* Posts by L.B

67 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Aug 2010


Intel slaps Xeon Phi brand on MIC coprocessors


"What both Intel and Nvidia are focused on – and what AMD seems to have forgotten – is that the HPC market is projected to grow at more than 20 per cent in the next five years"

Try doing some research next time rather than copying Intel press releases verbatim, it may make you look smarter.

Or pop over to www.SemiAccurate.com and read one of their latest articles: "AMD Announces CodeXL At AFDS", or the other story about them working with Autodesk and Maya....

AMD has been pushing their concept of Fusion/APU's for the low end and add in cards for the high end for HPC for years, and pushing development of OpenCL as the open/portable way of getting their GPU's to work as co-processors for the heavy parallel maths jobs.

It is Intel with their complete failure as a graphics engine (formerly call Larrabee) the are late to the party.

Wolfenstein 3D shoots onto web

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Re: Doesn't seem...

"works fine" is pushing it, the lag was lower on 80286 than with this.

Ridiculous to build a classic that is effectively unplayable due to the incredibly slow responses, even running it a machine that is many 1000s times faster than the originals PC's it ran on.

SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?


I agree with everything you wrote, but would also add.

Many of the official online sources for media content provide a service that is vastly inferior to the quality of downloaded content.

Take the BBC; if I miss a program (not likely as there are only about 4 shows a year I like) when it was broadcast there are a number of options to catch up:

1. iPlayer a great offering - for some.

2. Wait 6 months and buy a very expensive box set.

3. Wait 2,3,4,... months and try to remember to carry on watching the series when its repeated.


42. Find a download site and wait a while.

There are some real problems with some of the above offerings:

1. If you live outside a major city your ADSL connection may to slow to provide a decent viewing experience. This is made worse by contention if you happen to want to watch any time from 18:00 to 22:00, the only time most people who work for a living can access it.

There is also the fact that the reason you missed a program was due to being away for a few weeks or just not having the time right now, which means that the show has been taken off iPlayer or timed out before you can see it.

2, or 3 or whatever: If you are 3 episodes into a season waiting months to have another go or just try to figure out what you missed, when there are other options is not ideal. Let alone the idea of paying a significant amount of money (typically £30-50) for something you may only ever watch once of twice.

Option 42: The download - and the quality option.

- With ADSL is does not matter how long it takes to download something, and once its done you have all the time you want to catch up when it suit you, where ever you are, and on the device you choose.

- Also the quality will typically be much better that any streamed service, as the stream must have the bit rate limited to your typical download rate. Whereas the download can take hours to download without affective you eventual view experience.

- There is also the option for those with busy lives to collect a whole set ready for when they have the time, be that next month or a few hours on Sunday afternoon.

In the UK we are forced to pay the TV TAX (£145p/a) to have a TV, and many think they are getting very poor value as it is. Lots more still pay £20+pm extra for Sky/Cable on top of the TV license to actually have some TV they actually want to watch.

Considering how much some of us are already paying, is really too much to ask for a legal way to download high quality content without all the time and quality restrictions, even if you have a poor quality internet connection.

The majority would probably not save vast amounts of shows locally simply because they would run out of disk space on the laptop/PC/media-box. Plus while they are subscribing they could just download it again to watch next year if they wanted it.

Such a system would also be a good marketing tool, as the likes of Sky would know 100% what people want to watch and what they don't care much about as they would just have to count the downloads. They could even look at paying the studios directly according to downloads of the programs.

The downside would be a loss of some advertising revenue, but people like me never watch the ads anyway as I nearly always record TV so I can skip them anyway.

Tape lives on: Sony to squeeze out LTO-6


After reading this I feel old...

I remember the very first version of these DLT tapes back the 80's (designed by DEC and later sold to Quantum), where a TK50 could store a massive 55MB (or there about).

Of course back then we had decent operating systems (VMS,RSTS,...) that came with a full backup system as standard, you didn't have to buy some 3rd party kit. So doing a full disk image backup/restore to/from disk(s) or Tape(s) was easy, with incremental backups for the typical weekday workloads.

Also back in days of removable disk packs (18" and 12 platters) doing the monthly image backups guaranteed a 100% fragment free file system.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus comes up short on sub-pixels


perhaps it just me...

...but all I see is a really crap camera being used, probably some phone with a lens about 2mm in diameter.

Zoom in on the actual edge of the phone (the plastic case) and you just get a blur!

Using that rubbish to try to state anything about the screen quality is just cobblers.

Just because your phone claims to be 5, 8 or even 10 megapixels does not mean the pictures are any better than a could be achieved with shoe box with a pin whole.

AMD 'unleashes' unlocked FX processor family


"If it's designed for server loads why does it have only 4 FPUs to 8 cores?"

Because in a typical server environment about 99% of the work is integer.

Don't bother with that degree, say IT pros


The real lie is...

...that the little kiddies are sold the lie (by those in education mainly) about a degree getting you a well paid job!

Most degrees are worthless to employers unless they are specific to a real world tasks, like medicine, law or real engineering (civil, electrical,...).

In most cases (IT included) both employers and employees would be better off if companies provided real apprenticeships. For starters the apprentices would be earning some money not getting into debt, and they would also learn from people who actually know what is required in the real world so would be learning useful skills.

I believe anything else should be regarded as Hobby courses and should be paid for by the person taking it.


Just ignore the "must have a degree" and apply.

My last 4 employers (that's over a decades worth) all stated "must have education to degree level" or similar in their job adds, but that didn't stop me getting to the interview and being given the jobs.

Perhaps the fact that I ignore all the CV writing recommendations (from the educationalist) and put the totally irrelevant "what I did at school" stuff as the back page of my CV that helps. The HR staff probably cannot be bother the read more than the 1st paragraph.

When I was made redundant in May 09 (the whole company has gone now) I didn't work for about 6 months. That was because I really didn't want to start commuting to London again, but there just were no jobs in Kent I wanted (agencies kept offering me HTML/Perl, but I do C/C++), and I definitely was not looking to move house. After 6 months and brief contract period, I gave in decided I'd have to include London: I was back in full time work 3 weeks later.

Sonex calls in administrators


I was about to say the same thing.

The main reason being that the last time I went into a Sony Centre (about 8 years ago) all they had was old stock at high prices. I got the impression they were being used to sell off all the stuff Currys/Dixon had sent back as unsold relying on people thinking that they would be getting the latest and greatest.

E Ink eyes 30m e-book reader sales in 2011


Still sticking with dead trees until the prices come down a lot.

With typical eBook prices for new(ish) titles being £4.99+, and the paperback being about the same price, I'll stick with paper. Though I have noticed that the printed form is getting more expensive, rather than the ebooks getting cheaper, but then again second hand books are very cheap.

No matter how many page turns a real book never needs charging, the contrast is better that any e-Ink I've seen, and they are more resiliant to being dropping or squashed/bent in my rucksack, and when I'm done I can lend them to interested friends and family or donate them to the charity shops.

Book readers are quite expensive to buy, and you cannot lend an ebook easily or legaly.

Also unless you are expecting to crash land in the Amazon (or some other remote place) do you realy need to have 500 books at hand (better to have a good knife and a Ray Mears guide).

Trust me, I'm a computer: Watson takes on health care challenge


Does this mean Hugh Laurie will be out a job?

Next episode of House;

- person comes in with unusual symtoms...

- a junior Dr asks computer what could it be...

- they cure patient!

- Meanwhile House (aka Hugh Laurie) stands in the background ranting and shouting I was going to say that....(eventually).

Ten... all-in-one inkjet printers

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I have no experience with Brother printers so will take your word.

But I completely agree with you comments about Epson printers, I know 4 people who all bought Epson printers within 6 months as the price and print quality seemed good.

Every one of them died after about 18 months, claiming all ink cartridges were empty after 4 pages or just stopped output completely.

HP may NOT spin off PC biz


Well he got the boot today.

He probably still got a few million bucks for the last 11 months of complete screw-ups.

I'm sure had they employed some crack head junky, HP would be better off than they are today. For a start they would not have had to pay them a small fortune for being a complete failure.

Samsung may try to block next iPhone in Europe too


Your ether a troll/Apple fan or just don't have a clue.

Apple have been bullying everyone they could for decades by bringing ridiculous law suits against other companies.

Back in the 80's they did this against Microsoft, as they claim they invented WIMP interfaces. It took years to resolve and in the end it was up to Xerox to threaten Apple with the same suit. The difference being that Xerox HAD invented/design computers using Windows, Icons and Mice years before at their Palo Alto research centre and could easily prove it.

Apple were renowned then for spending vastly more on lawyers that R&D, the same is probably true today. Particularly when their intellectual IP consists of daft claims like making things with metal cases with rounded corners!

Netflix: How to completely screw up


Don't bring reasoned well thought out arguments in now.

These CEO's and Co "earning" their mege-bucks know everything, and are never wrong. It's obviously just our perception of reality thats wrong.

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial


There's probably a university somewhere in the UK that does a degree in Feng Shui!

As a backup for media studies students.


I am quite surprised by the number who say they did any programming at school in the 70s & 80s.

Until I got my first full time job as a trainee computer operator back in January 1982 (about 7 months after leaving school, never bothered with that university thing) I had never even seen a computer, apart from those depicted in TV/Films.

Amazon solves wait-at-home-for-deliveries problem


Alternatively the Post Office could offer this service...

Most towns and some villages still have a PostOffices, why not arrange for some of these to remain open till late on weekdays (or at least one or two nights), and Saturdays.

Then specify that your online purchase is marked as "delivery to nearest/designated PostOffice", for you to pickup on your way home from work, at lunch or even have them hold on to it until Saturday. This would also save the problem of the parcel left behind the bin/back gate nonsense.

This would be a "unique" selling point for RoyalMail/PacelForce to get some of the internet delivery business back that they lost due to strikes.

Poulson Itaniums hit 'Replay' for reliability


Will there be yet another port of VMS in a few years?

Not sure about NonStop and the other non-HP controlled OS's, but I suspect if VMS was ported to AMD64 there would be a lot of customers more than happy to have cheaper hardware.

I also suspect a lot of potential new customers could be converted away from the flaky Linux world by an OS that is truly reliable and efficient, rather than just being free and (maybe) a little better than Windows. Though they would have to sell it at a more reasonable price; I believe the main reason DEC went was its import of useless management (who IBM had the smarts to sack before it went bust in the early 90's) and a sales force who couldn't sell crack to junkies.

In the ~20 years I worked with VMS (VAX's in 80's & 90's, and Alpha's in early 00's) only a few were clustered, most were single machines that just ran year after year.

Sky wins TV riot battle


I have been avoiding BBC "News" for more than10 years.

BBC "News" has been crap for years.

Nothing gets reported unless there are pictures for the idiot masses to oggle at.

Nothing gets researched to verify that its not a load of tosh.

The level of understanding by the BBC's own self proclaimed experts is minimal at best.

Any loon can claim to be an expert if they have a friend at the beeb, and talk complete cobblers with no counter argument (see Panorama's repeated abuses).

SkyNews is not perfect, but compared to the BBC it is excellent and it has been for decades. Although many refuse to try it simply because the dirty digger owns 39% of the company, it is amazing how balanced there reporting is, even when their chairman/owner is in the spot light.

You don't have to be a Sky subscriber to watch it, it is free on Freeview.

For those people with an attention span of more than 30 seconds and who are interested in what is actually happening around the world; I would also recommend they try watching France24, NHK and some of the other foreign (Non-US) news services available on Sky. It will take you back to the good old days when the BBC News reported what was actually happening, even when that meant having the presenter reading a report and showing a map on screen.

Those real news channels also never spend hours reporting the moronic twaddle of some halfwit who just happens to be passing the camera crew or sent in an email/Twitter.

'Missing heat': Is global warmth vanishing into space?


Correlation may not equal cause; BUT!!!

Did anyone else notice the correlation between temperature anomalies and the economy (see 1st chart).

When the dot.com crash hit in march 2000 the temperatures went down, one could assume this was due to less fuel being used as people stopped spending what they didn't have for a while.

Then again in 2008, the start of the current economic crisis and again the temperatures dropped again as people use there cars less and industry used less energy.

Looks like perfect evidence of man made climate change to me, or will Orlowski, Lewis and Co now claim the banks all screwed up because bankers go cold.

Coulson arrested


And the Simpsons was bassed on fact.

In the states a few years back they ran a few fake prize events. All the "winners" were bail jumpers and other wanted crooks, the letters all sent to the last known addresses just stated they had to be at a certain place at a specified date/time and had to bring proof of identity to collect thier new TV, VCR, Cash...

Hundreds dutifully turned up to claim prizes and were arrested.

Sony to can MiniDisc Walkman


All my kit still works perfectly.

I got a tiny portable player around in 2001 for the commute to London, at the time the quality was vastly better than any of the MP3's around at that time, even when using the high compression mode that allowed 4+ CD's per mini-disk in full stereo. Carrying a couple of disks (slim & light) gave many hours of music, plus one AA battery lasts ~40 hours so cheap to run. Even when the generation iPod came out, the MD player was still much lighter and less than half the size.

I later purchased a Sony CD/MD Hi-Fi unit that allowed quick CD copies and also got a Kenwood player for the car, which also stayed with me when I changed car.

In fact changing the built-in CD player that my VW Passat came with for the Kenwood was quite amazing. The VW unit was flat and tinny to listen to, the Kenwood was a vast improvement without changing speakers or anything, I assume the VW unit just didn't have the power to actually drive the 6 (or is it 8) speakers.

In many ways I prefer it to MP3 in the car, as I can chose a disk with a decent selection of music, that I feel like listening to at that time, just pop the disk in and let it play for ~4.5 hours. No fiddling with menus, play-lists, etc.

The portable player is mostly unused these day as I carry my DSi on the trains, with an 8GB SD card full of music and a bunch of games it does just the job; and if the battery fails my phone still works!

NOTW hack-hackage: Inside the personal data press mess


Problem of MET investigating MET again.

While the MET are always allowed to investigate the MET they will never be brought to justice.

Even using regional Police to investigate others would help, at least they would not be drinking buddies with the crooked cops being looked into.

Samsung NS310 netbook

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Just a thought...

...but have you ever asked the manufactures WHY they only send Atom based kit?

Perhaps if you tell them how your readers are sick of not seeing the real competition they will lend you one. HP, Lenover, Toshiba, others all make and sell kit using the latest AMD chips and they must want to make money on them.

PS: The TV Adverts I saw last night for PCWorld; were all for AMD Fusion based laptops & netbooks.

Opera 11.50 debuts with Speed Dial extensions


Simple question about Opera & TheRegister

Is it just me that can never get TheRegister to look anything other than cr@p in Opera.

In FF, IE it looks pretty much identical, but in opera it is really naff with very odd backgrounds and utterly terrible layout. Most other sites render the same (NAMNO*) and that includes banks and other secure sites.

*NAMNO = "Near As Makes No Odds" as used by my physics teacher some time in the last century.

Peugeot iOn e-car


So cheap for about 20 people to run then...

"How much sense that makes depends on how many miles you cover and where you live. Max out on the potential savings from not paying the congestion charge in London and use the free parking available for zero-emission-at-the-tailpipe vehicles in Westminster and it’s possible for an iOn to more than pay for itself each year."

For the other 20-30 million people this is bloody expensive!

Buy a small diesel or petrol car of about the similar size for about 33% the price, and the left over ~£15K pays for a dammed sight more than 4 years worth of tax, insurance and fuel. Plus the benefit of being able to drive ~400 miles between refills and being able to fill it again in 5 minutes anywhere in the country.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoons 'beaten by Pakistani F-16s'


Totaly agree with 1st para, but disagree with the 2nd.

The reason the US Navy created the Top Gun school was precisely because of that silly thinking about missiles being the "be all and end all" and that dog fights were history.

Then then went up against the Chinese in Vietnam and got shot out the air. Their aircraft were superior in most respects, but they still lost.

The reason being that the pilots were required to make a visual positive identification of the enemy aircraft before shooting at it (something most yank allies would like to see more of today), making their shoot from 20 miles away missiles utterly useless. Once in close enough the confirm what the plane was and comfirm it was an enemy plane, they could not get a lock with missiles.

The only pilots who were not being shot down were those who had gotten their training in WW2 and Korea. But even many of them had trouble as their planes did not have guns.

The US Navy very quickly retro fitted cannon to their planes and created a proper fighter pilot school to teach all the new crews the art of dog fighting.

Billionaire Zuckerberg kills to eat


With his time and money learning to do the butchering would be easy.

However it could simple be that he cannot or does not want to eat (or freeze) a whole goat/lamd/cow.

In the UK any meet that is to be sold on to the public must be butchered by a qualified butcher. I would not be surprised if the US has very similar rules.

I would also add that his statement;

"I don't have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from."

I the first (and possible last) time that I 100% agree with him, I have always been discusted by people who discard meat products. Probably because in their tiny little minds nothing died as they got it from Tesco.

Intel to extend data centre tyranny into mobile, says CFO


re: where are they...

The answer is nearly everywhere.

I don't have what passes for a smart phone, but there are 2 Arm cpu's in my Nintendo DSi, another in my Sky box (I think), another in my QNAP NAS server, and possibly more in my car, DVDRecorded+Freeview box, etc...

I used to work for company that made hand held medical equipment so back then I often had ~4 devices with Sharp's ARM cores on my desk.

These things have been the number one cpu for embedded/portable hardware for many years (mid or early 1990's?), and they come in many variants from the fast kit in iPads/Phones to devices that have a coupe KB of eprom and a few more KB or RAM and only need a few milliwatts to run.

€1bn handout from the EU targets ambient nagware and robot pets


making them elected would be better,

but I would rather see them up against a wall, and have none of them.

We have a european parliament, and that should be enough along with each member state having the equivalent of veto and requireing them to go back and re-think plans (like the lords do to the commons, but with more power).

Digital Stream DPS-1000 BBC iPlayer set-top box


Re: re: Get Real

iPlayer is fine for those with good ADSL which handles the higher definition mode with ease, but for those with slow connections the standard resolutions is choppy.

Hollywood to 'retell' Carrie


Something I never new.

I never new that Stephen King had anything to do with "The Running Man". A movie i actually always enjoy watching - a classic old school Arnie movie with OTT Vilans.

I alway assumed that is was a Hollywood remake/rehash of the French film "Le Prix du Danger".


The main reason I never associated King with "The Running Man" is probably because I find most of his works are rather dull, predictable and derivative.

Big Brother man: TV viewers will swap privacy for content


I'm not happy about the licence at all!

I actually think it's about time they let the BBC officially run adverts (at least between programs) so I don't have to subsidise that sh!te. As opposed to the unofficial adverts that run for their own programming, plus all the fake news of new products/toys by the likes of Apple.

I pay for Sky (the cheapest package they do) so that I actually have something that I like to watch, without it being 5 years old on Channel 4/5/E/More/*...

Being forced to pay £145.50 per year for a grand total of: "Have I got news for you", "New Tricks", "Dr Who" and maybe one other (typically short lived) series is nothing like good value.

I don't watch the BBC News as it is just jingoistic retarded crap with press releases (aka: Free Advertising For Friends of the Beeb/Producers), and where a news event did not happen unless there's a video of it.

Lucky there are lots of video cameras in Japan or most Brits who rely of the BBC would never have heard about the Quake and Tsunami.

E Ink, Epson to build 'retina' display for e-book readers


A little off topic...

I looked at buying an e-reader a few months back and was put off by the price.

Not so much the readers, but the e-books. I looked up a few books that I may be interested in and found that outside of the current Top-20 lists, the e-books cost more than the paperbacks!

Sometimes they are as much as buying the hardback book, and that includes free P&P by real mail.

So for the time being I'm sticking with paper: it does not need re-charging, they are very durable and don't break when dropped. They don't like water, but then again most electronics would suffer more. They can be given to friends and relatives and finally to the charity shops if you are done with it.

I already have the 100 classics on my DSi, so I will wait a while longer plus the DSi also does games for when the trains are running slow than usual.

Pint-sized 3D printer produced


maybe...maby not

Don't forget that once the big printer boys have taken all the patents to stop all but HP, Cannon, Epson, etc... building them, the Ink will cost so much that it will still be cheaper to buy any mass produced items, probably by a large margin.

Though nearly all of those high street shops will probably go and you will have to buy everything online.

NHS IT dino-project NPfIT should be killed off - NAO


Not knowing your allergic...

It could be that youknow your allergic to one drug, but:

- Can you remember its name (there are lots of similar names)?

- Do you know that some drugs have multiple names and variants, do you know every one of them?

- In the case of a serious accident/incident, you may not be able to speak, let alone remember all your medical details.

As for the 1st poster:

I received documents through the post regarding this just last week, and i clearly states that the ONLY people who are permitted to see them are:

- Medical staff treating you.

- Said staff are only allowed to look at these records after getting your permission.

- The only exception to the above is if your are unable/incapable of giving that permission due to your current medical condition.

Give the Met Office £10m, says Transport Committee


Better yet sell off the Met office.

They would have to either get better at predictions or go bust and let someone else have go.

Most days they would be better of with a dozen old gits with pine cones guessing what the weather will be and phoning it in.

Plus sack the rail management who sent the de-icing trains of for their annual service in November & December! Is it that hard to do it in the summer when you know they will not be needed!

I also have my suspicions that the real reason we had no snow plows out the last two years (in Kent), is because some H&S twat thinks it not safe for the drivers.

David Cameron wants to push all of Blighty online


Poor spex...so what!

What browser and email client would these "Poor spec" machine not handle!

These are not supposed to be gaming rigs, they are there to get people able to access the web and use email.

This makes economic sense as most government activities can be (most have been) streamlined and made cheaper to provide, in the same way as every major company in the world now tries to use these simple tools to provide services and support to their customers.

I the users of these machines find that they later want to watch TV or play games they can buy something more appropriate for that, but they will be past the 1st hurdle which for many is getting the first PC and using it and finding out how useful it can be.

Elite coder readies £15 programming gadget for schools


And who writes those VM's...

...plus just about every product being made today that plugs into a power socket or has batteries has some king of computer in it.

Programming those little bits of kit in you washing machine, fridge, vacuum cleaner, radio, hubs/routers, etc... are all jobs that could be done in the UK, none of those will be done using VMs until you get into the larger boxes (like that bloody expensive and slow BlueRay Player reviewed by the Reg the other day that used Java).

The real problem I see with this device is that there are almost zero people in education who would have a clue where to start with this device.

Most people in education cannot even use word and excel properly (and that include the so called ICT teachers), but then again I have said for years that ICT should be renamed: "Basic Secretarial Studies".

If a school can find someone able to use this kit; putting something like this into secondary education would not only give kids an idea of what is behind the devices they use everyday, but might actually encourage them to do something remotely useful at Uni later on.

The biggest advantage though would be all those kids who can barely read or count, but will have three or four GCSE's in ICT might also learn that they are not going to get jobs in IT.

Lasers set to replace spark plugs in car engines

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@James Hughes 1

Just like to say that: everything you just stated is complete and utter balls.

Why do you think all London Taxis have been diesel since the day they got rid of the horses, its because its the cheapest way to run any car. Likewise for smaller trucks and vans, with the massive torque making them the only reliable engine for larger vehicles.

The typical diesel car engine will cost less to maintain and work longer than any petrol engine. This is mostly due to the engines being built stronger to start with and the much lower rev's required to use them putting less strain on components.

Plus there are no Spark plugs and pesky HT Leads the break down.

Obama gets personal V-22 Osprey tiltrotor



they will build him a Tachikoma to go with it.

For those who don't know what they are see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachikoma

Sony Pictures opens wallet for Bond 23


I'm probably alone in this,

but my favourite bond of all was: On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Good story, great cast and the best music by a long, long way.

As for the last two: Casino Royale was OK, about on par with the better/serious bonds, but the last one was just boring, and the editing was just crap. Images changing so fast during some fight seens that they gave me a headache (I will never watch it again).

Mine is the one with the 9mm Sig, no toy Walther please.

Nissan Leaf electric car



because even Homer Simpson is smart enought to know:

"In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

Fukushima update: No chance cooling fuel can breach vessels


RE: Tritiun half life..

You got there before me; tritium it does have a half life of about 11-12 years.

It is also mostly harmless as it only emits low energy beta radiation.

The same tritium gas is in my key ring fob, very useful if i drop it at night as I can find it with ease.

Said radio active key ring fob was purchased from el Reg back in 2003, and still glows bright enough to be useful.

?does that boffin look like he glows in the dark?

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems


My 1st real job in computer operations introduced me to VAX/VMS on an 11/780

I later moved to programming and spent 20+ years on VMS systems VAX and Alpha.

The VAX architecture was for its time the best by a long way, easy to use, easy to debug, and probably still the most stable and reliable OS you can buy. There may have been some instructions that were hardly ever used, but DEC did the right thing when it came to machine checks.

Every (and I mean EVERY) instruction possible on a VAX was ether correct and verified or it was guaranteed to throw a hardware exception. This was also true of the Alpha, so unlike the early SPARC, MIPS and other processors you couldn't crash a system from user mode just by creating duff machine code.

As a result DEC were able to both add and remove instructions in later hardware and just add code to the exception handlers.

For example the MOVC3 and MOVC5 and other instructions were not in the MicroVAXs hardware, they became functions in the OS that were called when the CPU throw an exception.

Likewise the later Alpha CPUs had new instructions for accessing single bytes in memory, this improved performance of later Alphas a lot, but running that new code on older Alpha would run (slower due to the exception handling).

Likewise VMS was (and is) source code compatible with all previous versions, and image compatible within a hardware platform, so I can run a program compiled 30 years ago on an 11/780 and it would still run on the MicroVAX I have at home or a SIMH emulator today.

Somewhat different to the crap OS's we have today with Windows or this weeks release of Linux not being compatible with a year old application without a rebuild.

I'm certain anyone who truely got to know and understand VMS misses it.

Texting teenager plunges to his death


And what next...

Should every pavement have a 2 meter high barrier to stop retards walk into the road, should every pedestrian crossing have gates like railways to physically stop them wandering into traffic, should every cliff around every country be fitted with jump proof fences.

It only takes a second to look at you surroundings and make a judgement about walk with you eyes effective shut.

If this idiot had fallen down a flight of stairs and broken his neck would you be calling for the abolition of stairs.

Re others:

As for all the other pathetic excuses about being throw over the edge; try growing a backbone. You know that dark area that follows you everywhere is just your shadow, not to bogeyman.

Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

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Some reasons why changing batteries will not work...

...just imagine you have just spent £23000 on a new e-mini, and after driving your new toy about for fun on the very first day you get it, you have to change that battery.

The battery your hand in is a lovely new one which allows say 80-100 miles, you get back an old (2-3 years) duffer that as the manufactures admit will have only ~60% the capacity, or even worse is about to fail completly 5 miles down the road.

Then think of how many batteries a typical station would have to have to guarantee that the next one to go out has been there long enough to be re-charged? Storage space is not cheap and unless every car manufacturer agrees on a standard, there will be many types and sizes.

But the biggest problem is simply weight; these batteries are not light weight, just think about how much of a typical laptop's weight is the battery and now think of changing something 100-200 times the size or maybe you would rather changing 20-30 separate smaller ones and have all those physical connections to break and fail.

EV's are just toys, and will remain so until:

- Batteries can be made to last longer without massive degradation.

- The charging times can be lowered (although this would still need massive upgrades to the grid)

- Have a range that covers the typical extended days journey (150+ miles at speeds over 50mph)

- Are capable of doing the above and carry 3 to 4 people with luggage.

Microsoft embraces ARM with Windows 8


MIPS and Alpha...

You forgot the PA Risc chips that were originally supported as well.

The real issue will be how well the provide the other applications like Office...

On Alpha NT boxes ( the last to remain after the other two were dropped after just a year or two) the only native version of MS Word was a debug build found via MSDN, which had a 18MB .exe and ran like a crap, it was even slower than using the x86 version under FX!32 emulation/transcoding.

<going off topic a bit>

This has been nice for ARM share holders, as the share price is now easily 5x what the company is truly worth (currently about £5.06 per share, was under £4 a month ago and £3.50 a month before that).

ARM make pennies from each chip sold, with a lot of their income coming from selling development suit licenses. When MS do this they will almost certainly just do another Dev-Studio compiler so ARM will like only get the benefit of those extra pennies from CPU sales.

Yes those pennies will add up, but as the share currently only offers an RIO (ie dividends) of 0.45% at today's prices. I find it hard to see the hype and silly prices lasting too long, as they would have to start selling at least 10x the chips, and versions of these chips are in everything from smart phones to set-top- boxes to washing machines already, that is unlikely to happen just because Windows 8 will be around.

Disconsolate Spanish smokers driven out into blizzard


re: as You said...

Being old does not necessarily mean being burden on the NHS, that's a real fact.

Smokers age much faster due to there sad pathetic nicotine addiction, but get many more deseases than the usual cancer.

In fact Cancer is one of the less likely killers for smokers. More likely is the damage done by the smoke that causes emphysema, which causes breathlessness and poor oxygenation of the blood.

This often results in early incapacity of the person, which continues until they take their last breath, as there is no cure apart from a lung transplant and why waist a good pair of lungs.

One of the main actual causes of death for smokers is pneumonia, which effect smokers far worse than non-smokers, which could be deemed as lucky for some as the later side effects of emphysema will also cause the extremities of the body to die before there time. Resulting in months or even years of ulcers until the toes, feet, fingers, hands and if they last long enough whole limbs are amputated to stop them rotting away.

There are whole set of nasty side effects of smoking and this is why the average 30 year old smoker looks like a 40 year old non-smoker.

This is nothing like the vast majority of people who enjoy a bit of alcohol, as it does not have much effect on those around them. It has even been proven that a moderate intake of alcohol (particularly red wine) improves your life expectancy.

I personally believe that anyone under the age of about 60 who smokes is just proving to the world they are a moron, that or they were abused by their parents and turned into nicotine addicts as children.

A perfect example of idiocy are those who claim not to be addicts and insist they do it because they like it!

Well if you like it so much, even when standing outside in the cold and wet stop complaining, or admit you have a problem and get help, just any other junky.

Beer: as you can enjoy it without being an addict, and unless I decide to piss the after effects on a smoker it effects no one else.