* Posts by Dom 3

286 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Mars rover Opportunity shuns dodgy flash chips, relies on RAM

Dom 3

Re: Three months....

Ummm... yes, you can read the relevant bit of Steve Squyres's book on google. And that was what they thought would kill it.

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Dom 3

Three months....

It was not "expected to work for three months". It was designed and engineered such that the chances of *any* of the sub-systems failing in the first three months was fairly low.

If you take that as the base line, and do the maths, the fact that *most* of it is still working 10 years later is no longer so surprising.

As you probably can't be bothered, I will do it for you.

Let us say that the rover has 20 sub-systems, and we want to be 90% sure that none of them will fail in the first three months. To achieve that, you need to engineer each sub-system such that it has a 99.5% chance of still working after three months. Which means that after ten years, (ignoring wear and tear), it'll have an 80% chance of still working. Which means you can expect about about four out of the twenty subsystems to have stopped working. Which, amazingly enough, despite the fact that I have been using makey-uppy numbers for illustration purposes, is pretty much what we have got.

I've done this here before.

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Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

Dom 3

Re: Save time by flying

"not long enough to do anything with"? WTF? Even if I am microwaving something for 30 *seconds* I use that time to unload / load the dishwasher, empty the bin, etc, etc..

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Congratulations! You survived the leap secondocalypse

Dom 3

Wikipedia

Wikipedia carried a fake screenshot on the Leap Second page, showing 23:59:60 UTC on 2015-06-30 a good two hours before it happened.

Quite a shock to discover that such a reliable and trustworthy institution could be capable of falsehood, even one so unimportant.

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Second-hand IT alliance forms to combat 'bully' vendors

Dom 3
WTF?

"Spaz"???

The alt tag for the picture is "Pictured: a total spaz who can't stop hitting himself".

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

Dom 3

"Czech company AeroMobil"

Rilly? HQ is in Bratislava, key people are Slovaks, etc., etc..

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Dom 3

Used to live in a flat with a 4.4kW limit. You get used to the idea that you can't run the dishwasher, the kettle and the microwave simultaneously. It's not a big deal. Now I am back in the UK I appreciate having a 100 Amp main fuse, but isn't it a case of over-engineering?

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The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

Dom 3

Same as it ever was.

For as long as I can remember, we have always been fifty years away from practical nuclear fusion, twenty years away from running out of oil, and ten years away from Moore's law hitting its physical limits.

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DRONE ALONE: US Navy secretary gives up on manned fighters

Dom 3

Bzzt. USMC not part of USN:

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

But it is part of the United States Department of the Navy. Confused yet?

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Dream job: Sysadmin/F1 pit crew member with Red Bull racing

Dom 3

'bout 20 years ago I spent six months writing F1 pitlane software. I never saw a racing car. I never even saw F1 data: our data set was from some lesser formula and well out-of-date. And it didn't take me long to realise that I *didn't* want to be one of the guys going on race weekends.

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Your anonymous code contributions probably aren't: boffins

Dom 3

Re: Not a new concept

What's new is doing it *computationally*. I can identify code as mine / not-mine long after I've forgotten anything about it.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The fantastical Francesinha

Dom 3

Re: I bow to the master

Portgual now, eh?

I trust that you are still a miscreant at heart.

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Bloke in Belgium tries to trademark Je Suis Charlie slogan

Dom 3

English language version?

WTF are you talking about?

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Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

Dom 3

Time waster

An apt moniker. In 25 years of being paid to code [1] that's the first I've ever heard someone come out with that particular idea.

[1] Including C, C++, various flavours of assembler, on embedded systems, desktop applications, etc... you get the picture.

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Dom 3
Stop

Attn El Reg

The guy's an irrelevant tosser. Please stop wasting my screen pixels with non-stories based on whatever his latest self-aggrandising press release is. Or give me some kind of opt out. And if you're stuck for tech resources, I could code it for you: I wonder whether Mr. Schmitz could?

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Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

Dom 3

Funnily enough QNX crossed my mind last night for no good reason. The QNX demo floppy is still one of the most impressive demos I've ever seen. On one single 1.44MB floppy they squeezed an OS, a web server, a browser, a text editor, and some other widgets. And the graphical demos would continue to run glitch-free whatever else you did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_VlI6IBEJ0

This was really quite impressive in '99.

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MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

Dom 3

The precedents.

Yuri Gagarin was 5 feet 2 inches tall (that's 157cm) and weighed 153 pounds (69kg). From: http://www.brighthub.com/science/space/articles/74867.aspx

Most of the early astronauts were quite short.

On the other hand when they started doing space walks they discovered that a very high level of physical fitness and strength was required. Basically (until they come up with a redesign of the suits) a pressure suit is a big balloon and doing anything in it requires bending the balloon out of shape - it's hard work.

So, errr, women to stay in the cave, I mean Martian lander, and look after it, and men to go out hunting for food, I mean rocks.

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Yahoo close to investing $20m in disappearing chat app Snapchat

Dom 3

Extrapolation

Always get a bit narked when I see a small stake in a company extrapolated into a massive valuation. That 20MBuck investment probably has a number of components, of which the actual share-holding is the least valuable from Yahoo's POV. E.g. a look at the source code and internal roadmap, influence over same, direct dial numbers for engineers, blah.

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Dom 3

Re: hypothetical

"The Americans have sided with the Americans" - quite. If the claimant had been a US corporation rather than a foreign individual, I think we all know how it would have gone.

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Something's phishy: More holiday scam spam flung at real hotel customers

Dom 3

ISPs co-operating?

I have yet to find a web-hosting company or domain registrar that gives a stuff when informed that they have criminals using their services.

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Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON

Dom 3

Fuel

A11 landed with plenty of fuel left.

http://www.aiaahouston.org/Horizons/Horizons_2013_05_and_06.pdf covers it nicely.

They had more than they thought - but they still thought they were good for another 40 seconds or so.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_18-28a_LM_Descent_Stage_Propellant_Status.htm has numbers.

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Dom 3

Re: sign of times ?

"The US *only* went to the moon because the Russians put a rover there that did *extremely* well."

WTF? is it *that* hard to check facts before posting here? Lunokhod 1 landed in November 1970.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_the_Moon#Timeline_of_Moon_exploration

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Dom 3

They're regular A4 in size and feels like 80gsm to me.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Dom 3

Re: I harbor some darknet myself

I've tried this myself. And no, Google never spidered my "googletrap" page.

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Dom 3

Re: @AC101

"Learning Latin teaches you Latin. that's it" - that'll be "I have not done X, therefore X has no value".

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Dom 3

Re: The man is correct

Triangle's bloody hard, 'acksherly.

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TrueCrypt hooked to life support in Switzerland: 'It must not die' say pair

Dom 3

None. But it is no longer needed, at least in the (apparent) opinion of the authors:

"Windows 8/7/Vista and later offer integrated support for encrypted disks and virtual disk images. Such integrated support is also available on other platforms".

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Dom 3

Re: I would argue the situation was even worse

If you are a non-voter, you ensure that the political parties will continue to ignore you. If you do vote, they *might* do something to try and *get* your vote.

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Fanbois Apple-gasm as iPhone giant finally reveals WWDC lineup

Dom 3

Re: No tablets before 2008?

J. O. K. E.

For the hard of thinking, they put this in - "[Copy-editors, check this – ed]" but for many of us, it wasn't really needed.

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NASA agonizes over plan for Mars rock sample return mission

Dom 3

Re: Why does this need two Rovers?

"the engineers and scientists involved have considered these issues and come up with quite an elegant solution". Quite. It's like the sky-crane landing system for Curiosity. Seems utterly bonkers at first glance but is, of course, a logical solution.

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Dom 3

Re: Something's Wrong

Of course there are "'wrong choices"! If they land somewhere where there is no geological evidence of liquid water, it's a balls-up.

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Dom 3

Re: Something's Wrong

I think you miss the point. The "correctness" at stake here is not what the scientific answers are, it's choosing an interesting destination. Trying to avoid landing in the Martian equivalent of the Sahara.

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Giant pop can FOUND ON MOON

Dom 3

First beverage

The first was communion wine drunk by Buzz Aldrin just before the first moonwalk:

http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/20/the-secret-communion-on-the-moon-the-44-year-anniversary/

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Crypto-guru slams 'NSA-proof' tech, says today's crypto is strong enough

Dom 3

I disagree that it was "effectively unbreakable by the technology of the time".

The crucial flaw was that a letter could not be encoded as itself.

Even the much more sophisticated Lorentz cipher had a statistical flaw that allowed the space-age technology of Colossus to attack it.

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Dom 3

@ Michael Hawkes - the difference between then and now is that we have the maths:

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

@ NoneSuch - no idea where you get your information from. "Enigma" was the name of the machine, as given to it by the manufacturers. The main problem with U-boat traffic was the introduction of the fourth rotor. I've never heard it referred to as "Oyster". Wikipedia is over there -->.

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Dom 3

"the misguided notion that teens getting married was the norm in days gone by".

How do you figure that? There's still plenty of places on the planet where it is *still* the norm. I was staying in such a place in 2005. There was some disapproval of a wedding going on in the next village. Because the bride was twelve, IIRC. They felt that was too young. But fifteen would have been seen as perfectly normal. Eighteen probably counted as "stuck on the shelf". Meanwhile I think that boys were expected to become working adults at about sixteen, the Big Men of the village were in their late thirties, and anybody over about fifty was past it.

In short, everything happens much much sooner. Maybe it's because of the low life-expectancy alone, or perhaps the subsistence agriculture and low levels of education come into it too.

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China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Dom 3

Re: They have't built a copy of teh Concord because the idea is crap

BA ran their Concorde fleet at an operating profit despite being hampered by the short range (which meant the only feasible route was across the North Atlantic) and the tiny fleet which meant no economies of scale on training, maintenance, etc.

An SST which had the range to get across the Pacific could piobably sell quite well.

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Japanese cops arrest man with five 3D printed guns at home

Dom 3

Ban hand tools!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darra_Adam_Khel is an interesting place. They don't need 3D printers to churn out Lee Enfields.

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What HAS BEEN SEEN? OMG it's a thing that looks like an iWatch

Dom 3

It's the foam.

That is all

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Marauding quid-a-day nosh hack menaces teepee hippie villages

Dom 3

Tarka dhal

That is all.

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Dom 3

Re: celebratory full English breakfast with extra black pudding

And where do you get proper bacon from, south of the Pyrenees?

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It's spade sellers who REALLY make a killing in a gold rush: It's OVER for graphics card mining

Dom 3

Re: ... "just to generate some data with no real (rather than arbitary) value "

"Even then paper money can still be used as toilet paper or burnt for fuel if the banks ever collapse completely." This has been tested, in Somalia. The value of the note drops until it is more or less what it costs to print and distribute it. Because everybody and their dog is free to try their hand at making their own.

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A real pot-boiler kicks off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

Dom 3

Re: Try harder!

When I lived south of the Pyrenees, I'd see people out collecting snails. Also wild asparagus, when in season. Here in blighty, as a kid we'd sometimes eat boiled stinging nettles when camping, but I think it was to prove that we could, rather than for any good reason.

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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

Dom 3

feh.

I liked my ex-corporate Latitude ultra-portable that I bought another - now 5.5 years old, still going strong with Linux Mint. Another year or so I expect I'll get another.

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Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker

Dom 3

My Mumsnet password

is really terribly advanced for its age.

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Apple poking at idea of bayonet phone fittings

Dom 3
FAIL

Re: a patent on a bayonet fitting?

We're commenting on the story, not the patent application. We shouldn't have to read the comments section (let alone the patent itself) to find out what the supposed novel feature is.

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Vodafone brings African tech to Europe

Dom 3

Re: Nice

The cents in the article refers to Kenyan cents. 50 cents is about 0.006USD, so much the same as bitcoin.

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Dom 3

Re: Not sure I can see this working well

Must be like Ethernet then - works much better in practice than it does in theory.

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Facebook Oculus VR buyout: IT WANTS your EYEBALLS

Dom 3

VR: Real Big, Real Soon Now, since 1989

Mind you, pads were the other Hot New Thing in 1989, so maybe the time really has come.

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Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

Dom 3

Re: Tread carefully

I thought it was already.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-26752592

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