* Posts by Geoffrey Summerhayes

48 posts • joined 20 Apr 2007

Next from Apple: The Pocket iPad

Geoffrey Summerhayes


Psst. It's for making Apple money, of course. What else would it be for?

Toshiba looks ahead, sees a 14TB disk

Geoffrey Summerhayes


just barely enough space to install Windows 8 PE.

Only nukes can stop planetsmash asteroids, say US boffins

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Currently about as useful/dangerous

As carrying about a bagful of bullets without a gun to use them in. I can't help but picture Wile E. Coyote holding a little clown umbrella over his head and a sign saying 'Oh, no' as our protection model for the foreseeable future.

Police arrest MD of dowsing-rod 'bomb detector' firm

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Scientific testing

Has pretty consistently failed to find anything better than blind luck in repeated studies of dowsing and dowsing related tools. As for the pipe you think you may or may not have found? I'm convinced, there's no way you could have known as wee sprog that there should be a pipe running in a straight line from the kitchen to the (street/septic tank?). Pleeease.

Sorry for sounding cynical, I can't really help it in this case. There's a reason science avoids anecdotal evidence except as a source for hypothesis that need to be rigorously tested.

It's hard to ignore the several assumptions in your story, the first being that the unseen pipe actually exists, a scar in concrete can have more than just the one cause. Then there's moving the carpet and examining the floor, I doubt you measured from the walls to various positions where the rods crossed, then removed the carpet, measured again and discovered the scar at those points. More likely you looked in the general area and finding a scar that went in the general direction assumed that the scar was in the exactly where the rods said it would be.

Even worse, this memory is a few decades(??) old, more than enough time for positive reinforcement to have set in. I personally was dismayed to discover, in a conversation with my mother, one of my favorite childhood memories from a trip I went on not only didn't happen the way I remembered it, it hadn't actually happened at all, I wasn't even on the trip. Memory is a lot more fickle and pliable than most of us believe, look at the problems pointed out by studies of eyewitness accounts. Give it another ten years and with luck you may remember marking it out though. Makes a better story that way.

UK.gov dismisses Tory claims UK cyberspace is defenceless

Geoffrey Summerhayes

detect and prevent attacks before they hit

Soooo...precogs then. But what about the minority reports?

Mine's the one with the spare eyeballs in the pocket.

Avatar renders this earthly life meaningless

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Depends (you had to ask)

Well a movie usually loses out when getting into a character's motivation and inner dialog. On the plus side, some of the visual imagery can beggar *my* imagination. LOTR for example.

Jaws - Movie over book by far (qualification - i did like the shark's viewpoint bit at the start)

2001 - Movie, of course the book came out after and tried to explain the movie Part of the fun was trying to figure out what the heck happened.

Dune - Book over anything done, book's a classic piece of SF. Too much in it to ever get a decent adaptation without turning it into a miniseries (Oooh, remember Shogun? Book there too.)

The Andromeda Strain - (first movie) Pretty good translation from book to film, the remake was obviously scripted by writers on a caffeine-sugar-cocaine binge, throwing in every overused SF cliche going. I'll give the book a win, but kudos to the production team of the first film.

LOTR - Tough call, big fan of the books but it did morph from kids story to novel to history textbook. The movie was more consistent in atmosphere. Nah, I'll pick the book trilogy

The Da Vinci Code - Who's kidding, both crap. I mean who ever heard of a Da Vinci expert taking ages to recognize mirror writing?

Star Trek to boldly go (again)

Geoffrey Summerhayes


Ok, they blew away every ST movie and episode by screwing up the timelines in the last movie so it's now possible for the Borg to get a run at Kirk. And yes, the Borg were probably the best set of nasties in the ST universe.

BUT, I'm bored/sick/filled with loathing of seeing the damn BORG and all the bizarre tweaks they keep pulling in scripting. Pretty soon we'll see little Borg dogs and cats running around the cubes.

Can't someone come up with a decent Federation vs. Klingon script? They were supposedly the biggest ongoing problem in the original ST, but they've always gotten the third-rate villian treatment.

Enormous raygun-on-a-lorry project acquires lorry

Geoffrey Summerhayes

You young folks

and your skynets and frickin' sharks. What I want to know is ... how effective will this be against giant bipedal radioactive lizards coming out of the sea?

Google uncloaks the Nexus One

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Google's mystery cloak

They'll also cloud your mind and pluck the memory of the article from it. Swiftly and silently, as if they were Amazon and your mind was a Kindle.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Google knows. Mwah hah ha!

Research suggests Wii Fit is no flab fighter

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Maybe it still doesn't work

It could be the three months with the Wii included a period of extra activity, for example, summer holidays, just being outside instead of stuck behind a desk could be a cause of better fitness. It doesn't sound like the kids were all that interested either if the thing was used less than four minutes a day at the end.

Zeus bot found using Amazon's EC2 as C&C server

Geoffrey Summerhayes

No comment really

Just getting a good chuckle out of this one. After all the hype, look who really listened.

LHC pulverises previous record: 2.36 TeV surprise collision!

Geoffrey Summerhayes

All I know is...

The Vogons are going to be pissed when they find their work done for them. Think of all the extra paperwork!

(Back) into The Valley

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Thanks to this article I've developed precognition!

I predict a late night coding session in my near future.

Channel 4 raises Bing word-extinction alarm

Geoffrey Summerhayes
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So looking for info on The Prisoner

Eye, sun, anubis, falcon, cat, rover?

Wallace and Gromit get the Google doodle treatment

Geoffrey Summerhayes


Here in the Great White North we get Big Bird for Sesame Streets 40th, would've preferred W&G. The Wrong Trousers is my fav. Still get a shiver everytime I see a penguin looking around with cold, black eyes, creepy little buggers.

Pig plague could crash interwebs, say US feds

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Not a problem

Just start broadcasting, 'I COTZ H1N1 FROM TEH INTERWEBZ' and watch usage go down.

FSF launches Windows 7 anti-upgrade letter campaign

Geoffrey Summerhayes


It's a joke, son. Get over it.

(I run Fedora at home, by the way).

Geoffrey Summerhayes

This article got me thinking

About Linux's three phases of support:

self help, self help, and self help.

Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch peril

Geoffrey Summerhayes


A chance to use this link:


black and white leather jacket

NASA review: Forget about boots on Mars by 2030

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Nice to know...

We're still on track for being a minor footnote in the universe.

Humanity-Mostly harmless.

Made it into space, decided they didn't like it. Had digital watches. Planet destroyed for hyperspace bypass. Current Status: EXTINCT

Blu-ray brains create 3D taskforce

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Blu-ray and 3D

Anyone else picture them going from discs to spheres? Piss off a bunch of early adopters. Wonder what the player would look like... Mine's the one with the buckyballs in the pocket.

Wallace and Gromit get patent-happy at Science Museum

Geoffrey Summerhayes


"Memorable creations have included techno trousers..."

Weren't the techno-trousers purchased second-hand from the space program and not a Wallace creation? He could get in legal trouble claiming them as his own.

Sat scope discovers Earthlike 'sauna world'

Geoffrey Summerhayes


Forgetting about atmospheric pressure. The planet is less than two times in diameter, assuming the same density as us would make it under eight times the mass. It only takes about 30 atmospheres to raise the boiling point to 1000 degrees C and we already know of a planet about our size with a pressure above that (Venus).

I suppose we'll have to hire the movers to put it in a larger orbit before putting up the wallpaper.

Robo-flower wilts as power burns

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Just as well...

"Plans to manufacture the Wilting Flower haven’t been announced yet."

Why pay for the gizmo when I can get the same effect by rooting through the local florist's garbage?

Mine's the one with the extension cord octopus in the pocket.

Net sleuths spot poker site cheat code

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Finally a chance to use the quote!

Customer: Are you sure this place is honest?

Carl: Honest? As honest as the day is long!

Mario and Eee PC Girl bust Best Buy profits

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Oh, you probably came for this:


Chrome: A new force for web applications?

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Re: Welcome to the party...

"However it finished a couple of years back."

Whoa, deja vu! Sherman start up the Wayback machine...

I recall almost everyone saying the same thing when IBM introduced an outdated hunk of junk they called a PC when Apple and Commodore had the market. Not to mention the horrid POS it had for an operating system.

It wouldn't surprise me if Chrome were to overtake Firefox in marketshare. Aside from developers, most people I know have never heard of Firefox (Heck, a lot of them think their operating system is called IE), but they've all heard of Google.

Chinese boffins crack invisible-shed window problem

Geoffrey Summerhayes


So now we have a theoretical solution to a theoretical problem. We still don't have anything close to a shed hiding cloak, scaling up to that level will likely be somewhat troublesome. So I'll believe it when I don't see it.

John Glenn blasts Moonbase-to-Mars NASA roadmap

Geoffrey Summerhayes
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The major problem with the space elevator is the amount of destruction it can cause if something goes wrong. Convincing a country to host one is probably less of a problem than getting their downwind neighbours to accept it. Construction-wise, the 'easiest' method to build one is from geosynchronous orbit so it can be kept balanced while it's being built, but who wants a few kilometers of cable flapping about over their heads? Best bet is to build them in other gravity wells first where the effect on the solar systems population won't suffer as much should something go wrong. (Yeah, I know, NASA's never made a mistook) But that means getting to another planet first and getting the raw materials there.

Blinking to replace remote controls, claims Japanese boffin

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Needs contols for the elbow

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

(The one with the big foot on the back)

New York threatens Comcast with anti-porn suit

Geoffrey Summerhayes


The only problem with free speech is that you get what you pay for.

Microsoft's own chip design blamed for Xbox 360 RRoD

Geoffrey Summerhayes

@ Edward & Paul

Totally agree, god forbid they ever got together to build something where the hardware and the software were designed together, from the ground up, as an integrated package. (Yeah, I know. Pigs fly, hell freezes over, etc.)

What would happen to all the support line people without the ability to pass the buck and blame it on the other company? They might actually have to solve the problem! Oh, the HORROR!!

Lunar mini-mole missile probes tested against Welsh target

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Unanswered questions

Maybe it's just me, but...

1. Once the probes find Lunar mini-moles, how do we transport them back?

2. Will they breed in captivity, or only on the wilds of the dark side of the moon?

Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Re: I have not had problems

I'm quickly losing the remaining dregs of my belief in human intelligence.

Here's a new cut-and-paste comment for the Reg:

I haven't had any problems installing/running/removing/configuring the software/hardware/update on N systems. Since I do/don't/didn't overclock/interrupt the process/drink coffee/own a cat/believe in Xenu, it's obvious everyone who has had problems should/shouldn't overclock/sit on their hands/drink Jolt/[kill their/get a] cat/join Scientology. Problem solved.


Windows XP SP3 leaps into the tubes

Geoffrey Summerhayes

1 pass, 1 fail

4 yr. old work machine, XP Pro, out of the box, full HD.

No problems.

2 yr. old home system, XP Media, lots of space, dx9 capable video, 3d sound.

Reboot cycle, dammit.

Safe mode, hold breath.

System restore, hold breath

Phew, cancel update notice.

Firefox and Safari updates tackle alternative browser bugs

Geoffrey Summerhayes

While we're griping

Let's not forget Google, I keep seeing pre-selected options for installing either the browser search toolbar or the desktop search program popping up in the strangest places, during both download and CD-based installs of unrelated software.

Boffins build safer, more capacious lithium-ion battery

Geoffrey Summerhayes

@ Richard, AC

Wrong arrangement, I'll take a Licko-ma-neo-battery, pleeeese.

eBay pulls Vista laptop pwned in hacking contest

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Oh, c'mon Reg

April Fool's was yesterday, you can't really expect us to believe a story like this...

Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Real Genius

Some people may disqualify the one, but it is fiction with science...

"That's a wonderful story, Bodie. I noticed you've stopped stuttering."

"I've been giving myself shock treatments."

"Up the voltage."

"Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?' "

"Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?"

"Not right now."

"A girl's gotta have her standards."

NEC lets Sadville residents call the real world

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Coming next...?

Cubicle farm call centres, minimum wage in Linden bucks

My job was outsourced to Sadville and all I got was this lousy virtual t-shirt.

Web pioneer hits critics with Lisp gauntlet

Geoffrey Summerhayes

STILL a fan...

*Hmmph* Yet Another Language War. Programmers are religious fanatics when it comes to language selection.

What was that old chestnut? Oh yeah, "When C is your hammer, every problem looks like a thumb."

I use Common Lisp for most of my prototyping and proof-of-concept code regardless of what the final code is written in. It's a large language that supports most programming styles: functional, object oriented, etc. With a REPL, it's fairly quick to develop and debug with and being able to edit and compile individual functions on the fly while the code is running avoids a lot of the edit-save-compile-link-run that comes with other languages.

And no, I have no problem reading Lisp. Like any other bloody computer language it's just a matter of practice. Forth is more usually the one mislabeled 'write-only'.

The only problem maintainability-wise is finding Lisp programmers in a world of VB script kiddies.

Arc is more of a concept language right now, like the cars of the future you only see at conventions. It may go somewhere, who knows? It just seems to be lacking a lot right now...

Veggies a 'perversion of nature': Official

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Wouldn't be complete without...

The flipside...


PS3 sales to surpass Wii's... in four years' time

Geoffrey Summerhayes
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Can't see it

I've seen the total worldwide units graph from the report. He has the number of PS3s sold tied or exceeding XBox360s before the end of 2007, and the PS3's consistently outselling Wii's for the next four years.

But currently, the sales of Xboxes and Playstations are almost running in lockstep on worldwide basis, with the Xbox having a year advantage, and the Wii still outselling them both by a wide margin.

Paris Hilton cavorts naked in middle of desert

Geoffrey Summerhayes


Arrgh! Not this old chestnut again...


2nd paragraph in origins section.

Bloody code!

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Torches and pitchforks!

This is ridiculous.

I have a pipe cutter in my *real* toolbox. I don't use it often (twice, actually), but it's there when I need it. Same with multiple exits and gotos, most of the time they don't get used.

But when not using them creates a plethora of meaningless boolean flags and nested if-clauses that start taking up more room than the code that does the actual work in the code, out they come...

One of my uni profs sent out a problem to his classes he was having trouble with, a simple data parsing problem, took about half an hour to write and debug, wrote it with about 8 gotos. He wrote back that the idea of using gotos never occured to him, he was getting mired in working out the logic of a more structured approach. It was also the only fully working solution he had received.

Multiple exits, like gotos are part of a programmer's toolbox. It doesn't mean they should be used all the time, but saying they should never be used is just as moronic.

Harry Potter and the Virus of Doom

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Sorry 'bout that...

How about the DVD burner of Erised? "Only those who want to make a backup, make it but not use it, will be able to burn."

How to counter premature optimisation

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Must sell hardware on the side...

Anyone else notice that computers are bogging down faster than they used to? Going from V2.0 to V3.0 shouldn't require 10x as much memory for a program doing essentially the same task, but we see it all the time. Useful hardware lifetimes has decreased at our shop in spite of all the speed and size re-re-redoubling over the years, mainly because the applications have all turned into slow bloatware.

It's hard to avoid hearing things like, 'Space is no longer an issue.' Yes, it is, it's just not as much of a problem as it used to be. When we were working with 1-640k systems we didn't have to worry that much about sharing the space with 70+ other processes either.

Software support's default excuse has gone from 'blame MS' to 'blame your lack of new hardware'. When Moore's law finally crashes and burns, all the people who knew how to optimize will have left the industry and the learning process will have to start, with all the incumbent birthing pains, all over again.

It's annoying that so many people take Jackson (and Knuth) quotes as saying, 'Don't optimize.' The main thrust should be: Make it work correctly, and only then look for ways to improve speed and size.

But, actually look for them. I really don't want, in a few years, to boot a 50Tb system, get a message the my virtual memory paging file need to be increased, or told I need to buy more memory, all because I shouldn't be running a web browser and an e-mail program at the same time in such a tiny system.

Judging from the other comments, I'm preaching to the choir.

Mr. Nicholls, I'm supposed to be watching my sodium intake, but the grain I have to take this article with means no salt for the next couple of decades.

'Mary Celeste' yacht mystery puzzles Oz

Geoffrey Summerhayes

Skip your morning coffee, Risasi?

'Marie Celeste' refers to the type of mystery, being the most famous example. The actual name of the catamaran is Kaz (or Kazz, depending on which story is accurate) II.


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