* Posts by Justin

34 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Feb 2007

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks


Re: Plug for the National Museum of Computing

The National Museum of Computing is well worth a visit. It has a separate entrance to Bletchley Park, and is easy to get to: it's within walking distance of Bletchley railway station, which is about 45 mins from Euston. I'm also proud that stuff once hidden for a few decades in our garage is now on display there

Last time CO2 was this high, the world was underwater? No actually


Re: I for one am safe regardless

Isn't that what they said in Tewkesbury a few years ago?

What to do with 110,000 Magstar tapes and 11PB of data


11 Pb?

It's fascinating that the world generates so much information!

I couldn't help thinking why they need to archive quite so much data going back so long. The following story at Spectrum Data might help to explain: http://www.spectrumdata.com.au/total-data-management-solutions/oil-gas-data-management/geophysical-data-services/client-success-story---an-indian-odyssey

Another big data-producer is CERN, which generates up to 1 Pb per second (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/14/cern_cloud_helix_nebula/). They delete most of it, but still have to store hundreds of Pb. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petabyte for other examples of Petabyte usage.

Google Maps takes shelter from the British summer

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Where this will be REALLY useful

Never mind the Olympics, please can you ask IKEA when they will be uploading the data for their stores. The places I really need a SatNav are in Milton Keynes, and inside IKEA. Especially their Wembley store.

CERN catches a glimpse of Higgs-like boson


Has anyone else noticed that eBuyer are already taking pre-orders for the Higgs Boson?


Never miss a moment!

Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA


The biggest threat to Japan

The biggest threat to Japan this weekend will be the snow. I salute El Reg for having the guts to present technical stuff correctly and in a way that non-technical people can understand.

Steve Ballmer defaces fanboi MacBook

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Re:Taken the student to court...

"Of course you have to question the intelligence of the student if he basically paid twice as much for the macbook as he would have done for a Windows laptop, only to put Windows on it anyway......"

I checked the prices of macBook, Vaio, Dell, Toshiba, Acer and a bunch of others. For the same top-of-the-range spec (identical processor, memory, disk, screen size) they all worked out at about GBP 1800. Maybe plus or minus 100. So you start looking at other things like build quality, number of USB ports, tray-less (=nothing to break) DVD drive, and the nifty magnetic power connector that means you can't trash your laptop by tripping over the cable.

I think the student made a very smart decision, even if he only ever runs Windows on it. Now his Macbook is unique too, and will help to pay his college fees.

LHC dimensional apocalypse from midnight: Your thoughts


I can't believe nobody's reminded you ...

to take a towel with you! Did anyone listen to Ford Prefect?

'Something may come through' dimensional 'doors' at LHC

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Have they thought of

getting Ali G to be their Press Officer?

Greenpeace unleashes Captain Kirk on HP


HP, Greenpeace and Cardboard

HP's response was particularly funny considering your article on cardboard overuse earlier. I nearly choked on my coffee (which would be almost as big a waste).

HP excessive packaging world record put to the test


Jiffy Bags

At least you can recycle cardboard (in most places) now. Is it possible to return the jiffy bags to HP as faulty products?

Lawyers claim ringtones are public performance


The Copyright Laws arent the problem

Copyright is all about preventing other people making money from your work. So you can read books and listen to music from the library, but the copyright law does not permit you to sell that item as if it were yours to sell. That is what Copyright Law is for.

The "music industry" mafia has hijacked this perfectly good law. If they had their way, you would have to rent books from the library, you would have to pay to listen to every track the radio plays and you'd have to pay every time you play your own CDs.

The net result is that customers are fed up AND SO ARE THE ARTISTS. Musicians are releasing their music for free (e.g. creative commons license) and making their money on performances ... which is how musicians made their money traditionally anyway. In the end, the fat cat mafia middlemen will lose out, but they obviously aren't going down without a fight. IMHO they have already lost because they've lost the confidence of the public.

Long live the Internet!

Boris to give out Olympic 'BlackBerries'

IT Angle

London after Beijing

The best thing that London 2012 could do after Beijing is to return to a sports-based Olympics rather than a show-off of culture. It would be hard to do (given the egos at stake) but in the long term, London would be thanked for breaking the ever-increasingly expensive cycle of oneupmanship. It's the obvious thing to do given the budget, and it would leave behind a legacy of sports rather than a hangover.

Blackberries? If you're going to watch it live, you expect to see tiny dots in the distance. If you want to watch close-up, you'll get better coverage (and value for money) watching at home.

eBay cuts jobs, buys credit firm


Point gun at foot, pull trigger

Come on eBay, that's not how to treat your loyal millions.

Come on elReg readers, it's time to organise a boycott. The Internet will be eBay's demise.

How the fate of the US economy rests on a Dell workstation



It just goes to show that 1GHz and 1Gb RAM is more than enough for anyone.

The really clever bit is the maths (pencil and paper stuff) to approximate a model. Once you've got that worked out, the software model is relatively easy. Did you know you can do Mandelbrot Sets in Excel, you can do garden planning in Excel. You can even write books in Excel. It's only for stuff with huge datasets (like weather, finite element analysis, or oilfield simulations) that you need a supercomputer.

Cisco.com suffers lower case t breakdown


Glottal Stops

Finally! The Sarfeet 'as it's way. We all know wo! a Da!a cen!er is. Looks like Cisco is doing it's bi! for promo!ing the Lympics in 2012.

Is any of their ki! available on the Mile End Road?

DARPA seeks sticky-goldenballs Casimir forcefields


Goldenballs at dawn

Run for the Hills! Prepare your particle cannons! Can you luddites not see that messing with Casimir stickiness will rip the fabric of spacetime and cause us all to DISAPPEAR INTO A BLACK HOLE? The universe is doomed.

</joke class="tabloid">

Berners-Lee backs web truthiness labelling scheme


The end of the Web as we know it ...

Perhaps the greatest thing about the web is that it isn't censored. It has created an environment where anyone can publish anything - whether it's support for Eugenics, stuff about Scientology, cars powered by water, or highlighting human rights abuses in Tibet. Some people are offended by these things and try to either shut them up or shut them down. The fact remains that the Internet has a culture of free speech. Information is now the hands of the individual, without any of the controls of an editorial or peer-review. So the onus is on the surfer to somehow not accept everything they read as "Gospel".

There's a question mark over whether Wikipedia is censored or not, but the end result is by-and-large very balanced, and has proven to be more reliable than people expected. But doing that for the entire Internet would IMHO destroy it, and put information back into the hands of the powerful. Come on Tim, surely you realise this.

I guess another consequence of this is that I'm going to have to get used to TheReg's new-look site.

Royal Society: Schools should show creationism 'respect'


The trouble with Creationism

The trouble with Creationism is that it assumes the existence of the Creator which may or may not be "God" and which may or may not be detectable. A lot of people can't cope with that premise. On the other hand, a lot of people claim to have met God, and use that as evidence, so there is a stand-off.

The trouble with Evolution, is that we don't really know what ultimately started the universe /life off, and though there is lots of evidence, there are many aspects that remain a mystery. Evolution also starts with some assumptions, some of which we have been brainwashed into accepting as "facts".

The trouble with this whole debate is that it is so emotionally charged (and has been since the day of Darwin), that nobody is really prepared to put their own agendas (mainly based on the question of a "Creator") to one side, and analyse it in a real scientific way - by which I mean looking at the assumptions (on both sides of the argument) and testing the hypothesis (regardless of how weird it seems) - instead of everyone bashing everyone else saying "you are wrong".

Father Fessio is right - we have lost the art of Philosophy.

UK's top boffin: Renewables targets were 'a mistake'

IT Angle

We knew this decades ago

Have you ever tried to power a "Sim City" with wind power? The French must've played Sim City, cos they went straight for Nuclear, and are now selling it to their neighbours.

Google cedes Belgium to Germany


World according to Google

It looks like Denmark belongs to Germany too. Some of the Countries That Used To Be The USSR seem to be correct, but where are the borders within the UK? And why is the Yorkshire Bordern not marked.

Daggers at Dawn, Google. Hope you've got good defences.

Password pants-off at Lloyds Bank


The staff can READ your passwords?

Oh man, does Lloyds understand anything about security? Not sure if El Reg is being artistic in its descriptions, but if a bank staffer can see that he put a rude password in, then their security system is on a par with that of the Tax office.

I guess it really doesn't matter any more anyway. The Govt have "lost" my bank details to the Dark Side anyway.

Aliens? Nothing scarier?

Fringe box office FAIL pushes sales down 10%

IT Angle

What software would YOU use to run the Fringe?

There must be some freeware or Open Sauce available for doing this kind of thing. Maybe that's what Pivotal did - or maybe it's where they went wrong.

Jeery Jerry loves Vista, y'know

IT Angle

Linux is way ahead

"...I didn't consider Linux because with two young kids I didn't have time to fiddle with it."

I don't have time to faff around installing Windows. But with the Ubuntu install, I can use a browser (or play Sudoku, or most other stuff) AT THE SAME TIME as installing the OS. How cool is that?

In five years time we won't be arguing about Vista vs Leopard vs Ubuntu. It'll all be about the browser.

Intel hands out rose tinted polarizing glasses to chip geeks


But do they do Peril-Sensitive?

I am still waiting for someone to market Peril Sensitive sunglasses. Douglas Adams (RIP) you were a genius.

(the alien is the closest icon you've got for Zaphod)

Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away


Does't work.

The Govt would do well to see the fiasco that happened in Germany with satellite-based HGV tolls. The system couldn't tell the difference between a lorry on the motorway and a lorry on a parallel "Bundes-strasse" (A-road). Meanwhile, the Austrians implemented a microwave (non-satellite) system that "just worked". We wait and see if .gov.uk will re-invent the wheel.

Is this the icon for peril-sensitive sunglasses?

Blighty to become old-time Inundation Nation

IT Angle

Drought since 1960?

Flooding used to be much worse - as evidenced by high water marks in places around the UK. Take Guildford for example : St. Nicolas' Church, about 5' above road level, 1968. There are hundreds of other "high water markings" on buildings around Britain. "Beyond living memory" ? It's a good job our predecessors knew a thing or two about how to record information for long-term use (no database, no backups, not even on paper records in the vaults of the council).

Dope-crazed Canadians sledgehammer iPhone


what a waste!

Instead of smashing the iPod, can't they give it to someone who needs one (like me)? <sigh>

Microsoft officially 425 years behind the times


29th Feb on Thameslink

Aha! This would explain why my Thameslink ticket purchased on Feb 29th would not let me out at St Pancras less than an hour after I bought it. Fortunately there was a kind man waving everyone through the glass gate instead. Lots of people around were muttering "only had 4 years to fix it from last time!".

"Stop" cos that's what the barriers did at the top of the escalator.

Boffin says Astronomical Unit should be binned


AUs cancelled - world about to end

Without the AU, I am never going to be able to play "Frontier Elite" ! This is a complete disaster. I often wondered if the AU was different in each solar system... and by the way I don't have a beard!

Space brains resign over efforts to attract ET attention


Attracting ET's attention?

Uh-oh. The aliens have infiltrated the SETI project and are sending a message home. The message might look to us like "Yoohoo, come and buy our warez" but hidden in the signal is a coded message "come on over for a pillage-fest" (Idea based very loosely on Hamilton's "Pandora's Star").

Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records


never mind my account details...

... it doesn't take much imagination to think of ways of redirecting child-benefit payments - someone only has to write them a letter, and the money's theirs. Same for my tax credits. It's going to take YEARS to sort this catastrophe out. Smells like an insider job to me :-(

NASA moon-dirt robodigger compo ends in chaos


Dirt digging

... they can't design a working mechanised spade, and we are expected to trust them with our lives in a flying car? They should give the project to school kids, and get them to develop a prototype in LEGO(R): www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3AcPEPbH0

Want to cross the road? Don't ask Google Maps


Google Maps UK wrong in Hertfordshire

Google Maps is usually pretty good at handling roundabouts and one way systems. Using details for two businesses that are almost next door to each other in Stevenage, it should tell you just to drive up Cavendish Road for 500 yards:

"SG1 2EH to SG1 2EQ"

Instead it takes you to a point halfway between two junctions of the A1M. Now I know the traffic is slow at that point, but it's not THAT slow!