* Posts by Richard Gadsden 1

105 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jul 2009


Grow up, Google: You're threatening IT growth

Richard Gadsden 1

Google's second innovation: Gmail

and the AJAX programming model that makes the UI so fluid.

There's a lot of AJAX out there now, and most of it is copying Gmail.

HP Envy 17 3D Core i7 laptop

Richard Gadsden 1

1080 pixels vertically. Still?

I had a 1600x1200 laptop at least five years ago. I've had 1920x1200 as well.

Can someone please make a laptop with a decent vertical resolution, and not just another 1080.


Reg readers ponder LOHAN's substantial globes

Richard Gadsden 1

If you actually want a vertical launch

And I suspect that the 45-degree angle is better, but one approach would be:

Long pole.

One (or two so it doesn't twist around too easily) balloons at each end

Rocket attached to middle of pole.

Shape something like an H but with the middle of the H being 20-30 metres long and the cross bars only a metre or two each. Then attach a balloon to each corner. Make sure you know how big the balloon will be at launch so they won't meet and you get a vertical launch platform.

The problem is that it's not a stable launch platform, so you still need control surfaces, and the rocket backwash has a <b>much</b> higher chance of trashing the balloon than on a 45-degree launch.

Incidentally, if you're really afraid of trashing payload on the balloon from the backwash, you might be better off with a glide launch to get some separation before firing the rocket.

Atlantis undocks from station ready for Thursday landing

Richard Gadsden 1

The shuttle was once accused of being a truck

And Raffaelo really is a truck mission - take up spare parts, bring back rubbish.

Still, she's a truck that's aiming high!

Press body looks at its naughty bits as hacking scandal grinds on

Richard Gadsden 1

How to do that

There are various exemptions in libel law for journalists. Require them to be members of the PCC to be able to use those defences, or else they <i>prima facie</i> are not journalists.

Then his libel insurance would go up and he'd have to join the regime.

Nice try, Amazon: 'One-click' payment too obvious to patent

Richard Gadsden 1

Innovative software

The original RSA patent on public-key cryptography was really innovative.

Someone (Cerf? Postel?) could probably have patented route discoverability on the internet (that which is now implemented through BGP) - pre-planned routing was the obvious approach (cf NCP).

WIMP interfaces (though Xerox didn't).

Office 15 steals OVERLARGE font, design vision from Windows PHO

Richard Gadsden 1

They could fix some of the features they've already got

Like the ListTemplates bug that makes complex multi-level numbering more of a nightmare than it really needs to be.

Journos 'risk charges' for covering Parliamentary debates

Richard Gadsden 1

Not quite

Verbatim reports are permitted, the question is whether other reporting is.

A newspaper could run a verbatim report and would have the same protection as Hansard, but if they want to address the question in their own language, paraphrase, edit or in general write their own story, then they may not be protected.

The absolute privilege of parliamentary proceedings is established by the Bill of Rights (1689), and it extends to verbatim reports. Because Hansard consists solely of verbatim reports, it has absolute privilege entire.

Whether a report of parliamentary proceedings has qualified privilege if it's not verbatim (qualified, because it's only privileged if it's a fair and accurate report) is unclear - court reports have exactly that qualified privilege, and it would make sense for parliamentary reports to do so.

Because that privilege exists in common law (ie not defined by statute) and because the question has never been tested in court, no-one can know for certain whether parliamentary reports have QP - it would be expensive to find out.

Digital Music: a collective failure of imagination

Richard Gadsden 1

Re: Sheep

"Unless artists are motivated to make good music, there won't be any."

You're missing a word: "more".

There is already more music than any one could possibly ever listen to.

Ten... fantasy gadgets you wish you owned

Richard Gadsden 1

Bugger that

I'd like to be a GSV.

WTF is... IPv6?

Richard Gadsden 1

Get VM to give you a modem

Seriously. Get VM to give you a cable modem not a router, (a DOCSIS 3 modem to be precise) and then go and get your own router. There are a few routers with ethernet interfaces on the internet side that do IPv6. Of course, Virgin don't do IPv6 themselves, which makes this something of a theoretical exercise.

Richard Gadsden 1


iOS does IPv6 on the WiFi stack, but not on the WWAN stack.

Android is Linux at that level, so yes it does IPv6.

LTE has IPv6 baked in so deeply that all LTE mobiles are going to need IPv6 support.

Richard Gadsden 1


Privacy extensions are enabled by default in Windows 7.

I know people moan about this, but I'd prefer that as the default.

Richard Gadsden 1

Yours might not

...but mine do.

Draytek Vigor 2130n router (nice router, actually) and AAISP. You need to be on FTTC to get the Draytek to work, or you need a separate DSL modem.

There's no place like ::1

Powerline networking pops up in Parliament

Richard Gadsden 1

How you vote determines who the candidates are

Not that AV will change anything much, but changing the rules of who wins will decide what sort of people stand - if you want better candidates to vote for, then you need a system where better candidates win and incompetent lying buffoons lose. At the moment, liars win elections, which is why candidates lie.

Of course AV is a quantum leap. That is, it's the smallest possible change to the system.

IP registry goes to Defcon 1 as IPv4 doomsday nears

Richard Gadsden 1

SNI Support more widespread than you thought

Chrome 6+ / XP supports SNI, as does Opera 8 + / XP and Firefox 2+ /XP.

Only Safari and IE don't support SNI on XP (because the SChannel library on Windows XP doesn't support it).

SpaceX unveils new Falcon Heavy rocket - WORLD'S BIGGEST

Richard Gadsden 1

Space elevator on the moon?

So, precisely how are you proposing to put something into selenostationary orbit in the first place?

I do know of one object that is in such an orbit, but it's a bit impractical as the anchor of a space elevator: Earth.

Or are you planning to go and dump some angular momentum into the moon to make an elevator possible? That would be impressive amounts of energy to burn. We won't be playing pinball with moon-sized objects for a while yet.

Now Mars, sure, you can build an elevator on Mars. In fact, it's possibly the best object in the entire solar system: big mountain to put your anchor on, suitable asteroids already in orbit, reasonable rotational period to put areosynchronous orbit at a sensible height.

Your only real problem is not getting hit by Phobos.

Richard Gadsden 1

And what's wrong with cock-waving?

Really, we're going into space to prove that we can, which is the purest of cock-waving, of course.

But so what? Lots of us think it's cool to do and enjoy it. Even if it's just entertainment, then it's got value in that. Of course, the entertainment value is a non-excludable good, which is why you can't fund it by selling tickets - but so what, if NASA could sell tickets, they'd find plenty of buyers.

What will we do with 600MHz?

Richard Gadsden 1

Channel M

There is a local station (originally RSL) in Manchester, called Channel M. It's on Freeview (channel 200) if you're inside the area.

It covers a big geographical area compared to community radio, has the support of a proper media group (GMG), and a university (Salford) producing programming for free.

And it's still terrible.

That's a best-case scenario for comunity TV.

Wanted: Nude female web coders

Richard Gadsden 1


I can confirm that the page does not render correctly in Netscape Communicator 4.79.

However, you can at least read the content, which is more than can be said for most websites in that ancient abomination.

O2 tariff rejig bundles tethering with data

Richard Gadsden 1

Separating data from voice

Separating data from voice is going to be really useful for heavy data users who get pulled onto a high tariff and don't really use all the data - you can take out a 50 min tariff and put 1GB on it for £20pcm/£30pcm (depending whether you want a phone or not)

Ten... on-ear headphones

Richard Gadsden 1

Any chance of a review of clip-ons?

I can't wear in-ear headphones (not just the in-ear-canal ones, but the basic in-ear ones) but I'd rather not wear something with a headband either.

My current headphones - Sony MDR-Q66 - are about to give up the ghost (the cord-retraction spring gives up eventually) and a review would be nice before I just go and buy the MDR-Q68s.

Steve Jobs vindicated: Google Android is not open

Richard Gadsden 1

Cathedrals are back

Someone tell Eric Raymond! Cathedral-style development is back in fashion.

Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'

Richard Gadsden 1

We already can see the Big Bang

It's called the cosmic microwave background. It's (nearly) evenly distributed around the universe so it can't be described as an "object".

Richard Gadsden 1

You haven't read the paper, have you?

Their paths cross the brane stroboscopially, with the period of the stroboscopy dependent on the size of the compactified dimensions (Dimensions 5 and above). The problem is that we can only detect them when they decay, they're comparatively long-lived, and there are two, maybe three detectors in the LHC (and none anywhere else on the planet) that could detect their decays.

They're possibly the worst communications medium ever proposed; they'd make neutrinos look like a reliable, well-chosen carrier.

Enjoyed reading the paper; it stretched parts of my brain I haven't used in a couple of decades.

Richard Gadsden 1

On this theory

Time travel doesn't involve travellers, but just particles (which, yes, you could use for communication). Since we haven't built a detector for the particles, we can't read the messages yet that we may or may not be getting from the future.

The really neat bit would be to build this into a computer. You could solve any NP-complete problem in the length of time for one trial, as you'd just send back in time a list of the possible solutions tried and failed.

If all of NP is O[1], then non-quantum crypto is going to be dead. And quantum crypto cannot be applied to most of the crypto problems we have, like encrypting storage media.

Richard Gadsden 1

Too excited for a title

We could measure the size of the compactified dimensions by the frequency of the stroboscopic intervals in which the time-travelling singlet crosses the brane. That would give us the first experimental confirmation of the existence of those dimensions.

Unfortunately, "These discrete [4]-spatial intervals are likely too small to be discerned" (p.18).

The 64-bit question

Richard Gadsden 1

I think you should have

With PAE, a 32-bit operating system can access up to 64GB RAM.

Normal 32-bit processes can only access a 4GB address space, but each process can have it's own 4GB on a PAE computer (this is the same as with a 64-bit computer - Windows x64 gives each process it's own 4GB 32-bit VM) so if you multi-task enough, you can make use of >4GB RAM.

However, a process can use AWE in Windows to access the memory beyond the 4GB limit, as long as it's prepared to do its own memory management.

Linux and Mac OS X enable PAE on just about all computers; Windows only does if you are running Enterprise Edition Server or Datacenter Edition Server - neither Windows Client, nor Windows Standard Edition Server will support PAE beyond the 4GB limit.

Microsoft say that (a) this was a licensing requirement and (b) they found quite a few drivers that blue-screened Windows if there was more than 4GB addressable.

IPv6 intro creates spam-filtering nightmare

Richard Gadsden 1

/64 is still much bigger than IPv4.

If you're blocking hacked customer IPs, then going from blocking an IPv4 /32 (single IP) to blocking an IPv6 /64 (home network) is still squaring the problem you have.

Spamhaus' PBL, which lists domestic dynamic IP ranges that aren't supposed to host MTAs, is going to become much more important than their SBL, for example.

Obama to overhaul heinous US patent system

Richard Gadsden 1

Replicable patents

Patents should be replicable. If, in order to grant a patent, the applicant had to be able to demonstrate that an expert in the field could build the patented invention, using only the patent, and with no requirement for legal (as distinct from technical) expertise in understanding the patent, then patents would be much less of a problem.

Tainted apps worm into official Android store

Richard Gadsden 1

Isn't the point that this *is* the walled garden?

Android has a walled garden - the official app store - but the garden-keepers got it wrong and let apps in that should not have been.

You can choose to leave the walled garden on Android (and you can't on iPhone without jailbreaking) but this is inside the walls.

Euro court slaps down insurers over gender risks

Richard Gadsden 1

Where do people get the idea from that this is the court being PC?

Seriously, the European Parliament - which <b>you</b> voted for, or else you didn't vote, which means it's even more your fault - passed the directive. The European Council of Ministers, one of whom is <b>your</b> representative passed it too.

They could go back tomorrow and amend the Directive and the ECJ would have to enforce the amended version. So why haven't you gone to writetothem and written to your elected representatives already?

Five Reasons to be cheerful about Nokia-Microsoft

Richard Gadsden 1

It's freetard

Android is losing money for everyone - the proceeds of the smartphone/mobile web software market aren't going anywhere because there aren't any proceeds. At all.

At some point Google will come up with a way of monetising it, or they'll just live off the extra ad revenue, or they'll have to abandon Android because they aren't making any money either.

EU bottoms up committee slates body scanners

Richard Gadsden 1


This is the "committee for corporatism" as my University lecturer put it. It's basically just a committee of unions and employers - a bit like NEDC in Britain in the seventies.

It has a legal right to be consulted on various types of legislation that goes through the EU, but all it actually has the power to do if it doesn't like a new directive is to say that it doesn't like it. It doesn't have the power to actually vote it down.

There's another committee with approximately the same (lack of) powers - the Committee of the Regions.

Latest boffinry: Feeding TNT to sheep

Richard Gadsden 1

In the true El Reg style

"world's top expert on feeding sheep explosives". I'd love to have that on my business card.

Chrome 9 debuts with WebGL, app store, instant annoyance

Richard Gadsden 1

MSI download

Why don't you just use the MSI download from http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/chromebrowser.html then? That's a much better option for a corporate environment.

Flickr thinks again about 4,000 pix loss

Richard Gadsden 1

Only if they go through a liquidation

I've been done over that way, but only when it went through Chapter 7 on the way.

Almost any subscription service is technically insolvent, though - they have huge liabilities (obligation to provide future service to paid-up subscribers) and nothing like enough assets to cover them - they will pay the future bills from the subscriptions that come in in the future.

Tell a magazine that they will get no new subscribers or renewals and ask if they can produce the next year's issues until all the subscriptions run out: if they can't they are insolvent.

If they do go through Chapter 7 (bankruptcy) then someone can buy all of the assets and none of the liabilities, cancelling all the future subscriptions.

Anyone remember S&T in 1982?

El Reg takes a spin round Team Lotus's F1 factory

Richard Gadsden 1


Why on earth are they using Dell and not IBM? I mean, then they could use the black-and-yellow Lotus - maybe even try to get one of their cars with the number 123.

End of the line for ID cards

Richard Gadsden 1

How much is a copy of DBAN?

I assume they're paying to make sure that all the storage media are wiped, but DBAN is free, so they're overpaying. By a lot.

FAA to pilots: Expect 'unreliable or unavailable' GPS signals

Richard Gadsden 1

Who promised you a free trade area?

Really? Someone promised that to you?

I mean "ever closer union" is in the Treaty of Rome, so whoever it was was wrong.

But "we" weren't promised "nothing more than a free trade area" but a federal state, and they can damned well get on with delivering one. Get the bloody national governments out of EU decision-making, that's what I say!

Facebook suspends personal data-sharing feature

Richard Gadsden 1

If they actually cared about privacy

It's an easy UI change - when the app requests it, the authorisation screen shows the permissions that the app wants and has "Give them my home address" and "Give them my mobile number" unchecked, so the user has to tick the box to hand over that information.

That way, the default "click through to get it working" workflow would not hand over your details to the application; but would still get the app running.

Can we have a Mark Zuckerberg with devil horns please?

Raised res iPad 2 to sport four-core chip?

Richard Gadsden 1

Why not 1920x1080?

ie 1080p resolution, or if they insist on a 4:3 screen, 1920 x 1440 (which would allow for a full-size 1080p video and still some room for on-screen controls).

2048 x 1536 will result in up-scaling artifacts when playing HD video. On a media-consumption device, I'd have thought that 1080p video would be the main selling-point of improving the resolution.

US air force has new scramjet hypersonic plane plans

Richard Gadsden 1


Isn't there footage somewhere of a 707 being barrel rolled. Now that's impressive.

Richard Gadsden 1
Thumb Up


Read Clark on pentaborane. They called it "Green Dragon" because, well the flames were green and it ate people.

There is a superb article at http://www.scribd.com/doc/15062569/Pentaborane-Taming-the-Dragonpdf about getting rid of the stuff - they stored it for decades because they couldn't come up with a safe way of disposing of it without an explosion.

Sony sues PlayStation 3 'hackers'

Richard Gadsden 1

Wouldn't that turn your existing PS3 discs into expensive coasters?

Yes, but I suppose Sony could offer to replace original discs, presumably physically validating the discs. Wouldn't be that expensive.

China's 'stealth fighter' flies – brown trouser time, or not?

Richard Gadsden 1

India? Russia?

China has more borders than their Eastern one.

To the South and Southwest lies India, a country they've already had one shooting war with, and the host for the Dalai Lama - obviously being supported to try to subvert Chinese control over Tibet.

To the North and Northwest is Russia, another country they've already had a shooting war with.

Improving their military capabilities vis-a-vis these is a far more attainable goal than butting heads with the USA.

Also, China's military budget might be small, but the Renminbi is artificially held low, so the money is worth more than the nominal value - and the low wages and prices in China means that the same money goes a lot further; you get a lot more soldiers and airmen to the yuan than you do to the dollar - which means you have more left after salaries to pay for R&D.

Car immobilisers easily circumvented by crafty carjackers

Richard Gadsden 1

Proprietary crypto again?!?!?!

"Texas Instruments claimed its proprietary cryptographic systems might be stronger than AES."

Do I have to explain the utter and complete FAIL in that sentence?

Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

Richard Gadsden 1

Don't forget BT FON

Even if your network is properly secured, if you have a BT FON network, then other people can download over your internet connection through the unsecured BT FON half.

Gov decides not to have scientific advice on drugs any more

Richard Gadsden 1

Evan Harris not an MP any more

Don't give me hope like that!

Evan Harris is a former Lib Dem MP, not a current one, sadly.

One of the best science advocates in the Commons was replaced by a fundamentalist nutjob in May, glory be to the Great British Public.

97% of INTERNET NOW FULL UP, warn IPv4 shepherd boys

Richard Gadsden 1

Sure there's some time left. So plan now.

When IANA is depleted - and I'd guess at February too, the RIRs will (by definition) all have at least one full /8 and a fractional /8. That will last several months for even the busiest (like APNIC, ARIN and RIPE) and AfriNIC and LANIC should last a bit longer than the other three.

Even when the RIRs are out, the LIRs (ie ISPs) will have blocks still to allocate to customers, so you're not likely to phone up an ISP and be told "sorry, we're full" until the back-end of 2012.

Still, what that does is it gives you two years from now to have your IPv6 transition planned, costed, and ready to implement.

There will be people who can only access the internet via IPv6 or 6to4 proxies by 2013 or 2014 at the latest. If you're an AS then you should be aiming for IPv6 by then - 6to4 proxies are going to be a pig.

[Oh, how I wish that the IPv4 space had been allocated a block in IPv6 and routers were required to down-convert packets; the transition would be so much easier]