* Posts by photobod

41 posts • joined 13 Dec 2013

Renault goes open source with next-gen electric buggy you might generously call 'a car'


Re: Electric Kit Car

There are a lot of kits still for sale, though the market was hugely disrupted when the IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval, later rteplaced by Single Vehicle Approval) system was brought in some years ago. Previously, there were a few basic construction and use regs. to comply with, and your car had to pass a regular MOT test. Now, it's much more complicated and expensive. It was never particularly clear why the changes were introduced - kit cars never had a history of major safety issues, indeed insurance from specialists was usually much cheaper than for regular cars.

The vast majority of kits, then and now, were based on common running gear, but with custom chassis as well as bodywork. Most popular kits are of the single donor variety, meaning they only need parts from one standard car, plus the kit components and various accessories, to build.

Whether you regard the use of a subframe as 'not a proper kit car' is a different argument. A lot of kits used to use the mini subframes, for example, as they provide an easy and safe way to attach most of the running gear to a new body. I believe the Mini-Marcos would have been an example of such a car, which could hardly be regarded as 'not a proper kit car', given the involvement of Jem March and Frank Costin in it's development and it's success at Le Mans. Not many would use the VW platform chassis as a base, since that was usually the most rust-prone part of the donor.

Personally, I have built several single donor kit cars - a 30's roadster based on Morris Marina running gear which was surprisingly good to own and drive as day-to-day transport - a pickup truck based on Cortina parts (okay, with a larger Granada 2.8 V6 engine) which was also extremely practical - and a Marina/MGB based AC Ace replica. All involved custom chassis and bodywork to transform pretty dull but dependable rust buckets into much more interesting, eye catching, practical and fun vehicles.

Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse


Re: Reloading

If you're any type of professional, you don't go out on a job without backup for any mission critical equipment.

Thief dresses as Apple Store drone, walks off with $16,000 in iGear


'Genius bar' is apparently a policy...

...in the sense that no genius is allowed in

Drunk? Need a slash? Avoid walls in Hackney


This is Hackney Council...

The one thing they've always been good at is taking the piss.

NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports


Mandatory open source?

Does anyone recall a better example of a software-controlled system, subject to regulation, blatantly hiding behind secret, proprietary software to sidestep those regulations.

I seem to remember a certain RMS warning about the pitfalls of using software which fails to respect the user.

WinPhone community descends into CANNIBALISM and WOE


Re: Windows/Apple...

Agreed. It's a matter of separating aims and objectives.

- the true aim of any business is to make money. That is the sole reason for it's existence.

- the objectives of any business are the means to achieve that aim.

Making profit is an aim.

Offering products or services people want to buy is an objective.

Keeping the customer happy is an objective.

Despite what they may claim, no business *ever* puts the customer first. That would mean pleasing the customer becomes the aim rather than an objective.

Photoshop for 40 quid: Affinity Photo pushes pixels further than most


Re: £40 too expensive...

There's one specific GIMP feature which makes the multi-window interface far better for editing - multiple live views of the same image, i.e. being able to work very close in on fine detail while simultaneously seeing the overall effect alongside. That's proven a huge time saver on many occasions.

Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape


Re: Have I missed something?

That's not actually a feature of the CD but rather an ease-of-use add on provided by KDE (possibly also Gnome and others, but I'm not sure about that.) The wav/flac/ogg/mp3 folders are virtual folders provided by the file manager and don't actually exist on the CD, but do make it very easy to save those versions as you say. It's just another of those great features Linux users value but isn't usually mentioned. Another is ftp connections within a regular file browser, allowing synchronisation of a remote web site with a local development copy to be as painless as managing local files.

Look out - it's a Goober! Google's über-Uber robo apptaxi ploy


Re: I'd be more shocked

..and buses

Kim Dotcom flails desperately, launches chat service


Re: Mega is actually decent

Me too, for video and picture files for my clients. Frankly, I trust it more than anything US hosted, even for files which do not contain anything particularly confidential.

UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?


This is 123reg...

...a company with a less than stellar record for dealing with hosting issues.

Renault Captur: Nobody who knows about cars will buy this


Re: It is a French car.

I suppose that depends on what you mean by 'enjoying the driving'. I've had a series of big Citroens, and the single abiding feature was the ability to drive in comfort all day long and arrive without fatigue after any journey, however long. This was possible because the emphasis was on making the car quick for that type of driving, pretty much effortless in every conceivable way and also insanely comfortable. They didn't jar the spine when driving over anything thicker than a gnat and the noise was non-existent. That won't suit everyone, of course. Some people seem to be motoring masochists.

Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons


Re: toll lanes

'In a perfect world where everyone lived in Megacity One and worked in Megacity Two, then all trips for all people would be vectors from Megacity One to Megacity Two'

Actually, in a perfect world, everyone would both live and work in the same city, obviating the need to commute to work at all. All attempts to manage commuter traffic by whatever means of transport are, in reality, just treating the symptom. The disease is the perceived need to travel.

Cloud Printing from a Chromebook: We try it out on 8 inkjet all-in-ones


Re: Why do people need colour inkjets still?

Depends on the type of business you're in, so it's horses for courses. It's narrow minded in the extreme to believe that 'business' just means regular office work.

For my business, I use colour lasers for producing short run, full colour brochures. I can get away with mono lasers for letters, postage labels, etc. I need large format inkjet for printing posters, large scale artwork (which equates more or less to custom wallpaper) and high quality photographic artworks up to 24x36in for point of sale. There is no practical substitute LFP tech for inkjet for those applications.

Those are all connected via ethernet cables, hence a bit irrelevant to the article, but so was the 'you only need lasers for business' comment.

'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?


Robot Wars?

If ever a programme was misleadingly titled, that was it. I don't ever recall seeing a single actual robot (i.e. autonomous device) among them. They were all, without exception, remotely controlled vehicles. I dread to think how many people grew up thinking radio control and robotics are one and the same.

Martha Lane Fox: Yeuch! The Internet is made by men?!?


Re: That explains it...

"Famous Scientist/Mathematician syndrome" sounds a lot like "Member of Parliament syndrome", especially in the form of "Member of Parliament With Nothing But A Lawyer's Background Syndrome".

Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained


Re: you just canna make it up

Well, it wouldn't exactly be the first time a company 'leaked' information about vapourware in order to maximise press coverage of a product launch, would it?

Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?


Re: The unfairness goes much deeper

Not really the point of the comment, I know, but actually 'spy cameras' are pretty commonplace in the loos at clubs, bars and restaurants these days. The usual reason given is security, i.e. being able to spot if there are naughty folks selling illegal substances or causing criminal damage to property. And cameras have been far more commonplace elsewhere in shops and offices for far longer, often as a protective measure for staff. It's much harder for a violent customer (yes, there are lots of people who seem to think it's okay to take a swipe at shop staff who don't do exactly what they want, however unreasonable) to claim he/she was attacked first when it's all on cctv.

IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres


Not wishing to be pedantic

But since others already have been, I'll just point out that a blind spot on one's retina is a feature, not a bug. It's the point where the optic nerve exits the eyeball on it's way to the brain, and hence devoid of sensory cells. So oddly enough, without a blind spot, you would not be able to see at all.

Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row


Re: Technically it is the monkeys

It's a gross oversimplification to say that copyright belongs to the person to pressed the shutter button. For copyright to exist at all, the photograph must be a creative work, hence it must involve a creative step. The party who makes the creative step is the author.

There were two parties involved in producing this photograph:

1) The photographer, who created the situation, set up and adjusted the camera and allowed the ape to play with it, in full knowledge of the likely outcome.

2) The ape, who pressed the button without any concept of what it was doing other than copying the previously observed physical actions of the photographer.

So, one of those parties thought about and planned the end result, while the just copied the pressing of a button. Which do you deduce was involved in a creative step and hence is the creator of the work?

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE


Four problems

The reasons for slow TV sales are:

- most people who want one have bought a new TV relatively recently, and don't believe the endless hype about newer, supposedly better technologies

- the Register published a technical article a while back, clearly demonstrating that higher pixel resolution has little effect on perceived image quality, unless displaying mainly static images. This is due to the way the human eye/brain combination interprets moving objects. Frame rates are much more significant, so for any given bandwidth, less pixel density and more frames per second will always deliver a subjectively better picture. 4K is nothing but a marketing gimmick intended to appeal to the ignorant, not that that in itself is proof it won't work.

- fewer people are watching TV anyway, hence they don't want to buy one. Content is increasingly poor, and no amount of extra bling will polish the turd.

Power BI: Office 365 just got more intelligent


Re: Lovely. Not.

Almost certainly.


Lovely. Not.

More pretty but meaningless diagrams, based on arbitrary and unstated datasets extracted as meta-statistics from larger datasets from unknown and/or unchecked sources. If that's 'intelligence' then give me ignorance, please.

What's it like using the LG G smartwatch and Android Wear? Let us tell YOU


Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

It's the most logical and practical way to do this kind of stuff, and it mirrors the way desktop and laptop computing evolved.

Think of the phone in your pocket as a portable computer. This and other wearables are just peripherals, providing additional inputs and outputs.

There is a huge potential cost advantage with this approach, which helps to mitigate the - at present - limited extra features provided. As uses are found and the market grows, costs will reduce and the balance between price and functionality will shift.

Most people will understandably baulk at spending £200-£1000 on wearables like a smart watch, Glass or similar, because they don't presently see a need which justifies the cost. Over time, a range of cheap, functional wearables might cost £30 -£50 each and you'd choose which extra functionality you want, to suit your individual lifestyle. Those would be much more saleable devices.

But that can't happen if every device tries to duplicate the power and functionality of your smart phone, because they'll always cost far more to build, be far more expensive to buy, be far more power hungry, more bulky and more awkward to use.

Now do you see the logic?

Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog


It's been a bone of contention among many pro photographers for a long time that systematic commercial copyright theft is not dealt with unless the copyright owner is themselves a bg business.

UK and EU copyright law allows for criminal prosecution (as opposed to a civil action by the copyright owner) when such theft is committed as part of businesses regular mode of operation. It's the basis for all of the high-profile piracy prosecutions.

Of course, in those cases, it's done on behalf of a corporation or trade body representing big business, and most often used against individuals. When was the last time you heard about a corporation such as the BBC, Facebook, etc. being prosecuted under criminal law for the literally millions of individual instances of theft in which they actively participate, or enable and encourage, by virtue of their standard business practices? Individuals face fines and/or imprisonment upon conviction. Corporations should face confiscation of assets and restrictions on their freedom to do business. Those found guilty in a criminal case would also find it very hard to fight the ensuing deluge of civil cases.

So, why exactly is it that the public prosecution service completely ignores well known and documented, systematic copyright theft by big business?

That's a rhetorical question, of course.


Re: Not subject to copyright laws?

Hardly. In the course of my work, I produce thousands of images for performers, celebrities and models. Much of the time, those images are licensed by me for them to use on their own web sites and social media feeds. My licensing conditions require that watermarks are retained. On performer's web sites, I require metadata to be included too. Where feasible, links back to me are also to be included. Of course social media doesn't usually make metadata retention or embedded links easy (though FB is actually not so hard wrt links or attribution tags) but none of that alters the fact that the vast majority of images of performers, etc. are most definitely *not* being posted by the copyright owner in most cases.

Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number


Re: My network...

Well, I have to disagree, on the basis that your position is morally untenable to me.

I was taught to believe that that all power (such as the ability to impose rules on your own network) has an associated responsibility. It's one of my earliest moral lessons and still holds true.

The disassociation of responsibility from power is the cause of many of society's problems, and your statement is a perfect embodiment of a culture of entitlement, based on power and rights without any responsibility.

Sure, it's your network, so you can impose whatever rules you wish, but it is then your fault if you do not explicitly block something illegal when you could, because you have demonstrated that you have the power to do so.

It's Google's no-wheel car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES


Re: Who is liable

Mainstream insurance companies are stupidly over-cautious when the vehicle in question is an unknown quantity. They charge the highest possible rate until they have their own accident statistics to work with.

Specialists tend to accumulate those statistics much faster and can therefore calculate risk much more accurately. That's why vehicles such as kit cars are horrendously expensive to insure with mainstream companies, but dirt cheap with kit car specialists.

Don't expect the big boys to be first with realistic premiums for this type of car.

Google ECJ case: No commish, it means we don't need right-to-be-forgotten rewrite


Pointless posturing

"We should look to better understand each other and our respective laws rather than unpicking enduring principles and introducing an entirely new, and quite possibly impractical regulatory framework."


It's an EU ruling. Ignoring any discussion of the merits or otherwise of the idea, it's little trouble to find information stored outside EU jurisdiction, even if it is blocked within Europe.

Cameras for hacks: Idiot-proof suggestions invited


Re: A step backwards

Judging by the quality of most 'writing', they'd be better off asking a decent photographer to add some words to the pictures.

Spain clamps down on drones



As with so many areas where governments try to exert power, it's a sham unless they put up the resources to enforce it. And Spain is in no sort of economic state to do that.

With potentially thousands of infringements happening weekly, it's simply not possible to catch more than a tiny, tiny percentage without employing a huge army of drone police. And those police have much more pressing concerns than farmers checking the state of their crops or power companies their power lines.

Please work for nothing, Mr Dabbs. What can you lose?



People die from that.

White House blasts Samsung for tweeting Obama-Ortiz selfie


How curious - a publicity photogaph that can't be used for publicity

I'm at a bit of loss to work out what the complaint is about exactly.

According to the story, the 'photo-opportunity' was set up specifically in order to have the resulting images used for commercial purposes - last time I looked, the media companies were, after all, commercial entities - with the full cooperation of all parties.

So, a picture which was knowingly posed in the expectation it would be published by commercial entities somehow can't be used commercially after all?

Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt


Stallman was (is) right

Much as proprietary software apologists love to make it seem like lunacy, the free software idea that the user should have ultimate control over the software they rely upon just goes on making more and more sense.

Proprietary software makers have consistently tried to use lock-in as a means to prevent users migrating to alternatives, and it has largely worked. Public sector and private sector alike, mostly chant the same mantra - 'we can't change to a different OS because our custom software and/or historic data is reliant upon features only found in the OS we already use'.

This mantra is repeated until the proprietary OS vendor pulls the rug from under their feet, but even then, rather than looking back at the problem they helped create and trying to avoid a repeat, they just start the same cycle of total subservience to a predatory vendor all over again.

It's inconceivable that the public sector could not wilfully break this cycle. It requires some effort, but enough large bodies have now done so to demonstrate that it is a realistic alternative, and one with a far better long-term outcome.

HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Google Glass: Reg man tests tech specs


I actually came up with a genuine business use for this the other day

On Monday, I had to visit a venue to assess it's suitability for an event I'm planning. Part of the time, I run a business putting on cabaret shows with a partner who happens to be based the other side of the country. It occurred to me while I was being shown around the venue, discussing details and terms with the owner and shooting some pictures for reference, that being able to do the whole thing without having to physically hold a device such as a camera or phone, and also being online the whole time with my remote partner so he could also take an active part in the meeting, would have been extremely useful.

As it stands, I can't think of any existing technology which would be as convenient, unobtrusive and effective for this particular task.

It's a start...

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers


The lady doth protest too much.

Well, perhaps not a lady in this case, but a spy telling everyone not to bother to take any defensive actions, because they'll just bypass them anyway, does sound just a bit like someone trying to control with misinformation.

Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP


Re: I last built a PC

Video editing: Kdenlive, Openshot and others.

BluRay burning: K3b, Brasero and others.

Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states


Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

I'd have thought it's easy enough to prove 'driving without due care and attention' - it just takes an observation by the police officer of the accused doing something unsafe. The specific reason why the unsafe behaviour occurred is surely less important for safety than the behaviour itself, which I guess is part of the reason for the catch-all law in the first place.

In short, if there's no evidence of unsafe behaviour, there's no need to take action for safety reasons.

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.5: The Sinclair Sovereign


Says it all really...

...about the habitual mis-use of the term 'design'.

"The Sovereign secured a 1977 Design Council Award for John Pemberton, the man responsible for its sleek lines, although technologically it was on a hike to nowhere."

So, when it got a 'design' award, form the Design Council, it was actually for styling and nothing at all to do with what 'design' is supposed to be about, the ability to actually work properly. This is the mis-use which has led us all the way to US 'design' patents for rounded rectangles.

Ofcom: UK beats the US... in race to buy online tat


As with most things, the public gets the high street it deserves

Fed up with the high street? Blame most of the problems on the majority of shoppers and local councils.

Limited choice of goods? It's because most people tend to buy a very limited range of stuff. If you try to run a shop with a large and varied stock, you'll soon discover that most of it just sits there until it's' too old to sell. That's very expensive, both in terms of lost stock value and also in terms of the space to keep it and display it.

Higher prices than online? It's not rocket science, people. 1-1 staffing costs a lot more per sale than an automated form. Bricks and mortar shops cost loads more in rent/rates/maintenance than a virtual store, too.

Crazy travel and parking charges? Local councils have used the high street as a cash cow for decades, gradually squeezing until there's just no more blood left in the stone. Take a look at the number of empty shops. There's a reason for that, and it's about income vs expenditure. No profit=no shops.

You want a better high street? It's gonna be tough. High streeet rents need to be decimated. For that to happen, there needs to be a virtual death of the high street to persuade landlords to be more realistic. Rates aren't so much of a problem, truthfully, but parking restrictions are. The only way that will change is if the local population make it politically unacceptable for councils to screw the high street every time they need money. Truthfully, they simply won't be able to for much longer anyway, so they're gonna have to get used to the idea pretty soon.

Out of town shopping centres. Councils make it easy and cheap for these to be set up, provide easy parking and low costs. Then fill them up with low-choice, low cost boxshifters. Then are surprised that the traditional high street shops give up when faced with a playing field that isn't so much level as inclined like the side of a mountain.

Ask anyone who owns or runs a high street shop.


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