* Posts by PhilipN

1131 posts • joined 12 Oct 2010


After suffering $1b subsidy snub, Starlink lands $2m US Air Force deal


Go where the money is

Great to see leaps and bounds in technology being harnessed for military purposes as a priority...

Facebook hands over chats to cops in post-Roe abortion case


Re: I feel really sorry for the family

Agreed.. Legalities - and opinions - aside, this was, and is, horrific for both.

President Biden signs CHIPS and Science Act into law


Re: Lack of Confidence

Beat me to it. Does sound desperate.

The many derivatives of the CP/M operating system


Paul Allen

Moderately tangential (but wanted to mention his name anyway) memory is getting hazy but I seem to recall after MS threw together its seat-of-the-pants OS for the Altair Paul Allen realised while on the plane going to see the proprietor for a demo that they had not yet written the boot code. So he wrote it on the plane.

Nancy Pelosi ties Chinese cyber-attacks to need for Taiwan visit


Re: ... the likes of TSMC turned Taiwan into a vital source of technology

Really? Then how curious there is lots more stuff in the Imperial Palace Museum, Beijing which somehow did not get smashed by the Red Guards - which is a tiresome, misleading and an unsubstantiated knee-jerk excuse for the Nationalist looting.


Re: ... the likes of TSMC turned Taiwan into a vital source of technology

How about the hundreds of thousands of Imperial treasures held at the Taipei Museum looted by the Nationalists and transported by the trainload when they fled to Taiwan? So many barely 10% may be displayed at any one time.


Good summary

Thank you, Simon. A more balanced and informative precis than you will see in any Western media.

US mulls more export bans – this time, memory – in war on Chinese chipmakers


Comparing administrations

Centrally-planned economy vs. headless chicken

What's the betting China will be able to produce domestically all the technology it needs within 5 years ....... 2 years?

Spent Chinese rocket booster splashes down over Southeast Asia


Should I be worried or relieved?

That NASA cannot track space junk falling out of the sky?

Alright, pull the other one.

AWS sales boss claims Microsoft's softened cloud licensing regime is a sham


That's good - the master of profit manipulation accusing the master of market manipulation

Or is it the other way round.

Over a period of (many) years any time Amazon was at risk of turning a profit Bezos would cut prices.

Back then the only way to guarantee a stratospheric share price was run at as large a loss as possible.

China seems to have figured out how to make 7nm chips despite US sanctions



"over national security concerns"


Uncle Sam perceives itself as King of the S**t Heap and will do anything to keep it that way. Simple.

UK blocks China from licensing Manchester Uni's robot vision tech


How much?

Surely not giving it away so I wonder how much Man U (no, the other one) are losing out on. Cannot (so far) find it online.

US warns losing access to Taiwanese chips could break the economy


Chips with everything

And there's me thinking the US main concern about Taiwan was democracy .....

Weird Flex, but OK: Now you can officially turn these PCs, Macs into Chromebooks


Re: Headlines

For those of us who over the years built their own office and home PC's and struggled endlessly with this OS or that - and who probably have too many computers at home* -

"people who want to turn their stuff into Chromebooks in an easy, faff-free way"

is exactly right.

* Re-installed XP on one a couple of weeks ago, Why? 'Cos it's there. Idle, even though not that long ago it did everything I wanted. Mostly still does. Haven't turned it on since then,

Twitter sues Musk: He can't just 'change his mind, trash the company, walk away'


What if Twitter were holed below the waterline

I am worried - where are the World's international newspapers going to find essential content for most of their articles?

Does it mean reporters will actually have to gather real news for a change?

Twitter claims Elon Musk bailed from sale with 'invalid and wrongful' reasons


Get in the popcorn

Fact is the agreement with Twitter should indeed allow EM to walk away as and when anything untoward is found.

If not then he will go after his lawyers.

PS. "Chuck Norris" and "actor" do not belong in the same sentence.

Florida man accused of selling fake, broken Cisco devices from China to hospitals, schools, military


Re: Fine American name that

Arriviste! I am Pictish and I want my country back!

Running DOS on 64-bit Windows and Linux: Just because you can


Edward Mendelson's very helpful WordPerfect for DOS page

Thank you, Edward

Ubuntu Touch OTA-23 is coming: Do you have one of the older model phones that can test it?


Old phones!

Toss them to the back of the cupboard and they're gone. But keep coming back again and again - like Covid!

Now I shall spend hours trying to find the charger for the LG Google Phone then descend into frustration trying to load this latest OS iteration on to it and waste a good part of the weekend. Can't wait :-)

Not a GNOME fan, and like the look of Windows? Try KDE Plasma or Cinnamon



Was it Stevie J or someone else at Apple who veered towards fingers?

He it was who said (about a forthcoming possibly rival product) words to the effect "If they have a stylus we know we've won".

True - easy to say now - but how did he know that since we had stopped using fingers in kindergarten?

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes



Thanks for the memory. Saw her docked in Southampton with a few other liners - maybe a Queen but I forget - when taking the harbour cruise. Yes when I was very small.

IBM ordered to hand over ex-CEO emails plotting cuts in older workers


Systemic vs. Systematic

There is a difference. Denying one leaves the other on foot.

TSMC and China: Mutually assured destruction now measured in nanometers, not megatons


"if China's only reason for invading ..."

Respectfully suggest you check China's policy towards Taiwan, consistent since 1949 (in fact since the Ching Dynasty). Nothing to do with "high value things".


When did Scorched Earth ever work?

(Except in Russia- twice)

And why would Taiwan destroy its ONLY leverage?

Next major update of Windows 11 prepares for launch


"..leagues behind..."

Is that measured in country miles?

I would have expected a more pithy metaphor. El Reg devotees have a whole stable of them.

China 'must seize TSMC' if the US were to impose sanctions


Re: Outside military personnel?

You obviously do not know China in general or HK in particular.


Outside military personnel?

Utter tripe. The PLA occupies barracks in the heart of HK Island and are generally invisible save when driving in impeccably maintained vehicles to other PLA facilities - all taken over in 1997 from the British Army - and never exceeding the speed limit. They certainly never appear on the streets of HK least of all to quell protests - especially when Xi JinPing made it clear that it was a HK problem and HK had better fix it.

IBM finally shutters Russian operations, lays off staff


HP loses estd. 1bn in sales

Anyone know how much net profit lost that translates to - if any?

And assuming that means abandoning all the related regional logistics and other support - all cost centres - HP probably comes out ahead.

In any event the accountants will be busy turning the shuttering costs into a balance sheet positive.

Elon Musk orders Tesla execs back to the office


Time sheets

In a profession treating chargeable time as sacrosanct I gave up time sheets years ago. Did the right thing : installed a time recording package (running under DOS - yes, DOS); pick up the phone - keyboard click to start the timer; put down the phone - click to stop it. I was genuinely shocked to find most phone calls are barely 2 minutes. Especially when time is routinely recorded in 5 minute segments.

So half the chargeable time was illusion.

And I could not figure out at all how I was getting by on 1.5 hours work a day.

All-AMD US Frontier supercomputer ousts Japan's Fugaku as No. 1 in Top500


Re: So powerful it can predict the future?

That's OK. After I posted I realised MAD Magazine was usually a couple of months ahead.


So powerful it can predict the future?

Top 500 list says "published June 1, 2022 in Hamburg. Germany".

I am impressed.

Or were they running W11 on a Dell?

Shanghai lockdowns to end, perhaps easing tech supply chain woes


That's the tech sector.

Global logistics blew up for everybody 2 years ago and it is getting worse instead of better with no end in sight.

Drone ship carrying yet more drones launches in China


What would the (U.S.) Navy say?

That a vessel with a Marines crew also has no human intelligence on board.

IBM-powered Mayflower robo-ship once again tries to cross Atlantic


Isolation switch that failed

Failed how? And why? Was it picked up in haste from the discount shelf?

This is IBM, which builds supercomputers?

Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger


and regularly updated

Original killer PC spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 now runs on Linux natively


Nobody's mentioned LaTeX yet?

Funnily I just loaded it onto my Mac last night. Sort of for fun - I was never an avid user and I am long past steep learning curves - but initial results impressive.


Re: WordPerfect

Memory's creaking but I recall I think that you could switch to WYSIWYG mode on the screen, at least in 6.2.

Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China


Re: Wu has gone

Scepticism required when ingesting reports on China from Western media. FT for example prints what is presented as a definitive shareholder breakdown. Underneath the attribution in tiny print is "Sources : Documents seen by the FT; sources". I had better send them some more "sources" I just wrote in wax crayon.

Logitech Pop: Stylish, portable, but far from the best typing experience


Follow the link

For purposes of self-respect* I heartily recommend all commentards first open the link to the Logitech website to see the target market in an instant.

Unless you did not notice. In which case welcome to nerdsville. And seek help.

*and to save time.

Export bans prompt Russia to use Chinese x86 CPU replacement


VIA and Cyrix

More than 2 decades ago. That's not even glacial progress in the silicon business.


Re: Russian politics aside

China has been fostering its semiconductor industry for many years.

Microsoft-backed robovans to deliver grub in London


Re: What's the bandwidth on these things ?

Beat me to it but a different point : "generate a terabyte of data every minute". Easy these days. It's interpreting and applying the data is the tricky bit. And is the AI taught to assume that every other road user may be an unpredictable nincompoop?

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs


Re: So what should a a 21st century UI look like?

Voice controls=good?

If memory serves it was in OS/2 Warp when I tried it but the hardware fell short as well as the brainware. That is, hand (on mouse) and eye connection was fast and instinctive whereas screen-eye-brain-vocal chord was a good deal slower. Even assuming you could remember the correct wretched word.

Have not tried recent iterations.


OS/2 Workplace Shell

Agree. Faithful OS/2 user here until finally had to move (to OS/X) but just a daily office (=place of business) user so never had the need or chance to exploit the depth and richness of the Workplace Shell.

In fact now you mention it I am tempted to reinstall it on an old but not too old machine. Should go like greased lightning.

The end of the iPod – last model available 'while supplies last'



Three cheers for the original MP3 portable player of which I have fond in fact very fond memories.

The first time you sit on the bus with the ability to enter your private hi-if world and actually choose what you listen to.

Since El Reg and nobody else mentioned it I shall, again : the Rio MP3 player

Twitter buyout: Larry Ellison bursts into Elon's office, slaps $1b down on the desk


Re: Whose money?

Easy. Perfectly normal business. Control at least cost. And maximise return against investment which is malleable.

So invest $100 and get back $110 you make 10%.

But get some other lunkhead to fund your $100, pay him $1 interest you made 900%.

AND the lunkhead loses sleep cos if the investment tanks and you declare bankruptcy he is the one who lost $100, not you.

Elon Musk set to buy Twitter in $44b deal, promises stuff


Cobblers ...

..should stick to their lasts. I mean you, El Reg, Stick to IT.

He is buying the company i.e. paying existing shareholders for their shares. The $$ goes to them.

The debt raised by EM to fund the buyout and therefore the interest is his liability, not the company's. There is no reason why it would raise the company's expenses a single cent.

'Course he may want to force through dividends, or even loans, to help his cash flow but that is not an expense and is routine cash management.

And he may want to get into more creative financial management - the bankers cannot wait to bump up their pension funds with Elon as a client - affecting the balance sheet and P&L account but that is hypothetical and an entirely different point.

Elon Musk says he can get $46.5bn to buy Twitter


Re: Ah, the beauty of having all the money in the world

The world we live in is the one in which banks already have the entire funding covered by their portfolio investment clients. The banks do not have to risk a single cent of their own money**

**except they do of course (but only technically) when they can book a profit in 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days it takes them to toss the thing over to their kept-in-the-dark clients with whom they have discretionary management arrangements.

Twitter preps poison pill to preclude Elon Musk's purchase plan


Poison pill

The most infuriating aspect of US takeovers. The first thing Directors and senior management do is rush to check their service contracts. Then they figure out the way to maximise their own returns. In a perfect world the Board would recuse themselves since in no way are they giving independent recommendations to shareholders.

As an earlier poster said shareholders can say yes or no; or do nothing. There is a plethora of sources of information today; and advising shareholders has not been a closed shop for decades. Yet the second thing the Board does is ask the lawyers to drop in a poison pill, no more than a form of blackmail, a way to say **** you to the (temporarily) hostile party which benefits neither the company nor the shareholders.

South Yorkshire to test fiber broadband through water pipes


Re: Where's Elon when you need him?

For those DVers choosing not to share their vast knowledge this may be a good starting point :




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