* Posts by Philius

18 posts • joined 9 Apr 2012

It's June, and you guessed it! Pork barrel time for resellers as £500m public sector framework gets go-ahead


GNU Health anyone?

Seems to me that if an open source hospital /enterprise resource planning system is already out there then why not use it?


Hate Verilog? Detest VHDL? You're not the only one. Xilinx rolls out easier-to-use free FPGA programming tools after developer outcry




Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way


Nowadays "XP" is an emoticon for the blue screen of death


Even Uncle Sam admits: US patent law is whack


Here's a free one, if someone hasn't already grabbed it so it's not free for everyone


Google will make you live to be 500, claims Ventures president


time wasters

I hate it when someone wastes my time, whether deliberately, by accident or because they found themselves in a situation where wasting my time was a consequence.

When it comes to technology, wasting competitors time is good, wasting their time means your product stays on the shelf longer, and you make more money.

That's why "security through obscurity" is so popular. Closed source profiteers depend on it.

Here are the steps:

1. think your chosen field into existence

2. set up a governing body that you elect amongst yourselves

3. introduce bureaucracy to generate red tape

4. profit

If we lived too long then we'd have the patience to get over these hurdles and establishment types would go the way of the dodo.

Donors back boffins' wireless eye replacement


From Jordi LeForge to 1984 to the sixth day?

I remember Jean Luc Picard saying that if it wasn't for the problems Jordi LeForge had to endure (like constant pain) the visor would have been a mandatory alteration for all Star Fleet members.

From there it's a hidden WIFI band away from someone else seeing through your visor/eyes.

OK I know it's a TV series but you get my point.

Of course they'll have to watch out if you're trying to smuggle your clone onto the helicopter, so maybe it evens out.

I guess we'll wait for the technology to advance sufficiently for these issues to be addressed.

And of course the upgrade's a bitch.

HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch ... THE MACHINE


Title change

I've been ranting about this for ages - it's not a memristor, it's a FLUX CAPACITOR!

One point thirty two gigawatts?

The 'third era' of app development will be fast, simple, and compact


Metaphorical abstraction, anyone?

It sounds like they're aiming at a system that allows declarative programming, as each system has its own procedural approaches.

I thought about how I could use OpenGL to rotate the bits in an array of bytes recently (swap rows and columns) to speed up some code - it made my head hurt.

iPads in education: Not actually evil, but pretty close


iPad bashing

As fond of iPad bashing as I am due to their lack of openness, some of the comments point out how software (even open source software) present themselves as homogeneous blobs, written in inscrutable C++/Java/whatever incantations.

It can be argued that such is the state of the art - we've moved on from punched cards, at least.

But neither hardware nor software particularly lends itself to education, it's all about getting it done, protecting your interests (complexity brings obfuscation, a form of encryption) and waiting for fashion to move along so you can do it again in another language/paradigm/form-factor.

To really make a difference in education, fashion would need to make an unexpected turn - favoring the users, which won't happen as long as they're consumers, in whatever form.

Two things would make this happen

1. Tin of beans guarantee - it contains what it says on the tin

So an iPad would have "consumer appliance" on it, which is what it is, not for IT education

A Raspberry Pi would have "IT kit" on it

2. Be amenable to tweaking/tinkering/reprogramming/developing-software-on

Ordinary PCs go some of the way, the Raspberry Pi goes further, and with OpenCL it would go all the way.

Ultimately only open software on open hardware can seriously claim to earn the badge "an IT educators must-have".

Space probe spies MYSTERY 'Cold Spot' in very fabric of cosmos itself


I wrote a blog about the "big bang" - http://philipashmore.blogspot.ie/2012/08/the-condensing-universe.html

I don't know why they're still calling it a "bang".

If we're still receiving emissions from the birth of the universe then it must mean that the bang took as long as we've been able to measure the radiation - more than 50 years isn't a bang, not even a thud.

At the "start" of the universe I'm in a room the size of an atom where the walls are covered in lights and I have to race away fast enough so that the room's big enough and the light from the walls is only reaching me now.

No, no, men in white coats - I'm a physicist! A physicist!

Georgia Tech proposes terabit NFC antenna


Additional references





Euro boffins plan supercomputer to SIMULATE HUMAN BRAIN


Could it teach us, or make better ones?

Just because your conciousness runs on a super-computer doesn't make you smarter.

It might turn out like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Gumble (Barney Gumble) and ask for a beer.

Stroustrup on next-gen C++: I didn't want to let go of my baby




LG claims UK Ultra HD TV first


Netflix, did you say?

If you go to "ways to watch" at the bottom of the page, it takes you to


In Ireland, I'm getting a site error.

Time was when the blu-ray player I bought, an LG BD660, was listed there.

Now Netflix and LG are doing a co-ordinated back-pedal.

And guess what, the wayback machine


isn't of much use either in this regard.

Not only does Netflix require cookies, but it checks your IP address to see where you're visiting from, even for the page that shows what devices support Netflix.

Russian tech baron shocks physicists with £3m cash wad


unless they all nominate each other

What a great testament this is about physics, science and the educational system in general!

Even if the board members were above reproach, the lack of links to the works of the winning researchers does mean that joe public can't expect any dosh for an ephiphany while on the throne.

I wish someone would explain to me how this "closed shop" attitude works towards the advancement of any field of interest.

'Don't break the internet': How an idiot's slogan stole your privacy...


Re: robots.txt? Seriously?

"it was Google that had insisted on ACAP being in robots.txt"

So Googles own robots.txt would have to declare that it didn't own its own web pages.

This comment was made in relation to the article.

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough.


robots.txt? Seriously?

What would the robots.txt file look like for googles own web site?


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