* Posts by Thaumaturge

39 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Mar 2014

Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears


Whoa... Major deja vu!

Being older - and thus firmly entrenched in my ways - this all sounds way too familiar. Coming from a broadcast engineering stint when the Walkman era hit. I swam -bought- my way through mountains of "audiophile" headphones. Finally discovered that Sony MDR-80 drivers could be bought for a mere fraction of cost of the complete units... A bit of soldering -remember that?- and some magic tape to mount them on otherwise comfortable over the head springy frames. Had a thriving little business -e.g. didn't lose much- converting crap headphones into sonic delights! (The MDR-80's were awesome, just too damn expensive.) Cassettes were cut on my Nakamichi straight from -allegedly- virgin vinyl records. Played back on my Toshiba KT-AS1. (With the slip in FM stereo adapter... back whdn FM played things you might want to listen to.) Consumer hint: when listening to music while programming DO NOT set your Sumerium Cobalt magnet bearing headphones down ON TOP of nearby 5 1/4" floppies!

Then the PDA wave hit. More in depth research! Just had to have IPAC 5555.... added gimmicky fold up keyboard. Try -just try!- to get it to talk over wifi under Windows CE 2002.... Had the headphones already dialed in though. Sony MPQ-25's sounded ALMOST as good as the MDR-80s (or at least to my badly toasted ears) and were almost too cheap! (Don't think there is such a thing just ask my ex wife!) Sadly, Sony discontinued the MPQ-25 because they made too much sense. They sat on your shoulders with a little bunjie cord when not comfortably sitting on your ears. But by then most floppies had gone away....

Mysterious algorithms, black-box AI recruiters are binning our résumés


Not a new problem.

This has been an ongoing problem, not only in AI but in technology in general for decades now. No matter how good my resume (which went through many, many revisions) the biggest trick was getting past HR to managing supervisors. If I could ever get an interview with those I'd actually be working for I usually got the job. If it was strictly up to HR, I didn't. Even with decades of experience there was almost always someone in HR who merily sorted resumes into neat stacks of degreed, non-degreed. The non-degreed stack usually went to the trash. I imagine that is even worse with AI doing the sorting.

More gums than Jaws: Greenland super-sharks live past 400 years old


All you Limeys are still sore losers...

America was so named after Amerigo Vespucci, cartographer.



Boffins boggle, baffled by blobs deep inside the Earth


Recalling Firesign Theatre

What immediately came to mind was:

"We know for certain, for instance, that somewhere, sometime in the beginning there were hot lumps..." from Firesign Theatre "I think we're all Bozos on this bus"

Or could it be a secret lizard people atomic pile? Inquiring minds want to know!

Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren


Democrat optomism...

"Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren"

Sounds like a case of wishful thinking... no doubt has been a LONG time.

Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador


Here's a thought...

Wow, wonder if I drove up there if they'd let the overpriced mutt have a shot at finding the micro_SD that fell down the center console of my car.... Never have found that little sucker!

Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill


"The one that was paid back in 2006 do you mean? Which was made generously to allow commonwealth and Europeans to die in the US interest?"


Minus the $8.5 billion we wrote off and the 90% discounts on postwar lend-lease.

I'm not advocating for the US to try to collect that. It just irks me when snot nosed brats thumb their noses at us.


"His mistake was selling anything to a yank."

Yeah, we're all just a big bunch of jerks on this side of the pond. So maybe we ought to call in all our loans to UK going back to WW II.

Facebook bungs 10-year-old kid $10k to not 'eliminate' Justin Bieber


From my perspective...

I would say that NOT being able to delete Justin Bieber was far more serious than the ability to.

But that's just my opinion.

Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell



Love it! Wish I could capture it,but haven't figured out how to do such with Android as yet.

Let’s re-invent small phones! Small screens! And rubber buttons!


Re: Hate ALL "modern" keyboards!

Don't grok the golfer connection...

Anyway, took type in ninth grade. We only had two selectrics available to entire class. The rest were clunky mechanicals. (Don't recall brand, but it wasn't Royal or Olivetti). Mechanicals had about a full inch of travel per key. So you really had to poke. What freaked me out about the selectrics was I just laid my hands on the keys and it took off printing about eight undesired letters.

Would have no problem dealing with one now, after decades of soft touch computer keyboards. My favorite keyboards were the Cherry switch models on the 80's HP scientific workstations.


Hate ALL "modern" keyboards!

Learned to type on a mechanical typewriter (The IBM selectric freaked me out!) First computer account used retasked teletype machines that went shouk-shouk as you typed. Guess I'm just a dinosaur. Hate touch keyboards! Have a tiny little phone with a slide out keyboard with even tiny-er* keys... I never use it. Want to make people happy? Figure out how to fold up a FULL SIZED keyboard!

(*not a valid word but I like it!)

Bill Gates can’t give it away... Still crazy rich after all these years


Living amidst sagebrush...

I'm still waiting for the opportunity to prove that money won't corrupt me!

NSA data centre brings 300 million daily security scares to its Utah home


Re: But on the bright side...

"But it's still Utah"

Got a problem with that bub?


Re: But on the bright side...

One of the original six ARPANET sites. The choice of location for NSA data center was no doubt influenced by -relatively- new major fiber bundle run between University of Utah hub and Las Vegas. Think there are equivalent fiber runs up to Redmond, West to the Bay area and East to Denver. Salt Lake has been a telecommunications hub for a long time with long distance lines and inter city microwave links. Salt Lake area also includes at least one major data satelitte center. Choice of location for NSA data center was not hapenstance. Located adjscent to major fiber and Western power grid interconnects.

Just wish all that translated to fast cheap IP connections.

Beware the terrorist drones! For they are coming! Pass new laws!


Not really a new concept....

Being a crusty old geezer, I remember a Superman episode back in the B/W TV days that featured a bad guy blowing up buildings with RC model airplanes.

I predict zero deterent value from passing rules against using drones to do bad things.

The Police Chief's photo library mixed business, pleasure and flesh


My favorite floppy story...

Back in the days of 5 1/4, was given an old 486. Figured I'd fix it up for a friends kids. Floppy didn't work... because it had an AOL CD stuffed into it.

I really miss those AOL CDs... Came in such a nice little can and were so entertaining to simply toss into the microwave (after removing from cans).

Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage



16GB sticks now under $10. Problem solved.

This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia


As learned from a previous girlfriend...

There is NOTHING quite as satisfying as a good cheap shot!

California bashing is sort of a favorite sport over here as well. Damn satisfying!

How to solve a Rubik's Cube in five seconds


I figured this out years ago...

Simple! You just peel off the colored stickers and restick them all on sides they belong on.

(Do it where you can't be seen to preserve genius reputation)

Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)


" It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)"

Remembering Windoze 1 makes me old? Hell I remember the "Osborn"! (Take a tower case and stuff a CRT in it, lay it on its side and hinge mount a keyboard.) Borrowed a " portable" pc from work that weighed 35 lbs. and left dents in my shoulder from hauling the heavy canvas bag it was stored in. (This was a post Osborn PC).

I remember buying time on a Univac 1108 which we talked to through a modified teletype machine....

So I guess I'm nearly pre-historic.

Uncle Sam's IT bods find 2,000 data centers they FORGOT about


Re: Not to worry

"All of these problems will be dealt with when Congress passes the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act Reform Act."


Bacon can kill: Official


I don't care!

Life without bacon is not worth living!

Trio nailed in US for smuggling $30m of microchips into Russia


Swift Justice...

Three years ago? Must have been an air tight case to get a conviction that quick.

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


See, I told you it was a bad 5U4!

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


I REALLY hate these amature videos! RTFM jerks!

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW


What the hell is an update?

Never seen one. Tried forcing a manual check...."You've got the latest version! "

Luckily Hangouts was one of the first things I chucked out.

Google to block access to unofficial autocomplete API


Absolute hatred!

Now if I could just get it entirely off my tablet! Defeated every place I can find mention of it, yet at this moment it haunts just above my virtual keyboard.

Hate is not a strong enough term!

Bootnote: The Land of the Free - Ha!


Yes but...

I personally think the phrase applies to the Feds not creating the IRS until 1916.


Got a big day planned in 15 billion years? You need this clock


Kronos grave spinner....

I really can't imagine just how we ever got by on the mere 2 x 10e-12 accuracy of the cesium beam.


Utah faints: Google Fiber to lay cable in thrilling Salt Lake City


Re: unintended benefit

Why is religion even mentioned? Like pointing out that there are Catholics in Rome using the internet.

Everybody is entitled to their own delusions!

The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'


You call THAT hoarding?

I once lost a 25" color TV (CRT type) in my living room for three years. No horizontal surface unoccupied. Now that's hoarding!


Tablet boom quiets down a bit as growth slows


Where from here?

I think the next -perhaps only- area of advancement for tablets will be in added provisions for more periferal connections. The 10.1 inch I just purchased has TWO micro USB connectors on it, though they don't act the same. Only one of them will host a flash stick.(of course the same one the keyboard plugs in). . I've seen other models with -and I wouldn't mind having myself- a real RJ-45 network connector. One thing I'd really like to see added would be a microphone INPUT connector.

Anyway, I predict more periferal connections. Maybe like PCexpress or whatever they call the narrow PCMCIA. Maybe a hot sync shoe on a real keyboard. Naw... then you'd need REAL software...

Vulture 2 rocket motor heater a non-sizzling success


Not a digital solution

I realize that analog is so passe... but a much simpler solution for a temp controller would be to use an LM34 three pin temperature sensor input to an LM10 combo op-amp and precision reference. Basic circuit is in the LM34 data sheet. Set desired minimum temp on controller, heat goes on at that temp, goes off anywhere above set point. Parts cost under $10 US. Want degrees C instead of Degrees F? LM35.


The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed


As others suggested

I agree with Foxit pdf, IrfanView pic viewer, 7-zip, spybot s&d and Malwarebytes. I run all on my windoze boxes.

Foxit in particular is noticably faster than acrobat (wow, had to think hard to even remember acrobat!)

IrfanView is the best free pic viewer -that I know of- and with add-ons will handle just about anything you throw at it. Likewise 7-zip is a great compliment to resident winzip. The last two are great non-intrusives for doing a quick scan for nasties.

5 Eyes in the Sky: The TRUTH about Flight MH370 and SPOOKSATS


Not the least of "their" capabilities.

As mentioned before I see much higher resolution on the Google Maps satellite image of my little hunk of property. But I clearly recall the most amazing image I ever saw. It was back in the late 80's. I think it was in Aviation "leak" and space technology. It was in an article on real time image processing. The caption declared that the image was of a helicopter 1500 METERS below the water taken from another helicopter hovering 50 meters above the surface THROUGH THE PROPWASH. The helicopter under the water was upside down... and you could clearly read the aircraft identification painted on the bottom. Rumor at the time suggested that spy satellite technology was such that if you had a pack of smokes laying in your outstretched hand that the brand could be identified. I KNOW of at least one image taken at that time that was good enough for facial recognition. That was in the 80's. I don't suppose satellite technology has gotten worse since then.

This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs



I just purchased a 10" dual core 1.2GHz 1G ram 1080p HDMI out Android 4.2 tablet for $120, SHIPPED.

Why would I bother with Microshaft?

Will keep my XP laptop for word processing. I already run noscript and don't have flash even installed. I tried updating my desktop several months ago, but was informed microsoft had SHUT OFF the XP Pro corporate copy I was running on it because I simply couldn't tolerate the Vista system that came with it for more than an hour. I downloaded a copy of both Ubuntu and an Android simulator for it. Problem solved.

Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth



I think the use of "quiet" in conjunction with "cul-de-sac" is very similar to the rule requiring the use of "estranged" for a previous male spouse rather than "Ex-husband". "Estranged" sounds so much more cinematic!