* Posts by Cliff

1822 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Apr 2007

Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane


Combined with the Android Bitcoin article

Perhaps random.org going HTTPS only meant all the fuel got sent to one engine?

The oracle knows all. Not THAT Oracle, of course


Re: Quick Questions are better than

>>> I've lost count the number of times I wrote "One more quick question ..." to a supplier this week<<<

To a SUPPLIER - ie the people whose salaries depend on keeping you happy. Ask away!

Tossed all your snaps into the new Google Photos? You read the terms, right? ... RIGHT?


Re: ugggghh

I'm a stupid person by this definition. Except I'm not actually stupid, I made a deliberate payoff choice between good 'free' stuff, and some privacy. I made it based on the assumption that someone, somewhere was going to be tracking my activity no matter what, whether GCHQ, or just any other random SMTP server in my email routing. I had the choice to pay for expensive space for my webmail inbox or take up the Gmail offer of a huge inbox. Google Drive keeps 100 backup revisions of my work and means I can work wherever I am. Android reduced the cost of my phone and invigorated the smartphone market. I use Google's DNS servers to get past some of the rudimentary blocking my ISP thinks is good for me.

I made that choice consciously, as otherwise I'd be dealing with several dozen different suppliers and paying each one. I still have that option if I choose it, but the value of my privacy isn't a big deal considering London has a zillion CCTV cameras, my oyster card and credit cards will give you a decent idea where I am and what my patterns of spending are, GCHQ or 5 could easily get just about all this information anyway so my absolute privacy is already just an illusion. This way I also get some good toys in return.

In a few years, they'll have a whole bunch of data about a dead guy.

I am expecting a raft of high-horse downvotes by the way, but as you do, consider that some people see the world differently than you do.

Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'


Re: The Earth WAS created 4000 years ago!

Fair enough, 10^6 factor over clocking is easy if you also happen to control time, so from the inside it is still the same number of click cycles but from the outside the elapsed time is shorter...

MIT's robo-cheetah leaps walls in a cyborg hunt for Sarah Connor


Re: Scary

Dog 'skin' with a bleeding stump or loose hanging severed head - now that would be scary.


Re: Well that kinda sucks

I like the way at the end of that video it would warp time so it could jump slowly. Now that is ROTM.

Android M's Now on Tap cyber-secretary is like Clippy on Class A drugs


Creepy Now

I can see why people might find it creepy, but seeing as they're slurping all that data anyhow, may as well get some benefit from it... And it gives you a hint just what data they are slurping!

Death-to-passwords FIDO Alliance finds a friend at DOCOMO


Re: Sounds easy to hack

Pretty easy to defend against - use the flash to constrict the pupil ;-)

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty


Re: Whiznot

It's Irish, not British (It's similar to conflating Mexico with USA).

Most of the dishes are from around the world, but the breakfast of kings is Eggs Benedict :)

Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app


Re: £26 upfront...

I think the window is in terms of minutes, not days. It used to be 15 mins, but I believe they quadrupled or octrupled it to a still short window.

That said, if you return the app under SoGA in the UK, I'd fancy your chances.


£26 upfront...

So why fix it? We've got your money now.

Carry On Computing: Ten stylish laptop bags for him


Re: Laptop included?

Quite - I thought £159 was taking the piss until £245 came up.

Why so expensive? Actually, seriously, as a question. Fabric cost is maybe a few quid, retail. Stitching - seeing as Primark can make a profit on a jean jacket for a tenner, I'm not convinced that's the premium item.

ROBOQUAFF! Boffins build smooth robot arm to lift a pint of beer


Making love in a canoe

Reminds me of a friend's response to a barman I've been waiting my whole life to use for myself...

'Looks like rain'

'Aye' (glug) 'Fuckin' tastes like it too'


Re: You had a fine article until this point.

>>>I have been to California many times and tried the various "craft beers" and they all taste like they were made by beginners.<<<

When you look where 'Bud Light' and their keg lager brethren set the bar, you don't need to be a great beer to be a better beer.

Spotify smashing new media paradigms with something called ‘video’


I know what we need - more costs!

The bandwidth difference between audio and video is an order of magnitude, so higher costs mean less again to share with the musos...

You've come a long way, Inkscape: Open-source Illustrator sneaks up


Re: open source video editor

Lightworks made a big thing of going open source some years back - so why isn't it forked for the h.264 export? I'm not convinced it's as open as it claims.

It is a blooming great NLE though, although AVID is still my first love.

Right Dabbsy my old son, you can cram this job right up your BLEEEARRGH


Working in the movies...

Some jobs are only ever a bunch of strangers working together for short periods. Thesps don't call people 'darling' through genuine affection, they do it because between personal, stage, nick and character names, it's just easier.


Re: There are times when Starbucks is the best choice

What it's about is corporate palliness because some poll showed that customer retention increases x% if staff use the customers names. In America. I can't speak for America (probably very similar, Americans aren't stupid) but in Europe it feels invasive, creepy and insincere.

What it's not for is identifying whose frothycapudoodah is whose as it's hardly challenging for staff in any other cafeteria to manage day in, day out, without faux camaraderie.

Dying to make time lapse videos? No? Well, Microsoft is doing it anyway!


Yes, as I recall it did far more than just taking every nth frame, it was pretty clever stuff.

Amstrad founder Lord Sugar quits 'anti-enterprise' Labour party


Re: Ha....@Cliff

Hi Lars,

No, I don't think he had anything to do with either, except obliquely as a consumer, and to misrepresent them, then run their products into the ground.

Not sure what lacking a 'British' Linux distro has to do with anything - we speak English (and indeed en-gb is well supported, or failing back to en-us is hardly a chore) so I can't really think what that would contribute. We have plenty of contributors to the kernel and other distributions, so I'm not sure I understand your point?


Re: Ha....

Entirely off topic, bless those of you who upvoted - i now appear to have exactly 5000 more upvotes than downvotes, so can stop with the clickbait comments (like this one)


Re: Ha....

>> 2nd best satellite dish in the UK <<

That's unfair - he also brought us shitty 'midi' stereos full of air with power measured in PMPO not RMS.

He brought us the emailer phone, which they even carried the pretence on The Apprentice that his 'offices' used them

He made Sinclairs crappier

Viglen who?

The model is buy cheap from China and flog it on, screw the British economy.

In honesty, he's not a man I'd take business advice from. He did buy a lot of property when the rising tide made most of his money. In fact, in his last series of comedy business light entertainment format The Apprentice, in which he plays Victor Meldrew, he was specifically dismissive of someone buying a cardboard skeleton. The guy met the brief, if the brief was wrong and underspecified that's the wrong brief. In software, would we expect 'I want the system to do what I want, not what I specified - so YOU are wrong'... Not acute business skills IMHO.

Boffins brew 'Stop Light' that turns photons in fibre into memory


Oh wow that's cool

Or at least it certainly sounds like it's cool to the layman that I am.

Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador


Employing people isn't just their take home salary costs. There's the NI, holiday pay, sick pay, maternity, recruitment, training, HR overhead, management of said staff, desk space, payroll run costs, IT overhead, uniforms, equipment, welfare vehicles, shift costs, plus the cost of what those coppers aren't able to at the same time. Employing people is expensive, the overhead is huge.


It's wikileaks, isn't it? They certainly had a load of fundraisers for his South American holiday (bet he wishes he'd read the brochure properly now)


... And so he started a wiki site about it.

Don't you find sites get off-topic rather quickly ;)


Re: Still looking forward to…

...where he's sentenced to a month of community service...

For him, the only thing worse would be 2 weeks community service - remember this isn't about whatever it's about, it's about Assange being terrified of being irrelevant after all.

Fox gives Minority Report the nod – precog goes primetime on tellybox


Lassie on Steroids - love it


Re: I'll wait to see if it survives a second season

7 series is what your hoping for, or at least what the network is going for. 100 episodes makes the world of difference to global TV syndication (ie free money for life) which is why cast sign 6½ season contacts as by that point they'll request (and deserve) $1M/show. This makes 7 series the moon shot, with anything shorter being prematurely cancelled.

This has a vulgar side-effect, that series like LOST set off with no intention to tie up loose ends - the ONLY thing that matters is the overnight figures, so they spawn dozens of arcs they will never satisfy to keep you watching. I, personally (like that counts for anything), believe it's a fundamental breach of trust between the producers and audience. If I'm going to give you 100 hours of my life, your side of the deal is to act without cynicism and in the best interests of the story and characters I'm investing in.

This is why I don't join in on the first wave of hyperbole, nor the second... I've been cheated before and you don't get to do that twice to me. Better Call Saul is somewhat different as it's entirely character-driven, and that's so rewarding by comparison.


Re: Sci-fi shows too often have a rough ride and a short life

That's why HBO works - it's already got your money, so doesn't need to hover like a paranoid mosquito over each weeks figures ready to drop a show mid-flow.

El Reg knocks a fiver off 16GB USB stick


Image suggests 8GB

It's stamped on the the tang of the plug.

What to do when the users are watching Nazi dwarf smut at work?


Re: Must be pretty common...

Actually quite enterprising of Timo.

(Remember when memory sticks were that small and expensive? I bought my first 128MB stick when the price broke through the £1/MB barrier, now it's what, maybe 30p/GB?!


Re: Freelance

You missed a great upsell opportunity there - to the husband who would agreed to the larger hard drive and E1 line just because!


Re: How things have moved on

"... Or should I come back in 5 minutes...?"


Re: How things have moved on

What hasn't changed is the stigma. Nor the blackmail angle.

"Sorry boss, we'd just installed the new traffic filter and saw all sorts of connections coming across the network, wanted to make sure we didn't have a hacker on the network. By the way, is this a good time to talk about my role in the company?"

Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell


Re: low attention span reader (LASAR)

Yeah, to me it needed the touch of a sub-ed too

Spotify springs bloody leak as losses grow to $197m – report


Re: better get that video service up

I haven't seen figures for youtube as a subdivision for ages, but I know a few years back it was half a billion bucks a year subsidy. I wonder if it's better or worse now (assuming you don't confuse things with internal accounting handwaving)? Better-more adverts, worse-more hours of stuff spinning every day, removal of more copyrighted works.

Perhaps we should just write this whole internet thing off as a failed experiment ;-)


Something is seriously screwed

So the artists aren't making money, spotify aren't making money, investors aren't making money, why not just pull the plug on the whole venture and surely then everybody will be happy again?

Even Uncle Sam admits: US patent law is whack


Re: Intelligent Design

^^^ Most interesting about the Victorians. Maybe IP laws of the time didn't work as intended, have they been revisited much since?

I worry that patent law will take cues from the insanely lobbied copyright camp that means that bloomin' mouse will never enter public domain because protecting it for 95 years means the original artist is going to be more creative than a mere 20/40/50/75 years, which is blatantly bollocks.


Re: wat?

Potting resin, and we're back to the pre-patent world. This is why the system is broken, your innovation is now not a part of the sum of human knowledge to build upon because the system that would have given you an exploitable monopoly has been abused and broken quite willingly by lawyers and money.


Re: Intelligent Design

Patenting creates a temporary monopoly in exchange for publishing your research in the public domain. It's a hugely valuable system for innovation (before it, people would hide research as the only way to prevent copying) which necessarily stifled innovation. Copyright provision was similarly conceived as a temporary monopoly in exchange for putting creative works into the public domain.

Both systems are laudable, but the greedy cunts got in there wanting the monopoly, going on a land grab, but trying to slam the door behind them. I use the term cunts with sincerity, by the way. If I knew another term with more vitriol, I'd consider that instead - my apologies to ladyparts, this isn't about you.

Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon


With a title like that though, you know it's going to be shit, so make your own choices.

Another example of an excruciatingly bad film that will still happily take your £1.99 at the petrol station counter is 'Bikini Blood Bath'. You know it'll be dreadful (and it is indeed truly fucking awful) but it has a couple of clever moves for the post pub crowd. First few minutes, boobs (that's the last you see of boobs, too, they're there only as a come-on for the rest of the film), then bikinis, ketchup and no kind of plot worthy of watching. The scenes are apparently improvised by a bunch of vacuous non-actresses, but when the non-dialogue gets too dull for even the low bar you expect, the editor just drowns it all with crappy no-name rock. It really is quite a triumph of shitness, but cannot be included in a miserable viewing session like this as you KNOW it's going to be bollocks from the title alone.


Re: Jay would say:

Yup - he's just good at not saying 'no', as he's clearly actually a reasonably talented director/performer

FTC slaps orders on alleged diet pill spamvertising scam scum


How to use a tape measure

I can only assume the lady in the photo hasn't had a lot of training.

Take cover! Out-of-control Russian spaceship to smash into Earth within hours


What could possibly go wrong?

The United States' first official BitCoin exchange goes live


Re: But, but ...

In fairness, those transactions all used USD previously, and that was fluidly traded as also being used for Legit purposes.

Boffins turns landfill WinPhones into microscopes


Microscopy for fun

I got a surprisingly good notional 150x illuminated pocket microscope for $20 from the far east - using it on a phone screen you can focus on either the surface scratches, or LED's (yep you can see each quite clearly). Admittedly you don't get to take photos, but absolutely great for banknote details, human hairs, etc.

iPhone case uses phone's OWN SIGNAL to charge it (forever, presumably)


It harvests energy proportional to the inverse of neural activity. Probably be sold on the woowoo shelf of health food stores that also sell stickers to block 'unhealthy' radiation from mobile phones using the power of tachyons and some pretty holograms. And woowoo.

Round Two in Sky vs Skype trademark scrap goes to Murdoch's men


Re: So what now?

More famous in more countries. Since 2003. Aren't Murdoch's lot leaving it a little late to squeal 'foul'?

Singapore's prime minister releases source code for his hand-coded Sudoku-solver


Re: Deep work

Makes them smarter, but also encourages different ways of approaching a problem and of seeing/modeling the world around them.

Remember when you were learning Entity Relationship models, or Object Oriented design, you had a week it two is setting the world as tables with attributes or classes with methods? That was your brain making new connections, being able to spot bigger patterns, being, as you say 'smarter'. Smarter in that it'll now, at some level, be just a little bit better at analysing the big-scale picture and seeing flows of information, understanding interfaces, etc.

I would love some IT enthusiasm in cabinet alongside PPE and the classicists!