* Posts by beboyle

25 posts • joined 6 Oct 2009

Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles


Tax free?

"Amazon seem very happy to profit (tax free)..." How so?

Boffins throw Amazon Alexa on the rack to extract hidden clues


Re: Sales of these are going to crash at some point

And why would they bother doing that when they could much more easily hack your phone?

Pre-order your early-bird pre-sale product today! (Oh did we mention the shipping date has slipped AGAIN?)


In my day they called it Vaporware

Vaporware was a popular term in the first decades of personal computing, applied to everything from products that arrived months (or years) after promise, to things that never existed at all.

US Air Force resumes F-35A flights despite not knowing why pilot oxygen systems failed


No failure was identified

"even as it admits that it still doesn’t know what caused the life support systems to malfunction."

A more correct statement would probably be "because it doesn't believe the life support systems malfunctioned.", although they'd never come out and say that.

As you say in the article there is no evidence of any malfunction other than the pilot's report of symptoms. While that can't be ignored, there are other possible causes of those symptoms and part of the action the USAF is taking is additional training directed at avoiding those other causes.

Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator


You omitted to say how many people are already standing in line for this phone, or where we can go to join them.

Obama awards honours to Grace Hopper, Margaret Hamilton for computing contributions


Admiral Hopper used to be well-known for her "nanosecond" "microsecond" and "millisecond" wires that she used when giving talks to non-technical (mostly) audiences. The nanosecond was actually just under 12" long, the microsecond a spool of wire almost 1,000 feet long, and the millisecond was "too big to bring".

Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door


Re: Sounds like a scene from a film I watched recently...

"Can't fault him too much for cashing out one last time."

Actually in several interviews he has said he didn't want to do the film at all but was offered such a large bucket of cash that he decided he couldn't refuse. But he did insist that he actually die this time as he had wanted to do in Return of the Jedi, as he has also said many times.

What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?


I once worked for a director who used a spreadsheet as a word processor. Literally, just typed memos or whatever in at one line per cell. And complained about how much work it was to manually re-word wrap everything if she had to make a change. She thought we should write a macro or something to do that for her.

And no, we never did get her to use Word, although she did eventually graduate to writing everything in her email client.

The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016


I looked for Alistair Dabs throughout the holidays without finding him. I was hoping to hear he'd just had some time off. I truly hope you haven't let him go. He is the essence of what I come here for.

There's a reason I've been reading The Register first every day. If you become another ComputerWorld I'll just read ComputerWorld, thanks.

The Register to boldly go where no Vulture has gone before: The Weekend


Re: Seriously, though, they are doing ...

"many other competent sources"

Oh? Name two!

El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!


Good start, but..

Exactly the kind of content I'm looking for, although I found the descriptions a bit verbose. Can we tighten up the text a bit?

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: Bezos dives into tech-support MONEY PIT


Re: It is a locked-down, readercentric tablet!

Clearly you've never actually seen one, then. It's not locked down in any way, and under the custom Amazon launcher is a pretty plain-vanilla edition of Android.

Apple probed by EC antitrust arm over ebooks market


Not the Kindle

No, but Apple developed the Agency model which now controls prices from the big-6 publishers for eBooks in the U.S. and apparently Europe. Until Apple got involved eBook prices were set by Amazon, just like any other retail product. Now most eBook prices are set by the publishers.

Voyager 2 finally agrees to a long hard thrust



From that distance the view behind will look a lot like the view ahead. The Sun is just another, somewhat bright, star, and the planets are dim dots.

Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the hard disk


Why drums?

Because there were tough technical problems that had to be solved to build disk drives. Consider - drum storage had a single rotating cylinder with constant circumference, and fixed read/write heads aligned over every track. All it had to do was spin. To make a disk work you had to solve the problem of moving the read/write heads to the proper location, aligning with the track you needed on the fly, and then reading the data from media moving at at varying rates depending on the distance from the center of the platter. Much, much more complex.

Gravity wave detector gets more sensitive


Denying quantum mechaicx

@Paul Smith: Sorry, Paul, but you're playing the same tune as many previous deniers of quantum physics - trying to frame uncertainty as a practical issue "if you measure it, you change it", rather than as the fundamental law of nature that it is.

How to... re-energise your Android smartphone's OS


Works great on original Droit

I've been running C7 on my original Droid for about three months now. Works great an definitely better battery. I also loaded a custom kernel which give both better speed when I'm actively using the phone, and lower battery draw when it's idle by adjusting the CPU clock.

LightSquared blasts GPS naysayers in FCC letter


Military is not affected

The military GPS uses entirely different bands, and apparently they are far enough away to avoid problems with LightSquared.

Alice: The Madness Returns


Why do I like this game?

But I like CoD AND Neil Gaiman! Not to mention a life-long fan of Charles Dodgson. I'm so conflicted...

Deep-space travel bad for astronauts' tickers, say boffins


Mars is just the most recent frontier

Not that much different from any explorer in the 17th and 18th centuries.

ROBOT COP scatters LIVE GRENADES in San Francisco STREET


Lewis Page was an armed forces EOD operator...

Which explains how he's able to brave this lot every day. But it also seems to me he'd be the most qualified to handle the FoTW. Maybe overqualified?

Amazon: 'iPad LCD tablets no threat to Kindle'


DRM Optional

Kindle does have DRM, and paid-for books from Amazon require it, but it also supports unencrypted MOBI format books. There are many sources for thousands of free (public domain) books that are formatted for the Kindle.

The downside is that it is not compatible with other DRM systems, so books using Adobe DRM (most public library e-books) are not compatible, nor are paid books from other vendors.

The Register comment guidelines 2010


That's not what "net neutrality" means

Minor correction on "net neutrality" - nothing proposed would have the effect you suggest of requiring anybody to accept any content. It only prohibits net traffic carriers from giving preference to one type (or source) of traffic over another. And even if it did, it's hard to see how it would be enforced on a U.K. based publisher

Mars rover faces icy death


Recovery - no; monument - yes

I'd prefer to see it preserved in place. I'd be happy to visit it there.

US court says software is owned, not licensed


Missing the point?

I'm not sure it's been clearly grasped by all here that this ruling did not address the question of whether software can be licensed rather than sold, or whether EULAs are valid. In fact, the court started with the presumption that both of these are true, and ruled only on the specific wording of the Autodesk license, which it found was not sufficiently clear to make the transition a license rather than sale. This ruling is not going to have any impact whatsoever on EULAs or software licensing in general.


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