* Posts by Ralph B

1582 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

Secret-sharing app Whisper shared secrets like last known location and actual password tokens in exposed database

Ralph B

Re: Yet another . . .

> developed only to the point that it could be released

So, like pretty much every software project ever then?

Cosmo Communicator: More phone than the Gemini, more pocket computer than phone

Ralph B

Re: Nice news

Isn't Python the new OPL?

Amazon tried to entice Latin American officials with $5m in Kindles, AWS credits for .amazon

Ralph B

They seem to have gone with "primevideo.com", so they can't be that attached to the "amazon" brand name.

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

Ralph B

Re: Have to agree....

Last week I finally decided to upgrade from my 5S. Since Apple currently sell nothing of the same form factor and nothing with a headphone socket, I ended up getting a 2nd hand SE. Very happy with it.

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'

Ralph B

Re: Remember when..

Meanwhile in Britain ...

Donkey Wrong: Arcade legend Billy Mitchell booted from record books amid MAME row

Ralph B

Re: Kaliber

Just wondering how you guys know what urine tastes like ... ?

One in three Android Wear owners also uses ... an iPhone

Ralph B

Will it play nicer with iOS?

When I looked at Android Wear devices I was disappointed to see that the functionally available when paired to an iPhone was severely limited when compared to use with an Android phone. Will the change to Wear OS change this? Will it play nicer with iOS? Or will it be allowed (by Apple) to play nicer with iOS?

Hackers create 'ghost' traffic jam to confound smart traffic systems

Ralph B

This is why we can't have nice things

This is why we can't have nice things. But knowing that people are going to do this sort of thing, then obviously we should design in defences against it. Even though the engineering involved is going to make the system 5 to 10x more expensive to deploy.

It still rather sticks in the throat that the ones who'll be doing this defensive engineering are probably the same one who would otherwise attack the system. It's like a protection racket run by nerds.

BlackBerry unveils bold new strategy: Suing the c**p out of Facebook

Ralph B

The Reg called it

The Register called it in August 2016! Lawsuits In Motion are back!

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Ralph B

Re: Interesting

> Who needs drivers for these things?

They won't be drivers, as such, more like on-board security guards for a self-driving truck, to protect truck from non-Tesla drivers. Once all the drivers have retired or been put out of business, they'll remove the seating area.

Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

Ralph B

Re: @DougS Wait, the dragons are dead?

Add another popular franchise cross-over and you could have plucky wizard hobbit, Hairy Botty, who's busy destroying whore-crotches though all of Littlefinger's knocking shops in the Shire ...

Jeff Bezos fires off a blue dart, singes Elon Musk and SpaceX

Ralph B

Amazon Prime

So, they're going to be using drones for standard deliveries and these rockets for same-day deliveries. Is that right?

Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

Ralph B

Head Scanning?

> Other gimmicks here include 3D scanning. Sony claims it can scan a head in around a minute.

Erm, why do we need to be able to scan our heads? How did this get on a feature list for a phone?

PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

Ralph B

Cause or Effect?

Can't speak about Windows PCs, but let's talk about Apples. Are their Mac variants not being updated because their sales are falling? Or are their sales falling because they're not being updated*?

* Or being updated badly: Unwanted touch bars, disappearing ports, etc.

Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Ralph B

Re: Venus is too nasty, Mercury too hot and the moons of Jupiter or Saturn too distant.

Yebbut, how nasty does Musk think Earth will get to ever make Mars preferable?

Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Ralph B

Re: you rock much harder than Shelbyville


Does Microsoft have what it takes to topple Google Docs?

Ralph B

Indeed. TL;DR but I'm pretty sure that Betteridge's Law applies here.

Nest leaves competition in the dust with new smart camera

Ralph B

Re: I don't get it

Even if you did have a use for it, why would you ever buy it from a company with their history?

Drone maker DJI quietly made large chunks of Iraq, Syria no-fly zones

Ralph B

Why Just War Zones?

Why not also include airports, residential areas, sunbathers, forest fires, et al ... ?

Force a firmware update of several gigabytes of geofence data before every flight! That'll learn 'em.

(Seriously, it might be simpler to require drone pilots to submit a flight plan for every flight. Like real pilots do.)

Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Ralph B

Cause or Effect?

> Users now hold on to their phones longer so manufacturers are raising the sticker price.

Are we certain we're not confusing cause and effect here? Users now hold on to their phones longer because manufacturers are raising the sticker price ... ?

Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

Ralph B

It turned out to be ad-supported rather than actually free.

Ralph B

Re: That's me screwed then

> ape-faced?

Well, that's hardly surprising.

Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms

Ralph B

Contrarian Viewpoint

> Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms

Which could be (mis?)interpreted as meaning that the other two in three cock-ups were due to the firms' own in-house staff, and therefore be an argument for outsourcing, since apparently outsourcers may be only half as incompetent as in-house staff.

I'm not saying it is so, just that the language is imprecise enough to allow this possible interpretation.

Governments could introduce 'made by humans' tags - legal report

Ralph B

A Lesson from History

Hope it goes better than a previous such labelling initiative.

Ford slurps 400 BlackBerry devs in smart car software push

Ralph B

Is it possible?

Is it possible that someone in Ford's HR department misunderstood what mobile application development means?

Google's video recognition AI is trivially trollable

Ralph B

Googlebomb v2

So, if you replace one frame in 50 of a Trump video with goatse ... ?

People may have been wrongly sent back to prison over faulty tags

Ralph B

Who Else?

> Yet they have given G4S another contract.

Are there other companies bidding for this work?

Could a tag be replaced with a ruggedised, non-removable Apple Watch? This, at least, should already have most of the call-home technology required to keep track of the wearer 24/7. Add a requirement to keep it charged and they should hardly ever be able to leave their homes.

$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

Ralph B

No Working Prototype

I'm not saying all projects on Indiegogo are deliberate scams, but their failure to require at least a working prototype does encourage the more, ahem, naive projects to get launched there. And the ability to collect any backing received, rather than requiring a fixed (planned) target to be reached, also works in the interest of the more, shall we say, speculative ideas.

Kickstarter does a better job of keeping their project starters honest, in my experience.

Beijing deploys facial scanners to counter public toilet abuse

Ralph B

Re: six squares ?

I think I need this for at home. 16yo dorter#2 uses about a roll a day. That can't be normal, can it?

Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Ralph B

Comparative Evils

I suppose joining ISIS is slightly worse than being a Guardian subscriber ... ?

Boffins Rickroll smartphone by tickling its accelerometer

Ralph B

Re: Hang on a mo...

You're right. Read the report (PDF linked in the article) and you'll find they merely* managed to get the accelerometer to output a g-graph with a curve that vaguely resembled the word "WALNUT". There was no takeover or execution of injected code. Just manipulation of accelerometer output.

* Fair play, there was a lot of difficult maths and clever fine tuning to find resonant frequencies of the accelerometers involved.

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

Ralph B

Re: Airblade, airfield, airware

> Whenever I look at a Dyson airblade fan or hand dryer, I think of the Rockwell XVF-12 VTOL jet

Me too. They both make the same amount of noise.

Vice News YouTube video commenter set for retrial over 'menacing' posts

Ralph B

Re: [redacted]

> Also, I hope everyone here has a jolly hockeysticks day and all that with knobs on.


Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

Ralph B


Having been burnt by the Jolla Tablet project on Indiegogo, I think I'll sit this one out.

I've had less bad experiences with Kickstarter. Is that just luck? Or is there some intrinsic difference between the crowdfunding platforms that makes one more likely to deliver than the other? (And I mean "deliver products to the funder" rather than "deliver cash to the fundee".)

Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Ralph B

Re: Not the compact cassette.

If you take a look at this thing it might make you change your mind on compact cassettes.

Ralph B

tones of battery life

That'd be the tones A, B, C, D, etc, presumably?

Roses are red, you're feeling blue, 'cos no one wants to watch VR telly with you

Ralph B


You shouldn't underestimate the trouble some people will go to to avoid having to tidy their house. Or walk somewhere.

Twin brothers. One went into space. The other didn't. NASA reveals how their bodies differ

Ralph B

Re: Did they test them for telepathic powers?

And did they test for midi-chlorians?

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks

Ralph B

Re: Slàinte mhath

> the isle of Tobermory, where the CBBC show "Ballamory" was filmed

That programme tore the heart out of the community.

Ralph B

> As a West Country sort I'd just like to say it's good to have a hobby that gets you out of the house.

And I hope you've been enjoying riding your motorbike.

Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

Ralph B

Re: Contradiction?

> I don't call short term memory loss a "good recovery".

Some might say 2016 would be better forgotten.

Never-never chip tech Memristor shuffles closer to death row

Ralph B

Re: WTFingF?

> How do you feel about 'produlate'?

Professor Nebulous? Is that you?

Uber coughs up $20m after 'lying about how much its drivers make'

Ralph B

Re: "anyone" is singular

Indeed. Even Oxford Dictionaries accept this usage. I quote: "Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical. In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing."

Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

Ralph B

Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

Thanks for the clarifications from me too. I knew I must have misunderstood something.

Ralph B

Will nobody think of the tax payers?

Let me check I've understood this correctly. You're telling me that if you want to detect gravity waves, there was no need to spend $620million overhauling the LIGO detectors? We could have just pointed a telescope at Venus?

Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Ralph B

Maybe the people he paid to do the due diligence were the same ones that worked for HP when they bought Autonomy.

AI and robots? Will someone think of the jobs, says HPE CEO Whitman

Ralph B

Do we though?

> we need paying jobs for people to do ....

Do we though? Should humans really doing jobs that can be done by a machine? Isn't there something better, more creative, more human, that the humans could do? Or are you saying that the humans need to be kept occupied in some unnecessary employment to keep them off the streets? To keep them out of trouble?

Be a bit more positive. We survived the industrial revolution, with increased wealth, health and wellbeing. I suspect we'll survive the information revolution too. Even if we're just being kept as pets by the machines.

Ex-Autonomy CFO pleads not guilty to charges he inflated the company's value

Ralph B

Re: What is fraud ?

> I know plenty of people who have bought HP kit, eg printers, that HP does worse by sabotaging post sale, but that is, somehow, not fraud.

I am one of those people who was burned by that bit of trickery by HP, which is why I have never bought anything by HP since. And will never by anything from them again. Ever.

I hope Mr Hussain gets away with ripping off HP, in the same way that HP got away with ripping off their customers.

Crash and burn HP.

Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

Ralph B

Re: Animal abusers

> What effect does mouse taking have on the brain, do you see pretty colours?

It'll be something like this, I imagine.