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* Posts by Stoneshop

1370 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

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NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star

Stoneshop
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Re: general ignorance question

It would collect photons from a disc the same radius as the Moons orbit

Err, no. It would still collect photons only from a disc the size of its primary lens/mirror. It would collect them from a different location over time, but that only helps to offer a kind of stereoscopic view (allowing distance calculations) for objects that are rather close (up to maybe a couple thousand AU, 0.1 ly, I gather from an acquaintance who's into astronomy). It does little to improve imaging more distant objects, apart from what can be achieved by combining several images anyway.

Or would it be out of focus due to the Earth/Moon's orbit around the Sun?

Distance to Kepler would be 500 lightyears plus or minus 1 AU. or 3.38e+19 linguine plus or minus 1e+12 linguine. That is, if Kepler 186 lies more or less in the plane of Earth's rotation around Sol. As you see, the distance variation is negligible

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MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: OK, but how do you get the power back to land?

A long-solved problem.

http://new.abb.com/systems/hvdc/references/norned

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Heartbleed vuln under ACTIVE ATTACK as hackers map soft spots

Stoneshop
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Re: How the Heartbleed bug works ..

That MMU would have to be programmed with the information that buffer_X is of size buffer_X_size and is to be accessed by pointer_X only while staying within those bounds. Which are extra steps to be performed by every memory allocation and deallocation routine, which people will then want to bypass for speed reasons (if the functionality is available in the first place, which in ALL hardware to date it isn't). That MMU should also take care of zeroing memory on allocation and deallocation.

In short, it's not going to fly.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: How the Heartbleed bug works ..

The exposed memory IS part of the OpenSSL process space, so a MMU or any other form of inter-process memory protection mechanism would do zilch, nada, nothing.

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Stoneshop
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Re: foss

You're perhaps deliberately implying that closed-source is security through obscurity. This isn't the case. Many closed source software includes all manner of security measures which are published and explained in great detail, even if the source code itself isn't.

Sure, you can tell your software has all kinds of security measures, but who's to tell they're implemented correctly? It's a bit like a car manufacturer telling you their cars have crumple zones, airbags, seatbelts, etcetera, but would they actually be working as stated in a crash? Does the airbag deploy at the right moment? The crumple zone designed to absorb the right amount of energy? The seatbelt mounting points sufficiently strong? In the case of cars, certification agencies, and often consumer protection organisations, tend to test that they work correctly, so you don't have to rely solely on the manufacturer's say-so

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Firefox biz Mozilla makes Beard new interim chief executive

Stoneshop
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Go

Re: Oh, and I was so hoping...

it was going to be Frank Beard from ZZ Top.

But at least, like Frank, he hasn't got one.

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Want a free Bosch steam iron? You'll have to TALK TO THE DEAD

Stoneshop
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Coat

This raises the question

whether ouija-boards also come in dishwasher-safe variants (or even washing machine safe)

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USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

Stoneshop
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Re: the last hardware bane of desktop hardware support

I'm sure they'll find some way to stick the thing in the wrong way!

They'll jam the entire plug into one of the older USB sockets, or the RJ45 socket, or into one of the ventilation cutouts. There must be more but I can't think of them, because I'm a techie, not an executive.

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'Monstrous' Apple kicked us off iAd, claimed we are its RIVAL – Brit music upstart

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Advertising

This is worthy of a Barbra Streisand Award.

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Stoneshop
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Linux

Re: Won't some of this stuff be running on XP Embedded?

Similar circumstances I saw Windows98 about six months ago ....

I have, in the same timeframe, seen the OS/2 "Please finish your registration" screen (the one with the elephant) displayed on some control system

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Stoneshop
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She should have been sacked and forced to pay back the expenses she fraudulently claimed, the person who authorized the expenses should also be sacked

And the people responsible for not sacking the people mentioned above should be sacked, plus the ones they should have been sacking in the first place, and the lot should be replaced by llamas.

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: What saved me

(that he could reach Usenet without an internet connection

One word: UUCP

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Stoneshop
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Ahem

correlation .nes. causation

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Mad Raspberry Pi boffins ripped out its BRAINS and SHRANK them for your pleasure

Stoneshop
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Re: It's still too expensive

I know it's super-cheap as a computer, but if you want to start automating your home >£40/module is still too much for most people.

If you're designing your home automation with a Pi for each node, you're doing it wrong. Most endpoints can be easily handled by an ATMega, even at several endpoints per. Then a Pi (or BBB, or whatever else you like in that class) to tie it al together and provide a nice UI.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Stoneshop
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@Dragonlord Re: Production Line

In most cases the hardware consists of several parts. There's the machine controller, a box filled with relays, PLCs, boards taking input from a variety of sensors and other such machine-specific stuff. It drives the motors, solenoids, valves, etcetera, and is usually tightly integrated with the machine itself. Apart from breakage and the occasional mods to boards because of noise sensitivity and such, there's little need to tinker with this bit. And there's the controlling PC, taking the design and setup files, mangling them and pushing the results to the machine controller. It's this part that has an OS and one or more applications for driving and possibly monitoring the machine.

If you want to replace the latter, you'd have to build a PC that has the same interface with the machine controller, and put an application on it that talks the same protocol. The installed base and the effort to build and test the new setup determine whether it makes economic sense for the manufacturer (or a third party) to do so, or just keep everything as it is.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Mr. Trevor Pott's analysis is correct

And would they have been told that newer versions of Windows would stop netbui, or direct access to the parralel port, or support for x?

Joe Average User? No. And to them it won't matter because they don't need it. The ones that DO need a particular kind of support will look whether that will still be provided by Windows.newerversion, OR they'll take the approach "It works, don't touch it"

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Stoneshop
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32/64 bit

You're missing the point. If you're (the generic you) are developing some app, then by all means do so in 64 bit. Those needing to keep XP around do not, as a rule, have the need to run the newest whizziest programs on those machines; they do so because they're unable to upgrade, the reasons for which have been given in the article and several replies.

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Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Re: Auntie Bee has pictures of the drone

Does N Korean 'Health and Safety' let them use nitrobenzene in the fuel mix?

Insofar as that organisation may exist, they would probably wholeheartedly bless the use of unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine, chlorine trifluoride, and most of the rest of the stuff mentioned in 'Ignition!', as long as it won't kill too many of those who know how to build things that fly across the border and go boom there.

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Artists install Monty Python silly walk signs in Norwegian town

Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: Maybe London can follow suit

Unfortunately, that's not the type of sign you'll find in the UK, if there's a crossing sign at all in the first place. One would be more like the type used in Norway (and most of the rest of Europe)

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Stoneshop
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Comes from being frozen solid in blocks of ice for months,

Does that prevent mööse bites?

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El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS

Stoneshop
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Re: it's probably better to install Java, because so many online services demand it

only LibreOffice / Open Office seems to require it,

Not even. When you start it, LO pops up a message about it being rather displeased with the system being uncontaminated by cheesejava, but as far as I can see it runs OK despite the warning. Haven't encountered stuff not working attributable to lack of java

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Selfies are OVER: Welcome to the age of 'Sleeveface'

Stoneshop
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Re: @Stoneshop (was: All I can say is ...)

Implicit in every post you make. That you've already done something years ago now touted as 'new'. That the tools and devices you've been using since time immemorial are simply the best, and anything from today doesn't stack up against them. That your methods of doing something are infallible, and people are farking idjits for even trying a different way.

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Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: All I can say is ...

And jake once again can't resist pointing out how it was So Much Better Back Then.

In other news: water is wet.

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Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: Prior Art

The problem with that app is Apple have an army of weasels that would argue that black is white,

So they'll get killed on the next zebra crossing, no? How appropriate.

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Candy Crush King sees IPO go sour as stock price heads south

Stoneshop
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Coat

Missing the point(s)

"The proliferation of mobile devices is dramatically expanding the global gaming audience, much of which is attracted to casual titles."

Casual titties, rather.

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Zombie Nortel grabs Cisco by the neck, again

Stoneshop
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Devil

LMFTFY

Much too kind. These guys should be extensively tortured and shot.

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Fail yourself

Word was released for DOS in 1983, about a year before the Macintosh saw the light of day. And it started life at Xerox PARC; you could have gleaned this info from the article, had you bothered to read it.

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

Stoneshop
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Flame

Mission Impossible

This pile of tax-payer money will self-destruct in five seconds.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Stoneshop
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Re: Metric is easy to do calculations in.

Any bridge, or ship, or oil rig, or aircraft, or piece of railway infrastructure has dimensions spanning more than three orders of magnitude.

Overall, yes. But you won't find the size of individual bolts on an overview drawing

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Stoneshop
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Re: Fear not, ancient standards of measurement prevail in today's electronics ...

I think you'll find that there are parts with 2.5mm pin spacing. And SMD parts tend towards metric as well.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Metric is easy to do calculations in.

If it's so easy to do calculations, why is the length of a car specified in mm for manufacturing? Because ordinary workers can't do conversions from mm to cm to m to km.

Technical drawings specify the unit ("All sizes in mm") to keep size and weight information consistent within the drawing. Those units will be engineering units, ten to the power of multiple_of_3, so mm, m or km, but not dm or hm. Also, there's generally no reason to do otherwise, because you'll find few drawings that have a dimension spread of more than three orders of magnitude

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Stoneshop
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WTF?

10' pole

The pole, aka the "rod" or "perch", is 5.5 yards

So, a 10 foot pole is actually 0.6060166 pole.

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Stoneshop
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Coat

Re: Enter the metric pole?

There's clearly a "metric pole" waiting to be invented,

Poles are already metric, although those now working in Britain may have needed to convert.

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

Stoneshop
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Flame

I seem to need glasses

could somebody get the lot of them fired

First read that as 'fried'.

Anyway, that would work too, I suspect.

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Planes fail to find 'credible' candidate for flight MH370 wreckage

Stoneshop
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Re: @Mad Mike

Maybe. But, how big was the largest bit? Also, the photos show a lot of smaller flotsam around it. Single very large piece of wreckage and no flotsam visible? Not really credible.

That depends, as I've said already, on the way MH370 ended its flight: in a reasonably controlled manner, aka "water bird landing", or dropping uncontrollably from a high-altitude stall. AF447 did something inbetween. Of course that's just one factor in determining how damaging the crash would be; another would be the state of the sea surface. A pic of PanAm flight 6 ditching shows a Pacific that's pretty smooth, so it can happen, even out on the ocean. It would also be informative to know how large the largest floating pieces from ET961 were (no flaps, high-speed ditching in relatively calm water)

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Stoneshop
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Re: @p_0

For a considerable part of the early part of the flight post 'incident', mobile phones would have been in easy range of towers, yet no attempt was made to make any calls. Indeed, if I were flying in the plane, the severity of the initial turn back would have at least caused me concern and would have been obvious to those inside. So, again, why no mobile phone calls.

If I were a pilot with malicious intent, trying to alter course rather abruptly, I would try to cover it up by putting a message over the intercom that we're about to encounter some turbulence, please fasten your seatbelts, etcetera, then rock the plane while making the turn. No moon, it's dead of night, so not much for an average passenger to get a grip on what course they're flying

Also, bear in mind the debris spotted in the Indian Ocean is outside the 7hour flight time of the aircraft (it might have been carried by ocean currents) and is thought to be bobbing just under the surface. The largest part is also believed to be 24m long. If the aircraft entered an uncontrolled descent (say due to fuel running out) and hit the ocean, there is almost no chance of a 24m piece of debris being left. It would hit at high speed (600mph?) and would be utterly destroyed. At that speed, it would be the same as flying into concrete. So, could they have tried to land on the Ocean? Maybe, but why fly there and then try to do that? All in all, this doesn't make any sense at all.

I don't know how the autopilot (if it was engaged) would react to fuel running out. Would it try to keep the plane controllable, or try to keep altitude? If the latter, it would cause a stall as the airspeed dropped, then an uncontrolled dive and the plane probably already breaking up before it hit the water. But a shallow descent would leave the plane controllable (e.g. the Gimli Glider and British Airways flight 009) until it simply ran out of height.

If the pilot was still in control, and intent on trying to disappear without a trace, he might have tried to put the plane down as gently as possible and sinking it more or less intact. I can't see that happening in the southern Indian Ocean, but on the other hand, he probably counted on crashing in a place no-one would expect the plane to be, plus about as far from land as he could get to hamper any search attempts.

AF447 hit the drink at about 280km/h, and still some parts remained kind of intact and floating

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Google's Larry Page: DeepMind 'discovered CATS on its own'

Stoneshop
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Re: Can't hear

4a. and read by someone whose primary (or single) language is not the one the note was written in. Exhibit #1: just pick some Chinglish user manual.

I've seen wordmanglings that can not have been caused by anything but peculiarities in someone's handwriting.

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Tinfoil hattery galore

This afternoon on the (Dutch) radio:

"Oh, MH370 is on an airfield somewhere in Afghanistan or Kazakhstan or Iran. It's going to be used as a trojan horse next monday, when the NSS starts. There's a regular flight by Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam that day, flown with a 777, and they will switch planes when it's over the region where MH370 is now. So it will land at Schiphol, full of terrorists, or maybe with the passengers as hostages, and then anything can happen"

The interviewer even kindof agreed that that was a plausible scenario.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Accident or Malicious?

Now an airliner with 200 or whatever passengers on board pales into insignificance besides a large tower full of office workers. So why NOT fly it into one.

Because you'll find very few office towers full of unbelievers around Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and at night they don't tend to be full at all anyway, no matter the religious persuasion of the people in them by day. A luxury hotel full of business people and affluent tourists would make a better target there, but try hitting that in a high-rise city, at night.

Australia as well as China would quite probably offer those office tower targets, but given the timing of events the element of surprise would be gone, to be replaced by jet fighters with air-to-air missiles.

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Stoneshop
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Re: The simplest explanation and confirmation bias

2. The supposed InMarSat data. The problem with this is that the news reports are extremely vague and often inaccurate. It may consist of a single data point, and having never looked for such data before, InMarSat officials probably have no idea how accurate or error-prone it may be. Any number of possible errors could render it meaningless, such as a mis-identification of the transmitter number, incorrect conversion of the time stamp, or incomplete data stuck in a buffer being flushed out hours later.

Whatever reaches the public media could well be incomplete and quite possibly misreported, but in a case like this, several engineers will have been poring over the data and any metadata, trying to get all available info out of it, checking with the others whether they've missed or misinterpreted something.

And Inmarsat was not put into service last month, with the bugs in their software still needing to be ironed out, insofar as they would be known. If they had, or even still have, problems with incorrect transmission, buffering or logging, those bugs would either be a thing of the past, or so rare that they're as good as irreproducible (in which case, good luck debugging) and in that case it would be extremely unlikely that it would affect exactly this flight.

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Stoneshop
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Unhappy

Re: Gruesome chance missed

So...if they had looked for a huge mass of sharks in the relevant area(s), there just might have been a 777 in there somewhere.

And for that we only have to look for a fleet of Chinese trawlers that cater to the shark fin soup industry.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Solving the flight time problem

The airlines don't own a fuel pool, they just have contracts with the local cooked dinosaur juice peddlers at the airports they frequent. And as those CDJPs usually service more than one airline at any airport, those will want to keep track of how many liters they deliver to each airline. Plus, pilots will want to know how much fuel is on the plane, for reasons of flight range[1] as well as flight characteristics. And then there are the beancounters who will figure whether it's cheaper to bring more fuel so that you need to fill up less at an airport where the stuff is more expensive.

[1] still, the occasional error occurs and jets suddenly turn into gliders

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Stoneshop
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Re: Spy satellite?

To date this has proven remarkably reliable, in several decades they've only mislaid about 1 jet airliner

Passenger-carrying jet airliner. Starting counting from 1970 (several decades):

- 1979, Boeing 707 (Varig, 200km out from Tokyo)

- 1990, Boeing 727 (Faucett, 290km SE of Newfoundland)

- 1997, Antonov 72 (Renan, between Abidjan and Rundu)

All these were cargo or ferrying flights though, so no passengers on board.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Hypoxia All The Way

Err, read up on Helios Airways flight 522

Apparently at least one passenger was conscious and able to enter the cockpit just before the crash (although too late to do anything about it).

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

and no-one in the cockpit realized that the sun not being where it should be supposed to be (i.e. over the horizon) meant they were off course.

KAL007 took of from Anchorage 1st September 05:00 local time. Sunrise would be 06:52.

It flew westwards, so against the rotation of the earth, at a speed slightly faster than the earth's rotational speed at those latitudes. In other words, it would have had its local time running slowly backwards during its flight.

It was destroyed at 03:36 local time near Sakhalin, exactly four hours before sunrise there.

IF they were to encounter a sunrise due to some weird time distortion effect, it would be roughly behind the plane, unless that particular day sunrise was in the west instead of in the east as is common.

Now tell me, how could they have used the sun to alert them to a course offset of 185 miles over some 2400 miles travelled?

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: Another interesting hypothesis

More likely the plane would be hit when on the ground, due to time plane is on the ground vs. airborne.

a) commercial airliners spend as little time on the ground as possible, as this is where they cost money instead of bringing it in.

b) meteorites tend to burn up in the atmosphere, and only very few hit the ground.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Eh?

I'd've thought that any airliner being detected as inexplicably going off course would have as much available tracking gear pointed at as possible, even to the point of scrambling an interceptor or two to see what it was up to.

Maybe. And maybe not if the thing is clearly going away from anything you (as the country's defense/antiterrorist organisation) would be responsible for protecting.

Also, the flight initially had its transponder on, so it was identified. If they did keep tracking the blip across the transponder on/off transition (so they'd know that that un-ID'd blip was MH370), and it kept to an official airway during the time it was over their territory, they might not have been in any great hurry to take a closer look.

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Stoneshop
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Re: What if it was ditched and sunk intact?

@Chris Miller

It's generally agreed that the Hudson landing was a remarkable feat of airmanship, but it took place in benign conditions on an inland waterway.

But it was done with an almost total loss of thrust in both engines.

Though I don't know if having engine power or not would make any difference in being able to put down the plane at sea with minimal damage. The pilot on Ethiopian Airlines 961 also tried ditching in sheltered water without engine power, and might have fared better if the plane hadn't banked at the last moment, causing the left wingtip to hit water first and the craft turning sideways before its body hit the water.

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Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

Stoneshop
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Pint

Re: Why tie these people into the MicroSoft symbiosis.

Sell a person a fish, and you have sold one fish. But teach a person to fish,

and he'll sit in a boat all day drinking beer. So that's a sound business model if you're into brewing or selling the stuff.

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Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: It's obvious!

"Xenon, the god of car light bulbs?"

That's 'Lucas'.

No, Lucas is Xenon's nemesis. And also the reason Brits drink warm beer, as he also manufactures fridge thermostats.

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