* Posts by Gavin King

202 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Nov 2008


Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Gavin King

Re: Simpler solution

"I imagine a 3d printer..."

I hope I'm not the only one who read that as "thruppence printer", considering the age of the machines.

Six on capacitor charges

Gavin King

I wonder what what's in store for them. Hopefully not discharge without conviction.

The deals seem to have accumulated for quite some time, so I doubt they'll get a plate as a reward. I'm glad the D.o.J. have the spare capacity to deal with them though.

I'm glad its Faraday: time to go home!

(In my defense I'm a touch delirious at present.)

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Gavin King

Re:'"analogueue" -> !!'

They're just making up for all of the instances where analogue is spelt without the correct "ue"; balancing out the universe and all that.

A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!

Gavin King

Re: Stick + Battery Loader

Attach it to a suitable thermocouple (and probably a regulator) and it really can be a camp-fire NAS.

The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Gavin King

Re: Smart bulbs versus light switches

I don't know about the rest of the world, but in a lot of old farmhouses in New Zealand the owners had a similar idea; instead of having to tear up the wall plaster, just mount it all in the ceiling. The usual way was with a pull-cord right next to the fitting, on the same base-board, which meant that there was only a single hole in the ceiling too. I have seen one that was something of a compromise; the pull-cord was next to the door where the switch would usually be, and the fitting was in the centre of the room.

German boffins smash records with 37km wireless spurt at 6Gbps

Gavin King

It's currently fashionable to put data into the cloud; this just eliminates the middle-man.

Aussie wedges spam javelin in ring spanner

Gavin King

Maybe he thought it was Whitworth?

Clucking hell! Farcical free-range egg standard pecked apart by app

Gavin King

Re: I'll trust farmers-

But I didn't think you were supposed to have the dog off of its lead.

Australia's Dick finally drops off

Gavin King

Re: dropped off a *long* time ago

Even the Dick Smith of 15 years ago was a different beast: I have in front of me the 2000-2001 catalogue. Fully half of it is "actual" electronics (components and the like), and that's not including the reference section or the aerials/radios.

I kept going back for a time, but eventually they lacked anything that I found interesting. A wee bit sad; the first electronics I ever played with were the "Funway" series. I've still got the components in a box, and the books are cluttering up my Mum's spare room.

Hotel light control hack illuminates lamentable state of IoT security

Gavin King

Re: Toys

I agree with everything you've said, except that Big Ben (the bell) was only cast in 1858, and the building was finished somewhat after that (as far as I can tell).

'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

Gavin King

Re: Ker-chunk, ker-chunk

That's what I have a typewriter for; unless there's dozens of the things to address at once it is faster to just wind it through and mash the keyboard.

Or that's my justification for the old hardware at least. Ker-chunk ker-clunk indeed!

Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

Gavin King

Re: Folklore ?..

A quick search for images of the start menu from different versions of Windows seems to show that (going backwards in time) XP, 2000, and ME had "Search" while 98 and 95 seem to have had "Find".

I wonder what brought on that change?

Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

Gavin King

Re: The human pilots just do the easy bits...

"which fully works on manual aka crew power to move the control services."

The stewardesses on stationary bicycles? Or rowing machines?

Boffins could tune telescopes to listen to lasers on Mars

Gavin King

Re: It's the *wave* of the future...

"Bugger off on your megacycle"

It hertz when you say things like that.

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

Gavin King
Thumb Up

"So the Wraith was employed as a support car."

I hope that someone else found the concept of using a Rolls-Royce as a support vehicle as amusing as I did.

PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

Gavin King

"Slater has a barrister working for him on a pro bono basis."

Surely it should be a "pro bonobo" basis? That's how I read it anyhow.

Labor floats 'startup loans' for youngsters

Gavin King

Re: Uni Students risk taking ?

Maybe it should be phrased as redirecting the risk-taking amongst students? Living in a student town, I think that would be a wonderful thing.

How to build a server room: Back to basics

Gavin King

Re: Mortuary Computer Rooms

This is something to keep in mind indeed. I should probably have a better understanding of this background and history: my work involves making toxic gas detectors. It is something that never really gets mentioned, but should be kept in mind.

Gavin King

Re: Cloakroom

"...installed in the site Medical Centre - in the no longer used mortuary."

Forgive my ignorance, but what kind of chemical company has a medical centre with a mortuary in it? I'm a little disconcerted with the thought.

Muted HAMR blow from Seagate: damp squib drive coming in 2016

Gavin King

Re: Helium

Helium doesn't just diffuse through aluminium either; when studying I learnt that photomultiplier tubes (essentially a glass vacuum-tube with a metal suitably susceptible to the photo-electric effect inside, and some clever, if simple, amplification) shouldn't be stored where helium is present. The helium diffuses through the glass and ruins the vacuum, if given enough time.

HP insists 'we don't have a global dress code' – while deleting one from its website

Gavin King

Re: Linen

Except my experience of linen suits is that it only takes so much as a look at the thing to make it entirely wrinkled and worse looking than nothing. (Well, not nothing, but you get what I mean.)

Roll up, roll up, for the Meta35: The hybrid snapper's data dumpster

Gavin King

Re: I wonder

I'd be inclined to say "never", or at least a good approximation of. I predict it'll just get harder to find, and to get developed.

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Gavin King

I thought the data was tweaked by saying 98 was dud, 98SE was good, and ME was not.

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Gavin King

Re: Cordless phones

I have just bought a cordless phone with two hand-sets; it turns out that the base can be powered from the handset resting in it, if the power goes out. I think this is a rather neat arrangement.

NASA picks tools for voyage to possibly LIFE-SUPPORTING moon Europa

Gavin King

Re: Stay Away

But only until about 3001 or so.

El Reg knocks a fiver off 16GB USB stick

Gavin King

When I was demonstrating during varsity, the department had to hunt high and low for 512MB sticks to plug into the teaching lab scopes. Presumably they are still around and in use.

The smallest I myself have is 1GB, though. Not in the same league at all.

Win! El Reg exceedingly fine mug collection

Gavin King

Re: Ummm

I tend to pretend to be self employed and repeat my name in the appropriate box. Power to you for your scruplous honesty though.

In any case, the more people that don't enter, the greater my chances of winning.

Man asks internet for $1k for pebbles. INTERNET SAYS YES

Gavin King

That would be a series of experiments in which the measuring instrument is affected by each experiment. Not scientifically sound but good fun I'd say.

Think bigger: each experiment affects the measuring instrument, but the instrument is reset over a period of hours/days. Therefore it is necessary to investigate in one order (stainless, soapstone, ice, ...), then rotate through the various permutations. Not a short-term experiment, but bound to be immensely satisfying.

By the time there's enough samples for statistical rigour, it would be a great deal of fun.

Japan: Land of cheap booze and slippers in the office

Gavin King

Re: A "Gig" is something done by musicians

I believe you meant: "You guys are going to do great at your expat English teaching gigs."

No nudity, please, we're GAMING: Twitch asks players to cover up

Gavin King

Re: Pasties - serious

It isn't a typo; may I refer you to this above post.

I only recently discovered this, and now can't stop giggling every time I go to the bakery.

Hiss-hiss! GIGANTIC SOLAR FILAMENT snakes around Sun

Gavin King

Re: From your photos..

Would that make it a sun hat?

Gmail gains support for non-ASCII email addresses

Gavin King

Re: More work

...or insists that addresses must have a "State" value?

That is one thing that really gets to me. The closest thing we ever had in New Zealand were the provinces, which were abolished in 1876. Despite this, just recently trying to get something sent out from overseas I was told that it was mandatory to insert a state/province. To (apparently) make it easier, this was to be picked from a drop down list of three letter abbreviations, none of which I or anyone in the room had ever seen before. Even with a list of the provinces there were some which we couldn't identify.


Microsoft: OK, Office 365 sellers – you can be customers' 'first contact'

Gavin King

Re: With added Leap Year support...

But at least you only have to pay it every four years.

Average chump in 'bank' phone scam is STUNG for £10,000 - study

Gavin King

Re: What I don't understand

Ignoring the technical feasibiblty, I'm not sure that it would be practical. An example of this could be you have a blocked drain, and call up the plumber's office. They send someone around to arrive at a given time, but there's (say) mechanical problems and the plumber in the van is held up, so calls to let you know from his mobile phone. If you don't know the number, he can't get through and you're left fuming at the useless sod for not showing up.

I wonder though if it couldn't be set up to have a whitelist that can directly call, and other numbers get an answerphone which can be looked at "off-line". That'd solve my above problem, and still avoid having to deal with the so-and-sos.

So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Gavin King

Re: @Domeyhead

"...oscilloscope or a migraine attack."

I read this as "oscilloscope attack" and now have an urge to design a t-shirt with "Attack of the Oscilloscopes" on it; a rank of angry 'scopes, traces fluctuating wildly as they march through flames...

You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

Gavin King

Hogswash --- I doubt very much that Lynx will ever do this.

Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco

Gavin King

Re: In-Line blade fuse holders

You can get these: for example. I don't know if the combined weight of the fuse and holder would be any less than the glass ones though: they look rather bulky.

Kim Dotcom extradition hearings delayed

Gavin King

I suspect the OP is from a somewhat larger country than New Zealand (it isn't hard) and thus has a larger parliament (or equivalent), probably with two houses; a single Member in that case is not too much of a big deal; he or she will get drowned out by the remainder. For our 120 MPs though, a single Member is a bit of a bigger deal.

Add in the fact there is a single House, and that Parliament is absolutely sovereign (so laws can't be overturned by the courts; I think there's a legal term, but can't remember it now) and I think that New Zealanders should take their politics and politicians seriously.

Terrifying photo special: 'Electric Cannon' anal orgasmo-probe in use ... on a BULL

Gavin King

Re: This reminds me a little of a story I read.

That one was a Herriot story: I think it was in 'The Lord God Made Them All,' but can't find it exactly.

Flames, since that's what the poor bugger was feeling like.

ISS astronauts to grow tomatoes and rice …. IN SPAAAAACE

Gavin King


With a spherical cow the tipping is impossible (or more impossible), since there is no "up". Which is further compounded by the lack of an "up" in space, I suppose.

Which the farmer in me says is a good thing: cattle generally aren't too forgiving of falling over.

Kerching! Nominet preps for cash AVALANCHE from shorter UK domain names

Gavin King

The emphasis should be on the semi-; if nothing else, it saves a modicum of effort and time to enter the URL directly. This mayn't be important with fast internet connections, but often we don't have such things. It also means that should the search engine break, or not work with the browser being used --- I have had this happen at least once not too long ago (the re-directs would fail half-way through; don't know why and it seems to have resolved itself) --- one is still able to use the internet.

And incidentally, in lieu of a pizza place, the number for my local fish and chip shop is 432-0207, from the top of my head. A meal there for whoever can figure out where it is.

The right time to drink coffee

Gavin King

Re: LN2?!

It also makes some of the smoothest icecream around: cream, some fruit (or other flavour) and gently beat while pouring the nitrogen through. I've done it helping with science outreach, especially for younger children (and the not so young). Apparently it's something to do with making the ice crystals very small, rather than big and lumpy.

SPACE, the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of the star probe Cassini

Gavin King

Re: tasking...shudder

I suspect (hope?) it is just a typo, and "tasking" should read "taking," and have humbly suggested that the sub-editors have a look at it.

It is a little distressing though, that we see an error and don't think "this is not right" but rather "harumph! More non-sensical jargon." A reflection on something, I'm sure. Buggered if I can figure out what though.

Of course, it could be an expression of the magical faith we have in the writers and editorial types instead.

Hyenas FACEBOOK each other with their ARSES: FACT

Gavin King

Re: Fecebook!

Nah: I don't think it could be much "shitter" than it already is.

Money really does GROW ON TREES say boffins

Gavin King

What's a koala doing with a mass spec?

RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Gavin King

Re: "... brushed aluminum and all"

I hate to burst your bubble and all that, but I think that Mr Myslewski is in fact not British; for a long while the author line read Rik Myslewski in San Francisco (my emphasis), although it doesn't any more.

Sorry there old chum, what what.

Bonking boffins say bacon biters won't breed

Gavin King

Re: fish?

'ware the codpiece!

US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

Gavin King

You know, Mum and Dad always said I was lucky that I wasn't called "Wayne." Never really understood why, until I hit a certain age.

Apple's iWatch to appear in 2014, will RULE your home – new claim

Gavin King

Completely avoiding the joke, I wonder if it would come with some sort of safe-guard, or if in fact it could be set to blend itself?

Who here needs to explain things to ELEPHANTS?

Gavin King

Re: "an ancient African tradiation of animals"

The "send corrections" button is now at the top of the comments page: look upwards.

It's a little odd, but for some reason I missed it too, even though it is just about the first thing you see when you come to comment.