* Posts by Colin Wilson 2

162 posts • joined 26 Oct 2009

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Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Totally American

> For testing purposes, I've used the same set of names for a *long* time, and am unlikely to change:

Me too. Starting with Aaron Aardvark - all the way to Zaphod Zzyck

Apple announces lossless HD audio at no extra cost, then Amazon Music does too. The ball is now in Spotify's court

Colin Wilson 2

Snake Oil?

Almost no one can tell the difference between well encoded music at the 256kbps AAC format that Apple currently use, and 'lossless'.

So this could all be snake-oil

But it's the 'well encoded' bit that's the important thing. At the moment a lot of Apple Music is poorly ripped. If I compare the same album streamed from Apple Music to one I've ripped myself from a CD to the same AAC 256k, the difference is often night and day - especially with classical.

So hopefully in re-encoding Apple Music to a higher bitrate format, they will also take the opportunity to sort out their sometimes dreadful encoding quality.

It'll also be interesting to see what they do with their headphones. None of their existing wireless ones will play anything apart from AAC 256k. I can't see them adopting aptx. No one would be able to hear the difference, but I can't believe that Marketing would let them get away with not having a Hi-Res wireless solution...

Going underground with Scaleway's Apple M1-as-a-Service: Mac Minis descend into Paris nuclear bunker

Colin Wilson 2

Re: But... why?!?

The latest version of Apple's desktop operating system - macOS, lets you run iPhone apps if you are using it on a Mac with one of these new ARM-based M1 CPUs.

So I guess this is intended to allow iPhone app developers to test their apps work OK on a desktop Mac. - without going to the expense of buying one.The cheapest M1 Mac costs £699

Chuck Yeager, sound barrier pioneer pilot, dies at 97

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Old and bold

+1 for John Farley. Here he is doing his thing in Switzerland. An old grainy video, but that take-off towards the mountains is extraordinary.

Max Schrems is back... and he's challenging Apple's 'secret iPhone advertising tracking cookies' in Europe

Colin Wilson 2

Re: They just don't get it.

I suppose their thinking goes something like....

- You love your new toaster, so you're going to buy more of them - to give to all your friends.

or...

- You hate your new toaster - so you're going to want to replace it.

Either way you *need* some adverts!

Apple now Arm'd to the teeth: MacBook Air and Pro, Mac mini to be powered by custom M1 chips rather than Intel

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Good time to buy Apple shares

Not only did they reduce the price - they doubled the size of the SSD on the cheapest one - from a feeble 128GB to a measly 256GB

Samsung slows smartphone upgrade treadmill with promise to support three Android generations on Galaxies

Colin Wilson 2

Re: A good first start for Sammy

"a 35mm headphone jack... "

I know its probably a typo - but I'm trying to picture that!

Predictably grim Q2 for mobe sales, but iPhone SE proves pretty moreish as gateway drug for Android defectors

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Gateway drug

> not seen any SE's here in Europe

My wife got one back in May - so there’s at least one :)

Predictably it cost £419 - not $399. But that’s Brexit for you...

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Apple have got this right!

"I wish Microsoft - and other compiler vendors - would do the same.

NO. It KILLS open source! And it's anti-freedom.

FreeBSD and LINUX do it right. NO restrictions, compile it yourself. No need to download binaries unless you really want to."

That's a red herring! You can download Xcode from Apple for free, use it to compile software that you've got the source code for and run it on your computers.

And for Windows you can download 'Visual Studio Community' - which lets you do the same.

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Apple have got this right!

Sorry - late response, but just for completeness...

The developer signing certificate you get from Apple is valid for five years - not one.

On Both Windows and macOS, the certificate check is only carried out when the application is first run. So previously installed software doesn't suddenly stop working when its signing certificate expires.

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Colin Wilson 2 - Apple have got this right!

"what do you mean ImageView shows up on someone's corporate laptop ? You don't call it corporate laptop if it's not properly managed. If the company believes there's business value in using that application, it will evaluate it, package it and deploy it in a secure manner."

You're right of course and for 90% of users that works fine. But there are always exceptions. Maybe the exceptions are carefully managed by Group Policy - but they're there nevertheless.

Funnily enough it always seems that 'Security' are the worst offenders. They give themselves permission to install some essential tool, and its still there years later - even after they're long gone and their laptop's being used by someone else.

Colin Wilson 2

Apple have got this right!

I understand where Tony Pottier is coming from. He's written a great ImageView application, and he knows it does what its meant to, doesn't contain malware and that he's an honest guy.

But the snag is, no one else can assume this. There's a virus panic at some company in five years time and ImageView shows up on someone's corporate laptop. What are the IT department meant to think? Is it dodgy? Who knows??

At least for Macs, Apple have got this right. For £79 you can join their developer program - which, apart from everything else, gives you a Developer signing certificate you can sign as many of your applications as you want with. And that, coupled with their new notarization service lets you distribute trusted software to your customers that will run on their Macs with no warnings - without going anywhere near the Mac app store or paying anything else to Apple.

I wish Microsoft - and other compiler vendors - would do the same.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

Colin Wilson 2

Re: No love for CORAL 66?

I heard that too. The second 'STOP' had a comment by it - "In case it skids!"

Reg fashion special: Top designer says 'video chat accessories' are in for spring!

Colin Wilson 2

"whips, chains, spatulas and the occasional blow up doll."

Spatulas ??!

British Army adopts WhatsApp for formal orders as coronavirus isolation kicks in

Colin Wilson 2

Re: You mean?

“If you have to use Teams on your mobile in a crisis then you won't be using it for long. You'd have hard time finding an app which hammers the battery as much as Teams.”

Slack?

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Could not agree more

"operate the gears (which I don't believe horses have"

The sportier models come with four gears - Walk, Trot, Canter & Gallop!

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

MS = Microsoft / Multiple Sclerosis

Verity Stob is 'Disgusted of HG Wells': Time, gentlemen, please

Colin Wilson 2

..... "We abruptly jump cut to a forest clearing in the year 802,701."

....."Eloi. These latter are all played by good-looking actors in their twenties"

..... "Synergize the crowdsource thoughtleader. Open the kimono: ducks in a row, but chilaxing cockapoos phub the black swan"

You'd have thought that language would have changed a bit, in the 800681 years elapsed since today :)

German scientists, Black Knights and the birthplace of British rocketry

Colin Wilson 2

The cool thing about Prospero was that it looked like it was specifically designed to inject Princess Leia with some sort of truth serum...

Buy Amazon's tiny $99 keyboard so you can make terrible AI music for all your friends

Colin Wilson 2

Yeah talk about Garbage In, Garbage Out(!)

They should have used Liszt's transcription as the source if they wanted a Piano Only version!

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

Colin Wilson 2

Re: "Fall Creators Update"

According to https://www.statista.com/statistics/324006/international-and-uk-pedestrian-deaths/ in the UK there's 7.1 pedestrian deaths per million population per year. Given a population of 66 million that's around 470 pedestrian fatalities.

That's 470 too many of course :(

macOS? More like mac-woe-ess: Google Chrome slip-up trips up SIP-less Apple Macs

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Audio and Video Software Users...

"But surely you temp disable SIP to add drivers, then put it back on to keep yourself safe?"

Yes - that's exactly what you'd normally do - disable SIP, install your strange kexts then re-enable SIP.

I'm not sure why anyone would want/need to leave it permanetly disabled?

Ebuygumm doesn't break t' Nominet rules, eBay and Gumtree told

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Coming soon

African-American Pudding?

if developer_docs == bad then app_quality = bad; Coders slam Apple for subpar API manuals

Colin Wilson 2

Part of the problem is that almost all of Apple's API/SDK help these days is auto-generated from Markup in comments in the source code. What Apple refer to as 'Quick Help'

So the whole system is entirely dependant on how clearly and accurately the (Apple) developer comments their code. There are obvious pitfalls to this(!). Programmers usually aren't technical authors. And often the code gets updated - or new methods get added without the comments being updated - so the whole thing gets less and less reliable.

Xcode provides basic templates for this that you can use - if you know about them. But many people don't as Xcode itself isn't very well documented.

A copy-paste of Europe and a '5G' hotel: El Reg's Adventures in Huawei Land were fairly wacky

Colin Wilson 2

Re: "Its a small world"

Don't panic - I can fix that for you...

"I'm in the moo-ood for Dancing...."

You're welcome <gd&r>

Cops use bread and riot shields in desperate bid to contain crazed swan running amok in streets

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Bread...

Apparently that's an Urban Myth, and swans are actually starving to death because people have stopped feeding them bread because of it.

https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/readings-swans-may-not-survive-the-winter/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-berkshire-46440809/animal-welfare-starving-swans-can-be-fed-bread

VP Mike Pence: I want Americans back on the Moon by 2024 (or before the Chinese get there)

Colin Wilson 2

Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

Yes - I've never understood what they mean when they say 'water = power'

Firstly they'd have to extract the water - in minute quantities - from piles of arid lunar rock. To do that they'd presumably crush it, heat it up, then cool the vapour into water? That would take a lot of power.

Then, once they've got the water, what then? They could electrolyze it into hydrogen & oxygen. But that would take more power than they'd eventaully get back by burning it back to water.

Or they could maybe extract a tiny amount of heavy water from it, and use the neutrons to bombard the piles of Uranium 235 that they'll find lying around (?!)

What am I missing?

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Yet more options

... apart from the Bristol Centaurus in a Sea Fury

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Are you black, white or yellow?

You need Purple in there too to get the full Sugarhill effect

iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?

Colin Wilson 2
Facepalm

Re: Moto G first Gen

" ... so what's the latest greatest new thing?"

The newest iPhones have amazing facial mapping capability. They use it for Face Id, but it can be used in any apps that need to recognise faces.

They also have amazing 'Augmented Reality' features builit into their custom processors.

Combining these two amzaing new technologies gives us 'Animojis'. So you can create a cartoon turd that talks, smiles, blinks and winks when you do.

And now, with the latest version of iOS it can even stick its tongue out!

** Sigh! **

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

Colin Wilson 2

Patenting the P-System?

I really like Swift - it's overtaken Delphi as my Favourite Language™

But it does sound awfully like they're trying to patent the UCSD P System (!)

Sprint subscribers: What do your updated iPhone and Tonga have in common? Both are cut off from the world

Colin Wilson 2
Thumb Up

"Asked whether the issue was a consequence of Apple's patch or a Sprint misconfiguration, Sprint's spokesperson replied, "It was a Sprint update."

How refreshing to have a company admit their mistake - Kudos to the spokesperson

Q. China just landed on its far side, the US woz there 50 years ago – now Europe wants to mine it? A. It's the Moon

Colin Wilson 2

Re: a partner in global exploration

" a partner in global exploration"

He didn't say 'Terrestial Global' - he just said Global. So maybe he meant the Lunar Globe?

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

Colin Wilson 2

Bolton!

Back in the day I got sent on a Lisa software development course/conference - in Bolton (UK) of all places.

I can't remember if it was an official 'WWDC' thing - but various Apple bigwigs were there - including John Sculley I seem to recall.

Software for it - including much of the operating system - was written in a dialect of Object Pascal. I felt that the GUI, Mouse etc. were all a bit clunky, slow and 'pointless'. The thing that amazed me at the time was the ProFile 'Winchester' hard disk - 5Mb seemed almost infinte at the time!

Google-whisperers beat reCaptcha voice challenge with 90% success rate

Colin Wilson 2

Re: idiots like this

"Mean while, they could at least make the dam images interesting."

Something like Kitten War? Match the three cutest kittens to proceed. I should patent that!

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is

Colin Wilson 2

Re: "OS/2 did run Windows 3 quite successfully"

Kind of. The original Delphi used a Thunk table to find the object instatnce for a Window. Later versoins used/use the regular GetProp/SetProp Windows APIs for this

I'm guessing they used a Thunk table because much of Delphi was inherited from Borland Pascal - which had a pre-Windows API window library - OWL - which also used Thunks.

The Thunk tables were very architecure dependant, and didn't work too well with Warp...

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Google failed me...

"They are the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers." ... and Fat Freddy's Cat.

"Wait until he puts on his stereo headphones!"

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Colin Wilson 2

"Alas, the Tesla museum ran out of funds and shut down in the late 90's/early 2000's. It has since been refitted and reopened, but I don't know if they still have the same demonstrations as I saw"

I visited it last December. They still had those demonstrations - including the Light Sabre flourescent tubes.

Well worth a visit

Tumblr turns stumblr, left humblr: Blogging biz blogs bloggers' private info to world+dog

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Give it to me straight.

"J.R.Hartley - assume the position."

... Rod in hand!

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Colin Wilson 2
Headmaster

Nominally ??

"the Falcon 9 performed nominally"

This always slightly irritates me. Why do these Space types always say 'nominally' when they mean 'as intended' or even 'normally''?

Nominally: adverb

1. by or as regards name; in name; ostensibly:

"He was nominally the leader, but others actually ran the organization."

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

Colin Wilson 2

Re: M biggest worry on a long visit to head office in Texss...

"1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year"

Matbe Americans should learn to drive too

See...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Legalised theft

"What it doesn't mean is that WontGoAllTheWay Records will then visit every record shop in the country, remove all unsold records, and then visit every house and remove every SOLD record too.

Yet that is exactly what is happening here."

To be fair to Apple (gulp!) it's not exactly what's happening here.

If you buy a movie from ITunes and download it, the downloaded copy is linked to your Apple Id - so you can play it as long as Apple still exist, and you remember your Apple Id password. The Studio - or WontGoAllTheWay can't do anything to 'revoke' your already downloaded copy.

♫ The Core i9 clock cycles go up. Who cares where they come down?

Colin Wilson 2

Re: unless I am wrong

Yes - you're wrong.

The 512GB (and up) 15" macbook Pros come as standard with the core i7 processor.

You only get the core i9 one if you specifically specify it as a build-to-order option

UK footie fans furious as Sky Broadband goes TITSUP: Total inability to stream unfair penalties

Colin Wilson 2
Paris Hilton

Re: and the England Game ?

Not sure that I should admit to knowing this, but 'Love Island' started just as the final whistle in the England vs Tunisia game sounded.

So it was possible to watch both - er, allegedly

USA! USA! We're No.1! And we want to keep it that way – in spaaaace

Colin Wilson 2

Consequences

"NASAs biggest problem is Congress"

If JFK hadn't been assassinated, I wonder if Apollo would have cancelled before they got to the moon at all - maybe after the Apollo 1 fire.

But once he'd been killed, no one in Congress dared to besmirch his legacy by shutting down his pet project..

Maybe an unintended consequence of that dreadful day was to result in a giant leap for mankind.

Can't log into your TSB account? Well, it's your own fault for trying

Colin Wilson 2

".... I managed to catch Dumbo all the way through"

Avoid the scene where his Mother's locked in a cage with a sign saying "mad Elephant" - at least if anyone's around.

Worse than th 'Daddy! My Daddy!" bit at the end of the Railway Children...

Apple's QWERTY gets dirty, leaving fanbois shirty

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Fit for purpose

(i.e. you didn't ... drop food into it)

There's the rub. How much food is reasonable.

Ok - if you use it as a plate for your spaghetti bolognaise, you deserve to have it fail. But it would be reasonable to expect it to be resistant to a single biscuit crumb

Colin Wilson 2

I quite like the keyboard...

I quite like the keyboard on my 2016 MBP. It's positive and fast to type on, with good audible feeback (aka it's too clicky!)

But I'm wating with bated breath for it to fail. Probably the day after my Applecare expires.

Super Cali upstart's new rocket test approaches, even though the size of it won't launch a Tesla motor

Colin Wilson 2

Re: Headline

"One of your best yet."

... except it doesn't quite scan, and doesn't quite rhyme(!)

"Super Cali upstart's shiny rocket test approaches..." would have fixed the first one.

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

Colin Wilson 2

New Macbook Pro?

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