* Posts by Trevor 10

32 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jul 2009

Skype shelves call charges

Trevor 10

I was just about to say that

Skype provide cheap / free calls, thats why people put up with the hassle of having to use skype.

But if the costs are similar to a voice call, why bother, especially as the 4G networks start to appear and suddenly everything is considered to be data packets which are routed by which ever operator can handle it at the time.

BT signs first smart meter deal

Trevor 10

BT Network

Since they are having to sign a deal with BT to connect the smart meters up to the BT Redcare system, it doesn't sound like they will use your network at all.

These aren't wifi enabled meters which latch onto your hotspot and report back via your broadband connection, they use their own communication lines.

New laser raygun tech: Our sharks kick the tyres

Trevor 10
Black Helicopters

$20 Says

$20 says the wax-type material is actually just wax but with a really high price tag.

Supercomputer oil slick sims predict greasy Atlantic

Trevor 10

weather model

The model used to generate the simulation is a weather model. It's designed to evaluate the movement of water around the globe because salinity and temperature have an effect on weather. I bet the system doesn't have a model of any liquid which is not water.

Thats not to say that they couldn't have programmed more viscous liquids into the model but they would have had no expieremental data to backup the model to test the behaviour of the newly programmed liquid type.

Also, as they said, the oil viscosity changes as it is diluted and attacked biologically so to get a more accurate model isn't really a case of just adding a more viscous liquid model, you would need to estimate the way oil changes in salt water, at different temperatures and over time.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see a whole lot of samples being taken to provide that information for the model of the next oil spill.

Artificial 'black hole' generator fashioned out of circuit boards

Trevor 10


except black paint would absorb the light across it's entire surface which means the heat at any given point isn't going to be that much higher than ambient temperature.

This device would take all the light hitting the surface, and delivery to a small point in the center where it is converted to heat. It's the same amount energy as the black paint object, but the temperature gradient with the ambient temperature would be higher and so useful for doing work , such as with a Stirling Engine.

ISPs told to keep filesharer naughty list

Trevor 10
Thumb Up

At last, a work from home business that actually pays

Upload a bunch of large files with various linux distributions in them named after current high profile films, albums and software to as many public places as possible.

Wait for the infinging letters, appeal, collect the rewards.

Captain Cyborg sidekick implants virus-infected chip

Trevor 10

people get reearch money for this?

No, people get book deals and paid to appear on TV for this.

Foreign IT pros in USA get paid more than Americans - study

Trevor 10

It begs the question

Why do companies even want to pay a premium for foreign workers if an equivalent American worker can be found for less money?

Surely the free market would cause the pay to equalise, if not having the H1-B applicant paid slightly less because of increased costs associated with sponsership of the H1-B applicant.

Who knows, maybe the premium has something to do with the the fact that the H1-B applicant can't afford to lose his job because it would mean deportation?

Either the study is wrong and they aren't comparing like for like skills, or it's proof that American companies favour H1-B applicants over American employees so much that they are willing to pay more for their employment, for whatever reason, which is just another way of saying it depresses the wages for American employees.

Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

Trevor 10
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I bet it would manage to get up about 33ft

Lucky guess or did you do some research?

The limiting factor in terms of how high you can raise the water from the upper reservior before the drop down the long lenght of tube is the vapor pressure for the liquid.

The higher the siphon goes, the lower the pressure of the liquid in the tube at it's highest point, if the pressure gets low enough, bubbles form in the water and the siphoning effect is lost.

For water, the vapor pressure point when at normal atmospheric air pressure is about 10meters/33ft.

US prosecution of McKinnon 'spiteful', says ex-top cop

Trevor 10

Wartime Lend-Lease agreement

The war time lend-lease agreement was finally paid off in 2006, it was originally due to be paid off in 2000 but we deferred payment a few times.


For the last 4 years, we have owed the yanks nothing, at least not from the original loan, I wouldn't be surprised to find we owe a shed load of cash for things like Trident etc.

Ridley Scott talks up 'nasty' Alien prequel

Trevor 10

Cheap Animatronic

Ironically, it was probably the state of Animatronics at the time of the first film and the need to never show the whole alien which help establish the sense of tension found in the film.

Reverse-engineering artist busts face detection tech

Trevor 10

Quick Scan Algorithm

"make it hard for the FR software to know where those marker points that it looks for begin and end."

I don't think thats what he is saying. Or at least thats not what The Reg's article is saying.

They were saying that the system is divided up, there is a quick algorithm which scans a complete scene and says these pixels here look generally like a face or a car or something, those face shaped pixels are then passed to proper Face Recognition Software (i.e. recognise individual faces compared to a reference image).

The article is saying if your face doesn't look enough like a face to be picked up by the fast algorithm then it's never even passed to the FR algorithm.

So this might work to hide in a crowd where computers are deciding what to scan, but in an enviroment where the image is passed directly to the FR algorithm in higher resolution/low rate of scan environments such as airport security gates where the video is known be a human face I'm not so sure it would work, at least without error codes being flashed up on the operators terminal giving the operator a reason to look at you more closely.

Hawking: Aliens are out there, likely to be Bad News

Trevor 10

Same birthdays

The chances of having the same birthday are exceedingly small because it would assume they are from a planet with the same number of days in a year as we do :)

Seagate preloads FreeAgent Go with 20 Paramount movies

Trevor 10

$9.99 per drive or $9.99 per movie?

"Seagate is sexing up its FreeAgent Go external drives with 20 pre-loaded Paramount Pictures movies costing $9.99 to unlock."


"Imagine a terabyte external drive loaded with, say, 100 movies, each costing $9.99 to view."

Option 1 - maybe - exspecially if the disk is filled with old dregs of movies the movie distributors couldn't sell anyway

Option 2 - No chance.

Giant solar-powered aircraft takes to the skies

Trevor 10


immediately after pushing the submit button for my previous post I realized, I was out by a factor of 24.

no prizes for guessing what I forgot to do in my calculations

Trevor 10


Assuming the 44mph figure was a ground speed, and assuming that they stuck to the equator which is 24000 miles (of course it wont be with the equator, they will want to be over land as much as possible so flight distance would be longer)

I make that a little short of an 18 month journey, but the article seems to be saying the journey will be less than a month (5 day legs x 5 legs).

Are they traversing the global just a little south of the north pole and hence covering 360 degrees but only actually flying 500 miles?

BT hijacks business browsers

Trevor 10


Would that work in this situation?

surely the VPN traffic (assuming it's running on Port 80 or 443) would just get redirected as well and break the connection - true it would stop BT spying on what you are doing, but it wouldn't help with the connectivity issues as shown in the article by the Backup systems failing.

Ex-worker blamed for car immobilisation hack

Trevor 10

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

This isn't a computer controlled car as such.

It is a third party device which is installed by the dealer, not the manufacturer, behind the dash board, and is simply wired into the ignition and horn circuits.

Of course, it does mean you have a car which someone else can override for as long as the car survives, even after you have paid off the finance on it.

BBC protects 'unique' 1Xtra listeners from radio cull

Trevor 10

or doing media courses at college.

Today's media studies students are tomorrows low paid but want to be seen as successful consumers of products who can be advertised to.

The BBC may not be allowed to advertise to them, but it doesn't prevent them from trying to reduce the income from commercial operators by stealing their most valuable audiences.

BT reveals faster broadband pricing

Trevor 10

Virgin XL costs more than £20

*Plus a Virgin Phone line for £11 a month

But wouldn't you need BT line rental has well as the Infinity package? which would adds £11.19 to the total cost of getting Infinity.

Dell crowned Bad Santa computer maker by angry customers

Trevor 10

League Tables

"If you buy a system solely on the basis of price, don't be surprised when the vendor cuts corners to get you a lower price."

The trouble is that people buying laptops only really have price and components by which to compare the laptops - especially if they aren't tech savvy. You can't vote with your ££££s on an issue which you have no information.

What is needed is some basic data from each manufacture regarding things like percentage of orders met on time, customer satisfaction and the percentage of warranty claims honored. Not going to happen of course, the only people who have that information is the manufacturers who can only look bad.

Top cop's 'stop stopping snappers' memo: Too little too late?

Trevor 10

Not everyone hates them

"If you think everyone hates the police then you are with the wrong people."

I don't think it's hatred of the police, that is too strong of a term certainly.

But at the same time, I don't know anyone who really thinks they are doing a good job either at the day to day community policing side of things. Where are the patrols around my community? the only place I even see a PCSO is walking to and from the station (within about 500 meters), I've never seen a real copper once - presumably the PCSOs are walking around town but I never ever see them - hardly high profile policing.

While at the same time, they seem to have an endless budget for targetting speeding (which sometimes I agree with but sometimes it just feels like an easy target), kettling of legitimate lawful protests (which I've always felt the goal of which is to deter future protest) and running DNA databases which it seems like they are just itching to get your details onto.

I know that some of that is a little unfair, the community policing doesn't run the traffic cameras or do the kettling or the DNA database, but the service as a whole, at a national level seems to have it's budgets the wrong way round.

It's at the point where unless it's a serious crime (actual threat of harm to someone) then I wouldn't bother reporting anything to the police because I know from past experience that it's a waste of my time.

Ironically, the sort of support that gets withdrawn by the public is exactly the support needed to help improve the service (if the police were interested in providing that service).

It's self-harming cycle - the police get less support so don't do the sort of things the community really care about less because of a lack of information from the community. Who see the police aren't doing the things they care about so stop talking to the police.

As mentioned further up in the comments, by the time this cycle really gets noticed, it's too late, you already have a generation who think at best the police are ineffective and at worse out to get you (See Traffic Speeds and DNA DB)

Trevor 10

the loftiest of intellects

"It's not exactly rocket surgery, unless Clarkson is about the loftiest intellectual level that you can handle."

He is quite tall.

NASA to irradiate monkeys for science

Trevor 10


"it's reintroducing the neglected trade of doing strange and unusual things to moneys for science."

US Dollars or some of that funny foreign stuff?

Web firms seek Royal Mail rivals with GSOH for delivery fling

Trevor 10

@ Mister Cheese

Actually the split between the Post Office and Royal Mail is one that I heartily agree with.

The post office is more than just a place to buy stamps, it one of the centers of community life providing access to a wide range of comsumer/citizen services and I would fight tooth and nail (well, sign a petition or something) to keep a local Post Office open.

The Royal Mail on the other hand are simply a transport and logistics service which it would seem are out competed on pretty much everything except price and even there it's a close run thing. In fact the best I can say for Royal Mail is they keep the price of the other transport and logistics companies low in order to compete and without RM I suspect sending a parcel with any of the remaining companies will become much pricer.

MP urges Royal Mail rethink on postcode site takedown

Trevor 10


An MP that actually seems to understand the arguements for something relating to the internet.

Wales adopts mobile average speed cameras

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@ anhilliator

"Your speedo only has to be accurate +/-10%."

Actually, you speedo has to be accurate to +10%/-0%

i.e. it has to over read your speed, if it says 60mph, your actual speed will be in the range of 54-60mph.

I've noticed that my car, my motorbike and my mums car are all out by almost exactly 9% compared to gps speed readings at a constant pace - almost like it's designed :-)

Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie

Trevor 10


I remember a case involving Daniel Cadden who was stopped for cycling to the right of the white lane marking the edge of the road and told to cycle to the left of the white lane, Daniel pointed out that riding to the left of the white line was actually against the highway code and what he was being asked to do was illegal.

He then made the mistake of writing the office sargent asking that the officer be trained in the highway code - understandable desire on his part although prehaps asking for trouble. He was then prosecuted for some offense or other and it turned out that you can't make a complaint against an officer (or least the chance of it being up held is dramatically reduced) if you have been convicted of the crime you are complaining about because it is assumed it is a case of the criminal trying to get revenge on the officer.

This case has all the same hall marks to me, good chance the guy might have complained, lets make sure if he does his name is already mud.

If you plan on complaining, make sure the coppers don't know about it until well after the event.

Pull the plug on Pandas, declares BBC man

Trevor 10

@sorry that handle is already taken

surely you just need a lever long enough.

Good Day Sunshine as Beatles hits iTunes? Er, nope

Trevor 10

Isn't the UK Copyright on recordings 50 years?

in which case the earliest recordings are already out of copyright and there are only another 5-6 years before all the recordings are out of copyright.

Not sure how that works with regard to the writers copywrite which lasts 70 years - does the 70 years copywrite for the writer supercede the 50 copywrite on the recording or does the 70 year copywrite simply prevent others making their own performances of the song without permission but people can distribute the original recordings?

CV lies multiply in recession, says survey

Trevor 10

Senior Jobs

"there have been cases where people have been dismissed, even from extremely senior jobs, for lying on CVs years earlier."

I would hope that it was a case of "people have been dismissed, especially from extremely senior jobs" since the more senior the position the more responsibility the staff member is expected to carry and that would seem to go directly against the concept of lying to your employer.

Of course I'm being nieve to think thats how the world really works and realise those at the bottom of the pile are probably far more likely to be dismissed for minor CV discrepancies while those at the top would have to be caught in a serious outright lie before carrying any of that responsibility.

Small biz warns on contractor law

Trevor 10

@Chris W

I think you'll find he's not talking about contract work in IT, he's talking about contracting out admin and support roles in a business, like receptionists and cleaners.

And that is relavent because although it will have an impact on IT based temporary works, the law is aimed sqaurely the lower positions in a company.

Bear in mind that minimum wage in this country is currently £5.80 per hour, and because these staff are considered tempory, don't get holiday or sick pay let alone contributary pensions.

prehaps you should take a look out of the ivory tower at the people supporting the businesses you work for once in a while.