* Posts by xeroks

270 posts • joined 27 Apr 2010


Segway to Heaven: Mega-hyped wonder-scooter that was going to remake city transport to cease production


Re: Initial Hype

I understand the Segway was very different to whatever was on the original NDA'd presentations. I guess what was presented was impractical or too revolutionary at the time.

i'd love to see what it actually was though.


Re: In the UK

from the research I've read, both alcohol and tobacco are worse for you than canabis.

By worse IIRC they are both more addictive and their effect / side effects are more likely to kill you.

China's internet watchdog freezes 10 too-trashy online video services before they undermine socialism


on the other hand..

If you've followed the problems Naomi Wu has had from western companies - big ones - you'll see that capitalism plus conservative activists can have the same effect.

(If you've not heard of her, she's a Shenzhen - based tech polymath: vlogger. maker, coder, designer. Her tech content is pretty awesome. But she has people gunning for her pretty much permanently, and it's almost entirely from the West. While there's a big dose of good ole fashioned misogyny, it's exacerbated by people who don't like the way she dresses (or doesn't)

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


weird comments section for the register?

I was very surprised to see how the comments section of this story has gone. not so much the comments, because people have different viewpoints and vive la difference etc.

It's more the voting: people with entirely valid, reasonable viewpoints being heavily downvoted. It would be interesting to see how often these voters take part normally, or if vested parties have been targetting what shouldn't be a hugely contentious issue.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: Full source code

also the device should easily allow the user to change the "home" url to allow them to swtich to a 3rd party supplier.


Re: Win 7 anyone?

to be fair the sony "smart" TVs and blu-ray players were so unresponsive it was unbelievable.

I have a feeling they only talked to sony servers, which acted as a very slow intermediary for iPlayer etc.

Fancy watching 'Bake Off' together with mates and alone at the same time? The BBC's built a tool to do that


Re: But...

you can watch reruns from the BBC2 days, maybe.

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial


used webex at the weekend

for a family catch up. I was trying to wean the folks off of zoom for <waves hands vaguely> security reasons.

The ui was a bit clunky, but better than I had expected. Last time i used it it was voice & screenshare only.

They seem to have apps for the main platforms: ios, android and what was the other one?

It wasn't as user friendly as Zoom, people found the audio linking confusing. On my Ipad it maxed out at 6 people onscreen at a time, and they were moved around constantly. You had to scroll to see the remaining participants.

On the up side, the call quality was considerably better than when we'd used zoom the previous week (I think they must have had a lot of traffic at 7pm on a saturday).

Also the free account gives unlimited length meetings, at the moment, which beats Zoom's annoyingly short 40 min calls.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI


Re: Well, this is all fair enough, but...

It doesn't stop him paying its human for his services.

The question is: is the AI a slave or a valued colleague?

(also note that companies regularly assert rights over their employees IPR, which is kind of part of the discussion)


Re: Plus ca change

Thaler doesn't sound like a nut-job to me. He's clearly the human front for an alien AI.

Seriously, his points will become valid later this century in relation to human created AI. It all boils down to: which entities (humans, AIs, aliens, animals) have no rights and can be enslaved, and which have rights and cannot.

Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt


do you feel lucky, punk?

The tone of that message suggests to me that he maybe received a friendly letter from snapchat's lawyers, possibly outlining in simple terms the implications of them taking him to court. like being asked to pay costs when they inevitably won.

With some realistic numbers attached, shit would have gotten real, I reckon.

In-depth: Deloitte and accounts expert both cleared what HPE described as 'contrived' Autonomy sales


Re: it's the chicken

fair cop guv, it's chlorine dioxide.

The point still stands.


Re: Is this the best HP have?


To take a purely theoretical view:

Imagine company A has a sale in the offing with company K, which has said "of course we want to buy your product, but I need to ask the boss next quarter. The boss will definitely, definitely approve it, which is why I need to wait and ask."

However Company A wants to book that sale this quarter, for whatever reason.

What would stop someone creating a brand new, burner Company C and using that as an intermediary? If Company K's boss agrees to the purchase, Company C gets a cut, if the boss disagrees, Company C goes to the wall, and Company A writes off the loss.


it's the chicken

The problem with chlorine washed chicken is not the chlorine, it's the chicken.

The chlorine is there because the US has very low standards re. the rearing of poultry, so an attempt has to be made to sterilize the chicken before it hits the food chain. It doesn't always work, which is why the US has relatively high levels of food poisoning.

The EU has much higher standards, so the chicken doesn't need to be sterilized during production.

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


Re: Beware survival bias

i always wondered why capacitor-based power tools disappeared.

My use case for electric screwdriver is that it's ony used occasionally, with brief flurries when I use it a lot.

I had a battery screwdriver which was flat every time I needed it, or sitting charging pointlessly. When that finally died, I found a capcitor screwdriver. Takes about 1 minute to charge from flat.

Yes, it doesn't take long to go flat, but then it's only another minute to recharge again.

Five years in the clink for super-crook who scammed Google, Facebook out of $120m with fake tech invoices


Re: He should of just hit normal people

As I understand it, money laundering return rates are very poor, so I'm guessing it's not as going to be as much as that.

You're drinking morning coffee in 2019. These eggheads are in 2119 landing drones on their arms like robo-falconers


guess the next step is to include instant recharge facilities on those landing pads

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light


Re: Definition

I came here to say this. I know - and takepart in the pedantry here at el reg - but it's obvious someone has tried to take the concept of "higher frequency radio allows data to be transferred at a higher rate" and translate it into non-technical language.

it's like all science teaching: "lies for children" it gets the basic concept across. If someone's interested, they can can learn more later.

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


Re: getting rear-ended

also note that there is a one-second "do not react" delay in place, presumably to prevent the car's continual panic alerts from affecting the driving.

Thought you were good at StarCraft? DeepMind's AI bot proves better than 99.8% of fleshy humans


Re: Want to play a game?

I think we can be fairly sure t has.

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship


Love Film?

I'd always assumed the demise of video rental shops was down to postal services like Love Film. That one was killed off by Amazon a few years back, presumably because it was far superior to their streaming service.

Luckily www.cinemaparadiso.co.uk is still on the go, and has a way better selection of films than any of the streaming services I've seen.

So, what's fashion going to look like on the Moon in 2024? NASA's ready to show you the goods


Re: Orange is ...

this was my first thought too.


The helmet colour & design isn't quite right yet though. All those years of development and all they needed was some spray paint and an off the shelf motorbike helmet.

Lies, damn lies, and KPIs: Let's not fix the formula until we have someone else to blame


Re: bigwigs had spent the last year working on ... "numbers totally unrelated to reality"

I thought - at first - you had got them the wrong way round deliberately. All you needed to do was add "/s" to pull off a double bamboozle.

Watch out! Andromeda, the giant spiral galaxy colliding with our own Milky Way, has devoured several galaxies before


survival is the real issue

The spearhead of the invasion force began to cross the 5,000 light years of intergalactic space in an attempt to form a bridgehead for the main force. Their forecasts of chaotic stellar trajectories updated in real time and fed into a matrix of plans and contingencies a million years in the making.

"Conquer... or be conquered!" had been the rallying cry which had brought together a galaxy in turmoil. Thousands of star systems had been sacrificed, converted into materiel for the conflict ahead. And there would be conflict, because they could see similar preparations being made on the other side of the gulf. They could surmise the strategies behind the out-of-sequence supernovae, stars perceptibly changing course and so on, but were more concerned about what they couldn't see.


Re: Could it be?

"I've always like a mental model of space being like a balloon that is being slowly inflated, with the universe (in 2D) on the surface of the balloon."

but are we on the inside or outside of the balloon? And what's on the other side?

Now that's integrity: Bloke sinks 7 beers, turns himself in. Cops weren't looking for him


Could the guy been about to get in his car? Perhaps the cops were actually doing him a favour by arresting him for something comparitively minor.

Interestingly, according to wikipedia, bud is 5% in the US and 4.5% in the UK.

Anyone know if that US 5% ABV is correct? AFAIK the US measures alcohol as % proof, not ABV

NASA Administrator upends the scorn bucket on Elon Musk's Starship spurtings


Re: He'd better hurry - Virgin Galactic only a year away from launch!

It'll be interesting to see wherther they give those skins a full polish after every trip, or whether they allow them to develop a patina.

Putting aside the whether it would affect the functioning of the heat sheild, I'm not sure whether Musk, with his eye on the investor, would go for "look at my shiny rocket" bling or "look at how often this rocket has been reused" bling.


the important thing

is for SpaceX to name their Starships after the US presidents, in order.

Washington Starship

Adams Starship


Hacker House shoved under UK Parliament's spotlight following Boris Johnson funding allegs


this thread maybe gives another view of what's been going on here:


Finally! A solution to 42 – the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything


Re: Disturbing

Try contacting your local rat club: far more reliable and a great source of information on keeping the pesky varmints.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Re: That's horrible.

Surface Book Pros don't have one either. Though they'd need to have 2 because of its screen/keyboard separation trick.

the only reason I can think that neither has one is that it isn't possible to make sure the point of failure is the cable (i.e. it's not the manufacturer's fault if it does get stolen.)

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego


Re: Heavy...

...which is not to be confused with the homophonic "jobby/jobbie (slang, Scottish English)"

That's bang out of order: Threesome hookup app 3Fun leaked lovers' data, locations, pix – report


you've just been whooshed

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene


Re: Ahhh passwords...

They *could* have taken your password and applied maybe some kind of a standardisation algorithm to it. Maybe lowercasing it, and/or removing numbers and nonalpha chars, then saving the hash of that? (obviously they'd store the hash of your actual password too.)

But they probably didn't.

LightSail 2 successfully unfurls its silvery solar sails, prepares to become a truly solar-powered satellite


Re: Space Elevators

A stab at the oribital period equation suggests a lunar geosynchronous orbit would be some 681km. (though I've not checked my workings, so there is room for error of many orders of magnitude)

There would likely be some interference from Earth's gravity out there (see https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/30nov_highorbit) but it's a lot smaller than i originally thought.


Re: Space Elevators

I wonder...

I'd have expected it to only work where a geosynchronous orbit is feasible. A lot of planets have issues with very long days (eg Mercury and Luna).

Others have atmospheres which will cause practical issues (Earth, Venus, and is Mars' is thin enough?)

'We've done it, we've wasted further time!' Judge raps HP over Mike Lynch court scrutiny


which is why he queried Lynch about actually reading the court docs during the course of the trial. And why Lynch detailed exactly the mechanism he'd used to do so. Otherwise we'd have had something along the lines of:

"yes I'm familiar with this email"

"exactly when did you read it?"

"last night."

"how so?"

"well you know the court evidence website thing. you know. err. someone sent me a link. ..err by err.., a secure, totally secure method , which has since been irrevocably deleted forever. by accident or possibly design."

"you read this document 10 years ago, didn't you?"



"I may have smoked but I didn't inhale it."

Industry reps told the UK taxman everything wrong with extending IR35. What happened next will astound you


Gig economy

My view on "why" the treasury are doing this is not just the initial hit of revenues. They know it won't be quite as big as these estimates because the contractors and companies will adjust their practices to fit, and will minimise the tax hit as far as possible.

I reckon the main driver is that the treasury is more concerned about the potentially much bigger gig economy. It just takes someone to industrialise the admin/accountancy side of things:if low-hours and low-rate workers can engage in legal tax minimisation practices used by companies (and contractors), then the treasury will see a huge drop in income.

Autonomy integration was a 'sh!t show', HP director tells court


Re: The due diligence report wasn't read

The point about audited accounts is that they only indicate one view of the truth.

You can rearrange the numbers - without lying - to give an entirely different viewpoint, should you wish. As another poster says: it depends on whether the books are for the taxman, a potential buyer, or for avoiding stock market predators.

Apple iPrunes iTunes: Moldering platform's death expected to be announced at WWDC


Re: Hang on a moment

Unfortunately, that's largely irrelevant. Downloaders are probably already a minority, along with blu-ray watchers.

Streaming is a lot better for the middleman, as it means they no longer have to pay the artist any money, while it looks cheaper to the end user. Until, of course the service stops, and your library disappears.

In the next few years, expect streamers to require a subscription for each of the major labels, each of them still not paying the artist.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'


Re: In defense of the solicitors

I guess so, especially as we're probably not talking about a dumb typist here, we're talking about an experienced legal secretary.

So you've 'seen' the black hole. Now for the interesting bit – how all that raw data was stored


Re: Flat Earth

Pretty sure they'd need to be at the top to the Eiffel Tower to see that far.

Crowdfunded lawyer suing Uber told he can't swerve taxi app giant's £1m legal bill


Re: Who is ultimately responsible for collecting/paying the VAT

The thing is that if this were to be successful, it isn't Uber who pays the VAT, in the end. It's us consumers.

All Uber would do - if forced - is add 20% on top of the bill and pass the money onto the taxman.

So I guess what this case is about removing the 20% advantage Uber has over VAT registered taxi companies.

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey



A colleague used to work in the software part of an engineering works. She discovered, after she spent a day disposing of a lot of outdated manuals, that all their bins were weighed before heading towards the dump.

Apparently there had been a number of cases where large lumps of copper had been purloined using a bin & retrieve method.

The stupid thing was that these had thousands of pounds worth of precision machining done on them, and so the scrap value was a tiny percentage of their value.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign



$10 per TB per month is the same as an AWS s3 bucket. Though using S3 for backups, you can move the files to Glacier, which costs $4

I helped catch Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht: Undercover agent tells all


Re: The golden rule of crime

My guess is that there is more to it than the cash. It sounds like, at least initially, there was the whole free-market philosophy he was emulating/embodying.

Then there there was the money, yes, but with it a level of being important to a lot of people. Once he'd gone beyond a $100,000 I suspect the cash was just a self importance meter, rather than a means to buying things.

Florida man's deadliest catch forces police to evacuate Taco Bell


Re: Here fishy fishy

I always imagined the prize was less for using sellotape, and more for getting rid of it afterwards, leaving the graphene intact.

Though to be fair it is one of those "why didn't anyone else think of that?" ideas.

Big Red's big pay gap: $13,000 gulf between male and female Oracle staffers – reports


This found that women were paid on average $13,000 less than men, **even after controlling for various factors such as career level, performance review scores and office location**


Re: All else being equal...

This found that women were paid on average $13,000 less than men, **even after controlling for various factors such as career level, performance review scores and office location**

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit


Re: Safe reserves and efficiency

This seems right. They may have planned for the very cold temperatures, but something unexpected happened.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020