* Posts by Alan Edwards

436 posts • joined 25 Apr 2007

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Wasps force two passenger jets into emergency landings

Alan Edwards

Re: Nutters

> so why the plane behaved like it did with it's back up system assumed to be working?]

If I've read the article right, they noticed one of the airspeed sensors was wonky but the backup was fine, so continued the takeoff. After takeoff something else went wrong and the flaps came up but not the slats, which triggered the return to Brisbane. Makes sense, the slats are only for low-speed flight.

I was expecting a giant wasps nest behind the slats to be the problem, but it sounds like something was reliant on the wasp-infested airspeed sensor and gave up the ghost. There's probably a safety system that stops the slats retracting if the computer thinks you're going too slow.

The Air France incident (if it's the one I'm thinking of) was a frozen attitude sensor. They were trying to test the anti-stall and had deliberately stalled it, but the computer didn't know and did nothing about it.

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The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

Alan Edwards

Why not do it properly

Bake the ID Card logon into the (gov sanctified) OS, and do single sign-on to any and all websites.

You then tie the OS logon to your fingerprint, facial rec, ID card chip or NFC, depending on the technology the computer has.

Anyone not using GovOS is a terrorist, hack at will.

Most of this already exists, we do auto logon to ServiceNow using your Windows domain credentials now, all it needs is legislation and a bit of infrastructure to validate the ID and do the SSO.

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Japan's Hitomi space 'scope bricked, declared lost after software bug

Alan Edwards

A new record?

A $286m orbiting telescope - that's got to be near the top of the list for things killed by a software bug. I'm guessing that doesn't include the cost of getting it into space either.

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US govt quietly tweaks rules to let cops, Feds hack computers anywhere, anytime

Alan Edwards

SOP - one of the snooping tricks is ruled illegal, so the law is changed to make it legal again.

Never mind that there were good reasons it was illegal in the first place...

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

Alan Edwards

So disproportionate

Someone on TorrentFreak's comments posted this link: http://www.thelawpages.com/court-cases/maximums.php to a list of the current maximum sentences.

So...

Walk into Piccadilly Circus with an AK-47 - 7 years.

Have sex with your 12-year-old daughter - 7 years.

Download some films off the internet - 10 years.

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Comcast stabs set-top boxes in the back, pipes directly into smart TVs

Alan Edwards

Re: The cable companies had already been trying to push this "app" model

Yep, agreed. Most of the apps on my Sony TV and Blu-Ray are already abandoned.

What you really want to do is move the app to an external box that just pipes video and audio to the display and audio equipment :-)

To be fair, that external box could be a Roku or HTPC that also runs Plex, NetFlix, Amazon etc.

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FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

Alan Edwards

Re: Stable Doors

> Is it not possible to get a retrospective warrant by presenting the same evidence to a different

> judge and asking him to grant it?

No, that's the point of a search warrant. You have to have evidence beforehand to justify the search, otherwise the search is invalid and any evidence (including from warranted searches that came from stuff found in the warrantless search) is invalid.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Dear Ferals

To be fair they could have just infected the machines without asking and faked the source of the intelligence later, like they have with the Stingray phone trackers.

They asked for and got a warrant, so they were at least trying to comply with the law. They just screwed up and asked the wrong judge, if they had asked the right one they would have been fine.

It was a screw-up, not a deliberate attempt to circumvent warrants, IMO.

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Mitsubishi 'fesses up: We lied in fuel tests to make our cars look great

Alan Edwards

Re: Energy in = energy out

> Howver a Mirlees straight 8 will not fit any car

Don't say things like that, some nutter will take it as a challenge and build one :)

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Alan Edwards

Re: Only 10%?

> "measure a vehicle's emissions whilst it achieves its stated 0-62 time for example"

In terms of the total emissions over the time it takes to get to 62, that could be an interesting test.

Does going full bore for 4 seconds with a giganto-engine produce more CO2 than full-bore for 15 seconds in an econo-box?

You could extend that to a set route that replicates a commute, or some other journey. With a bigger engine your acceleration phases will be done quicker, and you need a lighter throttle to maintain cruise speeds.

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Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

Alan Edwards

Agreed, you need to know what they were actually asked before drawing conclusions, You need to know whether the PINs/passwords were encrypted, or plain text backed up to iCloud.

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Alan Edwards

Re: 8.5kW and 0-60 in 10 seconds?

> Acceleration requires capacitor charge generated by braking from a speed achieved by accelerating.

So if you pull away from lights at the bottom of a hill, you're buggered?

It would probably have to stop for a (overnight) breather half way up Birdlip hill.

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Nest bricks Revolv home automation hubs, because evolution

Alan Edwards

Didn't think it through

All they had to do was say "We don't care about this any more. We're turning off our servers, here is the software you need to keep it going. BTW, you're on your own in terms of support".

Result would be a lot less pissed off people. Just turning the thing off permanently is not cool and Google ought to know better.

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FAA doubles Section 333-exemption drone ceiling to 400 feet

Alan Edwards

Or any of the small toy quadcopters like the Hubsan Q4 or Syma X5.

The registration only applies to bigger things like DJI Phantoms.

Having said that, if you're good with a soldering iron you can build an FPV racing beast and still keep it under 250g, Know How on TWiT is in the middle of that build at the moment.

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Sick to death of mighty rocket launches? Avoid these dates

Alan Edwards

Re: Fed up!........

That was my first thought when I saw that headline in the RSS reader - why does Vodafone have a rocket? I thought it was some advertising stunt or something.

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Samsung unblocks ad-block plugins from its Android browser

Alan Edwards

No so secret browsing

> There's also a secret browsing mode that goes beyond “incognito” windows by requiring

> user authentication

So they are enabling anonymous communication by forcing you to identify yourself?

Okaaayy...

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Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

Alan Edwards

Surveys

If you ask the correct questions, a survey can be made to produce whatever result you desire.

This is especially true when you ask people who don't have a clue about what you're asking them.

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What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Alan Edwards

Re: RSS Poke It With A Stick

> If it was a support ship, then then "RSS RTFM"...

And it's sister ship RRS Did You Turn It Off And On Again :)

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Alan Edwards

> William Selkirk

ITYM Alexander Selkirk, who would be one of my suggestions. He's already had a Virgin train named after him, I regularly used to get that one from Leeds to Chesterfield.

That must have been an awkward conversation, when Dampier turned up on the ship sent to pick him up.

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

Alan Edwards

Testing?

The bit I don't get is why there hasn't been any research.

Buy a crap-load of toy drones, stick 'em in a wind tunnel and throw them at things, see what damage they (don't) do. Simples. My suspicion is they will disintegrate without even scratching the paint, but there little reason not to try it, apart from not being the poor sod who has to vacuum the bits up.

For extra credit give a few to people like Pratt And Whitney, GE and Rolls-Royce and ask them to fly them into running engines. Again, my suspicion is you'll get a lot of tiny, burnt bits of plastic out of the back, but they already destroy a bunch of engines testing bird strikes, lets try some quad-copters too.

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Former Nokia boss Stephen Elop scores gig as chief innovator for Australia's top telco

Alan Edwards

Elop

The man that single-handedly killed Nokia, IMO.

The world and their cat could see that Windows Mobile was going nowhere, and he stopped development on *everything else*.

The N9 and N1 showed what they were capable of, but they weren't allowed to sell them, and the 2520 should have been Atom-based running full Windows.

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NASA's mighty SLS to burn 1.215 Olympic-sized pools

Alan Edwards

1,500 gallons a second.

So, about the same fuel consumption as an Escalade V8 then, possibly *slightly* less :)

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LG builds a DAB+ digital radio radio into a smartmobe

Alan Edwards

Re: Bad for the Consumer

It does, but you can't download it, you have to stream it.

So you still have to rip the CD to MP3 to avoid chewing through mobile data to play it on your phone.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Not everyeone has Spotify

To be honest, 64Gb is enough for me. I bought a 64Gb USB drive for the car and put the kind of stuff I like to listen to in the car on it - it's still only just over half full.

Everything I've got is only about 200Gb.

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Alan Edwards

Re: DAB would have some great potential if you get propper equipment

The Pure Highway (add-on car DAB) can do recording. Comes in handy, you can pause the DAB when the FM radio has a traffic announcement. Big problem with it is limited memory - it can only do about 15 minutes. A Micro-SD slot would fix that, it could probably record days worth on one of the cards I have laying around.

There was a Blaupunkt or Siemens or something that would record traffic announcements while it was off and replay them when you turned it back on. I'm not sure that ever made it into production.

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Don't fear PC-pocalypse, Chromebooks, two-in-ones 'will save us'

Alan Edwards

Laptops getting worse

There's also the problem that the rush to lighter thinner laptops has made them worse computers.

Take this HP ProBook 430 work has given me - it may be lighter and thinner, but as a computer it gets it's ass handed to it by my 4 year old T410. Gutless ultra-low voltage i5, dim, low res screen and a keyboard that seems to actively get in the way of you typing.

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Alan Edwards

> so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it

That is already the case. If you use a PC to access iPlayer to watch live TV you have to have a TV licence. The new proposal extends that to catch-up.

Remember all the law changes that were rushed through to enable internet use spying? Expect those laws to now be used to track down people who access iPlayer without a licence.

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Samsung is now shipping a 15TB whopper of an SSD. Farewell, spinning rust

Alan Edwards

They don't say what the queue depth is, but 32,000 IOPs random write could be relatively slow. The 850 Pro hits 90,000 at a queue depth of 32. Read is twice as fast as the SATA 850 Pro though.

Still want one though :). Well, four actually, to put in a NAS.

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There's a courier here says he's got 50TB of cloud data for you

Alan Edwards

Beat me to it :)

If you've got 50 terabytes to shift, it's almost certainly quicker to put the disks in a van than try to do it over the interwebs. Especially when someone turns something vital off at 95% done :)

You do run the risk of losing the lot when the van gets t-boned by a bus, though.

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

Alan Edwards

Re: Knowing what a lever or button do is just the beginning...

FS-X is still going, it's on Steam for a few pounds. I think I paid about £30 for it with a few extra bits.

X-Plane is still around too, but the realistic simulation side seems to have moved on to Lockheed Prepar3D. You have to basically know how to fly to get anywhere with P3D, like go through the correct startup procedure to start the engines. With the right aircraft it also models the flight computer properly to set the auto-pilot up. Very good, but it's $300 plus extra for decent aircraft and scenery.

Have a look at Squirrel, StevenKiberton or dirkadurka on Twitch to see P3D in use.

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Adblock Plus blocked from attending ad industry talkfest

Alan Edwards

Re: It's far inferior in that capacity (& others) vs. hosts files

Yeah, good luck temporarily turning off the hosts file so one part of a web site can be made to work (looking at you, store locator on Tesco.com :) ).

There's no granularity to a hosts file, it nukes an entire host.

It gives you no feedback on what has or hasn't been blocked, and you can't use an element picker to block other non-ad annoyances like 'Pretty please sign up to get emails' boxes that slide in and jiggle about.

I'll stick with uBlock Origin thanks.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Adblock's next step?

Prepare a web site with links to ad-blocking browsers and software for all platforms.

Park a van outside the entrance their venue with a wifi AP and a banner on the side with the SSID. Connecting to it auto-redirects to the above web site, and links to the most ad-infested sites run by IAB members

Buy the biggest billboard nearest to their venue with a before-and-after screen-shot of an IAB-run ad-infested site, and the URL of the link page mentioned above.

Fork a version of AdBlock Plus that aggressively blocks adverts from IAB members, aggressively circumvents anti-AdBlock measures, and doesn't have the white list. Effectively it's uBlock Origin, but it gets their brand on it and they can explain explain why they created it.

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Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Alan Edwards

Re: TCO?

A 6w LED may not match a 60w incandescent (a bit less than 40w IME) but a 15w LED does. If the fancy new incandescent matches a 15w LED at 20w, it's still got a way to go to match LED in terms of light output efficiency.

What does the coating do to the colour temperature of the light? I'm not too bothered, but some people are sensitive to that.

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The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

Alan Edwards

Re: Lenovo's latest ThinkPad design did him in. :-)

> I think I'm one of a dying breed that likes the boring, functional ThinkPad design

You're not the only one left, my T410 is brilliant. I don't like the track nipple though, first thing I did with mine was remove the red rubber bit. It weighs a ton with the big 9-cell battery, but it's built like a tank.

I still remember many years ago using one as a tea tray, the rubber coating stopped the plastic vending machine cups sliding around.

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FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

Alan Edwards

Re: Wait a second...

The Syma X5 is about 100g, including the battery. I would think all of the kind of quadcopters given as presents to kids will be less than 250g.

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US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge

Alan Edwards

Re: Stabilty

I was reading about this new ship earlier, and they were comparing it to the Arleigh Burke class. Apparently the Arleigh Burke can roll over to 110 degrees and still naturally right itself, the Zumwalt is deliberately unstable and needs computer help in rough water.

The Arleigh Burke is nicer looking too, IMO. The Zumwalt is not exactly pretty, is it?

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JD Wetherspoon: A 'hacker' nicks 650,000 pub-goers' data

Alan Edwards

Re: The Cloud

> "The cloud is Sky, nothing to do with JDW"

>

> Then why have JDW got the email addresses for The Cloud then?

You have to have signed in to The Cloud *and* signed up to get marketing emails from Wetherspoons when you registered,

This might explain why I'm suddenly getting spam from Joseph Holt pubs...

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

Alan Edwards

Re: @Steve K: Parvenu.

If it's worth less than the agreed value at the end of a PCP contract, just hand it back.

Isn't there something in the contract about an agreed 'trade in' value if you get another car from the same place though? If you can combine that with a good discount on one of the unwanted models caught up in this you may end up quids-in.

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Want to slash your phone bill? Go to jail. Go directly to jail

Alan Edwards

It's all reverse-charges in the US isn't it? The charges are paid by the people the prisoners are calling?

I remember from a US program I was watching (possibly Orange Is The New Black) - there is an automated call to the person the prisoner is calling telling them it's from a prison and asking if they accept the charges.

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Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Alan Edwards

Re: I bought a Sebo

> Now I've wised up and I go to my local electrical retailer and buy the cheapest looking piece

> of crap available.

I fell into that trap. My Vax died (spectacularly, sparks out of the back and everything) so I bought a cheap thing from Argos - lasted about 3 months, and didn't suck much up when it did work.

I got another Vax, still going strong about 3 years later.

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Elderly? Disabled? You clearly need a .38" Palm Pistol

Alan Edwards

Re: Nothing new

> Wasn't it named after the guitarist Rick Derringer

Nope, pre-dates him by about a hundred years.

It was actually a mis-spelling of 'deringer', as in Henry Deringer. According to the Wiki page, John Wilkes Booth used a Philadelphia Deringer to assassinate Lincoln - never knew that.

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Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

Alan Edwards

Re: Hmmm...

> do I want to use my 64-bit, 8-core i7, with a 17 inch screen (internal), 32GB RAM and 2TB storage

The other way to look at it is "Do I want to fire up my 95w i7 (in my case, it's an i7-860) to do email and web browsing that a Snapdragon 810 is more than capable of?" I'm not sure what the power consumption of a SD 810 is, but it can't be more than a watt or so.

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Alan Edwards

Re: @jzl

The other thing it enables is the Asus ZenPhone or Motorola Atrix done right.

Plug the phone into a dock on the back of a 10-12 inch tablet, which in turn connects to a keyboard that also has a big battery to charge the tablet and phone. A full (-ish) desktop OS that turns into a phone OS when you remove it.

You can work on documents/whatever with the keyboard and mouse, remove the phone and all the documents go with you. You've got LTE on the phone, so no worries about connecting your laptop to the wifi at a client's office. Take the dock (or even just a USB-C to DisplayPort cable) to hook your phone to a projector for a PowerPoint presentation using a Bluetooth clicker.

How does it do phone calls when connected to the dock though? Integration into desktop Skype would be neat.

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Apple's iPad Pro: We're making a Surface Pro WITH A STYLUS over Steve Jobs' DEAD BODY

Alan Edwards

Re: I did like the medical software, but that was about it.

> You can't get 10 hours of run time in a sleek format running OSX.

You could if you put a BFO battery in the keyboard. Put a Lightning connector on the keyboard to charge it's battery and charge the iPad Pro through the three-rings interface. Also, make the keyboard Bluetooth so you can mount the iPad Pro higher (more ergonomic). You'd only need to connect the two when the internal battery needs a boost from the keyboard.

Swap the A9X for a Core-M (or Atom X7) and you've got a MacBook with detachable screen.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Stylus is a bit understated

If the other comments here are right, the iPad Pro doesn't have a digitiser layer, so you can't touch the screen at the same time as using the Pencil.

Making it totally useless (IMO) for all the things they were showing off yesterday. You can't brace your hand whilst drawing, and you can't rest your hand on the screen when writing. I tried using a stylus to write on an iPad, and the notes were unreadable.

I can't believe they launched an $800 tablet that was designed to be used with a stylus and doesn't have a digitiser.

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Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy

Alan Edwards

Re: Why....just why?

> Now if you connect it up to anything is another totally different story indeed.

It'll get to the point where it will refuse to turn on if it hasn't got an internet connection.

It's for your own good. It has to check it's got the latest version of the gazillion built in recipes for stuff you'll never make, otherwise you could leave the scones in for 20 seconds too long.

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PINs easily pinched with iPhone-attached thermal imaging kit

Alan Edwards

Thermal sensor resolution

Anyone know which thermal imaging camera they used to do this?

Probably not one of the $200 FLIR iPhone dongles, as the thernal sensor in that has a 64x64 resolution. You'd have to be practically touching the keypad to get an image showing which keys were warm, and I doubt it has the thermal resolution to show such subtle temperature differences.

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Conference Wi-Fi biz fined $750k for jamming personal hotspots

Alan Edwards

Just ignore them?

Is there a valid reason why a wifi network would be sending out deauth frames? Why does an access point accept deauth frames from some random device anyway?

I was just thinking whether it would be possible to build a wifi-to-cellular router with firmware that has a 'conference mode' that ignores all deauth frames.

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Dell, Google dangle Chromebooks over IT bosses sick of Windows

Alan Edwards

$900 ??

Who in their right mind would pay $900 for a Chromebook? There's (pretty much) no local storage and you can't do real work on it because it doesn't run the software people use to do work.

You can get an i5 XPS 13 for $900, which runs Office, PhotoShop, Premiere, Visual Studio etc. Even AutoCAD should be usable.

Chromebooks are OK as very cheap machines that you're not too upset when you drop it off a cliff. They don't make any sense (to me) at real laptop money.

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