* Posts by VonDutch

73 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Apr 2019


Codebreakers decipher Mary, Queen of Scots' secret letters 436 years after her execution


You're forgetting the glacial pace of University decision making that means that the successfully won funding gets eroded away by bureaucracy before you get to do anything meaningful with it.

The second round of funding is generally there to fund the first project because it only paid for you to be allowed in to the building. Ends up being a ponzi scheme to deliver research papers.

Nearly all protein structures known to science predicted by AlphaFold AI


Re: AI

Traditional modelling methods (10 years or so ago) would take the model of the amino acid sequence, simulate heating to a high energy state so the chain moves around a lot in to random confirmations and then reduce the temperature and simulate the rearrangement in to a low energy conformation. Through thousands of rounds of this a number of classes of probable conformations would be produced with a likelihood of each one being "true".

The real complication comes where there are post translational modifications that either direct or inhibit the formation of different conformations. A lot of these PTMs can't be predicted from the genome (glycosylation) and they have a temporal factor (turning on or off of a protein by phosphorylation as an example).

The exponential amount of information moving from genomics to proteomics and beyond is a real challenge but the output of this project could help accelerate the hands on research a lot.

Mars helicopter needs patch to fly again after sensor failure


"shorter days and dropping power levels"

Can't it fly south for the winter?

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it


I absolutely detest being on hold and the messages telling me it might be quicker to go to the website. Particularly when the website has told me I can't do what I need to do online and I need to call.

Believe me, if I could complete what I need to do without picking up the phone I'd have done it already and it's just rubbing it in.

Instagram is testing feature that tells panicking users the service is broken again


Re: What is wrong with a 404?

Microfiche? You're lucky. In my day we had to join an exodus and wait for a prophet to descend from the mountain with a response carved in to stone tablets.

Samsung is planning to reverse-engineer the human brain on to a chip


Forged alliance yes. SupCom2, really no. There's a community group that are still modding and improving FA (Forged Alliance Forever).


Wow, that takes me back. Guess I'll be hunting that down to play tonight.

Coincidentally the game was 24 years old yesterday!

Tech won't save you from lockdown disaster: How to manage family and free time while working from home


Re: Use fresh fruit and veg

But Tesco always looks like that...

Freedom of Information coverup clerk stung for £2k after deleting council audio recording


Re: Million dollar question

With all the talk of novel viruses, border closures, fights in supermarkets, economic downturns... life is bad enough right now without bringing up RealPlayer.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


I'll stop being cynical when I stop being proven right.

Flying taxis? That'll be AFTER you've launched light sabres and anti-gravity skateboards


Re: Did I get this right?

That would be a new excuse for the proctologist to hear.

A user's magnetic charm makes for a special call-out for our hapless hero


Re: 50,000 rps

Some lab ultracentrifuges go even faster.

They have armour plating on the inside to try and contain shrapnel if a vial breaks but if the rotor head fails you want to be in another building.

Cheque out my mad metal frisbee skillz... oops. Lights out!


Who me?

I struggle enough with the days of the week without you swapping On call for Who me on a Friday!

What is this madness?

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing


Re: How rapidly were the cans opened ?

Open it a crack then lock face around it sucking hurriedly with that pained look on your face in fear of losing a precious drop of party juice.

Remember the 1980s? Oversized shoulder pads, Metal Mickey and... sticky keyboards?


Re: Been there...

Love DVORAK and it confuses the hell out of anyone if they try and do something on my computer.

Only drawback is it takes me a while to get back in to touch typing on QWERTY if I need use that instead.


Re: It was something we used to do in the 60s & 70s

In a previous job when I was called in on a weekend I found a fray bentos pie being cooked in the glassware oven in the lab. (less than 5 years ago)

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block



Maybe legislate that parents pay attention to what their kids are doing online instead.

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look


Re: Endless recycling

My previous employer had a clean desk policy. That's fine for documents but it doesn't work for a lab.

At the end of every day you were expected to clear everything away which was not practical when you have samples that have to cure and shouldn't be moved.

Put away sensitive documents but a constantly clear desk looks like you're not doing any work.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry


Re: Ink Needed?

It's the ultimate in document security. Prints and shreds in one motion.

When the satellite network has literally gone glacial, it's vital you snow your enemy


It didn't say that Dino was unaware of the snow. It was the engineer inside the building that was unaware so didn't think to look for tripped dish heaters.

Dino's superior knowledge of the inclement weather saved the day...

HP printer small print says kit phones home data on whatever you print – and then some


Re: Advertising ID?

Printed adverts, full page, colour and a little indicator of how much ink you have remaining and where you can order more from an authorised seller

Justice served: There is no escape from the long server log of the law


Re: Surely...

But everyone knows car park 15 is the special one! Like the innate knowledge that the university is no-where near Warwick... (caught out a number of visiting friends over the years)

MIT boffins turn black up to 11 with carbon nanotubes that absorb 99.995% of light


Re: Whoops we did it again

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter had the right idea in "The Long Earth". Set up a serendipital lab. Because so many useful discoveries were made by accident, set up an environment where accidents were more likely to happen to increase the pace of discovery.

Full of beans? Sadly not as fellow cracks open tin at dinner to find just one


I thought that was the ability to pee through 50 mattresses

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


Re: So a Gimp is a bad thing now?

But now...

god knows...

Audible hasn't even launched its AI-powered book subtitles and publishers have already fired off a sueball


Reinventing the wheel

The source material for an audio book is a book... Why go through machine learning to generate subtitles?

Just strike a deal with the publisher to supply the audio book and the ebook in one package and you can read along!

I couldn't possibly tell you the computer's ID over the phone, I've been on A Course™


Re: This is this bank

^This. Absolutely gets on my nerves. Give me a reference code, I'll go to the website to get an official number to call and do the verification that way. Not a chance I'm proving who I am when they called me.

Same goes for the cold calls about mobile phone upgrades. I have had good fun calling them out on their "we see you're due for an upgrade" schemes. First question to them is can they confirm my name?

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs


Re: 50 miles???

Allegedly: "9,300 EV charging locations compared to 8,400 fuel stations"


Each fuel station is likely to have many more actual petrol pumps and the refill time with petrol/diesel is significantly less so throughput is vastly better.


Re: Alternatively,

Don't even have to do that, just stick a giant Pret logo over the country and you don't need to label allergens in anything!

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students


Re: W98 was OK, but W95 and USB ..

Please don't mention ME. It triggers the PTSD.


It is now safe to turn on your computer...

I remember being so conditioned by Win95 to push the power button after the PC had shut down.

When we got our first Win98 PC (with a newfangled soft latch power button) it would briefly flash up the "safe to turn off" screen before cutting its own power.

For months I'd go to "turn it off" then have to wait for it to do its boot cycle (ah the old RAM check...) before I could shut it down again. Eventually learned I could hold the power button to force it off.

Microsoft Surface users baffled after investing in kit that throttles itself to the point of passing out


It's a town in Slovakia.

Ohm my God: If you let anyone other than Apple replace your recent iPhone's battery, expect to be nagged by iOS


Re: OMG!

It needs to take 5 seconds and not involve a spudger.


Re: Quality Control

You have purchased a prestige product manufactured by a Chinese sweatshop worker.

Why wouldn't you take it to a back street repair shop? They normally have a better idea about how to fix these things.

Microsoft spreads the Cortana love to more Insiders with new Windows 10 preview


"The underlying assistant technology will, of course, find its way into Office."

Did they not learn anything from Clippy?!

Top 5 greatest anime crossovers: Samsung deploys Microsoft at Note 10 hootenanny


Just rebrand it as the Galaxy Fold mini.

Screen probably has the same resistance to bending as the Fold review units did.


Re: fingerprint senson on the front

Sensor on the back is great when holding your phone but a real pain when it's sat on your desk and you don't want to have to pick it up to quickly reply to a message.

Sensor on front is great if phone is on a desk or (depending on size of phone) got both hands free.

German privacy probe orders Google to stop listening in on voice recordings for 3 months


Re: Fundamental to the product

Isn't that just surgery?

Stab someone until they get better.

Meet ELIoT – the EU project that wants to commercialize Internet-over-lightbulb


Re: IrDA

Ah, the halcyon days of IrDA on a Nokia 7650. Share your GPRS connection with another device as long as it's within a couple of centimetres and nothing moves.

Give the option of using it as a TV remote too!

Watch as 10 cops with guns and military camo storm suspected Capital One hacker's house…


Re: I'm confused.

Could have been a basic computer and a couple of Mac Pro monitor stands...

It's so hot, UK needs to start naming heatwaves like we do when it's a bit windy – climate boffins


I wouldn't mind not having to buy shoes or socks again, but it would be a shame to be two feet shorter


Re: what's so difficult about Q, U, X, Y and Z?

Funnily enough that and Fifi Trixibelle both came to mind as I was posting.


You didn't say take the socks back out of the freezer before wearing...


Re: what's so difficult about Q, U, X, Y and Z?

Anything is a name if you're the offspring of a celebrity

2019 set to be the worst year yet for smartphone market as lack of worthy upgrades dents demand


Re: 5G around the corner and nothing very compelling to upgrade to.

It's not quite like the old days of nokias where you could pop the battery off in half a second and have the new fully charged spare on in the same amount of time. The longest part of the process was the phone booting back up again.

I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue


Re: Keyboard short cuts....

Until someone thinks they've mastered the print shortcut but keeps forgetting to hold down ctrl .

Then saves the template document with lots of random P's in it.


Re: As it is traditional to pick apart these stories

I had user training for a new piece of warehouse management software last year.

It consisted of someone coming in saying "it's a bit like the old software", me pointing out I'd never used the old software (cost per user licence and very low chance of me actually needing it).

He then promptly clicked through some unintelligible things on screen, declared that to be training and left.

I didn't have to worry about the poor training though because the implementation of the new software was so bad and buggy that they stopped trying to use it after 2 days. When I left 8 months later they still hadn't got it up and running.

London cop illegally used police database to monitor investigation into himself


Needed more evidence?

Can you trust Huawei... or any other networks supplier for that matter?


Re: "he doesn't think it is possible to rank them"

You forgot cost...

All too often left with insufficient or impractical kit because there's an accountant along the procurement route.

Not all heroes wear capes: Contractor grills DXC globo veep on pay rises, offshoring, and cuts to healthcare help


I can totally understand the "hang on to get your pound of flesh" out of the previous employer. I was moving jobs and a combination of timing and sheer bloody mindedness meant that I wanted to get my bonus from the previous employer even though I'd be earning twice as much at the new place. I didn't believe they deserved to hold on to my bonus money. They wouldn't re-invest it in the business or employees, it would just go towards the director's annual Bentley upgrade.