* Posts by Warhelmet

153 posts • joined 13 Feb 2008


DARPA aim to make killer robots invulnerable to damage


Can I has bombz?

"Quantity has a quality all of its own."

Can't remember who said that, but. I always fort that these things were designed to expendable in a way that manned stuff wasn't.

Building in more features makes it more expensive. Ergo, you build fewer of them. You can't do the same concentration of force. You can't use numbers to overwhelm a defender.

Throw enough dumb projectiles at it and it will stop working soon enough.




But will they run Vista?

NASA inks deal for ISS plasma drive tests



For a moment I read the headline as the announcement of a new storage technology.

Hasbro drops lawsuit against Scrabulous creators


Scrabble on the Nintendo DS

But does Scrabulous allow the word "fuckers".

I was waiting for an opportunity to drop that one in.


Hang on, I got a free scrabble cd rom with the Times not so long ago - but with internet play disabled. So, in principle Scrabble has been given away already.

Honestly, I would not mind playing real Scrabble over the internet as opposed to Scrabulous. There isn't a board game of Scrabulous that gets wheeled out at the family chrimbo festivities. My wife swearing at a Scabulous opponent is not quite the same thing as my in laws getting upset when I trounce them an Scrabble. I used to be crap at Scrabble but playing against a machine has improved my ability no end.

Apologies after teacher's 'Linux holding back kids' claim

Gates Horns

I'm a PC

I have no walls.

Harvard prof slams US nut allergy hysteria


Not Genetics

It can't be genetic. The human genome doesn't change quickly enough to account for the rise in reported numbers of allergies. Of course, there may be a genetic pre-disposition to allergies but it has always existed. The causes of, say, asthma are poorly understood but their does seem to a number of genes that are implicated in terms of an increased disposition towards asthma.

The Hygiene hypothesis has been mentioned by various posters and it is a pretty good candidate. Other people have also mentioned that there are many novel compounds that exist in our environment that previously were not there. Sensitisation to a particular compound can result in the development of an allergy to that compound - but whether it is reasonable to assume that sensitisation to one compound results in allergies to other compounds is moot. The theory that peanut allergies may be linked to a fungal toxin is not unreasonable, but surely someone would have discovered the toxin and the fungus involved?

But the professor is right.

DARPA orders 'fridge-sized' laser energy cannon



'nough said.

Missile Defence multikill space interceptor in hover test




Black Missile? Shiny Missile? Stealth Missile? Decoy Missile? Lots of chaff? etc etc...


Competition watchdog bounces BBC, ITV and C4's web TV plan


Platforms, Standards and...

Blu-ray is anti-competitive. Do I see whinging about that? No. PAL is a standard for UK SD content. Do I see whinging about that? No. Sky and Virgin are on a hiding to nothing because their business models are about locking people into their distribution model, their platform and their crippled set top boxes.

Meh? I watch less and less tv because it increasingly seems to pander to the lowest common denominator. And films are shit too. Why do I want to watch another Hollywood remake of an old film?

Next it'll be a 3-d prawn version of the Wombles. They will have beautifully rendered fur. But Tobermory will be disciplining Orinoco, Tomsk, Bungo and Wellington is ways that I do not want to imagine. Who lives in a burrow lined with newspaper?

What do Sky and Virgin want? An alternative infrastructure based on speaking tubes or string and cocoa tins?

I tend to think that Kangaroo is a waste of bandwidth. Did like the approach of Top-Up TV transmitting content over freeview in the wee small hours to PVRs. It's a good approach for educational programming and the like. It's the narrowcasting vs broadcasting argument. TV over IP is very nice, but it is a luxury. VoD is nice.


Micron becomes Fusion follower



But will it make Vista boot faster?

Malware authors play Mario on Daily Mail website

Black Helicopters

Ban This Sick Filth!!!!


I'm waiting for the Daily Fail to blame this on NuLabour. This is Gordon Brown's fault. Or shifty looking foreigners. Bring on the xenophobia! Or maybe this is the fault of the EU? Or the Human Rights Act?

Where is the have-a-go hero to save us? We need to recruit the WI or maybe a new Dads Army of silver surfers to mount DNS attacks againt these people.

Nuke-nobbler raygun 747 in first full-power blast


Let me be the first...

to welcome our new laser-toting jumbo jet overlords.

And what would Jesus say?

Auf Wiedersehen to 700 FSC workers


Shouldn't that be...

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet?

Mandy preps list of UK businesses to save


Free Markets?

And *poof* in a cloud of smoke, they disappear. I would say, largely, those that live by the swords, die by the sword.

If we are talking about special pleadings for certain companies, would be really interested to see the criteria - probably something like "strategic national interest". I don't see any point in bailing out retail. Most of the service sector is pointless. It's really about manufacturing and hi-tech stuff. Infrastructure too.

We can live without Woolworths. But what can't we live without? What can the UK not afford to not have the capability to do for itself?

Are we talking handouts? Partial public ownership or the whole hog of nationalisation? Or perhaps subsidies for export industries?

Protectionism is a concern. You could argue that in order to help the UK economy, public sector procurement should be biased towards UK owned companies. This will go down like a cup of cold sick with some folks, yet, there are some strong arguments for doing so in terms of firewalling the UK economy against the worst of the global recession. International cooperation is a wonderful concept but... do you really believe that the, say, G8 are going to come up with a cohesive, unified plan of action when their national interests can be so disparate?

Much as I welcome the election of Obama as representing a sea-change in US attitudes towards race, I do fear that the US may go into one of it's periodic isolationist phases. Parts of the US economy are in such a parlous state that market protectionism might look like a quick fix. I'm thinking of the Big Three auto-manufacturers.

One of the interesting fings about WWII was that US car plants were turned over to military production in very short order. This shows the strategic national interest in retaining manufacturing capacity. But that would not happen now. Fings ain't wot they used to be. There is too much secret technology and specialist fabrication involved.

And maybe this provides a ruler that Mandy can use...

Flame on, because I think I need to put the oven on for pizza.

Down the Digital River, into the heart of download darkness

Black Helicopters

Apocalypse Now

"The horror, the horror"

The whup-whup-whup of the ceiling fan as Martin Sheen smashes up his hotel room.

Wireless comms and the end of civilisation


Meh Too

Maplins? I think I'd go to Screwfix. Petrol and gas powered tools, as well as heaps of batteries for cordless tools. Or what about a battery factory? Or a car spares place- all those lovely lead acid batteries.

Oh no. You want big diesel generators. Try a fun fair or a military base. Or a hospital.

I remember the original series. I've got a paperback of it somewhere as well.

Of course, it's implausible entertainment.

MoD kit chief: Blighty unsure of supersonic stealth jumpjet


Carriers? Who needs them?

I can understand the need for something like amphibious assualt vessels in the current geo-political climate, but big carriers?

Surely big capital ships are incredibly vulnerable to modern weapon systems and tactics? Pearl Harbour is not going to be repeated but a first strike against the capital ships of an enemy naval force could destroy it very easily. And it's not just the ships that you lose. Cruise missles are often criticised as being expensive one-weapons but in reality, the Soviets saw cruise missiles as the primary counter to the US carrier fleet. Cruise missiles don't have to be as expensive as the Americans make them.

Modern mines are very difficult to "sweep". Mines can be used offensively, often deployed by aircraft or submarines. The advantage of mines is that the cost - in monetary and time terms - of removing them is very much greater than building and laying of them. They do have applications in asymetric warface. The level and amount of technology required to clear mines is greater than that needed to fabricate a mine.

US intelligence predicts EU 'hobbled giant' by 2025

Black Helicopters

Science Fiction

I enjoy a good sf novel as much as the next guy. This is all conjecture.

In the future, gm crops will cause bluebottles to grow to the size of labradors. All personal vehicles will run on bio-diesel made from the rendered remains of the obese. Their exhaust will smell like chips fried in dripping. Chesse will have been banned, especially really good cheese, on account of it's addictive properties. We will all live in giant snail shells, left by the giant snails who keep the roads clean.

I will have had my brain uploaded to every single then-current Nintendo hand held device and my avatar will admonish the youth with the opinion that they need to listen to some "proper" music - like a bit of Satanic Metal - as well as remembering that there used to be pens in the "Post Office" - whatever that was.

Well, my vision of the future is just as plausible.

DARPA wargamer calls for US X-Men superplane fleet


Er, yes...

Midget subs are cheaper.

Lewis Hamilton mulls riding Virgin


Travel Insurance?

No, I'm not underwriting that particular trip, I'm afraid. Makes scuba diving and winter sports look positively low risk.

Ron Dennis - don't let him go. Sunk costs and all that.

US, UK deploy manned unmanned aircraft to save bandwidth



'nuff said.

Remember folks, trust is a moral action. Machines are not moral actors. If you can't trust pilots not to shoot up folks on the same side, you are going to trust an autonomous UACV?

Oh, and some NATO countries fly MIGs.

Why not just stick a troll inside and convince him it's just a game? Trolls iz cheap. Or pigeons.

BNP leaked list claims first victims




“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Which is not a direct quote from Voltaire, merely a paraphrase.

There are two contradictory arguments are work:-

1) Groups/beliefs that "we" disapprove of should be starved of the oxygen of publicity

2) Groups/beliefs that "we" disapprove of should be allowed to allowed to exist, but their beliefs should be the subject of discussion and criticism. Even ridicule.

I don't believe in special pleadings for certain religious beliefs. But I do believe in respect.

Linux weaktops poised for death by smartphone

Thumb Down

So what?

Smart phones? For me, carrying a smartphone would be like having an albatross hung round my neck. Ignore the Jesus-Phone for a mo. The real evil of smart phones is push-email. I can't think of a more productivity sapping development. Executive management do little enough real work as it is with all those stupid meetings they go to. Give them smartphones and they'll never do anything again.

I do get real work done on my Eee PC 701. Although the keyboard is small, I can work with it, but I've got long slim fingers. Sausage handed friends struggle. The relatively low power of the CPU is not an issue when you consider how much of what people do with PCs is not particularly processor intensive.

It's changed the way I work. I used to make lots of notes on paper and never do anything with them - retyping handwritten notes is not something that I enjoy. The incredibly fast start up time means that I can start typing in seconds- try doing that with a normal laptop. And I can put the notes to use.

I've got a PDA as well and I did use it with an infra-red keyboard with it, but the apps with Windows Mobile are crippleware compared to using a proper office suite on a laptot.


Endeavour launch heralds new dawn for piss-drinking



Would dehydrated turds burning up on re-entry be shiiting star?

I know that Mir stank inside of stale sweat and farts. But is not also the case that taste and smell don't work so good?

What was the name of the space chimp who beat himself off as stress-relief? I've worked with people like that.

McLaren teams up with chip firm for F1 hybrid tech


What would Jesus have said?

It used to be said that motorsport technology spin-offs found their way into production cars. It is now the case that many features found on production cars are banned in Formula 1.

KERS is pointless. If Formula 1 and motorsport in general want to improve their green credentials, the only way they can do this is by developing greener technologies that will find their way into production cars. KERS is going to have zero impact on the environment given the huge energy costs associated with the whole of the Formula 1 circus.

At the end of the day, what it boils down to is reducing usage and dependence on fossil fuels. Maybe Formula 1 could switch to bio-fuels? Or go a lot further down the hybrid route and drive the wheels directly with electric motors. Reducing the amount of fuel that a car is allowed to use during a race would be a good first step.

And some of the banned technologies should be allowed back if they enhance fuel economy.

And for those who says that it wouldn't work, that it would destroy the spectacle of Formula 1, erm, what do those Le Mans winning Audis run on?

AMD's 'Bobcat' to leap out and claw Intel's Atom tomorrow?


Not Me

Intel - no.

AMD - maybe and they do have a track record with the Geode chips.

Fifty years later, steam appears on British railway



Poop! Poop!

I live on the Paddington mainline - the old GWR line to south wales and the south-west. I see steam trains chuffing along from my back garden on an infrequent basis.

One of the big criticism of coal power is that it is dirty. No. There is good coal and bad coal. GWR generally used anthracite from wales which has a very high carbon content and doesn't produce horrible smoke in the way that lower grade coals do. I know that some of the small gauge railways have converted old steamers to run on oil because it's notionally cleaner than low-grade coal. Also, am I right in thinking that there were small trains that ran on sugar plantations that used distilled ethanol?

Whilst I welcome the building of a new mainline stream train, I would have preferred them to build something genuinely novel and utilising modern concepts rather than a duplicate of 70 year old tech. That would have been something really interested to see. A train for the third world, perhaps. Mechanically simple, but more efficient.

As long as the result wasn't Ivor the Engine.

Study clears cannabis of schizophrenia rap


Reefer Madness


I'll do something more educated tomorrow.

Yes! It's the Darth Vader breakfast toaster



I find your lack of fibre most disturbing...

Porn breath tests for PCs heralds 'stop and scan'



But I have set a BIOS password. I've disabled booting from the optical drive. I use an encrypted file system. As a rule, I don't keep confidential client data on my laptop - I connect to a VM on my server via a VPN using VNC - but it does happen occaisonally, for a short time.

What is Mr. Plod going to do with me? Oh, and my non-disclosure agreements?

Next time I go to Oz, I think I'll take a solictor with me.

Pentagon spends $442m on 'multiple kill' space interceptors


Let me be the first...

to weclome our new orbital multi-kill overlords.

Orange IPTV: Missing, presumed dead



BBC iPlayer, etc prove that there is a demand for IPTV. True, with UK broadband speeds it can prove to be a sub-optimal experience.

Content is the real driver. Non-instant is the big obstacle.

Dell scrambles onto de-dupe bandwagon


Monkey Gland Extract

Can I has Fuse?

Microsoft slings Windows Home Server in OEM bargain bin



WHS isn't compelling when you consider that:-

1) NAS boxes do a lot that WHS does out of the box.

2) Linux based NAS boxes can be hacked to do more.

3) A redundant win machine can be repurposed as a Linux based NAS/media server.

4) WHS isn't terribly extensible.

It's only compelling feature is that it should work out of the box but in reality it's not the seamless experience that it should be.

I fink MS would be better off giving it away free with Vista Home versions. You buy a new machine with Vista, you can make use of the old box in a way that doesn't require XP and sort-of adds to the Vista experience. Mind you, that's not the sort of marketing wheeze that MS do. Selling two incomplete OSes for the price of one incomplete operating system?

Mines the one with Cygwin in the pocket.

Asus to phase out sub-10in Eee PCs, says CEO



10" is too big for my pocket.

Mine's the one with the Eee PC 701 in the pocket.

Sony Ericsson Walkman W595 music phone

Thumb Down


"You can also listen using the loudspeaker, which is a typically tinny when cranked up, but is capable of hitting surprisingly high volume levels."

Oh great. Sony Ericsson have just made my daily commute a potential even more miserable experience. There should be a law against this sort of thing.

3M MPro110 handheld projector



... it's let down by the execution and the low battery life. Otherwise I could have hours of fun with this and my laptot down the pub. More seriously, if the technology can be improved I'd probably go for it. I can think of times when it would have been worth its weight in gold.

Top aero boffin: Green planes will be noisy planes


Napier Nomad

Yes but how close are the current generation of turbofans to the theoretical maximum efficiency of a turbofan engine?

Has a point been reached with turbofans that improvements in efficiency are coming with exponentially more cost? Have we reached a point where the only option is to shift to a different engine technology?

How much mileage is to be had in more advanced materials. Composite materials have reduced airframe weight. In theory, advanced metallurgy and ceramics can reduce engine weight.

And why do manufacturers persist in producing convential designs when flying wings are more efficient? And less noisy - if the engines are above the thing. Similarly, why do seats face forward when backward is safer?

Bio-diesel isn't a bad fuel for aero engines. A flying wing. built of advanced composite materials with a turbo-compound engine might be interesting.

Wing In Ground effect aircraft might have a role to play. The Caspian Sea Monster would have operated just as well in the Black Sea or the Med.

Noise pollution is pollution. I grew up within a couple of miles on Heathrow. Cough. I can remember the early 70's and the planes were loud. But there were a lot fewer of them. You did get used to it. Admittedly, didn't live right under the flight path then. Do now - but further away and the planes are higher and quieter. I live right on top of the mainline from Paddington. It's all diesels. It's only the freight trains that you notice - and it's the vibration more than the noise.

But noise pollution is a problem in most urban areas and it's not just transport.

DARPA seeks crawling, burrowing river-recce sub bot


Let me be the first...

to welcome our new underwater overlords.

House key copied from photo



There are some other types of key that are inherently more secure from this sort of attack. I can remember that my university halls had keys that have indentations on the flat of the key rather than notches cut in. Blanks for these types of key are not carried by the high street keycutter/shoe heeler and are difficult to get hold of. And they require more special kit to cut.

Forced entry is more likely. I was burgled and the buggers jemmied open locked patio doors. Didn't need a key.

Rackable does cookie sheet servers


Tinfoil Hat

You'll need metalised server rooms to protect from EMP weapons.

Building as passive heat sink? hmm.

DHS cybersecurity boss fights back against critics


Pork Scratchings...

Erm - it does beg the question why security concerns are not embedded in the normal way of doing things.

Answers on a postcard to the following address...

BBC's speak you're branes collapses under Brand-Ross sex outrage


La-La Land

As I sit in my motorised reclining armchair (with built-in vibrating massage action) and contemplate retiring to bed via my stannah stairlift and saluting the portraits of Margaret Thatcher and David English on the way...

A little suck of oxygen via my mask and...

Go Britain! Go Media! Go Public! Yes, let's see you beat yourself into a frothy masturbatory frenzy over something so incredibly trivial that on the radar front - lower than sea-skimming.

So, the misbehaviours of two wankers is more important than who gets to press the button to start WWIII? Ditto, like, jobs down the toilet.

Bah. This is the death-knell of democracy. This is the crack at the end of the whip. Evil forces are at work. The mind rays projected from orbit are shrinking people's brains. We will all end up reading Heat and believing and caring out the celeb shite they peddle.

Intel, Asus plead with Web 2.0 for notebook of the future


Yes, but, no, but...

So, they want someone to come up with a compelling vision of the laptot future and will reward them with gift vouchers? I think not.

Android and open source hardware projects are a better fit for user driven hardware development.

Some of this stems from the arrogance of hardware manufacturers. It's an attitude of build it and they shall come. There isn't always an effective communication channel between users and manufacturers. Some manufacturers are better than others. I've had some interesting email conversations with some, but no response from others.

High-speed train toilet attempts to eat Frenchman



I, for one, welcome our new shiny porcelain overlords.

BAE's bandwidth blimp-bot takes off (indoors)


I for one...

welcome our new dirigible overlords.

Bang&Olufsen slices 300 jobs


Yes, but, no, but...

I've had the pleasure of using B&O kit in the past. Very nice. Amazing how good my craptop sounds when plumbed into a 25 year old hi-fi. Amazing how good a DVD looks on an old B&O crt telly. Hence the very strong second user market. There is a shop in Copenhagen that specialises in old B&O stuff. Been there, lovely...

I'm not surprised by the job cuts. Seen the BeoPhone - beautiful but pointless. I didn't even know that they did mp3 players - there is a B&O shop that I walk past everyday and never saw it promoted. Neither really fits with their core competancies - wringing the neck of analogue and beautiful design. You need meaty things for good design. It needs to be architectural.

Skype (kinda, sorta) shields Mac kiddies from VoIP smut


Bum Funk

But I get sh!t on my pc from Skype inviting me to look at lady bits. Platform isn't the issue, surely?

US Navy robot kill-choppers to drop auto-snort podules


Oh, podules...

I originally read it as auto snort poodles.

Global meltdown endangers terabytes



But storage IS cheap now. Of course, there could be a squeeze on pricing but...

Purchase of storage is generally driven by real need. The requirements for storage are often underestimated. Adding storage at a later date doesn't carry the same penalties as, say, underestimating the grunt needed to deliver reasonable transactional throughput. Just because there is a downturn doesn't make that need go away.

The alternatives to acquiring new storage are too gruesome to contemplate.

I think that the downturn will be seen in other areas first. For example, many organisations run rolling programs of desktop/laptop replacement. These will be slowed or halted. Those will do (phased) big bang replacement of desktops/laptops will defer.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021