* Posts by Sorry that handle is already taken.

1494 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Canned laughter for Canadians selling cans of air at $15 a pop

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It might have been a laugh...

...until they started making the scammy health claims in the sixth paragraph.

I guess it's still a laugh for them.

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FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?

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Re: Biiiiig speculative play

For bank transfers that's simply not true. There are numerous examples of people receiving funds electronically, which were sent accidentally and to which they weren't entitled, and then getting into serious trouble when they withdrew and spent the money. If I fat-finger the account number or BSB when transferring funds electronically (fortunately to date I haven't managed to do this), and it ends up going to a location that doesn't exist, the transfer will eventually fail. There's no way to make it unspendable in this situation. If I instead accidentally send it to someone who does exist, my bank and their bank can at least attempt to sort it out. I've never done this so I couldn't tell you how it would go.

The situation with bitcoin is quite different. If you mis-enter the address but it is still valid, even if nobody owns it, then the amount is lost forever. Calculating the private key for a wallet from its address is, by design, effectively impossible. If someone works out how to do that then the system collapses too. Anyway regardless of how likely this is, if it happens there is absolutely no recourse. Incidentally there are numerous novelty "burn" wallets out there (e.g. 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE) which effectively destroy any amounts sent to them. If instead you send it to the wrong person you'll only get it back if 1) you know who you sent it to and 2) they're nice enough to return it.

Also my bank is far less likely to accidentally send my money to the wrong place, or destroy it, as has happened numerous times with various poorly written pieces of bitcoin-related software.

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Re: Biiiiig speculative play

I forgot a really big one:

If you send the money to the wrong address (either by accident or thanks to a bug in whichever poorly-tested software you're using), you'll never see it again.

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Re: What's always puzzled me is, where are the fraudsters?

For alt-coin fraudsters look up "Alex Green" (Ryan Kennedy) and Josh Garza (and his brother Carlos).

Or anyone associated with a cloud mining operation...

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Re: Biiiiig speculative play

I don't even agree that it's practical.

The network can handle fewer than three transactions per second. If everyone in the world was using it, they might be able to make one transaction in their lifetime.

There's no guarantee that your transaction will be included in the next block.

It effectively got DOSed recently by flooding the network with thousands of tiny transactions with fees large enough not to be ignored. It cost the person who did it only a few hundred dollars to do so.

The network's energy consumption is on the order of hundreds of kilowatt-hours per transaction, and the miner subsidy is between $5 and $10 per transaction (although this tracks the exchange rate).

To use it you either need to download and synchronise the blockchain (currently 40GB+ and several days), or trust some anonymous third party with your money.

It's certainly good at teaching libertarians (the US sub-species thereof) and anarcho-capitalists exactly why we have banking regulations though.

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Re: Unsurprisingly, it seems someone has

I'd assume that the blockchain growth is exponential based on increasing numbers of users/miners/transactions

It's pretty much only the number of transactions that governs the growth. It does look vaguely exponential, but that's only because the network hasn't consistently hit the block size limit yet.

Wasn't there also an earlier El Reg article noting some limit on bitcoin transactions per second?

It can theoretically handle about seven transactions per second, but in practice (i.e. real-world transactions) the limit's about 2.7/s with the current 1MB blocks. Many of the big Chinese miners use a soft limit of ~750kB, which brings that down to 2/s. There is no guarantee that any particular transaction will be included in a block, and some miners don't even bother to include any transactions in their blocks.

I also wonder if the '~10 minutes for a transaction to process' figure that I've seen will grow over time too?

The mining rate of one block every ten minutes is hard coded (other cryptocurrencies have different rates). The network periodically adjusts the difficulty of the cryptographic hashing that "secures" it, such that regardless of the total hashrate of the network, the time between blocks averages out to ten minutes. Because it's all probabilistic, in practice there are occasionally periods of less than one minute and greater than an hour between blocks.

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

I'm no arachnophile but I believe that the lady spiders are generally the larger ones.

On the prowl for a snackmate perhaps?

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Re: KU the pedants

It's not the satellites that I'm worried about. It's the emissions from all those bloody pigeons! Only I'm really worried that my tinfoil hat won't stop Coo band radiation...

You need to remember to degauss the carrier frequency pigeons.

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

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Re: The question of why the public accepted a substantial user interface change

Windows 95 behaves like a desktop OS.

Windows 8 behaves like a tablet OS ported to the desktop.

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

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Re: Jesus

Good luck to anybody trying to pigeonhole El Reg!

They've got something here for everyone to complain about.

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Big trouble in big China: Crashing economy in Middle Kingdom body slams US tech stocks

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Re: Rule 48

I was going to write some nonsense about the "rules of the internet", but it turns out the internet can't agree on what rule 48 is.

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Auto erotica bonk shocker: ja das ist gut, say 56% of Germans

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Re: Lay by

F@@k Trucks

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Believable

If the internet has taught me anything, it's that Germans are up for almost anything.

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Antiques in spaaaaace! Retired space shuttles cannibalised for parts

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Meh

No no, it's Robert Goddard's fault for inventing (depending on your definition) the liquid propellant rocket.

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

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Re: Do vat grown brains dream?

I don't know.

But if it does... What does a brain with no external sensory capability dream about?

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Spain triumphs! Fascist anthem hails Spanish badminton champ

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Re: Not the First Time

The Austria/Australia mix-up still occurs from time to time too. Not as often as you'd expect mind.

Most of the time it's just a live performer in New Zealand messing up the lyrics.

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Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

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And that cloud coming out of the test stand is just steam from the water dumped in by the deluge system.

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"The combined thrust will be sufficient to lift 70 metric tonnes"

Tonne is already metric!

If you're a seppo it can be a "metric ton", but even that's awful.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 4K-positive fun for ... vloggers?!

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WTF?

“Next is now has just got bigger”

Forget vacuous, what about just plain nonsensical?

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Opera Software asks fat lady to stay shtum for a bit, but keep humming

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Re: figures

Not to mention all the USPs that went out the window with the release of v15.

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Audi RS3: Keep running up that hill, with no problems

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Re: Stationwagons

Except for the ones that aren't?

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A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

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Joke

Re: Meh

Probably better to place a capsule filled with an enchant for the magnetic film material

Well if you're going to invoke magic, the sky's the limit!

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Mt Gox's Mark Karpeles arrested in Japan

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The way that's written reads like a recommendation for blockchain.info.

These are the clowns that were using numbers from random.org to generate private keys, and not even catching the fact that they were getting a 301 error from random.org's webserver instead.

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There's an AMA on Reddit from a person who claims to have worked for Mt Gox: I'm Ashley Barr, A.K.A "Adam Turner", the first Mt.Gox employee, and alleged DPR (:/). AMA

Some solid comedy gold in there.

Around the same time, we learned that Mark only had one bank account, shared with Mt.Gox's customer deposits.

or

...when I finally gathered a small group of employees to pressure Mark into answering how we spent more money than we've made, his answer was simply:

"My grandmother lives in a castle in switzerland"

Amusingly, Mark Karpeles was tried and convicted in absentia of various frauds in France in 2010, well before before any of this blew up.

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Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

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Re: "an application to put up surveillance cameras has been denied."

Norway is a lovely place full of fine beer [...] and magnificent scenery (of many types)

Can confirm.

& chocolate

The only Norwegian chocolate I've been able to get my hands on is Freia. I wouldn't call that stuff fine!

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Re: Must be a man because the poos are so big?

I can only assume that Groundskeeper Kenneth Tennfjord is an expert in such matters.

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Today's smart home devices are too dumb to succeed

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Re: And the point of this article is?

Blimey

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SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

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Re: Let's replace "1970s-era hydrogen technology"...

At low altitudes rockets aren't travelling very fast so drag isn't that important and by the time they're going fast they're almost out of the atmosphere and drag is again not an important factor.

Maximum dynamic pressure generally occurs early during the first stage of most multi-stage rockets. For example the Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage burns for ~180 seconds while the vehicle reaches max Q at ~80 s. In the case of the Shuttle, max Q was limited by the strength of the vehicle. A less bulky rocket provides a benefit in such a situation.

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Re: Let's replace "1970s-era hydrogen technology"...

LH2 is a sixth the density of RP-1 kerosene, not a tenth.

That density calculation was from the numbers quoted by Wikipedia.

LH2: 70.9 kg/m³

RP-1: 810 kg/m³

I can believe it being one sixth if you're looking at the complete propellant system however, i.e. including the LOX that they typically both use as oxidiser.

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Re: Let's replace "1970s-era hydrogen technology"...

Liquid hydrogen is a fantastic fuel but its density is less than a tenth of that of kerosene, so you need comparatively huge fuel tanks to store it. Huge fuel tanks generate lots of atmospheric drag, so to get through the lower parts of the atmosphere, hydrocarbons or solid boosters are typically used. The propellant used in modern solid rocket motors is about 25 times the density of liquid hydrogen, which is partly responsible for their popularity as boosters.

I should also point out that LH2 powered engines are the most efficient, but they're not the most powerful, not by a long shot. Of engines that have actually been used, the most powerful kerosene engine produces just over twice as much thrust as the most powerful hydrogen engine, while the most powerful solid rocket motor produces four times as much.

Are you suggesting that Europe and Russia don't have the ability to send hydrogen fuelled rockets? Because they certainly do. Ariane 5 for example is LH2 all the way, with solid boosters to help it out of the atmosphere.

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Re: Vehicle Assembly Building

Then they just need the old style version massless/dragless struts!

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The roots go deep: Kill Adobe Flash, kill it everywhere, bod says

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Re: Flash Bang Wallop What a Picture!

To lose Zombo.com would be tragic.

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Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

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"If there's a shiny new Jeep Cherokee sitting in your driveway..."

...my condolences.

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Bill Hicks: 25 years on from the cult comedian's big break

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Is it just comedy, or every field of endeavour, in which you having heard of someone is the sole criterion for their consideration as "revered"?

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Roll up, roll up, for the Meta35: The hybrid snapper's data dumpster

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Re: I wonder

Don't forget more expensive. Photographic film production enjoyed huge economies of scale and that benefit simply doesn't exist any more. "Peak film" occurred just over 15 years ago(!) and quickly fell off a cliff. Production today is down about 99% since then.

It'll also depend on which particular film you're after. You'll probably find that options are severely limited these days.

It's possible that there will come a time beyond which there will be insufficient demand for colour 35mm film to keep even a single factory running at a profit, but I'm not that pessimistic. Even if it does disappear, black and white will probably last a lot longer because it's far easier to process without expensive automation.

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Your gadget batteries endanger planes, says Boeing

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The issue is bulk shipping...

...as I thought was made clear by the article.

So you as a passenger with a small number of batteries, each in a different device, are completely unaffected. The company that wants to air-freight a pallet of tablets is presumably also unaffected, although that might be pushing it.

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You Musk be joking: Tesla's zero to 60MPH in 2.8 SECONDS is literally 'ludicrous'

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Re: One wonders ...

I'd expect the Model S to acquit itself quite well at the track, given its amusingly low C of G and gigantic tyres.

I suspect you'd be having too much fun to notice how badly you're running down the batteries though. Fortunately, Tesla's putting a charging point ten minutes up the road from my nearest race track.

Now to just go out and buy that Model S...

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Toyota recalls 625,000 hybrids: Software bug kills engines dead with THERMAL OVERLOAD

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Re: If only

...that's what they've got TRD for.

I was under the impression that eunuchs were better lovers because of their staying power, so they'd presumably be reasonably popular at an orgy. Perhaps not the best analogy if that's true.

Anyway I've ridden in several examples of the current and previous generation standard Prius and it's definitely not the car for me, however not everyone wants the same driving experience I do. Nobody thought to tell the taxi drivers around here what can and can't be done with a Prius though.

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Re: If only

Not sure if Nissan's going to "work over" a car for Toyota.

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Hackers sell 79,267 Cloudminr accounts for ONE Bitcoin

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Happy

Amusingly

As if the scamminess of cloud mining wasn't enough, many of those upstanding citizens who tried to buy the list got scammed themselves. It's scams all the way down in bitcoinia.

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Nissan Juke Nismo RS: Family hot-hatch SUV that looks a bit like Darth Vader's hat

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Re: Tut tut

Except in this case "sporty" is a lie.

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Nismo?

Nismo is ostensibly the motorsport division of Nissan.

Not any more, I guess.

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

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Re: Knowledge != Knowledge

It's not just cabbies. All across society people have instant access, via their smartphones to almost the sum total of the knowledge of the human race but it doesn't seem to be helping much.

Possibly relevant?

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Coat

No wonder you're confusing people

Your "burger button" is obviously a liquorice allsort.

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Wikipedia: YES! we’ve SAVED the INTERNET again!

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Re: Teenaged*

Andrew could easily have looked it up on Wikipedia.

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Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

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I don't know what Microsoft plans for W10 but how are you supposed to perform a clean install offline if they don't provide an image?

I can't imagine Microsoft would be crazy enough to make W10 un-dual-bootable. Or maybe they are, who knows.

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If the free upgrade to W10 doesn't disable W7's existing activation (as I understand previous upgrade programs haven't), then conceivably a dual boot setup is not going to be an issue at least.

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