* Posts by Richie 1

97 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jul 2009


What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Richie 1

Re: FUD Factory

Oh, yeah, "FUDge Factory" would work well with Google's "Chocolate Factory".

Richie 1

Big Sky Blue

The Wi(n)dow Makers

The Glass blowers

Azure Screens of Death

The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

Richie 1

Prophets of doom

> actually there are none – that like or encourage prophets of doom.

Except perhaps religious organizations.

Disney aims for Netflix. If the deal was made, it would shoot itself in the foot

Richie 1

I prefer the "Netflix stays independent, buys Spotify" argument



Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Richie 1

Chris O'Dowd, with Richard Ayoade as Q, and Katherine Parkinson as M.


Drama in orbit: Brazen UFO attacks Earth's Sentinel-1A satellite

Richie 1

Is Sandra Bullock OK?

The documentary she made about space junk was terrifying.

Uber lost $7m a DAY in the first half of this year

Richie 1

How much of the $7M/day was in China?

I gather that that was their biggest source of cash burn, as they tried to compete with Didi Chuxing. Since they've given up on that idea, their burn rate ought to be lower now.

Hacked hookup site Ashley Madison's security was laughable

Richie 1

How is the company still in existence?

After the whole business model was outed as a scam in a high-profile way, who in their right mind would sign up for an account with them? Or am I underestimating the number of suckers in the world?

Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Richie 1

How does it work?

How do they intend to circumvent the Ad-Blocker software?

Do the ads come from the facebook.com domain, or somewhere else? If the latter, then they ought to be blocked by default using FireFox RequestPolicy addon (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/requestpolicy/) or similar.

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Richie 1

Why does the BBC still exist as a license-funded organisation?

There is plenty of evidence from around the world (including the UK) that privately owned TV companies are a viable thing, so why is a publically owned-broadcaster necessary anymore?

The truth about Silent Circle's super-secure, hyper-privacy phones: No one's buying them

Richie 1

This is a shame

For people wanting a phone from a company that cares about security, the choices over the last few years have been Silent Circle, Jolla, maybe Blackberry. & all three of those are on the ropes financially.

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Richie 1

Both e-cigs & nicotine gum illegal in GCC countries

e-cigs have been illegal here in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Saudi, Qatar,Kuwait, UAE) cor a few years, and nicotine gum was made illegal earlier this year.

Meanwhile a pack of cigarettes is ~£1.20 to £1.80.

The legislative process is a bit murkier here, so I don't know whose idea that was. I presume the tobacco lobby gave some wasta to the appropriate health ministers.

Half the staff go gardening at the now not-so-jolly Jolla

Richie 1

> the changes in the OS basically undid all the innovative functions that it was launched with

Hard to believe you're complaining: I find Sailfish 2 much nicer to use. It's much clearer about where you can swipe and when you have a menu available.

I'm really pleased with how the OS is shaping up, and I hope they get to license it on another phone soon.

US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Richie 1

Re: Stones and Glass Houses

> Question - do they have more Landcruisers than Humvees?

Toyota Land Cruisers are *the* car of choice for locals here in Qatar, and one of the most common cars you'll see on the road. Hiluxes are also pretty popular for construction workers. (Company owned of course; the workers can't afford cars.) This is true of the rest of the gulf too, the bits that I've been too anyway. Can't speak for Iraq, since I've not visited for obvious reasons.

In fact, as a rule, Arabs love anything Japanese, presumably because it's considered technologically advanced, but doesn't have the colonial baggage of things that come from Europe*, or the political baggage of things that come from the US.

*German stuff is the exception; that's also considered halal.

Surface Book: Microsoft to turn unsuccessful tab into unsuccessful laptop

Richie 1

for those of you who don't do imperial units

3.48lb = 376mJub

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Richie 1

Isn't it great to get away from it all. Now, let's try the city simulator.

Is Toshiba mulling asset sales? HDD, TV businesses in the frame

Richie 1

What will be left of Toshiba?

If they exit TVs, PCs and HDDs, then that's pretty much all their consumer facing business gone. That more or less leaves it as a manufacturer of air conditioning units and gear for factories.

Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

Richie 1


> switching a TV on and there is instant sound followed a few seconds later by a picture

See also telephones that work as soon as you plug them in rather than taking two minutes to boot up.

Old, forgotten, lonely? SQL Server 2016 will sling you into Azure

Richie 1

> Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics...

Oracle has its own R distribution for use with the Oracle Big Data Appliance, so hopefully Microsoft want to rip of this idea and have an R-inside-SQL-server feature. Access to databases from R is pretty good these days (particularly using the dplyr package), but you still have to pass the data out of the database to R, which doesn't make sense for big datasets.

Google versus the EU: Sigh. You can't exploit a contestable monopoly

Richie 1

There is an argument that Google's search business is non-contestable

The article rightly points out that competitors don't provide results that are of the same quality as Google's, and that if they did, consumers would move to the alternate service. This is the argument for it being a contestable monopoly.

However, the quality of search is to a large part determined by the quantity of data available to the service, which is determined by the number of existing users. (The algorithms for generating search results are mostly documented in journal papers and implemented in open source software, so they are available to all players; there is some skill involved in creating the search engine from these, but quantity of data is a huge factor.)

The fact that the size of the existing userbase determines the quality of the product leads towards a search market with a single dominant player. So there is an argument that Google should be regulated as a monopoly (though probably not to the extent that a natural monopoly is).

You can see a similar thing with eBay and auctions: more buyers and sellers makes selling and buying respectively more attractive on that platform, and the market again tends towards a dominance by a single player.

Boffins twist light to carry 2.05 bits in one photon

Richie 1

For those of you wondering, 2.05 = 7 ^ exp(-1)

where 7 comes from the "seven symbols [encoded] onto a combination of the orbital angular momentum (“twisted” light) and their angular position".

3 spectastic Lumias for price of 1 rival flagship: Microsoft sells biz on cheapie experience

Richie 1

Re: Excellent pricing

> Microsoft continuing to call their phone OS "Windows" is probably 90% of the problem

What's a word for a small window? Gets thesaurus out...


Much better. That'll be $5M please Microsoft.

Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

Richie 1

> Specifically, that's going to happen at exactly 03:14:07 GMT on January 19, 2038.

Being picky, doesn't the exact fail time depend upon how many leap seconds get added between now and 2038? Since leap seconds are unpredictable, we can't know the exact fail time until we get much closer to the fail date.

You have a 'simple question'? Well, the answer is NO

Richie 1

Re: A helping hand

> I'm sure I print more for other people than I do for myself.

Hi VinceH,

I notice that you have a printer. If I email you some documents could you print them for me and post them back. Oh and by the way I live in the middle east. Thanks.

GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Richie 1

Ceci n'est pas une Higgs

as Magritte would say.

Want a Tizen phone to build apps for? Now's your chance – provided you don't need it to work

Richie 1

So of the 5 open source phone OSes

Sailfish and Firefox OS have been shipped in phones. WebOS is extinct. Tizen is now vapourware. Ubuntu is not quite vapourware but evaporating a little.

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Richie 1

Hopefully they'll introduce tabbed Windows Explorer windows too

As seen in most Linux window managers for years.

Samsung Z mobe a NO-SHOW at Moscow Tizen Developer Summit

Richie 1

Re: Jollas day in the sun.

> I would love to see it blossom but there are so many bugs, niggles and ui problems,

> coupled with the complete lack of public awareness I find it hard to believe that

> sailfish will ever anything but a curiosity.

Yeah, Jolla isn't ready for your Grandma to use, and is only _just_ functional for nerds. (I say this as a Jolla user.) Remember though that iOS sucked until version 3, and Android was awful until Gingerbread. A good, stable OS takes time.

'Disruptive innovation' is nonsense? Not ALWAYS, actually

Richie 1

The Google car business model

We already have an industry devoted to renting cars to take you on just the journey you need: they're called taxis.

The Google disruption to this industry is that autonomous vehicles make for cheaper taxis, since you don't need to pay a driver.

DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Richie 1

Call me paranoid

but it seems like a good a idea to add a few strangers that you don't know as LinkedIn contacts in order to obfuscate your true network.

Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Richie 1

The phrasing of the climate change question threw me

I largely trust the climate scientists viewpoint on anthropogenic climate change, but I had to reread the climate change question a couple of times to make sure it wasn't a trick question like the "supreme being" question.

The word "mostly" put me off. When you think about climate change, you mostly think about future changes: the warming that has occurred so far isn't huge, so it's hard to tell whether _most_ of it is caused by greenhouse gases.

I eventually decided that I was overthinking things, but in a telephone poll where they want an immediate answer, I suspect that some respondents would be less confident just because they've been asked a convoluted question, not because they don't believe in anthropogenic climate change.

Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

Richie 1

Re: battery life

> who the hell wants to look like they have a hearing aid or like Agent Smith from the matrix?

Deaf FBI agents?

Jolla announces Sailfish OS 1.0, says Android love-fest soon to come

Richie 1


The most recent version of SailfishOS is, and that's been available to Jolla users for a few weeks.

Survey: Yoof too COOL for Ferraris, want state-sponsored hybrids

Richie 1

For almost all driving, the speed of the car is no longer limited by the engine. It's limited by road speed limits (enforced by speed cameras) and by the driver in front of you.

In my experience, the faster the theoretical performance of the car, the more frustrating it is to drive in real world conditions. A Ferrari stuck in rush hour traffic must be an excruciating experience.

Microsoft CEO shortlist down to EIGHT ... appropriately enough, perhaps

Richie 1

My prediction

I bet Richard Ayoade is on the list.

Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Richie 1

Re: Over excitement much?

> If my maths is correct, it would take Voyager 1 just shy of 300 YEARS to travel the distance of just

> 1 Light Year, assuming it stayed at a constant 60,000km/hour.

60000km/hour is 60000 * 1000 / 3600 = 16667m/s

The speed of light is 300000000m/s.

So it would take Voyager 1 3e8 / 16667 = 18000 years to travel one light year, or 216000 years to travel 12 light years.

And anyway there are only 22 star systems within 12 light years.


Epsilon Eridani has featured in some sci-fi as harbouring aliens but we'd need some good ultraviolet shielding to live there.


So we'll have to very likely have to look further afield.

MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Richie 1

Not all publishers demand Word

O'Reilly prefer you to write in AsciiDoc (or Markdown for short pieces). They have a very nice toolchain that tracks changes using git, and manages collaborators. Definitely the way writing should be done.

Microsoft: Surface is DEAD. Long live the Surface 2!

Richie 1

those combination car/boat vehicles

I think you mean "hovercraft".

Microsoft: That $900m Surface write-down is smarting

Richie 1

Of course it didn't sell well...

Everyone knows that you need to wait for version 3 before Microsoft make something useable. I'm sure the third gen Surface will be fine.

That Microsoft-Nokia merger you've been predicting? It's no go

Richie 1

Re: Maemo

> I think the best thing Nokia could do is resurrect their brilliant Debian-based phone OS Maemo.

Nokia are in investor in Jolla, which use Maemo's spiritual successor, Sailfish. If it does well, there is always a chance that Nokia will just completely buy Jolla.

New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers

Richie 1

The numbers are wrong

When increasing the length from 500m to 800m, the mass of the rope must increase at least linearly (in practise it increases faster than that because you need a thicker rope to hold its own weight).

So if a 500m UltraRope weighs 12800kg, then an 800m UltraRope must weigh at least 12800 * 800 / 500 = 20480kg. That makes the value 13900kg from the article way too low.

Author Iain (M) Banks falls to cancer at 59

Richie 1

He'll be sorely missed

I hope he's using his eight Feersum Endjinn style backup lives well.

United Nations: 'Overpopulated Earth? Time to EAT BUGS'

Richie 1

Re: Eat PETA

> A world where bacon is replaced by insects is not to be tolerated.

Can't be that hard to genetically engineer bacon flavour insects.

Or, more practically, a good start to the insect market might be insect protein shake for bodybuilders. They're always on the lookout for cheap protein sources, and by the time you've powdered them and added a load of chocolate flavouring, the disgust factor should be lower.

Yahoo! Axes! Yet! More! Products!

Richie 1

Re: Yahoo! Groups!

> have also had several occasions where I was able to pull information out of my email program (certainly not Outlook) while not online to get an important phone number.

Um, sync your webmail contacts with your phone so you have a local copy.

Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

Richie 1

Where you store your licen[cs]e

> 28 per cent only announced their licenses in a README file, as opposed to recommended filenames

> such as LICENSE or COPYING.

R packages allow many standard licences to be described in the DESCRIPTION file. A separate LICENSE file is only included for non-standard licences.

Are biofuels Europe's sh*ttiest idea ever?

Richie 1

Betteridge's Law says 'No'

Agreed that biofuels are rubbish, but Europe has worse ideas, like Naziism.

Google forks WebKit, promises faster, leaner Chrome engine

Richie 1

Next week's news

Opera to switch their rendering engine to Servo.


Wind farms make you sick … with worry and envy

Richie 1

Re: Proof of the of the pudding...

> If Professor Simon Chapman,had actually gone and lived next to a wind farm his conclusions would have

> more credibility.

I think you may have missed the point of data analysis.

Higgs data shows alternate reality will SWALLOW UNIVERSE

Richie 1

Isn't this the plot of Greg Egan's Schild's Ladder?


Security audit finds dev outsourced his job to China to goof off at work

Richie 1
Thumb Up

Isn't this what Tim Ferriss makes a living telling people to do?

The main message behind "The 4 hour work week" (fourhourworkweek.com) is basically, "outsource everything in your life that you can't be bothered to do yourself".