* Posts by AIBailey

435 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jul 2014


Climate change means beer made from sewer water, says North Carolina brewery


This is nothing new!

El Reg have been reporting on the quality of water for years.... spunk

Rice isn't nice for drying your iPhone, according to Apple


I've often pondered the best way to use rice to dry out tech. I think it's fine as long as you put the device in something like the end of a pair of tights. That should still let the moisture escape, but forms an effective barrier against particles getting in.

OpenAI tries to trademark 'GPT'. US patent office says nope


Re: GPT?

Ex-GPT graduate here. I think the business fragmented - the area I was in became Marconi Communications, then Marconi, before splitting again, with half going to Ericsson, and the other helf re-emerging as telent (who are still going strong).

Blue Origin pulls sheets off cargo lunar lander prototype


BO have to focus on the "easy" wins, like perhaps getting someting into orbit instead of just firing things upwards. Then they can think about shooting for the moon (literally)


Less of a cult, more of a bar.

And yes, it has a theme... Blue Oyster Bar

Tesla knew Autopilot weakness killed a driver – and didn't fix it, engineers claim


Re: "Autopilot"

(taken from Ask The Pilot)

And what do terms like “automatic” and “autopilot” mean anyway? Contrary to what people are led to believe, flying remains very hands-on operation, with tremendous amounts of input from the crew. Our hands might not be steering the airplane directly, as would have been the case in the 1930s, but almost everything the airplane does is commanded, one way or the other, by the pilots. The automation only does what we tell it to do.


People would be surprised at how busy a cockpit can become, on even the most routine flight, and with all of the automation running. Tasks ebb and flow, and granted there are stretches of low workload during which, to the nonpilot observer, it would seem that very little requires the crew’s attention. But there also are periods of very high workload, to the point where both pilots can become task-saturated.


Fewer than one percent of landings are performed automatically, and the fine print of setting up and managing one of these landings is something I could spend pages trying to explain. If it were as easy as pressing a button, I wouldn’t need to practice them every year in the simulator or review those highlighted tabs in my manuals. In a lot of respects, automatic landings are more work-intensive than those performed by hand.

And if you’re wondering: a full 100 percent of takeoffs are manual. There is no such thing as an automatic takeoff anywhere in commercial aviation.

Plenty of people simply have no idea of what "autopilot" really means.

Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors


Re: "These men were true explorers "

"True explorers"?


They were tourists paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get some photographs of a mass grave.

Whilst it's a terrible way to go, let's not make them out to be heroes.

Can noise-cancelling buds beat headphones? We spent 20 hours flying to find out


Re: Aeropex works great for outside

Have an upvote for Gamma Ray.

Microsoft appeals UK's block on Activision deal


I still don't understand why the UK objecting to a merger of two US companies has any relevance at all.

Surely as long as the US is okay with is, they can go ahead anyway?

Owner of 'magic spreadsheet' tried to stay in the Lotus position until forced to Excel


Re: Better than a PM

Then came the day he must have restarted it & it was no longer on the network - Three years later, when I left with still no clue as to it's location, or indeed how the union rep got his very important files off the locked down NT4 machine with no USB access.

From some of the experiences that I had doing IT support, there would still be a few ways of getting data off that machine.

Depending on the configuration, there could be a SCSI card in there, so an external CD burner or Zip drive could be an option. There may even have been an internal CD burner, or he could have used a parallel port Zip drive.

Hell, even good old floppies were still viable in the days of NT4. Even dozens of word documents could fit on a handful of disks.

Microsoft cries foul over UK gaming deal blocker but it's hard to feel sorry for them


Sorry if I'm playing the Idiot card here, but as this is fundamentally one US company buying another US company, how does the UK CMA have any control over whether or not this happens?

Adidas grapples with $1.3B in unsold Yeezy sneakers after breaking up with Kanye West


Well if you spent money on something that hideous, you'd certainly be taking the piss.

PC tech turns doctor to diagnose PC's constant crashes as a case of arthritis


Re: This sounds familiar....

At least it proves that the Regomizer is working.


Re: South don't work in the North

Is this really a thing?

Surely even rotating a CRT (e.g. so the screen is facing east instead of west) would then affect the influence of the magnetic field of the Earth?

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs


If you worked in an IT department of any decent size, you'd probably be using a Windows 95 volume licencing disc - no licence key needed. I remember we used to get regular deliveries from Microsoft, dozens of disks in burgundy sleeves, with everything from the current OS installers (95, 98, NT and XP etc) and the Office suites.

Also, from memory, Windows 95's idea of multiple user accounts on the same machine was pointless, as hitting escape on the sign-in screen would just take you straight in anyway.

The new GPU world order is beginning to take shape


Re: Hah

I used PoV (Persistence of Vision) on my Atari ST to render an example file as a 640x480 background image for my dad to use on his PC.

It took all night and much of the following morning, but I was rewarded with a ~900KB file on my hard drive.

Unfortunately, the file was too large to fit on a floppy disk, and also too big to zip down (not enough memory on my 1MB ST once GEM and a zip program were loaded) so I've no idea what it eventually looked like...

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


Re: We are in the wrong business...

I regularly get adverts for "audiophile mains leads" pupping up on Facebook.

I haven't bothered to click the "stop showing me this advert" option because some of the comments from folk that believe the nonsense are the most amusing part of my week.


Re: Digital transmission?

I came here to recommend the same videos. They appear a little dry in places, but are extremely informative (and disprove a lot of the misunderstanding in the comments here).

Microsoft: You own the best software keyboard there is. Please let us buy it


I'm probably the only one here...

...but I'd actually like to see a decent, no-frills reliable T9 keyboard for Android.

My fat thumbs mean that I definitely rely a lot on auto correction and word prediction, but the muscle memory that I built up working my way through the ranks of early non-smart phones means that a T9 keyboard is still probably the fastest way for me to write a message.

Russia mulls making software piracy legal and patent licensing compulsory


Re: re: countries that haven't ventured an opinion on the invasion and shelling of civilians

...given three NATO members already share a border with Russia.

There are actually five countries. Which kind of undermines the whole "not wanting NATO on the border" argument.

God of War: How do you improve on perfection? You port it to PC, obviously


Xbox 360 used an AMD GPU.

You might be thinking of the original Xbox, that was an Intel CPU and NVidia GPU.

Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we've changed our code to avoid infringement


Re: This is a company who developed a technique of syncing speaker volumes across a wireless network

...and this is a perfect demonstration of just how stupid the patent system is, especially in the US.*

Remember when patents used to be to protect ideas that were genuinely interesting, innovative or simply completely unlike anything that had gone before.

I don't have any particular opinion on either Sonos or Google in this instance, but the fact that someone can patent changing volumes across multiple devices is nonsense.

* - Other countries may have equally daft patent systems, I genuinely don't know.

BOFH: The vengeance bus is coming, and everybody's jumping. An Xmas bonus hits me…



All that's missing are the Eastenders' "doof-doof's"

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... a coding puzzle and it's a doozy

Big Brother

When all you have is a hammer...

...every problem looks like a nail.

Considering I've solved day one on a works PC, where it's pretty locked down, the only hammer I have is VBA in Excel.

Still, it got the job done.

Icon, because that's how it feels when your computer is locked down.

Want to feel old? Aussie cyclist draws Nirvana baby in Strava on streets of Adelaide because Nevermind is 30



He's been dining out on his fame for years, reproducing the album cover on several occasions as he's grown up.

And let's face it, if he stopped "outing" himself, not a single person other than his parents would actually know it was him.

Sir Clive Sinclair: Personal computing pioneer missed out on being Britain's Steve Jobs


You're right. In the very early 80's, the issue facing computing wasn't so much size as cost.

By the time the Spectrum launched, the Atari 8-bit line had been around for 2.5 years, the TRS-80 Color Computer for 18 months, the VIC-20 for a year or so, and other too.

All of those offered colour graphics, some quite limited, but in the case of the Atari, the palette went up to 256 colours, They also offered multiple sound channels.

On paper, they all blew the ZX80/81 away, and should have been significant rivals to the Spectrum. Some (especially the Atari) were theoretically in a different league altogether.

But the issue they had was cost. All of the competitors represented a massive outlay, whereas the Spectrum, whilst not exactly launching at pocket money prices, was something that could be put on a Christmas list.

This was Clive's expertise. He never strived to make the best systems full stop, but he did know how to make a good system on a budget.

Blue Origin sues NASA for awarding SpaceX $3bn contract to land next American boots on the Moon


...a tourist shuttle which can only get half way to the ISS

Not even that.

NS-16 reached an altitude of just over 65 miles, a quarter of the 260-ish miles needed to reach the ISS.

Crucially, however, the maximum velocity that New Shepherd reached whilst on that jaunt was around 2200 miles per hour, far short of the ~17,000 miles per hour needed to attain orbit.

Granted, BO are taking incremental steps towards full orbital space flight, but when you consider that back in the early 1960's NASA was flying the X-15 faster and higher than Bezos has been, and the fact that SpaceX have already demonstrated they have the speed and the altitude to do "real space" rather than just pretending, the gulf between Blue Origin and SpaceX becomes vast.



SpaceX : Regular launches, placing satellites into LEO, launched an object into heliocentric orbit, ferrying astronauts to the ISS, safe return to earth of said astronauts.

Blue Origin : Single launch on ballistic trajectory, just cleared the Karman Line, total flight time of just over 10 minutes, of which I guess 1 minute of that was technically "in space".

Whilst neither company have experience of lunar missions, one has a proven record of putting "things" into space (both human and mechanical), the other is just a jumped up fairground ride.

It's no surprise where NASA felt more comfortable putting their money, regardless of the differing bid prices.

Sadly, it's also no surprise that the loser reaches first for their cheque book, then when that's rebuffed, they reach for their lawyers.

Bezos offers to knock $2bn off his bill to NASA to stay in the running for Moon contract


So NASA...

... awarded the contract to the company with a proven track record of launches and recovery into LEO and beyond, vs a company that's not actually put anything into orbit yet and has only recently demonstrated a glorified fairground ride with a ballistic trajectory?


Google wants to look like it cares about your privacy with Android 12 Beta 2, but note that's not how Google works


Re: Location Services

As I sit here listening to music on Bluetooth headphones, with location services switched off, I must admit I'm confused by your comment.

Remember Anonymous? It/they might be back, and it/they are angry with Elon Musk


Musk is a "...narcissistic rich dude who is desperate for attention."

We didn't need Anonymous (or a variant of) to tell us that.

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward


VB6 was the only programming tool I had to hand many years ago, when I found, abandoned in the corner of one of out IT store rooms, a receiver to pick up the time signal transmitted from Rugby. It was unused simply because it only had a support driver for Netware, and we already had time sync on the Netware network provided from another source. I think there was a Windows driver available, but at a fairly hefty cost.

The instruction manual included details of the protocol it used, and so using VB6 I knocked together a program to read the stream from the serial port and set the system time on a Windows NT Lotus Notes admin server at regular intervals (I can't remember if it was overnight or weekly), meaning that our email system got proper synchronisation*

VB might not have been a great system, and my program was a bit of a cludge, I guess, but it worked.

* - I should say "mostly proper synchronisation", as despite the fact that there were CRC checks in order to ensure that the time signal was correct, I arrived to work one morning to find people were complaining that many of their emails he become unread, and new emails were appearing out of sequence. I assume that in some circumstances it was possible that the signal noise to occasionally flip enough bits so that the time signal and CRC value were both wrong but matching, and the server date and time had changed to something several years earlier. I fixed this by requiring the program to validate three successive time messages before making any clock changes.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into


Re: Such value for money

My first car was a Lada Niva (the 4x4) that was handed down from my Dad.

It was almost bulletproof - it once went through a stone wall in Derbyshire without so much as a scratch, and always started straight away on even the coldest morning.

The thing that always amused me most was that, should the starter motor ever fail, there was a hole in the front bumper to allow the use of a starting handle.

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s


The only keyboard I've ever lusted after - Optimus Concept

17 years since release, iMac G5 finally gets an upgrade after tinkerer shoves M1 Mac Mini inside


Not just Apple...

Later Commodore Amiga's suffer badly with capacitor leakage. The A600 and A1200 were the first Commodore computers to use surface mount components, and the capacitors are more than happy to try and eat away the circuit board from within.

The earlier Amiga's are largely safe, due to having through-hole capacitors instead that seem to hold up much better.

Apart from the A500+, which included a Varta rechargeable cell to provide power to a clock circuit, and also has something of an electrolyte incontinence problem.

Bah, a plague on both your houses.

Jailbreaking app gets update to support iOS 14.3 and iPhone 12


To be fair, I expect that the percentage of people that regularly jailbreak Apple devices is barely a blip on the radar for Apple.

Whilst your suggestion would/could result in several TLA's (or FLA's in the case of the UK) getting access to some i-devices, I don't think in the grand scheme it would be many.

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video


aimed to prove a book could stop a .50 caliber bullet.

I love the oxymoron of the US using a decimal fraction against an imperial unit of measurement.

Backers of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone furious after shock specs downgrade


Wasn't Janko Mrsic-Flogel also involved with the Vega Plus? Another crowd-funded bait-and-switch project?

Developer beta for Huawei's Google-free HarmonyOS is here – but you may need to Google Translate the docs



I don't know what Huawei's plans are for HarmonyOS, but if they licence it freely to other manufacturers then it might gain traction.

OTOH, with AOSP also available, HarmonyOS may well end up as just another minor OS of interest with a tiny market share compared to Android (See Fire OS, Tizen, Sailfish OS etc.)

HP bows to pressure, reinstates free monthly ink plan... for existing customers


I've had a HP printer for a couple of years and am still on the free plan.

At no point in that time have I had any kind of advert printed out, so I've not got a clue what you've heard about?

Asus ROG Phone 3: An ugly but refreshing choice – for gaming fans only


C'mon 'Reg...

Any chance of any kind of consistency? Are these pixel densities sharp or crap?

Vivo X51 review -

Flip it over, and you catch sight of the X51 5G's 6.56-inch AMOLED display, which is bright and vibrant, but with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,376, it's not as high-res as others at just 398 PPI density.

ASUS ROG Phone 3 review -

ASUS saw fit to clad this device with a 6.59-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a squat 19.5:9 aspect ratio. As you'd expect from an AMOLED panel, this looks amazing. It's bright and sharp, with great colour fidelity.

Nokstalgia: HMD Global introduces yet another homage to the past – a 4G rework of the Nokia 6300


"why you’d want to text on a T9 keyboard is beyond us."

The one thing that I'd really love on my Android phone is a no-frills reliable T9 keyboard.

I used to find it possible to type quickly and accurately using predictive text, and the muscle memory is still there.

We've made it: Microsoft deems El Reg relevant enough to have a play with the nerfed version of its upcoming Xbox


Re: Clear as mud

Until the release of the Xbox One, it was fairly understandable.

Then the Xbox One (the later one) meant that I didn't know what to call my Xbox one (the one before the 360). Xbox Original? Original Xbox? just Xbox?

Whoever has been in charge of product identity after the Xbox 360 really needs to be shot.

Plus, this whole "upgrade the spec in the middle of a product lifecycle" thing just adds to the confusion, and Sony is just as bad.

Vivo pushes out X51 5G: Chipper whippersnapper, quite a battery-sapper, but at least the wrapper's dapper


Erm.... what?

6.56-inch AMOLED display...... a resolution of 1,080x2,376...... not particularly high-res

Since when was over 400 pixels per inch suitable for consideration as "not particularly high res"?

I'll give you my passwords if you investigate police corruption, accused missile systems leaker told cops


Re: Shredder

If I remember correctly, there was a general blanket ban on showing nunchuks in the British 80's, yet if the centre chain of said nunchucks was replaced by a solid bar, linked to the others by a ring, that was fine.


Intel screams Tiger Lake is 'world's best processor' (then quietly into its sleeve: for thin Windows, ChromeOS laptops)


Re: What's wrong with "times"?

I'm with you there. I've literally never heard anyone say it as "three ex" before.

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all


Re: Too late for some.

Students will get a grade based either on mock results or predicted grades, whichever is higher.

First rule of Ransomware Club is do not pay the ransom, but it looks like Carlson Wagonlit Travel didn't get the memo





Just stop acknowledging Bitcoin (and other such "currencies") as legitimate currencies.

The only reason blackmail attempts such as this are able to succeed is due to the anonymising effect of Bitcoin etc.

Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150


Chunky Pixels?

That screen resolution gives a pixel density around 268ppi.

Apple have been merrily putting the "Retina Display" moniker on many products with lower pixel densities than that, including all recent iPad's, iPad Pro's, MacBook Pro's, and the Pro Display XDR.

So no, there won't be chunky pixels.

You may see a slight difference between that and phones with pixel densities in the realm of 400ppi, but for general use it'll be perfectly serviceable.