* Posts by ridley

108 posts • joined 27 Aug 2008

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Japanese boffins build rounders-playing ROBOT SCHOOLGIRL

ridley

Re: Pointless?

Ever heard of blurnball?

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The Toyota Aygo is PARKtastic ... but it is very much a City slicker

ridley

Re: A new El-Reg unit perhaps?

The C5 is not bad, not very interesting but a good car for peanuts money. Besides I do not have much choice Citroens seem to be the only cars that can comfortably fit my 6ft 5in frame.

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Whoops! Google's D-Day Doodle honors ... Japan

ridley

Re: ridley Gordon 10

This was decades ago, 26 years. Eeek!

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ridley

Re: ridley Gordon 10

Err I was working for a UK firm supplying a Chinese company who were refurbishing T59's for the Pakistani army.

We were in a competative shoot out in Bahawalpur between the Americans, French, UK and the Chinese. I was working for the Chinese. I suppose they wanted the accuracy to be absolutely spot on and it was we "killed" over 99% of moving targets. I would say that the desert was particularly hard on the systems.

In terms of performance we won the shoot out comprehensively. However.

The Americans could not hit a barn door from a few hundred yards. I think I could of aimed better than them looking down the barrel, it was embarrasing. I think it was because of this that the Americans decided to bring out the big guns and offer Pakistan the Abrams at a very discounted price. I believe that is was on the way back from a demonstration of the Abrams in Bahawalpur that the plane with the president and the American ambassador in it crashed. All onboard died.

AFAIA no one won the contract following the crash.

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ridley

Re: Gordon 10

Having a jet engine which only requires an overhaul every 120 hour of flight time is perhaps over the top if the expected life time of the plane is considerably less than that.

From what I understand the ME262 engines where made pretty poorly but thre was an acknowledgment that they did not need to last long as the plane would be shot down before the engines needed overhauling. Did the Meteor really need engines so reliable that they only required an overhaul only every 120 hours?

I once worked on a TI system built into a tank and I was shocked when we had to change the barrel after it was worn out and becoming inaccurate after 40 rounds or so**. It was explained to me that he tank was not expected to survive long in combat and so it was considered better to make a highly accurate barrel that could kill its targets for the brief time the tank would be operational. Rather than a barrel that was less accurate but would still be within spec but now on a dead tank.

**The conditions in the desert really did not help here, it was like firing up a barrel lined with sandpaper.

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Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

ridley

Re: From an end user's perspective

I think you will find that one of the reasons that Concorde was such a fuel hog was because at supersonic speed the afterburners were on constantly.

It is only recently that planes have had the ability to "supercruise" ie cruise at supersonic speeds without an afterburner.

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El Reg posse prepares for quid-a-day nosh challenge

ridley

Bacon

You could of course buy the 500g of cooking bacon from T***o for 89p. A bit of a root around finds a back with decent(ish) rashers. It is not the best bacon but it is less than a £ a lb and for cooking it is fine.

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

ridley

Re: Great headline!

Last year I went in for a resistor.

"That will be 30p"

"I only want one"

"That is for one"

WTF!

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You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

ridley

Re: History often comes with rose-tinted specs

I worked for GEC on the thermal imaging side when the 6128 came out. I was developing some gunnery control software for a tank and our (terrible) development machine died and I recommended they buy a colour CPC 6128* as a replacement. Which they duly did and it never let me down.

Not bad when you realise for a year it was used to tweak and bug fix the code and burn new EEPROMs whilst beside the tank in the middle or the Thar desert at about 50 degrees in the shade and with fine dust everywhere (The Thar desert is not sand more like like dried mud with the particle size of flour.)

*Somehow along the way the colour monitor must have got mixed up with the green screen monitor from my personnel CPC 6128 at home. Never did find out how that happened.

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

ridley

Not quite true.

I used to love playing Silent Hunter III online however it could never be accused of being fast paced for long periods of time. I did in fact make an entire roast dinner for my family, eat it and when I got back to the game I had not been missed.

I am not sure what that says about the game, me or both....

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Samsung Nexus S beats Galaxy S III – at detecting GAMMA RAYS

ridley

Re: Radiation is so last year :)

I am suspicious of the FLIRONE why are there no pictures/videos on the site that illustrate what to expect?

Every video or picture on the website comes with the caveat "Thermal images shown are for illustration purposes only, and may not have been taken by the camera series depicted."

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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

ridley

Re: Nice to see....

I built gliders when I was a lad that used this technique.

Sadly it never reached high enough or long enough flight for it to really be needed ;-(

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

ridley

You did not do it right then. As a poor mans Van De Graf I used to use a square of silver foil which would "stick" to the screen when you turned it on. By appying a crocodile clip to the edge various static exp could be performed.

However just be careful when taking the foil off the telly..............

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Mosquitoes, Comets and Vampires: The de Havilland Museum

ridley

Re: Mosquito

I believe the life expectancy of the engines on the ME262 was below 100 hours but not as bad as a few flights. However did it matter when the life expectancy of the plane due to combat was much less?

On a similar note I worked on a tank for the Pakistan military and was surprised by both the superb accuracy of the gun but also the very small number of shots (about 30-50) that it could fire whilst maintaining anything like that accuracy. I asked about this and they explained that it was better to have a highly accurate gun for a small number of rounds, rather than an OK gun for more rounds, as the life expectancy of the entire tank in combat was extremely short....

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ridley

Re: Mosquito

I am sorry but no sound from a video can do justice to a high powered fly past by a Vulcan. In real life the experience was truly visceral.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

ridley

Re: FX570 was a superb calculator

My earliest memory of a decent calculator was of the brick which was the FX-31. Superb for its day. My older brother thought it was so good that using it on maths homework was tantamount to cheating so strongly did he hold this view that when he found me using it he gave me a black eye.

Oh those were the days. Lovely bit of kit though, I really wish I had not thrown it.

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Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities

ridley

Re: education issue.

There is a related problem with the disposal of radioactive waste. Ie what warning message do you put on the site?

After all putting a great big warning message on a highly secure box/storage facility will just make some people think "I wonder what is really in there that they are so keen to hide?"

Shortly followed by "Ooh thats a pretty light"

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DON'T PANIC: No FM Death Date next month, minister confirms

ridley

Re: Radio Silence in Cars ?

I did in fact mean 200kbps and 64kbps, 64 bps would be really really dire

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ridley

Re: Radio Silence in Cars ?

That will be because the sound quality of FM IS better than DAB. Most of the DAB stations transmit as cr**py sub 200bps digital, radio 5 live is sometime 64bps and it sure sounds like it too.

I have a DAB radio alarm clock and it is forever losing the signal, I wish it had an FM option...

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The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

ridley

Re: Great expectations...

TBH At the moment with my class I am getting them to use a PICAXE to monitor light gates and record the data etc. The next project is to control the flight computer for a water rocket.

I like the PICAXE the is a lot if "8bitness" to it.

10 Pin 1 Low

20 wait 1

30 pin 1 High

40 wait 1

50 goto 10

Oooh look the LED in Pin 1 flashes.

Besides they really are cheap the 08's are only £1.50 plus a battery and a bit of bread board to start.

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Swedish teen's sex video fine slashed: Unwilling co-star girlfriend furious

ridley

Re: @ James Micallef

I don't think that is quite right. If the video/images is taken by and of persons in a relationship and is not shared with others I think it is legal. What happens when the relationship ends I am not sure. A bleeding stupid law IMHO the age of consent and the age limit for child pron should be the same IMHO.

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ridley

Re: Mixed signals regarding privacy

Assume all you like it is not the case in the uk.

The age of consent here is 16, yet child pron is images of those who are or under 18. Go figure.

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Comet ISON perhaps NOT GARBAGE after all - glows GREEN in latest snaps

ridley

Half a minute will do little ot nothing, far too short a time.

With Hale Bopp if you were in a dark place and got dark adjusted ie at least an HOUR without any extraneous light (no lighting up, no looking at your phone etc) then you could really see it, and the tail extended across almost half the sky.....

(I was out taking photos of Hale Bopp one night and my eyes became so dark adjusted that I could see the lights from planes at cruising altitude on the ground, your eyes really are amazing)

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Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

ridley

Re: The media always hype this stuff

"Same goes for all the other ones since Hailey"

Hmmm, if I remember correctly Halley's comet was a bit of a damp squib.

However Hale Bopp in 1995/96 was a different story. As Wikipedia says Hale Bopp "was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months, twice as long as the previous record holder, the Great Comet of 1811." I remember spending many a long night taking pictures of that one, get your eyes dark adjusted and it nearly spanned the entire sky. Pretty and pretty damned impressive.

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Virgin Galactic spaceship goes supersonic in second test flight

ridley

Re: Is that thing SAFE?

Whilst in many ways I agree with your I cannot help but point out that the ISS was proposed long after the SS was designed and built.

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That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?

ridley

"it is better to kill 100 innocent people than let one guilty person live" Vladimir Lenin

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China confirms plans for first Moon visit later this year

ridley

Re: Moons gravity to slow down?

Nope still does not make sense to me.

If you are getting closer you are essentialy failling (even if only slightly tangentially) and so will be increasing your speed.

Now I can quite understand how you can speed up or slow down by not going into orbit as you pass by an celestial body (ie the slingshot) but not how you can approach a body and slow down whilst at the same time going into orbit.

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ridley

Moons gravity to slow down?

"The spacecraft will use the Moon's gravity to slow down, orbit the satellite, and then soft-land using rocket propulsion."

How does that work then? I was under the impression that you would speed up when approaching a gravity "well".

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Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

ridley

Re: For those complaining about things not working on Linux..

I am pretty sure that Lovefilm or Netflix is not available in the Popcornhour.

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ridley
Holmes

Would you need to get rid of the Humax can you not just leave it plugged into the Internet for CatchUp TV (iPlayer etc) for which I believe you do not need a license.

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

ridley

Re: interlacing

One problem with interlaced is when a moving image is displayed on a large screen the difference between the images becomes visible as a herringbone pattern around the edges of the moving object.

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Thirty-five years ago today: Space Invaders conquer the Earth

ridley

Dot Matrix

At university we had a version that played on a dot matrix printer. A page of print out per screen/frame. Timing your shots was really quite difficult

(Yes it was incredibly wasteful of paper.)

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Film crew plans dig to find lost burial ground of Atari's E.T.

ridley

Re: Parking lots are full of things!

"can of real ale"

?????

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Daft tweet by Speaker Bercow's loquacious wife DID libel lord

ridley

"Because it is, at least as far as false or unproven allegations are concerned."

Where does that leave the police announcing the name of someone being arrested/charged (and the nature of the alleged offence of course) or papers reporting on the same?

After all they are allegations and are by definition unproven.

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Dragon capsule makes fiery entrance, safe splashdown

ridley

Re: Your science is rubbish

Apart from anything in low Earth orbit the weight of something is near as dammit the same as here on the surface of the Earth.

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Rocket 'Grasshopper' leaps higher than tall building in single bound

ridley

Re: I must admit

If only they were large steel tubes, more a series of steel rings connected together by dodgy joints into what resembles a steel tube.

There was a video of the british Blue Streak rocket (liquid fueled) on TV (British Space Race?) and it showed that the skin on the blue streak was literally paper thin, unless pressurised it could not support its own weight...

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ridley

Re: I've often wondered why this wasn't tried before. It seems such an obvious thing to do.

No not 2x bigger not even close. Much much much bigger.

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ridley

The cost of fuel, as you point out, is not the problem it is the cost of a vastly bigger rocket that would be required that is the problem.

IIRC the Apollo capsule had a mass of about 5.5 tonnes and the Saturn 5 had a mass of about 3500 tonnes. Doubling the mass of the capsule would NOT mean adding a few tonnes of fuel but making the whole rocket vastly bigger.

More fuel means you need a bigger rocket which has a bigger mass so you need more fuel which mean you need a bigger rocket which means you need more thrust and more fuel so you need a bigger rocket and bigger engines, repeat etc etc. Carrying enough fuel/rocket up so that you can use it to come back down seems a non starter to me.

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Musk's SpaceX gets foot in door of US secret 'black' space program

ridley

Re: Imagine being able to see one whole side of the Earth without having to change orbit!

The Wiki article says it can see the whole of the sunlit side of the Earth all the time,

So if you want to beat the USAF early warning system that you describe then it might be an idea to launch your attack at night.......

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ridley
Holmes

USAF?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Space_Climate_Observatory

Why is this a USAF project?

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Belgian finds missus was born a MAN after 19 YEARS of marriage

ridley
Thumb Up

Re: As a post op...

Excellent post.

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Bash Street bytes: Do UK schools really need the Raspberry Pi?

ridley

Re: Seriously!?

I think that he is making a valid point.

If you went into a computer suite with 30 already wired in computers it would take ages to get the pupis to unplug the keyboards mice etc, (even if they could as most keyboards/mice etc are locked to the cases to prevent theft) find a plug socket for the PSU etc. Ecen then a fairly high proportion of the class would have forgotten their SD card etc etc.

The idea of getting thirty pupils to put the PC,s back together at the then of the lesson in a state where the PCs will just boot in anything less that 10 - 15 minutes is a laugh. If my school is anything to go by you the teacher have to check each pc individually and sign that they are working OK before leaving the classroom.

Overall this would take half the lesson or more.

If you are thinking that the school would dedicate a room with 30x RPi all set up ready to go then I think this would be a very rare school indeed, they just do not have the room for something that will be used once in a while.

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'Rare for tech not to be involved in child abuse cases'

ridley

Re: Doing it Old school

"the benefits of the hi tech trend is there are undeniable trails left behind. Use them!"

There is a danger there that if those doing the tracing are credulous then miscarriages can occur.

See Operation Ore

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/04/ore_errors_covered_up/page2.html

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Chips in spaaaaace: old tech is in

ridley
Alert

It is not just in space

I remember doing some work on the then state of the art Seawolf missile system (about 1986)

Although our experimental kit used the wonders of, IIRC, a Z80 cpu the ships Seawolf computers were some huge Ferranti(?) size of a room computers fore and aft. They used core memory and the programme was loaded from paper tape which did not seem to work very well as it took hours to get it working.

The final bit of tape to be loaded was taped to the side of a filing cabinet and I was told it was this that informed the launcher were the various bits of superstructure were on this particular ship, without this bit the launcher could launch into masts etc....

I was gobsmacked.

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The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

ridley
Facepalm

"You never know when you might need that 20m CAT5 ethernet cable. Or that 3m SCART."

Of course you do it will be within a week of throwing them away.

Ridley

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Whopping supersonic-car rocket rattles idyllic Cornwall

ridley

Re: Makes me sad

Be fair and give credit where credit is due. The HTP technology that we used to launch our only satellite was a development of the technology we picked up from the Germans after WWII. So it wasnt entirely our own efforts.

Ridley

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Scientists: 'Castration is the key to a longer life'

ridley
Childcatcher

Re: "rapists - now there's a deserving test group."

"Except by the time you are a rapist you're already a fully functioning male, and loss of your testicles will only prevent you reproducing."

Err no.

Removing the testicles and hence the majority of testosterone production will in most cases also make you unable to perform or for that matter want to perform. This is the reason why chemical castration was/is used on sex offenders by the use of anti androgens to reduce testosterone production and in some cases female hormones. See amongst others Alan Turing.

Of course this is the same cocktail as used by male to female transexuals so maybe a study of the life expectancy of that relatively large group would be informative.

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Eurozone crisis hits pay TV: Punters pick broadband over telly

ridley

Re: Not surprising

You are wrong about one thing it is not nearly £800 it is in fact nearly £900. Who pays this? My car cost less than that ;-)

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Chinese 'nauts reach Heaven after 8-minute coupling

ridley

Re: Congrats

Luxury!

The Apollo Command Module had just over 6m^3 for 3 people for sometimes over a week.

I think it might have got a touch smelly in there.

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Richard Branson gets nod to strap rocket on SpaceShipTwo

ridley

Re: Virgin on the silly

According to Newton F=(GM1M2)/r2.

r is the distance between centres of mass of the two objects in this case SS2 and the centre of the Earth so about 6000km or 6 million metres when the SS2 is on the ground.

So on the ground r2=36000000000000 at 200km ie r= 6200km then r2=38440000000000 so the effect of gravity 200km up would be a about 5% per cent less 200km up than it is here.

Not a lot of difference there, you would need to go a lot higher than a few hundred miles to have appreciably less effect of gravity.

"orbit is just a free fall toward the earth at an angle that keeps you form falling TO EARTH"

No it is a free fall towards earth at an ANGULAR velocity that ensure that you keep missing ;-)

As to escape velocity being mach 5 if you can do that I bet NASA would like to talk to you as they thought that they needed to make the Saturn V go at 27000mph or about mach 38 in order to reach escape velocity.

TBH I think it is harder than you think and I take my at off to the pioneers in the 50's and 60's for making it happen.

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