* Posts by Matthew Smith

35 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Logic-gate 'supermolecules' play noughts & crosses

Matthew Smith

Vote For Lose

I think lose should be spelled with one oh, to distinguish it from that other common word loose. I may be democratically outvoted here but I think the dictionary still has the casting vote.

Royal Navy plans world's first running-jump jet

Matthew Smith


The ramp will take care of that, assuming a one runway design for the carrier.

MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed

Matthew Smith


"imagine what it would be like running windows 3.11 on todays dual core machines"

If you carefully choose your mobo chipset (maybe Intel?) and video card (Matrox) then it will probably work fine, within the limitations of device drivers. Remember, most of us are forced to upgrade OS due to lack of device drivers, rather than any particular desire to fill our new HD with bloated plodware.

Garage sale genius juices software-hawking eBayers

Matthew Smith

The dongle is king

Doesn't AutoCAD still come with a dongle? Surely if this physical key is transferred then Autodesk have little to complain about

Texas man tries to cash $360bn cheque

Matthew Smith
Paris Hilton

I seen it in the movies

The old name for 10^9 was milliard. This is still used in the rest of Europe, but they too are relenting and allowing American culture to wash their own away. The lowest common denominator is defined by Hollywood.

Predator kill-machine pilots suffering 'chronic burnout'

Matthew Smith
Black Helicopters

Nevada Blues

The spouses are either kicking their heels in Vegas, or are somewhere else completely. Either situation would be stressful, on a non-coms salary.

Virgin taps Boeing for 787 compensation

Matthew Smith

Real Choice

"I've never known or been told in advance which type of plane I'd be flying on....!"

I have :) But it did cost a little more to specify Concorde.

BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone

Matthew Smith

Why they can't ditch DRM

The BBC can't make its programs freely available for download, or for streaming outside the UK, for a very good reason. It isn't the DVD sales they are worried about, it's the sales to overseas broadcasters which I seem to remember reading provides half their income. Top BBC programs tend towards the "timeless classics" (e.g. David Attenbourough) rather than the "latest blockbuster" (Lost, BSG?) so the solution of simultaneous premieres is not so obviously attractive.

BitMicro gives 1.6TB SSDs some SCSI lovin'

Matthew Smith

Re: Why the obsolete interface?

The wide cables are more of a liability with mechanical drives, with all that vibration and hot swapping. It probably makes sense to use up stocks of wide SCSI kit in this way. As a proof-of-concept for a single board solution this is how I would prototype it myself.

Ton-up electric Reliant Robin offered for '09

Matthew Smith

Austin 7

I'd like to see lightweight vehicles with skinny wheels, that can chug along at 25MPH and safely share the road with bicycles, horses and children playing.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 'superzoom' camera

Matthew Smith

Missing 2 important teatures

I got myself an Olympus C-300 (aka D-500) from Cash Converters (£30 well spent), and there were only 3 problems with it. Apart from it being a bit too small to hold comfortably and steadily in my ham fists (a problem which this Sony seems to address) the two great lacks were a manual focussing ring and a shoe for a flash. Without these essentials it just doesn't cut it as a tool for taking photographs, rather than snapshots.

Nvidia to purchase Ageia

Matthew Smith
Thumb Up

Good for everyone

Ageia bravely tried to carve a niche but they were pretty quickly gazumped by physics-on-GPU. I suspect NV were more interested in hiring the expertise than acquiring any hard assets. Proprietary physics APIs must surely give way to open standards the way Glide succumbed to OpenGL.

Click here to turn your HP laptop into a brick

Matthew Smith

re: re: Not Bricking

It isn't a brick until the BIOS can't be repaired without a soldering iron. Reinstalling an O/S is roughly equivalent to changing the oil in a car engine. A computer without an installation disk is therefore about as useful in the long term as a car without an oil filler cap.

Paris Hilton cavorts naked in middle of desert

Matthew Smith

re Goldfinger's Mistake

"Too bad you only die in Movies when covered in Golden Bodypaint..."

No.. actually you do. You have to leave an unpainted patch at the small of your back or you will actually die. Also, never look at the sun, even through the spotter scope or binoculars.

HP whips out d*** in a box

Matthew Smith
Gates Horns

Wallace and Grommit?

They may have started capturing frames digitally now (for ease of editing in a normal 2d video suite) but I'm pretty sure they started with a traditional clockwork cine camera. The only 3d rendering was the scene in Curse of The Wererabbit with the bunnies swirling around the big Dyson.

Babylon 5 was famously rendered on a bank (750 IIRC) of Video Toasters, which were Amigas reworked to produce broadcast quality signals.

p.s. Icon selected for resemblance to wererabbit

Mum sends stripper to teenage son's school

Matthew Smith

From 18, anything legally allowed is yours.

Except for that essential for a fulfilled life, the HGV licence

EU cracks down on fake blogger astroturfing

Matthew Smith
Thumb Down

For hands that do dishes

It does seem to undermine the basis of 90% of advertising aimed at the general consumer. What we really need are EU standards for "great", "excellent" and "alluring" so individual excessive claims can be prosecuted. We all have to learn to ignore the hyperbole from all kinds of brand fanboys, not just those with a commercial interest.

I'm still curious about rainbows and what they taste like.

And snackfood adverts aimed at children should all carry a health warning about washing your hands before eating with your fingers.

More gnashing of teeth after Microsoft update brings PCs to a standstill

Matthew Smith
Black Helicopters

Hot Mustard

"If they can .. what's preventing the NSA and other spying agencies of getting in just as discretly as they did and plant software ?"

Before 9/11, MS were complaining publicly about the backdoors they were required to leave open for security services. Since then, the complaints have stopped.

Microsoft will not appeal EU monopoly fine

Matthew Smith
Thumb Up

Can I have my network back now, Mister?

At least we won't all have to pay the 10k€. All we need to do is chip in a few quid to the Samba developers and we can get a working mixed network back again sometime soon hopefully. Mine broke when I added an XP machine and had to run the Wizard on my 98 machines - which of course knackered their ability to see the SMB Domain Server on my Linux box. I have been patiently living with FTP and sneakernet ever since, waiting for this issue to be resolved. It's very hard to prove damages when a sole-trading entrepreneur has his projects hobbled in this way.

AMD three-core Phenoms to ship March 2008?

Matthew Smith

It depends on the price

I worked out (while waiting for Eclipse to load one day) that I need exactly 3 cores for developing Java apps. If these things are only €20 more than an dualie, then I would buy one, but if they are only €20 cheaper than a quad then I would go without peanut butter for a week or two.

It's possible that only 3 cores could save the need to buy a noisier fan and bigger PSU, and I'm a very noise and price sensitive kinda guy. I'm running a 2200+ Sempron at the moment, even though I could afford a Barton at the time I bought it.

I'm certainly in favour, although I suspect you won't find many outside the homebuild market as the supply could dry up in an instant when AMD get their yields up to scratch.

UK fast food peppered with salt

Matthew Smith

Degree Coarse

"Come on people 1 in 3 now take a degree course, try not to fall back on stereotypes, its lazy"

Yes, but how many of those are Media Studies and Business Admin courses where they are learning how to maximise sales of junk?

Comcast busted for bagging BitTorrents (again)

Matthew Smith

Water Supply

Another analogy would be the water supply. There is sufficient capacity and pressure in the system for everyone to run a bath on the top floor, and there may be service level guarantees to this effect and a flat annual fee.

If, however, some people are running their taps constantly for selfish reasons (e.g. running industrial processes in their houses or maybe having oversized ornmental fountains) then this will destroy the reliability of the service for everyone. Nobody else would complain if the water company imposed sanctions on those excessive users, whether they were installing meters, limiting their pressure, or changing them to a more appropriate tarriff.

The only problem with ISPs is their advertising. They are overselling what they can provide, in their desperation to compete for customers. They all advertise unlimited service knowing that admitting this is impossible to provide for everyone simultaneously would make them seem uncompetitive. Having these bandwidth hogs paying their subscriptions does allow the ISPs and telecoms companies to invest in high speed equipment, so the typical user isn't too badly off out of it.

I don't see a major moral problem with them blocking illegal file sharing. There is the privacy issue involved in distinguishing the illegal traffic, but "freedom to steal" is something that I can't condone, except when someone is starving and steals a bare sufficiency for survival. A look at an average torrent user's activity shows they are stealing considerably more than they need to survive.

Met used 'dum-dum' ammo on de Menezes

Matthew Smith

The Joy Of Gun

"Seriously, go load up some sinterfire projectiles into the cartridge of your choice, buy a thawed chickn, pot roast, or beef shank, and have at it."

Erm... I'm sure I would have (aged 9) but this is a British web site, in case you hadn't noticed. We generally only fire what is available at the fun fair or what we are ordered to in warfare. And when we are at war, pot roasts tend to be scarce.

Unimpressed Sheilas mock boy racers' todgers

Matthew Smith

Shouldn't they let men just show their dicks in public to avoid unnecessary displacement activities?

nuff said

Your coats are in the hall

Plan for 20mph urban speed-cam zones touted

Matthew Smith
IT Angle

One potential advantage for the 21st Century Guy

... is that a traffic system restricted to 20mph will be easier to join for driverless vehicles. The frustration of moving slowly will be greatly alleviated by the opportunity to stretch out on the back seat reading The Reg with a nice cup of coffee, sleeping off your lunchtime lagers, or shagging that fit bird from the office.

Cars without drivers does have one potential drawback in that the average passenger numbers will shrink from 1.001 to 0.501, as many people will send their cars home alone to avoid parking fees at the office.

Matthew Smith

Road Users

The term road user applies to everybody using it. This includes motorists, cyclists, pedestrians in or out of their cups, horses with and without carts, drovers with flocks, children playing football or shammy-1-2-3. The roads were there before the car was invented, and will almost certainly be there after cars are obsolete. Apart from the motorways and racetracks, they do not exist purely for the selfish motoring minority's benefit.

On yer bike

Asus launches tiny PC

Matthew Smith
Gates Halo

laptops in the 80s? You mean the Z88?

It's not a PC. It's a PC compatible.

Terror police lock down Soho to smoke out 9lbs of chillis

Matthew Smith

Also @ Simon Painter

Wasn't the only non-imaginary anthrax attack traced to a native common or garden variety of homicidal nutter? He stole it from his employer IIRC. You had better pray the Caliphate doesn't extend its jurisdiction for slander cases into your state.

Also, did you manage to sell your stockpile of Cipro before it expired, or did you flush it into the sewers to help the alligator population breed new strains of MRSA?

Fundy dunderheads make monkey of monkey man

Matthew Smith

@ M Neligan

The Barbarians didn't supress science for a thousand years, nor did they invent the concept of heresy for contradicting the holy book. These were both the actions of the rump of the Roman Empire.

And as for Galileo, Leonardo and Newton (I will add Gibbons to this list). They all operated in a society where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were all placed in jeopardy by anyone who neglected to pay sufficient lip service to the Christian authorities.

Matthew Smith


"Why do so many people think Christianity is about bringing back the dark ages?"

Well, maybe it's because Christianity is widely considered to be responsible for the Dark Ages in the first place.

Britannia triumphs over Johnny Metric

Matthew Smith

Re: Shouldn't that be 1862.6 MILES/sec?

No. The speed of light is only of interest to engineers and scientists, who have been co-operating globally for at least a century. If on the other hand, you are only concerned with beer and bananas in your flange's locale, then you can continue using the ug and the oogah.

TV makers go ape for 100Hz LCDs

Matthew Smith

24 fps

24 fps has been standard for 35mm film since the start. Increasing this would be a mechanical nightmare. 24 times a second, the film must be moved while the shutter/gate is closed (which must be as quick as possible to avoid missing motion) and then brought to a dead stop before the gate opens again. This puts enormous strain on the sprockets and the holes in the film. This wouldn't be so bad if it just needed uprated cameras, but the same thing happens in the movie projectors too. They would all need replacing with beefier models, the films will have to be printed on stronger plastic, and all the splicing tables would need to be bigger (a 4 reel film becomes an 8 reeler etc.).

No harm in shooting at double speed though, if it's all going through digital intermediates (as most movies are now) but the 24 fps print could possible show double images where the shutter was closed.

Tilera throws 64-core meshy chip at video and security tasks

Matthew Smith

ElReg is the new Slashdot

They had a website until five minutes ago

NASA comp fails to produce flying cars

Matthew Smith

Re: Scary Thought

When you have the "take me home, car" autopilot in place, you don't really need to fly. You could have simulations of glorious skies flying past at 400mph displayed on all the windows (viewed from a recumbent position on the back seat) when in reality you are sat in a tailback on the M40, or trundling along on a conveyor belt in a tunnel.

How to counter premature optimisation

Matthew Smith

Number of users

This argument about programmer's time being more valuable than new hardware only works if you are talking about bespoke software. If you are writing a program to publish for a million users, then the economics shift in favour of optimising.