* Posts by Mad as a Bat

36 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

Painters wrap Forth Bridge job after 121 years

Mad as a Bat

"like X-ing the Y"

like trying to secure Windows

'A SHARK attacked my ROBOT', gasps ex-Sun exec

Mad as a Bat

Teeth marks?

Where were the frikin' laser scorch marks?

Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Mad as a Bat

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Anyone remember the Apple Lisa? You know the one with the GUI that was lifted from the Alto developed by Xerox PARC.

Provincial outrage over BT's broadband upgrade race

Mad as a Bat
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same here

I also live in a village with an exchange that has less than half of the 1000 subscribers required to join BTs "race". Mind as we have just switched our domestic and business phones/broadband away from BT I am not very interested in being their customer again anytime soon. I don't see that BT will upgrade small rural exchanges like ours until they're forced to by guvinmint. Not that I'm complaining - that's the price we pay for living in the countryside.

Apple goes social with musical Ping

Mad as a Bat
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Read the quote

See the quote? The bit where it claims "high-resolution images" are coming to iOS4.1? I agree further in the article he does mention HDR and not high-resolution but my point was that the headline was wrong.

I generate HDR images using a high-end PC with a high-end GPGPU. Admittedly I am working on larger images than the iPhone (or a compact camera) but it still takes appreciable time for HDR software to churn through the image. I prefer to do the job by hand anyway as Photoshop, Photomatix etc. are not the best at generating a combined HDR image. Unless Apple have worked out some incredible magic pixie dust to sprinkle on the images I am not convinced that the feature will be that useful. Of course if Apple have managed to make said magic pixie dust then I'll gladly retract my comment but my feeling is that this is more a marketing feature than anything practical except for a tiny minority of cases.

Mad as a Bat

High Dynamic Range != High-definition

"Apple CEO Steve Jobs has unveiled the next two generations of iOS, updates that will bring multiplayer gaming and high-definition photography to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches"

Last time I looked HDR was about extending the range of brightness that could be captured in an image and is not the same as "high-definition". HDR processing is starting to appear in compact cameras so it's no great surprise to see it appearing in a phone. Not that I see it working that well. My Lumix compact camera also has this feature but its not a lot of use without a tripod and fairly static subjects. Last time I looked there wasn't a tripod socket on an iPhone. To create decent HDR images still takes a camera with a good lens, a good tripod, a subject with ideally no movement (or very little) and a lot of time post-processing the image.

iPhone 4 on Pay as You Go: UK networks compared

Mad as a Bat


Just come out of contract on Voda. Current contract 600 mins + unlimited texts, their upgrade "deal" was 200 mins + 300 texts same money. Nice going Vodafone. Checking through their site out of curiosity; new customer Samsung Galaxy S free + 600 mins + unlimited text + 500Mb data = 30/month, my upgrade price for the same deal = 35/month. Nice. I rang them about SIM only deals. Apparently if I have an iPhone I can get a SIM only deal that includes data + free WiFi access through BT Connect. However as I have an Android phone this deal is not available, data only with no free WiFi access. And they wonder why I requested a PAC from them.

Airline ejects passenger for being hungry

Mad as a Bat
IT Angle

lets hope this guy is not a songwriter...

I hope for United's sake that this guy is not a songwriter...




Tories promise medals not money for science and R&D

Mad as a Bat

Whatever happened to the service economy?

Having done their level best to drive manufacturing into the ground during the '80s and early '90s the Tories finally realise that we can't just have an economy based on service industries? A little late but kudos to them for eventually realising that we need manufacturers. Of course they are only talking hi-tech industry here and there is no money up for grabs but at least its a step in the right direction.

UK.gov IT minister makes open source gaffe over browsers

Mad as a Bat

...hardly a perfect world

I thought that we are on Goverment Distro 99.3 or something? The two major competing development teams are forever swapping out each others code base and performing major rewrites. The problem is that all these rewrites end up "fixing" the other teams bugs and nothing real ever gets done. Actually when I say "problem" I mean "actually a really good thing". It bad enough what these clowns do when they get to be lead developers for a few years. Imagine how bad it would be if one team of developers got decades to perform rewrites.

Sony ships chips for 560Mb/s Bluetooth beater

Mad as a Bat
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Just what we need.

Yep, we really needed another short-range wireless standard to join Bluetooth, 802.11, 802.15.4/ZigBee, UWB et al. On the up side at least they've kept away from 2.4Ghz.

Is that the US space agency in your pocket or...?

Mad as a Bat

Got to fund a moon mission somehow...

Are things that tight at NASA since old Obama decided that the USofA can't afford space travel that they've got to raise money with iPhone apps?

"If you've ever been enjoying yourself at the pub only to be seized by an uncontrollable urge to know the position of the International Space Station - right. this. minute. — sweet mobile relief has arrived courtesy the good ol' US of A space agency."

On the other hand you could just save yourself some pennies and check out Heavens-Above on any browser and find the location of gazillions of satellite things: http://www.heavens-above.com

O2 could impose out-of-contract iPhone lock-in

Mad as a Bat
Jobs Halo

Whose handset is it, anyway?

Surely someone ought to tell O2 that all iPhones belong to Apple.

Super-soldier exoskeletons ready for troop tests in 2010

Mad as a Bat

Is it me?

But isn't that guy wearing the exoskeleton the Janitor from Scrubs?

Apple yanks C64 emulator from App Store

Mad as a Bat

@AC "Simple solution"

Apple aren't making it easy to love them as a developer. Yes you can easily get an SDK for the iPhone from Apple but it only runs on Leopard and Snow-Leopard. So if I want to develop for the iPhone I have to shell out for an overpriced iPhone contract and buy an overpriced Mac. On the other hand I could just continue to use a free Symbian SDK and have a larger target market. If I really feel the need to expand to another market then the Windows Mobile SDK is readily available and also gives me a much larger market than Apple.

iPhone actually good at making calls shock

Mad as a Bat
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Re: Re: And what about the C905

This differs from my experience with the C905. Reception on mine is not as good as previous Sony Ericsson feature phones. It's one of the worst performers I've had. If I carry my phone in my pocket then I get little or no network coverage; when the phone is just sitting on the desk the signal is all over the place. This in areas where I used to get good coverage on older phones.

Spanish boffins develop bat-like sonar-vision superpower

Mad as a Bat

See through walls?

"The boffins believe that in future their subjects will be able to "see" through fog or smoke - and even some distance into solid walls, floors or ceilings."

It'll be interesting to see how they do this given that bats don't like flying in fog or rain 'cus it screws up their echo locating. AFAIK bats don't see through solid objects either. And don't try using bats (or humans) to echo locate a F-117... http://www.batbox.org/sonar.html

Website liable for Google-generated page summary

Mad as a Bat

Is it just me?

Why would anyone from Zwartepoorte be searching for the words "Zwartepoorte" and "bankrupt"? Do they know something that we don't?

Iranian rocket puts satellite into orbit

Mad as a Bat
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@Colin MacLean

Check out the guy on the right of the picture. Isn't that Tony Blackburn wearing a fake beard?

Budget airlines break new rules on opt-in website pricing

Mad as a Bat

bmibaby has same problem

I booked a couple of days ago with bmibaby to Ireland. There site has insurance already ticked as well. Deselecting this option causes a pop-up to appear that is worded to make it sound like the world will end if you don't pick their insurance. They also have the additional 6.99 charge for manual check-in although this falls to 3.99 if pre-booked online or nothing for online check-in. Go figure.

They also charge to pay by credit/debit card but this charge does not apply if you pay by a bmibaby Mastercard. Funny I thought that the credit card companies charged for every transaction and it didn't matter whose card you had. At least its not as bad as the ridiculous Ruinair "handling charge" that adds a booking fee per-person per-ticket (i.e. each way). For all Ruinair's headline figures of £1 or £0 tickets it still always works out £20 cheaper to fly bmibaby to Ireland than to fly on Ruinair and you don't have the rugby scrum to get seats on the aircraft.

Royal Society of Chemistry defines perfect Yorkshire pud

Mad as a Bat

I beg to differ...

...as a Yorkshireman I take exception with the rather pathetic quantities of pudding offered by the Royal Chemistry Society's recipe.

Here's a recipe that gives 6 good servings of pudding:

6oz plain flour

1/2 pint milk

3 eggs + 1 egg white

salt to taste

Blitz the lot with a hand blender. Leave to stand 30 minutes.

Heat a tablespoon of goose fat* in a full-sized roasting tin in a hot oven. At least 220C for a fan oven and as hot as it will go for a conventional oven. The oven needs to be up to temperature before adding the roasting tin. Get the roasting tin good and hot before adding the mixture. Give the mixture a final blitz then pour into the roasting tin and shove into the oven for 15 minutes and DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!

Cut up and serve slices with gravy as a starter. I usually hold back a little of the mix to thicken the gravy.

*goose fat has a higher smoking point than beef or pork fat but you can use beef/pork fat if you want a kitchen full of smoke.

Stob latest: It was a cunning trick, says Open University

Mad as a Bat
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Well I had considered doing an OU course but...

... now I think I will decline.

The worrying part for me is that the tutors involved had failed to read the paper in question in detail. It's not cheap to do an OU course, I'd like to think that the tutors involved were taking it seriously. This whole episode calls the tutor's involvement into question. I don't think that I'll be throwing any money at the OU anytime soon.

Right: Which one of you lot invented 'tw*tdangle', eh?

Mad as a Bat

I for one...

... welcome our twatdangling overlords

Police drop BT-Phorm probe

Mad as a Bat

Implied consent?

I was a BT customer at the time of the BT/Phorm trials. I took my company to another ISP because of the Phorm trials. And somehow I'm supposed to have given implied consent to such a trial?

Acer Aspire 8920G 18.4in laptop

Mad as a Bat

RGB gamut?

"The screen can show 16.7m colours - many laptop panels only do 260,000-odd - using them to display 90 per cent of the colours within the RGB gamut."

So which "RGB gamut" would that be then: sRGB, AdobeRGB, ProPhotoRGB or a.n.otherRGB?


Secret of invisibility unravelled by US researchers

Mad as a Bat

Just look for the tracks...

Easy to spot your invisible enemy - just look for the mysteriously appearing tracks in the grass/sand or the wake on water etc.. Just think Michael Bentine's Potty Time!

Adobe opens Photoshop for freetards

Mad as a Bat

ah the GIMP

That'll be the image editing software that doesn't understand colour management and craps out on Windows the whole time then. The GIMP, free and worth every penny.

Reg Jobs gets a facelift

Mad as a Bat

Here's a belter of a role from Reg Jobs...

How's this for a brilliant role:


A whole £1 to £100 per annum. I can't wait to apply, at last I can pay off the mortgage and relax in the sun...

Jodrell Bank offloaded on eBay

Mad as a Bat

your chance to have your voice ignored...

Sign the e-Petition to save Jodrell Bank and have your voice ignored by our Gordon.


Mine's the white lab coat.

ISP data deal with former 'spyware' boss triggers privacy fears

Mad as a Bat

bye BT

Well done BT, you've finally hammered in the last nail in the coffin. You want to spy on my browsing habits and sell this information on top of all the 'free' crap you keep trying to push at me - 'free' that is apart from the much higher fees than charged by your competitors.

I'm off to another ISP, mine's the one with the 'Sod off BT' logo on the back.

Beer set to hit four quid a pint

Mad as a Bat

That explains...

...why their beers all taste like shite:

"The company has fingered higher aluminium, cereal and crude oil costs as the cause"

Testers give iPhone virtual keyboard the thumbs down

Mad as a Bat

Hardly a massive sample is it?

While not a fan at all of the iBlob I hardly see 20 testers as a representative user sample. A sample of a few hundred testers per handset would be statistically more meaningful.

Restored Vulcan takes to the skies

Mad as a Bat
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@John Stag

I can also remember seeing a Vulcan scramble at Finningley airshow in the late '70s. I can still hear the noise...

Mars rovers can keep on rovin'

Mad as a Bat

@Anonymous Coward

The rovers use VxWorks as their OS, not Linux.

Boffins demo wireless electricity

Mad as a Bat

...there you go...

exposure to anything to do with electricity or magnetism gives you coughs and sneezes

WEP key wireless cracking made easy

Mad as a Bat

Physical security is the way to go

Go for the physical security option. A 500m exclusion zone patrolled by armed guards with instructions to shoot anyone seen carrying a laptop or PDA is the way to go. A 3m high solid earth bank around the house should stop those armed with directional antennas snooping from further afield.