* Posts by arober11

43 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400


The wheel was granted a patent in 2001, so why not

A patent for the wheel, sorry a "circular transportation device", was granted, to Australian, John Keogh, in May 2001, so why not file an application for a: 1977, Apple II, 1980, Commodore Vic-20, 1980, Sinclair ZX-80, ... in 2022. If you don't ask you don't get.

FYI: John's patent was later invalidated, as apparently some prior art was discovered.

When it comes to AI research the West is winning, the East is rising and women are being left behind


Just wait, the male participation rate will likely crash in a decade

Give the end game of AI research is to create an intelligence that is smarter than any human, as electronic computer are able to out count a human computer, an AI singularity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity) is possibly little more than a decade away, when Turing complete Professors (after a semantic shift) are as common and cheap as Turing Complete Computers are today. Then no genitals will be necessary for the evolution of the field.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


A crossbow and some 50lb line would do it

The nearest archery club would likely be able to offer a half dozen bodies with crossbows, and 50lb fishing line. If hovering at no more than 50m you've got yourself a drone, with traceable serial numbers.

Viagra found in Chinese 'Kung Fu rice wine'


They'll have a "hard" time explaining that away

Wonder if we'll see a transcript of the Police interview :)

Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops


Now if Belgium simply cloned the UK's RIP (Regulation of Investigatory Powers) Act they could cut the judiciary out. Stick a stamp on upside down or get the postage wrong by a penny and any Postman can demand all you communication data be handed over, set up a surveillance van outside your premises, and bug your house without a warrant of any kind.

The list of bodies with extrajudicial powers in the UK is quite frightening, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000

Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual


To be authentic they should have used BBC's

They should really have grabbed a dozen Acorn Atoms, BBC A, BBC B, BBC B+, Master, Master 128, Compact,.... and used their inbuilt Econet capabilities, rather than relying on a stack of 21st century tech (the network cards they've bolted onto offer an order of magnitude more memory to each Spectrum, than they natively have, primarily to handle the TCP/IP stack). Also the 4-channel TI SN76489 chips the Acorn kit packs would have reduced the number of machines required to 3, or allowed for a 44 instrument performance from 11 machines; I say 11 as the 12th would need to be a dedicated filestore for the others.

Bluetooth SIG launches dev studio to encourage development


Creating app's / modules that comply with the SIG is trivial, there are numerous libraries, tutorials, templates, and the protocol is well documented.

Have found the issue lies with the majority of HARDWARE vendors adding their own special / additional magic to the devices they manufacture. A SIG compliant app will be unable to access the 40% of the services / attributes broadcast by the majority of devices, as their hiding behind a proprietary UUID's, so are unknown / unusable by an app unless the developer has had a chat and probably paid a few pennies to the manufacturer to find out what numbering scheme they're using for the features / attributes.

France will flog off 700MHz to boost mobe broadband while UK dithers. Thanks, Ofcom


Smart Meters - GSM - 2G ????

Another possible elephant in the room is the continued smart meter rollout. I know it varies from company to company but every household may end up with a couple of 2G GSM meters lurking somewhere, and for at least 10 years after installation, guessing this may push any 2G switch off into the 2030's.

Guess who filed most Euro patents in 2014? Yep, still Samsung


76% are rejected ????

From the stat's it appears >76% of the applications are being rejected. Is there a breakdown, by company or country, of the number of failed applications (or granted), I'm wondering as I'm sure anyone with deep enough pockets could soar to the top of the application lists by simply filling 3k blank sheets of toilet paper, as long as their accompanied with the appropriate fees.

$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement


Time to contest the patent

This case is going to roll on for many, many, many years. Guessing the next step will be for Apple to contest the patents, as the Supreme court gave some sufficiently vague guidance last Autumn, as to what can not be covered by a patent, as to open the field for many, many, many patents to be contested by many, many, many lawyers.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Corp._v._CLS_Bank_International

Legalese and coding? Yup, it's the open-source FOSDEM shindig


Why all the fuss?

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the US of A was founded by a bunch of lawyers, primarily to create an environment where they could pursue their desire to HAPPILY suing bodies free from taxes / stamp duties and any interfering parliament? So why are you then surprised that a patent office created by said lawyers appears to award endless questionable patents that will only create more work and revenue for the descendents of those founding lawyers?

I'm just surprised there's anyone left in the US of A who hasn't chosen law as their profession (or possibly accountancy given the tax code), especially seeing the number of basic formula still being awarded patents is astounding. Started to play a game at Xmas, take a 1980's Computer Science textbook and Google for any US software patents awarded in the last 10 years for the formula published in the book. Gave up after getting depressed on finding 17 patents awarded this century for implementations of the Adolphe Quetelet 1830's based BMI formula, there are even a couple awarded in 2007 for methods of calculating said formula using a slide rule, let alone the variations for calculating a value using one of those computery things.

Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'


not again - RAYNET

If all else fails there is the option to utilise the Amateur VHF/UHF frequencies via the volunteer RAYNET organization, so you will see dusty UHF/VHF transceivers in the corner of most Police Control Rooms and Council Emergency Planning Rooms. Unfortunately it takes hours to get a RAYNET operation up and running, so barring a tsunami striking and taking out the mobile towers and power grid (but not any of the numerous coastal nuclear power stations) their unlikely to be called on. Then again it appears the Gov is keeping this option open: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/15/radio_hams_can_encrypt_in_emergencies_says_ofcom/

Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop


The device encryption is the killer

Had a play on a Nexus 5, with device encryption disabled all is well, but after enabling it the device is a dog, with noticeable app startup lags and random freezes kicking in.

Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads


Dishing out free iPads will work out a lot cheaper than letting MEP's vote to fund a European based research project to produce an equivalent device.

Oh, the EU have been there already, google: OMI-NewsPAD' (EP9252) / have look at the specs: http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org.uk/docs/Acorn/ART/ART_DS003_NewsPAD.pdf

Smartphone chip champ Qualcomm says it's ARMed for server wars

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Ethernet patents claim smacked down by US judge


Judge invalidates two expired patents??? (July 1992 + 20 yrs = July 2012)

Unless I'm missing something, a US patent lasts no more than 20 years, and these four all have a priority date of July 1992. So why would a Judge need to invalidate two expire patents???

What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?


Tis only the licencee facing payment aspect that's not been computerised.

If the author has a look at his current / previous firearm and shotgun certificates he'll spot they all appear to have been spewed out of a line or dot matrix printer (No scribes were bothered in their creation). As far as I know the last certificates to see a pen hit a post box some time in 1980's. So from the printed certificates one premises of the article is destroyed, all his details are sitting in several local and national databases / CRM systems, tis primarily a National electronic payment system that's missing.

The other point the author has failed to note is that certificates are issued by the relevant LOCAL Police authority, which with the exception of the: Met, Scotland and N.I are just a branch of the local / county council. And as I'm sure you are all aware each council has it's own procedures, back end and payment system (Council tax / Parking fines .....). So any new national payment system would at the very least need to communicate / be integrated with the 50 odd proprietary council back end systems, to simply transfer the payments into the correct bank account / set of accounts. Organising a gathering of all the interested parties from: central, regional and local government along with the applicable providers of the existing kit and prospective vendors of a new national payment offering will take months and cost many beer tokens, I'm guessing more than the day a week of clerical backoffice time most forces employ at present, to actually handle the current payments.

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network


Can you walk down a street without one of your devices piggybacking someones Wifi?

As all the large Telco's, and a number of local Councils, now appear to offer some form of free and universal Wifi access, along with an App or two to maintain those piggybacked connections: BT Fon, FON, BsykB The Cloud, O2 Wifi, Cambridge City Council.......

Has anyone manage to make it more than 20m from their home, before a phone, tablet or laptop has connected / had offered to connect itself to one of these offerings?

Internet is a tool of Satan that destroys belief, study claims


Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic...... not Latin

For "Early Church" read "High Medieval", the Early Church had it's texts recorded in virtually every contemporary southern mediterranean language: Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic...... and the canon (books) of the bible were not fixed before the Synod of Hippo at the end of the 4th century. With the first full Latin texts only emerging in the 5th century (so not Early). The Catholic church did explicitly prohibit non Latin / official versions of the bible in 1199, via a decree of Pope Innocent III, but by the 16th century the church was officially sanctioning non Latin translations of the bible.

Fleet of driverless pods to take over Milton Keynes town centre


£2 per journey?

And that's likely to be heavily subsidised £2, as they carried out a PRT scoping exercise / trial in Daventry, a few years back, and several miles north of MK. If i remember correctly the POD's cost around £60k a go, plus many beer tokens were / would be required for POD stations, guide tracks, junction alterations, pedestrian crossing signage and other infrastructure. I also recall something about the PODS needing to have their battery packs replaced and the vehicles essentially rebuilt and painted every six months, so running costs were raised as a glaring issue, but for a while there were some POD's trundling the cycle paths of a UK town.

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH


"all 5.29GB of it", and the rest

Don't forget the App's, once the initial 5.3GB of shiny newness is downloaded and installed, you've got another 10 GB or so of app updates to gobble up: Xcode, iMove, iPhoto, GarageBand, iTunes.......... All while you wonder if they'll cause you to hit your ISP's daily fair usage limit and force you to seek out an unthrottled free Wi-Fi connection.

Billionaire vows to turn 007's Lotus Esprit into actual submarine car


Top Gear have been there and done that....


Brew me up, bro: 11-year-old plans to make BEER IN SPACE


far too young to drink ?????

Pardon my maths but 11 was greater than 5 last time I checked, so as long as he's under adult supervision he's free to consume the product of his experiment:


OpenSUSE uncorks a fine Ruby-red Bottle: Beta 13.1 didn't give me a hangover


Wonder what they've broken this time

I've been playing with SUSE / OpenSUSE for over a dozen years, and have a few boxes at home with physical or virtual installs; primarily to keep some of my own kit aligned with the corporates I play with (They like SUSE at it comes with a physical licence they can file, and Yast / KDE are the closest they're going to get to a Microsoft desktop and Control Panel). Anyway I've come to hate YAST distribution upgrades (but not as much as Windows upgrades) as every install has broken something. The breaks are generally trivial and easily fixed but I'd wish they'd hack their own take on the RPM meta data to also include the hardware requirements, and regression test environment information, so in combination with a bit of hardware detection YAST could forewarn you that an upgrade isn't going to work, or that package X hasn't been tested on your kit, rather than leave you trying to trawl the logs post install for some info. From memory my last few attempts to upgrade have run into the following issues:

10 -> 11 didn't like / recognise the embedded ATI ES1000 graphics on my Dell PowerEdge server, and as it had no 3D support, it was no good for KDE4.

11 -> 12 GeForce 7300 not detected, stuck with 640x480 graphics on both the Grub console and in the Xorg config.

12.2 -> 12.3 Grub2 failed to update on completion, on a LVM based build, also mySQL init.d scripts non functional.

China's 'Big Vs' disown selves online to avoid new gossip laws


Could be worse

Wasn't too long ago we were equipping gossips with a Scold's Bridle (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29117/29117-h/29117-h.htm#Page_276), perhaps an inventive body will adapt the the concept and start to manufacture some variant of the traditional finger trap (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_finger_trap) :o)

Now we know why UK spooks simply shrugged at SSL encryption


How this will effect all those PCI-DSS and SoX audits

Wondering what the implications are for all the retailers and US public companies out there, as they're audited to ensure financial / private / personnel data transactions are carried out in a SECURE manner (weak ciphers must not be used). As all flavours of TLS/SSL appear to be compromised will they all be liable to regulatory fines and liable for all fraudulent card activity? Should they cease trading till a replacement secure technology is developed? I guess these will a couple of the questions the lawyers will be smirking at and willing to answer, for a suitable fee. Also as the revelations appear algorithm independent it would suggest the boys in grey have compromised the hundred or so major certificate authorities (CA), as not all CA's are US / UK (and colonies) based I'm wondering if there are numerous black boxes / switches, with a mirror port (http://www.miarec.com/faq/what-is-port-mirroring) and some private key sniffing logic stuck in bushes outside the hundred or so major CA's, as this is probably the easiest way to compromise the vast majority of the worlds SSL traffic.

Jaguar to open new car-making factory in Blighty (virtually)


Re: "return car manufacturing to Britain"

Nightfox: Land Rovers have been assembled, generally from kits and under licence, in: Turkey, Malaysia, Jordan, Brazil, South Africa, India, Spain ...... to name a few.

37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac


The Starbucks factor

I've encountered the odd project manager who permanently boots to Windows on their work MacBook, and probably has no idea of how to boot back to OS X, if they new what it was. Their world / skill-set is limited to MS-Project, MS-Powerpoint, MS-Dynamics, MS-Outlook, Skype and possibly HP Quality Center, so OS X would be unworkable for them even if they did dual boot.

The primary reason for them having talked their companies into forking out the extra for a MacBook, with a separate Windows licence, and several hours of technician time for a custom build, was to not look out of place in Starbucks. The number of these style junkies is probably insignificant, but best not to assume all MacBooks run OS X the majority of the time, or that all Boot-camped Mac Books are down to skill-set of the present keeper.

Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support


Appears Amazon now supports Welsh on the Kindle:


Intel, Apple forging chip-baking deal?


iPhone / iPod only

Intel's been happily licensing, adapting and baking silicon using non Intel designs for years e.g. The ARM based XScale range and the amd64 derived Atom and Core i cores.

Barclays: So sorry about LIBOR... How about some free Wi-Fi?


Wot no FON

Why no mention of the [BT] FON network, as it's the largest Wi-Fi network in the country (thanks to BT's participation), and open to all (not just BT customers): http://maps.fon.com/?lang=en

Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app


iPhone / iPod only

Wonder when the iPad version will appear, guess I'll have to stick to the web version for now.


Apple granted patent for ebook page-turning


It Dosen't take an Einstein.....

It dosen't take an Einstein to conclude that this supposed invention is neither novel or non-obvious; perhaps it's time for the USPTO to thumb through it's mass of patents (possibly the first time they've bothered to read them) and see if there is anything on it's books that covers the cloning a certain Austrian Patent clerk. If they do I's suggest they contact the filler immediately and ask for a few hundred clones, it will save much litigation :)

UK's planned copyright landgrab will spark US litigation 'firestorm'


We've been here before: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/dickens/pva/pva75.html

FYI: For Winnie-The-Pooh see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._A._Milne

FaceTime now on patent troll list


All standardised in the 1990's by the GSM and IDEG/WP4

I'm sure this wall all standardised by the GSM and IDEG/WP4 working groups in the mid to late 1990's.

Some background reading: http://www.scribd.com/doc/83516481/33/The-Beginning-of-IDEG-WP4-and-DGMH

Skype touts FREE* Wi-Fi across the UK


FON have been offering a similar service for years, along with the option to charge

Nothing new, FON have been offering a similar service for years (4 million hot-spots), along with the option to charge for the bandwidth: http://corp.fon.com/en/this-is-fon

Samsung to offer Apple Dock style Start Button in Windows? Really?


Re: Blast from the past...

Acorn's Arthur OS and RISC OS pioneered docks long before Steve was pushed. They even had an ARM powered touch screen tablet computers, with an icon bar at the bottom and icon's scattered across the screen back in 1994 (Google "NewsPad")

Strong ARM: The Acorn Archimedes is 25


Anyone get their RISC OS fix via am Emulator

Wondering if anyone is still secretly satisfying their: Zarch, Elite, Chocs Away.... addictions through a virtual hit on one of the many emulators e.g.




(Many years back I was a Red Squirrel addict)

Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

Thumb Down

Re: *rolls eyes*

The desktop mode is a stub (No "Start" - button), breaking it for those who want to play on a non touch device, also not brilliant on the works Dell XT2.

In desktop mode your forced to switch back tothe swipee Metro interface (via a key combo or a painful hot corner - especially if running via a VM on a Mac), to swipe around, and find and Start an un-pined program.

Same goes for login / unlock, you need to swipe up, to get the login prompt to appear (took a min or two, to work that one out), and working out how to Shut Windows 8 down wasted another few min's.

HP Officejet 6500


Two for half the price

My old HP C5180 started to play up a few week back, so though it was time to replace the device with something a little faster, could print double sided, along with having a sheet feeder, as I scan far more than I print.

A quick Google and this model leapt out as the best value device around, especially as the Web site of a certain major retail park vendor was offering the device @ £109.10, so a few clicks later I was off down the road. Got the brute set up in around 15 min's, and started to play.

Print quality / speed are fine for a SOHO set-up,

Then started to test the scanner / sheet feeder, a small document scanned just fine, but when I attempted to scan a couple of Pic's, via the flat bed scanner, the scanner head strangled itself, on it's own ribbon cord, and resulted in a Scanner Failure message a power on / off couldn't resolve, so a quick phone call and back down the road to swap the unit.

The replacement unit is mechanically sound, but have noticed while creating searchable PDF's, on Windows 7, the OCR software occasionally locks up processing complex multi column / oriented text documents, sometimes it sorts itself out, after a min or two, other times it just bombs out, annoying when it's on the last of a 30+ page document. Along similar lines I've managed to get the scan software to bomb out in the results preview, by simply paging through / back through the scanned page images, you appear to be fine if you don't hold down one of the cursor keys. My last gripe on the scanner front is the lid, it only rotates through 90'ish degrees, so unless you find a perfectly levelled surface you may need to wedge a few sheets of cardboard under front of the device, to prevent your knuckles being whacked by the lid and attached feeder tray every time you use the scanner.

As a printer or single page scanner the device is fine, but on multi-page documents the supplied Windows scanner software appears to be a work in progress.

Oh the device also offers a "FAX" capability, haven't a clue why, as that fad died out just after we stopped sending children up chimneys and loading computer programs from cassette tape.


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