* Posts by SkippyBing

761 posts • joined 21 May 2008

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F-35's dodgy software in the spotlight again

SkippyBing

Re: Now: Slower, less maneuverable and with an all new blue screen heads up display

'The RAF had its arse handed to them on a plate by the Indians last year.'

According to the Indians, you did read the link you posted right?

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If Android’s wings are clipped, other Google platforms may gain

SkippyBing

Re: @oiseau ".......every aspect of human activity known to us today."

'That one or two privately owned corporations may end up in control of a structure the outlines of which we can only now begin to see with such profound effects on human social evolution is frankly terrifying'

While I agree with your point, I’m not sure I’d find it any less terrifying if it was politicians in control of the structure. Which raises the question, what is the best way to control these critical structures without giving any group a monopoly of power?

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MoD contractor hacked, 831 members of defence community exposed

SkippyBing

'the same scumbags who are responsible for this.' What? Niteworks?

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Carders cash out hundreds of millions before USA adopts EMV

SkippyBing

Couldn't get my 4 digit pin to work in a gas pump as, like you discovered, it was insisting on a fifth digit I didn't have. I was actually shocked in March when I managed to pay for something in Target using my chip & pin card for the first time, it was like a little piece of America had joined the 21st Century.

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Obama London visit prompts drone no-fly zone

SkippyBing

The Ospreys are for his entourage rather than himself. Make of that what you will...

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SkippyBing

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.

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Soyuz to loft Sentinel-1B Earth-watching sat

SkippyBing

Are they live streaming the first stage landing...

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SpaceX's Musk: We'll reuse today's Falcon 9 rocket within 2 months

SkippyBing

Maybe that's why it took so long to get right, their HR policy was working against them.

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SkippyBing

Re: First booster

The airport they're based at, Hawthorne, is also right next to the approach to LAX which should make for an interesting sight if you're flying in there.

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Field technicians want to grab my tool and probe my things

SkippyBing

Only four years?!

God it seems longer...

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London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

SkippyBing
Trollface

They probably want to trial it somewhere people can afford cars.

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Ultra-rare WWII Lorenz cipher machine goes on display at Bletchley Park

SkippyBing

WRNS

I think rather than putting 'WRNS - Wrens' it might have been useful to put 'WRNS - Women's Royal Naval Service'. That being what it stood for...

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Iceland prime minister falls on sword over Panama Papers email leak

SkippyBing
Joke

Re: Some homework for those named in the leak.

I was told we need to export more?

Seems like a reasonable reason...

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

SkippyBing

Re: ero emissions?

'The hydrogen will be stored in a tank.'

Well that won't help the fuel economy, Sherman or Churchill?

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Elon Musk takes wraps off planet-saving Model 3 vapourmobile

SkippyBing

Re: not a bad looking car

Steven R, I get that I just don't get why on a car designed for an electric drive train from the outset they've got what looks like a blanked off radiator grill when they could have gone for something more rounded.

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SkippyBing

Re: not a bad looking car

'Really? I think it looks like a Porsche SUV (Caymen?) had an illicit affair with a Mondeo..'

What I find odd is that it seems to have a blanked off bit at the front where you'd have the radiator grill in an ICE powered car, which seems an odd design choice.

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Oculus Rift review-gasm round-up: The QT on VR

SkippyBing

I've also only tried DK2 in one game, but Prepar3D (the Lockeed Martin version of Flight Simulator) not Elite.

Again it completly changes the experience, to start with I was even reacing for switches that I could see but of course weren’t there. Looking outside the cockpit was much more natural so flying a visual circuit where you look over your shoulder to judge when to turn was just like in the real thing. Admittedly with the DK2 the cockpit gauges weren’t that readable but I don’t do a lot of instrument flying so it doesn’t really affect me and logically the CV1 should be better.

I think for any sort of simulation where you’re seated, i.e. aircraft, car, spaceship, it’s worth considering, depending on your addiction level, it’s certainly cheaper than making your own dome simulator.

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Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

SkippyBing

Re: Time to make your plans

Whereas no EU member country has ever shown a tendancy to treat human rights with contempt...

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Woman scales Ben Nevis wielding selfie stick instead of ice axe

SkippyBing

What all of them? Or have you not actually read the article where it says she was helped off the mountain by climbers as opposed to the emergency services?

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Blighty's nuclear deterrent will get a software upgrade amid cyber-war fears

SkippyBing

Re: BAE Systems will carry out the upgrade

'Windows for Warships terrifies me to be honest. Sure it's a military-grade hardened OS but it's still XP technology under the hood with all the issues that go with it.'

I think there's some confusion about Window for Warships, it's not running the actual search and destroy command system type activities of the ships, that's left to a real time OS. It's more the mundane admin type stuff and holding electronic publications that you'd expect in a corporate IT system.

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SkippyBing

Re: the remote shores of Loch Long

'~40 miles from the biggest city in the country isn't particularly remote.'

Try getting there from Glasgow, it takes forever and that's coming from someone who grew up in Cornwall, no stranger to the 10 mile drive that can take hours.

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SkippyBing

Re: Air gapped ?

I would have thought water gapped would be a better term.

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SkippyBing

Also because it would be a bit silly storing the warheads in the home counties and the submarines in Scotland, generally you try and keep the weapons storage in the same postcode as the delivery system to avoid carting quite dangerous stuff all over the place. Why keep the submarines in Scotland some aggrieved Scot Nat will surely ask, because Faslane is the cloudiest place in the UK which made (makes?) it harder for foreign satellites to count the number of submarines alongside.

Rest assured despite many attempts by the US Air Force no one has yet managed to make a nuclear device go off by accident, it's almost as if they're designed not to.

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Calm down, dear: Woman claims sexism in tech journalism

SkippyBing

I really just keep coming back here to look for outraged comments from people who don't get satire, do get it but don't think this was it, think this was it but done poorly, generally enjoy jumping on the outrage bus etc. etc.

I think I mean satire. I might mean something else but it's Friday...

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MH-370 search loses sharpest-eyed robot deep beneath the waves

SkippyBing

Re: Satellites

'I mean it's not like the US has strategic assets on Diego Garcia or something.'

It does, but you could fit a medium sized continent between Diego Garcia and where the plane probably went down so not a lot of point monitoring that area. Oceans are really big.

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SkippyBing

Re: Waste Of Time

'the Russians asked the Ukrainians why they had ground to air missile batteries in the area when the Pro-Russian groups don't have aircraft'

Or possibly the Pro-Russian groups weren't putting their aircraft where they knew the missiles were? You know, to avoid them being shot down...

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Let’s re-invent small phones! Small screens! And rubber buttons!

SkippyBing

Re: Even Windows 7 has sometimes weird UI behaviour

'Ctrl+Alt+Arrow-Keys I bet. Great for pranks.'

My workplace took the upgrade to Win 7 as an opportunity to disable that option. Still there's always changing auto-correct to punish people for not locking their machines...

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FAA's 'drone smash risk to aircraft' is plane crazy

SkippyBing

Re: A drone took my job!

If a drone's big enough to crop spray I'd be less worried about hitting it as it should be visible from a reasonable distance, i.e. only slightly smaller than the manned equivalent. In fact the commercial drone operators are the least of your worries from a safety point of view as they're law abiding and can read an air chart so know where to avoid.

On the plus side, a Cessna hit a small drone in Scandinavia with its wheel and seemed to survive okay. The drone less so, so that'll probably count against mankind come the uprising...

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Brit teen bags $250,000 in first World Drone Prix

SkippyBing

Re: It would be more fun

"Honestly, no one will agree with me that this kind of a race would be more exciting with larger, more agile, faster, noisier (not to mention dangerous and more difficult to fly) machines??"

Sooo like the Red Bull air races? Because I think they exist.

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LISA Pathfinder drops its gravity-wave-finding golden boxes

SkippyBing

I'm not saying it's not impressive but if they've launched the trial now, why do we have to wait 18 years to launch the rest if it works?!

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Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737

SkippyBing

Re: it's a real pity MS abandoned Flight Simulator development ...

+ Several for the P3D references. It's so much better than FSX that I haven't used the latter for years now, it also nicely runs the Dodo Sim Bell 206 FSX add-on which lets me practise engine starts and emergencies before I go and commit actual aviation.

Incidentally if anyone is interested in add-ons with a nautical theme may I shamelessly plug www.flyingstations.com

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SkippyBing

'Mind you, I think this particular security/safety trade-off makes perfect sense!'

Statistically it may not, I believe post the German Wings accident more people have now died since 2001 as a result of being unable to gain access to the cockpit as died on 9/11 because terrorists could gain access to the cockpit. It was in an article on Flight Global, but since they've changed their website layout I can't find anything on there.

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NASA charges up 18-prop electric X-plane

SkippyBing

Re: 100 kW?

I've got a 2 litre diesel in my car which allegedly produced 160hp when new. A Mini 1000* might produce about 40hp but that has an engine from the stone age.

*The original British one with a 998cc engine not the German thing the size of a small county.

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Ducks, Lord of the Rings, movies and maths: The GCHQ Xmas puzzle solutions revealed

SkippyBing

Re: Get on with your job.

'Shouldn't they actually, let's say, do what they are being paid to do?'

Yeah but then people get all pissy that they're being spied on so it's hard for a crypto-analyst to know what to do.

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Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

SkippyBing

Re: 'precision docking of oil tankers, as well as navigation'

What's 'precision docking of oil tankers' if it isn't navigation?!

Okay technically it's pilotage but it's pretty much the same thing.

As an aside I've seen it used to synchronise frequency hopping radios and the operator was completly unaware the numbers on the display had anything to do with the geographic position. Still it was handy to know his phone number for when there was an exercise fire on the bridge and we had to navigate from the upper deck.

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Boeing's X-Wing 737 makes first flight

SkippyBing

Re: Less drag, not more lift

'Given that lift force is proportional to the volume of low pressure air above the wing'

Not according to NASA oddly enough https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/right2.html

Also the maths doesn’t work out if you calculate the force the pressure drop would produce.

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Why the Sun is setting on the Boeing 747

SkippyBing

Re: Really?

I've only looked at the 727, DC-10 and the L-1011 but I can only find one example where the centre engine failed and caused damage to the controls, the Sioux City crash. That's not to say there weren't others but they don't seem to be as common as I thought.

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SkippyBing

Re: Some dodgy facts in there

Although I think most cases of the tail engine failing and causing ‘difficulties’ were with the DC-10 the rather rapidly developed competitor to the L-1011 Tristar. It probably helped that the Tristar had 4 hydraulic systems versus the DC-10’s 3 as, in the only case I can find, of a Tristar having an uncontained engine failure it retained control with the one working system.

Having said that statistically the DC-10 was more likely to kill you by having the cargo door fail and the control runs being crushed in the subsequent explosive decompression, than due to an uncontained failure of the tail engine. Or from one of the engines falling off. Or from one of the other engines having an uncontained failure dislodging a window and the passenger being sucked out.

To be honest I think they were just badly designed rather than the three engine configuration being a bad idea…

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

SkippyBing

@Will Godfrey

So if I spend the money to properly insulate my home, have radiator stats in all rooms and a new boiler, and then figure out how to sensibly set up a timer to accommodate my random-ish schedule I can leave it running all day with negligible increased costs. Or, I could buy a smart thermostat and have decreased running cost. Hmmm, it's hard to know what to go for...

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SkippyBing

Agreed, i probably don't go straight home from work about the third of the time on an unpredictable basis, so being able to stop the house from pointlessly heating itself up until I'm actually going to be there is saving me a nice chunk of my gas bill. It may even pay for itself in the first year of use.

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Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

SkippyBing

Re: Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown

Vic, I suspect we have near identical book shelves...

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SkippyBing

Re: Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown

He's also done 'Wings of the Navy' featuring RN and USN aircraft and 'Wings of the Weird and Wonderful' which feature some of the more notable examples of his test flying career. I think he's done one on the Miles M.52 as well.

I've heard him talk twice and if you get the chance I'd highly recommend taking it.

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West Virginia mulls mother of all muni networks – effectively a state-wide, state-run ISP

SkippyBing

Re: "will be in direct competition"

Competition is a good thing, except where one of your competitors can ignore the rules they wrote and throw an effectively infinite pile of someone else's money at their business. That's not to say I don't think government supply of services is a bad thing, having seen the entirely average level of service my friends in the USA get from their ISP it's hard to see how the government could do a worse job.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

SkippyBing

Re: "They claimed that (...) there would be no demand for large aircraft like the A380"

I read in Flight about a year ago that the A380 had hit break even at something like 180 orders, over a third of which had gone to Emirates, but that they weren't really getting a lot more coming in.

Actually I've just looked, Emirates now have total orders for 140 out of a world total of 317 firm orders. They've had 69 of the 176 now delivered.

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SkippyBing

I think that's something to do with a USAF requirement for Air Force 1 to be able to depart with one engine broken (possibly by gunfire) lose another during the take-off roll and still fly away. It's very hard to get a twin engined aircraft to do that.

As an aside I don't think a twin airliner has ever been lost due to multiple engine failures from techinal causes. Running out of fuel or hitting geese yes but you wouldn't be any better off in a four engined plane for the former and the latter would probably be marginal just after take-off in a fully laden airliner.

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Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

SkippyBing

People Joined?!

I left the poorly enacted farce that is Talk Talk, the hacking being the straw that broke the camel's back, the pissing on the camel's carcass was them continuing to bill me. I can't believe people actually joined though, what were they thinking?!

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TalkTalk outage: Dial M for Major cockup

SkippyBing

Re: Gone but not forgotten

Oddly they're still taking my money too. I'm working up a suitably irritated tirade to email to Harding as I can't be bothered dealing with their call centre after the hour it took them to tell me the wifi on my router was broken, which was what I told them the problem was at the start...

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FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

SkippyBing

500' Rule

I'm not 100% up to speed on FAA Regulations, but when I learnt to fly there over a decade ago I think you had to be more than 500' from any person, object or structure, not the ground.

A quick google came up with

FAR 91.119 - Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

Which does raise the issue of drones being flown in sparsely populated areas.

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If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky

SkippyBing

In defence of Windows based laptops my Toshiba Satellite purchased in 2007 is still going strong despite having circumnavigated the globe, going to Iraq and bouncing round various ships. I did once take it apart to vacuum out the sand from the deserts of the Middle East but even that failed to kill it off. To be fair it now runs Linux Mint but only because Win XP become obsolete and the Win 10 trial didn’t really indicate I’d get blinding performance from that…

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Roamers rejoice! Google Maps gets offline regional navigation

SkippyBing

Re: But then how will they track you

'unless they upload all the intervening Position Metadata when you reconnect to the Internet again?

'

Oh they do, I turned my phone's GPS on 5 or 6 times on a transatlantic flight to check if they did. After landing and getting to my friends I checked out my Google location history and sure enough rather than a great circle route from London to LA it joined the dots of where I'd had the GPS on.

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