* Posts by Dave 126

10684 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

ML suggests all that relaxing whale song might just be human-esque gossiping

Dave 126 Silver badge

> recording them and filming them to associate the sounds with the activities they were doing at the same time.

People around a table in a pub, talking about how their past week has been, talking about what they're going to have for dinner, talking about the roadworks on the A476...

Talking about anything other than what they are doing at the time.

The UK reveals it's spending millions on quantum navigation

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: quantum inertial sensor

Indeed. More accurate than atomic clocks are optical clocks, which have only recently escaped the lab and into a rack mount. The first example application the developers give is 'GNSS resilience'.


Blue screen of death or Eurovision's Windows95man performance – what's less annoying?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Another IT angle...

is that before The IT Crowd was Father Ted, which gave us a good explanation of the Eurovision Song Contest and the perverse incentives at play as regards countries wanting to not win and thus not pay to host the next contest.

Dave 126 Silver badge

The IT angle is that some viewers had problems with the Power button on their remote controls, or so I infer from the article:

>"for some viewers, Eurovision this year did not come with a please-please-oh-god-make-it-stop button."

A simultaneous Europe-wide mass failure of IR TV remote control units is big news!

Apple unveils M4 chip with neural engine capable of 38 TOPS, and some other kit

Dave 126 Silver badge

Given that the chamber in question contains people who have felt the need to express their upset about an advertisement, failure to read the room may be a feature and not a bug.

It'd be interesting to see the demographic breakdown of a, people who complain about iPad adverts, b, people who actually buy the expensive iPads. I expect the latter group is older (and richer) than the former, and likely not too fussed about what the kids are saying.

Boffins suggest astronauts should build a Wall of Death on the Moon

Dave 126 Silver badge

No moving parts...

In contrast to a spinning lunar habitat:


Space insurers make record-breaking loss as orbit gets cramped

Dave 126 Silver badge

Article needs teaking

As everyone else here as observed, the insurers' big losses are due to satellite failure unrelated to collisions or with more crowded orbits. That's insurers' losses.

These mechanical failure-type incidents are the main reason for insurers upping their premiums.

A much smaller contribution to the higher premiums is the larger number of satellites in orbit, according to the source report.

Elon Musk's latest brainfart is to turn Tesla cars into AWS on wheels

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Farts

> Futurama did it first?

Futurama is often a loving homage / piss-take of older sci and sci fi ideas - being first isn't its point.

The idea of carrying everything in tubes has been a sci fi staple since before the Golden Age. In New York from 1897 to 1953, 27 miles of pneumatic tubes were to deliver mail:


An earlier system was trialled in London from 1863, but was unsuccessful.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Theft Act applies in the UK

> it's going to have to be processed "in the clear" (unencrypted) by the car's processors.

I don't know enough to judge the the current state of homomorphic encryption efforts, but the remote processing of sensitive data is an area of active research:


Forget the AI doom and hype, let's make computers useful

Dave 126 Silver badge

A layman such as myself always expected a computer to be good at calculus (just I expect a pocket calculator to be better than me at arithmetic), yet really bad at 'human' (or indeed animal) things like speech recognition, image recognition, and knowing when to stop beeping before I throw it out of the window. Or rather, computers were bad at these things until a few years ago.

A useful umbrella term for all these AI ML LLM NN approaches might be "Newish Techniques for Making Computers Less Rubbish at Doing Things That They Always Used To Be Pretty Rubbish At Doing"

It doesn't roll off the tongue, I grant you. But I find it useful as a placeholder.

Now all Windows 11 users are getting adverts to 'make the Start menu great again'

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Probably be accused of being a Linux shill, BUT....

Thank you for being a penguin who acknowledges that some people require software that is only available on Windows and doesn't play nice under Wine or a VM.

A lot of CAD is only on Windows, and whilst some folk have successfully moved to OS-agnostic browser solutions (OnShape seems to be well regarded), that route isn't suitable for all users in all situations.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Eat my shorts!

> Don't know if you can get game controllers for a Windows PC?

You can, including the controllers from different generations of Xbox and PlayStation - though sometimes a dedicated wireless dongle or cable is required, sometimes they work out of the box with Bluetooth or USB.

You may have seen footage of military drone or industrial equipment operators using Xbox 360 controllers, presumably because they were made in their millions and are a known quantity. Just as you can go round to your mate's house to play Playstation and know the controller will feel the same as yours at home.

That said, for playing console style games I'd rather use a console. PCs lend themselves to mouse and keyboard games (shooters or strategy) or to racing or flight simulators with steering wheels or button encrusted joysticks.

Microsoft really does not want Windows 11 running on ancient PCs

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: What happens when

Popular CPUs such as the i5 3770 aren't supported by Windows 11 either.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Alternative

> I suspect you'll find the majority of businesses dont need anything beyond Libreoffice.....and for gaming Steam has you covered.

Solidworks doesn't run under Linux, nobody on Reddit appears to have got it running under Steam. Libre Office Writer can't reliability export documents with tables that Word will read correctly. I don't like the situation, but I have to live with it.

Remember, computers are often used to produce files that can be read by suppliers and customers.

SpaceX workplace injury rates are rocketing

Dave 126 Silver badge

6.9 inuries per worker

Ah, I've found the worker:


NSFW maybe, unless you are a doctor, medieval historian or operative of the Spanish Inquisition.

Dave 126 Silver badge


>Amazon boasted 6.9 injuries per worker in 2022

Wowsers, the poor sods!

Wait a moment, you're just testing us with a deliberate mistake to see who is paying attention!

US government reportedly ponders crimping China's use of RISC-V

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Next week's news

> ...by classifying it as a weapon.

They'll just do for Linux what PGP did: print it out in hard copy!

Digital Realty wants to turn Irish datacenters into grid-stabilizing power jugglers

Dave 126 Silver badge

@Dr Syntax

I had the same thought. However, an older Reg article linked in this one offers a couple of clues.

1, It appears lots of data centres upgraded from vented lead batteries to lithium ion, which resulted in some extra capacity and different use profiles regarding charge cycles.

2, changes in electricity costs and the granularity with which it is billed. Daily peak prices can be ten times the lowest prices, so some data centres were already experimenting with running from UPS when electricity was at its most expensive.

Silicon Valley roundabout has drivers in a spin

Dave 126 Silver badge

SOP is to stay on the roundabout until you've worked out which exit you want.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Exactly, a roundabout isn't a special case that needs to be learnt: the same rules as for any other road apply. The circular bit of the roundabout is just like any road you are joining - the cars that are already on it have right of way over you. Leaving the roundabout is a change of lane so you indicate, unless the lane you're in is exclusively for leaving the roundabout.

The first time I encountered the Magic Roundabout in Swindon it causes me no problem at all. The same rules apply whether you're on one of the satellite roundabouts or on the central one.

I am only talking above about European roundabouts. I've been on one in Cambodia where cars go clockwise and mopeds go counterclockwise... I think because mopeds are treated as honary pedestrians? Clench what you need to clench and then do as the Romans do.

Wing Commander III changed how the copy hotkey works in Windows 95

Dave 126 Silver badge

> I can only encourage you to read them.

Thank you, I'm glad to have that recommendation from someone who, like me. watched the TV series first. I was worried that the books might lose some impact on me since I've already seen the show, but you've reassured me.

Dave 126 Silver badge

I've just remembered that The Last of Us was another video game to TV adaptation that was well received. So maybe the historic trend is being bucked.

However, it didn't require expensive futuristic sets, and it had a bit of overlap with the Walking Dead which was a known commercial success.

Dave 126 Silver badge


I agree that it was appropriate that the series ended where it did, at a natural break in the narrative. The cancelling I was referring to was after its original three seasons on SyFy. Fans campaigned, and then Amazon Prime Video produced the final three seasons.

It had a rocky path to production despite being received well by critics and fans.

I haven't read the books yet, but I've heard good things.

Dave 126 Silver badge

You're an optimistic soul!

Futuristic sci fi TV costs a lot to make, and even shows that were critically acclaimed over their first few sessions can struggle to to get renewed - such as The Expanse.

Video game to TV adaptions have a record that makes studios execs wary, too. The recent Fallout TV series being an exception, though post-apocolyptic settings have been shown to commercially successful on TV.

For spaceship battles IN SPAACE! we at least have Battle Star Galactica, and a few good things like Andor, and The Mandalorian from Disney.

Logitech intros free tool for ChatGPT prompts... plus a mouse with an AI button

Dave 126 Silver badge

Bixby button

Samsung added a dedicated Bixby assistant button to their phones some years ago. It is a most excellent feature, once you've remapped* it to Flashlight, Play/Pause or something else useful. I'd be loath to buy a phone phone without it now.

Of course Logitech make plenty of mice with no shortage of extra buttons, so it'll just be a software thing tied to this model (just as some Logitech software options are only available for their pricier mice)

*requires a 3rd party app called bxaxtions.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Don't be koi

>Chinese cheaply made carp

Everybody knows Japanese made carp can cost a lot of money.

Devaluing content created by AI is lazy and ignores history

Dave 126 Silver badge

> It changes not being able to trust some content, to not being able to trust any content.

Sadly yes.

Though interrogating data and narratives does suggest that what is true and real is coherent, whereas batshit crazy bullshit isn't - i,e ML may be able to provide tools for detecting bullshit.

Sorry for my agricultural language, but 'bullshit' has become a technical term... Lies have an antagonistic relationship with the truth, bullshit is oblivious to it.

NASA needs new ideas and tech to get Mars Sample Return mission off the ground

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Assemble in orbit

The hinge is a mature technology. A system centered around a heavy meat bag juggling wrenches in low G whilst wearing a complex life support suit is a stack of less mature technologies.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: primary Don't use anything musk related

> Avoid musk shit at all costs, he just lies constantly

Why is trust relevant if you have data?

Space Force boss warns 'the US will lose' without help from Musk and Bezos

Dave 126 Silver badge

You really haven't been paying attention, have you?

In 2023, 80 percent of the roughly 1,000 metric tonnes that humans placed in orbit was by just one US-based company. The same company has been sending astronauts and cosmonauts to the ISS.

Feel free to expand upon your odd assertion.

Apple to allow some iPhones to be repaired with used parts

Dave 126 Silver badge

No, you couldn't, because parts stolen from, for example, a car, aren't then used to repair a device that is then always connected to the internet - and thus potentially a database of stolen parts. For that matter, cars have had windows coded to a particular vehicle for decades.

It would behove the self-interested 'right to repair' spokesfolk to acknowledge the benefit to the end user of not having their phone stolen, slyly or violently, for parts.

Once they do, we can better move towards a system of whitelisted parts from damaged phones being used for repairs.

The RTR folk should also acknowledge that durability and longevity are just as important factors as repairability. As should the media who give them free press to fill column inches. But hey, they've got tools to sell you.

If they do so, they will be more effective at highlighting where Apple et al actually are profiteering from selling new replacement parts.

The required arithmetic really isn't that tricky.

Arm CEO warns AI's power appetite could devour 25% of US electricity by 2030

Dave 126 Silver badge

"Horse dung will cover our streets to a height of nine foot by the year 1930, if this trend continues!"

Times of London, 1894


Ex-Microsoft engineer gets seven years after trying to hire hitman for double murder

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Crappy plan

> I think I’ve thought about this too much. Am I on a list now?

Yeah you are, along with Agatha Christie, anyone who has borrowed an Agatha Christie book from a library, and anyone who watches several hours of crime drama a week on TV... so it's probably quicker to write down who *isn't* on such a list.

D-Link issues rip and replace order for besieged NAS drives

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Enabled by hardcoded credentials

Indeed, it clearly wasn't 'fit for the purpose for which it was sold' at the time it was sold. Once upon a time this would mean that it was the seller's responsibility to replace it, regardless of guarantee period - I haven't kept up on what the current state of the loopholes that tech companies use to dodge responsibility.

San Francisco's light rail to upgrade from floppy disks

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: San Francisco's light rail to upgrade from floppy disks

Ah, thank you for clarifying. I knew they used some magic combo of laser and magnets to record, couldn't remember the details.

Dang, it was a great portable music format if you had a player with enough buffer for 'electronic shock protection'. And support for gapless playback between album tracks was great.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Curious what the floppy replacement will be?

> You'd assume so wouldn't you, but SD cards, USB flash drives etc. as used on those "Gotek" and BlueSCSI devices are pretty unreliable. I've never seen a floppy disk zapped by static for instance.

Industrial SLC Flash drives with over provisioning and ECC in stainless steel housings and using a Railway industry DIN connector do exist.


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Minidisk recommended

You should just be able to rinse the disc in clean water, like a CD.

I remember Sony advertisements showing a Minidisc being run over by a skateboarder.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: San Francisco's light rail to upgrade from floppy disks

The Iomega 'Click of Death' takes on new connotations in a clickity clackity environment.

How reliable are Minidiscs over time? I know the data versions of the drives (NetMD) were late to market because of Sony copyright concerns (the same concerns that saw Sony give Apple's iPod a lead in the market), but I don't remember an MD going wrong on me. They're optical, so should be fairly resistant to magnets and static.

NASA taps trio of companies to build the next generation of lunar rover

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Why not ...

I'd watch that!

Of course there are limits to testing a 1/6 G vehicle at 1G, and in atmosphere.

Here's a 1972 NASA report looking at the differences between the predicted behaviour of the Lunar Rover and its actual performance.


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Built For Any Planet

Well, building the Cybertruck out of steel was just step one of making it a DeLorean replica. Step 2 is fitting a Mr Fusion unit, Step 3 is fitting wheels that pivot into anti-gravity units.

"... we don't need roads!"

AMD to open source Micro Engine Scheduler firmware for Radeon GPUs

Dave 126 Silver badge

Nah, Hotz's Tiny Box isn't to do with cars. His concept is that individual users should have their own AI / ML system running on their own hardware. It's a response to people's privacy concerns regarding cloud based ML applications.

To that end, he's designed a system that is limited by the power from two domestic wall sockets. He says that AMD GPUs currently offer the most bang for the buck, largely because nobody is using them for ML applications because of their shoddy software.


Vernor Vinge, first author to describe cyberspace and 'The Singularity,' dies at 79

Dave 126 Silver badge

> I'm not seeing you define Intelligence.

You should have been able to infer I go by the dictionary definition

. Clearly you don't, but you refuse to say how.

I do believe it's your turn.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> I'm not seeing you define Intelligence.

I wasn't the one making a definitive statement though, was I? I invited you to define the terms of your statement for clarity, not to play games.

I wouldn't claim to be knowledgeable - indeed, studying information theory only reminds us that there are limits on what can be known, measured, calculated or trusted.

Asimov's robots are presented to his readers as being roughly human-level in their problem solving skills, what they gain from patience is often offset by inhibitions created by the eponymous 3 Laws - at least in the likes of Daneel and Giskard... The Susan Calvin robots err usually a bit simpler. To avoid confusion, this would be referred to as AGI today. I appreciate Asimov's input, but I see no reason to see a biochemist and history scholar as being the final authority on what Intelligence is.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: "He wasn't out by many years on the AI prediction"

Would you kindly define AI? The A part is fairly easy, so really I'm asking you to define Intelligence.

Dictionaries give a few definitions at varying levels of specificity.

Escher Bach and Godel might be of help in formulating your answer, in addition to your Oxford, Webster's or Collin's.


Dave 126 Silver badge

I've only just discovered him. And so naturally I wasted no time in reading his Zones of Thought series (A Fire, a Deepness), his Ungoverned series, and his short stories with interesting introductions by the author. Upon running out of his novels I got The Snow Queen and then The Summer Queen* by his former wife Joan D Vinge, and was listening to it yesterday when I read the sad news of his passing.

Vernor stated that he created the premise of his Zones of Thought series as a way of him having some good ol' Space Opera fun without contradicting his reasoned belief in the Singularity and its implications. A workaround, if you will. I like to think that Iain M Bank's Consider Phlebas (1987) reminded Vinge that Space Opera is fun, just as Banks often played with ideas originally fleshed out by Vinge in return. That's just my conjecture. But Vinge does give an explicit salute to Terry Pratchett in Rainbow's End: If pervasive AR gives students the ability to create their own shared realities, a good chunk of them will choose to live in the Discworld. Yep!

Vernor's Marooned in Realtime is also a great read, a follow on from the Peace Wars which examines Libertarian ideas, though of course you should read all the Robert Heinlein if your interested in the history of that sort of thing.


*It's reminding me of Frank Herbert so far. Good stuff.

One rack. 120kW of compute. Taking a closer look at Nvidia's DGX GB200 NVL72 beast

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A mind-expanding voodoo explosion

> desperately needs the expertise of a visually explosive voodoo tribal arts plastician to fully exploit the aesthetique potential of their new hardware

Er yeah, I prefer the appearence of the Cray-1 too, especially when sat on white tiles.

UN: E-waste is growing 5x faster than it can be recycled

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Recycling not that easy

> A service that offers secure destruction of old phones/tablets would be very useful.

I offer such a service!

Just send them to:

Other People's Confidential Data For Sale

PO Box 123


Dave 126 Silver badge

Right to repair is a tiny sticking plaster.

It's becoming a green-washing lifestyle choice that allows its practitioners to feel good about themselves.

Tut tut The Reg for just bolting on some self-appointed RTR spokesfolk - yet again! - onto an article about a UN report. If you're not clarifying the situation then you are muddying it. If you don't know what you're writing about then ask - there is some experience and wisdom in amongst the commentards. Use critical thinking - distinguish yourself from an LLM search assistant.

(Sent from a refurbished phone. My laptop is ten years old, my desktop and monitor second hand. I bought for £15 from a charity shop a 50" Sony Bravia TV with weird artifacts - ie not an obvious issue with the panel - and fixed it by replacing the TCon PCB). I reserve my money for good beer, shoes and underwear, which I buy new.

DARPA tasks Northrop Grumman with drafting lunar train blueprints

Dave 126 Silver badge

Rail or road

There is a concept to use mirrors and sunlight to sinter loose regolith into roads and other structures.

A slight tangent, I know, but may be of interest.


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Railways? Nasty Commie idea.

It isn't the terminal ballistics that scare me. It's the lithobraking.