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* Posts by Dom 3

268 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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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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NASA: Vote now to put FLASHY LIGHTS on future spacesuits

Dom 3
FAIL

"NASA is retiring its current spacesuit, the Z-1"... the Z1 is an unflown prototype. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_series_%28space_suits%29

The current NASA suit is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extravehicular_Mobility_Unit

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Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

Dom 3

Re: Figurehead?

ISTR the young lady got sent off to the Amazon and in an interview afterwards said summat like "I never realised that rubber comes from trees".

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5 Eyes in the Sky: The TRUTH about Flight MH370 and SPOOKSATS

Dom 3

Re: Not the least of "their" capabilities.

"1500 METERS below the water taken from another helicopter hovering 50 meters above the surface THROUGH THE PROPWASH. The helicopter under the water was upside down... and you could clearly read the aircraft identification painted on the bottom."

April issue by any chance? According to WP at a depth of "100 m (330 ft) the light present from the sun is normally about 0.5% of that at the surface." At 15 times that depth it is pitch black.

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Bletchley boffins go to battle again: You said WHAT about Colossus?

Dom 3

Re: So why not

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-duxford/battle-of-britain

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-duxford/1940-operations-room

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Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

Dom 3

Re: Concorde?

Boeing also won a government-funded contract to build an American SST. Before it got cancelled they'd chewed up more money than was spent developing Concorde, and they'd got as far as a plywood mockup of the cockpit (more or less). At the time of cancellation Concorde had 74 orders lined up.

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Get Quake III running on Raspberry Pi using Broadcom's open-source GPU drivers, earn $10K

Dom 3

Call *me* a cynic...

but I suspect the main reason that large companies are reluctant to release their source code is the amount of work involved in making them fit for public consumption, starting with removing all the comments that say things like "//Fred is an idjit, look at this crap!" and then ensuring that something embarassingly piss-poor hasn't slipped through the net.

Oh, and management thinking that "this cost us 300K to develop, therefore it is *worth* 300K"...

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But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

Dom 3

Re: Totally agree about WTFapp

I have a Vodafone Spain SIM and a GiffGaff UK one. When in Spain it costs roughly twice as much to send a text to a Spanish mobile - even another Vodafone - using the Spanish SIM than it does using the UK SIM.

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It's Satya! Microsoft VP Nadella named CEO as Bill Gates steps down

Dom 3

Re: Welcome to Toyland!

It would appear to me that on the contrary, there's been a large cultural shift in MS's engineering since BG took his hand off the tiller. Whereas BG famously argued against code modularity:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/06/ams_goes_windows_for_warships/

by the time of IIS 7, MS were trumpeting that very same modularity and replace-ability that Gates had argued against:

http://www.iis.net/overview/choice/modularandextensiblewebserver

Similarly you just have to look at the download size of the browser testing VMs that MS have made available to realise that they have put a lot of effort into modularising the OS.

Gates's point of course is that there's no *commercial* value in allowing other companies to release components that can replace your software - quite the opposite in fact.

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NASA probe orbiting Moon sights ANOTHER SPACECRAFT

Dom 3

Technically impressive and utterly pointless.

The reg's SPB should send them a commendation or something.

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Vile Twitter trolls thrown in the cooler for rape abuse tweet spree

Dom 3

Re: Would it be too much...

And not forgetting that Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously...

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NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 10 years on Mars with a FILTHY selfie

Dom 3

Re: Expected lifetime

<sigh>

Shall I try again? If your design goal is that *everything* should be still working at the end of 90 days, unless you're really quite unlucky, then your design goal is *also* that *most* of it will be working some years later. Which is what we have. It's maths.

Don't forget that (for example) one of Spirit's wheels failed back in 2006.

Yes, I have grossly simplified things. Yes, I agree it's quite an achievement.

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Dom 3

Expected lifetime

It wasn't 'expected to last for 90 days'. It was designed to work (without significant degradation) for at *least* 90 days. That means that each component had to have a MTBF much higher than 90 days.

From that you can see that the *expected* working life *with* degradation - which is what we have now - is much much higher than 90 days.

I'll make up some numbers to illustrate the point. Let's say that the goal is 95% probability that the rover will have all of 20 major components (ten scientific instruments, ten functional systems) working at the end of the 90 days. That translates into each component having to have a 0.9974... probability of surviving 90 days. Ten years is (near enough) 40 x 90 days; 0.9974^40 = ~ 0.90. So there's still a nine in ten chance that an individual component will be working after ten years. (Ignoring wear and tear, obv). And despite starting off with a completely made-up 95% goal, this matches fairly closely what we observe: most, but not all, components still working.

Of course the other one died but I believe that was mainly a power issue.

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Chinese Moon rover, lander duo wake up after two-week snooze

Dom 3

Re: A lot of risk was taken for the Moon landings

@Vulch: I think you've taken two facts and drawn a slightly erroneous conclusion.

The "bingo call" was the point at which they had to abort OR land within the next few seconds. At the time, Apollo 11 was about 20 seconds away from the bingo call.

Subsequent analysis revealed that due to fuel sloshing around in the tanks, the low fuel level sensor (which triggered a latching indicator) was uncovered early and that the binggo countdown was started too early. The final analysis of fuel remaining indicated about 50 seconds left, which was on a par with all the other lunar landings. The lander was never designed to land with masses of fuel left.

Masses more here:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/

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Furtive ebook readers push Hitler's Mein Kampf up the charts

Dom 3

Re: The bigger Question is :

The state of Bavaria is the rights holder, as covered here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25346140

although I appreciate that that might not really answer your question.

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Cygnus cargo truck on its way, and funding to 2024: Space Station is back in the game

Dom 3

Wot?

"flew airplanes strapped to Orbital Sciences' rockets during tests" is a REALLY strange way of saying "flew the B-52 from which the Pegaus was air-launched".

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

Dom 3

Re: Because free software is SOOOOOO secure, many eyes and all that.

The last few years I've been supporting a client who has a (relatively expensive) licence for a closed-source (and Zend-encrypted) PHP application. A few years back I noticed that the "display random image" feature was starting to get rather slow (client has more than 10^6 photos on site). With much wangling I extracted a non-encrypted version of the file from the vendor and discovered that they were using "ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 1" in the SQL to select the photo. I rewrote it to ""SELECT COUNT(*)" to get the number of images and then used rand() in PHP to select one. So it ran about ten bazillion times faster.

I submitted my patch to the vendor.

More recently I wondered what they'd done with it so I requested an unencrypted version of the code from the latest release. And found this:

"SELECT FLOOR(RAND() * (COUNT(*) - 1)) + 1 AS offset " in the SQL

and then

$selected = rand(0, $num_images-1); in the PHP.

To save you the hassle I've done the workings; if you have three images then the first will appear three times out of four, the second will appear one time out of four, and the third will never appear.

There's professional for you - even when *given* a working patch they can screw it up.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.5: The Sinclair Sovereign

Dom 3

Re: The Golden era

Iain's Clive's brother, not his son.

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COW a-BUNG HER, dude! 'Secret Santa' Bill Gates buys lass a HEIFER

Dom 3

Malaria

It's not that malaria is less "fashionable" than cancer, it's that it no longer affects the developed countries. Malaria is an entirely eradicable disease. Until not long ago both the southern United States and southern Europe were malarial. For example during the invasion of Sicily, the disease was as much of a problem for the Allied troops as enemy action.

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