* Posts by Audrey S. Thackeray

294 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Oct 2011


Intelligence a genetic mistake

Audrey S. Thackeray

@Blofeld's Cat

Is it laziness or a lack of self-confidence that makes a cat design a mouse trap?

Greenland glaciers not set to cause disastrous sea level rises - study

Audrey S. Thackeray

If the snowshoe was on the other foot ...

And a hippy doom monger said "There's the caveat that this 10-year time series is too short to really understand long-term behavior," you'd slate them.

I want doomsayers to be wrong but I don't think anything in this is particularly great news.

How politicians could end droughts forever But they don't want to

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: London

Well, fine. I'll move where the binmen and nurses go - enjoy yourself with the lawyers and bankers.

Audrey S. Thackeray

@D. Geezer

"odd thinking by Lewis"

No, his thinking on this particular point is fine.

It doesn't matter that water moves in a cycle, there is still a finite amount of the stuff.

It's such a staggeringly large amount that we are unlikely ever to have to give it practical consideration though.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Helping people who don't have safe drinking water is a laudable aim - but not one that is incompatible with re-examining our own water supply infrastructure.

Intuitively there's something daft about making water that is safe to drink and then using it to flush our crap away but our first thoughts on the process aren't necessarily correct.

A single, national infrastructure to supply drinking-quality water for all purposes may be cheaper that a series of more local systems for water collection and re-use.

As the water itself is not 'wasted' it's reasonable to make a decision based on cost (you might want to include 'green' costs if you are that way inclined).

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Agreed

"Dishwashers use a *lot* less water than washing dishes by hand."

This has been asserted twice in this thread and by all my dishwasher-owning friends.

Where can I find the source material for these claims?

Audrey S. Thackeray

That London

"please will all the people in London stay in London - and not come and destroy what little is left of Britain's countryside building more houses, shops, roads. "

Those are all things that people in the sticks want - if anyone comes from London to the country they want it to be the country, not an extension of the dreadful suburbs.

Londoners do not care if country folk have no homes for their kids, no affordable shopping options, and slow, twisty commutes.

Frankly I doubt Londoners think that schools are necessary in order for people to grow ample bosoms and sell scones which seems to be their preferred rural option.

BSkyB boss: 'I don't work for Rupert Murdoch, remember'

Audrey S. Thackeray

Your ire

The your / you're thing annoys me tremendously as well but I have to say that, after missing out the word 'not', it's the commonest error I make while typing (never used to do it when writing by hand).

Nympho hauled to loon-cooler after serial bonkathon brutality

Audrey S. Thackeray

@David W.

"It doesn't count when you're the perpetrator as well as the victim."


What does the 'W' stand for by the way ...?

Computer nostalgia is 10 PRINT 'BOLLOCKS'

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Ah, the memories of XL1

I'd never heard of this and now covet it.

I've typed programs in from handwritten notes, recorded them from the radio but never tried to extract them from vinyl.

Betting on Box in a SkyDrive and Google Drive world

Audrey S. Thackeray

Anybody tried Wuala?

Yes, I've used Wuala but not with any serious intent. It seemed as straightforward and useful as any of these - which is to say 'perfectly' and 'not very' respectively (for my purposes).

Audrey S. Thackeray

Work to Enterprise

"Dropbox plan to take over the enterprise through individual consumers."

Well we're seeing demand for it already so the pressure is there but I can't see it working the way Apple / BYOD did.

With the latter the existing infrastructure supported those devices and there really wasn't a problem from a security point of view - using something like Citrix means no corporate data leaves the organisation - Dropbox would be the complete opposite, no one is comfortable with the security implications and the existing remote access infrastructure works against its adoption.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: Like it or not, this Linux grows on you

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Shame, really

At least you didn't say Powershell.

Murdoch 'sorry' he didn't shut News of the World years ago

Audrey S. Thackeray

"They buy it for the sports section and page 3 girls."

It's pretty rubbish for sports even but it does have the best tits of any daily newspaper.

Quantum cruncher beats today's computers by 1080

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Tense

"A bit of an El Reg Fail"

Still, at least it is a well written article with no garbled sentences at all.

'Apple will coast, and then decelerate' says Forrester CEO

Audrey S. Thackeray

"It's a phone - what can you actually do apart from better battery, better camera, better screen...?"

Samsung have returned to pen input (with a reasonable degree of success IMO), Motorola have toughened devices and Sony have incorporated high level gaming features - there are some differences but I do agree they are slight and the innovation is as likely to come from the apps developers as the phone manufacturers.

Audrey S. Thackeray


"Jony Ive's stuff is fashionless, not (un)fashionable. Like a Technics 1210, A Maglite, or a well made pair of boots."

The design may be but the desire to have one possibly isn't.

There are more people wearing trainers and playing their music at the back of the bus on a phone than there are wearing properly tailored boots as they spin up some vinyl on a classic turntable. Even in Shoreditch.

It's not impossible (though highly unlikely) that it could become a fashion faux pas to be seen with an Apple product and this would certainly harm their sales and their margins on those sales.

Apple do make very good phones and tablets but the margins they command is not down to this quality but to the brand and to the efficiency of their supply.

Ives continues the design, Cook continues the efficiency but Jobs is no longer around to maintain the brand.

It can be done without him but to assume that it will is to underestimate his importance.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Apple's Success

"Many executives now use a MacBook - look in ... Starbucks"

Our executives have a yacht. Just saying.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Assuming that...

"If, after well over a decade, you still don't understand why Apple's kit sells, you are not only missing the point, you are part of the problem."

What problem?

"If you genuinely want to help save the planet"

?! I really think you're on a different topic from the rest of us.

Audrey S. Thackeray

@T Treen

"It never ceases to amaze me - the number of people whose incisive insight is so vastly superior to that of those who run these companies."

Saying Apple need to do something is not the same as saying Apple's executives don't realise this and will not do anything. I'm sure the situation outlined is one they have considered.

"There is an awful lot of cars in the world right now. Only a very small percentage of them are Ferraris, BMWs, Jaguars. Don't see those companies wearing sackcloth & ashes and wailing "We're all doomed".

Ferarri don't make commodity items - in computing terms they are more Cray than Apple. They certainly don't even try and deliver the sort of growth that has fuelled Apple's recent rise.

Jaguar didn't make Ford any money - I don't know how it is doing for Tata. One of its approaches in recent years has been to make cheaper models just as BMW makes hatchbacks now.

Then there's Rolls Royce . . .

Apple are a long way from being in trouble but it would be naive in the extreme to think that they have nothing to worry about and never will.

Samsung heralds quad-core chip 'first'

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Pin compatible you say?

That's what I was wondering - are we being influenced by the 8-bit nostalgia articles? Somehow I suspect it won't be as easy as adding a 65C02 to a BBC B.

Nokia's fontastic Pure wins 'design Oscar'

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Quite partial to...

Lucida Console brought an improvement to my life.

Twelve... classic 1980s 8-bit micros

Audrey S. Thackeray

Harsh on the ZX80

Which was indeed a pretty awful computer to use but looked better than the ZX81 IMO* - bright and clean and properly futuristic.

*MO being influenced greatly by nostalgia for my stolen ZX80, of course.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: I had an Enterprise 128

"Acorn Atoms were still being used to drive experiments in the first-year physics labs at the University of Kent into the early 90s"

BBC Bs were still in use in the Oxford computing labs as late as 1994 (when I was buying my Viglen 486 PC).

Admittedly it mostly seemed they were used to play the second processor version of Elite.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: woohoo!

"an excuse to link to the oric emulator I wrote from scratch"

Does it faithfully reproduce the hugely irritating click noise I seem to remember the machine producing with each keypress?

Hanging's too good for 'em - so what do you suggest?

Audrey S. Thackeray

Just the spur they need

I think there's a waiting list for season tickets at WHL these days but maybe when the new stadium is built there will be room to host some of the worst offenders, each hypnotised to believe they really desire lasting success for the home side.

Audrey S. Thackeray


"cut off their manhood and feed it to the goats"

Quite apart from the implications for our species if we convince goats our gennies are suitable fodder, I can think of quite a lot of people who would not be deterred by this particular punishment.

Wannabe-human bots face 2012 Turing Test in Turing's old office

Audrey S. Thackeray


"I suspect any "AI" entered into this competition is engineered with a focus on this particular test anyway."

Yes, good point, but it would be a shame if any effort was directed at making responses less perfect than they might be just in order to win the prize.

I mean you could consider adding in possible responses along the lines of "Yeah, my mum always says that" or "That's not how I learned it at school" to try and fool the judges but it wouldn't advance the core technology at all.

Audrey S. Thackeray


In an IM chat you'd probably pick out humans from their typos - and if you modified an AI to make human-like typos you'd be moving away from the true aim and into a pass-this-particular-test scenario.

Google motors into cloud storage with Drive

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Bit Limited

"no duplication duplication at all"

That made me chuckle.

Oh, and in case it's helpful, Windows does symbolic links.

Gaia scientist Lovelock: 'I was wrong and alarmist on climate'

Audrey S. Thackeray

So is he wrong

about us needing to build nuclear power stations too?

Great HR mistakes of our time - Aviva fires 1300 by email

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Is it just me?

"is email not the best medium to use when sacking anyone?"

The actual sacking may have been done face-to-face - the email reads like a standard admin procedure for departing staff rather than a "you are fired" message.

But I wouldn't want to suggest Aviva isn't utterly incompetent and uncaring - in their line of work doing so may count as harmful to their reputation.

Microsoft lobs out first Skype for Windows Phone

Audrey S. Thackeray


"M$ is very late in getting into the smartphone market"

Microsoft was making smartphone software half a decade before Apple - around the same time as Palm and RIM first put smartphone products out.

They may not be doing well in this market but they were not too late in joining in.

Higher ground: plants seeking colder temperatures

Audrey S. Thackeray

Beware of the flowers

Because I'm sure they're gonna get you


Turing's rapid Nazi Enigma code-breaking secret revealed

Audrey S. Thackeray

Ancient Greece Is The Word.

Taxan touts tablet for bathing beauties

Audrey S. Thackeray

Soapy wit tank

Are capacitive screens affected by being wet / soapy?

Nokia's older mobes infringe IPCom patent – court

Audrey S. Thackeray

Guess you might have to gouge quickly

If you want to gouge Nokia.

Punters want BBC iPlayer in TVs, not 3D

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: My perfect telly!

I'll skip the speakers too, thanks.

ISPs torch UK.gov's smut-blocking master plan

Audrey S. Thackeray


What are we protecting these kids from, exactly?

I mean what are the actual, measured, observable, negative consequences for the children (or for wider society)?

Microsoft tears the wraps off Windows 8 Enterprise

Audrey S. Thackeray

I don't know if we're representative but all our Windows clients have a huge amount of otherwise redundant disk space - (secure) cache is as good a use for it as anything.

BYOD is a ticking time bomb for B2B resellers

Audrey S. Thackeray

@Admiral GH

"I use the kit that my employer provides to do the work with which they task me. I am not prepared to provide my own kit to do that with it"

With respect I think you are approaching this backwards.

The trend here is not for businesses to force employees to provide their own kit but rather for them to cater to the preference some staff have to work on their own devices.

If someone wants to work on an iPad that they bring in from home and we can make that workable then why not?

Obviously if they don't want to bring their own kit then they can use the PC provided for them which is a suitable as it ever was.

Wasteland sequel given $3m green light

Audrey S. Thackeray

Good for Kickstarter

I'm somewhat cynical about the 'stick it to the man' credentials of all this but both this and Pebble are interesting projects that I'm happy to have donated to, and Fargo's 'Kick It Forward' plan to redistribute profits is interesting.

Looking forward to a Kickstarter project where one of the rewards for funding is a share of the eventual profits - sort of distributed venture capital plan.

Apple screws UK disties, punts just 13,000 iPads to channel

Audrey S. Thackeray


at Apple's behaviour here - it's not like they need the cash. You'd think they'd want as many units shipped as possible to increase their hold on the apps market - this sort of thing will result in some large customers not picking them as something to standardise on.

If you want 300 delivered and inventoried with a single point of contact for proper support you aren't going to head down to Regent St with a company credit card.

SpaceX Dragon gets green-light for launch to Space Station

Audrey S. Thackeray


Docking computers used to scrape the sides quite often.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: got insurance?

"anyone else getting a mental image of the craft crashing right into the ISS?"

I have to confess that was one of my first thoughts.

Windows 8 diet exposes Microsoft's weak ARM

Audrey S. Thackeray

No group policy on WOA / WinRT

Almost certainly equals no good reason for me to prefer it to a Android / iOS tablet at work.

I think we're likely to have sorted out the management of these devices before Microsoft comes along with anything useful in this regard and once we've put the effort in they will struggle to win us back.

Customers seem to want iPads (apart from one who is sold on RIM's PlayBook for some reason) and if there's nothing given to us to make managing Windows devices better and cheaper we're going to give them what they want.

Minister blows away plans for more turbines

Audrey S. Thackeray

The only useful statistic when comparing the safety of different methods of generation is lives lost per gigawatt generated

Whether or not that is true does anyone really give a monkey's about the safety aspect?

I mean no one wants a disaster but if we really cared about people dying we'd have a serious look at what is going on on our roads for example.

All the indications are that economic motives outweigh safety concerns.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: Industrial scale development

"Renewables receive by far the largest subsidy per useable KWHr generated."

It would be great to have a link to the analysis if you can provide it.

Audrey S. Thackeray

Re: hooray!

Not really sure how a government could implement that - would need a change from a democratic system at least.

Audrey S. Thackeray


"do you think that us pro-nuclearists are hypocrites? Personally, I'd pin that label on greenies with air-conditioning"

That would be hypocritical in all probability but that doesn't mean it's the only possible hypocrisy.

I'm sure many pro wind power people would object to having the windmills built near them and the same would go for pro nuclear people with those plants - it's normal enough. In the end someone's objections have to be brushed aside (or bribed aside with jobs and subsidies).

Incidentally, I don't know anyone who has air conditioning in their house, 'greenie' or not; is this freakish? I'm in the south of the UK and have family in the North of France.