* Posts by Tannin

373 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Apr 2012


On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others


This is a parody, right? Only two answers are possible.

(a) "Yes, this is parody." In that case, it is in very poor taste.

(a) "No, this is not a parody." In that case, it is in very poor taste.

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth


Re: Hope it's true

I've read that Einstein's general relativity rules hold up just fine for Tachyons travelling faster than the speed of light.

This would be as opposed to tachyons travelling slower than the speed of light then

Err ...


Re: Just a side note

Please don't mix up Dark Matter and antimatter. The latter is real, it can be measured and it can be created - both has been done several times already.

So far so good.

Antimatter is just an atom, whose core contains the electrons while the orbits are filled with protons - in "normal" matter it is the other way around.

Not even close. Antimatter is made up of particles the same as those making up normal matter but with reversed charges. Insted of protons, neutrons in the core, plus associated electrons, you have antiprotons and antineutrons, plus positrons.

Dark Matter on the other hand is currently just a place holder for something yet unknown. It could turn out to be many different phenomenons

Just so. But ...

Phenomena: plural

Phenomenon: singular

Phenomenons: not a word at all. You may be thinking of "pheremones" (which, among other things, are said to make people randy) or "phenomenal melons" (which apparently do the same thing).

Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far


Re: Feature request for a Firefox scrapbook or better still not considered - too bad!

You are talking back to the future stuff here. Opera - real Opera, not OperaChromeClone - has done this for years.


Re: Good news

Charlie Clark: I ditched Vivaldi last year due to feature creep and failing to add new feartures.

Good one. Well, It made me laugh. Well done.

First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum


Re: 50k hours vs 20k cycles

If I reember correctly, it is THE busiest international route in the world.


Re: "I thought the 777 was ETOPS 180?"

Not to mention that the last time Boeing made a 737 with P&W engines was 30 years ago.

Lenovo Thinkpad X280: Choosing a light luggable isn't so easy


No LAN, no go

No network connector. Good grief! That is the most ridiculous thing to leave out of a supposedly "high-end" notebook I have ever heard of. I never buy anything else except for Thinkpads. I wouldn't go near this one. I don't buy crippleware.

If you drop a tablet in a forest of smartphones, will anyone hear it fall?


Re: Niche item

"If you really thinking about it, 99% mobile sites suck monkey balls and don't have the functionality of a full website, so what's the point of using a tablet?"

The fact is, 99% of full websites these days are dumbed-down to be little better than the mobile sites anyway.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker


Here is the deal

Here is the deal, Mr Dabbs.

You promise not to track me, not to give my data to Google (or any other outsider), not to use sound, animation, or Javascript, and not to allow any third party code injections onto yor page.

And then I promise not to block your adds.

That the fairest deal you are going to get. You get open slather, provided only that you play by fair, decent rules.

But you don't like it? Hmmph. I thought as much.

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks


Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

Clueless about this topic, aren't you. Or possibly just gaslighting. If you actually don't believe that there are and have been massive numbers of abuses of little girls and boys by the priesthood, try looking at the evidence. The findings of the recently concluded Royal Commission in Australia - https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/ - are truly horrifying.

As for your report, it was commissioned by the church itself. What a bloody joke. Headine conclusion: "PAEDO CHURCH REPORTS THAT CHURCH'S PRIESTS NOT PAEDOS". Gosh! Who would have guessed?

Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines


Re: Grapes do not absorb much

"Cucumber peel specifically. Cucumber collects all sh*t from where it grows and deposits it in the peel. This was in the days when lead fuel was still in wide use so a couple of years later I decided to run some spectrometer tests on the peel. The results were let's say not pretty. I have been peeling cucumbers ever since (the core has little or no contamination)."

The peel also collects all (or nearly all) the useful nutrients. You know, the stuff that keeps you alive. The inside of the cucumber is mostly water. So, essentially, you have a choice.

* You can eat the whole thing, in which case you die slowly of radiation poisoning.

* Or you can peel it, in which case you die slowly of malnutrition.

(Unless, of course, the di-hydrogen monoxide gets you first.)

Huawei won a contract in Oz. Of course there's a whispering campaign


Re: Mixed Messages

Two different governments. Rail is a state responsibility.

Boeing embraces Embraer to take off in regional jet market


Re: Really?

"jets offer a better quality of ride particularly in bad weather ..... after one particularly stomach-churning flight on a DeHavilland Dash, I always made a point of booking the trip with the airline that flew 737s/A320s."

More nonsense. Quality of ride is largely determined by two things: size, and wing loading. Bigger aircraft have a smoother ride in exactly the same way that larger ships do on a choppy sea. All else being equal, an A380 will always ride better than an A330 which will always ride better than a 737 which will always ride better than a Dash 8, which will always ride better than a Metro, which will always ride better than a light single.

Heavier wing loadings also produce a smoother ride. A smaller wing relative to all-up weight (i.e., a higher wing loading) presents less surface to wind gusts and provides a smoother ride. In general, larger, faster aircraft have higher wing loadings (for higher cruise speed and better economy at those speeds), while smaller, more flexible aircraft have lower wing loadings (for better low-speed economics and, in particular, for the ability to lift heavy loads off short strips).

Of course a 737 has a better ride than a Dash 8. It is twice the size. A turboprop the size of a 737, designed to do the same sorts of jobs, would ride just as well. And a jet the size of a Dash 8, designed to do the jobs a Dash 8 does, would ride the same as a Dash 8.

This is all just basic physics. Bigger wings, smaller wings, more or less all-up weight. Nothing at all to do with type of engine.


Re: Really?

"Horribly noisy little things, though". Nonsense. Modern turboprops have excellent noise levels.


Re: Really?

No. It doesn't make sense. I have no idea how it came to appear in the article.

Turboprops exist because they are better at doing what they do than jets are. Or piston twins for that matter.

They don't do long-haul because jets are better at long-haul. (Faster and more economical.) They don't do general aviation (much) because piston engines are vastly cheaper to buy than any turbine.

But when it comes to short-haul and limited on-ground facilities, good modern turboprops like the Dash 8 (Canada) and the ATR 42 (France & Italy) are cheaper to operate, more flexible, and deliver close enough to the same trip time as makes no difference. Comfort and noise levels are much the same (people claiming otherwise are usually comparing a shiny new jet to a noisy old-tech turboprop - in short, they are wrong) and fares can be lower because operating costs are lower.

Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets


Re: How about something small

"I don't wear a watch anymore since nothing is available these days of a modest and small size. EVERYTHING on the market even for normal "dumb" watches is "statement" sized and feels like strapping a smegging brick to my wrist. Even ladies watches are massive.How about something under 5 mm thick and 50mm diameter for a change. It was possible in the past, why not now?"

That's because of the technology gap. Nobody has figured out how to make electronic circuts as small and reliable as all those wheels and cogs and springs and things. It is probably impossible.

Er ...

Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade


Re: it is not the customer's job to adapt

Good response, Jmch and I agree with most of it.

As economists (or at least competent ones) like to say, a "market" is a thing with many buyers and many sellers, and that is exactly what the office productivity caper is not. As you say, it's a quasi-monopoly, and in monopoly markets the rules are different.

A couple of points, however. First, on market share. I suggest that MS Office's market share, while huge, would be a good deal larger still if it wasn't for their arrogant UI changes. The fact that products like Libre Office and Corel Office survive at all says something; the very large market share of the Google products says a lot more.

More speculatively, I'd suggest that one reason (among many other reasons) for the very rapid take-up of phones and tablets at the expense of PCs is that many users found the brain-dead UI tricks of things like Office with its ribbon and Metro with its tiles off-putting. I doubt that they actively drove users away, but in failing to maintain the consistent, simple, powerful PC interface the industry had spent years improving and refining, they made defection easier and faster.

Second, nobody ever got anywhere by defeatisim. Do not give in. Ever! There have been many remarkable back-from-the-dead recoveries in the history of computing, and a great many sudden implosions of products once thought unbeatable.

A classic example of the former is Netscape, which was as dead as a very dead thing but morphed into the wonderfully successful Mozilla/Firefox products, which absolutely nobody expected. (Firefox is on life support today, of course, but in its pre-Australis heyday it was a mighty thing indeed and pretty much single-handedly saved the web from Internet Explorer strangulation. A classic lesson in not giving up.) As for an example of the latter, it's hard to go past MySpace. But there are many others.

In short, it's my horse, it's not dead, and I'll flog the bloody thing if I want to.


it is not the customer's job to adapt

Nonsense, Jmch. Many, many people - as is their absolute right - refused to downgrade to the new, inferior UI (designed by the same brain-dead team which went on create the Windows 8 Metro disaster, as you know).

People stayed with the older Office versions for many years (because of their superior usability); other people switched to alternative software with a better UI (such as Libre Office for one, but there are others, and I probably should mention the Google products too here, though I can't say anything about their UIs 'coz I've never used them) and to this day do not use the damn ribbon. Other people again switched to or stayed with competing commercial products, notably Word Perfect and Quattro Pro.

Finally, it is not the customer's job to adapt. That's not how it works.

The rule is customer fella pay money, supplier fella adapt. Dat supplier fella's job. Dat why customer fella hand over heap big dollars, him boss. Supplier fella not try please customer, customer fella him bugger off, no pay money, supplier fella heap sorry.

Aussie bloke wins right to sue Google over 'underworld' images


What is it about Reg readers?

Here I am happily retired after half a lifetime of penal servitude to the IT gods. I no longer have to know anything about IT beyond being able to maintain a system or two at home, and don't even *want* to know because, frankly, computers have got really, really boring since the turn of the century.

So what am I even doing here?

I'm reading the comments, 'coz Reg readers write better comments below the line than those of any five other publications put together.

Worst. Birthday. Ever. IPv6's party falls flat


Sad isn't it.

19 years old and still no-one wants to kiss her.

IPv6: Vista for networks.

Hey, Mac fanbois: Got $600,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Splash out on this rare Apple I


Re: Bah!

Two different words meaning two different things. Look it up.




Several comments above say that the early Apples were nothing new, they simply did much the same sorts of things that many others were doing at around about the same time. Well yes. And no.

At the time, there were four main streams in the microcomputer revolution, and three main companies. NOT in order of importance, they were:

* Tandy (Major manufacturer of quality kit.) Yes, they really were ... at that time. Not later.

* Commodore (Major manufacturer of quality kit.) Yes, they really were ... at that time. Not later. This was long before the Commodore 64, remember, it was when Commodore's real name was Commodore Business Machines, and no misnomer.

* A whole constellaton of CPM machines made by many different companies.

* Apple (Major manufacturer of quality kit.)

Tandy and Commodore both sold (by the standards of the day) truck loads of pretty decent and very popular computers; both used proprietary operating systems and peripherals. Tandy lost its way and faded out. Commodore morphed, a few years later, into a gigantic manufacturer of one single home computer (the Commodore 64) and then couldn't figure out what to do next. (Amiga came much later. Different topic.)

The many different CPM machines had one thing in common: they all ran (at least in theory) the same software. This was a *huge* advance. Yes, there had been attempts at this before, but it was CPM which actually worked, CPM which saw a vast and productive boom in application software, CPM which launched computing as we know it. (Many people ascribe this revolution to the PC and DOS. Wrong. CPM did it first, and ruled supreme for a long time, in very much the way that DOS would do a few years later. Most people seem to have forgotten this.)

The Apple II ran closed proprietary software just like Tandy and Commodore. However, unlike those two, and unlike most CPM systems, the Apple II had open hardware. This was another revolution. Yes, there had been attempts at it before, notably the S100 Bus. But Apple's attempt was far, far more successful than anything which had come before. Within a year or so, you could buy a card to do practically *anything* and plug it into your Apple II. Cards for every purpose, from printing to display to fancy graphics to numerical computation to industrial machinery control, you name it. This was Apple's truly great achievement.

CPM brought open software to the world. Apple brought open hardware. Neither one invented the ideas, but they each made them work in a way they never had before. (Curiously enough, the single best-selling CPM computer in the world was ... wait for it ... the Apple II - using (of course) a plug-in Z-80 CPM card.)

Later came the two great ironies. CPM was swamped by DOS (amid murky and illegal doings we need not get sidetracked into considereing here) and DOS continued the CPM open software tradition, bigger and better than ever. And Apple's open hardware was swamped by the PC. (And also by the very lack-lustre Apple III.) The second great irony was that Apple, having taken the world by storm on the back of their famous open hardware revolution, reversed spectacularly and became possibly the most closed and retentive walled-garden computer company of them all. But that too was later.

Two things made the PC/DOS combination into the greatest force computing has ever seen: open software and open hardware. Both were old ideas. One was pioneered by Apple, the other by CPM.

Sic transit gloria mundi.


Correct! The Lisa was a resounding success - not commercially, it was way too dear and too limited to ever sell well, but it was the pioneer which made the whole Mac thing possible. It will go down in history as one of the world's great computers. In its day, it was a truly amazing technical achievement. (Personally, I have always disliked Macs, and can't stand Apple the company. But fair is fair. No-one who knows anything about the computers of the era would diss te Lisa.)

Four hydrogen + eight caesium clocks = one almost-proven Einstein theory


Re: you must accept the scientific fact that placebo ... works.

Just because a couple sects of one religion have objections to medical treatment is not a reason to ban ALL religions.

Quite so. There are, however, plenty of other reasons.

Australia wants tech companies to let cops 'n' snoops see messages without backdoors


Re: Save us from uneducated politicians

Good Reg readers, allow me to recommend Milton's long post above. If I could I'd up-vote it twice.

'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism


Re: Utter garbage!

Since when did the fact that an idea is utter garbage make the slightest difference to an American in an airport with a gun and a uniform?

nbn™ ponders a gamers' gate to throttle heavy wireless users


Nice to see that El Reg actually reported the facts here. Contrast this with the illiterate mainstream media which is just saying "the NBN" and not really bothering to mention (if they even understand) the difference between the fixed wireless periphery (basically 20-acre block country) and the NBN proper (suburbia).

Send printer ink, please. More again please, and fast. Now send it faster


Re: In the early days...

"I thought the reason receipts are always printed with thermal printers is because they're cheaper and there's no ribbon/toner/ink to replace, just paper."

No. they are done with thermal printers so that, three weeks later when you are trying to get your accounts straightened out, you can't read the bloody things.

It also saves on warranty costs.

"Do you have a receipt sir?

"Umm ... I have some blank receipt-sized papers here. One of them is probably it."

"Sorry Sir, can't do anything under warranty without a receipt."


Re: Cashing cheques

Just so. Here in Oz, you are (and so far as I know always have been) perfectly able to cash a cheque. You have to identify yourself and be at the appropriate branch. (I'm not aware of any limit on the amount, but it makes sense that there would be one.)

Microsoft gives users options for Office data slurpage – Basic or Full


Re: Firewalls?

"But for personal use, what vital service does Microsoft provide?"

Well, for single people with no romantic prospects on the horizon, Microsoft provides a simple and very reliable way of getting screwed. Every day.

IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on


IP v6. Visa for networks.

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed


Re: So WTF is wrong with the US school system?

It has guns in it.

Govts should police... Google's algorithms, says News Corp chief


I an happy to support the regulation of Google's algorithmns to stop their computers perverting news delivery ... but not until we have equivalent regulations on News Corp, who are far, far worse news perverters than Facebook and Google and Twitter put together.

Why does News Corp reckon that massive and deliberate information fraud on their part should be exempt?

SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere


"a hydrogen balloon that stands a good chance of being in the exhaust of a rocket engine just seems like a bad idea"

Just think of it as an unorthodox sort of afterburner. :)



Re Richard Boyce.

It is routine to use cyrogenic propellants in upper stages of existing rockets, so I doubt that this would be a problem. I'm not sure how the engineers do it but, as an example, the upper stages of the Saturn 5 way back in the 1960s, having been lifted by a LOX - kerosene first stage, used LOX - liquid hydrogen. (Hydrogen for the upper stages because, although it's difficult to handle, it delivers twice as much thrust as kerosene.) For subsequent uses (e.g., the lunar lander) they preferred hypergolics because these provide reliable stop and restart.


Re: SAW?

SAW usually for stands Anti Submarine Warfare. (Sorry, this subject on-brings my lexdixia.)

F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg


Re: I think it was well known....

"The question is, could a "new" Harrier done a better job with modern avionics and technology, for far less money?"

Not a snowball's chance in hell. Could a hypothetical New Super Harrier do all that it required? Sure it could, if you spent enough money - i.e., something an order of magnitute greater on a per-seat basis than the F-35. (Or anything else for that matter.) Most of the cost in producing an aircraft is in the design and development process. To get the cost per unit down to something sensible, you need to produce hundreds, if possibly thousands, of units.

Same with any high-tech product.

Q: How much does it cost to produce one modern CPU chip? Ans: Hundreds of millions.

Q: Having made the first one, how much does it cost to produce the second one? Ans: small change.

Now, if you could sign a customer up to pre-order, say, 450 New Super Harriers and pay cash up front ....

Two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches and crafty URLs like ғасеьоок.com


Re: Fix it in-browser

"But how will i know i am getting the good porn if xxx is blocked."

Here in Victoria on this summer Friday it was 40-odd degrees for much of the day, and still a sweaty 30-odd now. Frankly, just at this moment, I'm more interested in a cold XXXX than a hot XXX.


Fix it in-browser

I'd be happy just to have a browser setting that rejects all non-standard addresses, or at least warns the user. By "non-standard" in this context I mean:

(a) anything that isn't 100% Roman characters. (Other people who use other languages would require different settings, of course. That's fine. I'm just saying what would work for me, and probably you too.)

(b) anything that doesn't have a standard TLD. Yes to (e.g.) .com, .net.nz, .co.uk, .org.ca, and .gov.au. No to rubbish TLDs like .smile and .biz and .anybloodything 'coz I have never yet seen a useful site on, for example, .shop and wouldn't miss it. Ever.

A router setting would be even better, but less likely and more cumbersome. A simple browser setting would do. And if by any chance I really want to go to a site with a weirdo address one day, I could always uses a different browser or (better) have a way to allow exceptions.

(Yes, yes, non-Roman addresses have perfectly valid uses. No argument there. But for something like 90% of us English speakers, these uses do not apply. They only cause trouble. Doubtless a similar comment would apply, with appropriate modifications to, for example, Spanish speakers.)

A380 saved as Emirates orders another 20 planes, plus 16 options


I'm sure they did screw Airbus for a bargain price - below cost most likely. But I doubt that Airbus mind. From their point of view, the main thing is to keep the A380 line open because the time will certainly come when other airlines order more of them.

What the A380 really needs is a modest stretch and an engine refresh. It was designed right from the start to be easily stretched (the wing is considerably bigger than it needs to be for this very reason) and there are some city pairs where a 1000-seater would be just the thing (not that they'd go that far, an extra 20% would be more likely). But it's a lot of money to spend for a model that wouldn't sell in volume in the current climate. Maybe in 5 years time - which, of course, is why it's good to keep the line open so as to keep that option open.

Airbus warns it could quit A380 production


Re: Another happy traveller

Every other airline apart from about half of all airlines operating in the general area, you mean. MAS was flying the exact same route as, for example, Lufthansa. Not to mention many, many others. Please try to get your facts right before spouting nonsense.


Re: Shame

Guess what: there is more space on a 40seater bus than there is on the average motorcycle too. Who'd a thunk it?

You are comparing a small airliner to a pair of large ones. If you want to compare, you need to compare (e.g.) A320 v 737; 787 vs A350.

nbn™tries to ease peak hour crunch with cheaper bundles


Well said Matthew.

It is a pity that your downvoters haven't even bothered to explain what it is you said that they disagree with. One is forced to assume that they are simply parasitic download junkies who dislike any hint that they should no longer be allowed to leech off the rest of the community.

WW2 Enigma machine to be seized from shamed pharma bro Shkreli


Credit where it's due please

Look, the guy is not a total tosser, He did at least do his best to effectively erase all public access to a couple of hip-hop recordings and thus improve the world of music by some very small percentage. In recognition of this selfless and valuable act, I propose a reduction of his sentence. About three seconds seems fair.

Man with 74 convictions refused permission to fling sueball at Google


Alternatively, you could learn to read.

After you have done that, and read the article, feel free to get back to us.

There's a way to dodge Fasthosts' up-to-160% domain renewal hike but you're not gonna like it


Re: Price gouging.

Why does .clinic cost$55 quid more?

Because any tool dumb enough to want .clinic instead of something sensible like .co.uk is just about certain to be dumb enough to pay 55 quid extra. Or 155 quid extra for that matter.

Ah, good ol' Windows update cycles... Wait, before anything else, check your hardware


Reads like an unedited and not-very-bright press release.

Oh, my mistake.

Is an unedited and not-very-bright press release.

AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next


Re: Feed this

Second factor questions are an utterly stupid idea. On those brain-dead sites which still use them, I NEVER provide sensible answers. (Not that there are any sensible answers: most of those questions either ask for something that any fool could guess if they know anything about you, or else for something you don't know yourself.)

Much, much better to provide nonsense answers and keep them somewhere secure. E.g., Q: "What is your favourite colour?" A: elephant. Q: "Who was your first girlfriend?" A: Glasgow". Q: "Where were you born?" A: Uncle Arthur. Q: "What is your favourite song?" A: sodium pentaflouride. Or, if you prefer, instead of "Glasgow" as your first girlfriend answer, use "kdKYTEKYE&J$KDTY9".

(Unless, of course, you are from the robo-sex generation and your first girlfriend really was named kdKYTEKYE&J$KDTY9.)

Scientists produce a map marking water hotspots on the Moon


Hot and wet

Why isn't a "watrer hotspot" simply a wet spot?