* Posts by Vic

5041 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

Heathrow Airbus collision 'not a drone incident'

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Reality Check

Depends on the cardboard box:- they come in sizes from smaller than a matchbox to the size of a packing crate - and in materials from very light card to multi-ply heavy duty stuff.

Indeed they do.

And how many times have you seen a cardboard box lifted by a thermal? IME, it only happens directly above a bonfire - and even then, it won't attain much height.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Reality Check

but they can be as large as a cardboard box in a strong thermal.

That would have to be one hell of a thermal. You're not going to see any aircraft flying in such conditions...

The typical drone -- quadcopter -- won't get carried off because its not in the slightest bit aerodynamic

If you're in a thermal, the whole air column is moving. So a drone which is able to balance its own weight - i.e. one which can fly - will get lift just as any other aircraft would.

Vic.

0
1

Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

Vic
Silver badge

because the company would be able to see how safely you drive.

This meme annoys me beyond words.

I've trained with P1 pursuit drivers. They are the safest drivers I've ever seen. By a significant margin.

So how would these devices rate such people? They use rapid acceleration in all axes, and use speeds appropriate to the task in hand, regardless of the posted limits...

"Whatever you can imagine doing with a smartphone app, you can do with a smart car app," Zinchenko says enthusiastically.

I can imagine contracting malware from a smartphone app. I have a sneaking suspicion that Zinchenko may be completely correct.

Vic.

6
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: So funny :-)

Smaller insurance quotes? That won't happen.

I've been buying car insurance for rather more decades thatn I'd like to admit to...

My premium has always[1] been about £350, whatever car I own, whatever cover I select[2]. Except for last year's policy which was about £240.

I have only ever made one claim on my insurance[3] - that was in the year before my last renewal. And this year, where I haven't made a claim, my renewal is back to £350...

I am convinced that car insurance companies are simply insane.

Vic.

[1] I'm ignoring my classic policy, which was for a very restricted mileage.

[2] My choice of vehicle and cover has changed somewhat over the years, and to some exent has been influenced by what I can afford. but you'd be amazed how that really doesn't correlate...

[3] I had a split in my windscreen. Don't know how it happened, but I got a new one for £80. Which was nice.

6
0

German prof scores €2.4m EU grant to crack software on your bicycle

Vic
Silver badge

they're no more likely to fail than a brake cable is to snap

Whilst that might be true, it's a long, long time since any road car[1] had a single brake system. Braking systems are designed such that any single failure will leave you with a functional, if degraded, capability. So a brake cable snapping leaves you with brakes - is this true of the wireless replacement being touted?

Vic.

[1] I *think* I once had a car that had a single system. But I'm not certain - it was a while ago. That car was built in the early 1960s.

0
0

Game of P0wns: Malvertising menace strikes Pirate Bay season six downloads

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Where's our ad industry rep when you need him?

Lets see the staunch defence of the ad industry

He's busy on the downvotes...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Was there anything else in all the rambling?

Just one thing - "use an ad blocker".

Vic.

3
1

F-35's dodgy software in the spotlight again

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Anyone seen the rabbit hole?

Can someone enlightened on the subject explain to me how the f*** does a USA mil-only cloud based maintenance system work for an export fighter

That's a future disaster. We haven't got there yet.

So far, we're looking at whether or not it's possible to get the thing airborne when you're the manufacturing country. And it's not looking good...

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

and out of production for 20+ years. No new UK tradesmen trained on the airframes since 2009. No from-new production of the engines. No significant systems upgrades since the mid-2000s.

There are, howver, plenty of trained craftsmen in the country who could have resurrected the Harrier if necessary.

Yep, buy Harrier.

Whilst not exactly a bright move, it would still make more sense than buying F-35.

What we should really have done is to hold BAe's feet to the fire to deliver the modular carriers they sold us, and then either work out how to retro-fit a boiler, or else fit EMALS. But that would involve having a government with a motto that wasn't "go back to your constituencies and prepare for non-executive directorships"...

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: For just a few $m.....

I'm also quite good at software and believe I could comprehensively program the 'You just crashed' flashing LED, for just a few $m more.

What a pointless exercise. "You've just crashed" is not a message any pilot needs - the evidence is already apparent.

What you want is a "you're about to crash" flashing LED. I suggest using a 555 for that...

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Hacking opertunities

Detect an fault on a minor sensor, better be safe and shut down the engine just in case.

I don't think you'd need to hack ALIS for that...

Vic.

4
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Just trust US. We've been flying by the seat of our pants for a long time

Well naturally. There is a reason the F-22 is not being exported to anyone (not even close allies like Australia). It is the pinnacle of combat jets (and with a price tag to match)

Given the never-ending cost-overruns on te F-35, I tihnk it might be premature to consider the F-35 as cheaper than the F-22...

Vic.

5
0

Hackers so far ahead of defenders it's not even a game

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Bad Grammar

One of the dead give aways of a phishing email is often very bad grammar and spelling

But not always.

I've had a bunch of phish emails lately which look *very* much like genuine LinkedIn invitations. And if they'd sent the emails to an address I'd ever given to LinkedIn, I might[1] have been taken in...

Vic.

[1] I wouldn't - but that's because I'm paranoid. If ever I get an email that wants such data from me, I always check the headers first. Most people don't, of course...

4
0

UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

Vic
Silver badge

I see the little misunderstanding here. You seem to be implying that they should not be flying anything at all, while in fact there is a designated area for this specific purpose - as long as they fly under 400ft.

No, I'm not.

I'm saying that, when the OP claimed that Richmond Park is "far outside the airport airspace", he was simply factually wrong.

I'm saying nothoing about what may or may not be flown from there - simply that the statement is cobblers, and trivially proven to be so.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

It is your interpretation of the data that is at fault

No, it isn't.

What I'm saying is that Richmond Park is within the CTR. And it is.

By your interpretation throwing a paper aircraft or releasing a toy helium balloon would constitute an airspace violation.

No it isn't.

I am not saying what is and what is not an airspace violation. I was merely replying to the claim that Richmond Park is well outside controlled airspace - that is simply factually untrue.

If you'd like to put some other words into my mouth, I'm sure you can claim those to be erroneous at all. But if you stick to what I'm claiming, you'll see that I am correct.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

You are confusing your zones

No, I'm not. Look at the chart - the data is there. The London CTR is the innermost zone for Heathrow - there is no separate ATZ; the London CTR is Heathrow's ATZ, and access to it is controlled by Heathrow ATC.

If you're going to make sweeping statements, you should provide evidence. You have not done so - nor can you, since you are (incorrectly) arguing simple factual data that is published on the charts.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

the extent of the CTR is not relevant.

Of course it's relevant. In this post, you said:

this happened over Richmond Park which is far outside the airport airspace
Which, as we can see, is total bobbins. The extent of the CTR is very relevant to disproving what you said as materially incorrect.

Not to mention Richmond Park has a designated model flying area.

That may be so. But it doesn't put Richmond park outside the CTR - and thus your claim that it is "far outside the airport airspace" would be an incorrect statement.

Where they were flying is not the problem, it is that it was at ~1700ft which a drone shouldn't be as high as anyway.

The height of the aircraft is very much part of "where they were flying"; aviation is all about navigating in three dimensions.

I understand this is confusing but that is part of the problem

It's not at all confusing, it merely requires people to refrain from stating inaccuracies or pure nonsense. Trying to claim that Richmond Park is outside controlled airspace would be one of those instances...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

The London CTR[1] extends as far as Bracknell and Maidenhed at surface level

For those that have never seen an aviation chart - I found an extract on the NATS site. It a couple of years old - don't use it for navigation purposes!

The bits you're looking for are the purple shapes with shading on the inside edge. These are Class A controlled areas (other classes are in different colours - e.g. the Gatwick CTR is shown in blue). The applicability of controlled space in height is shown inside each shape - "SFC" means "Surface", numbers are altitude in feet.

Have a look at the airspace around Heathrow - it extends a long, long way...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

no the only changes have been to drones that require permission to work. Non-commercial drones under 7kg are not restricted under *current rules*.

Follow the link I posted. You'll see that the CAA has a different opinion.

this happened over Richmond Park which is far outside the airport airspace.

The London CTR[1] extends as far as Bracknell and Maidenhed at surface level - further at greater height. That puts Richmond Park a long, long way inside controlled airspace.

Vic.

[1] And this is Class A airspace - the most restricted airspace we have.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

I wouldn't. Nor would the CAA.

Do you speak for the CAA?

Because they were fairly keen on collision avoidance systems the last time I heard anyone speak on the matter - and ADS-B means much-reduced SSR load.

the ATC system would be overwhelmed by the clutter in minutes if that happened.

Why? ATC has nothing to do with ADS-B...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Kudos to the idiot responsible

Do you really think it would be possible for a fleet of drones to take out two or more engines on the same aircraft?

Yes.

Like I said, it's going to take some planning.

But if you really wanted to take out an aeroplane, you'd ignore the engines - a jet on approach should remain above the glide slope, so even an engines-off landing is viable, if a little difficult. The vertical stabiliser is probably the most vulnerable target, but rather difficult to break off. But like I said - chains[1] are the weapon of choice. That's the business end of the air-to-air missiles I've worked on[2].

Vic.

[1] Not quite bike chains - they tend to be a bit spikier so they pull chunks outof the target. But you could readily make something like that from a bike chain...

[2] I have little experience of anything manufactured past 1970[3]. But the difference in weaponry between then and now is mostly in the targetting and delivery, not the bit that goes bang

[3] Oooh - I've just discovered that Firestreak was still operational until 1988. The ones I've worked on are rather earlier than that :-)

1
1
Vic
Silver badge

Incidently according to the CAA's own rules a drone under 7Kg does not need permission to fly within aerodrome airspace

That used to be the case, but is no longer so; CAP722 means that drones under 7Kg are now subject to the ANO.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Detection would be a good start

But, in my professional opinion a suitable radar could be invented

Boscombe Down has a radar called "Tanzier". They reckon it can spot a 20p piece anywhere on the runway.

I don't think it's cheap, though; they were telling us that if Paris had bought one, the Concorde crash would not have happened...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Kudos to the idiot responsible

We know it wasn't a Phantom because the software stops you flying within 5km of an airport.

5km will just about keep you out of the ATZ surrounding a small airfield, but isn't even close to covering the controlled airspace around the larger airports in the country.

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Just put a tech-outfit to work on designing a solution that will detect and warn of the presence of unauthorised aircraft near airports and in especially within localiser coverage or climb out path.

The technology already exists - it's called ADS-B. Airliners carry it. Gliders seem to carry it. Stuff in the middle doesn't often bother...

I'd like[1] to see a "consumer-grade" ADS-B transceiver on the market which could be fitted to drones, GA aircraft, etc. Given sufficient volume, it should be quite cheap. The trouble would be getting people to fit them to drones if they're already intent on breaching airspace regulations...

Vic.

[1] Predominantly because I've used FLARM, and I like it, but I want something cheaper and more portable. If I knew the regulations for building a transmitter, I might even start building them myself...

0
0

Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Vic
Silver badge

Re: OK, I'm inclined to think it's just stupid, not evil

Petrol, not diesel

Diesel, not petrol.

Diesel actually doesn't set light with a torch

This video disagrees with you. That's the first one I found - having done similar myself, I knew there was bound to be one.

Petrol has a tendency to conflagrate and burn your face off. Diesel, with its much higher ignition temperature and lower volatility, is somewhat safer in such situations..

Vic.

0
0

Remain in the EU and help me snoop on the world, says Theresa May

Vic
Silver badge

Re: When May opens her gob...

EVERY b*llsh** detector on Earth goes up to 11!

Not mine. Mine went sproing and bits came out long before the needle had a chance to move...

Vic.

3
0

A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Vic
Silver badge

Re: The past is un-dead

the annoying thing is how much semi-obsolete help is floating around, and gets pointed to as the answer to the question you didn't quite ask.

The bit that annoys me is when you follow a link to a forum where someone has asked the question you wanted to ask - and all the replies are either "I don't know" or "I fixed it" (without explanation)...

Vic.

7
0

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Vic
Silver badge

Re: A blocker to block the anti-blocker

Servers can always tell if something is requested or not

From a third-party website?

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Lots of people hate adverts...

But, if there's going to be advertising, wouldn't you rather it be for something you might be interested in than for something irrelevant to your life?

Indeed I would.

But that's not what I get - all I ever see is adverts for stuff I've just bought and don't intend to buy again.

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Serverside

But if the site has exclusive content, you're left with a take-it-or-leave-it scenario.

Very few sites have exclusive content - and that number is diminishing by the day.

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

They have to charge like that because you have to take into account the users who won't abide by paywalls. Once they go up, many users go away

It strikes me that you could do a pledge system; have a sign-up page where users can commit to paying either a fixed amount[1] or maybe even a volunteered amount - then, at the start of the year, if there is enough pledge money, the adverts go away for a year for everyone. If not, they remain.

Vic.

[1] The site could suggest an amount - e.g. the expected ad revenue divided by the number of us badge holders.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Not a real website

It's not[1].

Probably. I never checked.

Errr - no. Nor I. Honest...

Vic.

[1] Yet...

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: @FF22 no one pays attention to them??

A long time ago i took note of a series of good ads. Brits of a certain age will remember the Hamlet ads - witty and even a fragment of JS Bach. As far as I was concerned it never did them a bit of good because I've never smoked.

And how many times have you reminded other people of their advert?

That ad and many others of its ilk were advertising masterpieces - they got *us* to republish them. How many times have you said "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label"? Look how many times you read the word "Simples" in forum postings. And who is this J. R. Hartley anyway?

So despite not being a part of their immediate target audience, do not for one moment believe that you were not influenced by the campaign, nor that your seeing those ads did the advertiser no good; the opposite is clearly true...

Vic.

1
0

Will Comcast's set-box killer murder your data caps? The truth revealed

Vic
Silver badge

Re: One word.

A monopoly requires:

1. Comcast to be the only seller of the service.

2. Comcast to have no current or potential rivals.

3. Comcast's service to have no close substitutes.

In general, that's not the case. To constitute a monopoly in most jurisdictions, a provider needs to have significant sway over the market - with the level of that control being defined slightly differently depending on where you are[1]. Having no competition is not the criterion; it is having no effective competition that triggers monopoly provisions.

Vic.

[1] For example, Out-law.com's page claims that " dominance has been found to exist where market share is as low as 40%."

1
1

'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

Vic
Silver badge

If we were supposed to fly, God would have given us wings

If we were supposed to fly, God would have given us a bigger wallet...

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: I don't believe this has an exhaust. That's what all the excitement is about.

EmDrive produces a reproducible effect

That is not yet clear.

Several groups have claimed to reproduce the effect. Just as several groups claimed to reproduce cold fusion. They were wrong.

Vic.

4
0
Vic
Silver badge
Joke

Re: question

One of the questions being asked is if they will still get the same output from *even less* energy :)

The Homeopathic Drive?

Vic.

7
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: question

Like the idea of this EmDrive but it's likely bullshit or so inefficient as to be pointless.

Never mind inefficient - if it works at all, we need to do some fundamental re-thinking of physics.

Note that this "drive" has never been tested in microgravity, and Shawyer's former boss (for whom he was working when the idea first surfaced) has stated:

I reviewed Roger's work and concluded that both theory and experiment were fatally flawed. Roger was advised that the company had no interest in the device, did not wish to seek patent coverage, and in fact did not wish to be associated with it in any way

Vic.

3
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: I think _I_ can explain it (and it's not that hard)

Almost as well known as that m=0 for a photon

There's a bit more detail about this "explanation" over here.

This bit caught my eye towards the end:

McCulloch’s theory could help to change that, although it is hardly a mainstream idea. It makes two challenging assumptions. The first is that photons have inertial mass. The second is that the speed of light must change within the cavity.

So, for this theory to hold water, photons must have m0 != 0. According to special relativity, that makes achieving lightspeed somewhat problematic. And that's not a good situation for photons...

I'll let someone else go into the "c is not constant" aspect.

Vic.

1
0

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

Vic
Silver badge

Re: @WolfFan - just downloaded

and restricts "incompatible" licensing with derived works.

For clarity, the GPL only restricts the redistribution on derived works involving incompatible licences.

On your own machine, you can do what you like...

Vic.

3
0

Chrome lives in dog years: It's seven years old but just turned 50

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Isolating each tab

dumb question, but what is eating so much RAM on browsers?

Well, the leak that's been hammering my machine this afternoon has been Google's own plusone.js. I kill that script and regain 1GB...

FSM only knows why a script need to gobble a gig just to give me the abillity to praise something in the exceptionally-well used Google+.

Vic.

0
0

123-reg still hasn't restored customers' websites after mass deletion VPS snafu

Vic
Silver badge

Re: I worry about firms who are still naively waiting for a restore

Why else do you think they wanted the exemption to allow them to hire unqualified teachers?

"Unqualified" means neither "low quality" nor "low-paid".

By being allowed to hire whomever they like, they can recruit specialists in any field. The state sector generally[1] needs at least PGCE post-graduate training, meaning the choice is narrower.

Vic.

[1] There are ways of getting someone without a PGCE into the classroom - but that is usually seen as "on-the-job training", and earns even less ...

0
0

Snafu! BT funnels all customers' sent email into one poor sod's inbox

Vic
Silver badge

Perhaps my tinfoil is on too tight...

...But this looks remarkably like a test of a data slurp - why else would you re-address outgoing email?

Vic.

2
0

Obama London visit prompts drone no-fly zone

Vic
Silver badge

How about paper planes?

By reading the ANO, you could determine that your paper plane strawman argument bears no relevance to the discussion.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: any small balloon ... banned from large swathes of airspace below 2,500ft

I think it depends what's in Part A of Schedule 3 to the Air Navigation Order 2009, that may already count large balloons, heavy kites etc. as aircraft.

It does

Part A of Schedule 3 actually defines "kites" as heavier-than-air aircraft, and does not mention mass at all. However, Section 1 clause 253 explicitly exempts kites of less than 2Kg from the ANO; this temporary restriction removes that exemption, which is why kites of 2Kg and more are not mentioned.

Vic.

0
0

European Union set to release anti-competition hounds on Google

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Dear Rupert,

the issue is you want your news to be found, but also that search index bring people to your site, not someone's else

Google's crawlers announce themselves. It's a pretty easy job to create a subset of the data when a specific UA is received.

That way, you can control exactly what Google sees - and therefore what Google can show others.

Vic.

1
0

Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas

Vic
Silver badge

all that SCO code that IBM "stole" is fair use now a null set

There, FTFY.

Vic.

1
1

Australia's Dick finally drops off

Vic
Silver badge

Re: dropped off a *long* time ago

Selling components at pennies per piece doesn't pay high rents and wages.

RS and Farnell don't seem to have done so badly. But then then didn't concentrate on gouging the unwary at every opportunity...

Vic.

1
0

Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

Vic
Silver badge

Re: And pre-Millienials were tech savants?

or on a piece of paper in their wallet

I've done the PIN-on-paper-in-the-wallet thing, alongside my bank card.

Not *my* PIN[1], mind...

Vic.

[1] Although it's unlikely to work, I rather hope that anyone who steals my wallet might try that PIN enough times to get the card swallowed :-)

8
0

Forums