* Posts by AndyS

325 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

AndyS

Re: Part of the UKs unique aviation heritage

You've missed the Concorde there - as impressive as any on your list, but civilian to boot!

If you wish to see one of them (as well as a Vulcan, an Electric Lightning, a Nimrod, various WW2 fighters, etc) then head up to East Fortune - an absolute gem of a museum just under an hour's drive from Edinburgh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Flight#Collections

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AndyS

Re: It's wonderful, but...

> If they can keep the Lanc, Hurricane and Spitfire flying, which ar a lot older, why not train new technicians to keep the Vulcan flying?

Lanc, Hurricane and Spitfire are much, much simpler aircraft than the Vulcan, and quite similar in construction and use to the many thousands of light aircraft dotted all over the world. And training a whole crew of people to maintain a single aircraft of this complexity, used only for displays, would be totally impractical and cost prohibitive.

Both issues ignore the second problem - they don't know where to look for problems. Where I work, we have a full aircraft rig simulating flight on a full airframe of a Tucano. That Tucano is kept ahead of the fleet in "flight hours," so that cracks, fatigue damage, etc can be found on it rather than a real, flying aircraft. If you have an aircraft as complex as the Vulcan, where the only remaining flying example is as far ahead of the fleet as this, you are likely to face very serious issues sooner rather than later.

As gutted as I am to see it going (and being in NI, as unlikely as I am to see it again), I completely understand the reasons behind why it is being retired.

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Airbus warns of software bug in A400M transport planes

AndyS

Re: Fail Safe?

Oh, crap, you forgot to use "==" instead of "="

Guess you just crashed and burned every A400M. Oops.

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Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'

AndyS

Re: Just for you townies...

You're right, even if you are just posting pictures of random accidents.

So to be consistent, we need to shoot every cow in a field beside a road in the whole country.

Also, have you seen the damage a tree can do to a car? It's no joke, someone doing 60 mph and hitting a stationary 1 tonne lump of wood is not going to come off well.

Now, where's my chainsaw?

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AndyS

Re: A cow is actually quite dangerous

"Obama calls for turret mounted cameras on all police tanks"

Brought to you by the Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/article/obama-calls-for-turret-mounted-video-cameras-on-al-37586

Although the rest of your post is on-point and valid, so you can keep your upvote.

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Phablet for the biz fleet with easy typing: Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

AndyS

Re: Good idea

All true. I wonder if it would be possible to put Android on it? :)

Actually that raises an interesting question, which maybe someone here can help answer for me. Phones now are much more powerful, with more RAM, more disk space and faster processors than computers of 10 years ago were. However, installing a new operating system is still much more arduous than it ever has been for a proper PC. Since there is a fairly small selection of components in modern phones, why is it so hard to install across different hardware (a trick that live Linux CDs have had for 12 or 15 years now)? Why do I need to download a ROM developed specifically for my exact phone?

If I want to run Ubuntu, I download a generic installation CD image, which will work with virtually any hardware. If I want to run Lollipop, I need to find an image exactly matched to the precise version of the phone I'm using. Why the difference?

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SpaceX Dragon crew capsule in 'CHUTE ABORT drama – don't panic, no one died

AndyS

Re: Zero to 100mph in 1.2 seconds

Sounds crazy, but it translates to 4.5G - high, but not that obscene. Similar to take-off from an aircraft carrier, slightly lower than a cable-arrested carrier landing.

So - uncomfortable? Yes. Dangerous? Less so than the alternatives, and fine if you're trained for it.

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London man arrested over $40 MILLION HFT flash crash allegations

AndyS

Let me get this straight

One man can, even momentarily, wipe out a large percentage of the value of the richest country in the world, and the author wants us to belive that there is no inherrent problem with the system?

I don't buy the idea that there's nothing wrong with HFT, and wish to see markets stabilised by abolishing it. I'd propose two simultaneous changes:

1. A minimum period of share ownership for listed companies of, say, 24 hours.

2. A tax (very small) on all trades. Fractions of a percent - perhaps 0.1%? Enough to make HFT unprofitable, but not to have any real impact on funds and investors actually, you know, funding and investing.

In fact you could drop point 1 altogether by starting the tax at 10% for shares sold sooner than one minute after purchase, and decreasing to zero after, say, a week/month/year.

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WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?

AndyS

"...mindless drivel... small minded UKIP talking points ("who are they to tell us what to do")"

Yup, there we are, tick and tick.

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AndyS

"...mindless drivel ... misunderstanding the issues ("Nobody's stopping you using Bing.")"

"How can Google be said to control billions of desktops when the people involved can all switch search engines tomorrow if they wanted to."

And there it is, only 2 comments later.

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AndyS

Very interesting read

Thanks, for a decent, thorough explanation of the issue.

Every time a large company is accused of abusing its monopoly, particularly by the EU, the comments section here and elsewhere seems to fill up with the most mindless drivel, in equal parts small minded UKIP talking points ("who are they to tell us what to do") and misunderstanding the issues ("Nobody's stopping you using Bing.") An explanation like this article provides is extemely useful in understanding what's actually at issue.

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Health apps and wearables make you nervous, not fit, say boffins

AndyS

Re: But I love TOYS

I've got a sleep meter. In fact I've got two. One is 18 months old, the other 3 years.

They meter my sleep very effectively. I'll lend you one or, ideally, both, for as long as you like.

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Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

AndyS

Re: Fantastic news!

I'm interested, why do you dislike it? As a Lync user in a large organisation (thousands of people online all round the world), I find it a great tool. It tells me someone's status quickly (online, busy, away from their desk, offline etc). It lets me send a quick message to anyone in the organisation. Internally, it offers a quick, easy way to screen share, which can be very useful.

As far as I can see, that's all it's really meant to do, and it does it pretty well. I suppose there may be other features (video calling?) but I don't see them shoved down my throat.

If this becomes Skype, no doubt we'll be force-fed all of Skype's nonsense - buggy interface, silly blocks of colour instead of information, inability to work out which microphone/speaker/headset combination you want to use, inability to log out, resource hogging, inconsistent UI across different computers, random regressions due to "upgrades"... Yay.

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SMACK! EU set to hit Google with 'abuse of dominance' rap

AndyS

Re: reading Google's response

Dear anonymous internet stranger,

Since you don't either expand on these here, or provide a link, or even state what these valid points might be, I'm going to entirely disregard your comment.

Yours etc.

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India joins 'net neutrality debate

AndyS

Net Neutrality at its finest

Deals like "Free facebook access" are exactly what net neutrality is all about. Preventing large companies from being able to pay to keep competition away.

The whole topic is so painfully ironic when companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflixs et al get involved - all of which benefited from being start-ups with a disruptive technology, but all of which have now grown to such enormous proportions that they are, to some degree or another, now attempting to pull the ladder up after them.

It's the job of government, or the regulator, to prevent that ladder-pulling.

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Fancy a wristjob from Tim Cook? TOUGH LUCK, you CAN'T HAVE ONE

AndyS

Re: Extrapolation

Your maths is impecible. However, the next paragraph states: "an estimated million consumers in the US..."

That means, of their 9080 online shoppers, 29 have pre-ordered.

Still a small enough sample to be laughablely inaccurate.

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Tape thrives at the margin as shipped capacity breaks record

AndyS

"15-20 kilowatts per hour"

I thought better of you, Reg. I mean, this isn't the BBC, is it?

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Bigfoot now visible in commercial satellite images

AndyS

Algeria

That's impressive resolution for a dusty road in Africa, but it's probably still a satellite image. Resolution has typically been around 1m for Google Earth satellite images for a while, which is probably around what that image is.

1m: Basic shape of a car is visible

0.3m: details like sunroofs, people standing around the car etc become obvious

For comparison, check out this aerial shot from the centre of Edinburgh:

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=55.94584,-3.194669&spn=0.000429,0.000868&t=h&z=21

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Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

AndyS

Re: Switching off phones does not disable built-in GPS functionality

If it doesn't, then I want to know about the secret power-free GPS devices that apparently every phone must be using. Because in my experience, GPS is one of the most power-hungry devices on a modern phone.

Even finding a stand-alone GPS logger with a built in battery good for more than a few hours is hard work - get me this one that still works without being powered up, and I will be very happy!

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Tulsa woman bludgeons man mercilessly with laptop

AndyS

Re: Headline?

"Slap happy laptop slapper chomps chap's chap."

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

AndyS

Re: Fact Hunt!

@Loyal Commenter

You are requesting a fairly major increase in functionality. Certainly what you are suggesting would be useful, but it's beyond the scope of what Google currently does.

In the mean time, single interest, narrow-focus pressure groups are attempting not to increase the functionality, but to remove the use, in any context, of words they don't like. Which is not, really, constructive.

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YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?

AndyS

Re: Sorted the desktop out?

Don't they all have a start button?

Well mine does, but my wife's has a small piece of metal encased in a plastic container, which needs inserted and rotated in a special receptical. Buses tend to start with a simple rocker switch. The telehandler on the farm has a ratating switch, and the two tractors are different again. One of them even has 5 pedals, and the accelerator is duplicated in a hand-operated stick!

Honestly, I don't know why they can't all just be the same. It's a complete mess of proliferating standards (each of which fill their own niche well, while bringing competition and rapid development to their respective markets - but let's not get bogged down.)

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AndyS

Re: Sorted the desktop out?

Yes, the car market is the same - there's Ford, Vauxhaul, BMW, Peugeot/Citroen, Porche, Audi, Skoda, Nissan, Toyota...

It's a complete mess. If only there was only one, it would be so much easier.

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AndyS

Re: Very pleased with Linux

Better to format the disk and reclaim the unused space, yes?

At the back of my garage, on the wall, I've got a collection of old number plates.

Undoubtedly they are useless. They're a waste of space really. But I keep them there because, well... It's not much space, and I've got plenty. And I don't need the space for anything else. And they hold some memories. And maybe, just maybe, they will be useful for something one day.

Maybe similar?

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AndyS

Year of Linux on the Mobile

Isn't it a few years since Android (you know, Linux) became the world's number one mobile operating system?

OK, it's a bit dressed up, but shouldn't the article have mentioned that?

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Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star

AndyS

Much as I hate Skype (the interface sucks, and it's made by Microsoft, who I simply don't trust), I keep using it. Why? Because it works on Android, Windows, OSX, Linux and iOS, it can dial out to real phones, and everybody I need to talk to on it has an account.

As a commenter above said though, a simple alternative built into the majority of browsers would be very welcome, and very easy to start using.

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

AndyS

You're talking about each operator sticking their own antenna on an existing mast. The point in contention though is more complex - not sharing the metal thing that holds the antennas, but sharing the antenna, the network, the data links etc.

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Humanity now making about 41 mobes EACH SECOND

AndyS

Re: During the meanwhile ...

Oh look, it's Jake.

Surely you're still using two cans and a bit of string, which you hacked together from home-grown hemp while living in a hand-carved igloo in the arctic? After all, you wouldn't have needed anything else as you single-handedly coded Slackware from simple stone tablets and fingernails.

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AndyS

Insane

It took me 3 minutes 30 seconds to read that article, during which time apparently 1,410 mobiles were produced. That's enough to give one to every person in a decent sized company.

Those figures are actually mind-boggling.

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FBI impersonated newspaper to finger school bomb threat suspect

AndyS

Re: Why bother to impersonate a real newspaper?

That's not how Facebook works - the thumbnail is created once, when the first person on Facebook posts that link. From then on, the thumbnail is stored on FB's own servers.

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'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster

AndyS

But....

Yes yes, very impressive, but does it have an infra-red port? If not, how else am I meant to backup my contacts from my 6310?

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Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

AndyS

Re: 64 bit processor support

"Why do you need 64 bit processor or support in a phone?!"

"Nobody will ever need more than 128 kb of memory."

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Microsoft left red-faced after DMCAs dished out to Windows bloggers

AndyS

@BillG

No, you're thinking too narrowly. Basically I could post the key in the comment section of any youtube video I want taken down, and Microsoft would find it and have it removed.

(aka "that's exactly what the guy above you said!)

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ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10

AndyS

Re: Yeah But

That, alone, will be quite valuable feedback for MS - you can be sure they will have linked the installs which are immediatelly turned off, and the main reasons that accounts linked to those installs complain and the feedback they give. They will also be corrolating that feedback with the feedback given by accounts linked to more persistant installs, to see how similar/different the feedback is from users who've spent time getting to know the system.

1,000,000 users is a very large pool of feedback for a beta-trial, especially when the software reports so much feedback even without the user's interaction.

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AndyS

What a stupid statement.

I'd be quite happy with an beta-test group of 1 million.

It's not like this is production software, available at any bricks-and-mortar store. They're hardly targetting wide-spread adoption.

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LOHAN crash lands on CNN

AndyS

Is it just me though, or is that pipe empty? That'll never do.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

AndyS

Re: Reducing Electricity Consumption???

I can confidently say it won't do is reduce energy consumption

Really? LEDs use about 5% the power of indandescents. So you would need to light 20 rooms in your house with LEDs to balance out one room with incandescents, or light the whole house 20 times brighter.

While you use more energy in other places, for example display equipment, the cut in energy usage for lighting is hardly incremental - it's revolutionary. While lighting a whole house 20 years ago used maybe 2 or 3 kW, now it is more like 100-150 Watts. That is a phenominal difference.

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Dot-gay told it's NOT gay enough – but web'll be officially .eco-friendly

AndyS

Re: A joke....

Using an alternative network is a stupid solution though. The sensible solution is to ignore the new TLDs and carry on before, largely as has been done with .biz, .info, .me etc.

In my mind, .biz means "scammy", .info means "probably not relevant" and .me means... well, I'm not sure really.

Certainly if I was looking for A2B Taxi Co in Cherry Brook, I'll still go the same way - google them, click on result, find number and call. The TLD they use is at best irrelevant, and they will know that, and be very unlikely to buy and redirect A2BTaxis.taxi to their already functioning A2BTaxis.co.uk site.

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Inflatables in SPAAACE! ISS 'nauts to enjoy bouncy castle spaceship

AndyS

Re: Bit of an empty article?

@cray74

Thanks - a summary like that would have made the article worth reading!

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AndyS

Bit of an empty article?

This article sounds very interesting - I was hoping for more of an insight into the headline, instead of some jabs at some business-speak. Obviously their sales guy is going to big-up their sector, but the technology sounds interesting too.

How is this module constructed?

How does it maintain air pressure, what are the structural materials, is it comparible to a metal cylinder?

What does the module do? What is it for?

How does it work?

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

AndyS

Re: I do wonder

@TheVogon: Why are you replying to a comment below yours?

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Revenge smut bullies who send 'grossly offensive' messages WILL be prosecuted

AndyS

Um...

websites... readily promoted by search engines such as Google and Yahoo

What have we here, another politician who doesn't understand how search engines work?

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Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

AndyS

Re: Harvey's law

They weren't interferring with the radio signal, they were doing it on the data layer.

Interesting response. To a layman the difference is irrelevant, and the result is the same. I wonder if the law is so tightly written that this counts as a loophole?

Obviously the FCC wasn't particularly happy about the situation, so I'd assume they don't believe it matters how you mess with the signal (whether by flooding the radio spectrum with noise, or injecting malicious data packets). They seem to have concluded the hotel's actions were illegal, and slapped down a pretty big fine.

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That PERSONAL DATA you give away for free to Facebook 'n' pals? It's worth at least £140

AndyS

Re: Real or imaginary

Agreed. There is a market for this data, but it's between companies, and not consumer facing. As such no value picked out of thin air by a consumer means anything - the actual value is what 3rd party companies are willing to pay for it.

When I first opened the article, it had a sub-heading about £15.50 (you can see the title has changed by comparing it to the URL) - I suspect that's what this figure is. The real, traded value of a full suite of information including address, employment history, etc that people regularly upload to Facebook.

But you know what? Most people know this, and reckon it's worthwhile. Nobody's going to start demanding £140 (or whatever other arbitrary figure a survey puts on it) to use things like Facebook, Google etc. The logical decision is that they are happy trading this info for access to some pretty extensive services.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

AndyS

Re: Oil subsidies...

That's nice, but you don't need to convince us (this is a UK site) that you (the US) is running a pretty messed up ship. We know that already.

Although some of your points can be extrapolated, the US really is the oddball of the developed world, in every single sense.

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Reddit trousers $50m to splash on ads, mobile and cash-generating staffers

AndyS

It takes money

I understand that - it's not free to run a large site.

But $50,000,000? That's a hell of a lot of money. I'm afraid I struggle to get my head round how they can need that much.

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Kenyan court case could sound death knell for mobile money

AndyS

Re: also used in South Africa

Also used quite successfully in other East African countries, and certainly successful in, for example, Tanzania and Uganda. But it's Kenya which has really taken off.

Interestingly East Africa has, in some terms, led the world in terms mobile usage. No roaming charges between countries, cheap sim-only deals long before they were normal, mobile money (Pesa just means 'cash' in Swahili), very fast networks in urban areas, etc.

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Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT

AndyS

Re: It sucks but..

That site doesn't allow hotlinking, here is the link to the article with the image:

http://consumertraveler.com/today/would-full-body-scanners-have-stopped-the-christmas-bomber-probably-not/

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AndyS

Re: MAGNA CARTA

Free speech is about interactions between citizens and government...

...in the narrow legal interpritation of one specific 200+ year old foreign document. Which isn't really relevant in this discussion about a website censoring comments.

Which, as others have already noted, the Reg hasn't done.

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Renault Twingo: Small, sporty(ish), safe ... and it's a BACK-ENDER

AndyS

Re: Bonnet space?

We used to drive a Matiz, and if you took the (anemic, 3 cylinder, 1000 cc) engine out of that, but left everything else, you would probably only have room for 1 bag from Tescos. Shrink the space slightly and it's gone.

You still, after all, need to package bigger wheel arches, suspension components, all the fluid bottles, the radiator, the battery, the ECU, a few pumps and plenty of plumbing. All of which add up to substantially more space than the engine itself.

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