* Posts by Tom_

576 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jul 2009


Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion


Re: Why the sudden bezelphobia?

It's the same daftness as making them thinner at the expense of battery life. I'll take the whole phone being 2mm thicker and lasting an extra 24 hours, please.

Totally not-crazy billionaire Elon Musk: All of us – yes, even you – must become cyborgs


Aren't they just the ones who lived without smartphones until the robots killed us all, whereas everyone else at least had cool toys in the run-up to their liquidation?


Re: Balderdash!

Isn't that because they're not using AI, though? They're just using code written by wetware like ourselves and you're seeing the issues. If that website's back end had been written by an hybrid AI/coder then it might at least offer you hotel stays for next month, even though it just sold you one. :)

Facebook's dabblings in TV suggest Zuck isn't actually a genius after all


Set Top Box

"Pray tell me, dear reader, what a "Facebook TV" box could give you that a Firestick or an Apple TV or a Now TV box doesn't?"

Oculus Rift support.

In Zuck's plan, when you want to watch your sports in VR this will be the default hardware and service.

WTF? Francis Ford Coppola crowdsources Apocalypse Now game


Three Million Dollars

That is not enough money to make a modern, multiplatform video game of a quality similar to the orginal film.

Thirty million dollars might get you a good bit of the way there, depending on how well you reign in the scope.


Re: Will it have

May as well. They had it in Battlefield: Vietnam after all.

Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?


Re: Prepare For Third WW

Don't worry about the satellite phone. The satellites will all be tagetted too.

Disk-nuking malware takes out Saudi Arabian gear. Yeah, wipe that smirk off your face, Iran


Re: Shamoon 2.0


Zuck off: Facebook's big kahuna sues Hawaiians to kick 'em off their land


Re: Never liked him

Facebook must be gutted by people leaving for Instagram.

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch


Re: Odd.


PlayStation 4 probs: Gamers struggle with PSVR headset blackouts


Re: Heat

OK, I'm revising my guess to cold. Once it's warmed up it sounds like it's ok. :)



My immediate complete guess is that something's overheating.

Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'


Re: Will it.....

Couldn't they speed up charging by having two connectors - one to charge half the batteries and one to charge the other half? Is there any reason they couldn't halve charging time by doing that?

Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'



This is why I always tow a trailer with a ramp on it.

Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea



It kind of reads like if Fitbit hadn't bought Pebble, Pebble would have shut down anyway.

Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas


Re: Excellent

What, hiding in his bedroom, softly crying about not getting anything he wanted? :)

Really weird quantum phenomenon spied lurking near neutron star


Re: Read the paper ...

A beam of light is mad up of a bunch of photons travelling along in the same direction, one after another. Each photon has a magnetic field and an electric field, aligned perpendicularly. If you imagine the photon travelling across your screen from left to right, you might see the magnetic field from the side, so it's a wave drawn on your screen, but if you did then you'd be looking at the electric field from the edge, so it'd be a wave going in and out of your screen. If you then imagine looking at the screen from the right hand side, the photon would be travelling towards you with the magnetic field looking like a vertical line and the electric field looking like a horizontal line. This is the cross that you can see in the polarised light image.

When light's emitted from a source like a star or a hot light bulb, the beams of light/the photons are aligned at random, so if you look at the light source all the photons will look like corsses rotated to random angles.

When you polarise the light, but shining it through a fine grid, polarising sunglasses or a weird quantum phenomenom this forces all the crosses to orient to the same rotation, so you get the polarised light image where all the crosses are like the one you'd see from looking at the side of your monitor.

Interestingly, as you can polarise light to different angles by forcing it through a grid that's rotated to differetn angles, you can convey information in the angle of polarisation. Your light beam could be continuous, pulsed, varying in colour and so on, but you can ignore all of that and look at the polarisation angle to read the information. It's not even effected by blue or red shift. Handy!

'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe


Another partial success

Hey, if you're going to get your altitude wrong and run your touch down sequence at the wrong time it's better to do it early than late. At least that way you get to upload your error report before you're smashed into the ground.

The Pew 'gig economy' study is here, and it's grim


Re: Panama papers

You will be as an Uber driver, what with duty on fuel and VAT on maintenance and repair of your vehicle.

Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit


"A few minutes basic research reveals the following..."

Glad to see we're screwing ourselves based on a few minutes basic research. Wouldn't want to have overlooked anything!

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns


Thought Facebook would love this

Everyone would have to create new, corporate facing accounts under their real names. These would be the ones where all the posts were designed to make them look like careful drivers. Stuff like, "Gosh, I've had two cans of coke today. I thik I'd better catch the bus hme rather than drive with all that caffeine in my blood."

Facebook can claim they have 100% more users.

Meanwhile, everyone carries on using the site as normal under pseudonyms, posting stuff like, "shit the bed! im still so fucked from last night but gotto get to work. wears me car keys LOL!!!"

EU €120m Wi-Fi spend explained, but not excused


Re: 4G

And then it asks you the same thing every two or three minutes until you give up.

NASA's asteroid orbit calculator spots a hot rock zipping past


It's not about the big ones

What we would really benefit from is a bit of a warning for the ones that hit with a 10kt to 10Mt explosion. Those are the ones that could make a country think it's been sneakily nuked and launch a retaliatory nuclear strike against it's enemies, causing a response from them and eventually fucking us all.

With a couple of days warning it'd be easier to avoid misunderstandings.

Coming to an SSL library near you? AI learns how to craft crude crypto all by itself


Re: arXiv = Academic Wikipedia

Are you saying that when peer reviewing journal submissions, you wait until they have passed peer review?


Re: Algorithms created by AI

That's not true. What if you have a large volume of digital photographs and you want to tag them according to what items appear in the images? You could train up a neural net to do that task and have it producing useful results without it being easy to express how it's correctly tagged one as a fox rather than as a dog, for example.

Swedes ban camera spy-drones for anything but crime fighting


Re: Muppets

"Bit difficult to get a pole up that high yet a drone will easily snoop on the Judges and their bedroom antics."

And this is presumably a problem because curtains are also illegal in Sweden.

Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit


Re: Work the problem?

"Seems to me that every company trying to make a buck out of this opportunity should be met with a "no thanks." whilst we buy/use something else."

Good point. I'll just fish my Amstrad out of the loft. I'm sure that'll be fine for my dev job.

Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy


Re: also attending

"limp wristed"? Does anyone actually use that term any more? Outside a Bernard Manning tribute act, I mean.


Re: Reducing population

That's why we now have constant war, so we don't get the generation or two of peace that followed the more traditional, occasional wars. It prevents the masses enjoying life and breeding too much.

Without new anti-robot laws, humanity is doomed, MPs told


Re: "some obscure board game"

What's that?

Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert


Re: "how we label our food"

Oh, we'll become millionaires alright. It's just that a pint will be £5,000 and anyone fancying a cheap foreign holiday will need to be a billionaire.

When Pornhub meets the Internet of Fridges


Come to Home Depot...

...and fill your kitchen with smeg.

Reg Programming Compo: 22 countries, 137 entries and... wow – loads of Python


137 Entries?

Damn, I wish I'd made the effort now! :)

Would have liked to do it in C++, though, if it had been on the list.

Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US


Sounds like they could inflate an air bag ring around the bottom of the helmet at the point of ejection, so the shoulders take some of the force off the neck. Of course, if you have a short neck this could pop your noggin off, but them's the breaks, right?


Re: minimum weight

You're missing the atmosphere, mate.

Fighter jets travel fatser than the terminal velocity of a dude strapped into a chair, so when he's ejected he'll spend the first seconds slowing down.

Also, bodies of different masses fall with the same acceleration _in a vacuum_, but usually fall with different accelerations in an atmosphere, due to drag.

FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password


I think in this case they weren't looking to use evidence on the phone to convict people so much as to identify other connected suspects. Presumably in order to prevent further crime. If they could determine who else was involved then they could probably use other evidence to get convictions, through searching those other suspect's homes etc.

Lack of Hurd mentality at Oracle OpenWorld: Co-CEO's cloud claims fall flat live on stage


Can't decide...

...whether to do a wisdom of the Hurd pun or a thundering Hurd pun.

Dark web drug sellers shutter location-tracking EXIF data from photos


Re: where a photograph was taken

Flickr supports geofencing, where the data is still there, but if it puts the photo in a defined area then the data will be kept private from other users.

It's here! Defence Secretary launches £800m MoD tech creche


Laser in the eye == bad day.

T-Mobile USA: DON'T install Apple's iOS 10, for the love of God


Re: My guess is that T-Mobile screwed that bit up and not Apple themselves.

Welcome to the internet. :-/

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords



Just set the password to 'password' and don't tell it to anyone. If it gradually becomes a thing that open hotspots use the word 'password' as the password then nobdoy will have to do any identity checks and nobody will be prevented from using previously open hotspots.

The ECJ will eventually have to make it a law that you can't set your wifi network's password to 'password', at which point everyone can move across to 'password1' and carry on.

SETI searchers: We still haven't found what we're looking for


Re: Cloaked?

Don't forget that it's fairly common to deliver multiple satellites to orbit from a single launch vehicle.

Additionally, a secretive satellite may not have a direct link to the ground at all - instead communicating via laser link to other, non-secret satellites.

Blink and you missed it: Asteroid came within 90,000 km, only one sky-watcher saw it


Distance fropm the sun

"The orbit is tilted 15.65° relative to Earth's orbit, and an eccentricity of 0.21, which the announcement says sends it between around 185,000 km and 285,000 km from the Sun, on a 350-day period."

Shouldn't these be millions of kilometres, rather than thousands?

Arthur C Clarke award won by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Re: Mysterious World

Great list, but no Iain M Banks? :(

Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs


Re: re: and there was me thinking it was mainly down to religion.

I'm pretty sure we're more than capable of destroying our own government, thank you very much.


Keith Vaz

At least he's moved on from blaming video games for everything.

'NSA' hack okshun woz writ by Inglish speeker trieing to hyde


Re: Should have ran it through three or four languages on Google Translate

But then Google would have the original text and that might mean the NSA do too.

Colour us shocked: ISPs not that keen to sign up for Universal Service Obligation


That'd certainly focus their efforts on ditching those customers on slow connections.

HMRC: We've got £1.3bn for digital tax schemes. Tell us how to spend it


1 billion pounds after 2020

Presumably that's 1 billion pounds additional tax take per year... right?

Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project


Re: Sometimes one really has to wonder about the subheadings around here.

"Using an Airship with air temps of -50C (in still air) would be problematic. Many steel alloys are very brittle at these temp. Building them would be an interesting engineering problem."

Simply build them out of ice.:)