* Posts by Daedalus

237 posts • joined 15 Oct 2009

Page:

NASA charges up 18-prop electric X-plane

Daedalus

100 kW?

"To put that in perspective, 500 kilowatts (nearly 700 horsepower) is about five times as powerful as an average modern passenger car engine."

Actually better than 15 times more powerful, based on your average 1-litre 30 kW engine. Of course these are American engines they're talking about, but even so 140 hp is one heck of a motor. You could put it in a light aircraft.

1
1

'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

Daedalus

Re: Office Space

Before Harold Wislon dragged Brits through the white heat of technological change, you all used to write on "quarto" and "foolscap".

1
0

Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts

Daedalus

Stop laughing

Every time some pol suggests "shutting down the Internet" or "blocking people/countries" there is a peal of laughter from those who think themselves in the know. Of course it's impossible they say, the Internet is a distributed web of connections designed to route around censorship.

Except it isn't anymore. The Internet Protocol may be in place but the physical routes are anything but distributed. This was apparent 10 years ago to anyone who noticed that the big telecom companies were becoming ISP's by default.

So who's laughing now?

0
0

Test burn on recycled SpaceX rocket shows almost all systems are go

Daedalus

Lox nox

The liquid oxygen is only 20 C below it's boiling point, which seems like caution, not going for efficiency. In any case, LOX as it is known is the standard oxidizer for all liquid fuel rockets launched from the ground. The "fuel" part is either a highly refined hydrocarbon or liquid hydrogen. The first has more thrust, the second is more efficient because you get higher average gas velocity for a given chamber temperature.

In space the preferred fuel is hydrazine with dinitrogen tetroxide. These don't have the cooling needs of liquid oxygen.

2
0

Lights out! Newbie IT manager's dark basement trip

Daedalus

Brit bit crit hit

Reminds me of the UKTV programme where they bought a pre-designed, pre-furbished modular home in Deutschland and after much trouble getting the concrete foundation laid, they found that the only Brit component of the assembly process had sent the bloody crane to the wrong bloody town.

5
0

Security bod watches heart data flow from her pacemaker to doctor via ... er, SMS? 3G? Email?

Daedalus

It gets better

After the sales droids have dragooned the offshore programmers into handing over whatever they've got so far and the device is certified, you can't actually update the code without going through the certification process all over again. Which tends to make people unwilling to update software. Or even admit there's a problem.

1
0

DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

Daedalus

Disk repair

Back in the early days of word processors, a transplant of sector 0 from a good floppy disk to a faulty one got me - lunch with a lady of a certain age.

2
0

After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Daedalus

Forget the Romans!

Look at our own stuff: F-16 fighter/bomber, 40 years old. AK-model rifles, nearly 70 years old for the original, 40 for the current Russian standard rifle. Steyr AUG rifle, 1978. SA-80, 1985. M-2 .50 cal machine gun dates from WW 2. Panavia Tornado, 1974. Even the Eurofighter is 20 years old.

Improvements for troops include better body armour, but you can't easily see that.

In any case, technology runs up against physics. That's why we got to the best possible rocket motors in the 60's and haven't done better since.

2
0

US Congress grants leftpondians the right to own asteroid booty

Daedalus

Whoa there, Trigger!

The bill (not an Act yet) has only just been approved with an amendment by the Senate. The House will have to reconsider the amended Bill and the Pres will then have to sign it. The clue is "H.R.", the prefix for a House of Representatives Bill.

0
0

Former nbn CEO Mike Quigley ends his silence, unloads on government

Daedalus

Somebody needs a right royal editing

Mr. Chirgwin excels at long, badly constructed, ungrammatical sentences. He must be an "I write as I talk" guy.

0
0

The only GOOD DRONE is a DEAD DRONE. Y'hear me, scumbags?!

Daedalus

Life in the hills

Out in the sticks in the USA they use STOP signs for target practice. Drones and spy cams wouldn't last five minutes.

6
1

Wheels come off parents' plan to dub sprog 'Mini Cooper'

Daedalus

Christian names

What would these courts make of such awful choices as "Jesus" ? If they are in many Spanish speaking countries, no big deal.

When you have eliminated all that is not commonly accepted, whatever remains, however bizarre, must be OK.

0
1

PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Daedalus

Pity the poor American banker

Having laboured for decades under laws that stopped banks from operating across State lines - and in some cases across county lines - the American banks finally clawed their way up to being National in scope sometime in the 90's. Finding of course, that the credit card landscape was a fractured mess. Visa and Mastercard were never more than clearing houses. Some credit cards were not affiliated with any bank at all.

So you can excuse them for not having the advantages of centralised planning and dictatorial governments.

Dabbsy can rest assured that NFC, or whatever you care to call it, is showing up in various outlets even as I write, and has been for a few years. Chip&Pin may have a short shelf life. We will see.

1
0

Japan begins mega-rollout of 100 million+ national IDs

Daedalus

Nothing new

Decades ago, Westerners in Japan noted that every now and then a police official would come to your door and ask who was living in your apartment/house. Answering was not optional. Every neighbourhood had its policeman in a box who knew where everybody lived and would happily give directions - useful in a country that never went for street names or house numbers. This is just Japan 3.0.

3
0

Mohawk Valley, NY to become the new Silicon Valley in fab fab deal

Daedalus

Geography FAIL

If Utica NY is "east coast" then bloody London is just outside Cardiff. The nearest point on the Atlantic coast is about 170 miles away.

The locals may claim to be close to the "North coast", but that's a conceit of a different kind.

0
0

The good burghers of Palo Alto are entirely insane

Daedalus

Crazy like foxes

Probably the site owner is related to or otherwise connected to somebody on the council. If the circumstances say cockup, suspect conspiracy.

0
0

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

Daedalus

Run!

When you are just one guy, tackling stuff like this is career suicide. The rule is: the last person to touch the system gets the blame for all the problems. Don't fix things for idiots, because they will ignore all the benefits and only look at the problems (or even make them up).

They guy who recommended documenting everything had the right idea. Idiots usually love paper. If nothing gets done, it's not your problem. Move on. They have screwed up. They will screw up again. Just don't get any on you.

2
1

Snowball spud gun shows comets could have seeded Earth with life

Daedalus

What?

A peptide is just a bunch of amino acids held together with peptide bonds. A peptide bond is what you get when the amino- part of one molecule reacts with the acid part of another, eliminating a water molecule. You get the same result heating a bunch of amino acids together in a flask.

In other words, this so-called experiment is proof of absolutely nothing other than the fact that amino acids react with each other when heated. Wup-de-do.

Now if you take stuff like ammonia, methane, water etc. and whack them producing amino acids, even the simplest like glycine, then you have a result. Sort of.

0
1

'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos

Daedalus

Oh boy!

Anybody who can make marketeers cry is OK with me. It makes up for the times marketing has brought tears to my eyes.

5
5

Skills crisis? Not for long: More and more UK kids gain STEM quals

Daedalus

Cannon fodder

More muppets for us to clean up after. We're in the money....

0
2
Daedalus

Re: The CIA World Factbook

Don't knock it. It's the best set of facts about countries there is. Contrast that with the the Brit approach. "Call Jorrocks and see who we have in Ismalia..."

5
1

Dead Steve Jobs' life and times are being turned into an OPERA

Daedalus

Re: Hmmm...

Einstein on the Beach?

0
0

Remember Impero, the school software biz that went ape over a vuln? Someone's got revenge

Daedalus

He may be a sociopath...

... but he's OUR sociopath!

0
0

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Daedalus

Re: Scooby Doo, where are you?

Smartly dressed people can write lousy code, but when somebody has that Who Cares look, I know they will write whatever they want and to heck with compatibility, integration, or standards.

1
4
Daedalus

Scooby Doo, where are you?

it has become ridiculous in some quarters. I had an interview with a gang of guys in various stages of dishevelment. I looked around the table and picked out Shaggy and a few Velmas. Only the dog and the Mystery Machine were missing.

1
1

Universal Pictures finds pirated Jurassic World on own localhost, fires off a DMCA takedown

Daedalus

Any port in a storm in a teacup

Port 4001 is (was) apparently linked to the Microsoft Ants, an antedeluvian game. But it wouldn't be the first time somebody tunneled out on a port that was assigned to something else.

1
0

Your gadget batteries endanger planes, says Boeing

Daedalus

Really?

Who ships bulk anything by air? Sea and land are way cheaper. Air is for stuff that can't wait.

5
2

Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Daedalus

Re:

Wickramasinghe's theories may be out there, but he is no loon. I have been to academic seminars he has given. He deserves respect even if he is wrong.

0
2

'The server broke and so did my back on the flight to fix it'

Daedalus

Seriously?

If you are hurt you go home. No company, no job is worth pain, especially as the suits don't give a toss.

9
0

Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

Daedalus

Re: Uninspiring

Anytime you have to sell to the general public in a showroom, the design goes crazy. Everything is about curb appeal, so glitzy but useless keyboards rule and shiny screens are a must. I'm surprised they haven't started adding fins already.

Thank Heaven for smartphones and pads. They are soaking up the pleb demand for cool ways to swap inanities and selfies. Eventually the pleb market for laptops will collapse and (hopefully) some manufacturers will start producing laptops that are useful for something other than checking your reflection.

0
0

Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

Daedalus

The old bucket of manure trick

It's how to get the flies to come out and show themselves. Likewise the loudest critics here will be the hollow people who prefer politics to practice. And the social scientists, of course. Start taking names.

1
4

Silicon Valley, episode 9: Too sexy for this headline, too sexy...

Daedalus
Devil

American Cliche

American dramas tend to migrate to fixed forms that contain guaranteed points of drama (usually the kind that can be used to stop the action for a commercial break). Legal, Police, and Medical are the current cliches. The old Cowboy Western cliche has dropped out of use (why do you think Kung Fu was set in the American West?) Sounds like Silicon Valley is going Legal.

0
0

Infusion pump is hackable … but rumours of death are exaggerated

Daedalus
FAIL

Time is the enemy

Thanks to the regulatory process, medical devices are typically years behind the state of the art, particularly since the manufacturers have plenty of incentive to wring as much lifetime out of the product as possible. Any change to any part of a device requires regulatory review, so forget about weekly patching. Most manufacturers will focus on a new device rather than upgrade an old one. In 5 to 10 years time we may have sophisticated online threats going against devices that are designed with older, obsolete threats in mind.

In other words, even if the problem isn't real now, it will be very real in a few years.

1
0

Al Franken to FBI: We need MORE revenge smut arrests

Daedalus

Him, Al Franken

Mr. F got his start writing for Saturday Night Live and doing pieces that typically revolved around him appealing for tributes or money to, in his words "..me, Al Franken", ending every other sentence that way. I guess he said it enough that it paid off.

More disturbing than a comedian being elected to the Senate is the perception the FBI is the personal police force of any Senator who cares to call on it. Last time I checked the FBI had jurisdiction over bank robberies, crimes on Federal land, espionage and generally any criminal activity that crosses State boundaries. I don't recall love spats between consenting adults being in that jurisdiction.

0
1

Helium-filled drive tech floats to top of HGST heap

Daedalus

Re: He is single

That's hard to believe, considering we've used it in neon signs for decades. It's easier to isolate than helium because it liquefies more easily.

0
0
Daedalus
Boffin

He is single

"Helium molecules" ? Ain't no such animal. Like all the noble gases, helium in its normal state exists as isolated atoms, both lighter and smaller in size than the molecules of gases such as oxygen or nitrogen. That's why helium leaks out so well, since the atoms can get through the tiniest of pores.

I'm surprised the manufacturers didn't give Neon a shot. Cheaper all around and similar properties.

4
0

Look, no handsets: How to do telephony without a phone

Daedalus

In the closet

I once showed up at a small satellite office to do an install.

I was shown the office server, inside a coat closet with little or no ventilation. The temperature inside was like the Sahara. I called head office and they said not to bother.

That's what your vision of computer telephony is up against: hardware abused by idiots.

1
1

Lies, damn lies and Wikipedia: Murder suspect NOT a Plaxo founder – ex-staffer

Daedalus

Re: The trouble with journalists and foreign names

Regardless of Wikipedia, a journo who does not double check facts, especially when the name involved is so common, is the problem. That and short tempered trolls.

2
0
Daedalus

The trouble with journalists and foreign names

They get them wrong anyway, and the problem is compounded when the name is the equivalent of John Smith. They don't know that, so they jump on the first example they find.

0
0

30,000 people buy a box of BOVINE EXCREMENT

Daedalus

Grot!

Wonder if the MD of CAH has the last name "Perrin" ?

2
0

LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

Daedalus

Re: You sure must love driving

Nope, whatever the video was, the article clearly implied that the drive started in Denver.

Speaking of ABQ, one of the greatest views on the planet is available at the end of the cable car from downtown to Sandia Peak.

1
0
Daedalus

You sure must love driving

Next time fly into Albuquerque or El Paso and save yourself the drive. Seriously, dude!

4
1

I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

Daedalus
Terminator

Where did all you zombies come from?`

"Predestination", a relatively faithful embellishment of Heinlein's beautifully twisted (and daring for its time) story "All you zombies..." is about to be released.

Clearly somebody nipped into the future to plant this story so it would be possible to slip in a plug for the movie.

1
0

Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking

Daedalus

Need the Idiot Indices

When considering another country it's always good to know how many ID10T's you will encounter and of what type.

Blithering Bureaucrats - all form and no substance

Grinning Idiots - everything's OK as long as everybody is happy.

Climbers - they've got your back, 'cos they are stepping on it to get higher

Panickers - promoted beyond their competence, they jump all over their subordinates because that's all they know how to do.

Sales Droids - nuff said.

0
0

Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS

Daedalus

Bling bling

I always thought the hip-hop style was big, gold, and worn around the neck.

1
0

'I went from a two-hour commute to a 10-min scooter ride by the sea'

Daedalus

Warm blue waters?

Blue maybe. Warmer than the UK or much of the US definitely. But not always warm (sub 15 C for at least half the year) and prone to Portuguese Man'o'War plagues.

0
0

Activist investors DESTROY COMPANIES. Don't get me started on share dealings...

Daedalus

@Steve the Cynic

Excellent rebuttal. Right on point. You left out a bit though. It's the bit that goes:

"If you're not a shareholder then what companies and shareholders do is none of your bloody business"

Having said all that, as someone who encounters people running and working for tech companies on a regular basis, all I can say is I'm amazed at what a bunch of clueless chair-warmers most of them are!

3
0

What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

Daedalus

Pity the poor drones

Software gets designeritis. Too many functions included only to please marketeers and sales droids. It's the Xerox Syndrome, the creation of full featured gadgets that get used for one thing only most of the time. At least Xerox knew about the importance of the Big Green Button.

1
0

Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things

Daedalus

Bodge and run!

If you happen to be a roving consultant of no fixed abode and you work for a well-known TLA company (no, not the obvious one) that specializes in DB type applications that users can theoretically use to, oh, look up documents and fetch the latest version, you can get away with GUI's so bad they would be thrown out by even the sozzled sots in the boardroom.

And the funny thing is, the bigger the client and the more you charge, the less likely you are to be called back after you run for the exit.

0
0

Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills

Daedalus

Its not the replacement credit cards...

... It's having to change all my online accounts that's th real pain.

0
0

Page:

Forums