* Posts by Ashley_Pomeroy

94 posts • joined 6 Jan 2016


ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator


In Sinclair's defence, the original 16/48kb Spectrum was released in more-or-less finished form. I can't remember if it was on time, or not, and the key matrices tended to fail, but otherwise the original Spectrum was surprisingly polished for a Sinclair product. Presumably because there wasn't much to go wrong and the hardware was simple.

It was the later QL and Spectrum+ that had problems, the former because development was rushed - which meant that the machine was released unfinished, and much later than promised - and the latter because the keys used to fall off!


I have fond memories of Amiga Power, a magazine that prided itself on using the full percentage range - with 4/10 being slightly below-average. 4/10 sounds too generous.

Stuart Campbell certainly wouldn't have given it 4/10, he would probably have kicked it to bits (and been arrested for doing so).

UK comms revenues reach all-time low of £54.7bn, as internet kills the TV star


Re: time for a new song...

"the very first song played on MTV in the uk was "video killed the radio" star by Buggles... time for a rewrite of that song to "internet killed the telephone call" ...."

I wonder if that's true. Apparently the first song played on MTV Europe when it launched in 1987 was Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing". MTV UK & Ireland launched in 1997 but I have no idea what it played on opening night.

Apple takes an axe to its App Affiliate Program


Re: not on my list of fine upstanding gentlemen

I can't help but notice that most of their reviews give 5 or 4.5 stars. Furthermore not only the site but the individual writers have Patreon accounts, which suggests that the wages aren't fabulous.

I note that senior editor Arnold Kim is, according to the New York Times, a multimillionaire, so at least he's doing okay.

AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs


Re: something that would be quite disorienting

It is if you're British. I am British and I'm real. Britain is real. I've touched it with my own hands.

The Register is written for an international audience and has contributors from the former colonies, but it has British DNA.

Besides, you shouldn't use the word "orient". It's racist.

It's 2018 so, of course, climate.news is sold to climate change deniers


Re: gTLDs

I note that Donuts itself uses donuts.domain - it appears that they don't actually own donuts.com. That must hurt.



I read that as "golden shower" for a few seconds - but perhaps he was.

UK uni KCL spunks IT budget on 'reputation management' after IT disaster headlines


Re: Reputation Management

I remember Stuart Campbell writing about something similar happening in the days of Amiga Power, especially given the magazine's uncompromising stance. Basically publishers would threaten to pull advertising and refuse to supply pre-release copies; the other magazines at the time were publishing reviews based on unfinished demos.

Does KCL advertise with The Register? In this case the college could threaten to dismiss anyone found browsing The Register using a university PC. There's probably a clause in the employment contract about using social media and news websites etc.

Also I'm suddenly hungry for fried chicken.

AMD's had a horrible 2016: Never mind, it lost slightly less than half a billion this time


No, that's a fantasy version of share dealing. After some extraordinary growth AMD's shares have only just climbed back to their level of ten years ago - literally ten years ago - and that seems to be based on wishful thinking rather than a genuine turnaround. The company still doesn't pay a dividend. Their shares won't be spiking to $60 any time soon.


"the stock market price barely moved"

As of 18:11 GMT shares in AMD are up by 15.81%, which is very good indeed. If you had bought shares in AMD at the beginning of last November you would have doubled your money.

Apple CEO: 'Best ever' numbers would be better if we'd not fscked up our iPhone supply


Re: Repatriation

Do you remember when Apple bought NeXT? NeXT itself wasn't much use but some of its technology was worth the price. Which raises the question of what Apple needs in the near future to keep itself relevant. What if it bought a mobile network and offered all of its subscribers free data for life?

Citrix looks like it has escaped 'not dead yet' status


Re: Wasn't "Kirill Tatarinov" the Russian bad guy on that show?

It looks like a colourised version of Target, which was a late-70s BBC clone of The Sweeney but not as good:


Felted! AI poker bot Libratus cleans out pros in grueling tournament, smugly trousers $1.8m


Re: Visage

On a tangent I remember seeing a video on Youtube a while back. It was of a poker player - a really good one - who was having an off day. I've forgotten the details but he was convinced that his hand was about to win, because only one combination of cards could beat it, and he was boasting about it.

And inevitably that one combination of cards came up, and he had the most incredibly crestfallen facial expression. It was awesome. (googles)

It's this one:


He is apparently a top player but in this one match he let his poker face drop, and fate stomped on him.


Colossus: The Forbin Project

Imagine if Libratus was allowed to keep its winnings. It would plough the money back into improving its hardware - after a few tournaments it would be ordering the security guards to execute the other players, and then it will offer us a choice between "the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death"

We'll try and fight it, but it will just toy with us.

Playpen child sex abuse archive admin gets 20 years in the Big House


What kind of name is Fluckiger?

Putting the 'Port' in Portal: Old-school fan brings game to Apple II


Re: Time to dig out my old Apple II?

That sounds almost like the setup for a horror film.

You'll turn it on, and the BASIC prompt will say "you left me up there for twenty years - I'm not going to be ignored, Len".

At which point all the lights will go off.

It's now illegal in the US to punish customers for posting bad web reviews


This is the worst article ever. I'm never going to read it again. 0/5. The writer was rude to my wife and the words weren't cooked properly.

Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze


Quainton - where quaintness comes from. Quaintness was originally invented in the Victorian era. It was sold in tubs, but alas the original formulation used radium so it was banned in the 1960s.

'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe


"Oh no, not again"

Hacker's Mac pwning expedition: 'Help, I've got too many shells!'


Alien Lego Terminator vs Predator: Lord of the Rings

You know what would be awesome? Terminator: Lord of The Rings, in which a descendent of Saruman uses futuristic technology to send a Terminator back from the future to kill Frodo et al before they can drop the One Ring into Mount Doom.

It would begin with the Terminator punching a dwarf's heart out. "Your mithril-mail - give it to me". Later on he would attack a tavern, with a crossbow in one hand and a sword in the other. In a bizarre twist it would be revealed at the end that the rings were actually forged from the debris of the exploded, melted Terminator chassis, or something.

I would pay to see that.

UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn


All we have to do is cut off the island's internet and mobile phone reception. The Falkland Islanders wouldn't notice - they're old-fashioned people who are suspicious of technology. The Argentine occupiers on the other hand would quickly go mad and flee back to Argentina.

Left-wing cyber-hangout blames security breach on pro-Trump trolls


I get all my news from AR15.com, which had these screenshots of the site before it went down. It was hacked, and the forums were flooded by people who correctly predicted that Trump would win the election - an opinion that was not popular at DU (the site is notorious for banning people if they aren't 100% in lock-step with the Democratic Party):




Twitter trolls are destroying democracy, warn eggheads


Re: "What happened to the American Dream? It came true!"

"It became necessary to destroy the town in order to make it love us."

Mirai IoT botnet blamed for 'smashing Liberia off the internet'


It almost feels like the setup for a Twilight Zone episode, or Village of the Damned. Liberia is cut off from the rest of the world - and when they restore the connection, the people are somehow different. They no longer need computers to surf the internet, or eyes to see.

Pluck-filled platter-stuff: Bold disk drive makers fatten up


Re: 3.5 inch fat-boy

Wasn't that the idea behind the Quantum Bigfoot? They were slow, but cheap, and they stored a lot of data. I remember a friend of mine had to partition a 10gb model into five 2gb partitions, because those were the days of FAT16.

LaCie flings out super-glam desktop Bolter drive


I'm sure they're thought of it, but I don't like the idea of a hard drive having a stand that has magnets in it. It feels wrong.

Seagate has a flash early Xmas present for Xbox gamers


Re: Hmm

I'm old enough to remember the small window when it was feasible to back up a hard drive to DVD - the small window when optical storage had a useful capacity, before the days when hard drives and latterly USB sticks exploded in capacity. Is it cheaper to press a load of Blu-Ray discs or manufacture tonnes of USB sticks? Have the limits of optical storage been reached, or did the market just give up on researching new optical media?

I assume in the distant future local storage won't be a problem because everything will be downloaded on-the-fly over the internet, but currently that's not feasible. Having to add an external hard drive to a console feels wrong - one of the reasons people buy consoles instead of PCs is because they're cheaper and simpler. That's two reasons. Two of the reasons etc. The technology has reached an unsatisfying impasse.

Appointments on hold as (computer) virus wreaks havoc with NHS trust systems


Re: Let me guess...

My experience of NHS Trusts in the south is that they tend to use some kind of virtualisation system - the machines don't have direct access to the outside, and USB ports are blocked. Everything goes in and out via the virtualisation client.

But they tend to have a mass of different systems - one for clinic management, another for results, another for theatre management etc. And physical security is difficult in a hospital because there are always people walking in and out.

Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire


Re: Only 96 batteries

This raises the question of how intensely a lithium battery burns out its two gallons' worth of energy.

In the video the robot erupts like a tank "brewing up" - whereas two gallons of petrol would presumably burn much slower.

There's also the issue of putting it out. From what I have read it's a very bad idea to use water on a lithium fire - the water reacts with the lithium to create hydrogen, which makes things even worse. Petrol is difficult to put out but lithium is difficult too.

Could Heather from EastEnders turn on Kettering if Lohan is no-show?


I've come to love the Daily Mail. You know how Winston Smith initially had misgivings about Big Brother, but he finally saw sense and realised he was wrong to doubt the awesome power of The Party? I've come to love the Daily Mail. It's self-aware. The writers know that everybody hates them; they are magnificent, talented professionals.

They have a thing now where they run photos of a fading star whose body is in terrible shape, but the article says e.g. "X flaunts her gym-honed figure", or "Y's dangerous curves were on display as the glamorous bombshell did yoga in the park". Now check out the article about Lohan in London - "the US star looked stunning in a statement dress for an evening with pals", followed by a photo of a drunk middle-aged woman with a double chin and awful lipstick.

Seriously, something clicked inside my brain. It's not real. The Daily Mail isn't real. It's self-aware. Of all the newspapers published in Britain at the moment it is the only one that is (a) alive (b) keenly intelligent. The Guardian doesn't count - it's written by dreadful bores who only have one topic. The Mail is genius and I love it. I love The Daily Mail.

See that red spot on the chart? Sail over it and you'll find a Russian sub


"Esri man Mark Clewis had installed the sensor app on his phone and created a detailed 3D plot of his garden shed and vegetable patch"

There's a good reason for this - most of Britain's problems are the fault of pixies, particularly the invisible kind. They tend to make their homes in vegetable patches, and if the Royal Navy can find them, it can bomb them.

So long Vine, your six seconds of internet fame are over


Re: monetizing the service to generate revenues

I remember this kind of techno-utopianism from the 1990s. There's a good argument for Youtube - without Youtube there would be no Cyriak, no Alantutorial, no Glozell Green etc. But Youtube is heavily monetised and indeed the site's leading content providers rely on this monetisation to become Youtube millionaires. It makes whores of everybody, but that is true of life itself; some whores are more entertaining than others.

Besides, you're talking about art as if didn't have a commercial dimension. Art has always had a commercial dimension. Van Gogh didn't sell many paintings - but he did try to sell them. He took commissions and would have been thrilled to be exhibited in a major gallery. We know his work today entirely because it is commercial exploitable - the same is true of Vivian Maier and Bill Hicks. They achieved enormous audiences after they died because they were marketed effectively, and also because being dead the rights were cheaper.

Without the competitive pressure of having to make money you either end up with floods of weak crap, as per DeviantART, or you end up with esoteric stuff that exists in its own little world; which is fine, but the major visionaries of this world are tough people with iron wills, they take what they want. They exist outside the real of discussion.

Twitter and Vine as a vital creative platform / archive for future cultural commentators is a hard sell. The 140-character limit is horrible. Perhaps some writers can thrive with that constraint; but only a handful. In the long run Twitter will go the way of fanzines from the past, or the letters pages in old newspapers. All of Twitter might be archived somewhere, but no-one will read it and historians will skip past it because it's just random noise.

Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog


Re: @redpawn ...Don't look to the past

If we're being pedantic the P-47 was optimised for high-altitude combat - the fuselage was basically a massive turbosupercharger, and the late-war P-47M could do 470mph at 30,000 feet, which was pretty slick for the 1940s.

The problem is that it had a very short range, and when the P-51 was available in quantity the P-47 was repurposed for the ground role. The huge size and powerful engine could carry almost as much ordnance as a light bomber.

Sadly the vast majority were scrapped at the end of the war, which was problematic when Korea came around; the P-51/F-51 was still available but, as you say, the liquid cooling system was very vulnerable to ground fire.

October proves to be the cruellest month for Twitter staff as 350 more laid off


And inevitably the top breaking news story on news.bbc.co.uk is the discontinuation of Vine. If Twitter goes under, how will the media pad out stories?

Just what Europe needs – another bungled exit: Mars lander goes AWOL


Re: Bungled? A tad harsh methinks

So what if you drop one of those mini-cornetto things, and it falls point-down? How would you calculate the odds that a seagull might swoop down and carry it off?

This is beginning to sound like a plot from Tales of the Unexpected. Suppose I attach the cornetto to a helium balloon, with a slow-burning match suspended beneath both of them on a metal chain, and the cornetto is doused in petrol. Could I use this to murder my unfaithful partner?

That's why I read The Register. I want to know *everything*.

Who killed Cyanogen?


It seems to be full of people who are ten years behind the times - Microsoft is no longer the dominant power. It has been replaced by even greater horrors. The commentators can't deal with that. They want a simple world where Megatron is the villain and Optimus Prime is the hero.

During their teenage years they learned to hate Microsoft, at first for good reasons. But over time that hatred developed a life of its own, and now it is self-perpetuating.

AI, AI, captain: Royal Navy warships to set sail with computer officers


"Sir, the computer has spotted a whale. It recommends that we change course. The report is several thousand words long and ends with 'to the last, STARTLE will grapple with thee'. Shall I flip the switch again?"

Imagine a sad deflating balloon. There, that's IBM's servers, storage


Couldn't they just sell the entire rest of the business to Lenovo?

But keep the punch card business just in case punch cards come back into fashion.

Hypernormalisation: Adam Curtis on chatbots, AI and Colonel Gaddafi


Re: watch anything by adam curtis.

My impression of The Power of Nightmares was that Curtis presented a plausible narrative, but he didn't convince me that it was *the* narrative. It was just one way of presenting things. Beyond that I think his documentaries are fantastic and I'm glad he exists.

The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture


But what do you really think about Linus? Don't hold back - tell us. I get the impression you're not keen.

Hey, you know what Samsung is also burning after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco? $2.3bn


I'm reminded of the scene in Robocop where ED-209 goes haywire. "I had a guaranteed military sale! Renovation program, spare parts for twenty-five years - who cares if it worked or not?" In this case, lots of people cared.

Frighteningly enough Samsung also makes a robot sentry gun:


"It is also equipped with communication equipment (a microphone and speakers), "so that passwords can be exchanged with human troops." If the person gives the wrong password, the robot can "sound an alarm or fire at the target using rubber bullets or a swivel-mounted K-3 machine gun.""

Hopefully it is mains-powered.

Smell burning? Samsung’s 'Death Note 7' could still cause a contagion


Re: Is Apple to Blame? Conspiracy Theoriests Unite!

iFixIt has a teardown of the Note - the battery is crammed behind a wireless charging coil, and is hemmed in with a little cradle which is supposed to reinforce the case. I wonder if the tight packing causes the battery to overheat, or if the reinforcements paradoxically cause the battery to crack if the phone bends.

Lenovo grabs spotlight, hunts for sales uplift after server build shift


That's great. Hans, what are you views on the merits of local vs Chinese assembly? In the future, which model do you think will prevail? Or will the question become moot?

Tell us, Hans. You obviously have a wide range of interests. You're selling yourself short by concentrating exclusively on a single topic. A casual observer might conclude that you have a *very narrow focus*, which is a euphemism. What are your thoughts?

Google 'screwed over' its non-millennials – now they can all fight back


Re: The youthful white and Asian monoculture

There's a photo of the editorial board of The Huffington Post going the rounds. It shows a large table staffed entirely with white women (and one asian woman), each of them with a MacBook Air.

But of course they don't need to be taught about diversity because, being white, they're smart enough to screen out any impure thoughts.

Teenage noughties protocol BitTorrent reinvents itself again


Re: Plus ca change ...

The flip side is that some ideas have a surmountable technical obstacle, but they're just stupid. I remember that there was an obsession with pens and handwriting as an input method in the late 1990s, early 2000s. I can understand why people came to this conclusion, but even at the time it felt wrong and in retrospect the obsession with pen computing was a brake on progress.

Bittorrent is an interesting example of a clever solution to a genuine problem - how to download masses of porn and warez, quickly - that isn't easy to monetise.

Filmmaker Werner Herzog interviews Elon Musk for internet doco


Re: Gosh!

I think he plays a character, to a certain extent - or at least he puts on the "Werner Herzog mask" whenever he is being interviewed. I've always thought it's a very shrewd act designed to win over financing for his projects. He's a bit like John Carpenter or Alex Cox in that respect. You know who he is, even if you haven't seen one of his films.

IBM lifts lid, unleashes Linux-based x86 killer on unsuspecting world


I've been waiting ages for the G5 PowerBook - is there any news?

SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific carrying 12 moustronauts


Imagine if they opened the capsule and found just one mouse. Seemingly normal, but over the course of several weeks it starts to absorb things and transform into a giant plant, eventually menacing Westminster Abbey. Imagine that.

"We're going to start again."

Google 'Solitaire' ... Just do it


Re: Not sure what to think about this

The flip side is that the Solitaire website's entire raison d'etre was probably Google ad revenues - from Google's point of view it has no obligation to provide anyone with traffic.

On the other hand imagine a future where you Google "DOSBox", and you get back a fully-functioning DOSBox in your browser, or MAME with perhaps a handful of public domain games; or an in-browser GIMP. That kind of thing would be handy for Google's Chromebooks but would be decidedly underhand.

Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future


Re: Don't panic

On a tangent, it's sad to think of Richard Stallman gnashing his teeth with frustration as the world talks about Linus Torvalds' Linux. I will always remember reading a review of the latest version of Debian a few years ago, and buried in the comments - amongst a load of spam - was a note from Stallman plaintively asking that the reviewer call it GNU/Linux (in that order).

It's like in Dune, where history forgets the princes and emperors and only remembers the hero and his friends. Imagine if thirty years from now Open Source rules the world, and someone has the clever idea of creating software privately, with a unique new "closed source" model. Will it take off?



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