going back to being a RAM producer.

Extreme porn law goes live - are you ready?

Henry Cobb

Rule of law dudes

Seriously, get a Constitution.

When I first read 1984, Brave New World and Animal Farm I always thought it was Eastern Europe that inspired them.

I should have known the writers wrote from personal experience.


I am not a "Subject", I am a free man.

Asus confirms Eee phone

Henry Cobb

The one feature that would get me to buy

I'd buy a Linux phone that had a programmable IR port so I could use it as a universal remote control.

(Where's the potato on a couch icon?)

Ballmer reacquaints Microsoft with its PC past

Henry Cobb

Windows without walls

Isn't that exactly the same sort of solid architecture we've come to expect from M$?

Windows for Warships™ reaches Royal Navy frigates

Henry Cobb
Gates Horns

Don't go to war with China

Remember that Microsoft allows the Chinese to examine the source code for Windows.

So your source is open, at least to the other side.


Henry Cobb
Gates Halo

Is Windows for Submarines a sunk cost?

Actually compared to the lads who usually write software for the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), Microsoft is the good guys.

After all the F-22 dateline crash had nothing to do with Microsoft.

But if we yanks do go to war with your limeys, we'll be sure to attack on Dec 31st, 2012 when Microsoft's quadannual leap year bug will crash all of you'll's systems.

NEC breakthrough paves way for powerless standy-by modes

Henry Cobb

Greened back to the future

Note that the article talks about two types of MRAM, because one type can be made as small as current memory and a different type can be made as fast as current memory.

Theoretically, given lots and lots of expensive research.

And to top it all, this computer will only save energy over current computers when the current is switched off.

So this is a return to the core memory days of computers that were big, slow, expensive and not used all that often.


The overlords of green correctness may take away our automobiles but they shall never take away our CPUs!

Intel trumpets world's fastest silicon photonic detector*

Henry Cobb

Ah grasshopper

Intel is simply following in the footsteps of that noted enthomologist, Grace Hopper.

Archos 7 internet-enabled PMP

Henry Cobb

I'm still using my 300

I'm using the Archos 300 mostly as a PVR and static playback device (nice to pack for international flights) and then plug it into the sat dish and the TV.

Then I transfer over my files to the laptop.

It would be nice to have a nettop that had decent linux drivers for video input as most don't have room for a plugin card.

What this review was missing was the cost for the extra bits to record video as well as play it.

The madness of 'king cores

Henry Cobb

Bandwidth starvation

With 80 cores you MUST have multiple threads per core because every core is going to have a handful of threads that are waiting for memory access.

That takes care of the latency problem, but keeping those cores fed is going to require a different firehose.

You cannot push electrons in and out of the chip fast enough without melting it so this means fiber to the chip with the memory chips snooping on the intra-server fiber ring for matching address requests and pushing their data responses (or write verifications) into any free timeslot they can find on the ring.

Which means that your process (or OS) must be ready to handle a no-such address error hundreds of cycles after writing to memory.

Designing memory modules that can be plugged into a motherboard without dropping the traffic on the fiber optic ring is left as an exercise for the reader.


DARPA wargamer calls for US X-Men superplane fleet

Henry Cobb

No need for super high drop

If your aircraft can't descend low enough for a normal HALO drop then you can't get the supertroopers home anyway so you might as well just drop suicide AI robot bombs.

Of course the really smart bombs never explode.


Henry Cobb

Kurkova never lost her navel

You don't get a navel if you're hatched from the clone tanks.

Microsoft: Windows 7 ready for Christmas 2009

Henry Cobb
Gates Horns

Everybody can feel good about themselves

If you delayed implementing Vista then you can simply hold on a while longer.

If you did implement Vista then you've got half the Windos 7 beta testing over with already.

And if you switched to Linux because of Vista then you won't have to shell out to M$ to get them to mess around with your systems every three years anymore.

Everybody wins.

Undetectable data-stealing trojan nabs 500,000 virtual wallets

Henry Cobb
Dead Vulture

@Sceptical Bastard

So it is harder to use windows safely than linux safely?

Can we trick Balmer (no icon yet?) into funding a TCO study on this?

But the real problem remains that el Reg lacks a "Press Releases" tab to file this kind of stuff into Write Only Memory.

UK in 80% emissions slash pledge

Henry Cobb
Thumb Down

Fusion waste

This comment is actually about the Greenpeace fusion article, which isn't open for comments yet.

D-T fusion will indeed produce nuclear waste, if not lead to nuclear accidents in the same way as fission allows.

The reaction is one atomic nucleus with one proton and one neutron running into another atomic nucleus with one proton and two neutrons and resulting in an atomic nucleus with two protons and two neutrons along with a lone neutron (that has most of the energy), but it beats waiting around 10 billion years for the weak force to do its thing.

The problem is with the high energy neutrons which will randomly run into various parts of the reactor assembly, turning some of them into radioactive materials which will then have to either be treated as nuclear waste or assembled into toys by the Chinese.


Ballmer backs away from 'Vista Capable' legal row

Henry Cobb
Gates Horns

Warm and fuzzy feeling

Would you run your computer on MS software that even Ballmer doesn't know anything about?

Adobe cites bad blood for closed Flash

Henry Cobb

Where's your value add?

Is Adobe's value added going to be that they run a tollbooth for content delivery or that they deliver the best tools for content creation?

One route sustains the company until somebody finds a way around their logjam and the other builds up a community around the company.

Value Subtraction Companies are doomed.

VMware renders multitasking OSes redundant

Henry Cobb
Gates Horns

First OS to be ported to VMWare

Has anybody rewritten WINE to run directly under VMWare?

Pillar, EMC, and HP bow to the Oracle

Henry Cobb

The problem with app specific hardware

The problem is when the app vendor tires of dealing with your very expensive toy then the gear becomes practically useless and you must rebuy your entire storage system to match the next database version because the old version is no longer supported.

Hopefully you'll be in your next job by then.

MS trains eye on supercomputing with HPC Server 2008

Henry Cobb

Yet another new language


Microsoft also is touting integration with Visual Studio Team Services, and F#, a development language, designed to help write new applications and rewrite old ones for parallel computing environments.

Yet Another Microsoft Language?

If you don't want a bumpy ride, stop reinventing the wheel.


Will Microsoft ever get the web?

Henry Cobb

The Big Bet

M$ is betting with your time and your sweat and your money.

Sweet deal for them.

If you don't want a bumpy ride, quit reinventing the wheel.


Microsoft dumps hilarious comedy duo

Henry Cobb
Gates Horns

Stop the insanity

The problem is not in the ads.

The problem is in the value destruction instead of the value ad.

Microsoft is pouring billions into redeveloping basic operating system kernels over and over again while Apple gets theirs free.

Once Balmy is booed out the next Micro-chief needs to start with one question.

"What has the rest of the world already worked out for us that we can get cheap or free and then provide a value add on top of that?"

Until then the freetards will continue to eat away at their business as if they were a music company.

Seagate tries again with external drives

Henry Cobb
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Missing platform

The most important information to me was missing.

Can I reformat the suckers and used them as dumb disks under Linux?

If so, with which interfaces? I don't have anything else to plug into my laptop's firewire interface so what kind of perfomance would I get with that?

And where's the benchmarks?

Laptop-crazy consumers will keep PC market afloat

Henry Cobb

My laptop workstation

There is a ledge 20 cm above my desk for my Dell laptop with the 15" display.

On my desk is either a USB IBM Trackpad keyboard or a wireless Keyboard and mouse combo. (Depending on what continent I'm on. I haven't decided which setup works best and I can switch without changing the laptop.)

This way I have one of the nicer displays in our office at a comfortable viewing level and it keeps my palms away from that fraking touchy pad.

But I suspect that China will take over the Cute and Cramped Subnotebook market, leaving the big American PC companies beached with the tide out.

Google launching its own navy?

Henry Cobb

Tide me over

Wouldn't it make more sense to build a tank resting in shallow water and run a turbine off the tides coming in and out each day.

Until the laser sharks shoot down the moon that is.

OMFG, what have you done?

Henry Cobb

After all these years of covering tech lapeses

Finally somebody has hacked and defaced the Reg site.

Let's see how long it takes el Reg to restore the backup tapes...

Intel X-25M solid-state drive

Henry Cobb

Won't you have to buy a batch of 1000 anyway?

Once you've RAIDed enough together to store a resonable batch of pirated videos you'll already be around 1000 anyway.

Gosh, I wish every laptop included an external port where I could connect removable SSDs. Perhaps I'd call it a USB port, eh?

Today is not Hadron Collider Day

Henry Cobb

CERN already devastated world

CERN has already created a black hole that has absorbed all the works of man and left behind only a vast wasteland.

It's called the World Wide Web.


The horror, the kittens!

Intel's Atom laptots 'are here'

Henry Cobb

laptot = Santa's little petioner

I want a minilaptop for X-mass please.

McCain: Keep Shuttle flying, don't trust Russia

Henry Cobb

A better choice for pilot

No, don't send McCain. He's too old and can't keep his Shiite straight anymore.

We need an experienced expendable pilot who's not afraid to volunteer for duty in hazardous mission areas.

Won't Bush Jr. be unemployed for life come January?

Intel lets slip first dual-core Atom

Henry Cobb

Chipset still the boat anchor here

So because the chipset is burning so much whale oil, it doesn't cost much more power to toss in additional CPUs?

Do not disable HT on this beast as its singlethreading performance sucks. Instead don't run WinDos on it.

When can I get a dozen atoms in a 1U server please?

Microsoft, Google and Yahoo sued for foetus sex selection ads

Henry Cobb

Dowries are also illegal

As always a free market will solve this.

Let parents sex-select until the supply of daughters drops to meet the demand.

Intel touts user-defined app cache Vista speed boost tech

Henry Cobb

Write back?

Wouldn't it be better to use the Flash as a write-back cache to keep applications from waiting for writes to commit to disk?

COBOL thwarts California's Governator

Henry Cobb

The world's banks run on COBOL

And shutting down the world's banking system would hurt how exactly?

It's not like the credit markets are actually working anymore anyway.

Joint Committee gets it (mainly) wrong on human rights

Henry Cobb

Mutton honey

Yes, you don't need American style rights.

Afterall, you lot ain't no superpower no more.

Instead replace the ID card with ID eartags so that the sheep can be herded up whenever fleecing is called for.

Lenovo heralds netbook PC duo

Henry Cobb
Thumb Down

With tiny laptops comes tiny pointing devices?

Why aren't they using the trackpoint to save space for keyboard keys?