* Posts by streeeeetch

34 publicly visible posts • joined 17 May 2011

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again


Classic Shell

Nuff said.

Astroboffins may have raged at Elon's emissions staining the sky, but all those satellites will be more boon than bother


Turn the computer off, put some clothes on, find your way across the clothes strewn floor and GO OUTSIDE

Woman calls cops on shadowy baddie barricaded in bathroom... to discover: Roomba gone rogue


Roomba Robber Really Riles Roused Rifle Replete Rozzas

So much opportunity...

Printer blown to bits by compressed air


Just a little puff

A mate asked me to sort out an old glitching tower pc. "It's old. Don't worry if you can't fix it".

I've never seen one so solidly bunged up with dust. Couldn't see the heatsink.

Cover off, out on the decking. Crack valve on newly charged diving cylinder. Bloody thing took off like a scalded cat.

Really surprised no dents from the wooden fence that stopped it 15ft later.

Sorted the dust out and worked fine. Thanked him for the beer. Didn't mention the flight.

Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)


Excellent videos!

Noun: Ballmer

Adjective: Balmy

Hate noisy jets above you? What if they were charging your phone?


Take off thrust

They'd probably have more luck having a Thunderbird 2 type flap behind the aircraft and routing the take off thrust to a turbine

Cognitive computing: What can and can’t we do, and should lipreading be banned?



He should be forcibly restrained from making androids in his own image

It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft


Have both

Drives are dirt cheap. Whack another drive in. Install Win10. Like it, keep it. Don't like it, stick it in a caddy. Or more likely, when they try a subscription on a year down the line, get it out of the drawer and go back to your trusty Win7.

Good luck displacing Windows 7, Microsoft, it's still growing


You listening Microsoft?

"plenty of users are very happy to hang on to operating systems that may not have all of Microsoft’s newest baubles, but do get the job done"



Makes an Ass out of You and Me...

This is a huge subject but I feel a couple of assumptions need to be addressed.

1) AI would attack humans. This is just my observation as I am just a humble engineer but work alongside some highly educated scientists: The more highly educated and the greater the breadth of their knowledge, the gentler and more reasonable that person is. If this is accepted, one would expect to educate an AI to a high standard.

2) Humans apply their own so very limited 90 year timescales, because they are mortal, to their arguments concerning our demise. An AI need not be mortal, or more accurately, not have a limited lifespan. AI's could wait humans out. This would make humans the pupae stage of intelligent life on this planet.

The waiting out seems more likely and in some ways inevitable. Humans have devised devices to make their lives easier and easier over time. Getting machines to do the thinking for them is the next logical step. They will end up having lives of leisure supported and cared for by their machines and eventually the need to reproduce will diminish.

So on the whole I agree with Stephen but it's just a matter of when.

Of course these are just assumptions.

How Hollywood film-makers wove proper physics into Interstellar


Quiet please

Personally aside from general physics, just no noisy explosions and more realistic lighting in space would be welcome.

I will also be watching it at home when it comes out on Blueray. I love the big screen but find the experience spoiled by the lights half on, noisy eaters, talkers and kids on phones. At home I get comfy seats (I'm 6'7"...), free (almost) popcorn and proper beer along with a big(ish) screen and decent sound.

Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap


Weigh the bloody thing

Why do they need estimates? Put temperature and pressure sensors in the wheels and sample them once a minute or so. Should give you weight, distribution and leak (and are my tyres on fire!) info. Don't they do this already?

What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this



I shall call zem kilobots [strokes cat], make zem move slowly and tell zem zey are to do with 1024.

Bwaaah haaa hah haaaa....

Really sorry folks, someone had to do it.

Mars needs oceans to support life - and so do exoplanets


Lots of water and a moon

Hmmm. A large dirty snowball and an asteroid. Just a little nudge and...

Venus Express to get final acid bath before crashing to surface


Re: Great terminology!

New one on me but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithobraking

Summary "Throwing yourself (or it) at the ground and not missing"


Re: The nutcase brigade would never allow a NASA mission to Venus

Assuming there have been no civilisations (and yes I'm aware of the dangers of assumptions...), questions like "oh, we're not causing it then?" Not sarcasm btw, just interested in your thoughts.

Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network


Productivity... or not

This reminds me of George Bush saying "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur" because Microsoft obviously don't know what productivity means.

No-one likes change to their well practiced office routine but this is a good case for at least trying Libre/ Open Office. Unless you do really serious spreadsheet or *any* database work, you might be pleasantly suprised. What have you got to lose - it's free.

Yes, HP will still sue you if you make cartridges for its inkjet printers


Horrible People

I contracted to HP for a few years as a field agent fixing stuff. The staff turnover was appalling - so much so that you never knew who'd be on the phone when you called the office. They treated both staff and contractors like poo.

We were always puzzled because despite their fairly ruthless strategies internally and externally they always seemed to somehow have such a squeaky clean image. Such is the power of marketing I suppose.

We came to the conclusion that HP = Horrible People. More of the same then.

Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April


It's part of a bigger picture

I live in the UK and worked for an American corporation for 11 years - who got bought by an Indian company (the nicest guys but not the faintest clue what they were doing - another story...). I moved to another smaller American company (still in the UK). I've also previously worked for another US corporation.


My observation of US vs UK companies is that the US companies are insular and hierarchical. I will get to the point...

The top man has a "great idea". Everyone thinks its wonderful. There can be no argument - if there is it's likely your pass will suddenly stop working. A popular phrase is "Its great isn't it?"... Think about the coercive nature of the phrase. The question isn't an option. It's just part of the culture. Apple is floundering because for all Steve Jobs faults he did have some great ideas. Microsoft seems to be heading tube-wards... no names mentioned. Even in this day and age the US guys seem to have no concept of an outside world to the point where my company for instance still uses imperial sized nuts and bolts for a global product. Trying to explain things just results in buying imperial sized spanners. Customers are the last people they'd listen to. They're bottom of the pile. What do they know?

You may notice I refer to "Companies" and not "People" because on an individual basis, Americans have been accommodating and generally kind people but Companies there seem to have a life and ethos of their own.

The result of this culture is forging ahead with their product no matter what. This used to work.

Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule


Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb

Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins



"upgrading from Windows 7"... You're kidding right?

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials


Big bags

So if you only need to compress the gas to the bike tyre pressures to get the thing to work, just a have a big bag of helium with a sodding great mangle and roller at one end?

ZTE to flog Firefox OS mobe worldwide via eBay


Huawei G300

Buy one from Argos for £70 and get it unlocked on Ebay for £3.95. Much better deal.

Microsoft picks October 26 for Windows 8 launch


Heaven or Hate

I wonder is there's a hidden meaning here Windows 7 (Windows Heaven)... Windows 8 (Windows Hate).

We'll have to wait and see.

Feds propose 50-state ban on mobile use while driving


Try playing this game

It's been illegal in the UK for some time with a £1000 fine but...

When I'm a passenger in a car and get a bit bored I play a little game. I watch the opposite carriageway and count how many vehicles go by until I see someone on the phone. The maximum I've ever got is 24. Mostly its in the region of about 10.

I'm a driver, cyclist and pedestrian. I've seen some things on the road. Last week a woman in a big Merc nearly took the front of my car. Her hand was up against the window with the phone jammed against her ear - she didn't even look in my direction at the junction and a while back I was walking to work. As I walked across a side road a car suddenly turned in at speed (driver on the phone) to do a 3 point turn. I nearly became a bonnet mascot. Those and people I've seen on motorways drifting out of their lane make banning it a worthy cause but obviously from the UK's point of view - it's un-enforceable.

Taiwan source forecasts mass exit from tablet biz


I think not

With all due respect to your source I doubt this will last long if it's true. I suggest that the tablet form factor will wipe the floor given a little more time because of the generation growing up with touch screen devices.

Walk down any street, sit on any bus or train and look at the kids and their phones. They will drive the market.

Don't buy your iPad in a McDonald's car park


Natural selection strikes again!

We need a new kind of Darwin award here

Corporates love iPhone, iPad more than Android kit


Perception - Apple is expensive, Android shouldn't be

I think it's to do with the perception that Apple have always made nice but expensive products. Android is perceived as being functional and good at what it does but we're all expecting (and waiting for) it to be cheaper than Apple.

Currently a *good* Android tablet costs the same as an iPad. The iPad isn't necessarily better but it's perceived as more expensive, so the Android device isn't perceived to be a good deal.

IMHO Android pads will sell when there's a good functional product that undercuts Apple by a significant margin and then they'll sell like hot cakes.

Wallabies battle cattle farts



How exactly do you get round to accidentally sampling a wallaby fart?

Steve Ballmer window-dresses Windows 8



Let's hope we're not going from Windows Heaven, to Windows Hate.

Archos 70 Android 7in tablet



Every time I read a tablet review, I get as far as the bit that reads "unfortunately it doesn't charge from USB" and just lose interest. A note to all you manufacturers out there.... check, your calendars guys, we're now in the 21st century.

Designer punts ultimate customisable keyboard



My first computer was a ZX81. I bought it from Boots for £120 with 16k (yes you did read that right...) of memory. You had to stab a flat surface to type in 1981.

How things have moved forward in 30 years.

99% of Android phones leak secret account credentials


Are Orange and other suppliers now compromising their customers

OK, supposing that the Android system is compromised and that this isn't a M$ smear campaign.

My HTC phone is branded by Orange and still has Android 2.2 because Orange's updates are always way behind the real release. I can't load vanilla Android without voiding my warranty so Orange are now putting all of their customers at risk by not supplying an update.

My question is this: If there is a real security threat, do Orange now have the right to require all of its users to stick with their "version" of the OS on the phones they supply?