* Posts by RikC

27 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jun 2013

When Steve Jobs was away, Apple's designers snuck out a penis-shaped remote control


Hey, I actually owned one of those as well! And yes I recall it's single speed slowness and long seeking times, and the strange moise it would make while seeking!

Aaaaand... the remote was not exclusive to Apple: Philips DCC (digital casette) players had the same remote only with different buttons: http://www.ebay.com/itm/PHILIPS-DCC-900-DIGITAL-COMPACT-CASSETTE-RECORDER-w-REMOTE-2-TAPES-BUNDLE-/331727570882

I know because we (my family) owned one of those as well! So we had two of those remotes in our house!

In fact, Philips also had a model very similar to the powercd player being able to play their cd-i multimedia discs on a tv... You couldn't connect that player to a pc since it missed the scsi port on the back. It was not sold very well even compared to other players of the not so succesful cd-i format... (which the Apple player could not play... altthough you could use it to directly watch photos on a compact disc on your TV via a composite connection!)

EDIT: Apperently the Apple cpuld play CD-i, missed that then ;-) And reading the other comments, yes there was a Kodak version as well! :-) http://www.icdia.co.uk/related/photocd/pcdplayers.html

Strike! European Patent Office staff vote in their thousands for walkout


@Yes, I too think the original intentions to reform are good and the unions here are resistant to what I see as improvement. BUT, the whole way that the execucutive tried to handle it comes across to me as rather poor, relying too much on his position: something not uncommon leadership trying to make up for lack of managements skills by playing the raw power card... And in acting in this way he will have made it harder for his succesor(s) to reform the organisation, so in this case there are only losers in the end IMHO...

More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey


Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

Yep, same combination here. Especially NoScript is a delight when you turn on the synchronization function in about:config so your own configuration of scripts you've allowed is available across the devices you're using. I recently stumbled upon websites blocking you in those instances (typically the kind of website that offers you the well known kind of "did you know that" infotainment to keep you distracted from work). Simple choice then, not visiting anymore: Because when a website is so keen on such things the likelihood that their information is irrelevant distraction is simply quite high! :-D

All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'


Often reading articles on the Reg I don't have a too high expectation of the US governments', or many other governments, respect for personal privacy.

However, we know that the line between the need to fight crime and the freedom to use of encryption is a thin one.

In a case like this there would be the is an investigation after a crime has been committed. And the US government is looking to break the encryption of one a specific device. It is not a request to have backdoors on all of our devices, but a request to install one a specific device that has been seized in a confined setting. How to do it? Connect it physically, or with a confined wifi or cellular network is another case. But this is clearly something entirely different than unwarranted mass surveillance. And preferably such an operation is done by the manufacturer and not by the government itself on government premises. Because that would restrict that government in applying such a technique itself.

Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case


Re: Schoolyard

Well gerdesj, that English is an official language in EU proceedings does not make it an official language in Belgian national proceedings. Those are: Dutch, French and German (the Eastern outreaches of Belgium are German speaking) if I'm correct. And in this case since the case is being held in the Flemmish part of the federation the language is Dutch. Which makes this argument even stranger since 'cookie, server, browser, etc. are indeed official words in the Dutch language. Actually as a Dutchman I'm having a hard time trying to think of a IT related term not taken over from English in the Dutch language! I think the the Dutch word for automatisation qualifies since it came around earlier: "automatisering", but I can't think up any others right now.

US Marines kill noisy BigDog robo-mule for blowing their cover


That big robot making that sharp turn was realy cool to see though!

US House okays making internet tax exemptions permanent


It appears strange to me that a ban on taxing of internet services (the access to) and a ban on tax on sales made via that internet is treated as being one inseperable package?

Drones are dropping drugs into prisons and the US govt just doesn't know what to do


Re: Kaboom

That thing eerily look like a Dalek!

We're getting kick-ass at seeing through walls using just Wi-Fi – MIT


So newfound reasons...

To wear an old fashioned metal armor for protection? :-D

Flawless Dutch does for cuffed duo in CoinVault ransomware probe


Well being Dutch and knowing a lot of international people (also because my previous occupation in consultancy which tends to be very international) in the Netherlands I would say there would be two main reasons for learning Dutch:

- For doing quite a number of types of jobs. Especially when you've been living here for quite a while or are somebodies spouse and fancy a career change (I've seen that around me more than once). I.E. when you want to work in 95% of lower, middle or higher education jobs (excluding academic level). Learn Dutch then... Freelancing? Very often good to know Dutch then to keep communication clear. Same holds for most civil servant jobs, etc. Also when working for many smaller to medium sized companies knowing at least sufficient Dutch is almost unavoidable. And even in a very internationally focused country economic sectors that are geographically limited in their reach have very little need to use English. This is especially visible within regional utility companies that run the gas/electricity network infrastructure. In fact people who work there often have to use so little English in their everyday lives (when not living in Amsterdam ;-) ) that they tend to get quite a bit worse at it is my personal experience.

- Understanding of certain things that can only be explained in Dutch, getting along better with your Dutch family in law when you're somebodies spouse ;-) And in general making a good impression: When you speak a local language in a smaller country and it's clear you put effort in it (something that actually accentuated with an accent) at a later age this is always well appreciated and seen as a compliment.

Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin


@Ledswinger, Ah yes... people always mistake Jaques Brel for a Frenchman ;-)

Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future


Such personalities...

Are a boon when come together with a mind that has great ideas...

Less so when they end up in a tenured position with little real-world checks and balances.

Spaniards get that cinking feeling


Same here in the Netherlands with English derived words: Most famous are 'downloaden' and 'uploaden' ((to) download/upload) for which there are not even Dutch equivalents and which are part of the language ever since the internet came about. The same holds for 'modem' and 'computer' btw. the Dutch never bothered to come up with their own version like the French with 'ordinateur' ;-).

Als we have "zapper' (remote control) with which you can change the channels quickly: "zappen"

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society


Electric field?

In 2009 the started erecting these fancy new "Wintrack' pylons here in the Netherlands. They also quite futuristic and as a big benefit they reduce the electric field around the pylons significantly (the graphs in the link below illustrate this) as a result of their design, which was the main criterion. I was wondering if the design of the T-pylons also takes this into consideration?


Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred


Re: Jag might be Indian owned

Well if so the one thing I would do owning Jaguar currently is change the style of headlights used. Because the recent batch of Jaguars (XK(R), XF, XJ mk 4 constantly makes me think I'm looking at a rather large/posh Deawoo. The F also has this again, be it to a slightly lesser extent. So maybe we're already heading in the right direction.

India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction


Re: Nail on the head.

Newsflash: India itself gives aid to other countries. I.E. Sri Lanka. Stop thinking in terms of 'us the rich world aiding the less fortunate', it's all about politics and diplomacy (which is something one might not aprove of but is how things are done in the real world...)

Microsoft bakes a bigger Pi to cook Windows slabs


Everyone seems to overlook Intel's DE3815TYBE NUC board released in April

Somehow everyone seems to overlook this little $99 recommended selling price board released by Intel in April. That price is much lower that typical prices for such kit from specialized suppliers. We got one for building into a small appliance that needs some processing power: 1,4Ghz Atom, 5W TDP max (!) GPIO and I2C ports, SATA Disk-On-Module (DOM) compatibility (meaning the industrial type you stick directly onto the SATA port and can be supplied with 5V by it, like Innodisk sells. This can be a little confusing since mSATA is not supported and the board also has a half-width mini pci-express slot for Wifi cards which is pin compatible with mSATA). It also has 4GB of eMMC which, frankly is only enough to install a striped down Linux.

It's running Windows 7 at this moment for testing purposes quite nicely (ok, not the fastest in the world but still) using a SATA DOM :-)


Also comes in a boxed version which includes a Wifi card, VGA en full SATA connectors connected to the board, sadly, by some kind of propriatary Intel connector (at least for the SATA power supply). If you want a connector for a 2,5 inch SATA drive buy the boxed version.

Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer


Eat healthier? Avoid sugar then. Ironically organic stores offer products without that

If you want to really eat healthier cut all refined sugar product from your diet: It's a substance that was never part of the diet up to some centuries ago, and up to the last ~50 years only in limited quantitied since the we're dealing with depressions, diabetes, etc. etc.. This actually ironically is something at which organic food stores are very good. Personally I go there -only- to buy the stuff that contains sugar in the supermarket, like mayonaise, peanut butter, conserved peas, broth, etc. If I can get it at the supermarket without sugar, glucose or whatever they add into products these days (even bread!) I buy it at the supermarket to avoid paying the 'organic' premium - I hope someday supermarkets will offer more choice in this...



Re: What about the Euro mandate?

I assume Intel has been drinking coffee in Brussels at least several times?

Microsoft: NSA snooping? Code backdoors? Our hands are clean!


The internet is fixated on this 'secret tunnel' type of backdoor idea which is pointless...

Easy to laugh at but having an actual -secret tunnel into the US presidents' oval office- kind of backdoor which could be identified as such would indeed be really stupid. Too many people capable of reverse engineering out there in the wild. Yet MS using it's unique position thats an entirely different story. Having insight into the source code of Windows and all it's affiliated products and not knowing about a bunch of -yet to be discovered by the outside world- security flaws? Highly unlikely! They even let friendly governments have a peek at it so I think it's quite clear where we stand...

Even though James Bond type of movies are fun to watch I think reality is different, simpler, without evil villains telling Mr. Bond their plans before he is supposed to die ;-)

Samsung brandishes quad-core Galaxy S5, hopes nobody wants high specs


Was opting to go for a SGS5 to replace my aging SGS2. This was because it is one of the few top spec. lines of telephones remaining of which the battery is replaceable. And I also really like the AMOLED screens. Went instead for a SGS4 after Samsung introduced a cashback rebate (in the Netherlands). I immediately replaced Samsung's bloat with a Google Edition based custom rom... a big improvement even though TW might seem snappy at first sight. Not a moment of regret that I didn't wait for the SGS5 (and I would have removed or disabled the fitness nonsense anyway... It's all about the specs in relation to the phone's price for me: that Samsung man can keep talking about people not buying stuff for the specs his competitors and potentional customers like me will likely disagree ;-) )

Video thrills the Google ad star: Susan Wojcicki becomes YouTube chief


'Confirmed on her Google+ Account'

Ah, so not only one of those few woman in IT but als one of those few woman actively using Google+???

Google underwrites Firefox another year, even as Chrome outpaces it


A main reasom to sponsor FF is not sympathy but having a 3rd decent rendering engine in the market. What would otherwise become sort a dialogue with Apple and MS now is a more open debate which is in Googles interest since it needs open and widely used web standards to market it's web services.

- Just like Chrome is an effort to speed up that process.

Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE


Yeah... that win2000 beta!

I Almost got my hands on that software package!, found it on somewhere (I used to look in all the nooks and crannies of the internet when was that age)... Then the website was pulled upon almost having the download complete :-( And then MS pulled the rug underneath that built and shortly after released Win2K with only x86 support. Such a pitty. I still wonder how that beta would have worked. My Alpha didn't have USB (it was a 266Mhz one) but still I think it would have also worked until 2059 it was built like a tank and had a airflow concept over the CPU that I think you only started seeing a decade later in normal PC's. A shame, the demise of the Digital Equipment Corporation (and for what?)...


This reminds me of the DEC Alpha I got my hands on as a teenager... not content with the Windows NT implementation and slughish x86 emulation layer running on it (though strangely Blizzard's Diablo could be played on it without any problems) I went on a quest to install Debian on it via a special pre-boot-loader. This tricked the computer's firmware (it was not really a bios) which was only designed to boot Windows NT into thinking it was booting just that.

Sadly, native code and even basic drivers seemed as hard to find under Linux as they were under alpha-Windows NT ;-(.

Dutch banks get nod to inhale Amazon cloud


Well, as a residentof the Netherlands I'll be switching banks if I find out my bank is using this clearance to put it's data in a place where the NSA will be reading along for granted...

Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials


Re: first AMD now Intel

If I'm correct Intel is not only a generation ahead in the incremental sense of the word, but has a fabrication technology that allows transistors to linearly scale down power consumption (I don't remember the exact details and source, I wondered if the was on TheReg). This is the big reason behind this achievement, and makes concepts such as Big.Little unnecessary. Which keeps me wondering, what would ARM processors be like with that production process? I guess even better. So unless the competition cannot replicate that it's just a matter of time before ARM reigns supreme again.