* Posts by Geraint Jones

28 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Apr 2008

If anyone can explain why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is spinning faster and shrinking, please speak up

Geraint Jones

"We're talking about such a small change that if you didn’t have eleven years of Hubble data," said Amy Simon, a planetary scientist working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

We can infer the end of that sentence, but does the writer want to fill us in on the rest of what Amy Simon said, just for closure?

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Geraint Jones

Lots of technical speak here, well over my head in most cases.

One thing I will add (that'll never get read being 5 pages deep in the comments :P) is that some poeple have listening habits that will in a way raise their perception of differences - and of course the genre argument (punk recorded in a shitty run down studio - mp3s will barely make a difference - classical/jazz/electronica that's been recorded and produced with the highest quality in mind from the start will almost definitely benefit from FLAC).

What I'm getting at is that someone who listens to tracks or albums over and over again - usually fans of a specific artist - will begin to perceive even the slightest differences as they will have "trained themselves" to expect a certain noise at a certain time. My personal favourite for this is Aphex Twin - very highly regarded electronica. Some outlets (e.g. bleep.com) sell their music as mp3, WAV, FLAC, and in some cases 24bit FLAC (I won't pretend to say I can tell the difference between 16bit and 24bit FLAC, but MP3s and FLAC, of music I *know*? Yep. definitely).

Anyhow - it's an argument (or a discussion) I've had with many, many people, as soon as they realise I'm putting 200-500Mb per album onto my phone - then using my phone in my car for music. It's not like I'm going to convert all my FLACs to MP3 just so I can hold more on my phone because the listening situation means I'm not getting the maximum benefit - but even in teh car, if an MP3 threw up a warble or some colours some noise in a way I'm not accustomed to I'd notice. Not in an "this offends mine ears!" way, more of a "huh, that doesn't sound quite right" kind of way.

Tl;dr (aural) beauty is in the (ears) of the beholder. Or something.

Webcam stripper strikes back at vicious 4Chan trolls after year of bullying

Geraint Jones

Going over our collective responses - have we all just been trolled by nomnomnom?

Geraint Jones

Front page of yesterday's Mail. *Top* source of information, to be sure.

Just because the Mail says someone was bullied DOES NOT mean *all trolls post criminally offensive threats*. I agree with the commenter above who stated that the term "Hacking" has moved from being a descriptive term for anyone who mods/plays around with hardware, to being someone who is certainly up to no good on computers - Black Hat Hacker would be a more suitable term. Online bullying would be a more suitable term here - there *is* a differentiation between "amiable" trolling and bullying. Do not confuse the two (like the mainstream media is currently doing).

The Vulture is quite right - trolling can be as little as a comment meant to drag someone into an argument, an elbow nudge if you will. It can be quite a banter, having an argument online, giving an opinion and watching someone else "explode" due to their own strongly held opinions.

On the other hand bullying, harassment, threats of physical violence - particularly doing so anonymously - are wrong and certainly illegal.

4Chan as a whole cannot be held responsible for all the disgusting things that are written by a subset of people. It's tantamount to saying "London is responsible for all stabbings in the city" - it just doesn't make sense. 4Chan is a sprawling forum of all kinds of wrong, but it is individuals (admittedly coming together and egging each other on) who are causing these issues.

I don't know how I can try to explain it any further. I've trolled. Never anyone who didn't expect it, and NEVER anything violent, nasty or hurtful. Just an opposing opinion worded to bring people into the argument.

The problem with the ongoing bullying issue is that the "trolls" are going out of their way to find vulnerable types to harrass - simply because they know they are likely to get a reaction. Just like the people walking around town who'll kick the shit out of someone at 3am, just because they look like they won't fight back. Wrong'uns.

It's just a shame "trolling" has now become synonymous with the nastier side in the public consciousness - trolling is not a one stop shop of nasty - it's a whole spectrum of actions, some relatively benign, some down right nasty. Don't paint *everyone* with the same brush.

Facebook foolishness foils (un)civil servant's squirm up greasy pole

Geraint Jones

No need for "the" in front of Llywodraeth Cymru.

Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson

Geraint Jones

"over 3,000 are happily running the cracked version"?

Do you mean that 3000 people have downloaded the .exe, or 3000 people are actively playing the game?

Also; maybe they only sold 214 copies because the game is shit? I've not played it, but it's a distinct possibility...

Own a drone: Fine. But fly a drone with a cam: Year in the clink

Geraint Jones

Re: RC hobbyists

Not huge numbers maybe, but the ability to do so has become within reach of your "average modeller" if you will.

As people have posted, putting a camera on an RC plane/helicopter is not difficult, and could cost as little as £20-30. Personally I don't see anything wrong with it - just like any other, tool, toy, or bloody kitchen appliance - it *could* be used for nefarious purposes, but most likely won't.

Here's one I made last year: £100 ish plane, £20 video camera and radio gear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqF9bWbd9RY

We talk to Moon designer about ULTIMATE sci-fi ship

Geraint Jones

Yes, very true. there's a lot of nice work and a few clunkers in there too - and admittedly there's not a lot of "functional" design in there, it just looks nice really. The Tech 3 ships were fun to play with and could look awesome, and thinking about it, it becomes increasingly difficult to put my finger on a favourite...

As an aside - I recently was lucky enough to win Chris Foss's "Hardware" (in a charity auction full of signed Eastenders/Holby City prizes, no less!) which is glorious to behold.

Geraint Jones

May I suggest Gavin has a gander at some of the ships in Eve-Online - some of those are beautifully designed ships.

Steam games forum down amid hack fears

Geraint Jones

If early reports of the incident (bay12 forums) are to be believed, it was less of a high level attack, more like one of the admins/mods had their account password guessed/brute-forced. Other things may have come to light since last night, but as far as I understood it came down to an admin account being used to post adverts to a cheat/hack site.

Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

Geraint Jones

tl:dr, so - sorry if it's been posted already...

Already evidence of the effect the media circus is having and will have on the future of nuclear energy...?


Helpdesk Heroes or unappreciated geeks?

Geraint Jones

I remember when...

...a laptop with keys stuck back onto the keyboard with double sided foamy tape. Those keys (and the laptop itself) had dog's teeth marks on them...

...a user telling me "my son must have done something to my pc... the homepage has been changed, to erm, some sort of spanish brothel site".

...opening a laptop that isn't working to be greeted with the smell (and crusty remnants) of gone off milk from under the keyboard.

I've actually been privy to the "any key?" incident, the assumption that the monitor is actually the entire PC, and many, many other tales of IT yore. and I've only been in the business 2 years...

On the other hand, we had one incompetent fool working on our helpdesk who installed a desktop PC *upside down*. I have no idea how he got past initial screening. Even the user thought it was odd the way the PC was setup, but thought "he's from IT, he must know best".

The list is endless, but the buffer in my brain has been overflowing since about the second week of work...

ps, and why is it that it always seems to be the same users who come back week after week with virus problems, eh?

Facebook 'fesses to bad hair day

Geraint Jones


...appears to be, erm, down right now.

Kingdom of Sweden dragged into Reg smut-basket

Geraint Jones


Crikey, someone's got their knickers in a twist.

As a side note, I didn't find the article poorly written at all.

Reg reader completely loses the plot

Geraint Jones


'Nuff said.

Did he leave his coat on the way out?

Roll up for the freetard smackdown

Geraint Jones

"loss of economic autonomy among artists"

Loss of economic autonomy among artists? I dare say the artists are the least to be hit by pirating (granted, by definition they lose money) due to the tiny percentage they actually get for what is arguably the largest and most important part of the work done... writing/composing the actual product.

As usual big business is scared by losses on their (hefty) margins, jumping to draconian measures to try and stop pirating, and failing miserably and shooting their own toes with ridiculous DRM attempts. Add to that trying to scare prospective pirates by setting lawyers onto individuals who rarely get the right person and when they do go through the courts win disproportionately high damages.


Finns develop mobe sleep-cycle alarm app

Geraint Jones
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Several issues...

Problems with two people in a bed, aforementioned issues with the phone being too far away for the mic to work, too close so that it's thrown when the alarm goes off...

Not to mention the idea of having a mobile phone close to your head all night long (cue Twat-o-Tron responses to mobile radiation) and the studies that supposedly found that a mobile phone in the bedroom can disrupt sleep.

Give me a standard alarm clock and let me be grumpy in the morning. Makes all those helpdesk calls so much more interesting...

Sainsbury's and HP buddy up on recycling jamboree

Geraint Jones

@ Pete

Sitting here on a chair I got from freecycle, staring at a monitor procured from said service, in the process of trying to fix a TFT I also got from the same place.

I give as good as I get, mind. Freecycle is a fantastic little idea, everyone should give it a go!

Geraint Jones

@ Steve

So they can pick them back up in 12-18 months from Sainsbury's, fix 'em up and get the kudos for passing them on to charity/break them down and sell the raw materials ;)

Mine's the one made from recycled plastic...

PC Gamers get Bill of Rights

Geraint Jones

Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.

I've always felt a little put off by games that give me the message "this serial number _appears_ to be valid" (my emphasis), as if I might somehow have faked the key I've JUST copied from the manual...

iPhone apps selling like hot cakes

Geraint Jones
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@ Hedley Lamarr

I don't think it's an issue of whether or not the "commentards" are against Apple being able to get rid of malicious software (which appears to be little more then an excuse for Apple to let them do what they want in any case).

It's more to do with the fact that some applications are being pulled with little or no warning, rhyme nor reason. Developers are shocked to find out their apps are gone, and Apple do very little to warn or advise these developers of what's going on; which is the true crime here. If they give you a 30 days to reclaim the money spent as a store credit, that's pretty wrong too. It's the same as Nintendo making their "stars" expire after 2 years, and shop gift vouchers having an expiry date. It's all a bit dodgy.

I won't reply using any of your identi-reply suggestions, only to say that I'd rather my gadgetry not be controlled quite so tightly by someone who appears to be on a bit of a power trip.

Lies, damned lies and government statistics

Geraint Jones

@ AC (Moron?) re. Morons

"And before El Reg commenters reach for the flaming green ink, please note: this is not about the effects of speed. Nor is it about the effects of speed cameras, precisely. Rather, it is about the way in which the government treats evidence when it doesn’t like the way experts interpret it."

Do read the article before commenting.

Geraint Jones
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Listening to scientists and experts?

...what, like they did when reclassifying cannabis?

As has been said in previous comments, they've dropped, or rather shied away from that idea a long time ago.

Nvidia denies chipset farewell

Geraint Jones

@ AC, to be fair...

...a number of nVidia partners have delayed and then scrapped 790i motheboards that were meant to be flagships of nVidia's sli technology in their chipsets.

The rumours were less "thought up" by some "sad fuck"... Looks more like reasonable conjecture from the facts at hand at the time to me, with nVidia laying out a statement to calm down fears in the marketplace.

NB; And as far as their chipsets being "as strong as [they have] ever been for both AMD and Intel platforms”... Errr... did anyone mention to them anything about overheating in the 680s? Data corruption from early chipsets through to the 790i?

Boeing chuffed with latest raygun-jumbo ground tests

Geraint Jones

Now that's what I call...


'Contagious' fungus threatens videotape collections

Geraint Jones

What formats do live forever?

I've had CDs degrade over time, in odd ways too... Sometimes the silver film peels away from the edges towards the center, and I've even had a few CDs succumb to something quite strange...

The silver data layer appears to have been "eaten away" by something, between the plastic and the coating protecting the data layer. It leaves fractal like trails and renders the CD unusable.

Both these have happened to CDRs as well as retail CDs. I'm at a loss to explain them, but short of making several copies and checking them periodically, what's the best format for lengevity?

Google's Gmail verboten in Germany

Geraint Jones
Paris Hilton

@ John Bayly

Did you read the article, or even the message when you checked?

"If you're traveling in Germany, you can access your mail at http://mail.google.com."

Sales slide at PC World, Currys

Geraint Jones
IT Angle

It always amazes me too...

...that as well as expecting infinite growth, they also assume that daft advertising will make up for their high prices. I couldn't get on to pcworld.co.uk today to check, but last time I remembered looking, generally items like processors were 1.5-2x as expensive as any other e-tailer. I know that this probably isn't their main sales group, by far, but it is indicative of their pricing policy.

They can reap what they've sowed I reckon.