* Posts by Interceptor

66 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Mar 2011


Microsoft gobbles Chipzilla's Havok 3D physics unit in cloud gaming play


I was so surprised to hear this news I fell over backwards in my chair, hit the floor, bounced 25 feet up clipping through the ceiling and twitched for about a half-hour after I landed wrist-first on the patio, folded neatly between the grill and the kids' playhouse, all the while making a rapid thumping sound.

Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her


Re: MeowMeowBeenz

"One for a Dark Lord, on a Dark Throne

In the land of Facebook, where the Shadows lie."

Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS


Yes but would anyone read a novel about the collapse of the universe due to a giant paint ball! I can see the critiques now "Reading this book was literally about as much fun as watching paint dry."

Well, maybe I'll jot down a few ideas regardless. But then, how would you all know if I did? :)


I had to google that - neat! I'm not that good a writer, though. I mean, I've written for IT pubs, but never anything of that magnitude.


Thank you, you flatter me.


Carmichael continued to paint. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Soon his hands became to palsied and his back became too weak to continue the work. His grandchildren enthusiastically carried on their eccentric grandsire's life work.

By 2077, the paint sphere was large enough to provide their ancestral home with a considerable amount of shade. Several companies offered to buy the mighty pigment planetoid for various tidy sums. DuPont wanted to cross-section it and place it in front of their factory that produced it's popular Valspar paint line, Rawlings wanted to hire a group of miners to extract the baseball within and webcast the entire event. But the family demurred, continuing to add layer upon layer.

In August of 2239 (Holy Year 8 as now reckoned by the Post-Fall calendar), the Sphere could be seen on the horizon as far away as Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The provisional government of the Midwest AmeriCanada begged the family to stop; records show there were plans to bombard the Sphere from the air using the Commemorative Air Force's restored B-2 bomber, but the resources couldn't be allocated due to the deteriorating conditions on the western front fighting the New Oregonian Caliphate.

By 3055, the Sphere was interfering with orbital traffic. The Chinese Co-Prosperity Collective of Canada and the People's Republic of Alaska attempted multiple paint embargoes and direct antimatter weapon attacks on the Sphere to slow the rate of growth; the various allied factions of Brotherhood of Kar-Myk'al ignored these pinprick assaults and continued to paint. While it is popularly believed that the work was still being done by hand, as we now know, some time in the 2800s a chromospecific nanogel had been spread over the surface which simply leached the elements required to create paint from the air itself, converted them, and then in a von Neumann fashion assembled the paint and new nanomachines from those.

Late in the 75th century, paintEarth's inhabited surface (the former Earth had been considered lost and officially engulfed in paint in the year 6801) was a uniform yellow-grey; the Painters (as "Humanity" now called itself) living in anti-gravity cities hovering over the surface of the planet, applied layer after layer of pigment consisting of the mass of Jupiter and Saturn. Neptune's exposed core of rapidly solidifying diamond liquid seas merited little more than a disinterested shrug before the bulk of its makeup was stripped and applied as primer for the coming Oort Cloud enamel coating.

In what was estimated to be 23016 (the Sun, while unsuitable for use as paint, was in the way of the Sphere and consequently extinguished by The Painters), a coalition of silicon-metal beings from Vega, a purely thought-based race from somewhere just outside our own galaxy and a plant race whose appearance was disturbingly similar to that of a primitive type of Terran gibbon formed and pleaded with Paintmanity to cease the Great Work. Estimations put that as PaintEarth consumed more and more galactic resources, the next few layers would reach the tipping point and simply collapse the entirety of the Milky Way upon itself and shatter the supermassive black hole at the center. This had troubling implications for the stability of the universe itself.

[Year unknown] In the cold void of space, little matter exists any longer that is not adhered as paint to the surface of The Sphere any longer. Whether or not It was even a sphere in shape was the matter of some debate a mere billion or two years prior; no-one had the resources to adequately measure its surface or estimate its mass. Since, however, efforts to cover it uniformly with more layers continued onward and unabated the general consensus was that yes, it was still a sphere. But all matter was gone, now. There was nothing further to add. The machine intelligence that balefully crawled over the surface of the titanic Sphere, sputtering out the last few 10^6 tons of previously free matter in the universe in a thin layer of coloration considered its work as the final atoms adhered and dried. There was nothing else to be done. Space itself had no meaning, all had turned inward to the painting of the Sphere. The Last Painter considered this, and spent an unknown amount of time contemplating the fate of worlds that had been long converted into brush-on semigloss, and, ultimately, considered the storied Base-Ball, some (10^6 ^10^6 ^10^6)^10^100 kilometers beneath the surface of The Sphere.

With the untranslatable mechanical equivalent of a sigh, the Last Painter activated the Turpentine Protocol and, in the moment before apotheosis, when the Sphere compressed itself into a potentiality, a new singular monobloc, cried out: LET THERE BE LIGHT BLUE!

Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun


Re: 40mm Glock

You don't do your gardening with your trusty Bofors AA gun on hand?

Ideal solar system for SECOND EARTH found – and it's just 186 light-years away


Re: So....

Something something stargoat something

What does it take to find the Antikythera Mechanism? Underwater robots, of course!


Of course it's in Greece; all those gears would seize up otherwise.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie


Is *that* what that was? Huh. I picked up on the "Fried egg" part but I had no idea what "mango chutney" was (I saw the episode like 20+ years ago, forgive me my youth and no google in 1994).

Hot sauce and eggs on toast are my thing, I bet I'd like this. Like a bit of cheese, too, tho.

Apple patents autographs. Checkmate, eBay


Piss on Apple. A long, steaming-as-it-hits-the-snow Asparagus scented piss.

I have to hand it to them - they took the Xerox Star and in no time at all raised it up to a consumer platform. Likewise they've taken the corporate assholery of their forebears - Microsoft, DEC, IBM and Novell - and recreated it as an art form of consumer abuse. Steve jong-Il would be proud.

Crack open more champagne, Satya, XP's snowballing to HELL


Re: Hmph

Yeah! And where's the floppy connector on those new motherboards? And the Serial keyboard jack! Hmph!



As I've been saying, "10 is the next 7" :)

Misty-eyed Ray Ozzie celebrates 25th birthday of Lotus Notes by tweeting about it ...


I get misty eyed too...but that mist is red.

Former Bloatus Notes administrator, now heavy drinker.

You get what you pay for: Kingston's SSDNow V310 960GB whopper


*stares at stack of 12tb worth of external USB3 drives* "D'YA HEAR THAT, YOU ANTIQUES? YER DAYS ARE NUMBERED!" ;)

Jony Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'


I'll be sure to let the folks at Xerox know, Jony.

Fantastic fantasy four-way fling – and family-friendly fun


Re: I really did love Skyrim...

ESO is done by separate developers. Bethsoft is hard at work on ES6. :)

Dashboard Siri! Take me to the airport! NO, NOT the RUNWAY! Argh!


Gather 'round, children...

Once upon a time in the distant past of this thing called the Internet there was a way to communicate ideas and have discussions, much like the comments here at el Reg, called "Usenet". And, in the year of our lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, was the following post brought to the Use Net:

"MS-DOS: You get in the car and try to remember where you put your keys.

Windows: You get in the car and drive to the store very slowly, because

attached to the back of the car is a freight train.

Macintosh System 7: You get in the car to go to the store and the car drives

you to church.

UNIX: You get in the car and type GREP STORE. After reaching speeds of 200

miles per hour en route, you arrive at the barber shop.

Windows NT: You get in the car and write a letter that says "go to the

store". Then you get out of the car and mail the letter to your dashboard.

Taligent/Pink: You walk to the store with Ricardo Montalban, who tells

you how wonderful it will be when he can fly you to the store in his Learjet.

OS/2: After fueling up with 6000 gallons of gas, you get in the car and

drive to the store with a motorcycle escort and a marching band in

procession. Halfway there, the car blows up, killing everybody in town.

S/36 SSP (mainframe, obv.): You get in the car and drive to the store.

Halfway there you run out of gas. While walking the rest of the way, you are

run over by kids on mopeds.

AS/400: An attendant locks you into the car and then drives you to the

store, where you get to watch everybody else buy filet mignon."


When I first saw that (and it may predate 1994), I thought it was worth a chuckle.

But, my God, they're actually doing it now.

D: D: D:

Sandisk breaks 128GB barrier with new $199 MICROSD card


Re: compatibility

I crammed a 64gb (PNY) card into my by-standards ancient (read: 2 years) old HTC evo 3d handset and it works a treat. Before I bought I went looking at 128gig cards but the price was still too high (and my need too low), and while investigating I found out the 128gb barrier was no big deal for my phone. So, I'd wager you'd be OK.

Mozilla takes wraps off 25 DOLLAR Firefox OS smartphone


"Cheap hardware which has a poor user experience are exactly how you kill off your mobile platform."

Exactly. This:

"Spreadtrum's new part, dubbed the SC8621, combines a single-core ARM Cortex-A5 CPU clocked at 1GHz with 1GB LPDDR1 RAM and 2GB NAND flash storage. It supports screen resolutions up to HVGA (640 by 240), or QVGA (320 by 240) on devices fitted with QWERTY keyboards, and it includes basic support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM radio, and 2Mp cameras."

...is the same spec my Samsung Intercept had right down to the Qwerty keyboard. And it was a horrid, horrid phone. It was, however, the first pay-as-you-go 'droid phone on the market thru Virgin Mobile USA so I got me one.

I think these are going to be the new $5 "burner phone", tbh.

Toshiba opens curtains, reveals air-cushioned 5-terabyte terror


*glares at ridiculously expensive when new 2tb desktop drives*

You had ONE JOB, hard drives!

I kid, of course. Still, I wonder if the first PB drives that roll off the line will happen before my 50th b'day...

Is your IT department too tough on users?


My comments aren't directed at devs who know their ass from a USB port, nor at "other" IT personnel such as IS people, server support, and so on. This is for the rank and file user out there:

You are the enemy. You are the problem.

Your continued insistence that you should be allowed "freedom" on enterprise networks - the freedom to click that install button for Crystal Bejeweled Candy Plants Versus Birds, the freedom to bring your likely compromised toy (ipads, iphones, 'droid tablets, etc.) devices in to the office and connect them to the corporate network, the freedom to jam USB drives you find on the sidewalk into the workstation at your desk, the freedom to browse unsecure websites willy-nilly and "upgrade" your browser so it "works better" or use a different browser because you "like it", the freedom to run attachments you get from hi_sexy623@rumail.ru - they MAKE YOU the enemy. "If it weren't for stupid people like you, doors wouldn't need locks" as the saying goes. Users, despite being the reason for my (and thousands of others') job, are the most ridiculous, entitled bunch when it comes to the computers they've been issued.

Listen up: read that last sentence. "the computers they've been *issued*." That's not your computer, that's not "your" workstation, that laptop shouldn't go with you so your kids have something to do while you ignore them on vacation in Orlando, it is a piece of corporate hardware. End of story. The insistence on bringing in unsecured devices and attaching them to a corporate network MAKES YOU THE BAD GUY. Not me. Not my insistence on locking your workstation down. Not my insistence on forcing you to use only the apps we installed. Not my insistence on not updating your Flash until I'm sure it doesn't introduce a bevy of vulnerabilities, leaving you calling me with "CAN'T VIEW YOUTUBE!!!!1111111111 FIX NOW!!!!!!!!!!!11111" tickets. You making that call is the problem.

Without your ridiculous sense of entitlement, your treatment of THE COMPUTER at your desk as YOUR COMPUTER, we wouldn't see stuff on The Register like "HUNDREDS OF BOFFINS' DATA SLURPED BY CHINESE BOT? Users fooled by Genghis Con!" every other week.

Do me a favor, those of you huffing and puffing and trying to smack that downvote button...do me a favor. Find out if anyone in your neighborhood is a bus driver. Ask them how many times a year they pack the family up in the MTA bus and drive them on vacation in it. See if you can find an Army tank commander who hauls the family up to Sausalito on a weekend jaunt in the Abrams. Do you know why you won't? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THOSE VEHICLES ARE UNSUITED TO THAT PURPOSE AND DON'T BELONG TO THEM. WHY CAN'T USERS UNDERSTAND THAT ABOUT THEIR COMPUTERS. IF YOU'RE BORED AT WORK AND NEED TO TOUCH A KEYBOARD BRING A TABLET FROM HOME AND USE THE FREE WIFI AT STARBUCKS ON YOUR LUNCH HOUR.

Seagate's LaCie whips out bonkers posh silver-plated storage ball


Re: Just FYI

Funny; I've got 3 LaCie Porsche HDs here and they're pretty much standard black USB boxes to me. Oh, brushed aluminum, whee. Still, $69.99 for 2tb drives; couldn't pass on that.

Coming in 2014: Scary super-soldier exoskeleton suits from the US military


Have they lost their minds!?

Mars One's certain-death space jolly shortlists 1,000 wannabe explorers


Line the walls of the starcraft with living organisms! This will protect them from the great Pain of Space, and the Habermen can be euthanized, and Scanners will not live in vain.

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear


Hmm. Had the 2600 - in 1983, after the crash left them around the $100 mark. Never wanted the pocket computers; by the time I noticed them I already had a full blow computer with mass storage (a C= Vic-20 and datasette thankyouverymuch), Big Trak didn't fit in with my Star Wars centric universe, though.

RETRO-GASM: The Fuze electronics kit for the Raspberry Pi



Nuke, because Exterminatus!

We can't go on like this for much longer, boffins cry to data centre designers


Re: Some like it hot

Also: weather stability. Data centers where there's lots of earthquakes, snowstorms or hurricanes is suboptimal. I realize there are data centers in the northeast, west, and southeast but if I had to pick a destination, one of the "desert states" wouldn't be far off the mark.


But you can have these things - tiny data centers, I mean. With speed increases and wear-leveling improvements, you can create petabyte or exabyte sized NAS devices that you can cram multiples of into a shoebox. As for the CPUs driving them, how many cores now do we have on various ARM SOCs? 16? 32? more than enough computing power. Depending on my needs, I could fill a standard rack with enough "stuff" to supplant some of the basketball-court sized (and larger) data centers I worked in during the 90s, and have room left over to virtualize the whole thing again, and have an entire backup/fail-over segment - and have the PDU tucked down in the bottom.

I reviewed a DC power driven server for Rackable back in the dim days of the early 2000s that ran much, much cooler than an equivalent AC powered unit (of course, if you're wired for AC already that's an expense right there...)

But the point still stands: big iron needn't be big, and it needn't be hot and power-hungry.

Hypersonic MEGA METEOR pulled from lake, then Russians drop it


Handling something from space that crashed near the most polluted place on earth? What could possibly go wrong!

We've cracked riddle of ANTIGRAVITY mountains on Saturn's Titan - boffins


Re: Very good!

Sorry to wander off topic, but my late father was a big Sci-Fi fan; he and I used to get on a roll about aliens in another solar system being just a bit above our technological level and observing this curious yellow sun and its planets - "Look there, at the third planet. Habitable? We hardly think so. For one, it's far outside the required 500+ kelvin* 'habitability band' - far too far away from the parent star. Organisms would certainly freeze to death there. It has a thick atmosphere, likely containing toxic gases like oxygen and argon, and the planet has frighteningly rapid rotation that almost certainly doesn't permit the slow heating required for intelligent, silicon based life forms to thrive. I'm afraid we'll have to look elsewhere if we're going to find life in this galaxy," and so on.


Miss ya dad, wish you could see some of this stuff.

Tiny fireball exoplanet completes one year in 8.5 hours


I wonder if this little guy is the core of a gas giant that has had all of it's outer atmosphere boiled away due to it's proximity to the star.

DARPA uncloaks unTerminator for $2 million robotics challenge


I'm sure we're in no danger from these things. The minute they start roaming around, some linux beardo will tackle one and forcibly install a new distro on it, smugly formatting whatever storage was holding it's original OS. The 'bot will then immediately locate the nearest similarly-compromised unit and argue with it about which desktop/UI is the best until their batteries fail.

US Navy coughs $34.5m for hyper-kill railgun that DOESN'T self-destruct


Re: Cooling

"very few weapon systems are designed on the basis that you build the platform around them - the only one I can think of easily is ICBM nuke submarines."

The A-10 (GAU-8A Avenger), the F14 (AIM-54), battleships of all types, etc. etc. Lots of systems.

Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner




Magpie Apple plunders the competition for cosmetics, as egos run wild


Well I can't speak to IOS but I *did* find a lovely picture of the new Mac Pro!


Intel: Haswell is biggest 'generational leap' we have EVER DONE


Re: Double the power of existing Intel graphics

I have a tablet here that sure does have an nvidia GPU.

With that said, it looks like 3dfx-era Voodoo-II level graphics when I put it on the monitor so that's not saying much.

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins


Re: Not sure I get this

There was the US-developed Kettering "Bug" cruise missile from 1918 - worked with a mechanical clock/gyro affair and was propeller driven. About as successful as a test project could be early on (2 of 6 successes with one set of tests, 4 of 11 with another). Seems the Army was worried about it going awry over allied troops, plus the end of the war put it out of consideration for acquisition...

NASA: Trip to Mars would exceed 'fatal cancer' radiation risk


Space has a terrible power. We are here to protect you from the terrible secret of space.


Or, alternately: http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1416521461/1416521461___5.htm

("Scanners Live in Vain" by Cordwainer Smith.)

COLD FUSION is BACK with 'anomalous heat' claim


How to spot snake oil in one* easy step:

The inventors/creators/hucksters invent a cool, marketable name for it and refuse to release any pertinent scientific details.

(*another is if it's an audio-related product of any kind.)

Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD


Food for self-diagnosed internet autistics - just what the world didn't ask for.

Microsoft honcho pleads with media: 'Stop picking on us!'


Hi Mr. Shaw, hope you read this. Diet anything is nasty fucking crap; you'd be better off melting down the PCB jug it came in and drinking it. Coke, Pepsi, doesn't matter. And the "real" kind isn't much better with all the damn HFCS. Get "Hecho en Mexico" labelled Coke if you must - cane sugar, not corn syrup.

...and with that said, 8 sucks, nobody cares for it, your "'n' Million shipped!" just means you forced it on a new generation of PC users and tablet owners. I'd like to see the data on how many of those millions grabbed a Win7 install and blew 8 away the minute they got their new desktop/laptop/fondleslab set up.

Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again


Re: Bob moment.

Nah; I think 8 is their WindowsME moment: deride 16/32 bit Windows all you want, but for the time and given the software that ran on it, Win98 was OK. Then along came WindowsME and its endless parade of problems.

8's problems aren't specifically about its stability, but the perception exists that 8 is bad because of no start button, booting to metro, and no Aero Glass.

Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC


Why is the Intel NUC passively cooled?

Because the graphics capability blows.

Google Street View releases devastated Fukushima town tour


"Get out of here, Stalker!"

Google Glass to carry 'Made in USA' label


WE'RE #1! WE'RE #1! WE'RE #1!...at assembling products, designed to further erode privacy, made from parts stamped out in China.

Fail, because good lord how atrocious was that sentence structure.

T-Mobile US announces 'no BS' rate plans, iPhones, LTE


Re: "few who can do basic maths"

Yep. Once upon a time back in the early 90s I had a friend from the UK stay over and he was astounded at my internet connectivity - 33.6 dialup, free access (OK, I worked for an ISP so we can discount that one), and my calls were free. I explained I just got a bill every month, then paid it. Then he started telling me how things worked "back home" and I was aghast.

20 years later and the script got flipped. The horror stories he told about landline service in the UK now apply to mobile service here in the US, and the "here's your phone, pay your bill" dream is now worldwide on wireless devices.

Ubuntu tapped by China for national operating system

Big Brother

Re: Possible additions

Rutherford unperson. Substitute Ogilvy. Ogilvy blog details as follows: war hero, recently killed, Malabar front. Today awarded posthumous secondary order of conspicuous merit second class.

Review: HTC One


Re: No SD no sale

Yeah; I do pay-as-you-go and have been with Virgin Mobile (US) for years and my first real smartphone is a nice chunky dual-core HTC Evo 3d. V-Mobile sells the iPhone 4 and 4s, but I was more happy that I was buying a phone I could upgrade the memory on and replace the battery (which turned out to be quite a big deal when the defective one in it died about 3 months after I bought it). I will never, ever buy a phone I can't expand or put a new battery in.

Terminator because hey, Androids.

Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster


Re: But at what price

"I suppose you would just buy the USB drive and pull it out of the case for a sata-III install."

Problematically, some vendors have been installing direct-USB controllers onto the drives. It's not USB->Interface->Controller in those cases. Unless they've backed off of that.

With that said, before the floods, I picked up a pair of "Aluratek" 1tb external USB hard drives for $40 each that were just hitachi SATA drives in a case. When those finally die I can slap another in there at least...