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John Watkinson

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THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

John Watkinson continues his series of essays for El Reg in which he examines failures in society from banking and education to transport and IT. Here, with a critical eye on our economic plight, he looks at the methods employed by those doing the sums and their consequences. Here we are, several years into the aftermath of the …
John Watkinson, 21 Sep 2014

SHIP OF FAIL: How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

John Watkinson writes the first in a series of essays for El Reg in which he examines failures in society from banking and education to transport and IT. But why whine about this stuff so much, he ponders, when we can simply get on with the business of problem solving? The last seven or so years since the economic crash has not …
John Watkinson, 07 Sep 2014
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

John Watkinson argues that the ubiquity of hacking and malware illustrates a failure of today’s computer architectures to support sufficient security. The mechanisms needed to implement a hack-proof computer have been available for decades but, self-evidently, they are not being properly applied. The increasing power and low …
John Watkinson, 15 Aug 2014
Ultimate Ears Boom

We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Today’s loudspeakers are nowhere near as good as they could be, due in no small measure to the presence of "traditional" audiophile products. In the future, loudspeakers will increasingly communicate via digital wireless links and will contain digital processing. Indeed, the link between IT and loudspeakers is destined to grow …
John Watkinson, 02 Jul 2014
Credit: Kelly Reeves https://www.flickr.com/photos/misskelly/5291975972/ CC-by-nd

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Reports suggest Apple is in talks to buy Beats Electronics, which was founded by hip-hopper André Young, aka Dr Dre, for an astronomical amount of money. At the same time Pono, founded by another Young, namely Neil, promises to transform music delivery. John Watkinson, aka JR Cool Dubbya, wonders what is going on. One aspect of …
John Watkinson, 13 May 2014
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

John Watkinson is an expert witness and on many occasions has had to deal with patent litigation. Here he describes the application of ideas in the art of invention both historically and currently from Galileo to patent trolls. A patent is a form of contract between society and the inventor that benefits both. In return for …
John Watkinson, 15 Jan 2014
Speed gun cop

Tales from an expert witness: Lasers, guns and singing Santas

John Watkinson is an expert witness. Here he explains what it’s about and how it works as one of a number of lines of enquiry by the legal system – each requiring the same amount of rigour. The purpose of any court is the difficult job of sifting the reality from the pork pies. This is a task usually achieved by attributing …
John Watkinson, 15 Nov 2013
SMPTE 304M connector

What did the Romans ever do for us? Packet switching...

These days, it would be hard to find anyone who doesn't take networking for granted given the ubiquity of the Internet. Yet without some clever coding and data management techniques the Internet would crawl, if it worked at all. Digital video guru and IT author John Watkinson examines the various applications for networks and …
John Watkinson, 25 Jul 2013

Why data storage technology is pretty much PERFECT

Reliable data storage is central to IT and therefore to modern life. We take it for granted, but what lies beneath? Digital video guru and IT author John Watkinson gets into the details of how it works together and serves us today, as well as what might happen in the future. Brain cells at the ready? This is gonna hurt. Digital …
John Watkinson, 18 Jul 2013
Monty Python foot UHDTV

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Digital video guru and author of The MPEG Handbook, John Watkinson, examines the next generation of TV and film and reveals it shouldn't be anything like what we're being sold today. The next time you watch TV or go to the movies, bear in mind that you are not actually going to see any moving pictures at all. The movement is an …
John Watkinson, 25 Jun 2013
H.264 image scaling

Never mind your little brother - happy 10th birthday, H.264

As technology advances, video codecs come and go naturally enough. But while H.265 is still waiting in the wings, we should pay tribute to the groundbreaking H.264, which is a decade old this month. H.264 is possibly not the snappiest or most memorable name, but even 10 years on it remains an important video coding standard, one …
John Watkinson, 30 May 2013