* Posts by HippyFreetard

120 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Sep 2012

Doom god John Carmack teleports from id Software to VR upstart Oculus Rift


If it has any applications in porn at all it will be a roaring success. You just need that "excuse" application to send it on it's way. That'll probably be something simple like gaming. It's a big industry, and just about ripe for another paradigm.

Richard Stallman decides Emacs should go WYSIWYG


Re: All this vi and emacs talk


I know.

We all know ed is best...




If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans


Re: Damn it El Reg

And I just read your footnote in a Jamaican accent


"Run! The Google's coming!"

Cannons blazing, ripping down our doors and smashing our walls and windows. The screaming and destruction is peppered by the loudspeaker in it's giant midriff, chanting over and over "Do No Evil. Do No Evil..."

Whovians, your Doctor needs you: Take back the Day from One Direction


"Good, I can feel your anger..."

Seriously, Who was brilliant right up til it went all Buffy. Ecclestone onwards, pretty meh. It's freakin' popular now, what's with that?

Once, being a Dr Who fan meant that you were part of a secret society that saw things and went places the rest of society couldn't comprehend. Things greater than TV romance - science vs ignorance, peace vs war, the struggle of good vs evil within each of us. It was more than overproduced creepypasta with a prettyboy lead and boy-meets-girl cliché.

(I hear Blakes 7 is being made again. It could be so cool, but I bet it won't be.)

As for 1D, what's the thing? It's all quantum. They're only big because everybody's paying attention to them. Stop collapsing the waveform! Ignore them and they'll cease to exist...


Re: Schmarketing & manipulation of adolescents

"Do you still remember, December's foggy freeze,

When the ice that clings onto your beard is screaming agony?

And you snatch your rattling last breaths with deep sea diver sounds

And the flowers bloom like madness in the spring..."

Also, Locomotive Breath is pure rock.

Anonymous hacktivists' Million Mask March protest hits London



"Remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice."

Would the corporation that wrote the SOPA and PIPA bill count? Sounds pretty corporation-corrupting-politiciansy to me. That would be Time Warner then, whose masks they're all wearing...

10 Types of IT managers from hell


Manager vs Boss

Manager: A thing or person that manages.

Boss: Lump of metal on a shield for bashing people with.

Everybody who thinks of themselves as a boss should be fired. Now. Everybody who thinks of themselves as a manager needs edumacated (well, most. I've had (and been) both good and bad managers).

The role of a manager is to make it easier for the pro's to get on with their work. Anything else is bullshit*.


*okay, your manager might have other jobs to do, but eg. sealing a project deal is marketing, not management ;)

IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE! Google's secretive Omega tech just like LIVING thing


Re: Ooooh... Omega!

Goooogle self-driving cars, floating internet, and mysterious boats.

I'm sure it's nothing serious...

User-agent: *

Disallow: /ohmygoditshappeninghumansunitenow!/

Google's new Glass: Now with audio connection INSIDE the SKULL


I may be wrong.

The only people I've seen legitimately wearing Bluetooth are taxi drivers. It makes sense there, but not really anywhere else. I just use my headphones to talk handsfree when I'm listening to music or something.

There will be plenty of legitimate use for Glass, too. I imagine bike couriers might love them. Police and armed forces might find them useful. They may become ubiquitous for rock climbers. Then it will look normal for people to be wearing them

My prediction is, if a "cool" profession or subculture adopts Glass, everyone else will. If not, it will probably fine a couple of niches to occupy, and we won't ever see it until we get pizza delivered, or we're going into surgery or something.

LG G Flex: A new cheeky curvy mobe with a 'SELF-HEALING' bottom


BMX Wheels

I don't think the curviness will catch on. I may be wrong, it looks quite pocket-friendly, but it's not as versatile as a flat-screen phone (I can't believe I just said "flat-screen phone" like it was a thing).

I think the screen itself will be obsolete soon. I see a walkman-style phone you never have to take out of your pocket unless you specifically want to watch a thing or surf the web. It'll all be watches, bluetooth stuff, and head-up/AR displays soon.

But how does the plastic heal itself? (And why the back, not the front?) Will you take it off and put it in the fridge overnight?

The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?


Re: Strikes a chord

Please, for the love of God, don't teach them web! It's nuts. Three different languages to learn, each with different syntax, that works different depending on browser, browser version, operating system - seriously, try not to. And don't go the Dreamweaver route either. You might as well teach them MS Paint.

This may sound crazy, but I'm actually talking from experience here - binary. It is unbelievably simple, and kids love it. Just a few simple additions and subtractions (like they're used to with "borrows", you don't have to go all 2's-comp on primary kids) can be really fun. It's all pencil and paper, so a short sheet of binary sums can quickly become addictive. Before you laugh, just try it. Give them three or four sums and ask if they want more. To teach hex, simply make cardboard "coins" in 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 etc and just let them play money with it.

I'm a huge fan of Scratch. It's free, and it's sneaky, in that it's not just programming. Little girls just make pony stories and animations, completely oblivious to the fact that they're learning threaded, procedural, and object based programming. Take them through a couple of games (like the shark game) step by step, and take it from there. The Scratch methodology also leads nicely into stuff like AppInventor and GameMaker, where kids can make real apps and games for their own phones etc later down the line, so it would have the same effect as teaching them Java or web, but without the headaches!

Also, I have to say, throwies, or a cheap battery/resistor/led combination they can make themselves. Hands on, and fun. This is like magic to kids. You can make a cardboard demon with red eyes, or a clown face, that sort of thing. Really easy, but they learn that electricity goes one way, and you need these little brown things to stop too much electricity going to the little light. More importantly, they learn that electronics isn't something that only "other people" can do.

These three approaches are all really fun, and don't take much time or money to teach, but they set the little'uns up for further computer science learning, and gives them extra options for their playing time. A RPi in the hands of these kids further down the line will be more meaningful.

Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'


Re: Comment from the Cockwomble in question

All kids need to be taught to read and write. They also all need basic maths skills.

I actually think every primary-school child should also be taught the basics of cooking, sewing, first aid, drawing, woodworking, electronics, and coding. All this stuff is very practical and hands-on, fun, and variable to interest. A basis like this in primary would lead to a better serving of STEAM subjects in high school.

And the future really is STEAM. The kind of jobs schools traditionally prepared people for are going fast. Engineers, artists, scientists, etc will be the only real industry left. Coding is used across the STEAM spectrum.

Coding is where literacy was not so long ago. Only the rich and powerful could afford to do it, and the masses were ripped off by churches and governments. (Okay, they're still doing it, but at least we know that now!) Coding should not be allowed to remain with that elite status.

A steampunk VDU: How would it work and what would it look like?


Flip Clock

Probably better along a belt than a big wheel, as this would allow you to make a command line or screen matrix.

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH


Truly Groundbreaking

A Free OS? Who would have thought of such a thing?

Extreme ultraviolet litho: Extremely late and can't even save Moore's Law


Even Moore Than Befoore

Obviously, there's only so many atoms wide we can make a wire, or a transistor. It'll be fun to see what happens, and whether it fits the Tomorrow's World inspired visions I have of the near future.

Bloat may not be a coder's problem. Sure, there's tons of bloated software out there, but all it would take is for someone to come up with a cleverer compiler that could scan for bloat. That's a much simpler solution than teaching everyone C and memory handling (though they should learn that stuff), and will happen anyway. Also, there's so many virtual machines these days, something on something on something. Maybe we need a sort of total system recompiler? Install your stuff, and the recompiler runs through it blobbing all the interpreted stuff and repeated transfers.

Multicore is already standard on PC's but when will we see the first commercial Supercomputer on a Chip? Parallela.org looks quite exciting. I think Intel made a special one a couple of years back, so we may see that sort of stuff everywhere.

Also, clockless computing (I think it's called Asynchronous, too) where it takes as long as the signals to reach the end of the circuit to make a calculation. It's extra wiring due to the "done" signal that has to be sent in place of the clock tick, but you might be able to get more calculations done per second, so it could work out better. It'll start as a small patch inside the ALU and GPU, and will spread from there, like a silicon mould. Couple it with flash or e-ink style memory (where only state change requires power) and booting a PC might be not much slower than switching on a light bulb. Extreme overclocking can be achieved with liquid nitrogen. More for datacentres and extreme hobbyists than home users, maybe.

I'm still hoping for the time when I can download the latest chip, and "burn" it to a piece of blank silicon...

Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed



"So, like, economics is a real science, honest. People who don't believe science are like, creationists, yeah. You're not a creationist are you? That would be stupid. Stupid creationists. So anyway, now we're on the same level, us science types, my science says don't tax the rich. Pretty simple, huh? Vote Tory. Science, see?"

Apple's iWatch to appear in 2014, will RULE your home – new claim


Re: Can someone explain


Lots of people have multiple remotes for different devices. You could have them all as "tabs" in your smartphone app. You might be able to reconfigure the virtual keyboard on your phone app, so that only the buttons you want can be to hand. The watch might have a simple pause or mute (or mute to subtitles) for when the door goes or something. Can't find the remote? Press your watch to ring your phone.

Apple might use their iPod roundy thing* as the bevel of their iWatch, giving you smooth analogue-feeling control over volume, or even time, like a video-editor scroll-wheel.

I predict problems of a more political nature. The remote acts like a tribal "talking stick" in a lot of homes, so when both spouses (and perhaps even a couple of the kids) have the same apps, domestic anarchy will ensue, mark my words. Heating up, heating down, lights on, lights off. Even those with inside bathroom switches will no longer be immune to the mid-dump darkness-plunge prank.



Thought so.

Apple usually waits until a technology looks like it's establishing, then they gather their guys together and make their own. There will be patent wars.

Then when everybody's pretty much sick of smart watches, and the market is saturated, Microsoft will release a yellow monstrosity. Then Ubuntu will try something stupid and fail, and the whole thing will start again with smart specs/shades...

UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi


Re: It Should be Mandatory

I agree.

I suffer from problems learning abstract things. So when I was in school, they taught us trigonometry straight off with a calculator, and it didn't sink in at all. So I got my maths teacher to explain it. He sat me down with pencil, paper, ruler, protractor and compass and made me draw circles and measure angles to obtain (rough) answers to trigonometric problems. After that, it made sense.

But the reason they teach calculator use is because there's a lot of extra variations of trig (for instance) that need to be explored, and using a calculator speeds the student through the process. After you hit high school, it becomes less about solving actual arithmetic problems with numbers, and more understanding the equations and jiggling them around.

But I don't think they necessarily stop you thinking, as you're just prioritising what it is you're thinking about...


Thanks! I might try Colobot on my kids, see if it takes :)


It Should be Mandatory

Like a school calculator, or a slide rule in the olden days, every kid should have a Pi when they first start high school. Primary schools should start with stuff like GreenFoot and Scratch, so that by the time the kids hit high school, they're ready for Pi and Python. Schools seem to have enough money to put SmartBoards in every class, run multiple instances of MS-Office and Windows, and in some cases give their pupils tablet devices, so why not? Part of the BBC's success were the school projects, so this would put the Pi firmly in place market-wise, and also give a chance for kids on the other side of the divide to learn computing. It could also make good use in other classes. Adventure games projects for English class, animations for Art, a nice case for it in CDT, you could run a tracker on it and learn scales and sequencing for Music lessons. We're not talking Granny's Garden here (the secret word was "fig" or "cig" yn Nghymraeg).

There is also a need for better literature for the Pi. When I had my Electron, there were two books you got with it. Start Programming (a step-by-step tutorial), and the User Guide (a BASIC manual). I was also given Computer Fun, and Machine Code Programming for Beginners. These had cartoon monsters (CF) and programs to type in, eg what day of the week were you born on, simple secret coder/decoders, or little cartoon robots (MCPB) that taught you how to use PEEK and POKE, and taught you about buses, registers, and mnemonics. I was nine when I wrote my first little number adder in machine code.

The BBC was so named because of a TV tie-in. There were a couple of series explaining computers and teaching BASIC with the BBC Micro. The Pi people should emulate that with their YouTube channel, make videos specifically tuned for curriculum viewing (remember how much cooler watching videos were than real lessons?)

If Eben Upton wants the Pi to be the BBC of today, this, in my opinion, is how to do it.

Brew me up, bro: 11-year-old plans to make BEER IN SPACE


Re: Headline fail !

With "Pint-sized boffin plans perfect pint in microgravity microbrewery" as tagline.

Stallman's GNU at 30: The hippie OS that foresaw the rise of Apple - and is now trying to take it on


Re: 30 years on...

Debian is the main GNU distro. They seem to be going strong, thankyou very much ;)


Re: Y'all GNU kids remember...

Except that Linus licensed it under GPL it completed the GNU project. That's why Debian call their distro GNU/Linux - because they've taken on the mission of the original GNU project. The project, to produce a completely Free Software OS, is finished, and just needs to continue to improve.

Others simply saw the benefits of Free Software, without being too uptight about proprietary inclusions, and built distros that include Flash etc as standard. These are not the GNU project, so they can call themselves what they like. For Debian, it's different, as they see themselves as their own GNU distro using Linux, and they also develop GNU/ kFreeBSD, and recently, beta versions of GNU/HURD. Compare this with Arch (who aren't particularly GNU-inclined), who also released a HURD version, and in this case call their distros Arch Linux and Arch HURD respectively. This is correct also, as Arch is their project, not GNU.

No need for gesticulating genitals at all. The philosophical and political camp of GNU (and Free Software), and the commercial and scientific practicality of Linux (and Open Source) are not mutually exclusive. They both aid each other. It's the confusion between the two which most annoys me.

If I made a vegan hot sauce, and somebody used it to marinade burgers, they wouldn't call them vegan hot sauce burgers. This is where I think Stallman is wrong to try to impose GNU terminology on other distros. He should be insisting Ubuntu is NOT referred to as GNU anything.

Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII


Re: ... their half dozen terminal sessions.

I only have three open, but they're covered in dvtm :)

The LSD guru, the 1980s pop-star and video games to reprogram your brain


Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

Some of us didn't grow up. Some of us refused.

...and then went on to develop the mouse, the Internet, the social network, and computing today as we know it.

BOOGIE BALLMER: Steve Dirty Dances at tearful Microsoft leaving do


how about...

PPenguin Attack by Gwar?

Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE



Can't believe I remember that - was one of the ways to annoy BASIC programmers. Ctrl+Break did the trick :)

Fresh shift of 'nauts arrives at Space Station, planning torch jaunt


A flame burns in a spherical shape, and quickly burns the nearby oxygen.

The original Russian cosmonauts were forced to wave their cigarettes from side to side constantly or they'd go out. They were also forced to drink their vodka from plastic bags. Times were hard.

James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine car sells for £550,000


I had the toy...

It had a little button and the "wings" popped out :)

Deep inside the iPhone 5s lurk a few surprises




Sofas with a roof and Star Trek seating: The future of office furniture?


"Yo dawg, heard you like offices..."

Wow. Way to utilise space, "designers".

How about, get this: use another room. A smaller one. Now no need to create the half-baked illusion of having a small office by dumping a small office in the middle of a large empty room. Go clean out a broom cupboard. Problem solved. Call it an Alpha-State Inducement Chamber and pipe some Enya in if it makes you feel any better.

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)


Smartphones are dead

Not like, dead dead, but they're ubiquitous now, so the revolution's over for them.

For another wow-factor keynote address, they really need a new actual gadget, rather than just another iPhone with something else crammed into it.

I's probably wearables next, either watches or specs. So if the Jobs years are a template for today, Apple will wait until a couple of companies have made the market ready for it, then they'll jump in with their more-features version.

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials


Re: Megairbus?


I have been flown around the country for meetings by bosses before. Not the "business meeting" type meetings, playing golf with Japanese oil barons or whatever, but the kind where a small company drags all it's regional and line managers down to HQ for training and mutual humiliation games.

In these cases, the PA just books everybody a cheap flight or train, and a room in a travelodge. If the Megabus sleeper had been going back then, we probably would have been shoved on there.

That's the kind of market I see for this. Summer music festivals, bank holidays, backpackers, and any other situation where time isn't an issue, but money is.



I'm guessing the fuel consumption for one of these things is low, even with the internal pumps. The materials look pretty standard, and since most of the size of the thing is gas, they would be relatively cheap to mass-produce.

This could really turn a profit.

Overnight sleeper flights, similar to the sleeper bus that Megabus is trialling at the moment, only in one of these things! Might even be cheaper than the Megabus. No traffic concerns, an as-the-crow-flies route, and most of the energy is used on forward momentum.

Since it seems to be a form of VTOL, you could stick the stations on the tops of hills and buildings in urban areas, away from the airports themselves.

That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?


I have a question.

Now that NSA snooping is a known fact, does this mean any UK-based company that still uses Gmail/Google Apps, or Outlook/Office 365, or iPads, or any of that stuff, is suddenly no longer PCI compliant and therefore in breach of the Data Protection Act?

Can we start suing our banks for using Windows yet?

Boffins follow TOR breadcrumbs to identify users



Even if I'm behind seven proxies?

China confirms plans for first Moon visit later this year


Re: Obligatory Bill Hicks quote...

"I have a tiger repellant stick you might want to buy."

"But we don't have tigers in this country."


"Shut up and take my money!"

Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops


And Snowden a Sysadmin?

"Here's the encrypted files. Here's the password for the files. Here's some instructions on how to use the password."

Does seem a bit weird. Either incredibly stupid or incredibly clever.

Scenario 1. The real shit's just a big encrypted file, uploaded to the cloud, and all that needs to be muled is the password. Decoy Dave is sent to look all nervous with a bagful of hard disks, the password, and, in case the police are extra slow, some instructions on how to open it.

Scenario 2. Snowden's been offered assylum, so he washes his hands of the whole thing, phones Greenwald in a panic, and says "get on over here and take it. I want nothing to do with it anymore. Passwords too..."

I can't decide...

BlackBerry: It's the end-to-endness, stupid


I'm tired.

At first glance, it said

"Blackberry: It's end to end stupid."

Ubuntu Edge crowdsauce cash stash comes up short


Re: Proof at last

No! Linux is great! Supercomputers! US Navy! Ernie Ball! Freeedoooom! City of Munich...


Silly me.

Nice one ;)

Paris Hilton


Just imagine him on the Dragon's Den show.

"You can barely shift an operating system you give away for free, you have zero experience in the smartphone industry, and yet you want us to fund an expensive smartphone concept based on your operating system? Not only that, but you want us to fund every penny of your product, but with no control over the product's future? Not only that, but your entire marketing research and marketing strategy, is to turn up on this show and ask for funding?"

Ubuntu Edge Linux mobe: 'Made you look,' crows Shuttleworth


Baboontu doesn't look good.

I like Baboontu. I use it on my netbook. it's nice, and well designed (not quite to my taste, but I appreciate the effort) for what it is.

But it's Shuttleworth's sideline. His little hobby that he has no faith in as a viable competitive operating system. Shuttleworth's attitude makes Ubuntu look like a crockpot of crap.

I'm not a business analyst, but I don't see a lot of marketing happening for the OS itself. He could have made a cheap, nicely branded PC, laptop, and home cloud to put in Argos, Toys "Я" Us, and DVD's in Poundland, undercut the competition to gain market share, brand awareness, and demonstrate recession economics, all in time for Christmas. He could have gone all Apple and had a mighty Superbowl ad that had people talking for years, and not just the Baboontu fans.

The fact that he didn't, and continues to not, makes it look like he doesn't even care about his own product. Tons of people run and use Baboontu, but Shuttleworth himself even said it wasn't good enough. There are technical and design problems, but I think it's fine. Shuttleworth doesn't, so it won't really take off.

Why should anybody (except companies who want to get marketing points for backing this viral trainwreck publicly with no risk) want to invest in it, if Shuttleworth doesn't?

Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30


Happy Birthday Electron!

My parents bought us (to share) the Electron with tape player and games, and a brand new portable colour TV. It was a real live computer, the kind of thing only "other" kids got.

Once you'd played the games, there was only one thing left you could do with it, and that was to go through the "Learn Programming" book.

Did anyone have "Computer Fun" with little monsters - with names like Deadeye Dick - where you would write the program from a book and have to look up in the back what the different lines were for your machine? (and/or "Machine Code Programming for Beginners" with robots?) Did anyone else have "Legend of Silver Mountain" which was a type-your-own adventure game?

The great thing is that my kids love it when I fire up Electrem or Beebem and they love to play my old games. Great games are timeless :)

Thanks for the nostalgia, Reg!

Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP


If the patches can be reverse-engineered in order to discover the holes, is it possible they could be reverse-engineered to create patches?

Could a 3rd-party like Comodo or Nortons sell legacy support for XP by clean-room reverse-engineering patches that MS release for 7 or 8? This isn't a cure for zero-day, because you'd be waiting for the patch while the hole was open, but it might be an interim solution between a hardware upgrade and a 7 rollout with Browsium.


Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

What are these features? Have you told the developers yet?

Think Open Source:-

1. Write a list of these features

2. Get an estimate

3. Start a Kickstarter project

Say 100 photographers all use Photoshop because of a missing feature in GIMP. At £500 a licence, that's £50,000 that could be spent on adding that one feature to GIMP. Forever. Your licensing budget becomes your development budget, and a consortium divides the cost.


Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

I timed my last install of Mint. 20 mins total from first boot with CD in to reboot to fresh machine. The actual installation (from clicking on "Install" to the "Please Reboot" message) was less than 10 mins.

Starwing: Nintendo, Argonaut's Brit boffinry and the Super FX chip


My little brother had Starfox for the SNES, but there was an arcade simulator too. It was called Starwing. Its screen was a big angled magnifying mirror pointed at a TV above your head.

It was a great game!




"Yibbity yibbity! Yip yip yibbity!"