* Posts by Annihilator

3166 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

NASA finds use for 3D printers: Launch them into SPAAACE

Annihilator
Go

Make it so..

"Tea, Earl Grey, hot"

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Quantum computing gets recursive

Annihilator
Paris Hilton

Ponderings

The mistake everyone makes at some point when tinkering with recursive functions, is messing up the break point and ending up with a stack overflow, or falling into an infinite loop.

If a quantum computer calculates all states at once, how does it cope if the number of states is infinte?...

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Google adds Large Hadron Collider tunnel to Street View

Annihilator
WTF?

Re: labor prices in different countries

Erm, what?

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WHY didn't Microsoft buy RIM? Us business blokes would have queued for THAT phone

Annihilator

"Can you imagine a phone built from the ground up with security in mind "

Yes, but not under Microsoft

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Rare gold iPhone 5s goes up against 50 caliber high precision rifle

Annihilator
Facepalm

Re: @AC 06:09

"How many Brits died of tobacco, fat, sugar, alcohol, and salt in the same time-frame?"

One suspects the US managed just as impressive a rate as the UK, but regardless, they didn't die due to someone else's burger. The only product you mentioned that could possibly harm someone else is tobacco and regardless of your view on 2nd-hand smoke damage, public exposure to that has pretty much been eradicated.

The only risk to you is if they fall on you.

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Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Amazing video

"What impressed me most was the fact that there was so little resistance from the phone that the initial Barrett round went through and the phone stayed upright."

Perfect example to contradict the silly notion in films someone being shot and thrown through a plate glass window.

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'Outback Rover' could help calibrate satellite sensors

Annihilator
Coat

Coastguard?

So who callibrates the callibrating rover?

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WET SPOT found on MARS: NASA rover says 'high percentage'

Annihilator
Facepalm

Re: Only now?

Are you reading about a different Curiosity? From that very link:

"As established by the Mars Exploration Program, the main scientific goals of the MSL mission are to help determine whether Mars could ever have supported life, as well as determining the role of water, and to study the climate and geology of Mars. The mission will also help prepare for human exploration."

I've also never said Curiosity is looking for life. It's looking for whether life could have existed.

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Annihilator

Re: Only now?

@Lars - " Water exists but now we also know there is a small amount in the soil. Perhaps that was expected, as it was, as such an experiment was made. Now we can also prove it."

That's my point. We've proven it many many times already over the course of various orbiters and landers. This wasn't looking for it specifically, they just analysed the content of the soil. Water was known to be in there already.

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

@Vociferous - it's really simple - the basic objective of Curiosity: "could Mars have ever supported life". It includes understanding the *role* of water, not find it. As per the link above, there's enough water on Mars to cover it to a depth of 35m if it were free-flowing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_%28rover%29#Goals_and_objectives

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Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Only now?

"Yeap - I was kinda wondering why this wasn't the first bleeding obvious thing to do...."

Because it's like sending a boat into the ocean and testing to see if it's salty. We know it is already.

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Annihilator
Stop

Re: Only now?

No, the purpose of the mission was to look for evidence that life had ever existed on Mars. It's goal isn't to look for water, or even for present life.

We've known about water on Mars for almost 10 years now, it's concentrated mostly at the poles, but Spirit and Phoenix have both found water samples in the dirt, and atmospheric vapour exists too.

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30 years on: The day a computer glitch nearly caused World War III

Annihilator

Re: Wargames also came out in 1983......

Oddly enough, this article pretty much describes the opening scene of War Games (but as a US drill), prompting the WOPR to be installed as first reponse. "Sir, turn your key!"

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'200 million' fanbois using iOS 7 just a week after release - study

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Stats Pedant

Even more so, 50% of iDevices, but not all of these iDevices will be capable of running iOS 7, so it's yet another meaningless stat. For all we know, 50% of devices are capable, meaning that it's a 100% conversion rate. Or all of the devices are capable (unlikely - 3GS and below will still be out there) meaning it's only a 50% conversion rate.

So all we know, it's definitely "more than half".

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Apple: Now that you've updated to iOS 7... YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK

Annihilator
Meh

News?

This has been standard iOS behaviour since the iPhone 4, no? Everything after the 3GS required a jailbreak in order to go backwards.

Doesn't surprise me much though - PSP and PS3 exhibit this behaviour too.

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Blighty's great digital radio switchover targets missed AGAIN

Annihilator

Almost - you can get *some* podcasts (minus music) of radio shows, but there is still a vast wealth out there that isn't available yet. I'd love to listen to more Radio 4 shows (It's Not What You Know being a cracking example), but it has only been available as one-off guest appearances on the Comedy of the Week podcast, or streaming live. Through the majority of my drive, I don't have anything like a good enoug mobile connection to stream, although I've certainly tried.

My only outlet so far has been getting it through "illicit" places such as the now defunct thebox. My primary option now is taping it! Barely a 20th century solution...

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EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

Annihilator

Re: Oddly, airlines can work better than Easy Jet/Ryanair.

"If a plane is late, is this actually EJ's fault? They don't run traffic control..."

True, but they can build in realistic contingencies and plane turnaround times. Budget airlines aim for high aircraft utilisation and minimal turnaround between flights. I'd heard it was about 30 minutes to unload, prep, reload which is highly sensitive to any delays. They then compound through the day.

Not a criticism, just a consideration that people have to make when choosing to fly!

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Annihilator

Alarm bells

1) We only have this person's side of the story

2) Most companies don't comment on individual complaints, as they have to gain the complainants permission before releasing that information

3) Any provider of goods or services has the right to refuse service to anyone being a dick. While a 90 minute delay might be annoying, they're under no obligation to do anything about that. Judging by the response of "we're not helping the Army guy", it sounds like a very exasperated employee retorting to someone who was being a bit of a plum, and shouting/ranting/tweeting

4) A threat of not offering to fly someone, that was reversed upon seeing their lawyer credentials? Who knew that law lecturers had such recognisable badges to flash about.

I'm smelling a large dose of bullshit, or at the very least a hastily rewritten version of history.

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F-16 fighter converted to drone

Annihilator

Lag, in essence.

But fly-by-wire has been the "real" pilot in modern airframes for a number of years now.

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Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

Annihilator
Pint

Flight testing

Are you planning on strapping it to a modified 747 in order to do your approach and landing tests? Followed by a world tour to show off your spaceflight supremacy?

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USB 3.1 demo shows new spec well on its way towards 1.2GB/sec goal

Annihilator

Re: The question is...

USB3.x remains a discrete device at the end of a PCI express lane. Thunderbolt is entwined with the motherboard and is forced to carry the video signal of the motherboard to be deemed compliant.

Ever wondered why you can't get Thunderbolt add-on cards but USB ones are ubiquitous?

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One of last few iPhone 5Ss STOLEN from within MASSIVE POLICE CORDON at Apple Store

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Planning

"Which makes me think its deliberate so they can create free headlines about shops selling out."

1) You'd think they would have done that for the 5C if that were the case ("ooh, look how popular this one is too").

2) Stock control and supply chain management says that you shouldn't operate to try and fulfil demand on day 1. To do so would be to start stockpiling models for ages, and tying up capital in your warehouses. Say they can sell 100,000 on day 1, and can make 1,000 per day (all made up figures). They would have had to start producing them over 3 months ago and stockpile them all as the levels get gradually larger. Stock in a warehouse is an utter waste of capital. Using those figures along and averaging the value to be around £600, they'd have £60m tied up in a warehouse, doing nothing but waiting for launch day.

In reality the figures will be much higher.

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Douglas Adams was RIGHT! TINY ALIENS are invading Earth, say boffins

Annihilator
Alien

ISS et al

One would imagine that the ISS must be covered in the blighters, sort of like leaving a car parked under a tree during nesting season. Given there's been no missions that I'm aware of that have deployed windscreen wipers to the cupola, I'm sensing that's not the case.

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Apple iOS 7 remote wipe: Can it defeat the evil scrumper scourge?

Annihilator

Re: Apple copying Google again

Many people missing the point. Up until this point, iOS 6 protected your content from being abused if you activated it - you were still able to wipe the phone and start again with it. As I understand it, Android devices operate in a similar way.

The iOS 7 update allows you to permanently disable the phone. No unlocking, no wiping and selling it on as a usable device. I'm assuming that by its very nature, Android wouldn't be able to do this, you'll always be able to flash and re-use.

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From launch to orbit: The new commercial space pioneers

Annihilator
Unhappy

Lester missing?

Does LOHAN not make this list?

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Tell me why I don't like Moon days: Bob Geldof heads into SPAAACE

Annihilator

"Ryanair have got it all sewn up. Fifth euro to get into space, a meeelllion euro surcharge if you need oxygen."

Not to mention that Ryanair's scheduled trips to Mars for only 50p (plus taxes) actually land on Phobos.

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Annihilator
Go

Re: Tell me why I don't like Moon days

You're wrong - that is possibly the best sub-heading El Reg has ever produced!

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Annihilator
Boffin

Erm, the moon going dark (new moon) has nothing to do with the earth's shadow. The moon is always lit by the sun in the same way the earth is. The "dark" side of the moon isn't literally dark, it's just that half is always facing away from the earth due to the tidal lock.

The moon does pass into the earths shadow, roughly twice a year, known a a lunar eclipse, but only for a few hours.

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Decks and plugs and rock and roll: Tascam CD-A750 cassette and CD combo

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Interviews

*Some* Plod constabularies would be more accurate. Most (if not all?) moved to CD or DVD years ago.

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Annihilator
Paris Hilton

Re: @Annihilator

Just me though or is that a clunky way of saying it - it's still a CD. A "non-CD-DA disc" might make more sense.

The funny copyrighted ones weren't allowed to say CD-DA, they were still allowed to say CD though.

:edit: @Vladimir, exactly what I was thinking :-)

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Annihilator
Paris Hilton

"I was pleased that the CD player lived up to its billing and handled non-CD audio discs without complaint."

Am I being stupid? What's a "non-CD audio disc"?

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MPs blocked from ogling 'web smut' 300,000 times – WHILE IN PARLIAMENT

Annihilator
Happy

Re: Can't even sort out their own house...

Rather brilliantly this FOI request has got the MPs arguing the case against filters. I wonder if they'll actually realise or recognise it though...

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It's official: Apple sends out invitations for September 10 event

Annihilator
Happy

Re: Wait, El reg finally got an invite?

I doubt it. It only says "Apple has sent out invites", there is a distinct lack of "to El Reg" at the end of that sentence! They'll just have to keep on opening Wonka bars in the hope of a shiny golden ticket.

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Annihilator

The Orb's Wireless In-flight Ejector (TOWIE)

Just think how confused the people interested in TOWIE would be having googled and ended up here...

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Compact Cassette supremo Lou Ottens talks to El Reg

Annihilator
Pint

Parents cleared their loft recently and handed me a stack of C90s that I had left up there. My latest commutes have involved getting an old Walkman and hooking it up to the line in on the car stereo. Have been driving to work listening to the UK Top 40 (a mix of Bruno Brookes on the Beeb, and David "Kid" Jensen on the Network Chart Show). Amazing how well I remember and can sing along to the Nescafe sponsor jingle on the later shows.

I urge you to relive your youth!

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Boffins confirm quantum crypto can keep a secret

Annihilator
Boffin

Alice & Bob

Traditionally, Eve refers to an eavesdropper (Eve... geddit?). Charlie is a 3rd (non-malicious) participant. It's usually Dan or Dave for the 4th. They're all derived by Bruce Schneier I think.

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Siri: 'STOP trying to strap me to your forehead. It won't work'

Annihilator
Happy

iPhone 2006

Thanks for the look back at the iPhone article :-) Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and Bill was probably right at the time, he just couldn't have guessed how far Apple managed to twist the mobile operators arms in terms of exclusivity. The assumption that iTunes was only a hardware subsidy engine changed quite rapidly too.

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NASA's nuclear Mars tank REBELS against human control

Annihilator
Alien

Re: Curious Joyride

> LOL! I just had a mental image of a Martian sitting on Curiosity like a go-kart trying to make it go faster.

"Ooh this makes me very angry..."

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Why is my prime meridian wobbling?

"based on nothing more than the distance to a known point on the equator."

Pedant mode on - was a point on the tropic of cancer (or close enough to where they thought it was) as it was based on the angle of the sun's rays on the summer solstice.

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Plucky ISS 'nauts manage to bodge tricky camera gizmo onto podule IN SPACE

Annihilator
Black Helicopters

Suspicious. . .

"External Onboard Laser Communications System"

"Communications"... sure...

Quite why they've removed it and left the station defenceless I have no idea. They're doomed I tell you.

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Sony sets dates for US and Euro PS4 unleashment amid Xbox heckles

Annihilator
Facepalm

See the thread above yours as to why this is largely nonsense. In short, you're comparing a "non-VAT" US cost vs a VAT EU/UK cost. Plus the US sold products aren't subject to the EU consumer protections.

But, most importantly - prices are set to whatever the market will support. And exchange rates don't necessarily equal spending power. Nuances in economies (such as PAYE tax thresholds) vary how much a £ or £ or € is actually worth to the consumer.

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Annihilator
Thumb Down

Re: $399....

If by "shafting" you mean "covering the costs of VAT and the cost of providing an EU level of statutory rights plus warranty", then yes you're probably correct.

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MYSTERY of Guardian mobos and graphics cards which 'held Snowden files'

Annihilator
Go

Re: Or Possibly...

" the parts had already been binned or sold on eBay by the IT guy"

Described as "slightly used"

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Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

Annihilator
Happy

Re: Ah...

"Dougal, here’s a mad guess, just out of the blue, em, did you press the button?"

"Ah now, Ted, come on!"

"Did you, Dougal?"

"I did, yeah"

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WTF is... backend-as-a-service?

Annihilator
Happy

According to the PFY, the back-end server as a service is the other side of the rack servers

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AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

Annihilator
Go

Re: SR71 Blackbird

Nothing tops the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in DC. Best day of my life :-) SR-71, Space Shuttle Discovery, Enola Gay, Concorde, F35, F14, the list goes on.

And back in town, Apollo 11.

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Is NASA planning to send LAVA LAMPS to Jupiter?

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Wrong orientation?

Cunning, thanks I missed that. Presumably if you put a lateral G of 2.83, combined with the vertical 1G and angled at 19.5 degrees it would replicate a 3G vertical then?

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OWN GOAL! 100s of websites blocked after UK Premier League drops ball

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

"So far as sub-paragraph (v) is concerned, two points should be noted. First, the orders require IP address blocking of the IP address for FirstRow's domain name firstrow1.eu . FAPL's evidence is that this will not result in over-blocking since that IP address is not shared. The orders also require IP address re-routing and URL blocking for URLs at any shared IP addresses. "

They kind of do both. The specific IP isn't mentioned anywhere in the court order, just "firstrow1.eu". They also contradict each other, by saying that sharing isn't a problem (it is) but also that URL-blocking is required. URL blocking wouldn't have cause this issue (though the server would see all valid traffic coming via the ISPs Cleanfeed proxy servers, similar to the Wikipedia album cover screw up a few years ago).

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Annihilator
Boffin

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

"The Judge can only act on the information presented to him and the Premier League told the court that that IP should be blocked"

Ah, but they probably didn't say that an IP be blocked, rather a website. That was certainly the case in TPB (so they didn't just switch IP and carry on).

The court asked them to block a website. They've blocked access to an entire server. Granted, the court won't see a difference, and the ISP has never had the tools to do anything else!

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BOFH: Backup server's failed? We have a backup backup server

Annihilator
Thumb Up

Re: Classic!

Came to say exactly the same thing: "The PFY then proceeds to introduce the Boss to the rear end of all the servers he's just shown him, pretending that they're the backend servers."

Quite possibly the best thing ever written.

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Brits: We can STOP TROLLS if we know where they LIVE - poll

Annihilator
Thumb Down

Re: Right...

"Sign up and they send a password through the post? That would verify the address."

Who's going to pay to post mail all around the world? And FFS why?

Consider two sites - one demanding full proof of where you live and your identity, one that doesn't. What do you think would be more popular? Consider if this site were a domestic abuse support site.

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