* Posts by john.w

72 posts • joined 13 Mar 2008


US Army may be about to 'waste' up to $22b on Microsoft HoloLens


Re: Just what a grunt in a muddy trench, in the rain needs ...

"You appear to be in a conflict situation, maybe you could rephrase that and make it more inclusive.

Finnish govt websites knocked down as Ukraine President addresses MPs


Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

The British Empire tended to be a commercial operation, state backed but not directly about territorial acquisition. Brutal but also left the local hierarchy in place, enforcing a more modern pax romana to stop local conflicts. The Belgians, Spanish and Portuguese tended to wipe out the elites and try to run their empire directly, top down.

The first step to data privacy is admitting you have a problem, Google


Re: Use the right word, please

Both are in a position to ensure you never hear of such leaks.

Cyclops Blink malware sets up shop in ASUS routers


Re: Makes you wonder

TP-Link is particularly good for OenWRT and if you need some omph the VR2600 will function as a simple NAS, VPN client, ad blocking and torrents, should that be of interest (via that VPN of course)

UK govt signs IT contracts 'without understanding' the needs


Re: Stupid educated people in government

The situation could be improved by never letting the inventor retain control of a company, the two skills necessary rarely inhabit the same brain.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain


Re: Concorde II

It is very easy to understand, its because Government is run by PPE and Classics graduates.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother: Bloke gives away SpaceX ticket because he was over weight limit


Or should that be Whales?

Russia's naval exercise near Ireland unlikely to involve cable-tapping shenanigans


Warship CH5

What would have been a BBC documentary on CH5 shows HMS Northumberland tracking a Russian sub intent on destroying the UK's vital sub sea cables, all described in breathless tones. Of course they were simply playing the on going cat and mouse game to test each others responses. Crashing into the sonar array was unexpected but unnecessary as it would appear the ship was already falling apart.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds


Testing can have its downsides

I was with my wife who was on a ventilator in intensive care when the power went out. I was impressed with the nurse running to her with a manual mask as the lights came back on. The ward sister explained a few minutes later, having come off the phone, that it had been the site management testing the backup generator and that they are meant to let them know in advance. 30 minutes later it happened again as they switched back, again without warning ICU.

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell


Free consultancy

I had a frustrating interview in Cambridge for a Bluetooth company who had failed to get into the Wifi market for some years. To start they wanted me to present a detailed market analysis lasting 30mins including cost and price information whilst currently employed by a significantly more successful competitor of theirs. I presented what type of information I would have presented but no useful detail, did not go down well. They then went on to tell me all about their new focus on IOT, the latest fad and asked me to comment on their road map. It got even worse when I was then asked to talk to their board director privately, who had asked them to show me the company roadmap, as he had no faith the team's plans!

Wi-Fi 6 isn't signed off yet, but boffins are already teasing us with specs for venerable wireless tech's next gen


Re: Wifi generations

Having worked on the 802.11a to 11ad chipsets the problem is the chip has a selling price based on its silicon area and the software to run it is provide free.

Not-so-paltry towers to float: Vodafone reveals IPO plans for mega European masts biz


Frankfurt Listing

Vodafone probably selected the German exchange to list due to the quality of its financial regulator and their support for companies who are able to lose the odd Billion Euro in Asian bank accounts.

Nvidia watches Brit upstart Graphcore swing into rear-view mirror waving beastly second-gen AI chip hardware


Naming Conventions

Not the Gruntmaster 7000?

BT's Wi-Fi Disc ads banned because there's no evidence the things work


Re: "Only we guarantee Wi-Fi in every room"

I went to a lot of WiFi Alliance conferences when it was still called WECA and we used 16M PCMIA cards to hand around documents as the WiFi was there, but only in spirit.

Like a Virgin, hacked for the very first time... UK broadband ISP spills 900,000 punters' records into wrong hands from insecure database


Re: The solution to all these companies leaking our PI

Being retired I feel it is my moral duty to keep these people on the line for as long as possible and it can be fun.

Listen up you bunch of bankers. Here are some pointers for less crap IT


Re: Here's my list, and not just for banks...

Diversity is a interesting issue, how do you define it? A diverse range of skills can be very useful as are diverse personalities, within limits. Most other criteria are arbitrary, should you have the 'correct' number of employees who are from Devon? Anyone growing up in Devon is not going to have the same opportunities that growing up in London provides so they will need a little extra help to make the cultural shift and should not be held back by prejudice against their yokel dialect. It is a facetious argument but where do you stop the in diversity debate.

In a touching tribute to its $800m-ish antitrust fine, Qualcomm tears wraps off Snapdragon 865 chip for 5G phones


Re: Cheers

I was going to Wi-Fi alliance meetings when documents were shared using PCMCIA cards as file sharing over the temporary Wi-Fi network was a nightmare. I have always argued that wireless is about mobility not connectivity as a wire/fibre will always out perform any wireless technology for speed and latency. It was not always a welcome message with my own management but I was proved right over and over again when cable replacement 'opportunities' failed to deliver.

Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election


Diane Abbot is being put forward as the new head of Broadband Services Inc. She has already promised speeds of up to 8000 bps. When asked she had no idea what bps stood for but 8000 was a really big number compared today's up to 300 numbers being offered by BT.

British ISPs throw in the towel, give up sending out toothless copyright infringement warnings


Re: Follow the money

I like to see the occasionally movie in the Cinema and that way the exhibitor gets a slice of the pie rather than it all going to a US tax evading outfit. All else is downloadable fair means or foul.

The dread sound of the squeaking caster in the humming data centre


When audio mixing consoles went digital

Launching one of the first digital mixing consoles at IBC (International Broadcasters Convention) in Brighton one year the digital processing card stopped working. Designer of said prototype card had decided to visit relatives in Scotland as he was not required at the show. Called back the 500 miles he dutifully drove down over night. The cards were 6U high and made using a new automated solder wrap system using fine wire that was wrapped and soldered directly onto the sockets of lots and lots of DIL ICs. Valiant young engineer gets out the oscilloscope, clips on probe ground wire and shorts out the 5V supply wire creating a wonderful plum of smoke all around the card. Shock turned to applause and the sales team are left to fake it with an audio console that was processing no audio.

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...


Re: Sata

I ordered an mSata SSD board (£14.99) last week, good news is its USB3 but the nice link board would connect to the USB2 on the Pi4. Ho hum, not the end of the world, will need the cable.

Ex-Mozilla CTO: US border cops demanded I unlock my phone, laptop at SF airport – and I'm an American citizen


Re: Assumed compliance

Being over 50 helps with the lack of social media activity (ditto linkedin exception but that might have to go soon).


Being Radioactive did not cause me a problem.

Arrived in Miami and had agent walking around arrivals air side approaching people and looking at his belt. As he walked towards me the device he had started beeping in that well known Gaussian distribution. He asked if I had had a medical procedure recently and I told him about the bone scan I had had three weeks ago and he seemed happy and wander off. Pointing out my wife and three kids helped.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming


Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

Interesting article in NYT and reminded me of the scene in Sully where he challenges the FAA's simulator flight as they did not take into account the pilot's thinking time.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it


Weekend Breaks

I used to travel to the West Coast quite a bit and would always make sure that I had to stay over the weekend else I would end up loosing two of my weekends in the UK. One memorable trip I arranged meetings in Portland on Friday and Seattle on Monday. Arranged car hire (only A or B class cars allowed) and at collection informed that they had three brand new Mustangs available that happened to be in class B as they were unpopular due to high fuel consumption, what colour would I like?. Lovely trip including drive up Mount St Helens at 4 am in mid summer still no UK time.

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good


Re: Daniel Belin is right

Withdrawl Agreement?

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


Re: Fire and forget ...?

And this Christmas thousands will be adding their DNA to a database when they send off their DIY test kit to FamilyTree et al.

Brexit-dodging SCISYS Brits find Galileo joy in Dublin


Re: Sadly with May running the clock down...

But surely the fundamental problem with this negotiation has been the threat of violence if any physical monitoring of the Eire/NI border is deemed necessary to meet WTO rules?

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms


Fahrenheit 451

Clearly this terminology can cause offense so should be stopped. The idea that there was a slave trade causes anguish for many so any reference to it should be stopped. History clearly is full of this type of possible offense so should not be taught and any records of such activities destroyed.

Today is should really be Centigrade 1414.

The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition


For the Analytical Chemists


'Twas the night before Y2K and a grinch stole the IT department's overtime payout


Re: Overtime payments

I experienced the opposite time keeping problem as a team leader. The company owner would always be around late in the evening and would chat to those still working to solve the latest issues. These team members always got the best pay rises and bonuses. This group of engineers would turn up before midday if I was lucking and created the problems they stayed late to fix. No amount of pleading on behalf of the guys who arrived early, produced good reliable work and left at a reasonable time managed to get them recognized.

Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died


I was studying electrical engineering at Brunel when he join the university. He gave a interesting lecture about the perception of aids for the old and disabled. He compared our acceptance of help for the very young or simple tasks like drilling a hole in a wall but rejection of simple aids at the end of our lives. It provide very useful when I needed to persuade my father that he should start using a walking stick and grab rails. A great loss.

Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019


Re: thanks to EU regulations

Rather late but recent support for your argument in a video demonstrating the great British ideal of keeping calm and carrying. Guy hit by bus, thrown 45 feet then immediately getting up and walking into the pub.


BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'


When IT is your company

Airline CEOs used to understand the importance of their IT; a quote from Harry Lucas's 1999 book 'Information Technology and the Productivity Paradox - Assessing the value of Investing in IT'

Robert Crandall, American (Airlines) recently retired CEO, said that “if forced to break up American, I might just sell the airline and keep the reservations system". It was SABRE developed by AA and IBM - https://www.sabre.com/files/Sabre-History.pdf

BA should keep the IT in house and sub contract the planes to Air India.

Boffins explain why it takes your Wi-Fi so long to connect


Re: hold your phone upside down

Wi-Fi was not invented by CSIRO, they developed and hold a patent on a radio technique to reduce multipath problems and have sued many Wi-Fi equipment manufactures. So in fact they created a solution that got over the problem of holding it up side down in the northern hemisphere.

Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea



Or a Misfit Flash that lasts 3 months on a button cell. Tells the time and tracks movement, nothing else, not having to charge it makes all the difference.

Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister


Re: Is this correct?

Court create Common Law.

Parliament creates statues, House of Lords checks them over, Queen enacts statute, court interprets. Rinse and repeat

Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?


You make a very valid argument about the value of human life but my point is that those persecuted in Germany were German citizens so simply identify all those within the EU as equal and citizens of the EU does not protect them from persecution. That''s why we have the non EU ECHR to protect all members of society in the UK not just EU citizens. Your argument also makes all those without an EU passport second class which leads to immigration policy that is base on a two tier system.


I have tried to find a clear explanation of why free movement is so important to the EU, without success. The EU information online refers to post war ideals of allowing populations to live peacefully together within each other countries and to allow economies to grow by importing labour when needed and allowing it to flow back when a down turn hits. German Jews were German citizens and if a country wants workers why not let its elected government decide how it wants to support its economy.

Intel hires Qualcomm's compute leader to lead new mobile push


Good Luck with Mobile at Intel

It is interesting how companies fail to arrive at their goal because of where they started from. Every design decision has baggage attached making anything that does not fit, importance of power consumption for example, difficult to deliver. A new boss helps but the inertia of all those involved is always a problem.

I worked for Murthy in Cambridge early in my career, an excellent boss and able to Lead and Manage. I remember our weekly review of the PERT charts with a mixture of dread and nostalgia.

Doctor Who: Even the TARDIS key can't unpick the chronolock in Face the Raven


Re: Bring back Clara!

It must have been a glitch in the Matrix, an agent is on the way.

Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth


Re: Quite

It's not his first come back attempt. Backing band could do with a bit more practice though.


Sounds like a genuine act, not the normal publicity seeking crap


Re: Gated reverb is luvverly (especially with a bit of reverse)

Not just any gated reverb but an AMS RMX16, still selling for the price the cost new 30 years ago.

Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?


Wireless is about mobility not connectivity

Totally agree with you on the wireless bit having spent over ten years going to Wi-Fi Alliance meetings discussing how to make wi-fi more useful. Would always tell Mobile, STB and TV manufacturers that there were now guarantees with wireless, tended to get surprised looks as our competitors were always promising things they could never deliver.

May I also be the first to recommend a Raspberry Pi and Kodi aka XMBC, ethernet and CEC remote control interface, so no new remotes needed.

The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act


Had the full tour, including tunnels and pier, on a Brunel University engineering trip in 1984(ish). A memorable day and had a great guide, could have been the very same Bachelor. When asked about the extensive acoustic treatment of the backup generators we were told it was in consideration of the neighbours after 10 years of pile driving.


Re: Silly Question Time

The Hoover dam used chilled water pumped thorough it ensure the concrete set properly, it can get a bit warm in the desert.

'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch


Re: Does anybody remember eproms?

The first digital audio console, a Neve DSP1, was killed by one of the company's directors when he took a flash picture of it during its press launch, very embarrassing! An engineer was blamed for not covering the EPROM windows.

Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?


Ambisonics - before its time

A soundfield microphone records four (XYZW) channels and can be replayed in 3D with 8 or more speakers, in effect a phased array without the heavy signal processing. It's a great technology and sounds fantastic but never had any real money put behind it. If Atmos and DTS can justify this many speakers maybe ambisonics will get a come back along with all those other 70's acts, not yet guests of HMP.


We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier


Re: Actually, it's irrelevant for 90% of recorded music

The best setup I ever heard was an ambisonic array, 8 Kef 107 head units arranged in pairs; front, back, up and down and one very large sub woofer. The recordings were made on a Soundfield microphone in B format on 4 track reel to reel without any post processing. Ambisonics recreates sound pressures measured by a four capsule microphone time aligned to a single point to produce X, Y and Z direction and pressure W. Sadly not a very commercial proposition.


Re: Audiophile?

Earlier than that, Flanders and Swan were taking the piss in 1957,




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