* Posts by John Smith 19

9988 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Painfully insecure GDS spaffs £21,000 on online narcissism tool

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

It's very important for the GDS to know what and how much people are saying about it.

And the answer is..

Nothing very much outside this article.

0
0

BEELION-dollar lasso snaps, NASA mapper blind in one eye

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Clever idea with the spinning antenna.

Interesting that it was not the "tricky" spinning bit but the relatively standard HPA (standard component most radar systems) part that did not live up to expectations.

3
0

Small wonder, little competition: Asus Chromebook Flip

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Big Brother

"Is more secure"?

Doesn't that depend where the other end of the distributed data centre cloud is located.

Now if you had got a Linux distro running on it....

5
2

Falcon 9 fireworks display grounds SpaceX

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Good failure analysis starts *long* before the rocket launches.

Essentially you do a fault tree analysis of everything that could fail, then identify the symptom patter (or syndrome) of that fault and log it.

That way when something happens (and it's an ELV, something will happen) you can work back to see what patterns showed up in the telemetry.

Keep in mind that at 1 sample per second for all channels over the 139 secs is a bit shy of 420 KB, although some of them will be single bit switch reporting. A high frequency sensor reading like a microphone or accelerometer could be 20 000x that.

I think the supplier of those struts is extremely fortunate that SX did not name them, given some of the remaining struts in store showed 1/5 their design strength.

6
0

Rock reboot and the Welsh windy wonder: Centre for Alternative Technology

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

"renewable energy:" .."needs to be a well thought-out integration of different technologies"

So a bit subtle for the Civil Servants of the UK Govt to grasp then.

One energy source at a time (coal, nuclear, gas) seems to be about all they can manage to get their little heads around.

1
0

Baltimore lawyers vow to review 2,000 FBI Stingray snoop cases

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

"funny document I swore to protect and defend. "

You mean that "Piece of paper that all those suckers signed" ?

4
0
John Smith 19
Gold badge

"Can't imagine why."

A sitting judge in a country whose constitution supports it (like the US) makes "case law."

IOW in a sitting court "I am the law" is literally true.

2
0

Take two mobes into the shower? I didn't before, but I do now

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Thumb Up

"Which, incidentally, is a great excuse :-)."

Oh yes.

This is one of those notions that (if you squint a bit) looks semi-reasonable.

But is in fact complete b**locks.

OTOH a phone with no screen, that only works through a Bluetooth headset and used voice recognition IE only really good at sound stuff (making phone calls and playing music).....

2
1

Insiders BAFFLED: HP split-up inexplicably NOT a disaster

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Meh

So in future

We can avoid their printers and buy good stuff?

I used an old DEC A3 printer back in the day and we clocked the page counter twice without killing it.

Wonder how long the Printers & PC side stays independent?

0
0

FBI probed SciFi author Ray Bradbury for plot to glum-down America

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Of course to Hoover "“known liberal writer”. "

Would have been bad enough. But then Capitalism and the status quo had been the source of his power and influence.

The film Fahrenheit 451 was made in 1966.

Is America a freere, less surveiled society now?

14
0

Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

RTFA

As the article mentions the fuel cell case is vented and the process will be slow enough that it will be vapor, not droplets.

As for the price per KwH note a)Cartridge fails it's replaceable. b)Since when did Jesus phone users care about money? Most of them are on contract that will (relatively ) painlessly extract the cash from their accounts monthly and the rest are self employed meja types who'll put it on their expenses.

As a business plan this is a pretty smart move. Regular readers know what I think about Apple and fuel cells already.

BTW if cash is about 2x losses and they are making sales that suggests they've got at least 2 years to put this together before they run out of money.

I'm hoping they don't run out of nerve and unload the business to the first customer (IE Apple) that offers them a bit more than was invested.

4
2

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Fuel tank rated to 10,000psi

Which is borderline for 700 bar.

The UK does have quite a lot of chemical works which probably can source H2 now.

But either you build a distribution network or a bunch of filling stations with either very high pressure or very cold tanks

TBH I've always thought H2 a deeply stupid fuel championed only by people with zero knowledge of what a PITA it is to make, move and store.

It's a simple fact the human race has now spend centuries developing and using room temperature liquid fuel technologies.

My instinct is any CO2 issues are manageable if you simply re circulate the existing CO2.

I think the way to go is to use the sugars made in plants directly side stepping the energy intensive conversion to alcohols (although biomass from the harvest can fuel the heating).

air + sugar --> CO2 + water + electricity --> plants --> sugar

We may not know a lot about making sugar fuel cells yet but we've been growing plants for thousands of yeas and the process is at or near room temperature.

BTW

This just in.

Direct conversion of atmospheric CO2 to Carbon nanofibres. which was believed impossible.

TL:DR video version here

6
3

PEAK TECHNOLOGY? Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple stocks hit the deck

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

So what. Google saw it's price drop $19 at one point

For 0.25secs.

As anyone who's read Flash Boys will know. Then it returned to "normal."

This is what happens when you have P/E ratios measured in centuries.

This is a concern if you're pension fund invests in heavily in these companies, but as 2008 (and the previous financial crashes) should have taught them no market sector is bullet proof and tech companies whose major tangible assets are a big bunch of servers and some software makes them less bullet proof than others.

Of course for those with the cash now is the time to buy, since none of these is really going out of business.

4
0

iOS storing enterprise credentials in directory anyone can read

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Remind me again of the benefits of being in the Apple walled garden?

The higher-that-Windows security baked in by integrated design of software and hardware?

The fast easy upgrade cycle?

The easy way to buy s**t products vital to your life style at the Apple store?

The competitive pricing because of the integrated software and hardware design?

All of which could exist with Apple products.

But don't.

3
4

OLPC heir reveals modular laptop design

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Oddly I've alway s thought it's the *processor* that should be upgradeable.

Decent screen and keyboard should be pretty long lasting.

Memory package. Upgrade paths are normally planned in at international standards level.

Processor?

make the box have multiple "upgrade pods all with the same connectors, including battery pods.

Want to run for 12 hours? ARM processor pod and a couple of RAM pods. Want the same with an Intel processor, Intel pod, 2 battery pods and no extra RAM.

4
0

Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

John Smith 19
Gold badge

Re: Only In The USA!

"No stem cell research, no cloning research, but growing brains is ok!"

Indeed. Reading this I was astonished that this has escaped the attention of the SEL's of the US Right.

Although I think I can explain DARPA's interest.

If there was a sudden outbreak of say, people wanting to snack on other people's brains you'd want to study it, right?

3
0

Boffins dump the fluids to build solid state lithium battery

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Go

Most honest story I've read in a while...

"The technology isn't remotely ready for commercial manufacture,"

Now that I believe.

As for safety...

Well we've got Phosphorous, which is popular for making incendiary artillery shells. Good for starting fires on combustible material, like wood, fabrics and people. Then we have Sulphur, a key ingredient in friction matches and choking vermin in cargo ships IIRC.

Now my chemistry is very rusty but I'm sort of guessing you could get something similar to a thermite reaction going with this lot. Not as in an actual transfer of Oxygen atoms from Iron to Aluminium (no Oxygen present) but quite a violent redox reaction with oxidation in the sense of electron loss.

Anyone fancy carrying say 20g of thermite in their pocket?

Proceed at flank speed with this say I.

0
0

Hype Circle 2015: Gartner stares groggily into crystal ball

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Coat

"Smart Dust"

AKA "localizers"

A vital tool for "security"

That's a Kindle with "A Deepness in the Sky" loaded.

0
0

Indian Mars probe beams back 3D canyon snaps

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Thumb Up

Astonishing results

All the more so for the limited budget and (relatively) high failure rate for Mars missions.

1
0

Home Office seeks advice on Police Radio omnishambles

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Hmmm. Home Office Procurement x Police Force Procurement x Technology x People Dying.

What could possibly go wrong with this plan?

This appears to be "The British (government) Disease"

Spend decades trying to get a system to work, then scrap it for the next new shiny.

Which (on past experience) will also take decades to get to work, and will probably ignore all lessons learned in getting the last one working.

2
0

Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

John Smith 19
Gold badge
IT Angle

This thing has the mother of EMU's on it.

The last upgrade (from a proprietary ISA processor with plated wire memory) was to a pair of M68000, however it turned out that to keep them in close enough synchronization they had to be on the same chip.

A project killer for most projects but not NASA.

Who simply asked Motorola to run off a special batch of twin 68k's.

The new design presumably won't need that design "feature" this time round.

While the running engine is quite well behaved something like 13 power heads (the parts around the drive turbines) were destroyed working out the start sequence. You might say the turbines are "bump started" by a series of "burps" as the LH2 flash boils when first flowing into t pump impellers (IOW the pump impellers start the turbines, not the other way round, before ignition).

The process is delicate. One head got blown up because the sensor reading the valve open angle was off by one degree.

In theory since the SLS engines (RS25D) will be short life they can be made lighter and simpler by simplifying all the bearing packages and deleting the GHE purge gas tanks, each about 300lb

Wheather this will be done is another matte.

1
0
John Smith 19
Gold badge

Re: new technology...

"Yes, the Skylon project is really interesting as you do save a lot of the LOX weight by burning atmospheric O2 up to a decent altitude."

FTFY

0
0

Filling the void between fast/expensive DRAM and slow/cheaper flash

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

"Computerworld offered a little more detail 3 years ago:"

""ST-MRAM pricing per GB is expected to scale from SRAM pricing levels to DRAM pricing levels over the next 5 years," an Everspin spokesperson wrote."

So that was 2012

Now it's 2015.

And they are shipping

For the sort of people who need this hardware in a box beats almost ready to sample hands down.

0
0

Rambus decides to enter the semiconductor chip manufacturing game

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Uh

"In my books, a "patent troll" is not a nonpractising entity, it's an entity trying to get royalties on an invalid patent - because the U.S. Patent Office is too overwhelmed to check if patents are "obvious to those skilled in the art", and has been for several decades now."

That is a verycharitable view of the UPTO activities.

AFAIK it does no examination and will dish out a patent on nearly anything, then wait for the courts to decide.

1
0

EU clears UK to give £50m to SABRE space launcher engine

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Two projects I am following

"Elon's program seems more mature, but Skylon seems to offer a more complete solution. "

That view would have been reasonable in 2011, when SX were promising full F9 reusability.

Today they have fallen back to only 1st stage reusability, which suggests they have discovered turning an ELV stage into an RLV stage is much harder than anyone thought possible. Kudos to them for pushing much further than anyone has tried to go before.

Skylon does offer a more complete solution. It's materials science is riskier and engine are riskier than an expendable rocket but gradually REL have demonstrated it works.

More importantly when they've had full funding they've done it on budget and schedule.

Musk is now saying SX will do full reusability with the "BFR" which is going to be 6x-9x the size of an F9.

That's likely 8-10 years away. :( .

.

1
0
John Smith 19
Gold badge

I'm more excited about traveling from Sydney to London in only 4 hours.

Then you'd be more interested in REL's "Scimatar" engine designed for the EU's LAPCAT and LAPCAT II programmes.

But that is like a 4 hour continuous re-entry.

0
0
John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

...project-managed by the European Commission. Ah, crap.

Wrong.

REL staff have experience of the Concorde and ELDO programmes.

They have no plans to be micro managed by any government

7
0

Misconfigured Big Data apps are leaking data like sieves

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Thumb Up

Interesting idea. Charging companies to find out how stupid their staff have been.

That just might work.

1
0

Lettuce in SPAAACE: Captive ISS 'nauts insist orbital veg is 'awesome'

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Go

Jokes and puns aside this is what you need to start to do *serious* exploring.

You can't send people dot Mars/Venus/Jupiter on a huge wave of ready meal boxes.

Now you did remember to pack the ingredients for the dressing, didn't you?

Otherwise

"Houston, we have a problem."

0
0

Big operating expenses rise clobbers Dot Hill's otherwise healthy profits

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Err

"This charge is meaningless and arose because the facility was valued in Euros but was carried on their balance sheet in dollars, "

Actually this is sort of the issue Jaguar cars had in the 70's.

Massive US sales (Americans liked Jags)

Currency translation

Loss in £.

I think most companies with US operations , or US companies with operations in "Yooroop" need to be much smarter in their Treasury operations.

0
0

Beware, skateboarders! Hackers can switch your 'leccy plank into reverse at warp speed

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Hmm. cheap tech x short time to market x short range (so what's the danger) =

What can possibly go wrong?

Here's the thing.

When 2 devices are linked by "something" if you can a)Find out what one says to the other and b)Generate an equivalent data stream then either can be spoofed.

Always.

Yes proper product design is hard.

0
1

Boffins have made optical transistors that can reach 4 TERAHERTZ

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

" All they would need to do now is to run the IR light coming through the device through a frequency doubling crystal (e.g., something like KDP) twice to get the IR up to UV frequencies, and then use that to control the switches. "

IIRC this process has a threshold intensity level and substantial losses. Good thermal management will be important.

"Probably the next thing that needs to happen, though, is for someone to come up with a better/faster/cheaper way of producing the Al doped ZnO. "

Perhaps easier than you realize.

You might be looking at something called "Atomic Layer Epitaxy." Originally developed in the 708's to improve the quality of EL displays it uses a sequence of chemicals to progressively build single atomic layer structures through electrochemistry. Basically electroplating but with the reagents in an inert carrier gas, rather than in water.

In principal you're looking at a layer of Zinc, annodizing it IE making it the +ve eletrode to build up an oxide layer, then the ALE to add the Aluminium.

The trouble is that however you slice it photons of different wavelengths are not like signals at different voltages or currents.

Such a device is loosely like a MOS transistor with the gate voltage being the input wavelength and the switched signal the output current.

Hardware logic design tells us that any logic function can be realized if you can do NOT.

But someone has to actually build this and characterize it before this is anywhere close to starting to sound interesting.

1
0

Popping the Tesla S bonnet – to reveal SIX NEW FLAWS

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

"system-level isolation between drive and entertainment systems. "

Good idea.

Perhaps other companies will do that as well.

0
0

Testing Motorola's Moto G third-gen mobe: Is it still king of the hill?

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Thumb Up

Sounds good people who aren't full time gadget speccy types.

Which I suspect is quite a lot of people.

2
0

Chinese gang shoots down aerospace security with MSFT flaws

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Oh dear. Same old tricks still working.

Only when the CIO is personally liable (and some start racking up serious jail time) will this ever change.

BTW by "watering holes" would that not make El Reg a major target?

0
0

I could spoof Globalstar satellite messages, boasts infosec bod

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Designed quickly and cheaply, with limited thought to security.

With inevitable consequences.

When Globalstar launched SMS was high tech.

1
0

MoD splashes £1.5bn on 10-year IT deal to 'keep pace with threats'

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Why the MoD need 180000 licences.

23 000 in Procurement (in Bristol) here, 10 000 for something else somewhere else.

Pretty soon you're talking serious numbers of staff.

0
0

Sony Xperia Z4 4G Android tablet – gift of sound and vision

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Happy

"thinner, smaller, lighter and more crud-proof "

I'd consider such improvements quite good.

0
0

UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Coat

Would that be found at

verynaughyhorse.com by any chance.

It's a raincoat of course.

0
0
John Smith 19
Gold badge
FAIL

I sense the epic vacuum that is Ms Perry at work.

Last time round she though those nice on line gambling sites could handle this task..

Until one of them handed all the member CC details to some card fraud ring.

Cameron seems to be the perfect melange of a sound bite talking PR Goon and the ineptness with women of a single sex boarding school boy. Easy prey for any slightly aware and ambitious women MP looking to get a Cabinet seat without much effort.

The video of her debate on paedos and sexualization of kiddies was most interesting.

Six MP's bothered to turn up to listen to her and she declared it a great success.*

*If by "A great success" you mean most MP were smart enough not to waste their time on this BS then she'd be right.

1
0

Buffoon in 999 call: 'Cat ate my bacon and I want to press charges'

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Headmaster

"You're an idiot. Get off the line or we'll come and arrest you when we're not busy."

True.

But regrettably that would probably breach the Services guidlines on non urgent call handling.*

And modern call recording systems catch every word of both sides of the conversation.

*Official body. You know they'll have one. Wheather anyone can recall it's exact contents is another matter.

1
0

Download Fest goers were human guinea pigs in spy tech experiment, admit police

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Gimp

so the police view seems to be

If it's not made illegal for us to do it. We''ll do it.

4
0

Microsoft Edge web browser: A well-presented mea culpa

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

"with legacy ActiveX-heavy intranet sites designed exclusively for IE."

And possibly not just intranet sites either.

Retards that did this sort of thing are like f**king cockroaches.

5
1

Boffins get the inside dope, craft white laser

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Go

Sounds like a functionally graded material at the nanoscale.

Clever, but the abstract is too vague to really tell.

Note that by their operating mechanism inherently narrow band frequency sources. You only get broadband with a materials selection and some kind of tuning hack around those frequencies.

Potentially very clever as a way of getting more bandwidth up a fibre.

2
0

A third of workers admit they'd leak sensitive biz data for peanuts

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Happy

some see problems I see opportunities

A sort of auction site for companies data perhaps?

If (shall we say) I had Company X's customer list what's it worth?

And what's if I throw in their standard customer charging schedule?

There customer base and the price level you'd have to beat to win their business.

Shall we start the bidding at.......

1
0

If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Pen?

"That said, coming up with good stuff and then not doing much with it, is almost standard practice for Microsoft, unfortunately."

Are you actually thinking that MS invented pen input?

No they didn't invent it.

They just killed the company that looked like they had the best shot at developing it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenPoint_OS

Then compare with

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_for_Pen_Computing

0
1

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crackup verdict: PILOT ERROR

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

There is *no* design manual for sub orbital space planes

Especially one that uses such a novel speed reduction process.

Lesson learned.

Hopefully the last one tht VG will have to learn.

1
0

Wi-Fi 'reflector' hooks you up at 0.1 per cent of current power budget

John Smith 19
Gold badge

Anyone reminded of this fellow?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_%28listening_device%29

2
0

Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

Surface RT was a great success for Intel.

By hosting "not quite" Windows on a low performance ARM they neatly inserted the "AMR can't run Windows" meme in PC users minds.

Just a little favor for their favorite hardware mfg.

10
3

Forums