* Posts by PhilipN

1037 posts • joined 12 Oct 2010


Microsoft's Cloud PCs debut – priced between $20 and $158 a month

PhilipN Silver badge

New Idea! Network Computer!

What do you mean someone tried it 25 years ago?

Come on - "How many have been sold??!!" (to quote W. H. Gates III Esq),

Windows 10 to hang on for five more years with 21H2 update

PhilipN Silver badge

Not just Microsoft is at it.

A (what was when I got it and still is, once I get it working) high end photo scanner from Epson would not bloody work under any iteration of Windows until I re-commissioned an ancient (but still perfectly good) desktop running XP.

So spoilt for choice even without Linux. And the good thing is MS does not care about me so no forced updates,

Even better - Chrome barely works and does not self-update either. Hang out the banners!

Now tell me again why I need to move on?

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

PhilipN Silver badge

Missing the point ….

.. that they even kept the miscreant’s (facial) data in a database.*

Is that allowed?

Either way it is pretty scary.

Even leaving aside that the enforcement authorities et al would lose no time in accessing the database - of kids - roller skating! - whenever they wanted to.

* and the innocent girl’s too.

Today's arms race is all about AI and it's China vs America, says US defense secretary

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Athens vs. Sparta

China needs your engineers not your land.

PhilipN Silver badge

Athens vs. Sparta

Suggest go to the actual speech (linked).

Then stand back.

It is really damn scary.

No wonder China perceives the need to build up its military,

Suck on this: El Reg forces dog hair, biscuit crumbs, and disconcertingly sticky stains down two mini vacuums

PhilipN Silver badge

Mop and bucket

Nope. New designs, new materials, new products - NOTHING beats a good old-fashioned mop and bucket with hot water.

And when I say hot I mean HOT.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

PhilipN Silver badge

Below the belt

Dirty trick listing favourite Fall at the end.

Now it is my tiresome duty to go through the entire Fall catalogue to see which are mine.

See ya next month.

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

PhilipN Silver badge


I do not know who invents these new words but this one is particularly horrible.

Apart from anything else as far as Mother Nature is concerned the dehumanised area is perfectly orderly. Not wild at all.

US Navy starts an earthquake to see how its newest carrier withstands combat conditions

PhilipN Silver badge

"nothing beats a real live test"

Well you said it.

And on an IT website, no less.

PhilipN Silver badge

Didn’t they think of trying it on a scale model?

That’s ok. I feel smug, now, in being able to toss thoughts of a personal carbon footprint out the window.

Hubble Space Telescope sails serenely on in safe mode after efforts to switch to backup memory modules fail

PhilipN Silver badge

Bottomless Money Pit

In his book on cosmology Martin Rees was scathing about the Hubble Telescope, its costs, delays, politics and as compared with (better) satellite technology which became available during the delays ultimately hopeless by comparison.

NASA has contributed hugely to humanity but sometimes they need to find a reverse gear.

Prez Biden narrowly escapes cicada assassination attempt, hunkers down in Cornwall

PhilipN Silver badge

RAF Mildenhall

Don’t be fooled by the name. It is a huge chunk of East Anglia which will forever be Oklahoma, stacked to the gills with US military materiel.

China's ISCAS to build 2,000 RISC-V laptops by the end of 2022 as nation seeks to cut reliance on Arm, Intel chips

PhilipN Silver badge

Trump's trade war

China's exports to the USA are booming.

And China forced to seek parity in IT in 5 years, or 2, instead of 25, or never.

Way to go, Donnie!

China says its first Mars rover Zhurong has landed on the Red Planet

PhilipN Silver badge

Beat me to it.

Moved to go back to the source article and run it through G***** Translate.

It could more felicitously be translated as "interplanetary".

You will not get that from a straight copy and paste (which I presume is what El Reg did). You need to play with GT a bit : for example try translating "interstellar" into Chinese and it gives "interplanetary" as alternative usage and vice versa.

Known software issue grounds Ingenuity Mars copter as it attempted fourth flight

PhilipN Silver badge

In engineering there is always uncertainty

So they cannot be certain of that.

SpaceX flings another bunch of humans into orbit in reused capsule atop reused booster

PhilipN Silver badge

Extraordinary reactions

That is, given yet another ground-breaking and gob-smacking achievement. remarks here are tepid to say the least.

Musk has made space exploration routine?

One way or another it reveals what a strange world we inhabit.

Huawei could have snooped on the Dutch prime minister's phone calls thanks to KPN network core access

PhilipN Silver badge

China's Faroe Islands ambassador

I really really wish there was such an office* but sadly it is China’s ambassador to Denmark.

*emulating Carlton-Browne of the F.O.

Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $3bn NASA contract to, fingers crossed, land first woman on the Moon

PhilipN Silver badge

..land first woman on the Moon..

First woman : Eve.

Will be quite an achievement, that.

Oh hello. Haven't heard much from you lately: Linux veteran Slackware rides again with a beta of version 15

PhilipN Silver badge

What's the hurry?

I am waiting for the next version of Ygdrassil Linux.

Fire up that Macintosh II: Retro techhead gives the web a Netscape 1.1 makeover

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The Netscape spinning globe

Want! Want! Want!

Over a decade on, and millions in legal fees, Supreme Court rules for Google over Oracle in Java API legal war

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Minions Finally Lose

11,500 lines of code which, to put it in perspective for a non-techie, at 30 lines a page* means 380-odd pages.

Not War and Peace but not what I would call selective, incidental use either.

But out of how many lines total?**

*Yes I know some lines are very short but each has a purpose. yes?

** Oh. 2.8 million. OK. Scrub the above remark.

Deloitte settled HPE's Autonomy lawsuit for $45m back in 2016 and agreed to cooperate with US DoJ

PhilipN Silver badge

"Window dressing"

Many a long year since I first heard this expression for end-of-year financial jiggery-pokery in the squeaky-clean appallingly hypocritical City of London.

Since when the power of accounting and particularly audit firms - who were once derisively but accurately called "add and tick men" - has gone way beyond being a simple pillar of the capitalist system. Mixing metaphors I know but it is the tail wagging the dog.

But then what do you expect from a profession which swears by double-entry (snort... snigger)?

The silicon supply chain crunch is worrying. Now comes a critical concern: A coffee shortage

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Friesland

Thanks for that.

Learn something new ....


PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Don't the British prefer tea?

Me too except where, on the planet, do you get a decent cup of tea otherwise than at home?

PhilipN Silver badge


"benighted heathens" such as Holmes and Watson (who, if memory serves, drank only coffee, not tea)? Long before the 1950's too.

Boffins get first measurements of Jupiter's stratospheric storms that show 'unique beast' dwarfing Earth's issues

PhilipN Silver badge

Faster than the speed of sound

Not relevant, or not too relevant, outside our atmosphere, but it has got me wondering about a Mach 1+ breeze on this planet.

The Audacity of it all: Version 3.0 of open-source audio fave boasts new file format, 160+ bug fixes

PhilipN Silver badge


As chance would have it I uncovered a batch of audio files I recorded off AOL Radio years ago, some of which had been split into individual tracks some not. One or two are 5 hours-worth of streamed music. Audacity was, and is, perfect for the job.

Space station dumps 2.9-ton battery pack to burn up in Earth's atmosphere after hardware upgrade

PhilipN Silver badge

It’s ok we’ve done it before.

3 tons of it is ok. So my phone battery may be left to decompose in the same Earth’s atmosphere. Got it.

Huawei CFO's legal eagles take HSBC to court in Hong Kong to obtain evidence against US extradition

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Hong Kong?

The protests in HK concerned a proposal to legislate for extradition from HK to Mainland China.


Get the point?

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Hong Kong?

Geography lesson:

PRC is over there, past the immigration facilities.

SpaceX wants to slap Starlink internet terminals on planes, trucks, and boats – but Tesla owners need not apply

PhilipN Silver badge

Underserved locations?

Where? I'm booking my ticket.

Flagship Chinese chipmaker collapses before it makes a single chip or opens a factory

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Herr Schadenfreude here

Respectfully, you are ten years out of date.

And, El Reg - flagship?? You have got to be joking!!

This was a local private enterprise instigated by the Chinese equivalent of golf buddies/ lodge members etc who persuaded the city government to allot them a piece of land with promises of big bucks and national kudos. The promoters may conceivably have wanted to succeed - I mean, 7 is half of 14, how hard can it be? - but will have been more interested in getting Government subvention because as long as the money flows we can pay ourselves a juicy salary and bonuses.

The fact that a project descends so soon into recriminations amongst builders and others means it was woefully underfunded in the first place.

Furthermore and most important China is now run by an army of very smart, astute and educated bureaucrats - mainly in Beijing but also other tier 1 cities (Wuhan excluded) and they would have taken one look at the business plan and progress and pulled the plug on allocation of Central Government funding before there was a even a plug.

Linus Torvalds went six days without electricity, swears smaller 5.12 kernel is co-incidental

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Eh

Reminder :

id software was Doom

which some will recall used up storage available globally approximately 50% faster than Seagate et al could produce it.

BOFH: 7 jars of Marmite, a laptop and a good time

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Does what it doesn't say on the tin

'Most everything came in tins back then - few had refrigerators so shelf life - at least all the good things.

The only good thing I can remember in a glass bottle - being a wee lad - was Tizer.

Scottish rocketeers Orbex commission Europe's largest industrial 3D printer to crank out 35 engines a year

PhilipN Silver badge

Launch from where?

Don't we have any friendly members of the Commonwealth on the Equator?

Microsoft announces a new Office for offline fans, slashes support, hikes the price

PhilipN Silver badge

It's 2021? Who knew?

Still use WordPerfect for DOS in an OS/2 VM. Does 100% of what I want.

But 0% of what others want. Sigh.

Has Amazon finally gone cuckoo? Bezos' behemoth turns to crowdfunding for Alexa-powered timepiece

PhilipN Silver badge

Linked Amazon page says:

Currently unavailable.

We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

but also says :

#1 best seller in clocks....

No wonder Bezos is richest on the planet.

No joy for Julian Assange as Uncle Sam confirms it will keep pushing for WikiLeaker's extradition to America

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: I could look it up but ...

Congratulations, DVers, for missing the point. And not remembering the right to speedy "justice" dating back to the Magna Carta.

PhilipN Silver badge

I could look it up but ...

.... short of that I don’t even remember what he did,

Huawei invokes 140-year-old law at England's High Court in latest bid to thwart CFO's US-Canada extradition

PhilipN Silver badge

HSBC has to defend

At least go through the motions. The end result does not matter a toss to HSBC but the way they get there does. They simply cannot be seen to cooperate with Huawei even though - in most jurisdictions - it would be quite lawful for them to do so. This is either Huawei data to kick off with, or it is the bank’s data - nobody else’s - which they are free to do with as they please.

But NOT to poke Uncle Sam in the eye.

The bank has paid billions in fines to the US. And they do not want to lose their US banking licence. Which the US regulatory authorities would do out of chagrin and spite : after all, this entire extradition thing is as much spite as justice.

Mike Lynch extradition: Uncle Sam offered Autonomy founder $10m bail if he stood trial in the US

PhilipN Silver badge

Who is next?

The HP board. They have to do this to pretend they were not stupid and culpable and therefore liable themselves to a shareholder law suit.

HP's lawyers. Deal like this the buyer sends in not just a platoon but a whole army of lawyers to check everything,

HP's accountants. Ditto.

HP's lawyers insurers. They will ultimately pick up the tab, as will

The Board's executive liability insurers and

The accountants' insurers.

Then the insurers bump up their premiums. Probably already did. So all their insureds pay.

Did I forget anyone? Oh yes - the bankers who advised on the deal. But they are the ones who always have an explanation why a magic deal turns out to be a disaster.

Ho-hum. Keeps the wheels of capitalism turning.

As Huawei's semiconductor purchases slip, its founder tries a new tactic: Flattery

PhilipN Silver badge

What trade deal?

The one which saw US exports to China fall by 40%? That trade deal?

That's ok - hit them with the national security/foreign policy mantra. Same thing anyway.

Satya Nadella spoke with Australian PM about opportunities created by pay-for-news-plan. Zuck called the Treasurer for a chat, too

PhilipN Silver badge

The Great Australian Firewall

What news organs (i.e. what news) are they trying to protect? Quick gander at the Sydney Morning Herald and it is either (1) overseas news available at a plethora of other places online and (2) domestic news which non-Australians are not particularly interested in. Sorry, Aussies, but even the Melbourne Cup gets limited exposure outside the country.

Coupled with the fact that news media gaily plagiarises each others reports all the time so I am gagging at the hypocrisy.

Facebook finally finds something it thinks is truly objectionable and needs to be taken offline: Apple

PhilipN Silver badge

100b a quarter

1 billion a day. Not bad.

Hats off to Tim Cook.

The Almighty Steve J was one of the hardest acts in history to follow but Tim Cook - and his team - have handled it with aplomb.

If you want to leg it through China's Great Firewall, don't forget to pull on your newly darned Shadowsocks

PhilipN Silver badge

Truth is over-rated

Take my word for it.

But if you are one of very few miscreants in the entire country whose online record cannot be accessed, expect the 4 o'clock knock.

One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale

PhilipN Silver badge

Room in the back for the groceries?

Might make an offer.

Nothing new since the microwave: Let's get those home tech inventors cooking

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Smart heating system?

“ frost on the INSIDE of the windows”

First time we met ice in the days before refrigerators were commonplace.

Yes, children, there was such a time.

Honor has flown the nest: Announces first phone as an independent firm, inks deals with supply chain big dogs

PhilipN Silver badge

Smart timing

Wait until [ Donald who? ] was out. He probably had his pen poised over another ban with "Honor" in the title.

Actually on reflection he probably did not. D.T. did not do "Cause and Effect".

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

PhilipN Silver badge

"Windows just works"

Learn something new ....

Screw you, gadget-menders! No really, you'll need loads of screwdrivers to fix Apple's AirPods Max headphones

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: A car self-diagnoses now

Software! (Wicked chuckle.)

Mate of mine is importing a brand spanking new Land Rover Defender into Australia. Took months to arrive but that is another story.

The local dealer when prepping the vehicle for delivery and attempting to download the latest software "rendered the vehicle inoperable". Seems this means it is unsalvageable. As my mate reported : "What the actual ...k???" and the car was designed in the UK, the software in India, and it is assembled in Slovakia so - "What was I thinking???"

I have not dared to ask him the latest.



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