* Posts by James Hughes

82 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jul 2008


Google Squared - the Cuilest search app ever

James Hughes

Go away Ted, until you learnt to write.

No need to use bad language (so, does that make me a 'anally retentive whinging douchebag', or just someone who appreciates people who can make a point without resorting to 'bad' language?)

A good journalist, would provide balanced insight, grammatically correct prose, and avoid use bad language. Since you have scored zero from three, I deduce from this that you are not a journalist, just someone who has found somewhere to publish your barely comprehensible rants. Surely Slashdot would be a better place for you? Or perhaps the Daily Mail, although you will have to tone your language down a bit.

Your continued use of the 'F' word - fail - also grates.

(For all those about to complain about my grammar and/or prose, please note that I, also, am not a journalist and don't attempt to have my rants published as articles)

Apple seeks specialist for iPhone ARM upgrade

James Hughes

Since when

did job adverts become newsworthy?

SHOCK HORROR. Apple want to employ engineer with ARM experience. And they already use ARM in their products. And some other stuff which isn't as good.

Woah. Meanwhile, in other news, Microsoft are looking for engineers with Intel experience, and PC world are looking for people who can write their own name.

Worldwide GPS may die in 2010, say US gov

James Hughes

Best I not throw my road atlas out then

You forgot to mention shipping - everything water born now navigates by GPS. Well, maybe not kite surfers. Since most crews rely totally on automated systems to keep them clear of rocky and shallow bits, expect quite a few ships on beaches. It'll be just like whale strandings, but with less whales.

Linux group, Microsoft form unholy alliance against US lawyers

James Hughes


Lots of people above saying "Write bug free software". I guess this is from people who don't actually write software. You can spend a huge amount of time (and I do) writing code that appears to be bug free. It passes all the tests you and others can think of, and does what it says on the tin. This takes a long time. A very long time. A very very long time. Way in excess of the schedules that the people complaining above (as customers) force upon the developers v ia the ocmpanies making the product. It also costs a LOT of money, money that those people above (as customers) don't want to spend on the product. Do you people want to wait 4 years for the next version of your mobile phone, that cost 10 times more than the current one? Probably not. Do you want to wait 6 months, pay peanuts, but get something with a few bugs in that don't really affect the phones usage?

Of course, even if you do do all the above, and create a 'bug free' piece of code (let's say about a millions lines of code, that takes 10 years - starting the get the picture?), how do you PROVE it's bug free? That, I am afraid is impossible with current technology. Testing isn't good enough, something will fall through the cracks. There are no automated tools that can do it.

In general, most software out there is fit for purpose, with maybe a few bugs affecting obscure bits/combination's of actions. Generally, bugs that are found are fixed (even MS fixes bugs occasionally). Ok, some companies SHOULD spend more time before release, to get rid of some of the more obvious issues, but on the whole, things are not too bad. Even Vista appears to work on the other half's PC, and Ubuntu works on mine.

Rumor rubberizes iPhone 3.0

James Hughes


Just when everyone and his dog are bringing out/about to bring out 5MP phones?

Wow. State of the art....

DARPA to try out goose v-formation trick with jets

James Hughes

@Roger Jenkins

Although one might think aero is aero, there is a dramatic difference in the flow at the sort of speeds these planes cruise at vs. a F1 car. Look up Reynold Number, maybe even on Wikipedia.

It may be apocryphal, but there is a story of an F1 aero guy talking to a plane aero guy to get some tips. The plane aero guy was rather dismissive as they don't deal with speed's that low....

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

James Hughes


But I am pretty sure my use of 'a' instead of 'an' was a typographical mistake, rather than a grammatical failure, although the end result is, of course, incorrect, as so many of you have pointed out. Thank you for your kind attention.

Oh, and sorry about starting a sentence with 'But' in the previous line.

I'm just so, so sorry.

However, I most certainly am not sorry about the comment on the use of the word 'fail' - it may be in common usage around the 'web, but it still annoys me. Paedophiles (allegedly) are common on the web, it doesn't mean that they are a good thing.

James Hughes

Tell you what..

You stop using the contraction 'fail' and I'll consider fully reading your article.

The word is 'failure'.

Instead of deriding a attempt to make a semantic search engine, try reading up on English grammar.

As to WA itself - give it a chance. It's a first attempt, and is likely to get better. It's going to have a different audience to something like Google. Let's hope that audience is big enough to keep it going, because the world is desperately waiting for a better search engine, and they don't spring to life completely formed.

Google trademark grab defies mounting lawsuits

James Hughes

"Looking for Pringles Chips? "

"Looking for Pringles Chips? Try our Crunchies Chips instead. They taste better and are half the price."

Well, that's the sort of advert I WANT to see. When I look around I spend ages trying to find the equivalent product and a better price, both on the interweb and on foot. Roll on times when that onerous task gets quicker.

Now of course, they may not taste as good, but you would know that after tasting, and know not to buy them again (or use that seller again).

As long as the advert doesn't lie, I am failing to see the harm (except to some profits from the overchargers). I'm sure someone will point out the error of my ways though...

Acer Timeline 4810T

James Hughes

@Linux enquires..

Easy enough to try a CD/DVD version of Linux - get to see how well its works, and it doesn't affect the original OS.

Herschel and Planck safely away

James Hughes


Did they launch two very expensive satellites on the same lifter? If it failed, both would be lost. Seems strange.

Major law firm drops filesharing threats

James Hughes


Someone needs to not reply, wait till they get summoned, then turn up in court and take ACS/DL to the cleaners (because their case sucks). Set a precedent, and everything goes away?

Ron Howard accuses Pope of scuppering Dan Brown movie

James Hughes

My, what a lot of literary critics we are...

I quite enjoy DB books, not particularly well written but keep you occupied. Even Digital Fortress, once you could ignore the obvious nonsense, was enjoyable enough. There are certainly many worse authors out there (most of them posting above I imagine). Try reading some of the older SF books (e.g. anything from 50, 60's) - some of those are really bad.

It appears that the only book liked by those posting above, are those entirely factual ones, with perfect understanding of all areas of science and computing. Although I doubt those would come under the heading of fiction, which DB's do. Perhaps that's the mistake those above have made - thinking that DB wrote textbooks?

Even Lord of the Flies - a modern classic - has factual scientific errors, and yet I don't see that wrecking it's reputation.

Amazon big-screen Kindle sails this week

James Hughes

@Big Dumb Publishers?

Why DRM free? It appears to me this is one of the only areas where DRM would be applicable/workable. You have a reader, you buy the content. It goes on the reader. Why would you need it any where else? (unless your reader needs replacement - and that is some thing that could be worked out). It's not like music/video where you may want to have multiple devices on which you want to use the media. You would only need one reader. Ok, so you cannot have a second hand market, but if the original cost is only about the cost of second hand book at the moment (say, £1-£2 for a paperback), then you may as well buy new. Seems to me that is the publishers get this right, it a win-win situation for all.

I agree about WiFi.

Remember, the book industry is NOT the music or film industry. It's a very different world. Much less cocaine to pay for, for starters. The margins are much lower, the costs of generation are lower, but the costs of the media are higher, and use up a lot of trees.

Once the readers get good enough and the prices are acceptable, I'm up for it.

Street View nod prompts call for privacy watchdog reform

James Hughes

If a burglar

Has enough time to cruise through GSV, looking for places to burgle, then goes to the place, check it over again for any security he/she may have missed, then...

Oh, hold on. Maybe it would have been easier just to walk down the road in the first place.

Supersonic stealth jumpjet passes hover thrust test

James Hughes


It produces 1% more thrust that the performance requirement - not the absolute minimum. I guess that means a higher than 1% over falling out of the sky number.

Start-up Bee pledges 'affordable' British e-car

James Hughes

iPod dock.

So, unless I buy an iPod, I won't be able to listen to the Archers?

Or is this another definition of iPod dock I don't know about?

Jackalope gets jaunty with Ubuntu nip and tuck

James Hughes

@Superficial Pete

You must be really busy not to have the 10 minutes or so spare to upgrade.

Microsoft extends Red-Ring-of-Death cover to fresh Xbox fault

James Hughes

Trying to keep costs down?

Having worked for a company whose only interest was reducing and reducing the cost of the hardware (for a prod run of < 10k - insane but true), it gets to a point where the bean counters force quality down the toilet. But of course they are not the ones who have to cough the dosh for all the repairs. Oh, that's a different department, nothing to do with us etc - look how cheap we made it - Hurrah! Our department makes a big profit now!!! Where's my bonus?

That and the forced introduction of lead free solder means everything is more unreliable.

NASA probes seek remnants of lost 'Theia' planet

James Hughes

Earth Fast, Jupiter slow

The earth seems to be moving very fast, because, er, relative to Jupiter, it is fast. Earth orbital period is 365 days or thereabouts, Jupiter is 4331 ish days. That and the fact that the frame of reference is Sun-Jupiter, explains the difference.

White wine stains your teeth too

James Hughes



Once again, people get paid to research the the bleeding obvious. WW is acidic, is that news??

And, can someone explain how keep a tooth immersed in WW for 1hr is similar to taking sips of it during a meal? Doesn't seem very likely to me, but hey, if anyone knows I more than happy to learn!

PC firms slammed in latest Greenpeace eco report

James Hughes

Best send my Wii back...


Whilst admirable in it's efforts, does anyone actually take any notice of these figures when buying a product?

WAG sues CPW for phone pic nick

James Hughes

Can't beleive these comments

So, do you people actually think its OK for CPW employees to steal pictures from a phone and try to sell them, because they shouldn't have been there in the first place (or whatever other spurious reason you give)?

Bollocks. If they had been pictures of your children in the bath, were taken by a employee of CPW, sold on, and they ended up on a paedo website, I'm sure you would be outraged. It's exactly the same issue. Someone took those pictures without permission and CPW and the person involved should be brought to task for it.

Romanian hacking group downs tools

James Hughes


Sounds like someone got a girlfriend.

Google designer quits over performance obsession

James Hughes


So, StreetView is a failure, on the basic of one sample? Methinks you should try it a bit more before going the branding route. And the statement "Only covers the bits people know"? What? So, presumably, you know London, Cambridge, Oxford etc well enough already? I've already found/been shown places in Cambridge I didn't know about and I've lived around here for 30 years.

DARPA orders hypersonic Nazi Doodlebug engine

James Hughes

Does anyone know

How you get a job at Darpa (or the UK equivalent, so I don't have to move house - lazy I know, but Merka?)

Sounds like these guys have the ideal job. Blue sky thinking, explosions, rocket planes, and never actually having to produce a product, never mind one to a timescale.

Ubuntu gets pre-Koala cloud love

James Hughes


Hmm, my Ubuntu wireless works fine....don't remember having any problems setting it up either.

Oh well, horses for course as they say.

Minister admits thought crime is on the agenda

James Hughes

@Thought of Thought crime

Under those 'rules' the people who 'designed' the 2012 Olympics logo should all be on the sex offenders register.

Still worth it for £600k though. Probably.

Mathematica man brews 'AI' Google Killer™

James Hughes

Own goal?

>>>"When was Google's stock at $300 per share?" or "How much did it snow in New England last year?”

It's a noble goal, to aggregate human knowledge in a large machine brain that's able to answer questions. The problem is: We already have Wikipedia and Google that - together - get the job done well enough.<<

Er, neither of those questions are simply answered by either Google or Wikipedia. You get a load of links on Google, which you then have to trawl through to find the right information. And do you trust Wikipedias answer, when you actually find it?

So, sort of an own goal there, Ted.

They don't get the job done well enough at all.

Gov: High-tech engineering (car making) will save Blighty

James Hughes


Interesting to see that being mentioned. Of course, that going to reduce now since the Croft circuit court case which has implications for the whole MS industry. In short, someone moved next to the circuit, which has been there for years, got p****d off with the noise. Sued, and won £150k. Green light to anyone next to a circuit to sue for noise issues, even if they have only just moved there. Circuits go out of business. Motorsport has nowhere to test, forced to move abroad. Excellent work there.

Russian pops сабоs in pancake-eating contest

James Hughes


Overly Brit Heavy?

It's a British website, isn't that to be expected?

The only heavy one around here is the pancake scoffer.

Royal Mail disses runaway post van man

James Hughes


People seem to think he is demanding compensation for stopping the van, but the Reg article indicates he had a broken rib, and presumably other injuries. So he stopped a run away van and was injured whilst doing it. The runaway van was the responsibility of the PO. Surely that would be worth compensation?

Hollywood to totally recall Total Recall

James Hughes

Good titles to film

What about Peter Hamilton's books - any of them, but starting with one of the Greg Mandel ones. Rollicking stuff.

And the people who thing EE 'Doc' Smith books should be filmed. Ug. Cheap space opera. Read some decent SF, unless you are under the age of 14 when they are probably OK.

City and the Stars - A.C. Clarke. Cracking good stuff.

Strata by Terry Prachett - just to give the Intelligent Design people something to crow/argue about.

I like the idea of Iain M Banks Consider Phlebas, but perhaps Use of Weapons, just to confuse everyone?

Ohh, so many good stories to film., Roll on the time when we can plug a book in to the computer and it films it for us....hmm. not that's an idea. I claim copyright on that.

Swedish police claim massive anti-piracy bust

James Hughes

Let's face it

Everybodies right, er, wrong, er, oh whatever.

I just like the fact that Mark Willis, who posted under his actual name (maybe), got slated by a bunch of people who haven't got the tezzies to do the same. C'mon you cowards, put your money where your mouth is.

Piracy is wrong, the big record companies are wrong, the big software producers are, er, actually, they are probably mostly OK (I omit Microsoft, who probably are not).

I'm not going to talk about music/film - I stopped buying it years ago, and don't go to the cinema, just buy the occasional DVD (Pah, Children), but software...now that stuff IS expensive to write (I know because I do it), and some of the bigger apps out there cost a huge amount of money to develop, and the company needs to make money. Even a mobile phone takes a year of software development by a big team, and they only make money because of the huge quantities sold. But what about the smaller software producers who stuff gets ripped, because 'its too expensive'? So don't use it, or write your own. Oh, you NEED it? And it would take 3 years to WRITE IT? Oh, that makes the price a bit more acceptable now does it???

What about OSS, that's FREE. Excellent..is there an OSS version of the software you need? No? Oh dear. See previous point.

The music business needs to change, but the software business - not sure what can be done there.

Cebit 09 too dead to trash says Greenpeace

James Hughes

Pretty obvious

Most sensible companies have a ban on unnecessary travel at the moment. I'm pretty sure a jolly to sunny CA would count as unnecessary.

Google bars Android app makers from their own apps

James Hughes

re: GPL

As I understand GPL and Android, the O/S is based on Linux so is Open Source as it's covered by the GPL. The applications are not, unless they use code which is GPL'd, where copyleft applies.

So the phrase above "The whole purpose of the Android, was destined to be OPEN SOURCE, which is a free distribution of software and applications." is incorrect. Applications are not necessarily OpenSource.

Same as apps running on desktop Linux are not OpenSource, even though the OS is.

There are also some misunderstandings of what you 'get' with open source. You don't for example, necessarily get docs, compilers, coding for debugging etc. You get the source code. Do with it what you will.

I imagine Google do adhere to the GPL rules where they apply. But willing to be corrected in the face of evidence. None of which this article and associated comments supplies.

Qualcomm UK engineers under threat

James Hughes


Fortunately the Science Park is on the outskirts so you don' t actually have to live in Cambridge to work there.

On the other hand, we do have the A14 as revenge.

Qualcomm is a competitor - can see them out of the window - but heart goes out to people losing their jobs. We could be next....

Boffins ponder Geordies' lack of winter clothing

James Hughes

30second between bars?

I vaguely remember queueing up outside some bar right on the front in Whitley Bay on News Years eve, absolutely b**l**ks freezingly cold, wearing a thick coat, watching the local lasses in their crops and minis. We were out there 10 minutes at least. I was about to die of exposure, and they were still alive and chatty.

They make 'em hard up there, which is more than I could manage in those temps.

Sub-prang panic: Calm down, it happens all the time

James Hughes

semi submerged containers

To answer the question - there are bloody thousands of the things floating around the world, waiting to surprise yachts and break their keels off. Probably all leeching god knows what in to the sea. Probably worse than any noocleah sub accidents.

MS puts up $250K bounty for Conficker author

James Hughes

Lots of blame for M$

Not much for the guy who wrote the worm itself. Who, lets be honest, IS the person doing the crime.


He should be executed. That'll make these to**ers think again before causing so much grief.

Oh, and I use Ubuntu btw.

And as to the people who want he/she to go ahead and activate...given what might happen are you happy to help pay for the millions of pounds lost because of it? In taxes (Government systems go titsup), insurance (insurance companies systems go tits up), defence (RAF already infected) etc etc etc. Trying thinking of the consequences before asking for things like this - they might not be *really* what you want.

Satellites crash over Siberia: Iridium bird destroyed

James Hughes

@Mark Will

Best you read that Newton for Dummies book....

They still has mass, and velocity, and therefor energy. This energy =1/2mv^2, which at orbital velocities is very very large, even for small objects. These satellites where about 500kg each, at, Oh, I dunno, lets say 18k kph (an underestimation) = 648000m/s , so that total energy of about, er, crikey, a really big number. 1/2 * 1000 * (648000^2). 209M M/Joules. Hmm. That seems a bit big.

Anyways, it's something like that.

James Hughes

Ooops. Got calcs wrong.

That should be 12500 MJoules of energy released (got a * instead of a / in there)

Palm unfazed by Apple patent threat

James Hughes

Apple - The New SCO?

I wish.....

Google on trial over Italian 'defamation' vid

James Hughes


Lot of people posting in support of, effectively, closing down YouTube. Which is the end result of having to vet every video being posted according to the laws of EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD (and by implication, that would mean the most constricting -e.g. China? Iran?N. Korea?). That would mean thousand upon thousands of people worldwide needing to be employed just to vet content.

And that just for YouTube. What about Blogs? Those would also need to be vetted. And all bulletin boards. All forums. Photo sites (Photobucket has 6 billion images on it all needing vetting) Basically almost everything that gets posted by a third party would have to be vetted.

Which is impossible to fund. So I suppose we will just have to shut the internet down....

It seems to me that the only way to police the internet is retroactively, as is done at the moment. The ToC's need to ensure that specifically ban according to local laws, and the companies need to ensure they pull down stuff as soon as it is shown they contravene local laws/TOC's.

Ok, so as software becomes more sophisticated, it might become possible to auto-vet some kinds of content, but auto-vetting video is way beyond what is currently possible, and even text content recognition isn't good enough for general vetting.

X2 triplex supercopter gets tail-drive hooked up

James Hughes

@Matt Bryant and others

Can't be that difficult - those Transformer robot thingies (Robots In Disguise) do it all the time.

Intel plucks power from TV signals

James Hughes

Has AManFromMars

Changed his name to Walking Turtle?

I demand we are told!

Harry Potter Lexicon published after judgment-guided edit

James Hughes

What a lot of bitter people

JKR writes some very popular books, make some money, tries to stop plagiarism, and gets slated by you lot (well, not all of you/us)

Are you just upset you didn't do it first?

As some else has said - instead of whinging about how 'bad' the books are, or how they are derivative/copies of something else, why don't you go and write an original novel, and see how far you get. Anything past page three would be a success I would think.

US aerospace giants stall Elon Musk's NASA deal

James Hughes

PS may be right

But SpaceX are probably still the best and cheapest option. And since they were first in the race anyway...

All this will do is delay and delay the shuttle replacement supply to ISS - as stated in the article.

And, SpaceX are entirely US based so that isn't an option for complaint unlike the tanker saga.

Empire Direct goes titsup

James Hughes

@Antony re: PCWorld

Less than 1 year old with a demonstrable fault? Sue the bastaards. Or at least threaten to. Or stand outside the front door, shouting at people going in that PCWorld are a bunch of hopeless idiots who don't abide by their legal requirements. (And put the video on YouTube)

Second Android handset delayed indefinitely

James Hughes

Will he..

now admit to not giving his team enough time and money to make the product as specified/required, despite what his developers were saying? Now that would be a first...