* Posts by AIBailey

421 posts • joined 29 Jul 2014

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

AIBailey

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.

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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…

AIBailey

Excellent

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

AIBailey
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

AIBailey

Cobblers!

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

...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.

AIBailey
Facepalm

Hmm.

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

AIBailey

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?

Shocking.

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

Absolutely.

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

"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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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.

Bonkers!

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

Obligitary...

https://xkcd.com/2335/

AIBailey

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

AIBailey

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.

AIBailey

I've been a convert to Android Pay over the past year or so, but only turn on NFC at the point of paying. Usually it's turned off.

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps

AIBailey

Re: It's a marketing coup

I've been impressed in the past with Huawei phones (I've had one, my wife has one, my son had one and now has a Honor).

However, it was only recently that I discovered that in later version of EMUI. they've intentionally removed the option to install apps to the SD card. This was found out the hard way when Mrs B was no longer able to install anything without deleting other apps first.

There's no workaround short of rooting, and by doing that you probably lose access to online banking from the phone.

I was considering a Honor for my next handset, but unfortunately this restriction has put me right off.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

AIBailey

Re: If the author of this PoC

Twitter haven't suppressed what Trump has been able to say, they've merely added a flag to point out that what he's spouting may not be grounded in any kind of fact at all.

He's still free to say what he wants, but that doesn't meant that anyone else has to take it as gospel. What's really wound him up is that he might not be able to post a bunch of lies any more without it being openly called into question.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

AIBailey

You could launch at any time and achieve Earth orbit.

The challenge here is to launch when the ISS is at the right point in the sky, otherwise you waste too much fuel chasing down its orbit.

For the price tag, this iPad Pro keyboard better damn well be Magic: It isn't... but it's not completely useless either

AIBailey

Re: Because ... it’ll just work : Nope

Our main family laptop is a Dell from late 2010. Upgraded several years ago with a SSD, and I've chucked a couple of extra GB of RAM in its direction, but otherwise I've not had to repair or replace anything.

It's still getting all W10 updates as well.

Honor launches new UK store, laptop, kettle, er... toothbrush?

AIBailey

Re: Millimetres?

I'm hoping that last one is a typo. An 8K compatible 5" screen? That's a serious pixel density.

Press F2 to pay respects. New Xiaomi Poco Pro has 5G, top-drawer Snapdragon chippery, 64MP camera

AIBailey
Black Helicopters

Re: Still a bit sick after the last made in China import

...at least our own spyware does not go to a such a regime.

How do you know?

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly

AIBailey

You could have stopped after the first 5 words in that sentence.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

AIBailey

Re: Let's be honest...

Your memory does you credit - taken from ST-Amiga Format, issue 13 (1989), an article on software piracy:

"There is a story doing the rounds of a lad who hacked into Ocean's Operation Wolf, which in ST format comes on three disks, removed a bug on level five which caused the game to crash when a particular object is shot and compressed all the code to fit on one disk. Disks aren't cheap - Ocean would have been extremely happy to have left two disks out."

Of course, the original ST version would have been on single-sided floppies, where the cracked version would be double sided.

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

AIBailey

Re: What makes you think it's Windows 7 ?

Windows 7 with the Windows Classic theme does show a gradient across the window title bar.

Motorola bounds out the G8 with a harder, better, faster smartphone for the thrifty

AIBailey
WTF?

Re: Not progress

Apple have been slapping the "Retina Display" moniker on anything down to about 220ppi. At that resolution, it is possible to just about make out individual pixels, but at 269ppi on this handset, you're exaggerating somewhat to say that the pixels will "stand out".

Can you hear me now? Roadtesting Anker's first Bluetooth speakerphone

AIBailey

Re: an obscure sport largely absent from this country

Hockey != Ice Hockey

Uncle Sam's nuke-stockpile-simulating souped-super El Capitan set to hit TWO exa-FLOPS, take crown as world's fastest machine in 2023

AIBailey
Unhappy

Is it just me?

It's great to see the scale of performance numbers being floated around, and the idea of supercomputers has always held a mystique, but I can't help but feel disappointed that this continues the trend set many years ago, where supercomputers are just rack mount machines in rows and rows, where the only distinguishing features are the design on the doors and side panels.

Bring back the spirit of the 70's and 80's, supercomputers looked other-worldly, instead of looking like any other data centre.

Huawei unfolds latest shot at the phone-tablet hybrid with reinforced hinge and reassuringly Xs-sive price

AIBailey
Black Helicopters

"...Baolong modems, which supports ... 5G NSA"

Pre-backdoored? Just the way the Trump administration like it.

Huawei claims its Google Play replacement is in 'top 3' app stores after Trump turns off tap to the Chocolate Factory

AIBailey

Google cannot supply the code for Google Mobile Services to Huawei in China for them to include in their phone build. There's nothing that says that a user of a Huawei phone in another country (e.g. Australia) can't use US-centric apps though.

Netflix (to use another example) may not be able to provide code directly to Huawei, so the Netflix app can't be embedded in the phone from the factory, but again, nothing prevents a user in another country from installing the app.

If I was to suddenly become the owner of a Huawei phone without Google, installing the Amazon App store and F-Droid would probably get me 95% of the apps that I have on my current phone. *

*- ...at a guess. I already have some apps that I've obtained from the two sources above, and know that a great deal of others that I've downloaded from from the Play store are available in at least one of the alternatives.

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?

AIBailey

Simply place the backup tape next to the drive array, and wait for some kind of data-osmosis to occur.

Of course, verifying the backup will be difficult, but I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time that backup integrity checks have basically consisted of crossing your fingers and hoping really hard.

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