* Posts by Nebulo

244 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jun 2008


UK ice boffin: 'Arctic melt equivalent to 20 years of CO2'



lest we forget our basic physics, remember that all that dark, albedo-challenged water is currently entering six months of winter darkness, when it won't see any sunshine to absorb or reflect. Given that a good absorber is a good emitter, it'll be radiating thermal energy into space more efficiently than it has done for years, which should encourage rather more ice formation as a result.

PLT chair: UK Radio Society is 'living in a dream world'


Re: "Where can I find samples of shielded domestic mains power cable?"

Actually, you can buy it. It's called "mineral insulated" cable (or Pyro, from one of its trade names, as it's sold to be fireproof). It looks like copper water pipe, it costs an arm and a leg, and not all electricians are competent to install it, because there must be very good earth continuity between its copper outer and the metal pattress box.

However, as a licensed amateur, I would have no objection to PLT, were a competent regulator to mandate the use of Pyro in every installation, and the monitoring of its emissions.


Re: So I can now legally import and sell GPS jammers, etc?

Quite. We can do a nice line in Jacob's ladders, too. Watching those l-o-n-g sparks repeatedly ascending to heaven is so very restful! And ... it's a work of techno-art, not a transmitter, so we already know that Ofcom will say that "the devices themselves aren't radio transmitters so fall outside their remit" ... whatever the outraged populace around 'em might say about their now total inability to use their TVs, radios, mobiles ... after all, why should we amateurs be the only ones to lose our use of the spectrum? Most un-PC, this discrimination.

This country urgently needs a competent communications regulator, before the ONLY EM spectrum we have disappears forever into a cesspit of Ofcom's "officially sanctioned" pollution. These cretins are a serious embarrassment to anyone with a gram of technological awareness.

3.2 billion pixel sky-watcher a step closer


From that artist's impression ...

... I'd like to see a copper try and confiscate that when you tried to take a picture in a public place!

FCO splashes millions on Johnny Foreigner's energy 'awareness'


Johnny Foreigner's energy awareness?

The average energy-poor (and, generally, poor) foreigner is aware of only one relevant thing. The rich West has energy; he doesn't. He doesn't want "advice", he wants energy because he's seen how it lifts a society out of poverty. Give the Gov a few more years to screw up our energy infrastructure, and we'll start re-learning that lesson ourselves.

A month to go on Cookie Law: Will Google Analytics get a free pass?


Brute force?

I note that you can get a blocklist for known Microsoft addresses. Can you get one for Google addresses? It would be interesting, maybe a bit scary, to see how much of the internet would get broken by booting Google out of the picture altogether.

Windows 3.1 rebooted: Microsoft's DOS destroyer turns 20


Happy days

I'm another one who can remember keeping a few machines running on 3.1/3.11 for our school back in the day. Sadly, my original install floppies started getting a bit "sporting" years ago, so now I have to install from a subdirectory containing all seven discs - although, to my surprise, my equally ancient 1-2-3 and WP floppies still work just fine. Whaddya mean, your machine hasn't got a floppy drive?

Apart from recognising the comments about the expert lore required to "tune" config.sys and autoexec.bat, though, the most noticeable thing is that my old DX2-66 boots into 3.11 in a tiny fraction of the time that my later machines took to start any of the later versions, which makes one wonder just how much cr@p the thing is loading now that isn't strictly necessary to the task of running the user's programs. (The XP machine I'm typing this on, f'rinstance, starts loading, then stops doing anything at 45 seconds in for a whole two minutes before it resumes. Yes, I have run BootVis. It shows the machine doing nothing at all for two minutes starting 45 seconds in, without comment or explanation!) You can see why stuff like sleep mode, Splashtop and so on had to be invented.

The good news for nostalgiacs is that you don't even need a fully fledged VM to run 3.x. My current 3.11 nostalgia install runs as sweet as a nut in DOSBox - and uses very little of the GHz, GB etc. available to it. Oh, well, back to Bloatworld ... they call it "progress" ...

Pirate Bay plans sky-high flying proxy servers


Hey, Pirates

The Vulture Central Aeronautical Consultants are only a call away ...

The seven types of online commenter


A try for types 1 to 5 inclusive

Type 1: Posts which provide new information

... I am about six feet tall, easygoing and astonishingly intelligent ...

Type 2: Posts which ask questions

... Why are we here? ...

Type 3: Response posts which answer questions*

(* - Of course, you have to ask the right questions.)

... Lhasa

... Will my thirst play me tricks?/The ant about to be crushed ponders not the wherewithal of bootleather

... A clapperboard

Type 4: Response posts which provide feedback

... Only seven? These academics aren't trying ...

Type 5: Response posts which thank for help

... but thank you nevertheless for a very helpful article!

Yrs, etc, an occasionally contributing troublemaker. And a tip of the hat to any fellow obscurantist who recognises the question to my second answer /before/ searching the net for it.

Global DNS takedown plotters disowned by Anonymous


No, no ...

... March 31st? They should be doing this on Dec 21st as their contribution to the Grand Internet End of Life As We Know It celebrations!

Heartland Institute documents leaked


Re: AGW denier propaganda

Sapient, it was reading the egregious junk dished up by the likes of SkS and "Real" Climate which transformed me from the flabby, uninformed accepter of AGW that I was five or six years ago into the robust sceptic I am today. For starters, I'm still waiting to hear what phenomenon, if any, would be accepted by the CO2 Crew as a disproof of their conjecture, given that everything from the next Ice Age to the fires of Hell appear to have been declared "consistent with" AGW. That's not science, it's religion.

As it is, I have to ask, where's all _what_ energy coming from? There seems to have been rather a lot of _cold_ records set over the last few years for "the hottest decade ever". I'm looking forward to ever more bizarre claims of "consistency" over the next 2-3 decades of expected cooling.


Oh, really?

Mmm, so they're hoping for fifty-seven whole millions over the next year? Compared with how many _thousands_ of millions from governments (i.e., our taxes) and NGOs for the endless stream of alarmist propaganda?

Scroogle: Dear Google, we're not bots, we're HUMAN



Thanks for that - it definitely did happen when I tried at the time. That's the trouble with casting sites into the outer darkness for ever - you never know when they repent.

Big Brother

Yep, Ixquick

Following a comment on this very site a week or two ago, I verified that Startpage poos a Google cookie onto your machine when you visit it. Ixquick doesn't. Startpage is no longer welcome on my pc after such misbehaviour, and google.com is now blacklisted on my cookie filter.

SPRAY-ON antennas waved about at Google's techfest


Free energy ahead :-D

Should be good for more than just PV panels, 'cos heat is EM too. Spray your house, and it will therefore warm up for free, meaning you may be able to pay your jacked-up energy bills without needing another bank loan! PS: And don't come complaining to me come summer.

Microsoft revives flight sim by giving it away free


While you're at it, MS ...

... could you polish up your Pinball Arcade (1998, I think it was), please? - I still waste more hours than I'm prepared to admit to in reliving the wasting of my youth, and it still gets the adrenaline going.

UK lays carbon plan before Earth Goddess


Will the last person to leave the country ...

... please snuff out the candles.

Pirated software hard drive on display as art


Re that pedantry ...

The missing few bucks from 5 million are what the hard drive costs now.

Skull'n'crossbones for the piracy, of course.

How digital audio ate itself ... and the music biz



As Mondo says above, how the world has changed, indeed. For me, the worst aspect of it is that now, all you have to do is fire up your favourite sharing software, and there's everything you ever heard of by everybody you ever heard of (and stuff you never wanted to hear by everyone else, come to that). I do miss the "thrill of the chase", hunting down obscure stuff by people your mates never heard of. That was fun!

On the plus side, of course, even pretty scungy MP3s generally sound streets ahead of those grotty old cassettes we used to live with, so I'm not really complaining ... and I hate to think how much shelf space, not to mention cash, I'd need for vinyl equivalents of my digital music. On balance, a definite smiley, and thanks for a couple of articles which wrap up the story of the development of one of my earliest obsessions very nicely. PDFs of both to download, please!

Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'


Epic FAIL, and no messing

I'm amazed that I'm still being invited to "Be the first to post a comment" well over twelve hours after this was posted. Is everyone still sleeping off a good Friday night?

For a start, your subheading is wrong: "Climate skeptics dealt 'clear and rigorous' blow"? Hardly. A more accurate version would be "Climate alarmists' favourite straw bogeyman wheeled out yet again": virtually nobody in the sceptical community denies that overall, the earth's climate has warmed by about a degree over the last century and a half or so. All the "BEST" study has done is rework one of the existing temperature databases and confirm that it shows a slight increase.

More telling is the quote you take from the paper by Muller himself: "The key issue is what fraction of the observed change is anthropomorphic. We don't shed much light on that." Precisely. It is the misattribution by alarmists of every bad thing to human influence which is exactly the issue which engenders scepticism, the more so when it is repeatedly backed by long-discredited pseudoscience.

Remember the original "global warming" mantra? "Human greenhouse gas emissions are causing irreversible, catastrophic damage to the climate". Well, I've spent over three years now looking for any evidence at all that this might be the case, and I can report that (a) The climatic cycles are continuing very much as they always have done; (b) Nothing catastrophic appears to be happening; (c) IF there is any human "fingerprint" in the data, it is way, way below the noise. If anyone can point me to evidence (by which I mean proper, observational evidence, not "yet another" collection of pretty printouts from this or that failed model), please do so, as a friend has had hard cash on the table for some years now for anyone who can provide such proof, and I could use the money.

That this halfbaked "study" has been splashed across the world's media has a lot more to do with the approaching IPCC AR5, to be worked on at Durban this Nov/Dec. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story! It's all true, and it's worse than we thought, and it's all evil humanity's fault! Codswallop.

If you want to check just how disinterested an observer Richard Muller is, check out his site at www.mullerandassociates.com - where you will find such trademarked products as "GreenGov", advice to governments on how to minimise their evil CO2 emissions. As in everything related to climate "science", follow the money. Nothing to see here, move along please.

Exploited Hotmail bug stole email without warning


Hmmm ...

"The email purported to be a security warning concerning the victim's Facebook account."

I wonder. I got one of these a couple of weeks ago, about a week after my sister got a shiny new Hotmail account and emailed me from it. Fortunately, being of sound (ish) mind, I have no Facebook account, so doing nothing was easy. If the email I received was indeed one of these, the problem's at least two or three weeks old.

GCHQ man: Powerline networks do interfere with radio


Stereotype obsolescence alert

I am a radio amateur.

I object to PLT (& it's good to have GCHQ onside!).

My chin is quite, quite glabrous.

I rest my case.

UK public-sector union DDoS'd


Are they sure it's a DDoS?

It could just be the vast number of proud public sector workers trying to join the People's Revolution so that they can march shoulder to shoulder into a glorious socialist future!

No, on reflection, you're right, the DDoS is more likely.

Bin Laden's porn stash: Too good to be true?


Don't believe a word of it.

Too good to be true? - You betcha. I call BS. Purest BS. Whoever it was that they killed in that compound (and I say that as someone who has believed OBL to be dead since Dec 2001), the "can't keep his bits in his trousers" smear is such standard US Gov't fare that no-one should believe a word of it anymore. Keeps Joe Public interested though, that's for sure. Just to remind you of a few fairly recent cases:

The UN's Scott Ritter - an expert causing embarrassment to the US, or someone who can't keep his bits in his trousers?

Julian Assange - leaking embarrassment to the US, or someone who can't keep his bits in his trousers? (Thanks, Sweden, we owe you one)

FFS - Bill Clinton - president unpopular with "certain elements" of the US hierarchy, or someone who can't keep his bits in his trousers?

And now OBL - great terror threat to the US, or someone who can't keep his bits in his trousers?

It makes you wonder what they've got against Strauss-Kahn, as the standard smear is wheeled out yet again.

For the record, the Nebulo trousers are on and the zip zipped. True, I am not knowingly any threat to the US government, but should I ever decide to become one there's no reason to assume that it will make any difference to my sex drive or (minimal) appreciation of porn.

Your census data will be kept secret - except from MI5, police, courts etc

Black Helicopters

Now, there's a surprise

Wow. So the government whose "regulation" of CCTV will not remove a single camera now reveals that "confidential" means "between you and us and whoever the hell we feel like giving it to"? Who'd a thunk it?

Never mind, eh. One day, you'll be able to tell your grandchildren what it was like to live in a free country. Assuming, of course, that you can get the proper State authorisation to talk to children.

Gov consults on new CCTV/ANPR Code of Conduct


At the risk of making an obvious point

Despite the oft-proved fact that CCTV is of no use whatever in making us "safer" in any way, a pound to a penny says we don't actually expect *any* reduction *at all* in the number of cameras shoved in our innocent faces, ever. Do we? Really?

PARIS laid bare in intimate snaps



Splendid stuff all round. But there's one unanswered question. With that big bottle of helium standing around (and I speak from experience here) ...

Okay. How many of the team took a lungful and did the vocal pitch shifting trick? And where's the link to the MP3? :)

Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme



There doesn't seem to be an official (= Register) unit of mass. Yet.

MYSTERY of vanished PARIS spaceplane, playmonaut


Cue ...

Vulture II ...

Hells Angels slap London dressmakers with trademark suit


And that's not all ...

Better warn them off using "Hell's Grannies" too, or they'll have Monty Python after them.

Tesla Motors: Our cars don't burst into flame, but our emails do



Call that a flame?

The -real- Tesla would have zapped El Reg (and probably the rest of us) with a few megavolts of pyrotechnics from an improbably large coil. Would have been worth seeing, even allowing for the EMP.

Doctors' appointment system goes tits up


Agreed, and a plague on all their houses

It's not just modern IT, I promise you, it's modern nearly everything.

Legendary steampunk computer 'should be built' - programmer


I'm holding out

... for a properly "piped" interface to a proper steam fairground organ, to do soundcard duty.

A beautiful project, and like most of us here I want to see (and hear!) it.

Moms stand firm against antenna madness


Well, really!

All these people need do is to make themselves a few "Tower Busters" ( e.g., http://www.whale.to/b/tb3.html) and rely on good ol' Reichian technology to solve the problem.


Reg hack celebrates happy event


IT angle

So, in another four years, will you be giving us eDonkey?

I'm going. Stop throwing things.

UN steps into Blackberry debate


Appeal to the masses

"It's the mass adoption of encryption that worries governments."

Therefore, encrypt, and encourage everyone to learn how to. It is better that they fear us than that we fear them.

BBC new media boss defends iPlayer Flash, slaps Microsoft


Thank you, Phil Lewis

I hadn't heard of get_iplayer, but shall certainly be trying it out now, because I'm sick of having to put up with jerky, eyestraining video while the accursed Flash thing canes my processor (and _not_ just in HD). Don't know how those poor beggars with 1.5GHz netbooks fare - maybe they just give up in despair, as I had until a few minutes ago. (Anyone from the Beeb reading these comments?)

Perhaps sometime we can meet and shake hooks ...no, me neither. Most TV hardly bears watching once.

Are plasma TVs killing radio?


Technical detail

"When not organising competitions to see who ... can transmit a 10MHz signal furthest"

Actually, the 10MHz band is the one HF band we *don't* have contests on, by international agreement. All the others, yes.


ASA: You can't say 'f**k'


Oh ...



Two fine old English words.

Primate-phobic Brit attacked by crab-eating Macaques


Errr ...

Humans are primates. This phobia sounds like a serious problem for a human to have!

Native Oz ducks being raped to extinction


Nearly a fortnight late!

Because June 5th is Dead Duck Day, the anniversary of the first known observation of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard. Boing Boing had an item about it -


That should add something to a few Friday afternoons. ;)

Hybrid CD vinyl unites warring tribes


Something lost?

Yes. Quite a lot was lost when CDs took over from vinyl.

- Surface noise ("mush").

- Surface damage (clicks and pops).

- Tracing distortion, due to the replay stylus being a different shape from the cutter.

- Tracking distortion (variable across the disc and usually worst at the inside groove radii).

- Rumble (worst at the outside groove radii).

- Input preamplifier noise (especially with a nice wide bandwidth, low output moving coil PU).

- RIAA EQ inaccuracies (inevitable).

- Even acoustic feedback, on a bad day. (It was certainly a bad day when it happened!)

And I'm saying that as an old-school analogue _enthusiast_, who both built most of his own system (including the turntable) and did quite a few A-B comparisons before the years did for the ears. The acid test isn't which sounds "better" - which can arise by just adding a small quantity of low-order distortion , which adds "warmth" - but which sounds most like the original sound, if there is an original sound of course. On that basis, vinyl << CD. Sad, for those of us who love some of the superb engineering which made analogue audio possible, but true.

NASA: Civilization will end in 2013 (possibly)



Only a few months ago we were reading that the Sun's magnetic field is steadily declining towards a level below which, we believe, it can't produce any spots. Why should it suddenly produce gigantic bursts of civilisation-ending EMP from such a low-energy state? Another Maunder minimum (and all that that implies) would seem to be a lot more likely.

In anycase, any fule no that civilisation will *already* have ended by 2013, on Dec 21st 2012 at 11:11 am. Unless, of course, all the conspiracy theories are just conspiracy theories ;)

Olympus apologises after shipping malware-laced cameras in Japan


"consumers are advised ..."

... to disable Autorun? Again? It should be a capital offence to sell a PC with Autorun ENabled.

Fail. What your computer will do if Autorun is enabled.

Apocalyptic infection purged from PHP-Nuke.org



A most appropriate name, under the circs.

Google screws Scroogle


O Happy Day

Scroogle seems to be back again this morning. Hope it stays there.

Jesus descends to Google Earth


Our Father,

Which art in Püspökladány ...

Hackers crack Ubisoft always-online DRM controls


Can't help thinking

that there's a sizeable market opening up here for some competent programmers to get into writing good games (, CAD, etc.). Just not for the companies who are forcing this cr@p down the throats of their users.

Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.

Palin email witness decries 'dog and pony' prosecution


These days ...

*No" State is your friend.

Brazilians ordered to have more sex


Any chance

of a Playmobil illustration?