* Posts by twelvebore

116 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Feb 2008


Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment


The shite that burns twice as bright lasts an eighth as long. No, wait...

"Several of Dyson's hallmark products are more energy efficient because they use more power for a shorter period than conventional products on the market, some of which are made by German rivals including Bosch and Siemens."

This has indeed been my experience.

The Dyson my wife bought died after 18 months. The German-made appliance I bought (that she wanted to replace with said Dyson) is still kicking after 13 years.

The Dyson was definitely using power for a much shorter period than the German thing.

Donald Trump will take cybersecurity advice from, um, Rudy Giuliani


Surely John McAfee would have been a "better" choice?

Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule


Re: Paper rocket

Proton isn't on there either...

Soylent adds coffee


Soylent Bean?

Space station to get shiny new ringpiece for automatic penetration


Re: $100 million - really?

That figure probably includes the design, validation, testing, etc. of the system right from scratch, including answering important questions like "is it safe to be around this in a spacesuit?".

So the first unit can be said to cost $100M, and if you only build one that's the cost. One offs are always expensive. The replacement won't have cost anything near that, because you're not going through the whole design process a second time.

US Senate strikes down open-access FBI hacking warrant by just one honest vote


Waste of time, they'd only chew on them.

Lester Haines: RIP


What a damned shame :( I aways loved reading his pieces.

RIP and condolences to family and friends.

Major Hollywood studio eyes Paint Drying sequel


Re: Paint Drying 2: Dry Hard

... and the sequel Paint Drying 3: The Vinyl Chapter.


Re: Paint Drying 2: Dry Hard

The book is excellent, though rather long and I do worry that at a mere 23 hours the film will gloss over a lot of the finer detail.

Is that light at the end of AMD's dark tunnel, or God sparking up a cig?


Re: the art of zen

40% increase over what though?

Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station


Re: Money for nothing and the chips are free ..... that is the space gamble at the top of the tree


Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

Paris Hilton

I'm not a fan of their customer service when things go wrong (including the recent e-mail fiasco), but in general I have to say their BB service for me for the past 10+ years has been pretty bloody good. I pay for 100Mb/s and I get that. The lowest tier from VM here is 50Mbit, which is more than the maximum offered by anyone using the BT infrastructure.

Obviously I don't like price rises, but my choices are limited, and I do feel I need 100Mbit as I work from home a lot.

The line rental crap really does get my goat though. VM charge it because they can - because BT/etc. also charge it. I wish OFCOM would force a bit more competition over line rental, but I'm not holding out hope, as they have far too many other things to screw up.

As for the "it's cheaper if you have a landline phone too" rubbish, I do wonder why they are so interested in steering me towards having a landline. I presume it's that they make good money out of selling my phone number to third parties, and they'd miss out on that if I didn't have one.

Vote now: Who can solve a problem like Ashley Madison?


Hacking Team

Obviously. They seem to know what they're doing.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Southern biscuits and gravy


Re: Gravy?

Two countries separated by a common misunderstanding of pretty much everything.

Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG



"Microsoft runs its font drivers in kernel mode"


Thanks a lot, Google, for snatching .dev for yourself. It's not like the rest of us wanted it

Thumb Down


Chewier than a slice of Pi: MIPS Creator CI20 development board


Re: Media Center

Try again with a Pi v2. I've been similarly sceptical of the Pi 1 for XBMC (I used it only for music playback, mostly headless), but the Pi 2 with a decent SD card running OpenELEC is pretty fantastic. A totally different machine. You do need a good SD card though...

UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?


Re: Islands

We (the UK) don't have any manufacturing facilities for large rockets - because we don't build large rockets. Or small rockets. Or any rockets.

Moreover, Arianespace don't build their rockets in French Guiana. They manage to ship stuff across an ocean. Compared to the complexity of funding, designing, building and launching a meaningfully-sized launch vehicle, moving the bits around is a minor logistical challenge.

Ascension Island is potentially very attractive. Politically it's not going to happen though, because at the end of the day this whole project isn't about serious space, it's about space tourism.

Your hard drives were riddled with NSA spyware for years


SR-71 moment

I do wonder if this revelation is a little like when the SR-71 was finally revealed to the world. Obviously by then it was old tech, and the boys-in-black had already moved on. I wonder what the Equation Chaps are using these days? Hacking the firmware of LED light bulbs maybe??

Never mind those touch apps, full Office 2016 is coming this year


"compelling new experiences"

Why can't they stop themselves coming out with this crap? Seriously, do they talk like that at home? "Darling, do you fancy a compelling new experience for breakfast?" "No thanks dear, I'm all worn out after a compelling experience with the dishwasher"

It's an office suite. It's not going to be exciting, no matter how you spin it. I neither want nor need "compelling new experiences" whilst I'm using a word-processor, spreadsheet, or the like. Particular if, for example, the compulsion I feel is to punch my monitor because some smart-arse UI designer has re-organised everything so I can't find the simple features any more.

A bit less compelling, a bit more doesn't get in my way would be nice.



@Moultoneer: Do you work in the space sector?

Earth-bound exoplanet hunter's eyes blink open


Re: From twice to eight times 'Super Earths' or ...

Sorry, we didn't invent the term super-Earth, but others have run with it.

Simplistically speaking a super-Earth is a planet that's thought to be rocky, but is significantly larger than Earth. If you look at our Solar system you have the rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars), the Ice Giants (Neptune, Uranus) and the Gas Giants (Saturn, Jupiter). To first order these classes are distinguishable based on their measured density.

NGTS is looking for rocky planets (as deduced from their measured density), but fundamentally is limited to finding planets that are ~2x Earth radius (ie. 8x Earth mass assuming Earth density).

That's about the best that can be done from the ground. Finding 1x Earth radius / 1x Earth mass planets is really only possible from space, and that's ~100x more expensive. A small number have been found, but they are in short-period orbits, and unlikely to be habitable.

If you're really looking for true analogs of our Earth (ie. a 1 Earth mass planet, in a 1 Earth year orbit about a 1 Sun mass G-class star), then the space missions mentioned here (Kepler, TESS) are not capable of detecting these. You will have to wait until PLATO flies in 2024, then wait maybe a decade after that for its findings to be verified.


Re: Question

The majority of the capital costs have come from the Universities involved in the project, rather than directly from the Government. The running costs will come from our research council (STFC), which itself is funded by Government, but isn't actually a part of the Government.

In the UK, broadly speaking, politicians really don't get involved in funding decisions on science projects of this (small) scale. Only at the scale of the CERN/ESO/ESA subscriptions do politicians take an interest, these costs are tens/hundreds of millions and are recurring costs.

Protesters stop ground breaking on world's largest telescope


Ugh. Nuanced PR spin.

Europe has *already* started construction of a larger telescope (E-ELT, with a 39m primary mirror). That is scheduled to start operating in 2024.

So it's a case of choosing words very carefully - "world's largest telescope when it starts operating in 2022". Better than "construction of the world's second largest telescope delayed - again" I suppose.

I hate PR.

It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK


Re: remember for a lot of people

"Most people of any importance anyway :-P"

In their own estimation, maybe.

No sign of Half-Life 3 but how about FOURTEEN Steam Machine makers?


Re: Also, that Alienware console is gorgeous.

Gorgeous? If you're sixteen maybe. At my age I prefer faux mahogany or walnut veneer :)

I hope this thing has a UHF output for my TV, and is compatible with the controllers from my Colecovision.

Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran


Re: Time to get off this planet for survival of the species

Hmmm.... it's been a while since I listened to that album, or even read the book, but I thought it was the "perfect" hi-Q society that was forced to prey upon the Earth-based losers with their envious eyes, etc?


Re: Time to get off this planet for survival of the species

So you need to find a source of funding that's not coupled to "world leader asses". While you're at it you might like to take stock that the section of the population that are most efficient at breeding are, broadly speaking, the moron section. The moron section that, once it reaches voting age, votes in the world-leading asses.

Have you tried firing up a Kickstarter for your Moon colony ambition? Shoudn't be too difficult to find a select group of very rich people who pay to get away from the scum that inhabits this rock to found a new colony of the best and the brightest on the Moon.

Indian military pondered attack on Venus and Jupiter


... assuming they can get a mobile phone signal

Amazon's profit-eating machine revs into overdrive



So is Amazon "spending the year dead for tax reasons"?

HP sacks English employees to bag Scots gov jobs cash


Re: I cant wait

I visited Shetland a few years ago and was highly amused to see lots of the brown Scottish Tourist Board road signs had had the thistle and the word Scottish spray-painted over. The sort of thing you see in Scotland and Wales on anything with an English slant.

I certainly got the impression that someone there wanted the Scots to git forked.

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins


Re: Not sure I get this

So the UN is making a stand against recycling??!

Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE



A better example would be you recording me walking into M&S without me knowing... then when I get home and start using my PC/tablet/whatever to read The Register, I get lots of pop-up ads telling me the great deals on lingerie I missed in M&S today, and how I might like to visit the pizza restaurant you went to after you filmed me in M&S.

UPHEAVAL as Otellini retires: Will Intel look inside?


Re: Big challenges

"They screwed up big time with 64-Bit. Producing Itanic and then letting AMD produce the 64-Bit architecture we have today"

... and they've then gone on to crucify AMD with their own instruction set. To the point that certain websites are predicting AMD leaving the parts of x86-space where 64-bit is relevant.

I've not great love for Intel, but I have to say when they stop messing about and concentrate on pure technological execution, they can really get the job done..

Earth-sized planet found at Alpha Centauri B



Did you just break the Nature embargo? Or was that someone else?

iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software


Re: And?

Maybe not a good upgrade for your 4S, but it looks like a nice replacement for my 3GS!

You don't *have* to change your phone every 12 months!

Hands on with LG's 21:9 monitors


Ugh, 1080 again.

Waiting for the 40" 3972x1600 pix version for some proper wide-screen desktop and games playing.

Beck's open-source challenge to freetards: play it yourself!


Dear Mr Beck

Some guys from 1880 called, they want to chat about you nicking their ideas...

Virgin Media's 'bye-bye to buffering' beardy Bolt boast BANNED


Re: I'm more concerned...

So phone them up.

I downgraded from the 20Mb "old-L" package to a 30Mb "new-M" package, they were round to fit my new modem within a day or two. This despite my area being marked as due for the doubling upgrade months from now.

My broadband bill is now £10 cheaper than it was, my broadband is faster, the caps are less silly, the new modem was free.

New gov.uk site hits beta, flashes SINGLE typeface to punters


Font choice

Not sure how to take this.

Is this the ultimate sign of Mr Cameron's austerity measures kicking in? The size of the UK public debt means that our government can only afford one font license now?

Is this a left-over from Mr Brown's premiership? One Font To Rule Them All, One Font To Blind Them?

Or is it Mr Clegg's influence? Looks good at first glance, but in doesn't work in any real-life? But at least it's scrupulously fair, in that it's equally crap for everybody.

On the bright side, at least it's not Comic Sans.

Does Britain really need a space port?


A good place to ascend to orbit...

...how about Ascension Island? It's roughly as close to the equator as Kourou. It's surrounded by ocean too, so less chance of pissing off the Germans or Scandinavians if something goes wrong.

Nvidia drops veil on game-changing might of VGX


From thin to thick and back again

21st century X-terminals then.

Didn't SGI (Silicon Graphics back then) push this sort of stuff a couple of decades ago?

Virgin Media site goes titsup in Pirate Bay payback attack


Re: Well Well

Hmm. Let me see...

- VM throttle my 30Mbit connection to 15Mbit if I download more than a certain amount at peak times

- no other ISP in my area is capable of providing more than 6Mbit *at any time of day*, regardless of what I or others are doing

Yep. Makes sense to ditch VM and go elsewhere, for sure!

Mobile phones still safe... probably

Black Helicopters

Re: Where's all the DoD/MoD/Russian Data

So I guess the important points in your proposition are that:

a) the evidence is there, it's all been known for years by Some People

b) the evidence is being kept secret from The Other People

I can't put my finger on it, but this sounds very familiar. I'm sure I've heard this before, or maybe seen it on the telly in some programme or other.

Can you tell me, is deja vu a symptom of having my brain fried by RF radiation? Or have I been hanging around the Internet for too long?


Off the top of my head, here's a few candidates for the next Big Health Scare that I'd like the Daily Mail to pick up and run with:

1. worrying about stuff you don't understand causes stress, and consequentially leads to an increased risk of heart disease, and other stuff you don't understand (hence causing more stress, see point 1).

2. reading Daily Mail headlines leads you to worry about stuff you don't understand, whilst simultaneously failing to educate you about said stuff. This leads to an increased risk of heart disease, and other stuff you don't understand (see point 1).

3. listening to people who read the Daily Mail causes stress, with a consequent increased risk of heart disease. See points 1 and 2.

4. apparently there's been a massive increase in heart disease over the past few years. I should be worried, because it's all due to stuff I don't understand. According to the Daily Mail and a bloke I met down the pub. See points 1, 2 and 3. And 4.

5. Sod it. I'm off to drown my sorrows in alcohol. Apparently this isn't good for my health. According to the Daily Mail. See points 1, 2, 3 ... 4... and most of the rest of the book.

IT guy answers daughter's Facebook rant by shooting her laptop


And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the attitude that leads our children to be brought up in such a way that they're utterly incapable of dealing with the way things work in the real world.

Fretting Googler retracts anti-Google+ rant


So do you reckon that the Google "bulldog" enforcers got to him?!

Multimillionaire's private space ship 'can land on Mars'



Chop chop then. If you can do it, do it. Mars is only 18 months away, so what's stopping you? Looking forward to the first tweet from Mars. All privately funded of course.

Would be even better if the technology had been entirely privately funded, rather than "standing on the shoulders of giants", with the giants being the giant piles of cash spent by the Western and Eastern Bloc governments throughout the Hot and Cold Wars developing the basic under-pinnings of this private-sector-poster-child technology.

So much easier to do stuff on the cheap if you build it on someone else's IP without paying the full costs.

NASA's Glory climate-data sat crashes into Pacific on launch


Oral hygiene

Why did I first read that as "Sabotaged by the dentists"? Must be pub time, it's been a long day.

Antique Nimrod subhunters scrapped – THANK GOODNESS!



Erm... have you clicked on the 'History of SOFIA' link on that web page?